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.
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 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.”
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.
Melissa Massey is a Communications Specialist at the Hope Center. Melissa brings a wealth of digital knowledge from her work with agencies like Ogilvy Commonhealth and ICC Lowe, where she led the development of content strategy for multiple global brands. Previously she was a digital strategist and web and graphic designer with the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and English from North Central College. She is also a published comic author and illustrator.
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 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.
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 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.
Tiffani Williams is a Senior Research Associate at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Her research focuses on the career and economic outcomes of higher education. Tiffani has served as a researcher and policy analyst at a number of non-profit organizations in New York City including the Social Science Research Council, Public Agenda and The Education Trust-New York. She was also a Program Specialist in P-20 for Academic Affairs at the University System of Maryland. Tiffani holds an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park and a PhD in Higher and Postsecondary Education from New York University.
Tiffani’s hope: We will identify and foster higher education practices that help students, regardless of who they are or where they come from, complete college and establish careers.