Workshop & Gallery of Good Practices Speakers M-Z
Patricia Macdonald, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
Pat Macdonald, a 25-year resident of Kansas City, Missouri, joined the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in 2006. She serves dually as Senior Philanthropic Advisor, providing professional guidance to individuals, families and businesses, in and out of state, on their charitable accounts and scholarship programs, and also as Executive Director to the Black Community Fund which makes charitable grants and administers a population-focused scholarship program.
Pat has a long history in nonprofit management, research, strategic planning, resource and community development, and the arts. In the late 1990’s Pat represented Kansas City as one of eight individuals selected nationally to participate in the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s CDC/ARI (Community Development Arts Resource Initiative) at Harvard Graduate School of Business. In the early 2000’s Pat enjoyed independent consulting as a museum design content researcher for Eisterhold Associates. Eisterhold Associates is an internationally recognized museum design firm located in North Kansas City. With Eisterhold, Pat contributed to such projects as the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in North Carolina, Rosa Parks Children’s Annex in Alabama and Ralph Nader’s Tort Law Museum in Connecticut.
Michael Maher, Western Golf/Evans Scholars
Mike Maher is the Director of Education for the Evans Scholars Foundation. An Evans Scholar Alum from Marquette University, Mike has worked at the WGA since 2008 and previously served as the Caddie and Scholarship Development Manager and the Associate Director, Education. In 2012, Mike established the WGA Caddie Academy for high school girls. This unique program allows its participants – with an emphasis on minorities and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds – a chance to experience the benefits of being a golf caddie, from learning life lessons to being around successful adults. Those who complete the program are eligible to apply for the Evans Scholarship, which provides a full, four-year tuition and housing grant to top universities across the country.
Mike is a golf enthusiast and enjoys all sports and outdoor activities. Mike lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife, Liz, and their two daughters, Hannah and Nellie.
Johnna Martinez,Bellevue University
Johnna Martinez is the Director for Scholarships and Grants at Bellevue University, in Bellevue, Nebraska.She is responsible for managing and developing strategies, processes, and procedures to effectively administer all institutionally related scholarships and grants for the University.As a stand-alone department, Johnna’s team collaborates with the Financial Aid Department, Student Financial Services, Student Finance, the Business Office, Enrollment, Advising, Athletics, Advancement and the individual colleges to ensure a smooth centralized process for current and prospective students to apply for scholarships.Johnna joined the University 9 years ago initially as a High School Outreach Counselor; recruiting high school seniors to the University.She has always worked with scholarships and in 2011 took over as Manager for the newly formed Scholarships and Grants Department.She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Science from Bellevue University.
Lesley McBain is Assistant Director, Research and Policy Analysis at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). In this role, she works on research studies such as the Tuition Discounting Study and other studies on higher education finance issues. She has also worked at the U.S. Department of Education, the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) within the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Dr. McBain earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of California, Los Angeles; she also holds an M.A. in education from UCLA and a M.S. in higher education from Drexel University.
K.J. McCorry, Officiency, Inc.
K.J. McCorry is the owner of Officiency Enterprises, Inc. a consulting company based out of Boulder, CO. K.J. consults in a wide-variety of topics including productivity, systems improvement, records management, and sustainability. She is the author of Organize Your Work Day In No Time, by Que Publishing. She has appeared New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Real Simple, CNN Money, Better Homes & Gardens with regular TV and radio appearances. K.J. has been nominated twice by her peers for the prestigious Founders Award with the National Association of Professional Organizing, recognizing leaders who have furthered the productivity industry. She was also selected as a finalist for the 2008 Oppenheimer Funds Entrepreneur of the Year Award, who recognizes entrepreneurs who have successfully built businesses and positively impacted the community. She currently resides in Boulder, CO.
Rob McMaster, Lincoln Community Foundation
After receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree, Rob McMaster, had a career as a partner in a small retail grocery for 35 years. Seeking to do something totally different, he entered the community foundation world where he administers 60+ scholarships paying out $328,000 in 2016, assists the Vice President for Community Outreach with competitive grants, and oversees the management of the Foundation Building, which houses 14 nonprofit organizations.
William G. McMullen, Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus
Bill McMullen serves as the director of Student Financial Aid Services at Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus in Texas with 20 years of experience in financial aid. Bill is a Veteran of The U.S. Air Force with 10 years of active duty. He served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the Flying Tigers. Bill started in Financial Aid as a Veteran Affairs Work Study and held several positions within financial aid, including as front counter staff, College Work Study coordinator, loan coordinator, Veteran Certify Official, and associate director. Bill serves as staff sponsor of the Veterans Organization, Guitar Club, and Martial Arts Club.
May Melehan, Making Waves Foundation
May Melehan has been working in education for almost 15 years beginning her career tutoring middle and high school students. She attended the University of San Francisco and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Later, she obtained a Master’s degree in Sociology and Education with an emphasis on Educational Policy at Teachers College at Columbia University. She moved from New York to Portland, Oregon and worked for an organization coaching thousands of students in colleges and universities all over the country. It was through these experiences she learned the value of coaching and its potential to support students to retain and graduate from college. In 2013, she came back to California to lead the coaching department in the Making Waves College and Alumni Program (CAP). She has a strong belief that education, specifically institutions of higher education, serve as spaces of opportunity and upward mobility leading to a greater world impact for all students.
Amy Miller, The University of Southern Mississippi
Amy Chasteen Miller serves as Associate Provost for Academic Excellence at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she focuses primarily on the undergraduate curriculum, faculty development, student engagement, and student success. She enjoys speaking to a range of audiences on and off campus about how to connect students and faculty members in productive ways. Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan, and she continues to teach undergraduate students in sociology and conduct research on issues of gender and health.
Brenda Moran, STARS Scholarship Program, Council Bluffs Community Education Foundation
Brenda serves as the Program Director for the STARS Scholarship which supports low-income adult parents who are seeking a degree, license, or certificate. As a part educational advocate, part social worker, part cheerleader and part drill sergeant, she continues to find creative ways to motivate, congratulate and stimulate her scholars. She is a long-time champion of educational success with over 20 years of experience teaching, providing, and managing educational and service programs for all ages. With a Ph.D. in Children, Youth and Families from the University of Nebraska, a Master's in Ministry from Creighton University and a Bachelor's in Communications from the University of New Hampshire, she has first-hand experience as a traditional and an adult learner. Brenda and her husband Craig, live on a farm in Iowa and delight in their four grown children, a daughter and son-in-law and first granddaughter. For fun, she enjoys word games which helped her to become a contestant on Wheel of Fortune yet, alas, she couldn’t solve the bonus round puzzle!
Amy Basore Murphy, St. Louis Community Foundation
Amy Murphy is co-creator of Scholarship Central and serves on its oversight committee. She is director of scholarships and donor services at the St. Louis Community Foundation and serves on the Steering Committee of St. Louis Graduates. With forty years in college and nonprofit management, Amy enjoys bringing new people and businesses to the scholarship table to help remove financial barriers from college access and completion. Amy has an MA from Washington University.
Dr. Kevin Nadal,Executive Director,The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York
Dr. Kevin Nadal is an award-winning professor, psychologist, performer, activist, and author, who received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Columbia University in New York City. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center (GC) at the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as an Associate Professor of psychology at both John Jay College of Criminal Justice and GC- CUNY. He is one of the leading researchers in understanding the impacts of microaggressions , or subtle forms of discrimination, on the mental and physical health of people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people; and other marginalized groups. He has published over 60 works on multicultural issues in the fields of psychology and education.
A California-bred New Yorker, he was named one of People Magazine's hottest bachelors in 2006; he once won an argument with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor"; and he was even once a Hot Topic on ABC's "The View". He has been featured in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, PBS, the Weather Channel, the History Channel, HGTV, Philippine News, The Filipino Channel, and Filipinas Magazine. He is the author of five books including Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (2011, John Wiley and Sons), Filipino American Psychology: A Collection of Personal Narratives (2010, Author House), Women and Mental Disorders (2011, Praeger), That's So Gay: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (2013, APA Books), and Filipinos in New York City (2015, Arcadia).
He is the President of the Asian American Psychological Association, a National Trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a co-founder of the LGBTQ Scholars of Color Network. In 2011, he received the Early Career Award for Contributions to Excellence by the Asian American Psychological Association and in 2012, he received the Emerging Professional Award for Research from the American Psychological Association Division 45.
Barry Nagle, UNCF
Barry Nagle is the Gates Millennium Scholars Program/UNCF Senior Research Associate. Dr. Nagle has worked in the research and evaluation field for the 18 years and completed Educational Research Methodology graduate work at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and earned his doctorate at The George Washington University in Educational Administration and Policy Studies. He has conducted 21 national and international research and evaluation projects and over 100 regional and local research and evaluation projects. Dr. Nagle also serves on the Association for Institutional Research’s Tech Tip team which provides information to IR officers in the field.
Char Oehm, Susan T. Buffett Foundation
Char Oehm is the Scholarship Coordinator at The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. Char’s background in education began with her service to the Omaha Public Schools before joining the Foundation. She works closely with the colleges and universities across the state of Nebraska to provide the necessary support for students on scholarship.
Amber Overton, East St. Louis Public Schools
Amber Overton has recently accepted a position as School Social Worker with East St. Louis Public Schools. In that role, she works to provide guidance and advising to young people transitioning out of high school. She also provides management support to St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center, a summer drop-in site for students encountering challenges in the summer after high school graduation. Amber is a graduate of Saint Louis University with bachelors’ degrees in Social Work and Psychology and a 2015 graduate of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University with a specialization in Urban Education. As 2016 Senior Education Policy Intern, Amber researched merit-based financial aid and how to make merit programs more equitable.
Dan Parris, Speak Up Productions
Dan Parris is an award-winning filmmaker and owner of Speak Up Productions, a St. Louis based film production company. He’s directed the feature length documentaries When the Saints, Show Me Democracy, and the award-winning film, What Matters?. His projects have given him the humbling opportunity to speak to thousands about the issue of extreme poverty and the ability young people have to make a difference. Dan was awarded Biola University's 2012 Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year Award for his work in film and activism and was the closing speaker at the 2014 TEDxGatewayArch City 2.0 event. Most recently, Dan co-founded the non-profit, Continuity, with the mission to expand diversity in media production.
Stephen Payne, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Stephen recently graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in both educational policy and communication arts. In addition to studying education policy, Stephen served as an intern in the Office of Government Affairs at Penn State and also spent a summer in D.C. working on student aid issues with the federal relations team at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
Lori Pence, Purdue University
Lori Pence is an Associate Director of Student Success in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette. She has been serving students and families in academia since 1995. Since 2006, she has administered scholarship programs at Purdue University. Lori has transformed and lead scholarship innovation practices within academic units but also campus wide by partnering with the Offices of Financial Aid and University Development. Lori’s success in administering scholarships centers on being visionary, strategic, innovative, collaborative, action-oriented, solution focused, change and change management, developing positive professional relationships, and working as a team. People, actions, and attitude are what make a difference to students as well as to colleagues.
Kellie Pickett, Susan T. Buffett Foundation
Kellie Pickett is the Director of Scholarships at The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. Before joining the Foundation, she spent her career working with college students through roles in Admissions, Orientation, Leadership, and Civic Engagement at various universities across the country. In her current role, she strives to provide access and success opportunities for low-income students in the state of Nebraska.
Kelly Pierce, Indiana State University
A graduate of Indiana State University in human resource development, Kelly has worked at ISU for 13 years. She focuses on scholarship outreach and communication efforts, as well as organizing events for prospective, high-achieving students.
Rachel Piontak, American Indian College Fund
Rachel has been with the American Indian College Fund for three years and currently serves as the Circle of Scholars Program Administrator. In this role, she coordinates current scholar and alumni communications, informal meet up events, and seeks ways to engage past and present scholars with the broader work of the College Fund. Prior to this work, she completed her Masters in Sociology at the University of Cape Town with a focus on social upgrading through mobile-based agricultural extension programs in Uganda.
Carl Rist, CFED
Carl Rist is the Director of Children’s Savings and Senior Advisor for Asset Building at CFED. In this role, he directs the full array of resources at CFED (policy, research, field-building, technical assistance and fundraising support) towards achieving CFED’s long-term vision of a Children’s Savings Account (CSA) for every child in the U.S. by 2025. Most recently, Mr. Rist was the Director of the 1:1 Fund at CFED, an innovative effort to raise incentive dollars for CSA programs. Prior to directing the 1:1 Fund, Mr. Rist was vice president of Assets and Opportunity Programs and director of Asset Building at CFED. Mr. Rist earned an M.A. in public policy from Duke University and holds an undergraduate degree from Davidson College.
Nicolas Rosa, Meritus College Fund
Nicolas Rosa joined Meritus in 2014 with primary responsibilities in managing Scholar outreach and selection, supporting Scholars in their academic and professional pursuits, and coordinating scholarship, counseling, and career program efforts. Prior to joining the Meritus team, Mr. Rosa founded FirstGen, a college campus based organization focused on assisting first generation college students as they work towards graduation. Mr. Rosa also worked with college-bound students as an Admission Fellow for Pitzer College where he interviewed student applicants, gave informational presentations on college admission and financial aid policies, and assisted in the selection of the first year class. Mr. Rosa holds a B.A. with Honors in Psychology and English & World Literature from Pitzer College and grew up in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Rosa is a first generation college student who loves live music, a good book, blogging, and the occasional reality show every now and then.
Kimberly Redd, American Library Association
Kimberly is the Program officer for Education & Certification at the American Library Association in Chicago, IL. She manages the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse which supports individual pursuing their master’s in library and information science. She also manages the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) and the Certified Public Library Administration (CPLA) certification programs for the ALA-Allied Professional Association.
Ashley Rudd, Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
Ashley Rudd joined Kauffman Scholars in the Winter of 2013 as a Secondary Coach. Ashley later transitioned to a Postsecondary Coach, mentoring Scholars at the collegiate level. Prior to joining the Kauffman Scholars staff, Ashley worked as Support Services Coordinator for the Platte County Board of Services, and as a Special Education Instructional Assistant for the North Kansas City School District. Ashley holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Youth Development and Juvenile Justice.
Nancy Sanchez, Kaplan Educational Foundation
Nancy Lee Sánchez is the Executive Director for the Kaplan Educational Foundation. Nancy was responsible for the design and implementation of the Kaplan Leadership Program's programmatic model. She has over 18 years of expertise providing greater access to higher education, improving the college experience, and supporting leadership among low-income, under-represented and non-traditional students through services that target factors affecting degree-attainment gaps.
Nancy's educational trajectory started at Kingsborough Community College. She holds a BA from Long Island University and a MA from Brooklyn College. A 2014 National Hispanic Executive Leadership Fellow, Nancy completed an Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University and a Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Faith Sandler, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
Faith Sandler is Executive Director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, an organization comprised of $40 million in assets providing $5 million annually in interest-free loans and grants to 600 low-income students. The organization also offers: advising; paid internships; and, advocacy at the institutional, state, and federal levels. Prior, Sandler worked for the federal court evaluating school desegregation in St. Louis. She is co-founder of a regional college access and success network called St. Louis Graduates, serves on the board of directors of the Dan Broida/Sigma-Aldrich Scholarship Fund, and the Advisory Board of University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program. Recent recognition of Faith’s work includes: St. Louis County NAACP’s Inspiring St. Louisan award, National College Access Network’s Executive Leadership Award of Excellence, MONEY Hero for Missouri by Money Magazine, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Diane Schorr, The Suder Foundation
As Executive Director, Diane transforms ideas into workable solutions such as The Suder Foundation’s holistic student success program, First Scholars®. Diane designs opportunities to collaborate with, convene, and connect higher education professionals to increase the success of first-generation college students and create social impact in the higher education sector. Her path to philanthropy includes positions in law, higher education, public, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to her current work, Diane is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) and consults as a nonprofit subject matter expert for a global technology firm. She co-facilitates NSPA’s learning circle for private foundations.
Joy Scourey, Washington State University
Maryann Slater, Elks National Foundation
Maryann Slater is a Rutgers University alumna, and her life and career path have been directly shaped by the Elks National Foundation, which she now works for. The recipient of a 2011 Legacy award from the Foundation, she was selected to be on the Foundation's Scholar Advisory Board throughout her time in college and was able to step into the Elks Scholar Fellow position, a full-time two-year position at the Foundation specifically for an Elks scholar or a scholarship recipient from the Foundation. She stepped into the position as the first Fellow in June of 2015 and began the Elks Scholar Service Trips initiative that brings up to 20 scholarship recipients to locations throughout the country to do service and connect with each other, Foundation donors and Elks members, for one week at a time. The first three trips traveled to Manistique, Michigan, Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. She was promoted in November to a permanent position (open-ended) at the Foundation as the Programs Relationship Associate where she now oversees many programs the Foundation offers to engage scholarship recipients.
Larry Sparkman,University of Southern Mississippi
Larry Sparkman serves as the Director of the Luckyday Foundation Citizenship Scholars Program, a privately funded scholarship and four-year student development program that facilitates a living-learning community, service learning, and servant leadership at The University of Southern Mississippi. Larry’s previous professional experiences include: serving as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer, directing a first year experience office, facilitating orientation for new students, directing student recruitment and enlistment, leading enrollment management teams, campus ministry, serving as a children’s program coordinator at a psychological rehabilitation hospital, and working as a mental health professional in correctional institutions.
Larry holds a Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University, Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Sylvia Spivey, The Philadelphia Foundation
Sylvia T. Spivey joined The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) in 2001 and currently serves as the Development & Scholarship Manager. Sylvia’s role at TPF—a community foundation and Southeastern Pennsylvania’s leading center for community philanthropic engagement—provides her with the opportunity to oversee the distribution of over $1.5 million in scholarships annually while maintaining relationships with the donors associated with TPF’s scholarship funds.
Sylvia’s passion for philanthropy and community service was ignited while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in communication. Her commitment lies in connecting individuals to the resources that will allow them to follow their dreams. She does this by supporting students of all ages in their pursuit of higher education, inspiring women to find fulfillment in their careers, and assisting nonprofits in their efforts to maximize their capacity.
Sylvia is a native Philadelphian and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Northern Children Services in Philadelphia. She is the current president of the Philadelphia Chapter of Executive Women International; a founding member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP); and a charter member of The Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable.
Sylvia’s scholarship expertise, however, extends beyond the Philadelphia area as she lends her knowledge to students and several nonprofits across the country. Currently, she is the co-chair of the International Review Committee for Executive Women International’s EWISP scholarship. She has also served on the application review committee for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, and was review committee member for the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.
Laura Steffen, Daniels Fund
Laura Steffen is the Assistant Vice President of Scholar Recruitment and Selection at the Daniels Fund. She has been working in the Daniels Scholarship Program since November 2007 and overseeing the selection of Daniels Scholars since 2015. She is bilingual and uses her Spanish-speaking abilities to support Spanish-speaking families.
Prior to joining the Daniels Fund, Laura was a high school Spanish teacher, field hockey and lacrosse coach, and student advisor working at Kent Denver School and Fountain Valley School. She also served as the Director of the Latino Initiative at Junior Achievement of the Rockies. Laura currently represents the Daniels Fund on the National Scholarship Providers Association Board of Directors.
Having grown up in Salisbury, Maryland, Laura attended St. Andrew's School in Middletown, DE, earned her B.A. in English Literature from University of Oregon and her M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Erin Steinfort, IUPUI
Erin Steinfort is the Senior Assistant Director, overseeing Special Scholarship Programs in the Office of Student Scholarships at Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Mrs. Steinfort processes and manages scholarship and fellowship awards for the university, including the coordination and management of the Cox Scholarship program; communicating with departments on new procedures for awarding. She is also responsible for serving as the campus NCAA Financial Aid Representative to coordinate the processing and verifying of eligible of athletic awards and financial aid. Mrs. Steinfort received her bachelor’s of Science degree from Purdue University in Financial Planning and Counseling in 2006. She received her Masters of Arts in Public Relations Management in 2014.
Karen Sterk, Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
Karen is a champion for women, a champion for education and a champion for social justice.
Before joining Jeannette Rankin Fund as Executive Director, Karen was the Founding Director of Racial Justice at the YWCA of Greater Atlanta. For two years, she served as the Program and Development Director, responsible for both the YWCA’s programs and fundraising. She was part of the Senior Leadership Team that revitalized the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, taking the organization from a $300K deficit to break even in one year.
Karen spent the previous ten years at the YWCA of Minneapolis, leaving as the VP of Health and Wellness. Her drive to create and grow programs while building financial vitality was welcomed. During her tenure her team tripled the number of members and revenues. She was part of the team that launched the YWCA’s Racial Justice Program It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race in 2002.
Karen is married to Ron Warren who is a Senior HR Manager at Delta Air Lines. They have two adult daughters, a son in law and a rescued greyhound.
Kim Stezala, Stezala Consulting, LLC
Kimberly Stezala is President of Stezala Consulting, LLC, a company that assists scholarship providers, foundations and educational organizations to improve their vitality through objective analysis and consulting. Kim is focused on the strategy, evaluation, and improvement of programs with the overall goal of strengthening outcomes for youth and families in the college pipeline.
Students and parents know Kim as The Scholarship Lady,® through www.scholarshiplady.com and her book Scholarships 101: The Real-World Guide to Getting Cash for College. She has been a guest speaker for the National Scholarship Providers Association for 10 years and was the content development consultant for the NSPA’s online toolkit for scholarship providers.
LaTrena Stokes, Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
LaTrena is a woman who knows that ALL things are possible to those who believe.
She was destined to link arms with Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Fund in the summer of 2011 as a scholar. Fate would have it that she now links her passion with JRF as a staff member. LaTrena’s perseverance has propelled her to succeed and to help those that she cross paths with do the same. LaTrena has a passion for people and is dedicated to excellence. She has a BA from the University of Georgia in Human Development & Family Science and a BA from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Theology. LaTrena has received a number of awards including GA Woman of the Year Scholar and UGA Amazing Student.
LaTrena is the proud parent of two boys Cameron, age 13 and Jeremy, age 11.
Jeff Strickland, The Ford Family Foundation
Jeff Strickland joined the Foundation in 2013. He brought with him a unique set of skills in personal counseling, academic advising, and career guidance. In addition, he is an alumnus of the Ford ReStart Program (class of 2001). Jeff has served as a counselor in Medford and Ashland public schools, Oregon State University – Cascades, and Central Oregon Community College. Prior to his counseling career, he worked as a project manager, community liaison, and volunteer coordinator in affordable housing and commercial property development. Jeff holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in counseling, and certification with the National Board for Certified Counselors. Living most of his life in Southern Oregon, Jeff enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, fishing, canoeing and cross-country skiing. He lives in Eugene and has two grown daughters who reside in Oregon and South Carolina.
Tricia Tate, The Ford Family Foundation
Tricia Tate joined the Foundation in 2001. As a Scholarship Program Manager, she manages daily operations and works with the Director to plan and refine program policies and procedures. She coordinates workflow to ensure seasonal deadlines are met and oversees annual payout of $11 million in scholarship disbursements. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has a post-baccalaureate certificate from the University of San Diego. Outside of work, Tricia enjoys living in Eugene, hiking with her husband and border collie, reading, and travel.
Terri Taylor, EducationCounsel
Terri Taylor's portfolio focuses on projects related to access and diversity in higher education on behalf of the College Board’s Access & Diversity Collaborative, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and leading institutions of higher education, among others. She also works on issues related to quality and accountability in higher education, new models for delivering quality instruction to K-12 students, data and privacy, state assessment transitions, competency-based learning, and educator effectiveness. Ms. Taylor earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia, with distinction, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Before law school, she taught English to migrant students in Virginia and to 7-12 grade students in the Kyrgyz Republic as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Victoria Thomas, Houston Community College
Victoria Thomas is a Financial Coach with HCC working to ensure that students increase the likelihood of academic success and graduation by advocating responsible financial behaviors and connecting them with resources and opportunities to enrich their quality of life. Before joining HCC, she worked for JP Morgan Chase and entities spanning nonprofit, government, and healthcare sectors. Passionate about empowering others to find their own way to their goals, she volunteers as a financial literacy educator for the Women’s Resource Group of Greater Houston and actively supports the We are Girls initiatives. Victoria holds an MBA and is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jane Thompson, TD Scholarships for Community Leadership
Jane has been the Executive Director of the TD Scholarship program since 2000. Prior to joining the program, Jane worked in both the private sector and in academia. She holds a doctorate in Canadian history, and currently serves on the boards of the NSPA and Community Forests International (www.forestsinternational.org.) In 2013 she published her first book Resilient Woman; Weaving Together Work, Family, and Self.
Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change and Corporation for Positive Change
Amanda Trosten-Bloom is a Principal with both the Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change and Corporation for Positive Change, and a widely acclaimed consultant, master trainer, energizing speaker, and pioneer in the use of Appreciative Inquiry for high engagement, whole system change. Working across sectors in business, nonprofit and government organizations, she builds results oriented partnerships with organizational and community leaders and teams in support of strategic planning, culture change, and organizational excellence. Her clients have included: Hewlett-Packard; the Unitarian Universalist Association; IHS; ACT; Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division; National Security Administration; Goddard Space Flight Center; The Denver Foundation; and the Cities of Boulder, Denver and Longmont, CO; and Boulder County, CO.
Amanda is also co-author of the best-selling book, The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change (Berrett-Koehler: 2003 and 2010), considered to be the strongest practical guide to Appreciative Inquiry on the market. Additional publications include Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization (McGraw-Hill, 2010); Appreciative Team Development: Positive Questions to Bring Out the Best in Your Team (iUniverse, 2005); the Encyclopedia of Positive Questions – Volume One: Questions to Bring Out the Best at Work (Crown Custom Publishing, 2003 and 2014); and more than a dozen articles and book chapters.
Megan Van Emon, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
Megan is assistant corporate counsel for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Megan earned her undergraduate degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University and her law degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. As assistant corporate counsel, Megan helps with legal responsibilities and complex business transactions on behalf of the Community Foundation and supports strategic efforts to build and strengthen relationships with the professional advisor community of attorneys, accountants and financial advisors. Additionally, Megan works with donors to focus and guide their philanthropic investments. Megan has been on staff at the Community Foundation since 2012.
Chaffee Viets, Stamps President's Scholars Program, Georgia Institute of Technology
Chaffee Viets has spent 18 years working with scholarship students nationwide, joining Georgia Tech in August 2011. He has experienced scholarship programs as both a student scholar and an administrator, recognizing the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities faced by highly talented students. Chaffee spent most of his career at NC State University with the Park Scholarships and Caldwell Fellows programs, followed by a cycle with Duke's and UNC-Chapel Hill's Robertson Scholars Leadership Program. Under Chaffee’s tenure at Georgia Tech, the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation made a landmark gift resulting in the renaming of the program he leads as the Stamps President’s Scholars Program.
Rachael Cassiday Watkins, Truman Heartland Community Foundation
Rachael Cassiday Watkins joined the staff of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation as the Assistant Director of Programs and Donor Services in March of 2015. At Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Rachael is responsible for administering nearly 100 active scholarships, managing day-to-day grant-making for donors, and providing administrative support to the Community For All Ages Coalition, a community initiative focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by our aging population.
Rachael holds a B.A. in Arts Administration and Vocal Music from Hastings College; studied marketing, communications studies, and advertising at the graduate level at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and holds an M.F.A. in non-profit Arts Administration from Southern Utah University. Rachael’s experience includes positions with the Kansas City Symphony; the Right Brain Initiative in Portland, OR; the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts in Cedar City, UT; and the Lied Center for the Performing Arts in Lincoln, NE. Additionally, she served as a musician in the Nebraska National Guard’s 43rd Army Band for six years.
Michele Waxman Johnson, Central Scholarship
Michele joined the staff of Central Scholarship in February 2011, where her focus is on advocacy, strategic plan implementation, and College Cash® planning and curriculum development. Michele writes op-eds on higher education affordability issues, and is presenter for College Cash®: Managing Student Loans, and co-presenter for College Cash®: Parent’s Guide to Finding and Funding College. Michele earned a Master’s degree in Planning from the University of Virginia, a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a certificate in nonprofit governance from the University at Albany. Michele previously served as Executive Director of a local community leadership program for 11 years, and was a local political candidate in 2010. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Congressman Elijah Cummings’ Youth Program (ECYP).
Barbara Weber, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
As the grants administration manager, Barbara oversees the administration of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s grant and scholarship payments related to higher education. Prior to her work at the Foundation, Barbara served as vice president of operations for Scholarship America’s Scholarship Management Services division. In this role, she provided oversight for the distribution of $165M to 66,000 students annually through the administration of more than 1,200 scholarship, tuition reimbursement, education assistance and loan programs. Barbara holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.B.A. from the University of Saint Thomas Opus School of Business.
Eric Wilkinson, Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
Eric Wilkinson manages the day-to-day operations of the postsecondary team and provides direct supervision to the Postsecondary Coaches and Advisors. Prior to joining Kauffman Scholars in 2009, Eric spent over five years in higher education working in the areas of admission and student affairs. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pittsburg State University.
Bonnie Williams, The Ford Family Foundation
Bonnie Williams is responsible for programs that engage our network of nearly 3,500 alumni and 1,000 current Ford Family Scholarship recipients. She helps scholarship recipients transition into the working world while cultivating a resource base to support the Foundation's mission.
Prior to coming to The Ford Family Foundation in 2015, Bonnie worked at the University of Oregon School of Law as the associate director for the Center for Career Planning and Professional Development. Her responsibilities there included developing programs and initiatives that prepared students to apply for, secure, and be successful in professional positions. She also counseled law students and graduates on career goals and transitions.
Jamie Williams, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Jamie's role as Director of the Undergraduate Scholars Program for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is to develop meaningful engagement and enrichment opportunities that hone Scholars' leadership skills and help them develop their professional purposes in college. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jamie was director of the National Scholars Program at Clemson (S.C.) University from 2002-2015, in addition to serving as associate director of the Clemson Honors College from 2009-2015. In 2006, Jamie led the effort to create USPAA, the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrators Association, a professional body supporting the work of campus-based scholars programs, and served as president and a board member from 2009-2013.
Diana Wolf, Meritus College Fund
Diana M. Wolf joined Meritus College Fund as Executive Director in 2004 with responsibilities for the overall management of the organization, development and donor relations, and Scholar programming. Ms. Wolf has been involved in youth development and education for the last 20 years. Prior to joining Meritus, she was the Program Officer for Education with the Bank of America Foundation focusing on pre-K through 12th grade education and youth programs. Ms. Wolf began her career in teaching and multi-cultural education. She has served on a number of school, community, professional, and advisory boards locally and nationally. Ms. Wolf holds a B.A. (cum laude) from the University of San Francisco in Government and an M.A. from the Universitaet Salzburg, Austria, in Political Science, European History and Modern German Literature.
Sarah Wurtz, Indiana State University
Sarah has been the Scholarship Director at Indiana State University since the office launch in 2008. She advises, inspires, and propels our prospective and current students in to the world of scholarship on a daily basis. She recently took the lead on making the scholarship process easier to navigate by working collaboratively on the online scholarship management system uniquely called “The Branch.” She plays a key role in our recruitment and retention of high achieving students. She holds a bachelor's degree in German from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree in English literature from Indiana State University.
Beth Zielinski, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Beth A. Zielinski is the Senior Higher Education Programs Adviser at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Since 2010, Beth has worked with the Cooke Foundation's Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship to provide advising and programming for the scholars, who are exceptionally promising students with have financial need. She has over a decade of experience aiding high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds including non-traditional, first generation, and undocumented students in creating successful transfer pathways.
Beth graduated with a M.A.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech and with honors from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a B.A. in Biology and Sociology/Anthropology and a Certificate in Human Services.
Diane Zile, JERA Partnerships, LLC
Diane B. Zile Strategic Partner Business Consultant & Coach Diane Zile is a passionate, experienced strategic partner working with leaders and businesses to achieve “the promise of success earned”. Prior to founding JERA Partnerships, Diane was Chief People Officer at OtterBox, a fast-paced, exponentially growing and successful global company, achieving Top Ten national recognition by the Great Places to Work Institute. Diane has successfully led teams at Fortune 500 companies such as YUM! Brands and Macy’s in developing innovative people strategies that: - Build engaging cultures - Improve alignment and commitment - Realize enduring success Diane received her Master of Science Degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Speakers Association (NSA). She speaks nationally on business strategy, organizational culture and employee engagement. Diane is passionate about people and the arts and serves on the boards of the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Hunger Free Colorado and the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau Foundation.