learn to code | build your future 2014 Tarrant Code Camp

Meet Your Instructors


Brett Chalupa
Ruby Instructor

Brett Chalupa is a Burlington, Vermont based software developer who is passionate about learning, teaching and contributing to the community. He loves working with Ruby and is an organizer of the annual Burlington Ruby Conference.


Emily Howe_F13A copy

Emily Howe
Teaching Assistant

“My name is Emily Howe and I am going to be a Junior at UVM this year, where I am pursuing a dual degree in Secondary Education and History with a minor in Special Education. I am originally from Barrington, Rhode Island, but I have enjoyed calling Vermont home for the past two years! On campus, I work with incoming first year students in the Honors College as a Peer Leader and I am a tutor in the Writing Center. I’m also involved with a few different community service groups, including Service TREK and Alternative Spring Break, and I enjoy cooking, playing guitar, and going to Zumba classes in my spare time!”







Vahan Ionissian
HTML/CSS Teaching Assistant

“Hello. I am Vahan Ionnisian. I am a junior web designer, and am currently helping teach the HTML/CSS class at the Tarrant Institute. I am entering my second year of the Computer Animation and Web Design program, at the Center for Technology Essex. I enjoy coding webpages and styling them with CSS. I have completed certification to become a Certified Web Designer Apprentice for the World Organization of Webmasters. I’ve lived in Virginia, Grenada (a Caribbean island), and Vermont.  All of these places were relatively green, especially Vermont. Grenada had two seasons: dry and wet. My hobbies include building PCs (building a Mac is impossible), collecting parts of electronics, using obscure forms of punctuation (like ‽), and playing computer games of the multiplayer sort. In the winter, I go snowboarding. I am currently reconstructing my computer so that it can do everything (32gb of RAM ought to be enough).  I have a black and white dog who likes to chill out and watch people prepare food. As a career, I may go into something programming related, like game design.”



Sarah Pettit, PhD
HTML/CSS Instructor

Sarah Pettitt is a professor at Champlain College as well as a freelance web developer. As a visiting fellow at the women’s college, Somerville College, Oxford, she developed several programs to encourage women to enter the wonderful world of technology and computing. She is also a co-owner of a horse and mule Farm in Grand Isle, VT.




Carmen Smith, PhD
Scratch Instructor

Carmen Petrick Smith is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the effects of embodied actions on learning geometry. Her research interests center on embodied cognition, learning games, and STEM education. She is also a former high school mathematics teacher, and in addition to her work in education, she can solve a Rubiks cube, is a former Guinness World Record holder for dancing the Thriller, and won the 2008 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships.




Phyllis Tate
Scratch Instructor

Phyllis Tate graduated from Union College with a Master’s degree in Computer Science and founded PAL Computer Systems, Ltd.  Its initial thrust was in small business office automation involving program development, hardware installations and repair, and training.  This led to the development of a managing and marketing reservations software package for the lodging industry.  After volunteering at The Dorset School, Phyllis decided to make a career change to teaching.  She has been working as their Librarian and Media Center Director since 2003.  She has received her Master’s of Arts in Teaching with Technology from Marlboro Graduate College.


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