Workshop & Gallery of Good Practices Speakers
Jenny Achilles, TG
Jenny Achilles has served as program officer at TG, where she has coordinated the organization’s scholarship program since May 2013. Previously, she served as a study abroad advisor at the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on Latin America. She has master’s degrees in journalism and public policy, with a focus on nonprofit studies, from the University of Texas at Austin.
Karissa Anderson, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
Karissa Anderson is Manager of Advocacy and Policy Research with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis and St. Louis Graduates. An Education Policy Intern from 2013-2015, she now manages the education policy intern program and is designing and building a state-wide coalition of students advocating for equity in higher education (#ActiveAdvocacy). Karissa graduated May 2015 with a Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University and from Southeast Missouri State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication. Karissa has made presentations to: National College Access Network national conference; Brown School of Social Work at Washington University; and, Cambio de Colores (an academic conference on Latinos in the Heartland). Karissa sits on the Community Advisory Board and Policy Advisory board of the Deaconess Foundation. She has testified before numerous commissions and legislative bodies, and has authored a number of editorial pieces.
Tiffany Anderson, Boettcher Foundation
As director of the scholarship program, Tiffany Anderson is responsible for recruitment, selection and programming for current scholars, and for alumni engagement. Before joining the Boettcher Foundation team, Tiffany developed and directed the Leeds Scholars Program at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. Prior to that, she served as the program director and senior program manager of the Presidents Leadership Class at CU Boulder for 10 years.
Tiffany is originally from a farm in Idalia—a small town on the eastern Colorado plains. For perspective, there were only ten people in Tiffany’s high school graduating class. From there, she attended the University of Colorado Boulder. Tiffany and her husband, Jason, live in Broomfield and have three energetic children, Hunter, Adelynn and Sophia. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys participating in service activities with her family, watching her son’s breakdance crew and her daughter’s gymnastics, and exploring all Colorado has to offer.
Karina Arango, Ritenour School District
Karina Arango is a teaching assistant in the Welcome Center (for very recent immigrants) and English Language Learner classrooms in the Ritenour School District in St. Louis County. In 2015, she completed her bachelor’s degree in communications at Fontbonne University, where she was awarded by the President for her advocacy work and the only undergraduate hooded for her service. Karina was an apprentice at the Missouri History Museum, organizing and publicizing weekly events through the Bracero Program. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue her interest in issues affecting undocumented students, as well as helping students navigate college admissions and financial aid.
Mike Baur, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Mike manages a portfolio of investments in the U.S. data-driven education practice focused on unlocking innovation by improving data interoperability through standardization initiatives. He works with state, district, and vendor organizations which execute projects to empower educators and students by providing the infrastructure to enable real-time access to accurate, actionable education data. Prior to joining the foundation, Mike was Managing Director at Academic Partnerships where he led efforts to promote the utilization of technology in delivering universal and affordable access to higher education institutes around the world. Earlier in his career, Mike was in higher education consulting and sales leadership for SunGard Higher Education and Ellucian where he was an Enterprise Architect and Senior Technical Consultant. Mike has a bachelor’s in computer science and a MBA from Harding University.
Sharon Beers, UNC-Chapel Hill
In her position as Outside Scholarships and Grants Manager at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sharon facilitates the distribution of almost $18 million in outside resources for approximately 4,500 students. She primarily serves as a liaison for students and providers, ultimately working to maximize the benefit of each scholarship for every student while adhering to federal and student aid regulations and provider stipulations. Sharon holds a B.A. in Communication from Messiah College and is pursuing her Master’s in Higher Education Administration at North Carolina State University.
Tereka Boone, Foundations of East Chicago
Tereka Boone is the Education Program Director for the Foundations of East Chicago. She has a B. A. Degree in Liberal Arts & Social Sciences from Purdue University and a M. A. Degree in Management & Leadership from Liberty University. Her work with the Foundations includes managing all aspects of the organizations scholarship program and represents the Foundation and its interest in the education. In addition to working with the Foundation, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the East Chicago Boys & Girls Club. She is happily married to her husband, Eric and they have 4 children; Eric, Jr., Eriyana, Elijah and Emily.
Ashley Brown, Elks National Foundation
Ashley Brown, an alumna of DePaul University, has worked with the Elks National Foundation for three years. Ashley processes scholarship payments and handles all of the administrative aspects of the Foundation's national scholarship contests.
Kevin Byrne, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Kevin oversees the foundation’s giving in the United States which ranges from large data systems work for better student-centered information for the classroom to projects supporting local nonprofits providing vital services to low income families in Central Texas. Leveraging more than two decades of working to provide better lives for low income students, he joined the foundation to create the Dell Scholars Program, a college retention and graduation program that is graduating scholars at four times the national rate. Kevin has been heavily involved in ways to leverage technology and data for the benefit of students and parents through his work with the Texas Student Data System, Ed-Fi, and Scholar Snapp. In addition, he has worked with national, regional, and local charter management organizations and college preparation and completion programs to get more low income students through college. In addition, Kevin works with our Central Texas grantees that encompass programs working to better prepare students academically to programs that enrich the lives of foster and adoptive children. He also works with our Health portfolio on projects ranging from transforming health outcomes for a local community to the creation of Dell Medical School. He has served on various boards that align with his passions.
Denise Callahan, The Ford Family Foundation
Denise Callahan joined the Foundation in 2012. She leads the Foundation's scholarship and postsecondary programs, focusing on strategic planning and developing long-term community relations and collaborations with partners. Denise came to the Foundation from her alma mater, Willamette University, in Salem, Oregon where she held several leadership positions focused on increasing the access, opportunities, experiences, and success of students and alumni at the institution. Denise grew up in northeastern Oregon, where her family still resides. Having spent the last half of their lives in the valley, she and her husband, John, enjoy traveling and exploring new venues for sightseeing, hiking and dining.
Ivette Chavez, Making Waves Foundation
Ivette Chavez was born and raised in East Los Angeles, California. She is a first generation college graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in 2006 in Rhetoric with a concentration in Public Discourse. In 2014, she earned her master’s degree at the California State University, East Bay in Public Administration with a concentration in Organizational Management and Policy Analysis. In 2005, she started her career in financial aid as an intern in the Business Department of the Making Waves Education Program. In 2009, she transitioned to the position as College Program Administrator and is currently the Lead College Financial Services Coordinator for the Making Waves College and Alumni Program (CAP). Her passion for education and financial literacy is the driving force in her career. She is a strong believer that higher education should be affordable and attainable for everyone.
Jin Choi, 10,000 Degrees
Jin reieved his bachelors degree from UC Berkeley. Upon graduation, he worked as an Associate Director of Financial Aid for seven years at a private university. For the last five years, he has been working as Manager of the Scholarship Program for 10,000 Degrees.
Art Coleman, EducationCounsel
With extensive background in providing legal, policy, strategic planning, and advocacy services to educators throughout the country, Mr. Coleman addresses issues of access, accountability, and completion in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education.
Mr. Coleman is a 1984 honors graduate of Duke University School of Law and a 1981 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia. Mr. Coleman served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights from June 1997 until January 2000, following his tenure as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; he has served as an adjunct professor at two law schools and at one graduate school of education; and he has spoken widely and published extensively regarding legal and policy issues in education. He is a current member of GLSEN’s Board of Directors and the Lab School of Washington's Board of Trustees. He is a past Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Mr. Coleman leads the legal and policy work of the College Board's Access and Diversity Collaborative, and was a principal author of the brief filed by the College Board and other education organizations in the pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Fisher v. University of Texas.
Kim Cook, National College Access Network
Kim Cook, NCAN's executive director since 2008, has worked in the higher education and college access field for her entire professional career, including experience in undergraduate admissions and financial aid, administration of a last-dollar scholarship program, and a succession of responsibilities at NCAN including Director of Government Relations, Assistant Director, and Executive Vice President. Ms. Cook also served as the Interim Executive Director of the Ohio College Access Network. She serves on the College Board's College Planning Advisory Board, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Training for Counselors and Mentors advisory panel, the National Education Working Group on Foster Care and Education, and the editorial board of the Journal of College Access. She is often consulted to speak on federal policy issues and building college access networks and community-based college access programs. Prior to joining NCAN in 1999, she was a Senior Program Associate at Plan for Social Excellence, Inc., a foundation supporting innovative projects in education, and served as its Grants Manager and Scholars Program Manager. Previously, she was as a college admission counselor at Pace University in New York.
She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Pace University and a Bachelors degree in Communications, Law, Economics and Government from The American University (Washington, DC). She has completed continuing PD through courses in Georgetown University’s Certificate in Non-Profit Management and Harvard University’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management institute.
Rick Dalton, College for Every Student
Rick Dalton is the founder, President & CEO of College For Every Student (CFES). For the past 25 years, Dalton has worked to make CFES a national leader in helping underserved students become college and career ready. His doctoral work at Harvard on the connection between organizational behavior and educational opportunity laid the foundation for CFES. While Director of Enrollment at Middlebury College, Dalton created a partnership with a high school in the Bronx that led to the creation of 200 school-college partnerships. Dalton has written more than 150 articles and op-eds on college and career readiness for low-income students. He and a colleague from the University of Michigan authored College for Every Student: A Practitioner’s Guide to Building College and Career Readiness released by Routledge Publishers in August 2016.
Sarah Dixon, The University of Southern Mississippi
Sarah Dixon, Associate Director with the Luckyday Foundation Citizenship Scholars Program at The University of Southern Mississippi, has served with the program since the fall of 2011. Her job responsibilities include assisting with retention of 450 Luckyday Scholars by providing scholarships through the program, leadership opportunities, and other means of support; maintaining communication with scholars through email, online tools, and social media; assisting students in finding volunteer opportunities; advising student leadership team in planning social, academic, wellness, and service events; planning the spring gala, Luckyday Foundation Board visits, holiday festivities, and alumni events; and collaborating with instructors to design and teach a freshman seminar class. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in education in 2001 from the University of Georgia and her master’s degree in public relations in 2015 from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Benjamin Dobner, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
Ben Dobner serves as a Director of Education Grantmaking at Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Through their philanthropy, Great Lakes works to increase college access, readiness, and success for students of all backgrounds. Ben has dedicated his career to this goal through his current role and through his experience as a financial aid director at both a two-year public and a four-year private college. Over the years, Ben has been actively involved at the state, local, and national level regarding college access and success, financial literacy and financial aid administration.
Yessenia Dominguez, 10,000 Degrees
Yessenia received her bachelors degree from Sonoma State University, where she majored in sociology. Upon graduation, she worked at Loma Verde Elementary school as a teachers aid in a youth development program for kindergarten- first grade. For the last year and a half, she has been working with 10,000 Degrees as a scholarship assistant.
Bobbie Donahue, IUPUI The Fundraising School
Bobbie Donahue is currently Senior Development Officer at Indiana State University and Faculty Member at IUPUI The Fundraising School. With over twenty-five years in fundraising for cultural, educational and social service agencies, Ms. Donahue has accumulated a wide variety of administrative and instructional experience in most areas of institutional advancement and charitable organization fundraising. Her assignments have included capital campaigns, foundation research and proposal writing, annual giving, special gift clubs, board relations, overall program management, and donor/volunteer motivation. These experiences have been gained in service as executive director and chief development officer for non-profits of all sizes.
In addition to serving on the faculty of The Fund Raising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Ms. Donahue is currently Senior Development Officer for Indiana State University working with major gift donors and leading the planned giving program. Previously, Ms. Donahue served as Director of Development and Communications for The Julian Center. Other experiences include Director of Individual Giving and State Foundation Relations for the National FFA Foundation. Sr. Director of Development for Lutheran Child and Family Services of IN/KY, where she devised and implemented a $9 million capital/endowment campaign; Executive Director of the Foundation of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and Executive Director of the Indiana State Museum Foundation.
Ms. Donahue currently serves as member of the Board of AFP-Indiana Chapter and the Lay Board of Advisor of the Sisters of St. Benedict. She served as president of the Indiana Chapter of National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE, now known as AFP) and was a delegate to the National Assembly for six years. During that period, she served on the committee that initiated the Charles A. Stephens Diversity Award, the National Philanthropy Awards Committee and the National Every Chapter Campaign. She continues to take an active part in the professional fundraising and philanthropic community in Indiana. She authored the chapter on “Special Events” in the textbook Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 4th Ed.(Wiley, 2016)
Ms. Donahue received her BA from Marian University in Indianapolis and her MBA from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She and her husband Jim have two children, Erinn and Alexia. In addition to her professional interests, her leisure interests turn to art, music, culture, reading and Indiana history. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, camping and other outdoor activities with her family.
Tammy Dozier, UNC-Chapel Hill
As a Financial Aid Counselor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tammy provides one-on-one guidance to students and families regarding the financial aid application process and also conducts presentations to student and school groups. She volunteers at a local high school where she collaborates with guidance counselors to advertise outside scholarships to students. Tammy earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Robert Elam, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
Robert Elam accepted roles as Education Policy Intern and Student Advisor with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis in 2014. Before joining the Foundation, he worked at St. Louis County Human Services as a Youth Services Specialist. An active community volunteer, Robert spends his spare time providing guidance in life planning, employment, and postsecondary education to young people. Robert attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he earned a Bachelor of Social Work, and completed his MSW in 2016.
Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Center for Law and Social Policy
Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield is a senior policy analyst at Center for Law and Social Policy's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. Ms. Duke-Benfield's focus is access to and success in postsecondary education and training for low-income students. She analyzes and advocates for policies that better serve low-income adults and other non-traditional students and provides technical assistance to federal, state and local advocates and governments in these areas.She also directed CLASP’s Benefits Access for College Completion initiative, which sought to increase access to public benefits and financial aid for low-income students at community colleges.
Dr. William Elliott III, University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion
Dr. William Elliott III is an associate professor at the University of Kansas (KU) and founder of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI) in KU’s School of Social Welfare. He is a leading researcher in the fields of children's savings and college debt. However, his research interests are broadly focused on public policies related to issues of economic inequality and social development. Numerous news and media outlets such as the National Journal, PBS News Hour, NPR, US News, the Washington Monthly, the Washington Post, and others have featured his work. His research has served as the impetus for Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs and policies across the U.S. He is currently conducting research on the following CSA programs: Prosperity Kids in New Mexico, K2C in San Francisco, Promise Indiana, and the Harold Alfond College challenge in Maine.
Cynthia Fails, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Cynthia Fails is the Program Coordinator for the Coaching Program at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. She oversees all components of the program, and serves as an advocate for the scholars’ interests, both on and off campus. Cynthia serves as a liaison to Kauffman Scholars' students and coaching staff, coordinating communication and events to help facilitate the ongoing efforts to build effective relationships.
Eva Feucht, Park Scholarships, NC State University
Eva Feucht is in her 13th year working with NC State University’s prestigious Park Scholarships and her 9th as director; she is also a Park Scholarships alumna. The Park Scholarships bring outstanding students to NC State based on extraordinary potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character, and help the Park Scholars develop those abilities through a robust 4-year developmental program. This year, about 40 Park Scholars will be selected from more than 2,000 applications with help from about 300 Selection Committee members. Eva is a former president of the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrators Association, of which she is a founding member, and she serves on the board of the Institute for the Public Trust, a nonprofit that trains promising young leaders to run for political office.
Bill Fowler, Daniels Fund
Bill Fowler is the Senior Vice President of the Scholarship Program at the Daniels Fund. He joined the Daniels Fund in April 2012. He oversees all aspects of the Daniels Scholarship Program, including the community-based selection process, student support, employer and university relationships, scholar success programs, and scholar alumni relations. Bill also oversees the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Prior to his position at the Daniels Fund, Bill served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Daniels & Associates, L.P., a privately owned media and telecommunications investment bank founded by Bill Daniels in 1958. Bill Fowler was responsible for the accounting, finance, treasury, human resources, information technology, and marketing functions of the firm.
Bill is a board member of Young Americans Bank and Education Foundation, and the NASBA Center for the Public Trust. He is a current board member and past board president of the Colorado Golf Association, and past board member and treasurer of the Jeffco Schools Foundation. Bill is a certified public accountant, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Colorado State University.
Grace Fowler, Meritus College Fund
Grace Fowler joined Meritus in 2015 as the College Success Advisor. Prior to joining the Meritus team, Ms. Fowler served two terms with AmeriCorps in the Twin Cities, Minnesota at College Possible, a college access and success non-profit. While there, she supported and advised first-generation juniors and seniors in high school through the college preparation and application process. Ms. Fowler holds a B.A. in Educational Studies and English from Macalester College. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY and enjoys crossword puzzles, cooking, and British TV shows.
Angie Austin Gaskill, Relativity Consulting Group
Angie Austin Gaskill is an experienced communications and marketing consultant with 20 years of experience in corporate and non-profit positioning, branding, integrated marketing communication, and content marketing strategy including media relations and social media.
Before returning Relativity Consulting Group, the consulting practice she launched in 1999, Angie was a senior vice president at Weber Shandwick, a global communications agency. There, she led client engagements with non-profits and Fortune 50 companies creating and executing strategic plans to engage audiences and help them achieve their business goals.
Angie’s previous experience also includes her role as senior vice president of public affairs and marketing for National Bank Holdings, Inc. She spent the early part of her career in the Silicon Valley working in the technology industry, including serving as a senior consultant at the prestigious Regis McKenna Inc.
A Kansas City-based wife and mother, Angie was previously named one of Ingram’s Magazine’s Forty Under 40 in Kansas City.
Adina Glickman, Stanford University
Adina Glickman is the Director of Student Learning Strategy Programs in the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching Learning at Stanford University, and the Founding Director of the Stanford Resilience Project. With a background in social work, Adina has developed an academic skills coaching model that integrates traditional study skills instruction with counseling and advising techniques. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2001, Adina worked in community mental health and maintained a private therapy practice. She has presented workshops across the U.S. and in Japan and Turkey, and is a campus-wide resource for academic skills assessment and coaching.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Temple University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab
Sara Goldrick-Rab is a Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology, Temple University and Founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation’s only translational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. Her research examines the intended and unintended consequences of the college-for-all movement in the United States. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award and the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award. In fall 2016, the University of Chicago will publish her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream.
April Greene, Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
April joined Jeannette Rankin Fund staff in 2009,after becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree. As Program and Operations Manager, she oversees the application and scholar selection process, develops JRF’s relationship with scholars, alumnae and applicants, and trains and coordinates scholarship review volunteers. In 2013, April launched JRF's first fully online scholarship application and review system and in 2014, she developed an Alumnae Advisory Board to harness alumnae's insights for improving JRF's program. The best part of April’s day is when she has a chance to speak with Jeannette Rankin scholars to offer encouragement or advice and learn about the amazing things they're accomplishing in school and their communities.
April represents JRF in the National Scholarship Providers Association and recently accepted their 2014 Scholarship Provider of the Year Award on JRF's behalf. A University of Georgia alumna, April graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Women’s Studies. She and her partner, Cameron, are proud parents to their daughter Asa and beagle pup Henry.
Anne Hardy, Northern Illinois University
Anne Hardy is the Director of the Scholarship Office at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. She has 19 years of experience in enrollment management operations, the last seven spent in financial aid and scholarships.
Sharon Harper, The Denver Foundation
Sharon Harper is the Director of Scholarship Programs with The Denver Foundation. Her focus is on the administration of funds that focus on higher education and donor/institution programming. She has worked in financial aid and scholarships for eighteen years in both private and public four-year schools. Sharon holds a B.A. in English Literature, an MBA in Finance and Accounting, and an MA in Psychology. She brings a variety of experiences into her work as she seeks to create solid and lasting relationships between scholarship donors, the higher education community, and the students our donors endeavor to support. Sharon’s focus is on maximizing students' awards and donor stewardship. When not working, she enjoys reading, home renovating, and travelling. Sharon is not a fan of the Oxford Comma.
Josh Hause, Daniels Fund
Josh Hause is a Scholar Relations Officer at the Daniels Fund. He recently joined the Daniels Fund a little over a year ago. As a Scholar Relations Officer, Josh supports a cohort of 190 scholars being their point of contact with the Daniels Fund, offering guidance, encouragement, and scholarship oversight.
Before joining the Daniels Fund, Josh spent several years as the junior high, senior high, and collegiate Pastor at Bear Valley Church as well as serving as affiliate faculty at Colorado Christian University. Josh was born and raised in southern California, earned his BA in Christian Education from Biola University and his MA in Christian Formation and Soul Care from Denver Seminary.
Tameka Herrion, St. Louis Graduates
Tameka Herrion manages the scholarship programs at the St. Louis Community Foundation, including serving on multiple scholarship committees, educating students and families about financial aid and managing the Foundation’s opportunities on Scholarship Central. After thirteen years as a professional in higher education, Tameka’s mission is to help remove financial barriers to students access to higher education. Tameka’s Master’s is from Southeast Missouri State University.
Garrick Hildebrand,University of Arkansas
Garrick Hildebrand is the senior associate director of scholarships and financial aid at the University of Arkansas.Garrick assists the executive direct with the leadership of the scholarship and financial aid office.His primary job duties include management of central scholarship programs, direct oversight of retention staff and scholarship processors, budgeting, as well as advising campus scholarship programs.Garrick has served in the academic scholarship office since November 2007, he holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in higher education leadership both from the University of Arkansas.
Kate Hoffman, Earn to Learn
Kate Hoffman is the founder and executive director of Earn to Learn, a nationally recognized social impact organization that empowers low-to-moderate income students to successfully complete college by providing matched-savings scholarships, personal finance training, peer mentoring, and success coaching. After spending many years in the financial services sector, Kate has become a champion for ensuring low-to-moderate income students in Arizona have every opportunity to get a college education, and that Earn to Learn is focused on developing a financially savvy, skilled, diversified workforce.
Heather Johnson, Phi Theta Kappa Honor SocietyPrior to joining the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Team,Heather worked in Phi Theta Kappa’s Scholarship Programs Department for nine years. Prior to joining the Headquarters staff, she was associated with Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, Assistant Director of Admissions, working specifically with recruitment of transfer students.
Heather attended Concordia University in Portland, graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration in 2004 as well as completing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1997. Heather also graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in 1994 from Central Oregon Community College. She became a member of Phi Theta Kappa in 1993 while attending COCC.
As Scholarship Developer & Prospect Researcher, Heather helps identify potential donors and develop new scholarship opportunities for Phi Theta Kappa members. She also oversees all development, design, and review of all online scholarship applications and is responsible for all aspects of judging and scholar selection.
Jenna Johnson, Elks National Foundation
Jenna Johnson, an alumna of Abilene Christian University, is the second Elks Scholar Fellow to lead the Elks Scholar Service Trips initiative. A 2012 Most Valuable Student scholarship recipient from the Foundation, Jenna joined the Foundation staff in April of 2016 and has a background in running mission trips and working in Residence Life throughout college. She has led one Elks Scholar Service Trip in Chicago and will lead five more trips over the next two years to different parts of the U.S.
Tania Johnson-Rachkoskie, National Association for College Admission Counseling
Tania Rachkoskie is the Director of Education and Training for NACAC. Tania brings with her more than 15 years of college counseling and college admissions experience. Her time at The Common Application as the Director of Outreach, The Burlington School as the Director of College Counseling and Director Admissions provide her with insight into the high school counselor perspective of the process. Tania started her career in college admissions at Muhlenberg College where she was responsible for student of color recruitment. She continued working with underserved student populations while at Bucknell University and Guilford College. Tania earned a B.A. in Psychology from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in Liberal Studies and a certificate in Non-profit management from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Certificate in College Counseling from the University of California San Diego Extension. Tania is currently completing coursework at Northeastern University in the MEd. Higher Education program.
Mark Kantrowitz, Cappex.com LLC
Mark Kantrowitz is a leading national expert on scholarships, the FAFSA, student loans and education tax benefits; he has written four bestselling books about planning and paying for college. He is currently Publisher and VP of Strategy of Cappex.com, a free web site that connects students with colleges and scholarships. He has previously served as publisher of Edvisors, Fastweb and FinAid and as a member of the NSPA board of directors. He has testified before Congress and federal/state agencies about student aid policy on several occasions. Mark has been quoted in more than 5,000 articles in newspapers and magazines over the last five years. He has written for the Washington Post, Money Magazine, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Brett Kimmel, America Achieves College Access and Success
Brett Kimmel is Chief Program Officer, College Access and Success, at America Achieves. In this role, he helps lead CollegePoint, a national initiative designed to significantly move the needle on the number of high performing low- and moderate-income students attending the best colleges in the country. From 2006-2015, Brett was principal of Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), a high performing New York City public school that he founded. In 2014, President Barack Obama highlighted the success of WHEELS in two speeches, including the State of the Union Address. From 2002-2006, Brett was Assistant Principal at Intermediate School 143 in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. Prior to becoming Assistant Principal in 2002, he was Project Director for Extended Learning Opportunities at New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. Brett is a Teach for America alumnus and taught 5th grade in Houston, Texas. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science from University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from New York University. Brett was a 2010 Cahn Fellow for Distinguished New York City Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University, and from 2012 to 2015, he completed an America Achieves Principal Fellowship. Since 2012, he has served on the Board of Directors of Blue Engine, Inc. Brett was featured in Wendy Kopp’s book, A Chance to Make History, and he and WHEELS have been profiled on NBC’s Today Show and in The New York Times.
Kelli King, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Kelli King is entering her sixth year as the Director for the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Before relocating to Nebraska, Ms. King lived in New York City where she was attending the Teachers College of Columbia University. Prior to her graduate work at Columbia University, she taught a myriad of social studies courses in a variety of schools.
Beth Barnette Knight, IUPUI
Beth Barnette Knight is the Director of the Office of Student Scholarships at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Ms. Knight over-sees the coordination and administration of over $20M in institutional scholarships at IUPUI. She is also responsible for the recruitment and retention of high-ability students to the campus. Ms. Knight received her master’s degree in Communication Studies from IUPUI in 2007. In 2010, she completed the Certificate in Fund Raising Management from The Fundraising School in School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. IUPUI has twice been awarded the NSPA University Provider of the Year Award in 2006 and 2008.
Gary Kuch, The Clark Foundation Scholarship Office
Gary M. Kuch is currently the Director of the Clark Foundation Scholarship Program in Cooperstown, New York. He has over thirty years in public education having retired recently as a Superintendent of Schools. For the last twenty years, he has worked in poor rural schools in which the College for Every Student program has been an integral partner in giving children their dreams back. Working initially as a School Psychologist, Mr. Kuch has a strong background in prevention and building resilience in families and communities. For over 18 years, he worked as a trainer and consultant for the Northeast Regional Center for Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities.
Mimi Daly Larson, Scholarship America
Mimi Daly Larson is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Policy at Scholarship America. Mimi is responsible for Scholarship America’s marketing and brand strategy, public policy and advocacy initiatives, and advancing the organization’s strategic awareness and revenue opportunities. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing and fundraising, she has held multiple executive leadership positions at nonprofit organizations. Mimi has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and done consulting projects in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications from Macalester College and a Mini-MBA in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of St. Thomas.
Anne Lassen, Flinn Scholars Program
Anne Lassen currently serves as Assistant Vice President of the Flinn Scholars Program, a partnership with Arizona’s public universities to retain in Arizona the state’s most accomplished and promising high-school graduates. Anne joined the Flinn Foundation from the University of Arizona, where she served as Associate Director. In that position, she managed UA’s out-of-state recruitment efforts. Anne holds a master’s degree in counseling and bachelor’s degree in speech communication, both from Northern Arizona University.
Karen Leaffer, Leaffer Law Group
Karen Leaffer is a recognized leader in the area of nonprofit law, and a frequent presenter at the National Scholarship Providers Association’s Annual Conference. She practiced in some of Denver’s largest, most respected law firms for more than 20 years before forming Leaffer Law Group, a firm whose sole focus is to advance, guide and support the work of nonprofit organizations. She is also a community leader, a mentor and an entrepreneur. It is her extensive experience, combined with her lifelong dedication to serving nonprofits, which makes her a sought-after resource for nonprofit organizations and their advisors.
Karen serves as both general and special counsel to nonprofits, advising them on corporate, tax and transactional matters, including the regulation of private foundations, supporting organizations and donor-advised funds, and the award of scholarships, prizes and other special types of grants.
Karen currently serves as managing editor and contributing author of A Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Organizations, a role she has served since the Guide’s inception in 2007. She also served as a contributing author of the National Scholarship Providers Association’s Scholarship Program Toolkit. Karen has a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® ranking, and has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America® for Non-Profit/Charities Law (2007-2016), and for Tax Law (2015) and in Law Week Colorado as the Barrister’s Best Nonprofit Attorney (2011, 2013, 2015). In 2014, she received the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business award in the law category.
Stevie Lee, American Indian College Fund
Stevie administers the Tribal College and University Scholarship Program, accounting for more than $4 million in scholarships each year. When not at work, she's pursuing her PhD in Higher Education, with a focus in Diversity and Higher Learning, at the University of Denver. She researches the intersectionality of Indigenous pedagogy, Inclusive Excellence, as it relates to student achievement, access and equity for underrepresented groups. She also sub-specializes in research methods, allowing her to critically assess utilizing quantitative and qualitative research.
Abigail Lipson, Harvard University
Abigail Lipson is the Director of the Bureau of Study Counsel at Harvard University, and co-founder of the multi-university Resilience Consortium. With a background in education and psychology, her interests include the practical, experiential, and neurocognitive aspects of the learning process; the relationships between motivation, achievement, and creativity; resilience in the face of failure and resilience in the face of success; how we make and remake decisions and cope with the consequences; and how college students’ senses of identity, family, culture, class, and life direction affect their college learning and evolve over time. She is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Sharon Lusk, Hamilton Holt School
Sharon Lusk has over 35 years of experience in adult education at Rollins College.She is the Assistant Dean of the Hamilton Holt School, a program that serves the educational needs of non-traditional learners through undergraduate, graduate, and lifelong learning courses.Sharon’s experience at Rollins has encompassed student services, advising, and academic administration.She is currently responsible for oversight of the Hamilton Holt School scholarship program, including promotion and oversight of the application, awarding, and renewal processes.She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Degree from Rollins College.