Della Sigrest, Program Manager
Della is a meticulous artist, an enthusiastic gardener, and a macgyver in general. She is the eldest of five siblings, who all keep her on her toes. Growing up in a family of engineers, Della discovered the power of STEAM at a young age. She was encouraged to learn by creating, experimenting, and exploring. Della moved to Richmond for her undergraduate at VCU, and the city hasn’t been able to rid itself of her since. She graduated in three years with a degree in Communication Arts. In school, Della concentrated in illustration, graphic design, and art as an educational tool. During her senior year, Della’s academic work converged with her personal interest in women’s studies when she started Full STEAM Ahead. She loves road trips, complicated board games, tinkering, and all things outdoors.
Maggie Smith, Mentor Extraordinaire
Maggie Smith is a visual artist, curator, and art educator with an inclination towards the silly. Currently, in addition to serving as CodeVA’s Director of Eureka Workshop, Smith is a part-time instructor at Visual Arts Center of Richmond where she provides youth outreach programming to underserved populations. Previously Smith was curator at Quirk Gallery for five years, and an assistant manager at World of Mirth prior to that. She previously lived in Atlanta, where she was cofounder of Cabbagetown Clay and Glassworks, a nonprofit neighborhood art education center in the inner- city Atlanta neighborhood of Cabbagetown. She is a native of Richmond, and received her BFA at Breanu University in Gainesville, Ga.
Vida Williams, VCU Faculty Sponsor
An innovation advocate who is determined that innovation cannot leave humanity behind, Vida utilizes her experience as a data scientist to drive social and economic change in communities. After graduating from Duke University with degrees in History and English and certificates in Women’s Studies and African American Studies, Vida Williams entered the workforce as a technical writer and quickly found her calling in technology and data. Her professional background and experience is a heady mix of core IT skills, including data architecture and engineering, software design, programming and implementation, as well as Program Management, and Executive Engagement and Consulting. In 2013, she co-founded a small social enterprise consulting firm, Axis Partners, Inc. where they serve mission-driven organizations in the areas of data architecture, process engineering and data sciences. Recently her endeavors as an adjunct professor at VCU’s da Vinci center has led her to be named as the school’s first ever “Innovator in Residence”. Vida remains active in her community through board memberships with Code VA, Podium and Virginia Union University’s (VUU) Center for Undergraduate Research.