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Our Team

Hugh G. Martin




  • M.B.A. University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
  • J.D. Columbia Law School
  • B.A. Harvard University with Honors

A native of Anderson, SC and graduate of T.L. Hanna High School, Hugh is passionate about business and community development. His role as Chairman of CommunityCode allow him to combine his passions, talents and skills to work with youth and aspiring professionals throughout the Southeast.

While at Harvard, Hugh was President of the Black Pre-Law Association and a member of the Varsity Basketball Team. In addition to his more than 5 years of youth mentoring, tutoring, and coaching experience, Hugh has completed computer science and language coursework in Portuguese and advanced Spanish. Hugh has worked under Justice Beatty of the South Carolina Supreme Court, at the law firm of Carl F. Muller, in the African off-grid solar industry for ZOLA Electric, and in venture capital for Plexo Capital. Hugh is also a licensed private pilot, a 2015 Hive Global Leader, a 107.3 JAMZ 2015 Upstate Black History Maker, a 2016 Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow, a 2017 Consortium Fellow, a 2018 Forbes Fellow, a 2018 Haas Social Impact Fund Award Winner, a 2018-2019 Rankin Fellowship Recipient, and a 2019 Beyond Yourself Fellow.

Darryl B. McCune II

Vice-Chairman/Chief Information Officer



  • M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship; Clemson University
  • B.S. State University of New York at Buffalo; Electrical & Electronics Engineering

In June 2011, Darryl B. McCune II completed his IT Specialist certification process at Georgia Institute of Technology in conjunction with Metropolitan Regional Education Service Agency. He is also certified to teach high school mathematics. In August 2011, Darryl’s teaching portfolio was selected to be a model by which nontraditional teachers would be trained to develop their own curriculum plans in route to certification at Metro RESA. From that time until January 2013, he developed computer science curriculum with the office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community at Georgia Tech. His work has focused on exposing students to computer science through kinesthetic learning and physical computing. In May 2013, Darryl began the Clemson MBA program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation where he began developing business models for I.T. programs which would focus on equipping teachers and K-12 students with technical and soft skills through interactive computer science experiences. In June 2013, Darryl led the design of the training and curriculum framework used in the Physical Computing Game Design camp, which was hosted by Clemson University through the Summer Scholars program. Darryl has also worked as a K-12 Program Coordinator for the University of Florida’s College of Engineering.

Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune

Director/Chief Technical Officer



  • Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology; Computer Science
  • M.S. Georgia Institute of Technology; Computer Science
  • B.S. Syracuse University; Computer Engineering

Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune is an Associate Professor in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department at the University at Florida. Her research focuses on the ways that people learn and apply computing in after-school and K-12 classrooms. Her research approach involves the iterative design, refinement, and sustainability of curriculum, teacher professional development, and program development to support and study learning in formal and informal learning environments. She is currently serving on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles Exam Development Committee. She is also a board member of Y-STEM (Youth Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics organization), a non-profit foundation focused on enhancing the quality and accessibility of formal and informal STEM learning opportunities to African American and disadvantaged youths.


Juan G. Gonzalez


Juan G. Gonzalez is a serial entrepreneur, business owner, writer, and real estate developer. Before launching the Spanish Writers, and Hispanic Innovation Exchange organizations, Juan founded Innovation Builders, LLC., and Optimum Professional Services, LLC., where he currently serves as co-owner. He enjoys spending time with his children, mentoring K-12 Youths in Science and Mathematics, as well as playing both basketball and chess. Juan was a Fulbright Scholar, earned a B.S. in Electronics from San Luis Potosi University, and completed his M.S. in Mathematics from Clemson University.


Adraine Garner


Adraine Garner is a serial entrepreneur, and is the acting Executive Director for both Club Edge Academy and Littlejohn Community Center. In addition to her previous role as Project Director for J.N. Kellett Elementary School, she has held leadership positions at the Clemson Chamber of Commerce, the Foster Parent Association of Anderson County, as well as the Share Head Start Organization. Adraine attained a B.A. in Telecommunications from Johnson C. Smith University, and is completing her B.A. in Early Child Education from Southern Wesleyan University.

Program Team

Dr. Walter A. Lee

Summer Programs Manager

Dr. Walter A. Lee is a graduate of the Clemson University Call Me MISTER Program, an Honors graduate of Claflin University where he received his B.A. in Middle Level Education, an Education Specialist of Educational Administration & Supervision (Ed.S), and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Clemson University, where his research focused on student self-identity. He is Certified to teach English Language Arts and for Principalship in South Carolina, and has taught sixth grade students at Robert E. Howard and Tanglewood Middle Schools for nearly 5 years. He also co-founded the Student Support Focus Group, and teaches Teen Leadership through the Greenville County School’s Social Innovation Fund Grant.


Dr. Wanda T. Staggers

Afterschool Programs Manager

Dr. Wanda Talley Staggers is a native of New York, NY. Once she had completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Dr. Staggers continued her studies at Clemson University, where she earned her Master of Industrial Education and Doctor of Vocational and Technical Education degrees.  Her areas of concentration were computer science and engineering.

After completing her studies at Clemson University, she worked as a Systems Analyst for the University for seven years, before joining the faculty of Anderson University as an instructor in the Computer Science department.  Following a decade of teaching at Anderson College, Dr. Staggers transitioned into high school classrooms, bridging her background in engineering with her goal of preparing students to be more successful in college.

Over her teaching career, Dr. Staggers has had the pleasure of teaching in Anderson School District Five, at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, serving as a Master Teacher for Project Lead the Way®, delivering professional development opportunities with S2TEM Centers SC, and completing numerous other teaching assignments. Dr. Staggers enjoys offering training to others  and encouraging young women to actively explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dr. Byron M. Lowens

Technical Program Manager

Dr. Byron M. Lowens is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Human-Centered Computing Division at Clemson University where he is a NSF Fellow. His research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Science, Usable Privacy, Health Informatics, Pervasive Health Technologies, and Wearable Technologies. Byron believes that the keenest technologies are the ones that are embedded into all facets of life.

Byron holds a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Southern University and A&M College, an M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia State University, and a Ph.D. in Human Centered Computing. Prior to attending Clemson, Byron worked as a full-time Instructor at Virginia State University in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and as an Engineer with EMC Corporation. Byron has also worked as a UX Design Researcher and Software Engineer for IBM, where he was responsible for interaction and visual designing within a multi-disciplinary team as they developed an application for the Apple Watch and iPhone. In addition to his teaching and research, Byron mentors students in Anderson School District 5 and is a youth basketball coach.

Lauren A. Linnette

Girls Program Lead

Before working as Assistant Business Manager for a large national restaurant chain, for nearly 3 years, Lauren held the role of Campus Director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. While there, she developed and led programs, trained program directors, collaborated with other Campus Directors, and tailored youth programs to meet her students’ needs. Lauren is both passionate and committed to promoting college readiness for young ladies. She is a native of Anderson, SC, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Anderson University, and completed advanced coursework in Spanish. In addition to her passions for college readiness and STEM outreach, Lauren is also interested in the nuances of marketing within the nonprofit sector.



Board of Advisors

Dr. Shaundra B. Daily




  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Media Arts & Sciences
  • S.M. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Media Arts & Sciences
  • M.S. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; Electrical Engineering
  • B.S. Florida State University; Electrical Engineering

Dr. Daily is an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. Her research interest is Affective Computing, with an emphasis on examining the ways that technology-infused learning environments can provide youth with an opportunity to learn about themselves and others, and to promote conversations around emotions, privacy and trust. She has both designed and implemented innovative new technologies which combined machine learning with theories of human learning and constructionism. In the past, she has collaborated with teams on various projects, such as “The City That We Want” project, which helped learners build computational models for how they would like to improve their communities, RoBallet, which bridged dance and robotics, and Technical OutReach Community Help (T.O.R.C.H.), a program of the National Society of Black Engineers geared toward closing the digital divide. Currently, her group is designing and implementing a system to support teachers in understanding classroom engagement from a physiological perspective. She is an Institute for the Advancement of Healthcare Scholar and a Diverse Issues in Higher Education Emerging Scholar.

Dr. David S. Touretzky





  • Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University; Computer Science
  • M.S. Carnegie Mellon University; Computer Science
  • B.S. cum laude, Rutgers University; Computer Science

Dr. David S. Touretzky is a Research Professor in the Computer Science Department and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.  His current research focus is teaching programming to K-12 students using an idiom-based approach to a visual programming language developed by Microsoft, and robotics education for computer science undergraduates using the Tekkotsu robot software framework developed in his own lab.  As co-founder of the ARTSI Alliance, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Computing Program, Dr. Touretzky helped to introduce advanced robotics technology based on Tekkotsu to 17 historically black colleges and universities. Presently he runs the annual ARTSI Robotics Competition sponsored by the Institute for African American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS). Dr. Touretzky’s previous research areas include artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience.  He is a Senior Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and was named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery.

Cleveland A. Christophe, C.F.A.

  • M.B.A. University of Michigan; Business Administration
  • B.S. Howard University; Business Administration

Prior to his current role as a Trustee for the Peace Center, Mr. Christophe cultivated more than 40 years of management experience while serving on numerous Boards and holding Executive positions at corporations such as US&S, Inc., Citibank, Soul Stop, TLC Group and TSG Capital Group, among others. He is a firm proponent of helping underserved youth to unlock their potential, and his thoughtful counsel has been invaluable to our organization.

Emanuel Pleitez

  • B.A. Stanford University; Urban Studies

A Los Angeles native, Emanuel Pleitez is a Growth manager for Onica, a cloud consulting and managed services company, and investor at East Los Capital, a technology investment firm. Prior to Sunstone Partners, he served as a Commissioner for the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions and Head of Strategy and Business Development for Qlovi, an education technology startup. Before joining Qlovi, Emanuel was a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles and the Chief Strategy Officer for Spokeo. Emanuel’s private sector experience also includes being a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company and a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs. In the public sector, Emanuel has served as Special Assistant to Chairman Paul Volcker in the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Designated Federal Officer of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB). In addition, Emanuel is currently a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Chairman of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.