Faculty and Staff

Kirk Engel - Director

Kirk began working in higher education administration in 1996 as the Director of Education for the Denver Institute of Technology in Denver, CO.  He was promoted to Executive Director of the school’s first startup branch campus, which was renamed Westwood College.  Later, he served as Corporate Director of Student Finance for the Westwood College group, which had grown to 17 campuses in 6 states.  He subsequently joined Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville, CA where he worked for nearly 8 years, most recently as the CFO.

Prior to working in higher education, Kirk served in the U.S. Navy.  He flew on board P-3 aircraft and logged over 2000 flight hours, many of them hunting for Russian submarines.  He qualified as a navigator, tactical coordinator, and mission commander and also served in various instructor, evaluator, and flight scheduler roles.

Kirk earned a Masters degree in Education Administration and a Masters in Business Administration from Stanford.  His Bachelor degree is from Cornell University in New York.  He and his wife have two teenaged sons and live in the East Bay.

Cameron Maharaj

Cameron Maharaj is a Northern California native who grew up in South San Francisco, California.   His interest in music began during the late 90's and early 2000's.  While continuously working behind the scenes, he has been focused on the engineering aspect of music.  He spends his time in the studio mixing and mastering, and has worked on projects that have been featured on MTV, Complex Magazine, and HipHopDX .  He is currently majoring in Finance and will begin studying at San Francisco State University in 2013 while also working as the Head Studio Manager at SAE San Francisco.

Eswar Venkatachalam

Eswar is music professional from India with over 20 years of experience as a composer, singer, percussionist as well as a recording/mixing engineer.

He came to the United States of America in 2011, with a passion for recording and mixing and his sight focused in the recording industry.  He graduated from SAE, San Francisco and furthered his experience by interning at Faultline Studios and Studio Trilogy, located in the creative heart of San Francisco.  In 2011 he established his own private company called Eswar Audio as a freelance recording & mixing engineer.  He also has to his credit, numerous Indian musical and theatrical pieces that have been published into records and distributed all over the world.

Paul Savio

Paul Savio has been working in the music industry for over 25 years.
He has worked on movies such as Hellboy II and Playing for Change:
Peace Through Music.  He has also worked as the Computer
Tech/Specialist on live national touring acts such as Hannah Montana,
Christina Aguilera, and New Kids on The Block.  Not one to rest on
past achievements, he is now researching and mixing in surround sound
as an Integration Specialist for GenAudio and other new technology

Brian DeLizza

Brian lives, sleeps, and breathes audio. In fact, he is probably recording something right now!

With an insane passion and dedication for his craft, combined with an extensive knowledge of music production, Brian brings the best out of every project that he touches. He has a deep understanding of music production using analog and digital systems, and as a multi-instrumentalist and producer can bring an artists perspective to the creative process. 

He holds a BS in Entertainment Business, and an AS in Recording Arts, both from Full Sail University. Brian is co-owner of FreqLab Recording in San Francisco, and has worked with many artists, from unsigned to award winning, in a number of genres. He has also done sound design on several video game releases for major studios such as Disney and Electronic Arts.

Carol Knox

Carol is the Financial Aid Administrator with SAE - San Francisco.  She has been with SAE since May 2012, and greatly enjoys working with students and their families.  Carol has been an active member of the Financial Aid field since 2007, and finds it gratifying supporting students to afford a quality education. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Sonoma State University, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Higher Education from Capella University.

Allison Agbeniyi

Mrs. Allison Agbeniyi, a social worker and counselor by vocation, is currently the Student Accounts Administrator at SAE SF. Her previous experience includes Director of Social Services, High School Counselor and Education Coordinator in various educational and medical institutions. Mrs. Agbeniyi attended San Francisco State University, earning a degree in Social Work in 2005.

Growing up with a musician father and vocalist mother, Mrs. Agbeniyi understands the intricate nature of audio recording. She has developed a deep appreciation for the hard work, detail and effort our students must exhibit during the course of their study and has devoted herself to the overall success of each student and SAE as a whole.

Tien Huynh

Tien is our Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from San Francisco State University, she has an eye for detail. Outside of Receptionist duties she has become one of our in-house graphic designer for advertisements/events. Working in retail for 7 years, Tien has an extensive background in customer service working with people of all ages and backgrounds. During her undergrad interning at San Francisco State University, Tien had the chance to work with students so coming on board with SAE SF she knew that she would enjoy working in an educational environment. Tien has been with SAE SF for over a year now and still enjoys interacting with students and guests on a daily basis.

James Cortes

James Cortes was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. When it comes to music, James was some what of a late bloomer. Not until age 23 is when he got involved in songwriting and music production. At the age of 24 James moved to Los Angeles to attend the Audio Technology Program at SAE Institute. Upon graduating the ATP course, James moved back to the S.F Bay Area to help with the development of the newest SAE S.F campus in late 2008. Since the opening in 2009 James has been working on the administrative staff, developing relationships within the local and national audio/music communities. From event coordination and promotion, to running his own independent label James in another small fish in the big pond of the audio world. Now in the Marketing Coordinator Role, James is establishing and buidling the SAE San Francisco brand with partnership with such Industry standard companies as Ableton Live, Native Instruments and The Recording Academy, just to name a few!