About Us2018-09-07T11:31:15+00:00

Built on a Vision

Brilliant young minds don’t always get all the intellectual nutrition they need from their daily diet of school and extra-curriculars. Our co-founders were driven by the vision that NuMinds could provide a layer of enrichment beyond the school day, where real, inspired learning creates the conditions for lifelong curiosity and self-development:

  • Real – our programs extend beyond basic academic needs into the realm of enrichment, where a learner’s authentic engagement with ideas, processes and products is paramount.

  • Inspired –our programs derive from our own sense of inspiration and are focused on developing a learner’s own passions and interests.

  • Learning –our programs provide new knowledge, insight and wisdom that is valuable to the learner’s and the world’s development and advancement.


Ben Koch, M.ED.
Ben Koch, M.ED.Co-Founder & CEO
Ben Koch has over a decade of experience inspirating gifted students from Kinder to High School. He holds a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education from Southern Methodist University and has 3 gifted children of his own.
Justin Vawter, M.Ed.
Justin Vawter, M.Ed.Co-Founder & CCO
Justin Vawter has taught for a decade, from 6th graders to college-bound seniors. He holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of North Texas, and has been a a curriculum writer and professional development author.
Carissa Winland, Ph.D.
Carissa Winland, Ph.D.COO
Carissa brings a wealth of business development and scientific expertise to the team. She earned a PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown and a BS in Psychology from Southwestern University. Carissa’s efforts are felt throughout the organization in everything from partner and sponsorship opportunities to curriculum design.
Shaena Whitney
Shaena WhitneyLogistics Support Manager
Shaena ensures that every location hosting a camp, event or professional development has all the supplies they need to be successful. Fun fact: Shaena turns into the Flash during summer months when we have tons of events happening at once!
Jonathan Webster
Jonathan WebsterMarketing Manager
Jonathan puts our digital marketing strategies in motion!
Adam Nees
Adam NeesDirector & Inspirator
Adam is both site director and teacher (inspirator) for many NuMinds events. Adam has done an amazing job spearheading our tabletop RPG programs!
Kaylee Strycker
Kaylee StryckerDirector & Inspirator
Kaylee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Animation from UTD and has developed several independent shorts, games, and programs. She has a passion for learning that is infectious in the classroom and out. She is a veteran NuMinds Inspirator and develops our Technology and Robotics programs!