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About Us

Jewels Academy: STEM enrichment for 4th-12th grade girls

Our Objectives

Cultivate interest and further develop an aptitude for science and technology

Promote higher learning in post-secondary education through STEM career opportunities through workshops and mentorships

Introduce cutting-edge technology and concepts, while providing hands-on learning

Build character traits for the betterment of their communities

Our Objectives

Cultivate interest and further develop an aptitude for science and technology

Promote higher learning in post secondary education through STEM career opportunities through workshops and mentor ships

Introduce cutting-edge technology and concepts, while providing hands-on learning

Build character traits for the betterment of their communities

Our Values

Our values are the cornerstone of our standards that we follow within Jewels Academy.  We place high importance on our values which are integrity, citizenship, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  

Our Mission

The mission of Jewels Academy is to provide young women the competitive edge needed to succeed academically, and vocationally in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, leadership, financial stewardship, and the arts within an encouraging and nurturing environment.

Our Vision

Our vision is to become an internationally renowned STEM enrichment organization that helps develops young women in STEM for the next stage in their academic career that produces innovative and conscientious leaders.  

Meet the Board of Directors


Saata Corneh

Student Voice

Saata Corneh is a senior in high school who is serving as the Youth Voice Advocate for the Jewels Academy Board of Directors. She is also a Peer Mentor with Jewels Academy. Her favorite part of the job is seeing kids get excited about the activities during the STEM workshops. 

Outside of her role as Youth Voice Advocate and Peer Mentor, Saata is quite passionate about science, specifically forensic science. In school, She is a member of Science Bound, an Iowa State program that seeks to empower underrepresented minorities to pursue a career in STEM. Through them, she is able to go to the District and State science fair, the latter of which she placed second in the Molecular and Cell Biology category in March of 2021 for her DNA extraction project.  Aside from her STEM extracurriculars, she enjoys her AP Biology class (her favorite science class yet!). Her love for forensic science and biology has inspired her to pursue a double major in the aforementioned subjects.


Tami Foley

Parent Voice

Tami Foley represents the parent voice of Jewels Academy. Tami is an advent volunteer with Jewels Academy and several civic organizations within the region. Tami and her daughter have participated with JA for over five years and seen the growth of the organization. Tami works for the Department of Human Services of Iowa and specializes in early childhood development. Tami is an exemplary example of a model parent, and we are grateful to have her on our team.


Kendra Hilson


Kendra Jones is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering. She later received an M.S. degree in Biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Currently, she works at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer control and she has held previous positions in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. In 2010, she graduated from the United Way of Central Indiana’s Leadership United program where she completed an intense training for board leadership service. She has previously volunteered as an elementary school tutor with the Indianapolis Public Schools. Most recently she serves as a mentor through the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Minorities in Statistics and serves on the Purdue University Track and Field Alumni Leadership Board. She is also an avid runner with a passion for health and fitness. She was recently featured in the Health + Fitness Magazine November 2014 Issue for her noteworthy level of fitness.


Murugan Nambiar

Corporate Voice

Murugan Nambiar is an Engineering professional, currently employed as a Sr. Data Engineer at the Principal Financial Group. During his career, Murugan has led and executed on several Technology efforts. He has specific expertise and interests in shaping solution design and technology architecture. Having graduated from the University of Bombay (India) with an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering degree, Murugan went on to earn a Masters degree in Electrical and System Engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. He also has earned a Masters in Business Analytics and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Murugan has a passion for learning. Reflecting on his own experiences, he strongly believes that academic rigor and focus in K-12 and college years can lead to a life-long appreciation for learning and growth. He is committed to developing 21st century STEM skills for the next generation of knowledge workers. We are happy to see his passion for our organizational mission and look forward to his impact and contributions.

Julia Ofenbakh


Julia A. Ofenbakh has an extensive background in business and a passion for helping small business owners with legal needs of any type, big or small. Ms. Ofenbakh received her preparatory education at Kean University, Union, New Jersey, graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. She received her Juris Doctorate and Master in Business Administration from Drake University. While in law school, she was a member of the Drake Law School Intellectual Property Moot Court Team and was a regional semi-finalist in Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. Ms. Ofenbakh also worked as a law clerk for the Department of Natural Resources and the Principal Financial Group.  Prior to law school, Ms. Ofenbakh worked in various companies as a system administrator specializing in networking and security, as well as a project manager implementing all aspects of new  products for new clients.


Katina Reece


Katina is an 18 Year Telecommunications/IT Program Manager and worked in companies such as Tellabs/ATT/Verizon Wireless, and Alcatel-Lucent. She is currently an Engineering Program Manager at Microsoft in the Azure/Cloud space. During her career, she has managed multi-million-dollar services driving the development of new opportunities. She excels at developing and fostering key customer relationships, cross-functional management among various divisions, and creating processes and procedures to meet the strategic goals and objectives of a company. Katina has a B.S. in Computer engineering from Mississippi State University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Church Home Small Group Leader Community, Scrum Alliance, and PMI National Organization.
Katina has a niche for building financial wealth and philanthropic endeavors. She owns +$1MIL real estate & stock investment portfolio and managed multiple retail businesses. Her vision is to empower others to thrive in life through #Healthy Living, and #Financial Astuteness through #Technological Advancements.


Kristin Yvonne Rozier

Ph.D. - Higher Ed Voice

Dr. Kristin Y. Rozier earned her Ph.D. from Rice University and MS and BS degrees from the College of William and Mary. During her tenure at NASA, she contributed research to the Aeroacoustics and Safety-Critical Avionics groups at NASA Langley and to the Robust Software Engineering, and Discovery and Systems Health groups in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames. She has served on the NASA Formal Methods Symposium Steering Committee since working to found that conference in 2008.
An NSF (National Science Foundation) CAREER Award winner and recipient of the Inaugural Initiative-Inspiration-Impact Award from Women in Aerospace, Dr. Rozier joined the faculty of the Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science Departments in Fall, 2016


Barbara Stinson

President The World Food Prize Foundation

Barbara Stinson assumed leadership of the World Food Prize Foundation on January 4, 2020, building on a career of championing policy, research and project innovations through collaborative solutions. She became the second president of the Foundation since it was established in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug. Ms. Stinson previously served as a co-founder and Senior Partner of the Meridian Institute, a renowned non-profit organization based in Dillon, CO, and Washington D.C. that guides collaboration and drives action to address our world’s complex challenges. 

Ms. Stinson serves on several boards, including the Foundation for Women Liberia, which offers micro-loans to local women developing businesses in Liberia.

She earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental conservation from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She and her family relocated to Des Moines, Iowa from Denver, Colorado.


Kimberly Wayne

EdD - Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Kimberly Wayne is the founder and executive director of Jewels Academy. She has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Iowa State University. She completed her doctoral studies at Drake through the Educational Leadership Program.  Her research: Keeping Them in the STEM Pipeline: A Phenomenology Exploring the Experiences of Young Women and Underrepresented Minorities in a Long-Term STEM Enrichment Program, serves as the origin of Jewels AcademyShe served on the Iowa State Board of Education for three years appointed by the Governor of Iowa. She has an extensive background in manufacturing engineering, technology, and supply chain management.  Currently, she is a consultant in technology for a fortune top 50 company. Kimberly started serving in her community at an early age with the notable chair of the Youth Advisory Council in Gary, Indiana.  She has a personal mission to empower youth through education and self-development.

Discovering Jewels

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