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Introducing the Lab’s Newest Team Members

Lab News

We are excited to have recently welcomed two new team members, Mansi Kakkar and Liz Engellener, to the Lab to strengthen our work bringing innovation in technology and in the co-design of solutions with families to the early learning field.



Mansi Kakkar possesses a unique depth of experience in human-centered design. She has worked to strengthen design thinking capacity in diverse communities locally and internationally and has facilitated intensive capacity-building workshops in other human-centered methodologies like Systems Thinking and Regenerative Design. Mansi is inspired to tackle hard problems with humor and laughter and is inspired by the Lab’s experimentative approach and, in her words, “audacious willingness to try.

She will lead the Lab’s second iteration of the Parent Innovation Institute – a two-year initiative, launching in January 2020, that uses human-centered design to support family engagement and early literacy practice in Philadelphia. She also just recently led a fun and immersive day-long design thinking workshop for the PBS SoCal team who are incorporating human-centered design into their work to support early math practices with families in Los Angeles.


Liz Engellenner brings a unique combination of skills to the Lab team. She previously taught special education at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, in the San Francisco Unified School District for six years before moving on to work as a product manager at an edtech startup. 

She is passionate about using technology to bring equity and access to educators and learners alike, and she currently leads the Lab’s work to create recommendations for the design of California’s statewide Parent Portal and the development of our prototype and pilot initiatives focused on the QuickCheck – the Lab’s reflective practice tool for teachers’ professional development.

See Mansi and Liz’s bios to learn more about them.