My Covid Gap Year - Share Your Story, Navigate Wisely

Advisory Board

We have gathered an amazing group of student and adult advisors from all backgrounds and with different experiences to help us make this site useful to you. If you are interested in participating on the Advisory board, please send us an email.

Elizabeth Tesolin Hamilton
Elizabeth Tesolin began her career in business development for numerous social benefit corporations including the SFV Girl Scout Council, Shanti Project, Independent Feature Project West (now FIND), and the IFP/W Project:Involve program pairing aspiring filmmakers of underrepresented backgrounds with established film professionals. She went on to serve as the initial Executive Director for Youth to Leaders, (Y2L) a national leadership program for Black youth launched by Tavis Smiley. At Y2L she developed and launched multiday advocacy and leadership trainings in cities across the US, including Detroit, Chicago and NYC. She has consulted for international and regional economic development groups, small and medium businesses, and specializes in developing novel and innovative strategies for sustainable growth. Elizabeth has helped with the launch of several educational companies (Summa Education, Hamilton Education). She also has broad event marketing experience, having held senior roles with Development Economic Western Switzerland, the Swiss Biotech Association, has advised a number of international companies with their American activities, and American companies expanding abroad. Elizabeth is a graduate of University California Berkeley and continues as a lifetime alumni. Elizabeth is a certified permaculture designer, active docent at the San Diego Botanic Garden, and has been a Big Sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Organization of San Diego.
Vivian Lee
Parent, Producer

Vivian Lee is an experienced television producer, specializing in production and post-production management. She is known for delivering projects under budget and on schedule, supervising all aspects of a project.  Some National Geographic credits include: “Hubble’s Amazing Universe”, “Alien Earths”, “Finding The Next Earth”, “Don’t Say Goodbye”, “Avalanche!”, “Deadly Impact”, “Sea Monsters”, “I-52”, “Amazing Mummies” and “Volcano”.  Vivian served as a Coordinating Producer for The Travel Channel where she supervised the production of daily interstitials, special projects and pilots.  She co-produced the feature-length documentary, “Sunset Junction”, was a Post Production Supervisor for Moriah Films and has worked on a variety of projects including videos for Gaiam, Microsoft and Disney. She is a graduate of the New York University Film School.  Today, Vivian is the CEO of her household and mom of two teen girls, trying to navigate these important years during Covid.

Susan Dalian
Parent, Actor/Writer/Director
Susan Dalian has enjoyed a diverse and exciting career in the performing arts as a director and performer. She is known for her work in acting and directing in film, television, theater, voice over and commercials. Susan graduated high school from the nationally recognized Baltimore School For the Arts and received a B.F.A in Theater Arts from Boston University. As Resident Director for four years at Sierra Classic Theatre in Mammoth Lakes, CA , Susan helped shepherd the company into an exciting new phase of expanding their productions and audience. She has directed productions for several LA theater companies including: Ammunition Theatre Company, Inkwell Theater, IAMA Theater. Her work in education includes: Occidental College, directing and mentoring in the Theater Arts program’s New Play Festival, Santa Cruz Shakespeare with UC Santa Cruz Humanities Department directing for their Undiscovered Shakespeare program, teaching theater arts at Magnolia Park School’s arts education program in Burbank, CA. For more details about her work, visit
Gabriela Lipson
Thought Leader Coach, Creative Consultant, Team Project Nightfall Stanford Class of 2024

Gabriela Lipson is a Stanford freshman passionate about environmental science, food sustainability, opera, and using media to foster empathy and compassion. Gabriela has served as the Chief Communications Officer and Strategic Planning Executive at Project Nightfall, managing and conceptualizing content for a Facebook page with over 4 million followers. One of Gabriela's favorite things to write about is quokkas, small Australian marsupials. She is currently writing a book about the "Happiest Animal on Earth" and loves to create light-hearted content related to species conservation and mindfulness.

Gabriela is also a certified yoga and meditation teacher. After graduating high school in 2015, Gabriela took 5 years to pursue many different creative and professional endeavours before matriculating as a freshman, working as an ideation coach for and organizer for both TEDx and the Idea Collective. Gabriela is a strong believer in the power of gap years.

Mayela Pizaña

Mayela is originally from Laredo, Texas and is a graduate from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities. As an undergraduate at USD, Mayela was a peer-mentor and academic advisor to first-year college students, and wrote her senior thesis on the Gap Year concept. Mayela is Assistant Director at Hamilton Education in San Diego. She loves biking, skating, and spending time at the beach.

Nasrin Shoja
Parent, Executive at Hamilton Education

Nasrin handles administration, recruitment, marketing, finances, and employee relations for Hamilton Education. Previously working in Human Resources department at Qualcomm, she developed skills including participative leadership, strategic thinking, and the ability to complete projects with innovative results. She has worked in several startups managing her own HR department which led her to be a skilled influencer, decisive thinker, and team collaborator. Ms. Shoja graduated from the University of Michigan and has a Master’s of Art in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading autobiographies, and traveling.