2015-2016 Aspen institute ascend fellows

Meet the 2015-2016 class of Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows.

 

John Annis

Barancik Foundation

Sarasota, FL

Bio

Mr. John Annis is, as of January 1, 2018, the senior vice president of collaboration and impact at the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. The Barancik Foundation, a private foundation serving Sarasota, has awarded $27 million in grants since its 2014 inception. Formerly, he was senior vice president of community investment at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
Anthony Barrows

Laurie Miller Brotman

NYU School of Medicine

New York, NY

Bio

Dr. Laurie Miller Brotman is the Bezos Family Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Development and professor of population health and psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. She is also the director of the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Brotman is the developer of ParentCorps, a family-centered, school-based universal early childhood intervention for low-income, minority children.
Kristin Bernhard

Melvin Carter III

St. Paul Mayor’s Office

St. Paul, MN

Bio

Melvin Carter is a fourth-generation Saint Paul resident, Saint Paul public school graduate, former Saint Paul City Councilmember, father, and Saint Paul’s Mayor.

Carter grew up in the Rondo neighborhood as the son of one of Saint Paul’s first black police officers, and a teacher (who now serves as a Ramsey County Commissioner). He attended Saint Paul public schools, ran track at his neighborhood rec center, and graduated from Central High School. He currently lives blocks away from where he grew up with his wife, Dr. Sakeena Futrell-Carter, and the youngest three of their five children.

Carter has been working to engage, enfranchise, and uplift people not only in Saint Paul, but also across the state and nation. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, advising Governor Mark Dayton on early childhood policy. Prior to joining state government, Carter represented Ward 1 on the Saint Paul City Council from 2008 to 2013.

In the run up to his campaign for Mayor, Carter spent a year in conversation with neighbors through a series of listening sessions called Imagine Saint Paul. His unconventional campaign focused on grassroots organizing and earning support from every corner of the city.

Betsy Delgado

Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana

Indianapolis, IN

Bio

As Senior Vice President, Mission and Education Initiatives, Betsy Delgado is responsible for leading the organization’s efforts to help individuals and families access education, employment and health services.

Delgado previously served as the Vice President of Mission and Education Initiatives as well as executive director of The Excel Center, Goodwill’s school for adult learners, from 2011 to 2013. Prior to joining Goodwill, she served for six years in Community and Continuing Education at the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township.

She obtained an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in English and education from the University of North Dakota. She has also earned a certification in leadership from ProLiteracy. In 2015, Delgado was named an Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. As an Ascend Fellow, she works with leaders across the nation to develop a two-generation approach to build economic security, educational success, health and well-being for low-income families.

Anthony Barrows

Maria Harper-Marinick

The Aspen Institute

Phoenix, AZ

Bio

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick is a senior fellow with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. Harper-Marinick served the Maricopa Community College District in Arizona for almost 30 years in a variety of leadership roles, including nearly four years as chancellor. Maria has served on the boards of the American Council of Education, American Association of Community Colleges, Excelencia in Education, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and many other organizations. She chaired the Federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance and is an Aspen Institute Ascend fellow and a distinguished fellow of the Arizona State University Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education named Maria one of 25 exceptional women leaders who have made a difference in higher education. Maria is originally from the Dominican Republic and came to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar. She holds masters and Ph.D. degrees in educational technology from ASU.

Kristin Bernhard

Raquel Hatter

Kresge Foundation

Troy, MI

Bio

Dr. Raquel Hatter is the managing director of human services at the Kresge Foundation, which supports the advancement of human services organizations to accelerate social and economic mobility for people with low income.

She has served families and communities for more than 30 years in leadership roles across the child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and human services systems. Hatter’s service spans advancing public policy, organizational and person-centered systems change to forging partnership with families and communities to integrating trauma- and executive functioning-informed, family-centered, two-generation and strength-based practices into her work with individuals and families. Prior to joining The Kresge Foundation, Hatter served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services where she identified ways to improve the outcomes for individuals and families across various support systems including child support, TANF, SNAP and vocational rehabilitation.

John Hudson III

Alabama Power

Birmingham, AL

Bio

John Hudson is a licensed attorney who serves as president and chief executive officer of Nicor Gas, the largest natural gas distribution company in Illinois. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that natural gas – a clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy source – reaches more than 2.2 million homes and businesses in 656 northern Illinois communities. In addition, Hudson serves as executive vice president of Southern Company Gas, where he has enterprise-wide responsibility for market strategy and new venture development across the company’s regulated utility franchises in Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Virginia. Hudson also is a member of the Southern Company Gas Management Council. Southern Company Gas is a subsidiary of Southern Company and the parent company of Nicor Gas. 

Anthony Barrows

Myra Jones-Taylor

New America

Washington, DC

Bio

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, National Fellow, is the Chief Policy Officer at ZERO TO THREE, the national leader on infant-toddler policy and program development. There, she leads the development and implementation of the organization’s policy agenda, priorities and strategies; oversees the policy center, which includes federal and state policy and advocacy; and serves as the principal spokesperson for the organization on public policy matters with policymakers, the media, funders and partner organizations. She oversaw the creation of the first of its kind State of Babies Yearbook and the Think Babies campaign. Named a Care 100 Warrior and one of the most influential people in care, Jones-Taylor is a national leader in the movement to redefine care and the role of the care economy in everyday life.

In the spring of 2022, Jones-Taylor will join the Urban Institute as their first chief policy impact officer, where she will work with experts and analysts across the organization to help maximize the impact of their research, while also helping tell the story of how their work changes lives and strengthens communities.

Prior to her role at ZERO TO THREE Jones-Taylor served as Connecticut’s founding Commissioner of Early Childhood, leading the cabinet-level state agency responsible for early care and education, home visiting, early intervention, and child care licensing in the state, serving all children from birth through age five. During her time as Commissioner, the state agency was awarded $50 million in new, competitive federal grants and expanded access to high-quality preschool to 25 percent more three and four-year-olds.

Kristin Bernhard

Kevin Jordan

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Washington, DC

Bio

Mr. Kevin Jordan is the senior vice president for national programs at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and directs their Family Income and Wealth Building work. LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. Through its 30 locations across the country, LISC invests in housing, health, education, public safety and employment simultaneously to break the cycles of poverty in communities.

Ann Kalass

Starfish Family Services

Inkster, MI

Bio

Ms. Ann Kalass is the CEO of Starfish Family Services, a private non-profit agency serving vulnerable children and families. Starfish is a leading provider of early childhood development and parenting programs, children’s mental health services, after-school programs, and an emergency shelter for teens and youth in crisis. Starfish operates more than a dozen programs at service sites throughout metropolitan Detroit, employs 400 people with a $35 million dollar budget that serves more than 10,000 at-risk children and families each year.
Anthony Barrows

Kirsten Lodal

LIFT

Washington, DC

Bio

Kirsten Lodal is LIFT’s Founder and Senior Advisor. She served as the organization’s CEO for more than 20 years, from its founding in 1998 until 2019 when she passed the torch to Michelle Rhone-Collins. LIFT began as an idea during her sophomore year of college and has become one of the foremost anti-poverty organizations in the country. Under Kirsten’s leadership, LIFT has fostered positive outcomes for hundreds of thousands of parents and children and established itself as a national model for more effective and human-centered social services. Along the way, Kirsten has become a leading advocate for re-thinking and modernizing the design of America’s anti-poverty programs, spreading LIFT’s message from the White House and Capitol Hill to the NBC Nightly News, the PBS Newshour, CNN and The New York Times. Her passionate championing of racial equity has been featured as a case study by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Harvard University.

Kristin Bernhard

Bio

Dr. Dipesh Navsaria is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He practices primary-care pediatrics at a community health center working with underserved populations. He is also deeply involved in Reach Out and Read, an initiative that makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care, so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. He is also involved with early brain and child development leadership with the American Academy of Pediatrics and public health education with medical students.

Aisha Nyandoro

Springboard To Opportunities

Jackson, MS

Bio

Dr. Aisha Nyandoro is the CEO of Springboard To Opportunities, a nonprofit organization that serves communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Springboard is focused on helping residents of affordable housing advance themselves in life, school, and work. Springboard’s programs are fundamentally resident-driven and based on the needs of the community to create resources that support and empower families.
Anthony Barrows

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez

The City University of New York

New York, NY

Bio

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez became the eighth Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY) in May 2019, making him the first educator of color, and the first Latino to lead the nation’s largest urban university. CUNY’s sprawling system comprises 25 campuses with an enrollment of over 275,000 degree-seeking students, over 225,000 adult and continuing education students, and an operating budget of over $3.6 billion.

Kristin Bernhard

Bio

Dr. William Serrata is president of the El Paso County Community College District (EPCC). EPCC currently offers more than 130 academic programs and more than 350 personal enrichment/continuing education courses at five campuses located throughout El Paso County. The College also offers cutting-edge technology, ultra-modern training facilities, and innovative learning options. EPCC is nationally recognized in awarding associate degrees to Hispanic students and in total associate degrees awarded to students.

Bio

Dr. Darius Tandon is an Associate Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where he is also the Associate Director of the Center for Community Health within the newly created Institute for Public Health and Medicine.  Much of his recent work has focused on the development of mental health interventions aimed at preventing the onset and worsening of depression among low-income mothers in home visitation programs.
Anthony Barrows

Sarah Enos Watamura

University of Denver

Denver, CO

Bio

Dr. Sarah Enos Watamura is professor of psychology within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She is part of the Developmental and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Areas within the Psychology department. She joined the department in 2005 after receiving her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. In 2014, she was instrumental in creating the Stress, Early Experiences and Development (SEED) Research Center and has served as co-Director since its creation. She is currently Chair of the Department of Psychology. She has longstanding interests in children’s physiologic regulation, their development within caregiving contexts, and in understanding mechanisms and trajectories from early life stress to later physical, mental health, cognitive/educational, and socio-emotional outcomes. Her work examines the unique stressors and buffers in families experiencing poverty and among newly immigrated families, and includes testing promising intervention approaches.

Kristin Bernhard

Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Little Rock, AR

Bio

Dr. Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury is President and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, a private, independent foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of all Arkansans in three interrelated areas: economic development; education; and economic, racial and social justice.

Roxane White

Strategy with Rox

Washington, DC

Bio

Ms. Roxane White is the Founder of Strategy with Rox. She previously served as Morgridge Innovator in Residence with Ascend at the Aspen Institute and is the former president and CEO of Nurse-Family Partnership, which is a maternal and early childhood health program that fosters long-term success for first-time moms, their babies, and society. Skilled in management of large, complex organizations and focused on outcomes, she was previously chief of staff for Denver mayor and then Colorado Governor Hickenlooper. Prior to that, White was head of the Denver Department of Human Services and Medicaid.
Anthony Barrows

Ann Silverberg Williamson

Casey Family Programs

Salt Lake City, UT

Bio

Ann Silverberg Williamson has dedicated herself to directing public agencies working to improve the quality of life for children, families and individuals. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the Utah Department of Human Services (2013-2021) overseeing a wide range of care including child and family welfare, substance abuse and mental health, juvenile justice, and support services for aging adults as well as individuals with disabilities. In her capacity as a cabinet-level official, she led efforts to deliver an integrated continuum of care with individualized services delivered in the least restrictive environment.  She worked with Congressional partners and nonprofit agencies to effect child welfare reform legislation at the federal level. Currently, she is serving on a task force aimed at improving Michigan’s delivery of services to children and families and is participating in the Aspen Institute’s two-generation effort focused on prenatal and early childhood care.

A native of Louisiana, Ann served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Social Services (2001-2008) leading her department through the human services crisis caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted these efforts with its Pinnacle Award in 2006.

Kristin Bernhard

Katherine Winograd

Economic Forum of Albuquerque

Albuquerque, NM

Bio

Dr. Katharine W. Winograd is the executive director of the Economic Forum of Albuquerque. Previously, Dr. Winograd served as the president of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). CNM is New Mexico’s largest post-secondary institution in terms of enrollment, with 30,000 students, and offers more than 100 degree, training, and certificate programs.