Meet the Staff

STEM Center Staff
Back Row (left to right): Carl Banks, Nathaniel Cohan
Front Row (left to right): Skylar Wang, Theresa Bolaños, Maryam Khalaj

Dr. Theresa Bolaños
Dr. Theresa Bolaños is an instructor and the chair of the Chemistry Department at MiraCosta College. She is also serving as the Nordson STEM Center Coordinator. As the STEM Coordinator, she is able to work closely with students to design STEM support services to increase their success in the classroom. Dr. Bolaños received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin. She also received her B.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Teacher Education from the University of Houston. Dr. Bolaños is an analytical chemist and worked with Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometers in graduate school. In her free time, she enjoys attending her son’s high school baseball games, walking her chocolate lab Zoey, and cycling at the gym.

Carl Banks
As a STEM Center Instructional Assistant, Carl Banks assists in the daily operations making sure that the center runs smoothly and efficiently. He also assisted Dr. Bolaños in creating the new Nordson STEM Center, from the ground up. Carl holds a B.S. in Biology and B.S. in Physics from The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In his previous career, Carl was the founder and CEO of a biotechnology instrumentation manufacturing company that was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley. Carl is passionate about helping students and he tutors biology and physics. In his free time, Carl enjoys studying ancient Hebrew and researching the healing properties of sound.

Professor Cohan
Professor Nathaniel Cohan is Associate Faculty of Chemistry currently teaching Chemistry 104 at MiraCosta College. As an Instructional Assistant in the STEM Center, he spends most of his time working directly with students in biology and chemistry. Professor Cohan also helps with STEM Center designs, he holds workshops, and oversees several intern projects. Professor Cohan holds a Master’s degree from UC San Diego where he focused on protein biophysics research. He is also a proud graduate of Florida State University, where he completed B.S. degrees in both Political Science and Biochemistry. He likes to spend his days off visiting the zoo and sailing on Mission Bay.

Skylar Wang
As a Chemistry Department Instructional Associate, Skylar Wang helps create various workshops for the Nordson STEM Center and she tutors chemistry. In addition to earning her B.S. degree in Biochemistry at San Diego State University, Skylar also earned an A.S. degree from Grossmont College in Forensic Technology with an emphasis on blood spatter. She is trained crime scene investigator. Skylar also has her own business as a postpartum doula working with newborn babies.

Maryam Khalaj
Maryam Khalaj is an Instructional Assistant II in both the STEM Center and in the Math Learning Center. She has earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Physics from Iran. She has seven years’ experience working in the United States. Maryam’s STEM Center focus is to tutor students in physics, and math. She also develops and runs physics workshops and oversees the checkout inventory system. When Maryam is not working she enjoys hiking and running.

Micaal Maya - Peinl
Micael Maya-Peinl is a 2013 MiraCosta graduate earning three associate degrees. Micael has also earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from UC San Diego and is currently finishing his Master’s of Science degree in Physical Chemistry at UC San Diego. Micael is an Instructional Assistant in the STEM Center and tutors chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics up to Calculus 1.