Our Team and Leadership
Chief Executive Officer
Ekaterina Struett, formerly Interim CEO, was appointed by College Advising Corps’ Board of Directors to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective Aug. 1, 2022. She served as Interim CEO from May 2021 through July 2022.
Ekaterina serves as a liaison with strategic partners and is responsible for creating and maintaining collaborative relationships with CAC staff members, the CAC Board of Directors, and external constituents
Ekaterina knows first-hand the transformative impact that college access has on economic mobility. As an adult immigrant to the United States, she completed her college education while working full-time and raising three children. Ekaterina is committed to helping students from all backgrounds and walks of life learn about the post-secondary opportunities available to help them achieve their dreams. She knows that doors to higher education were opened to her because people believed in her and pointed the way. This is the message CAC advisers deliver to young people every day.
Prior to serving as Interim CEO, Ekaterina served CAC as the Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Senior Director of People Operations. Her previous experience includes executive roles with Rise Against Hunger and Larson Training Centers, Inc. Ekaterina received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from North Carolina State University.
Cary Claiborne, MBA
Chief Program Officer
Cary Claiborne, Chief Program Officer, is responsible for overseeing the portfolio of partnerships that College Advising Corps forms with our university and funding partners, including traditional in-school advising, hybrid and virtual advising, and advising performed by artificial intelligence. Cary raises the organization’s profile through external communications, providing mentoring, guidance, supervision, and professional development to program staff, and enhances the structure of the organization by staying abreast of developments in postsecondary education and college access policies.
Cary has led strategic student success initiatives for over a decade. He brings experience developing, implementing, and scaling student success programs at two- and four-year levels. At Georgia State University, he served various roles, from serving students as an academic advisor to leading the university’s first-year strategy for over 8,000 students. Most recently, Cary served as Director of Diagnostic and Implementation Services at the National Institute for Student Success, where he partnered with institutions nationwide to improve student success outcomes. Cary’s storied path through Georgia State University and his passion for the work of student success is well documented in “Won’t Lose This Dream: How an Upstart Urban University Rewrote the Rules of a Broken System” by Andrew Gumbel.
Cary is pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University, where he earned an MBA in Business Analysis and a BS in Economics. When he’s not enthralled with Student Success, Cary collects vinyl records and retro technology or travels with his wife, Danielle, and two children.
Tobi Kinsell ME.D.
Chief Impact Officer
Tobi Kinsell serves as Chief Impact Officer. In her role, Tobi leads the Product and Project Implementation, Impact and Evaluation, and Artificial Intelligence teams. She and her team envision and procure new business partnerships to advance the mission of CAC and serve as a strategic advisor to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on a variety of critical topics impacting College Advising Corps.
Previously, Tobi served as the director of OnTrack Greenville, in Greenville, SC, an unprecedented $15 million collaborative initiative. In this role, Tobi led and facilitated transformative public/private partnerships to early impact outcomes through identifying and eliminating barriers to ensure middle school students stayed on track for high school graduation. Prior to this role, Tobi was the director of the college access program Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University. For 11 years, she motivated and inspired low-wealth high school students to overcome challenges and succeed in life. In this position, Tobi led Bridges to receive national recognition through amplifying financial support and partnerships, increasing outcomes, and expanding the program model.
Tobi has over 20 years of experience in numerous aspects of education and a variety of educational institutions and has received many honors and recognition for this work. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, earning a B.S. in psychology and was awarded the Best Citizen Award. She also attended the University of South Carolina, earning an M.Ed. in student personnel services. Tobi considers balance an important aspect in life and enjoys hobbies including writing, traveling, and ballroom dance and is mother to Eli, a young adult.
Jefferson Parker, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Jefferson Parker, Chief Financial Officer, oversees financial strategy and operations. He manages all aspects of the development and execution of budgets, financial statements, and reports for College Advising Corps’ Board of Directors. Jefferson works closely with the CEO and CAO to strengthen the organization’s financial position through donor engagement and relations.
Jefferson has managed nonprofit business operations for more than 20 years, including 14 years at the V Foundation for Cancer Research as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, and Vice President of Operations. At the V Foundation, Jefferson oversaw finance, investments, accounting, human resources, information technology, legal affairs, facilities, grants administration, and events fundraising as the organization quadrupled in revenue and staff. Jefferson has also served in Executive Director roles and as a consultant to nonprofits. Additionally, Jefferson has served on several nonprofit boards and finance committees, including serving as President and Treasurer, and on local government and church committees.
Jefferson holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Texas, and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of the South. Jefferson also holds a Chartered Global Management Accountant designation. Outside of work, Jefferson spends time with his wife and two sons and enjoys running, backpacking, biking, and going to see live music.
Laurie Reinhardt-Plotnik, Ph.D.
Chief Advancement Officer
Laurie Reinhardt, Ph.D., M.B.A., Chief Advancement Officer, is responsible for developing relationships with foundations and government agencies and growing College Advising Corps’ base of institutional support. With the larger CAC team, she ensures that funders understand the transformational impact that access to higher education and quality mentorship have on thousands of young lives each year.
Laurie has held senior leadership roles in fundraising, marketing, government relations, and alumni affairs, and managed million- and billion-dollar campaigns for organizations across the nonprofit sector. Her experience over two decades ranges from museums and cultural organizations to colleges and universities including the University of Miami, Rutgers University, North Carolina State University, and St. John’s College. In addition to a life-long commitment to educational equity, she also led fundraising for JHPIEGO, a non-governmental organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University that addresses women’s health disparities in the developing world.
Laurie holds a Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill, an M.B.A. from the University of Miami, an M.A. from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, and a B. Mus. From Houghton College. When she’s not working, you’ll find her gardening, reading, and enjoying the natural beauty of North Carolina with her husband Ofer, and rescue dogs Yoffi, Kelcie, and Sammy.
Karen E. Butler
Sr. Director of Communications, Marketing, and Branding
Karen E. Butler is Senior Director of Communications, Marketing, and Branding. In her role, Karen is responsible for engaging diverse audiences to increase awareness and showcase the transformative impact College Advising Corps is making on the lives of America’s underrepresented high school students. Working closely with the organization’s CEO, executive leadership team, and development and communications team, Karen provides leadership in communication strategy and media relations.
Karen has more than 20 years of experience in communications, public relations, media relations, and marketing. She has worked in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Karen served as Director of Communications for Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina. Previously, she also served as Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Hartford, Connecticut; and as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Connecticut.
As a nontraditional student graduating with honors, Karen received her Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Over the course of her career, Karen has won awards in writing, advertising, and layout and design. She has been a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and NCI Public Affairs and Marketing Network (PAMN). In her spare time, Karen enjoys traveling, kayaking, skiing, and riding her Harley-Davidson Street Bob.
Fedra Hinojosa Castilla
Jr. Associate, Product and Project Implementation
Fedra Hinojosa Castilla is the Junior Associate, Product and Project Implementation supporting the development, implementation, and management of College Advising Corps’ mission-critical technology-based products and projects designed to support its mission and goals and increase student impact.
Before joining CAC’s national staff, Fedra served for one year as a Virtual Adviser for the CollegePoint Initiative. While in this role, she engaged with high school students all over the country and aided in their preparation for college and their application and selection process. Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Fedra worked with various nonprofits that offered academic support for first-generation and low-income students from elementary school until high school.
Fedra graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, painting, and playing with her little pug, Zeus. She is based in McAllen, Texas.
Partnership Director, Midwest
Celia G. Chávez, Partnership Director Midwest, provides leadership and support to CAC programs and special projects in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and St. Louis, MO. With her team, Celia works to ensure that programmatic goals are met and that high-quality services are delivered to students.
In her role, Celia also develops and maintains a network of high-impact partners from various sectors including; higher education leaders, investors, and government officials that aid in the overall maintenance, sustainability, and success of CAC university programs in the Midwest.
Prior to joining CAC, Celia worked in various higher education settings. She has led equity and inclusion initiatives in academic support services within the City Colleges of Chicago system and provided program development, strategic planning, and direct student services in various higher education recruitment and retention programs (First-Year Academic Success – DePaul University, Proyecto Pa’Lante – Northeastern Illinois University, Students On Academic Probation – Waubonsee Community College).
Throughout her career, the scope of Celia’s work as an education advocate has been centered on increasing educational access and support to first-generation, low-income, and marginalized students in the Midwest region.
Director, Impact & Evaluation
Michael Cobb, Ph.D., serves as Director of Impact and Evaluation. He oversees a staff of analysts that collect timely and accurate data measuring CAC advising and college enrolment. These data are critical for improving programmatic advising and external audiences use them to evaluate CAC performance.
Prior to joining CAC, Michael was an Associate Professor of Political Science at NC State University and a consultant for private businesses and government agencies. His research about race, public opinion, and political behaviors was published in the leading journals in his discipline and covered in national and local media. He also helped evaluate the efficacy of courses at NC State that were designed to be taught entirely online, compared to the same courses taught in person, which sparked his interest in studying how to increase non-traditional students’ college enrollment.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California-Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He runs marathons, loves travel, and adopted two cats he’s allergic to. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Human Resources Generalist
Ashley Davis, Human Resources Generalist, plays a critical role in running the daily functions of the HR department. Collaborating on all aspects of human capital management, Ashley partners to help maintain and further develop College Advising Corps’ organizational culture and team-oriented environment.
Prior to assuming her current role, Ashley served for two years as a college adviser with College Advising Corps at the University of North Carolina. Most recently, she served as an eAdviser with the CollegePoint team. Grateful for her own CAC adviser when she was in high school, Ashley knows well the impact College Advising Corps makes and is proud to serve the organization now as a HR generalist. Before pivoting to college access work, Ashley served as an HR generalist for a collegiate marketing company. Ashley is excited to return to HR with an organization whose mission she is passionate about and invested in.
Ashley received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communications Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, live music, movies, and traveling.
Partnership Director, Far West
Jennifer DeGuzman is the Partnership Director, Far West for the program team. She provides leadership and support to CAC programs and special projects throughout the Far West Coast and works to ensure that program goals are met and that students receive high-quality support. In her role, Jennifer also develops and maintains a network of high-impact partners from various sectors, including higher education leaders, investors, and government officials that aid in the overall maintenance, sustainability, and success of CAC university programs on the Far West Coast.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Jennifer worked in the non-profit and education fields for fifteen years both in New York City and Los Angeles. Most recently, Jennifer built partnerships between colleges and preparatory organizations to ensure high retention of students. Previous to this role, Jennifer administrated several reconnections to education and workforce services for youth involved in the foster care system or the juvenile justice system. In all of her roles, Jennifer contributed thought leadership in the field by facilitating multiple presentations and trainings both at national conferences and on college campuses, specifically focusing on foster care and LGBTQ youth needs. Jennifer started her career as a social worker facilitating leadership development trainings for youth.
Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Religion and Gender Studies from Bard College and a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University where she concentrated on Health and Mental Health. Jennifer enjoys cooking, all things tiki, and spending time with her family and friends. She is based out of Long Beach, California.
Development and Training Specialist
Chris Garant (he, him) is a Development and Training Specialist with an applied background in program level assessment, leadership development, and DEIJ student support. In his role with the College Advising Corps, Chris develops and distributes tools and resources for effective advising practices, and provides end-to-end training and development opportunities for staff and advisers to increase college readiness in K-12 learners.
Prior to working with the College Advising Corps, Chris worked in higher education institutions to increase the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC student success. Most recently, he worked in the LGBTQ+ Pride Center at North Carolina State University as the team lead for student leadership, engagement, and curriculum development. In this role, he was instrumental in revitalizing leadership programs that intentionally engaged students’ social identities. He has also worked extensively with K-12 educators in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, designing and facilitating practical trainings around supporting LGBTQ+ students in the midst of rapidly evolving legal requirements.
Chris holds both a B.A. in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and an M.Ed. in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University. Outside of work, he is a hybrid athlete who enjoys endurance running and road cycling. He loves to cook, read, and take his dog on hikes. He is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Arissa Gaytan, Ed.D.
Partnership Director, Texas & Utah
Arissa Gaytan, Ed.D., serves as the Partnership Director, Texas and Utah. In her role, Arissa provides leadership and support to College Advising Corps programs and special projects and works to ensure program goals are met and students receive quality support. Arissa also develops and maintains a network of high-impact partners from various sectors that aid in the overall maintenance, sustainability, and success of CAC program partners in Texas and Utah. Sectors include higher education, philanthropy, and government.
Arissa began her career serving as a College Advising Corps adviser at The University of Texas at Austin. She has nine years of experience in college admissions overseeing undergraduate recruitment at Texas Woman’s University. While at Texas Women’s University, she built partnerships across secondary and higher education institutions to increase educational access and support to first-generation, low-income, and marginalized students.
Arissa received her Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University, her master’s degree in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education from Angelo State University, and her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She is based out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and enjoys sports, drinking coffee, and spending time with friends and family.
Kasha Heath, E.D.D.
Partnership Director, Southeast Region
Kasha Heath, Ed.D, is the Partnership Director for the Southeast Region, serving Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. In her role, Kasha provides leadership and support to College Advising Corps programs and special projects and works to ensure program goals are met and students receive quality support. Kasha also develops and maintains a network of high-impact partners from various sectors that aid in the overall maintenance, sustainability, and success of CAC program partners in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Kasha served as a K-12 educator for 13 years. With a vast amount of experience working in the public educational sector, she has found her passion in working with at-risk youth in urban and low-income communities. Understanding the disparities that exist with people of color in underserved communities, she is committed to being an educational advocate to support students and families through building partnerships and providing resources and access to those who deserve social and academic justice within the public education school system.
Kasha received her Doctor of Education in Higher Education and Leadership Studies from Immaculata University, her master’s degree in Professional School Counseling from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College. She is based in the Atlanta area and enjoys traveling, going to dinner, and spending time with family and friends.
Impact & Evaluation Analyst
Lizzie Hemmis is the Impact & Evaluation (I&E) Analyst at College Advising Corps—where she works to improve student outcomes by preparing, processing, analyzing, and interpreting program data. She shares this information with internal and external partners to help make data-informed decisions.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Lizzie worked in the nonprofit and education fields for over six years in a variety of roles. She began her career at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. She oversaw the Continuous Quality Improvement initiative at the organization—utilizing qualitative and quantitative data to create action plans for enhancing Club operations and members’ Overall Club Experience. In 2020, Lizzie supported Cleveland State University’s transition to remote learning by analyzing its eLearning support ticket data to identify training needs. Additionally, Lizzie has been involved in several research studies in nonprofit and school settings.
Lizzie received her bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Nonprofit Management with concentrations in Youth Development and Evaluation. Lizzie enjoys attending concerts, playing tabletop board games with friends, and curling up with a good book next to her beloved pets. She resides in Euclid, Ohio.
Content and Training Specialist
Dani Lechner is the Project Specialist, East, on the national program team, where she develops and distributes tools and resources for effective advising practices. Dani also manages knowledge development opportunities and delivers training for staff and advisers to help them increase college readiness and meet the unique needs of students.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps’ national team, Dani designed and facilitated justice and equity-centered programs and training aimed at advancing opportunities for women in leadership, industry, and research with the Women’s Resource Center at Georgia Tech. From 2016-2018, Dani oversaw diversity education and dialogue programs as well as multicultural peer-leadership experiences for the Center for Multicultural Student Services at James Madison University. Dani began her career in educational equity in 2014 as a College Advising Corps adviser at North Carolina State University, supporting students at South Creek High School. While in this role, she researched and proposed advising practices and policies for advisers in rural communities as a CAC Data & Policy Fellow and, in 2015, served as the national office Evaluation and Impact Measurement intern.
Dani received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University. Dani enjoys ghost tours, creating stained glass art, and is based out of Richmond, Virginia.
Erica Nelson serves as Advancement Manager, responsible for identifying, researching, and analyzing prospects for major gift cultivation and solicitation at College Advising Corps. Erica performs a variety of complex and confidential duties involving the collection, interpretation, analysis, and documentation of biographical and financial data on prospective donors in support of CAC’s fundraising goals.
Prior to joining CAC, Erica worked with Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs as a development associate, helping to initiate, plan, assist, implement, monitor, and record leadership activities designed to engage, cultivate, solicit, and steward School of Medicine alumni and donors. Prior to joining Duke Health, Erica was a donor relations officer with the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia; she was responsible for designing, implementing, and coordinating a comprehensive stewardship and donor recognition system to foster a growing culture of philanthropy and to ensure donors were fully engaged with the Foundation.
Erica earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Shorter University and master’s degree in human resource management from Strayer University. Erica is originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands. When not at work she enjoys traveling, attending festivals and live music events, and volunteering her time through her membership with the Junior League of Raleigh. She is based out of Chapel Hill, NC.
Allison Born Noel
Impact & Evaluation Analyst
Allison Born Noel is the Impact and Evaluation (I&E) Analyst, improving student outcomes through collecting, managing, analyzing, and interpreting data at College Advising Corps. In addition, Allison coordinates logistics and program resources for CAC’s internal and external evaluation partners.
Prior to joining CAC, Allison worked in the field of education in a variety of capacities over the course of more than 10 years. She managed student data and program logistics with the Emily Krzyzewski Center. She conducted data analysis for international projects, both with School-to-School International and Florida State University. Additionally, she led a study in Uganda researching issues in girls’ education. Allison kicked off her career serving in the United States Peace Corps as an English Teacher Trainer in Ethiopia, training school teachers in the northern region, Tigray.
Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Mathematics from the University of Michigan and an M.S.Ed. in International Educational Development from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Allison loves competing in triathlons, teaching yoga, knitting, and adventuring with her husband, and is based out of Durham, North Carolina.
Ariel Norris, Ph.D.
Partnership Director, Southeast
Ariel Norris, Ph.D., is Partnership Director, Southeast, on the national program team, leading and supporting College Advising Corps programs and special projects in three states and working in collaboration with colleagues who lead programs in the Southeastern Region. Ariel identifies and maintains a network of high-impact partners (including higher education leaders, investors, and government officials) critical to the maintenance, sustainability, and success of our university programs in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Before joining CAC in her current role, Ariel served for two years as an adviser with College Advising Corps at the University of North Carolina. Most recently, Ariel directed a signature retention program at Georgia State University that assisted academically at-risk students with their transition into college. She also led innovative efforts to increase the retention, progression, and graduation rates of students at the university.
Ariel received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has an M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from North Carolina State University. Ariel enjoys exercising, writing, and spending time with friends and family, and is based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
Senior Manager, Advancement Operations
Midori Nozaki is Senior Manager of Advancement Operations, providing project management for all Advancement team initiatives. She partners with College Advising Corps’ national leadership team and its university partners to help build a centralized and standardized fundraising operations structure with the goal to increase revenue generated through philanthropy. Before joining the Advancement team, Midori served as the Executive Assistant to the CEO.
Prior to arriving at CAC, Midori was the Director of Operations and Chief of Staff at Carnegie Prep, a test preparation and private tutoring company based in Connecticut. She oversaw the operation of Carnegie Prep’s standardized test prep courses and practice tests, and she worked with the executive team on organizational improvements, development of new services, and emerging strategies in the academic landscape.
Midori graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and East Asian Studies from New York University. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Tokyo. In her free time, Midori enjoys listening to an ever-growing backlog of podcast episodes, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and rediscovering her childhood love of video games. She is based in Durham, NC.
Associate, Product and Project Implementation
Kayla Overdiep is the Associate, Product and Project Implementation supporting the development, implementation, and management of College Advising Corps’ mission-critical technology-based products and projects designed to support its mission, and goals and increase student impact. Kayla is the primary technical product and project lead for the CAC’s texting campaigns that allow programs and advisers to share timely college-going information with high school students. She is responsible for planning and executing campaign strategies and handling support requests across the CAC network to ensure the timely resolution of design and performance issues.
Prior to joining CAC’s national staff, Kayla served for two years as the North Carolina State College Advising Corps as a College Adviser at Washington County High School. Although she is not originally from a rural area, Kayla related to her students and school community members and was successful in assisting her students through the college-going process.
Kayla graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Business Administration from North Carolina State University. Kayla enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading books and comics, supporting the NC State Wolfpack, and channeling her creative side through crafts and art projects. She is based in Jamestown, North Carolina.
Manager, Development & Training
Elauna Pettigrew serves as Manager of Development and Training. Previously she served as Program Manager for the CollegePoint Initiative and supervises a team of virtual advisers as they work toward the CollegePoint mission of increasing the number of high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students who apply to, enroll in, and graduate from highly selective institutions.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Elauna worked as a peer tutor and presentation coach at The University Speaking Center at University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she focused on meeting students where they were in order to overcome cross-cultural barriers, build self-confidence, and achieve individually created goals. Elauna also volunteered as a mentor and interpreter for Spanish-speaking high school students with low English proficiencies. It was there Elauna first realized the barriers many local high school students faced when deciding if, where, and how to apply to college and became passionate about helping.
Elauna graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and communication studies. Elauna enjoys playing pool, riding her motorcycle, learning about different cultures through international travel, and is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Marilyn Ramos is the Advancement Associate. In her role, Marilyn works closely with the Advancement Team to support the smooth functioning of government and private philanthropic grants. She plays a key role in data entry, reporting, and donor recordkeeping. Additionally, Marilyn works directly with College Advising Corps’ AmeriCorps and OneStar grants to ensure federal compliance and program operations.
Before joining College Advising Corps, Marilyn was affiliated with New York University, supporting first-generation students from low-income backgrounds successfully transition to college life. She also has experience working for various non-profits, where she worked to increase access to educational resources and food resources for New Yorkers in need.
Marilyn received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at New York University, where she also obtained a minor in social work. Marilyn is committed to those in need and is dedicating her career to continuing that effort, specifically through educational access. Marilyn is based in New York.
Monica Revord serves as Technology Administrator, providing dedicated technical support for National staff along with managing the technological assets of the organization and providing expertise on platforms and services that support College Advising Corps in furthering its mission.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Monica served in various IT roles in a variety of sectors, including multiple high school systems as well as a healthcare organization.
Monica holds certifications in hardware/operating systems, networking, and security. In her free time, Monica enjoys gardening, doing puzzles, and spending time with her family.
Partnership Director, Northeast
As Partnership Director, Northeast, Shameek Robinson provides strategic leadership and implementation assistance for programs and special projects in CT, MA, NY, VA, and PA. He engages multiple stakeholders, including schools, districts, and philanthropic organizations to deliver success and sustainability for CAC university programs across the region.
Prior to joining CAC, Shameek built partnerships with districts, schools, community-based organizations, and post-secondary institutions to connect students to successful outcomes with the College Board. Shameek’s experience in education and college and career readiness spans across multiple organizations such as the National College Access Network and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth and Teach for America (TFA), just to name a few. Shameek is a current member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling and its New York affiliate (NYSACAC), in addition to serving multiple board roles in organizations such as Young Education Professionals – NYC and College Access Consortium of New York.
Shameek graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in education studies with concentrations on school, family, and community collaboration and education administration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Shameek enjoys traveling and railfanning and is based in New York City.
Senior Grants Manager
Maggie Rudd, Senior Grants Manager, is responsible for fostering relationships with foundations and government agencies to build College Advising Corps’ revenue base. Maggie’s efforts focus on cultivating partnerships throughout the southeast and nationally. Working closely with the organization’s CAO, executive leadership team, and programs team, Maggie facilitates CAC’s ongoing partnership with AmeriCorps.
Prior to joining CAC in 2020, Maggie worked at Virginia Tech in student leadership and organizations. In her role, Maggie developed various leadership curriculums and accountability processes for student leaders. Also, while at Virginia Tech, Maggie advised and provided academic mentorship to student-athletes.
Maggie has a master’s degree in higher education from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Appalachian State University. When not working, Maggie loves exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, watching Office reruns, and drinking coffee. Maggie is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Manager, Impact & Evaluation
Laurie Schaecher is the Manager of Impact and Evaluation. Working with I&E analysts, program partners and internal teams, she oversees College Advising Corps’ program evaluations to measure and communicate national and local impact.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps, Laurie worked for over ten years as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, evaluating community engagement programs, identifying opportunities for new ventures, and assessing overall strategy. Her clients included national health organizations, hospitals, wildlife conservation groups and international development nonprofits. She also worked as a fundraising analyst, identifying key indicators of program success and leading industry trainings on building data driven strategy. Additionally, she was an Adjunct Instructor teaching Data Visualization and Storytelling to graduate students at UNC.
Laurie holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from Middlebury College and an MPH in Health Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laurie loves to run trails with her dogs, work in her yard, and cheer on the UNC basketball team. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Partnership Director, Hybrid Advising
Sarah Simmons is Partnership Director for the College Advising Corps’ Innovation Team, HATCH, and leads project design, implementation, and training for the hybrid advising pilot program. Her team of Austin-based advisers supports students in rural schools in the Coastal Bend region of Texas. Sarah builds strong partnerships with internal and external stakeholders capturing learnings to implement and improve the hybrid model for future scale.
Prior to joining CAC, Sarah enjoyed nineteen years as a public education professional serving over 6,500 students. Sarah developed a college-bound culture at a historically underserved high school in South Austin and has extensive experience serving marginalized populations. She was awarded the Bank of America Local Hero Award in 2010 and was recognized three years in a row by the Austin Chamber of Commerce for submitting the largest number of FAFSAs in the Central Texas/Austin region among 6A high schools.
Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Women’s Studies from Texas State University and an Ed. M. in Education Student Development and Leadership from Angelo State University. She enjoys hiking, strong coffee, and dance parties with her family which often include their beloved pug, Molly. Sarah is based out of Buda, Texas.
Senior Director, Human Resources
Stephanie Teasdale, PHR, MBA, is the Senior Human Resources Director, providing vision and leadership to all members of the Human Resources department as well as creating and overseeing programs that drive College Advising Corps’ talent strategy. In partnership with her team, Stephanie ensures that the organization is compliant with appropriate laws and regulations, but also works to help both employees and managers maximize their full potential and performance.
Prior to joining College Advising Corps in October 2021, Stephanie spent more than 16 years in various human resource roles with one of North America’s leading distributors. From performing recruiting activities to managing a team of professional trainers, she was given a variety of unique opportunities to work both tactically and strategically over the years. Some of her most noteworthy achievements include the creation of a structured mentoring program, developing and managing a rotational career curriculum for recent college graduates, and partnering with multiple layers of management to establish a competency model. She received invitations from other operating groups in the international structure to lend her expertise in replicating some of her work. Stephanie also spent five years working in staffing agencies, placing workers in temporary and career roles ranging from warehouse and landscaping to accountant and senior leadership positions.
Stephanie received her M.B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and her Bachelors of Science degree in Management and International Business from Old Dominion University – both while working full-time. She enjoys reading, attending theater/musical productions, travel, and spending time with her most recent rescue dog, a 9-year old Maltese-mix named Sprocket.
Partnership Director, North Carolina
Katrina Thompson serves as Partnership Director for the state of North Carolina. She is responsible for leading and supporting seven College Advising Corps programs and special projects. Katrina also develops and maintains a network of high-impact partners from various sectors that aid in the overall maintenance, sustainability, and success of CAC program partners in North Carolina. Sectors include higher education, philanthropy, and government.
Previously, Katrina served as College Advising Corps’ Project Specialist, East. In her role, Katrina was responsible for developing and disseminating knowledge, tools, and resources to support advisers located on the East Coast, with a specific concentration on North Carolina advisers. Katrina managed the delivery of training essential to effective advising. From 2018 – 2020, she served as Senior Project Associate for the College Advising Plus (CAP) Project partnered with the College Board. And from 2017 to 2018, she was College Advising Corps’ Operations and Events Coordinator, assisting the Chief Operating Officer with day-to-day operations tasks and helping to coordinate the Adviser Summit 2017. Prior to joining CAC’s national team, Katrina served for two years as a College Advising Corps adviser at Texas Christian University where she supported students at Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
Katrina received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Arts & Administration and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Texas Christian University. She loves theatre, traveling to national parks locally and abroad, and is based at CAC’s national headquarters in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Senior Chatbot Manager
Ryan Thompson is the Senior Chatbot Manager at College Advising Corps and brings more than 10 years of experience in numerous aspects of the technology space.
Prior to this role, Ryan was a Senior Artificial Intelligence Implementation Specialist for a Higher Education Tech company while living in Charlotte, North Carolina. While there, he built and fine-tuned a multitude of A.I. Chatbots for colleges and universities across North America.
Ryan’s work would help hundreds of thousands of students and families navigate various questions and issues pertaining to Admission, Financial Aid, Orientation, Housing, Campus resources, and more. He also worked cross-functionally in this role, partnering with other team members, project managers, developers, and University Faculty & Staff to test and refine the A.I. platform, ensuring its efficiency for the internal team and end-users alike.
Ryan is a former collegiate Track & Field athlete, winning conference titles in Triple Jump and the 4×4 during his tenure. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte along with a Mini-MBA in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers University business school.
Ryan currently resides in Baltimore, MD, and enjoys, exploring new places, most outdoor activities, and spending time with his family.
As Finance Analyst, Madeline Wieters provides financial support to internal and external stakeholders. She assists CAC’s university partners with budget preparation and reporting and works closely with the Advancement team to support financial aspects of funder reports and grant proposals.
Prior to joining CAC, Madeline oversaw the logistics and finances for a product-based eCommerce business. Madeline began her career in higher education, managing the finance and operations functions for Baylor University Press.
Madeline graduated with a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from Baylor University and is a licensed CPA. She is based in New York City where she enjoys strolling through Riverside Park with her black lab, Zoe, attends as many Broadway shows as possible, and regularly checks out more books than she could ever hope to finish from the NYPL.