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For This Recruiter, The SMASH Director Search Was Personal

Our team is proud to announce that William Cardenas is the new Director of the Summer Math and Science Honors Program (SMASH), an innovative, STEM-focused college prep program for underrepresented high school youth of color. Way to go!

Finding the best person for the job couldn’t matter more than in this search, and I personally know how much impact the SMASH Program makes. I attended a similar science/math program in high school, led by dedicated researchers, instructors, and project managers who all believed often under-supported Black and Brown kids could become astronauts and engineers. So supporting William’s transition to continue this work was an honor.

William is also a fellow Columbia SIPA alumnus, so I’m confident he’s brilliant. He launched three Great Schools across the country, overseeing teams of leaders committed to educational equity. He also served as Director of Operations at KIPP NYC, preceded by his role as Program Manager at the Council for Aid to Education. He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

William will lead SMASH as part of the Level Playing Field Institute, continuing its work to recruit competitive high school students for summer enrichment on STEM subjects, simulating full immersion in the college-level rigor. They also receive SAT prep, college counseling, financial aid workshops, and mentoring support.

Please join us in congratulating William Cardenas and the Level Playing Field Institute!