Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Bryan Benham

Bryan Benham

Director of Learning

Bryan draws on 25+ years experience creating innovative experiences in education and online learning for higher education, corporate, and non-profit organizations. He joined the circus in early 2022, attracted to the mission of Grand Circus to make a tech career available to everyone. He really enjoys working with the rest of the circus finding new and better ways to deliver quality technical education and create career opportunities for everyone. He is a lifelong fan of science fiction and nature documentaries. He is passionate about the ocean even though he lives in a land-locked state. And he absolutely loves adventures with his two kids and wife, and now a new puppy.

Jeff Cogswell

Jeff Cogswell

Instructional Manager

Jeff is a seasoned software developer since landing his first job after college in the 90s. He has worked primarily for large phone companies and has programmed with almost every language imaginable. He’s excited to share everything he knows with Grand Circus students. Jeff has also written a dozen books, including C++ All in One for Dummies.

Laura Crouch

Laura Crouch (She/Her/Hers)

Career Services Manager

Laura has 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting, and higher education. Laura was lucky enough to join the Grand Circus team in April 2021. It is so exciting for her to see students land their first job in tech. What could be more fulfilling than being able to support someone in such a huge transition in their life? Outside of her work, Laura spends most of her time with her husband and two young kids. They enjoy hiking and camping, especially at state and national parks. Being a North Carolina resident, they frequent the Blue Ridge Parkway and its surrounding areas often.

Elizabeth Heaton

Elizabeth Heaton (She/Her/Hers)

Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations

Elizabeth is a Chicago native who has spent time in Detroit to pursue her love of helping others reach their highest potential, and now resides back in Chicago. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Counseling from Adler University. With 10 years experience in education, Elizabeth transitioned to Detroit to help adults achieve their career goals. Elizabeth brings a diverse background of experiences and insights to help individuals regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Elizabeth is a Mom of three, an avid Peloton rider, and an activist for the LGBT+ community.

Andrea Hoffman

Andrea Hoffman


Justin Jones

Justin Jones


MJ Jordan

MJ Jordan (She/They)

Talent Development Delivery Specialist

MJ is a Talent Operations Guru, DEIB Advocate, and lifelong learner of new things! They are a Nebraskan who recently relocated to Rochester, New York! While their degree is in Hospitality Management, they have over five years of talent acquisition experience, and has interest in the Data Science space. MJ was impressed at Grand Circus’ commitment to diversity and loves that Grand Circus strives to help others change their careers.  When not at work, you can find MJ cozying up with a good book or sitting down with their friends playing a game of D&D.

Hannah Jordan

Hannah Jordan (She/Her/Hers)

Digital Content Creator

Hannah is a Tennessee native and a current Philadelphia resident. She attended Drexel University where she studied Public Relations and Communications. Hannah feels extremely lucky to have found her niche at Grand Circus as the Digital Content Creator! She strives to find creative ways of bringing people together using storytelling and interactive media. Outside of work, you can find Hannah out for a hike or at the river playing with her new puppy, Finley (aka Fin Diesel).

Oliver Klicker

Oliver Klicker (He/They)

Marketing Operations Manager

Kaleena Marcelin

Kaleena Marcelin (She/Her/Hers)

Bootcamp Operations Coordinator

Kaleena is our Bootcamp Operations Coordinator. She’s true operations aficionado at heart with 12 years of operations and project management experience that she is eager to share with the Grand Circus team. Outside of work, she is a mom of 4 who likes to read and play MonopolyGo!

Shauna Strickler

Shauna Strickler

Career Services Specialist

Shauna joined the Grand Circus family in January of 2022 as a Career Services Specialist, focusing on the After-Hour cohorts. She comes to Grand Circus with over 12 years of Career Services experience in higher education. She received her Masters in Student Affairs in Higher Education in 2009 and has worked at a variety of institutions along the east coast, such as University of Central Florida and University of North Georgia. She moved to the Chicagoland area in 2019, where she became a stay at home mom to her 3 boys before re-entering the workforce. When she is not working, you will find her reading, visiting her home state of PA and cheering on her sports teams, Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Braves.

Frank  Urso

Frank Urso

Vice President of Business Development

Frank works with our enterprise partners in helping them grow and acquire the talent they need to tackle today’s IT challenges. He is passionate about Grand Circus’ mission to directly connect learning to careers, with a focus on creating talent that reflects the community we live in. Born and raised as a Detroit Tigers fan, a seismic shift has occurred as he supports his new hometown team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ian Washington

Ian Washington (He/Him/His)

Director of Social and Community Impact

Ian joined Grand Circus in December 2014 after a few years in the beverage industry where he was a partner with a local brewery. Why Grand Circus?  As a native Detroiter and lifelong learner, the idea of tech education was exciting and challenging. “Nothing like Grand Circus existed while I was growing up” – So with that said, Ian decided that he wanted to be a part of growing this business and industry in the Detroit area and beyond.  Ian is married with 2 kids and lives a quiet life in the woods with mediocre wifi access and deer that eat his prized hosta garden.

April Watkins

April Watkins (She/Her/Hers)

Director of Operations

April leads operations, managing processes, systems, and OKR development, and people operations & culture. She has held leadership roles at established companies and startups ranging from early-stage Internet companies to personal healthcare. At Dolby Laboratories, she worked in creative services, real estate, finance, and operations, oversaw expansion into over 30 countries, and served as integration lead for multiple acquisitions. After many years in San Francisco, April is now back in Northern Michigan, and is thrilled to have found a home with the Grand Circus family!

William Westley

William Westley

Lead Program Manager

Billy is the Lead Program Manager at Grand Circus and manages the team responsible for student success. He enjoys helping students make a transformative change in their lives as they develop their technical skills. Billy lives in Detroit with his husband, two cats and Blue Heeler. When not working you can find him making art, gardening, riding bikes, or reading.

David Wolverton

David Wolverton

Curriculum Manager

David has been a bootcamp instructor at Grand Circus for over six years and now oversees our curriculum. Before joining the staff, David worked as a software developer for many years. He loves working in IT and got into teaching because of a desire to help others get into the field.

Cori Woods

Cori Woods (She/They)

Program Coordinator

Cori is our full-time Program Coordinator at Grand Circus. Her coordinating experience comes from her background in youth education and after-programming. She’s excited to help students achieve their goals in tech and advocate for them every step of the way. Cori is a passionate and proud SAG-AFTRA actress and dancer from Chicago, IL. Cori practices and teaches yoga, watch movies/TV shows, journal, hike, and gaming in her free time.

Ashlea Wooten-Chapple

Ashlea Wooten-Chapple (She/Her/Hers)

Admissions Manager

Ashlea Wooten-Chapple joins the Grand Circus Team as an Admissions Manager with over 15+ years experience working in Higher ED and the ED Tech space. Ashlea is very passionate about building community and helping students reach their full potential and educational goals. This Georgia native, is also the Founder of the Mustang Mach E Girls Club, a group of over 2,100+ Women Mustang Mach E Owners. This community is a space to share, celebrate and talk about EV experiences. In her spare time, Ashlea enjoys giving back to the community as a rec cheer coach and spending quality time with family!

Want to join The Circus?

We're always looking for people who are passionate about tech to help us train the next generation of programmers and developers.

Grand Circus employees on Zoom