Our Team

Lissie Fein

Lissie was a classroom teacher before she began digital career working on educational cd-roms. Next she was an interactive designer at a premier branding firm in San Francisco. In 2002, she started Sweet and Fizzy, and creates branding, websites, museum interactives, etc., for her clients.

She enjoys creativity and collaboration and making innovative learning experiences. She also supports the local tech community with NERDs.

Andrew Pasquale

Andrew has many years of experience programming the internet with a large number of different technologies. He is an organizer in the regional technology community. Some of his projects include Hack for Western Mass and NERD Summit.

Andrew is an enthusiastic educator and teaches courses on a broad range of topics including programming, robotics, microbiology, botany, politics, and more. He enjoys designing immersive, creative projects and sharing his enthusiasm.

Beryl Hoffman

Dr. Beryl Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Computer Information Technology at Elms College in Chicopee, MA.

She has over 18 years of teaching experience in computer science and programming and is the author of C++ Programming for Beginners.

Cyber Security, mobile apps, and robotics are some of her recent topics of interest. Beryl also leads Professional Development trainings for the Mobile Computer Science Principles course.

Joe Bacal, M.Ed., M.S.Ed.

Before becoming a web developer, Joe had a fifteen year career as a fourth grade teacher and school counselor. Trained in progressive pedagogy and curriculum development at Bank Street College, he has found Scratch to be an ideal medium for students to engage in both creative expression and authentic problem solving.

Joe has facilitated Scratch workshops around the Pioneer Valley. Some of his projects are available on Digital Block Area.

Jacob Bashista

Jacob Bashista is a student at Holyoke Community College. Currently he is teaching with Holyoke Codes and working as the mobile developer for a startup in Boston to create High Altitude Balloons for classrooms. He is also the developer of minelymod.com, a tool for create mods for Minecraft PE. Jacob leads 4 FIRST LEGO League teams and has mentored an FRC team.

Jacob loves working with science and tech. He spends his free time making small projects to test various gaming environments.

Isaias Rosario

Isaias is a tech enthusiast with over 10 years experience in the telecommunications industry. He has had various management and training roles at multiple cell phone carriers. Computer Science is one of his favorite subjects along with learning the latest technologies.

Isaias currently works as a teacher’s assistant and a workshop volunteer for Holyoke Codes. He has studied multiple programming languages focusing on mobile development. Recently robotics and artificial intelligence are the latest technologies he been working with.

Amy Lashley

Amy is a Senior Applications Developer at Amherst College. She builds web applications to support the internal business needs of the Advancement department, as well as other departments across campus.

Before moving to Amherst, Amy taught classical guitar in Atlanta, Georgia and worked as a freelance web developer, focusing mainly on WordPress sites. She also taught as a Summer Immersion instructor for Girls Who Code in Boston.

Peter King

Peter began his digital career working in SF, CA in the early 1990s. Peter has been a web developer since the web’s debut, and a Flash animation and ActionScript interactive developer for almost as long.

In 2002, Peter co-founded Sweet and Fizzy with his wife, Lissie. They designed and developed dozens of interactive exhibits for museums around the country, receiving 2005 Gold Muse Award for their work.

Peter enjoys science, math, art, fractals, generative art, creative invention, collaborative web technology, and natural user interfaces.

Claire Christopherson

As the Director of Finance and Administration at the MGHPCC, Claire’s portfolio also includes fostering the consortium’s outreach and education efforts, and participating in economic development initiatives in Holyoke and the region.

Before coming to the MGHPCC, Claire was the department administrator at the Computer Science Department at UMass Amherst for almost twenty years. There she honed her skills in a variety of areas, ranging from grant management and compliance to encouraging collaborative behavior.