Silicon Valley Internship Summit: Speakers, Panelists and Presenters

ORGANIZED BY: Foothill College, SJSU, Year-Up, NOVA, Blach Construction, the Two-County Next Generation Committee, & Internbound.

The Silicon Valley Internship Summit webpage is managed by the SJSU Career Center



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Dr. Linda Thor

Chancellor of Foothill-De Anza C.C.D

Welcome Remarks

Dr. Linda M. Thor is chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, serving more than 45,000 students each year in Silicon Valley. 

She currently serves on a variety of boards such as the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network; the NOVA Workforce Board of Silicon Valley; and the executive council of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. Additionally, the U.S. Secretary of Education has appointed her to serve on the Committee on Measures of Student Success.

Prior to her current role, she has over 20 years of experience as a community college president and has been nationally recognized as an innovator in education, and was recently honored with the lifetime achievement awards from the Council for Experiential Learning.


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Bill Symonds

Director of Global Pathways Institute and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University

Keynote Speaker & Workshop Presenter

Bill Symonds is Director of the Global Pathways Institute and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. The institute helps advance a national movement to provide high-quality multiple pathways to economic independence for all young people.

Symonds helped launch the Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was the primary author of Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century - speaking about it in 40 states, as well as New Zealand and Canada.

Prior to this, he spent nearly 25 years as a bureau chief and senior correspondent for Business Week Magazine and wrote extensively about education and the role of U.S. business in school reform. He is the father of three children, each of whom is passionately pursuing a distinct pathway.


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Patrick Ainsworth

Chief Executive Officer of Patrick Ainsworth and Associates, Inc.

Workshop Presenter

Patrick Ainsworth is an education consultant, whose clients include school districts, businesses, professional associations, higher education, and researchers. His work focuses on education policy, leadership development, career and college readiness, developing organizational capacity, and facilitating business - education partnerships. He also serves as adjunct professor and dissertation chair with the Brandman University Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership and Management.

Dr. Ainsworth served for 16 years as the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education within the California Department of Education, directing the Career & College Transition Division.

Dr. Ainsworth earned his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Management from University of La Verne. Patrick is also the past-president of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education consortium NASDCTEc.

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Daniel Newell

Program Manager of Workforce & Economic Development at San Jose State University Career Center

Workshop Presenter

Daniel is a Millennial professional and specializes in workforce and economic development for the Career Center at San Jose State University. He has been in the employment industry for approximately 15 years, where he worked in the private, non-profit and government/higher education sectors. Daniel serves as a commissioner to the City of San Jose where he contributes to library and early education. He is the former Chair of the Disability Advisory Commission. He is the founder of the Workforce Development Summit and one of the creators of the new university sponsored staffing service, Spartan Staffing. Daniel is a contributing member to the Workforce Action team to the reputable California Economic Summit.

FOX News announced Daniel as a "Latino on the Rise," ABC News called him "Amazing!" Daniel has also been featured in USA Today, NPR, KQED, LA Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, KLIV 1590 AM, and many more media outlets.

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John Salangsang

Internship Specialist at San Jose State University Career Center

Workshop Presenter

John is the Internship Specialist for the Career Center at San Jose State University where he serves on the Job & Internship Initiative. He is part of the mission to increase job/internship opportunities for students, increase student placements, and improve campus coordination on internship opportunities. 

John provides career advising to hundreds of students, and supports programs such as industry panels and the Nonprofit & Public Service Forum. He has been recognized by the University with the "Stepping Beyond" Award for his impact on students. Having earned his Masters in Counseling Education, he is driven to inspire students towards professional and personal development.

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Khashayar "Cash" Alaee

Senior Management Analyst at City of Palo Alto & Silicon Valley Local Government

Workshop Presenter

Khashayar “Cash” Alaee is presently a Sr. Management Analyst with the City of Palo Alto. He began working for the City at age 16 as a seasonal lifeguard and swim instructor. Then just out of university at the age of 23, he became a full time employee with the City, and since then, has served in the Community Services, Planning, Development Services, People Strategy & Operations and now the City Manager’s Office. He is characterized as a local government intrapreneur who specializes in redesigning business unit and leading community based change efforts.

He holds a degree in Global Economic Relations from University of the Pacific and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. Cash has also served on a variety of nonprofit boards including the American Red Cross and Palo Alto Rotary Club. In his spare time, he enjoys running, watching movies and reading articles through his Tweeter newsfeed.

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David M. Steele

Dean of the College of Business & Lucas Graduate School of Business at San Jose State University


Dr. Steele joined San Jose State University in 2008 as Dean, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, responsible for about 5,500 business students. He has over 25 years of richly varied executive experience. He rose through the ranks of Chevron Corporation to become President of Chevron Latin America and chaired the operating committee of an international consortium.

After leaving Chevron, Dr. Steele was an Executive Consultant to the founders of 4 international early-stage ventures. In addition, he was Interim CEO of a non-profit educational foundation based in The Netherlands.

Dr. Steele attended Birmingham University in England, receiving BS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering. He later completed graduate business training at UC Berkeley and at the Wharton School. He has achieved distinction as an industry leader and was awarded the prestigious Rafael Urdaneta Medal for outstanding public service.


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Allison Meezan

GIS Instructor at Foothill College


Allison Meezan, GISP (Geographic Information Systems Professional) is a Professor of Geography and GIS at Foothill College. She is chair of the Geography department and the faculty coordinator for the GIS Certificate program.

Allison was selected as one of the Top 20 National Geospatial Educators by the National Science Foundation. Allison participated in a national committee to build a Geospatial Model Curriculum that was vetted by industry and is now adopted by the GeoTech Center and the Department of Education. In addition, Allison has developed numerous training workshops for educators, and developed the Geospatial Technology Certificate program which annually enrolls over 30 students and places 15 in internships with public agencies and private companies around the Silicon Valley.

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Marianne Cartan

Director of Silicon Valley Career Technical Education


Marianne Cartan is the Director of Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE), previously known as “CCOC”, in the Metropolitan Education District (MetroED). She is a strong advocate of Career Technical Education, and SVCTE educates and trains primarily high school juniors and seniors from six local school districts around the south bay area.

This is Marianne’s 36th year in public education. She has served as a teacher of English as a Second Language, a high school guidance counselor and site administrator, a County Office of Education director, and most recently served as the Nevada Joint Union High School District Superintendent in Grass Valley, California.

Marianne attended UC Davis for her undergraduate studies, and UCLA and CSU Sacramento for graduate studies. She is currently finishing her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne.

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John Hiester

Silicon Valley Site Director at Year Up

Panel Moderator

John holds a BA in Spanish from Kenyon College, an MBA from Boston University, and brings experience from the government and nonprofit sectors. John launched his career as a Community Organizer in Boston. His pursuit of a career with social impact has led to opportunities to teach abroad, open a community-based office for recipients of public benefits, and direct a WIA program. John consulted for nonprofit and for-profit clients, served as interim Director of Finance and Operations at the Trinity Boston Foundation, and successfully launched an MBA Nonprofit Board Fellows program.

In 2011, John lead the launch of Year Up Bay Area’s Silicon Valley campus where he has served as Director since March 2013 and has contributed to broader work focusing on strategic growth and developing scalable models.

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Tierney Siler

College Recruiting Manager at Blach Construction Company

Workshop Presenter

Tierney graduated Magna Cum Laude from Santa Clara University with a degree in Psychology and Communication. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Tierney is a Human Resources generalist at Blach Construction, mainly focused on recruiting and hiring. She manages the college recruiting program at Blach, hiring 20-30 interns each year.  Blach Construction’s internship program was recognized in 2013 by the San Jose Business Journal as one of the best internship programs in the Silicon Valley.  

Tierney has served on the planning committee for and presented at the Silicon Valley Internship Summit for the past two years. She also volunteers with the Peninsula College Fund and the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

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John Shupe

Attorney for Foothill-De Anza College

Workshop Presenter


(Bio coming soon)


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Paul Sledd

University Staffing Consultant at Microsoft


Paul Sledd is a university recruiter for technical, engineering, and science candidates for Microsoft Corporation. In this role, he fulfills targeted hiring needs for fulltime and internship candidates ranging from high school to advanced degree & Ph.D. profiles. Currently, his recruiting territory includes Stanford, Caltech, and Brown. He also participates in national hiring programs, internship programs, and other training and onboarding activities for Microsoft.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Paul was an HR generalist and operations manager for Target Corporation in several demanding field positions. Paul received a BS degree in Psychology and a Master degree in Human Resources & Industrial Relations from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Karen Miller Morris

Head of Talent Strategy and Innovation at CISCO


Karen leads Cisco’s Talent Strategy and Innovation initiatives with a focus on STEM careers and Cisco’s key growth areas. Prior to taking on this role, Karen led the strategic delivery of Cisco’s university recruiting, academic relations, and hiring programs worldwide. Her passion, thought leadership, and collaborative UR Team, have been instrumental in aligning Cisco as an employer of choice for next–gen talent around the globe.

Karen’s acumen includes 15 years of business, I&D, and UR experience in both start-up and corporate environments, including KPMG, NVIDIA, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard. She holds a BA degree in Accounting from Michigan State University, and is well-known for her advocacy of STEM careers.

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Tina Knauss

Assurance Partner with PwC


Tina is an Assurance Partner with PwC’s National Office with 19 years of experience who specializes in Software and Internet companies. Tina has served many multinational clients in the software, hardware and computer and networking sectors, and also has extensive experience with venture backed start-up companies. She has provided assistance to clients particularly in the areas of revenue recognition and stock based compensation.

She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and is a certified public accountant in California. She and her husband have two daughters, ages 10 and 8 was inspired to join the Board of Directors of Girls Leadership, a not-for-profit based in the Bay Area.

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Ekta Vyas

Director of Human Resources at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford


Ekta Vyas is responsible for the Talent Acquisition and Rewards and Recognition programs of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Ekta has been with Stanford for eight years. Ekta has about 15 years of experience in the Human Resources field, inclusive of consulting work, and previous positions at San Jose State University and Zomax Inc. Majority of her professional experience has been working for government and non-profit organizations. 

Ekta attended San Jose State University to attain her M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and also holds a certification in Strategic Human Resource Management from Cornell University’s School of Labor & Industrial Relations. Ekta is currently near completion of her Ph.D in Organization and Management from Capella University.

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Joseph Angelo

Director of Human Resources Department for the City of San Jose


Joseph Angelo is director of the San José Human Resources Department. Angelo leads a staff of about 50 and is responsible for employee recruitment, benefits, training, safety, and classification/compensation reviews.

Prior to his current role, Angelo has served as Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of San Antonio, Texas, since 2012 with overall responsibility for the full suite of HR services for 11,000 city employees. He also worked at Florida Power & Light for ten years in a range of management and supervisory roles.

Angelo has a master’s in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an MBA in international business from the University of Miami. 

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Barbara Marshman

Editorial Page Editor for the San Jose Mercury News 

Panel Moderator

Barbara Marshman became editor of the Editorial Pages at the San Jose Mercury News in 2008, having served more than a decade before that as associate editor.

She joined the Mercury News editorial board in 1988 after spending a year at Stanford University on a John S. Knight Fellowship for Journalists. Prior to the fellowship, she was managing editor of The Pottstown Mercury in southeastern Pennsylvania. She grew up on a farm near Boyertown, Pa., and is a graduate of West Chester State University.