When most folks first visit the Fab Lab at Northampton Community College, they’re blown away by the variety of devices and the many project possibilities they offer. But once they spend some time at the Lab, they discover the true heart of the place, the people. And we are fortunate to have three of the best on our mask-making team.
Let’s start with Monica Beaky, in the front row. At her “day job,” she works in New York City as a product manager for Fila, the sportswear manufacturer. At the Fab Lab, she teaches sewing, including Beginning Sewing, Sewing Outdoor Cushions and Pillows, Fremont Bag and How to Read Sewing Patterns. Couple her no-nonsense, get-the-job-done approach with a great sense of humor, and you’ll see why she’s such a valuable member of our team.
Then there’s Sean Kernan (top row, big smile). A transplant from Ohio, Sean went to Ohio State and is currently pursuing an advanced degree from Lehigh. He owns his own consulting business, Tangency Designs. Five years ago, he came to the Fab Lab to make a guitar - and he never left! (That happens a lot.) He’s a real jack of all trades, well-versed in all the labs and technology at the Fab Lab, including woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, laser engraving, plastic resin casting, graphics, embroidery and sewing. He teaches software, including Solidworks and Fusion 360 programs. And if that’s not enough, he plays in a local band, The Bitters.
In the next row down, on your right, is Sean Brandle. When Jeff Boerner retired at the end of 2019, Sean became the interim director of the Fab Lab. Previously, he worked in the Custom Shop at the Martin Guitar Company. In fact, if you took the plant tour at Martin, Sean would have been one of the first people you encountered, doing pearl work and other customizations on one-of-a-kind instruments. He’s brought his deep knowledge of guitar making to the Fab Lab, along with a decisive leadership style and a lot of good ideas for the future.
And then there are all the other faculty members in this picture. We won’t go into them in detail today (read about them on the Fab Lab website). But trust us - these are some of the smartest, most innovative people in the Valley, in one of the most exciting learning environments around. Without them, there would be no masks at all.
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