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Core Staff

Chris Carrick


A native to Florida, Chris came to the cold northern lands to go to college, but can't ever see himself moving below the Mason-Dixon line again. A recent graduate of Olin College, he intends to put his shiny new mechanical engineering degree to good use by working on an off-grid charger for the XO and involving himself in more projects than any sane human being should take on. Chris will be working on all transportation needs for the office.

Mel Chua

Mchua portrait.jpg

Mel is one of the few people crazy enough to intern for OLPC twice; as a Content intern in 2007 and a grassroots intern in 2008. Hypothetically an electrical engineer with an interest in embedded development and the strange habit of reading specifications documents for fun and pleasure, Mel can occasionally be found on a plane heading across the country (or the world) to run OLPC hackathons, work with grassroots groups, and doing too many other things to be listed here. Mel serves as the outreach and contact point for other Illinois-area grassroots groups and pilots, encouraging connections and learning from (and publicizing) as many great projects from other groups as possible. A more functional bio is available here.

Andrea Lai


Andrea just finished her first year at Olin College. She's wondering how she got involved in this gig, given that she'll probably pursue bioengineering (then again, plenty of things can change). She hopes to work on a science education kit to accompany the XO after finding out how intriguing (if not terrifyingly time-consuming) curriculum development can be. She'll also be managing website stuff and other internet-y things this summer in addition to setting up XO related classes and workshops for the community.

Nikki Lee


A Southern California native, Nikki is, paradoxically, a lifelong Cubs fan and frequent Chicago visitor. Her favorite things about Chicago are the Museum of Science and Industry and the pizza. She also likes Boston, and will be a junior at Olin College of Engineering in the fall, unless she gets distracted and tries to get a job doing rollout in Afghanistan. She likes to pat people on the head, do martial-artsy things, and draw. Other hobbies include rollerblading, graphic design, making faces, and accidentally walking into doors.

Her OLPC specific contributions include starting up Community:Art at Mel's request, cofounding the Olin university chapter, and working on Repair documentation. She will be running the office with an iron fist(enforced fun time is impending...), managing grassroots outreach, and helping out with ILXO projects. This will hopefully involve (1) lots of learning and (2) not lots of disaster.


Mia Kato

Mia is a student from Seattle with an interest in reducing the environmental impact of electronics. Her work centers around how individual classrooms can track, report, and offset the carbon emissions associated with the usage of XOs.

Melanie Kim

Melanie is a Boston-area native and self-taught programmer with an interest in graphic design, photography, and software usability. Her work centers around the design and engineering of a graphically-based language-learning game framework for Sugar.