OUR PEOPLE

LEAD NAVIGATORS

patrick-deegan

Patrick is a leader in purpose learning, meaning-making education, and reimagining high school for the 21st century. In 2015-2016, Patrick was an education innovation fellow at Stanford's d.school. He came into the fellowship with the question: How do we help adolescents craft meaningful lives and develop a sense of purpose? A year later, Project Wayfinder was born.

Patrick has spent the last decade helping youth develop through a number of experiential education programs including: mindfulness education (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education), wilderness education (Back to Earth), social innovation (Brown University’s Social Innovation Initiative), and starting a travel abroad program for low-income students. Patrick is a longtime wilderness guide and has been deeply influenced by the history and practices of native traditions around the world. He is a graduate of the Tracking Project’s community mentoring training – a program focused on appropriately and effectively bringing native wisdom into the modern world.

Patrick has spoken at more than 100 schools including Duke, Yale, and UCLA. He has been featured in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and NPR and written for Stanford Social Innovation Review, Edutopia, UC Berkeley’s Greater Good and the recently published book Purpose Rising. Patrick is an All-American high school lacrosse player, Fulbright Scholar, Brown University graduate, and former lecturer at Stanford's d.school.

claudia-bicen

In the spirit of wayfinding, Claudia has simultaneously pursued multiple paths in her life. As a visual artist, her work has focused on how people construct meaning in a transient world. Her project Thoughts in Passing, a series of pencil portraits and interviews with hospice patients, was exhibited the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post and San Francisco Chronicle and has been shared in universities, high schools, hospitals and senior living centers across the US and UK.

Claudia has worked with young people around the world: as Program Manager of an internship program in Yosemite National Park for at-risk youth, leading art therapy workshops at an eating-disorder clinic in Los Angeles, teaching high school students in Uganda and volunteering at an HIV/AIDs orphanage in Tanzania. From 2010-2013 Claudia led marketing and operations for BlueOak, a Kleiner Perkins backed start-up tackling the electronic waste epidemic.

Claudia holds a BA in Philosophy & Psychology from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Social Anthropology from University College London where she wrote her thesis on the cross-cultural use of metaphor as a means to help people dealing with mental health issues.

alexx-temena

Alexx graduated from Brown University with degrees in Cognitive Neuroscience and Contemplative Psychology. She blends curriculum design, art, and wellbeing practice to mentor youth and create transformative community experiences. Alexx travels the world teaching people how to live fulfilled lives through the lenses of neuroscience, psychology, education and mindfulness.

For the past six years, Alexx has worked with students at United World College: International School of Asia, Karuizawa in Japan, teaching leadership and design thinking. She taught mindfulness and leadership in various settings: with students, school administrators and teachers, and medical students and professionals.

Her experience as a Filipina immigrant entering elite educational institutions informs her work in civic engagement and the arts. Alexx is currently working on a platform to unite changemakers from her hometown of Vallejo, CA, building a youth performing arts festival, and hosting intimate community showcases for local artists in the Bay Area.

PATRICK COOK-DEEGAN
Founder + Director

CLAUDIA BIÇEN
Operations + Creative Director

ALEXX TEMEÑA
Community Creator

 

WAYFINDER CREW

samantha-feinberg

Samantha is the founder of the Digital Behaviorist - a platform for fighting screen addiction + using social media for positive social change. As the head of Project Happiness's online community she built a following of 2.4 million on Facebook and 150K on Instagram. Using the "7 Habits of Happiness" her followers were encouraged to develop daily practices to increase their well-being and health like the Emotional Fitness Challenge". She also designed and implemented science-backed social emotional curriculum that is now being implemented in 90 countries with 250,000 students. Samantha graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A in psychology and worked in Carol Dweck's Mindset Lab at Stanford and Dacher Keltner's Awe lab at UC Berkeley.

tim-klein

Tim Klein is an urban educator, clinical social worker and guidance counselor who has spent the last decade working intensively with underserved and marginalized students as a school guidance counselor and outreach director at Summer Search.

Tim is actively working with a variety of partners, including Project Wayfinder, Boston College and Harvard University to integrate youth purpose curriculum and best practices into public education. As the Director of School and Community Engagement at Medford High School he has developed purpose curriculum and is currently conducting a randomized trial with Boston College to help his students cultivate their own sense of purpose.

You can learn more about Tim here.

raiki-machida

Raiki is the co-founder of ImaginEx, a Japanese-based program that equips students and educators with life-long learning skills. He was one of the founding team members of Japan’s first fully residential high school and Japan’s only United World College - UWC ISAK Japan. At ISAK he was the Summer School Director and a facilitator of ISAK’s mindfulness + design-based leadership curriculum.

Raiki has worked as a researcher in hepatitis-C vaccine development, spent several years as a professional Japanese taiko drummer in Ondekoza, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology from Brown University. He has held workshops and classes for over 7,000 students in 40 different cities around the world.

SAMANTHA FEINBERG
Communications

TIM KLEIN
Outreach Director

RAIKI MACHIDA
Outreach Lead - Asia

heather-malin

Heather Malin, PhD, is research project manager at the Stanford Center for Adolescence. Her research primarily focuses on how young people develop purpose in different domains, and the capacity for meaningful participation in and contribution to their communities and society. She is interested in the application of this research to education practice, and is currently writing a book about purpose education in schools. She earned her PhD from Stanford Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming to Stanford, Heather was a teacher and arts education program manager. She earned a Master's degree and teaching credential from Columbia University's Teachers College, and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

jeanette-lee

Jeanette is a social and organizational psychologist with a research master’s degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands. For the past year she worked as a Research Assistant at UC Berkeley for the Social Interaction Lab and the Greater Good Science Center. Since 2014 she has tutored Dutch high school students in ancient Greek, Latin, and English. Her goal is not just to help them improve their grades, but also their confidence and enjoyment of the classes. Her Dutch-American dual nationality got her interested in the similarities and differences across cultures. She has pursued this interest by organizing trips for her psychology study association to India and the Czech Republic and studying abroad in Scotland and the United States. During her time at UC Berkeley she also worked at the Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership to organize activities for US American and international students to create greater intercultural understanding.

kelly-schmutte

Kelly co-founded Project Wayfinder with Patrick, and served as its Lead Product + Curriculum Designer for two years. She is currently a Designer and Lecturer at the Stanford d.school, as well as a serial entrepreneur and passionate inventor, and holds dual degrees from Stanford in Product Design (MS, BS). At the d.school, Kelly led the @Stanford project, which culminated in Stanford 2025, and an idea called Purpose Learning: Declare a Mission, not a Major. This work later became one of the seeds that inspired Project Wayfinder, as she and her colleagues sought ways to bring this idea to the high school experience and teenagers in Palo Alto.

While working on Project Wayfinder, Kelly guided the team in shaping many of the core design principles and frameworks that led to the Wayfinder Navigation Toolkit, and designed many of the Toolkit’s activities. She is excited about the potential of Project Wayfinder to free students to align their skills and passions with an area of need in the world that moves them deeply, and feels privileged to have helped launch this work in the world.

HEATHER MALIN
Lead Researcher

JEANETTE VAN DER LEE
Assistant Researcher

KELLY SCHMUTTE
Founding Designer

Wayfinder Guides

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CHRIS RUDD

JENNY TARYN WYRON

NIRALI SHAH

SCOTT KRESHEL

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HYE JUNG KIM

ADRIAN GREEN

HANNAH MENSING

MATT FORKIN

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RAIKI MACHIDA

DASHIELLE VAWTER

TIM KLEIN

ANDREW MOLINA

 

Wayfinder Wise Council

DR. BILL DAMON
Director, Stanford Center on Adolescence 

DR. SUSIE WISE
Founder, Stanford's K12 Lab

ASHANTI BRANCH
Founder, Ever Forward Club

RANDLE CHARLES
Graduate, Institute of American Indian Arts

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MARK ELLIS
Crew Member, Polynesian Voyaging Society

JOHN STOKES
Founder, The Tracking Project

ALEX LOCKETT
Dean of Students, University High School

BOB LENZ
Executive Director, Buck Institute

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MOLLY EFRUSY
President, Efrusy Family Foundation

DAVE MOCHEL
Founder, Applied Attention

MIKE MARRINER
Founder, RoadTrip Nation + Ashoka Fellow

MIKI K. TOMITA
Education Lead, Polynesian Voyaging Society

 

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ALAN HARLAM
Adjunct Lecturer, Brown University

VICKI ZAKRZEWSKI
Education Director, Greater Good Science Center

CHRIS MCKENNA
Former Program Director, Mindful Schools

 

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