ABOUT US

UniVirtual Academy is a pioneer of live instruction in virtual reality. Our mission is to prepare students for future success by helping them become savvy technology users, strong communicators, effective collaborators, creative and critical thinkers.


The UniVirtual.Academy provides students with an opportunity to develop new technology skills and rediscover academic subjects through the new medium of virtual reality. Together with peers from different US cities, students at UniVirtual Academy will work in small groups to create real and imaginary applications of newly acquired skills and knowledge. In every course, students will use virtual reality technology and storytelling as a pathway to improve the 4Cs: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Using the 4Cs, students will not only gain an understanding of the subject matter but will also practice interdisciplinary skills necessary for college and career readiness.

EDUCATIONAL AND TECHNOLOGY ADVISORS

Bruce Homer
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, CUNY; Director of the Child Interactive Learning and Development Lab
Dr. Homer has been researching the use of computer-based multimedia environments for learning. His work investigates how cognitive abilities and prior knowledge affects students’ interactions with and learning from multimedia environments. Bruce Homer holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Applied Psychology.
Jan Plass
Paulette Goddard Professor in Digital Media and Learning Sciences, NYU
Dr. Plass is the Founding Director of CREATE, the Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technologies in Education. As Co-director of the Games for Learning Institute, Dr. Plass focuses on social, cognitive and emotional aspects of the design of simulations and games for learning and on game-based assessment of learning.
Steven Snyder
Advisor, Business lawyer
Steven Snyder has extensive experience in M&A, investing, intellectual property, technology, joint ventures, governance, compliance, and non-profit. Steve is part of an in-house legal team for a private investment firm. Previously, a Deputy General Counsel at Ziff Brothers Investments and a partner at Goulston & Storrs, Steve is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.

TEAM

Marina Kolesnik
Co-founder, COO
Marina is a serial entrepreneur and mother of two. She is a board member at the global consultancy DataArt and has previously worked on AI-driven app Hopper. In 2016, Marina exited Travel.ru, the company she founded and ran as CEO for 6 years. She has been building companies since 1998, when together with friends Marina co-founded Mail.ru, today one of Russia's largest internet players (LSE: MAIL.LI). Marina is an ex-McKinsey & Co. consultant and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Alex Stolyarik
Co-founder, CEO
Alex spent nearly a decade implementing project-based experiential education internationally. In 2011, as a member of the Democracy and Art nonprofit, he organized and directed a dual degree program with London Metropolitan University’s MARCH and the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Alex is an ex-CEO of the $7.4Bn public company on LSE and is a participant of the cross-registration emerging markets program at HBS.He has an MS from MIT.
Aoki Kunitake
Chief Product Officer
Aoki is an experienced Art Director/Game Developer who spent more than 28 years working for SEGA and Nintendo. He is a key contributor to their multi-million sales figure titles, including their Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Sonic the Hedgehog series. His passion gears toward making fun and educational software for all ages. He always stays positive, looks for new challenges, and enjoys solving problems.
Ronit Fuhrmann
Int. Business Relations
Ronit Fuhrmann has broad technological, management, and business experience in leading, forming, and executing on business plans, product-roadmap plans, and customer success strategies. With both a BSc. in math and computer science and an MBA, she connects business, customers, and engineering.
Oleksandr Levtiekhov
Head of Engineering
Aside from developing web, 3D graphics, GPU-based simulations and scalable server-side applications for 15 years, GoS has been studying cognitive science and optimization methods for the last five years. Applied machine learning in cyber-security and led an R&D project unifying evolutionary methods with neural networks.
Ari Snyder
Intern
Ari is an aspiring engineer because of his interest in gaming, robotics, coding, and computer building. He has built his own gaming computer and has worked on his high school robotics team.