The Hope Center


Stefanie Chae

Stefanie Chae is a Communication and Events Specialist at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Stef graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in Communication and Digital Studies and a minor in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. She is also the Event Manager for Digital Pedagogy Lab, a series of learning and teaching events for academic faculty and staff in K-12 and Higher Education.

Stef’s hope: Student voices will be heard in conversations of policies, accessibility, and care in their own education, and ultimately students will help shape the future of education.

Kallie Clark

Kallie Clark is a Senior Research Associate at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice and author of Decoding College: Stories, Strategies and Struggles of First-generation College Students. Kallie’s research focuses on education systems, and how education policies and practices produce inequalities for first-generation college students, students of color, underrepresented students, and students from low-income backgrounds. Prior to joining Hope, Kallie worked as a researcher with the UChicago Consortium on School Research for seven years. In addition to her formal training in education research, Kallie brings a great deal of practical experience to her understanding of equity in higher education. Before entering graduate school, Kallie served as the founding college counselor in a Chicago High School predominantly serving students of color and students from low-income families. Kallie is currently an Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow and PhD candidate in the School of Social Service Administration at The University of Chicago.

Kallie’s hope: To identify and dismantle institutional barriers that keep students from reaching their higher education potential.

Sonja Dahl

portrait of junior researcher Sonja Dahl

Sonja Dahl is a Junior Research Associate at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Prior to this role, she organized voters in support of Working Families Party candidates in the 2019 Philadelphia City Council election, and served as Data & Evaluation VISTA with the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. Sonja holds a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology and Spanish from Swarthmore College.

Sonja’s hope: We will shift policies and create support systems that center the voices of marginalized students and help them to succeed.

Heba Katoon

Heba Katoon is a Communications Specialist at the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice.  After spending over a decade working in communications and advocacy, Heba brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge from her previous work leading integrated communications’ aspects at UN Women and UNDP, where she developed and implemented communications strategies and led successful campaigns on gender equality, violence against women, youth empowerment, quality of education, among others, that helped inform both public and policy advocacy. Additionally, Heba has served as a Communication Assistant Lecturer at a number of leading universities. Originally from Egypt, Heba holds an M.A. in Diversity and the Media from University of Westminster and is currently working towards her Ph.D in Media and Communication at Temple University. Heba’s research area in her doctorate focuses on big data-driven advocacy for social change.

Heba’s hope: To support the implementation of Goal #4 of the Sustainable Development Goals on Quality Education, to ensure opportunities of inclusive education and personal growth for all. Personal motto: “No matter what you do, be passionate.”

Gregory S. Kienzl

Gregory Kienzl is a Senior Research Fellow at the Hope Center for Community, College, and Justice. Prior to joining the Hope Center, Gregory worked as a Principal Strategist at ACT, Inc. where he conducted policy-orientated research on traditionally underserved populations and authored their postsecondary policy platform. Prior to ACT, he was the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC, and a visiting assistant professor in education policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has served on multiple Technical Review Panels for the National Center for Education Statistics and is especially proud of his work on expanding student pathways to and through higher education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Moravian College, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and a Ph.D. in Economics and Education from Columbia University. 

Gregory’s hope: To determine what works, bring smart and innovative ideas together, and be a synergic catalyst for change.

Elizabeth Looker

Liz Looker is a Senior Research Project Manager at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Prior to joining the Hope Center, Liz worked in academic and student affairs as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Education at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Before working with undergraduates, Liz was the Program Coordinator of Student Life and Learning in the Executive MBA Program at MIT Sloan. Liz earned an MEd in Higher Education Administration from Suffolk University and a BA in Sociology and Fine Art from Hampshire College.

Liz’s hope: We will help make a high-quality college education accessible for everyone.

Sarah Magnelia

Sarah Magnelia is a Research Project Manager at the Hope Center for Community, College, and Justice. Prior to joining the Hope Center, Sarah worked with the College Advising Corps, at KIPP Philadelphia Schools, and in the Office of the Superintendent at the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Most recently, Sarah served as a Project Manager in SDP’s Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs. Originally from Texas, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Geography from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. 

Sarah’s hope: We will identify and advocate for tangible policy solutions that ensure all students – no matter their socioeconomic status – have access to a post-secondary degree. 

Marissa Meyers

Marissa Meyers is a practitioner-researcher at the Hope Center. Prior to joining the Hope Center, Marissa was a special projects manager for Integrated Health Services at Public Health Management Corporation, a program manager for The Moyer Foundation, and an admissions counselor at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the boards and advisory councils of many Philadelphia organizations addressing food insecurity, foster care, and trauma-informed practice. Marissa holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rosemont College and a masters in nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Marissa’s hope: Society will start telling the truth about what it really takes to complete a college degree for all populations.

Brianna Richardson

Brianna Richardson

Brianna Richardson is a Junior Research Associate at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Brianna has previously worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Sarah Cordes in the College of Education at Temple University. Brianna holds a B.A. in Political Science from Kent State University, and an M.A. in Economics from Temple University.

Brianna’s hope: We will spark change in policy that will make post-secondary education affordable and accessible for everyone.

Martin Rozenberg

Martin Rozenberg is the Assistant Director of Grants Management at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Originally from Argentina, he has over 10 years of experience managing international development and citizen diplomacy programs in Asia and Latin America. Martin was most recently an Awards Manager with Save the Children in Washington, DC, focusing on compliance and financial matters on cooperative agreements with USAID and UNFPA. He holds an M.A, in Sustainable Development Management from the SIT Graduate Institute and a B.A. from Florida State University in International Affairs and Political Science.  

Martin’s hope: Higher education is accessible to all, regardless of life circumstances.

Maureen Scully

Maureen Scully

Maureen Scully is Executive Assistant to Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founding Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.

Maureen previously worked at National Real Estate Development as an Administrative Associate where she planned and coordinated meetings and events while assisting the development and construction teams in preparing reports, presentations, and special projects.  Maureen also work at Project HOME, where she served as an Executive Assistant. In this position, Maureen provided administrative and operating support to facilitate the efficient functioning of the Executive Director’s Office while building and maintaining strategic relationships with both internal and external partners.  Prior hereto, she worked at Planned Parenthood Association of Bucks County, PA as an Administrative Associate and was responsible for planning special events, assisting with department projects and performing general office management. She also held the position of Production Assistant at Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, PA, assisting the production crew on several sport television shows, as well as composing and producing a weekly sports highlight segment. Maureen also worked as a Campaign Coordinator at Vizion Group, where she organized and managed several charity fundraising events for non-profit organizations.

Maureen holds a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Carolina.

Lakisha Stone

Lakisha Stone is a Grants Specialist for the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. She brings more than a decade of experience to her role. Prior to joining the Hope Center, Lakisha worked in the Center for Executive Education, Global EMBA Programs as the Department Coordinator in the Fox School of Business. Before that she was the Clinical Coordinator at the Kornberg School of Dentistry where she managed grants to improve the quality of HIV healthcare and support services to those who were uninsured or underinsured.

Lakisha’s hope: We will ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone.