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Board & Staff

 

Board of Directors

Edwin R. Pacheco, Chair
Interim Vice President of Advancement & External Relations, Rhode Island College

Andrew Bramson
President and CEO, The College Crusade of Rhode Island

Saikon Gbehan, Vice Chair
Attorney, College Crusade Class of 2001

José V. Monteiro, Jr., Treasurer
Vice President, Business Banking, Webster Bank

Colleen Callahan, Ph.D., Secretary
Director of Professional Issues, RI Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals

Robert W. Britto-Oliveira
Academic Advisor, Talent Development Program, University of Rhode Island, College Crusade Class of 2001

Brenda Dann-Messier, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Postsecondary Education, Office of the RI Postsecondary Commissioner

Megan Geoghegan
Communications Officer, Rhode Island Department of Education; Commissioner Wagner’s designee

Adi Goldstein
Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor

Stephanie Gonzalez
Associate Director of Partnerships, Blackstone Valley Prep, College Crusade Class of 2004

Fla Lewis III
Principal, Weybosset Research and Management, LLC

Macky McCleary
Administrator, RI Division of Public Utilities and Carriers

Sylvia Natale
Retired Educator/Administrator/Consultant

Dr. Irving Schneider

Eric Shorter
Director of Development, Rhode Island Housing

James Vincent
Compliance Officer, RI Public Transit Authority; President, NAACP Providence Branch

 

Executive Staff

Andrew Bramson
President & CEO
abramson@thecollegecrusade.org

Andrew Bramson is responsible for setting overall goals and operational priorities that advance The College Crusade’s mission. He is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Board Career Pathways Advisory Committee, the RIDE Individual Learning Plan Committee, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Education and Workforce Committee, and the Central Falls School District Board of Trustees. He also serves as a board member of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, is a trustee of Temple Beth-El, and was previously on the Advisory Board for Youth in Action. Prior to joining The College Crusade, Andrew held senior leadership positions at The Providence Plan, serving as Development Director, Deputy Director, and Director of DataSpark, a cornerstone initiative of the organization that connects data and people to inform, empower, and inspire innovative decision making. He also worked as Senior Planner for the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission in Duluth, Minnesota. Early in his career, Andrew served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Hungary, where he taught environmental education and advised nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Leadership Rhode Island’s Class of 2015, he holds a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an M.A. in Management from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

 

Jill Carr
Executive Assistant to the President
jcarr@thecollegecrusade.org

Jill Carr provides daily administrative support for the President and CEO of The College Crusade and functions as office manager. She has worked for The College Crusade for 19 years.

 


Program Staff

Maria Carvalho
Director of High School and Postsecondary Operations
mcarvalho@thecollegecrusade.org

Maria Carvalho is responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of The College Crusade’s high school and postsecondary operations. She oversees a team of High School Advisors who serve Crusaders in grades 9-12 and a team of College Advisors who serve Crusaders enrolled in a number of our state’s institutions of higher education. Maria also oversees The College Crusade’s dual enrollment program and other initiatives focused on helping Crusaders make a smooth transition to postsecondary education. Maria was involved in developing and implementing the Access & Persistence Program with the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and Community College of Rhode Island and is a member of the program’s Advisory Board at each of the state’s three postsecondary institutions. She is also a former Regional Council Member at Large for the College Board. Maria received the Leader in Action Award from New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College (NECCBAC). Previously, she served on the College Goal RI FAFSA Completion Planning Committee. As a result of this successful effort, she was invited to attend the FAFSA Summit at the White House hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the Reach Higher Initiative. Maria holds an M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Rhode Island and a B.S. in Human Services from Springfield College. She has worked for The College Crusade for 20 years.

 

Joshua Corria
Associate Director of High School Operations
jcorria@thecollegecrusade.org

Joshua Corria coordinates the daily operations of our high school Advisory staff. Previously he served as a College Advisor supporting College Crusade undergrads at the Community College of Rhode Island, Providence campus, and as a College Crusade Advisor at Providence Career & Technical Academy. Josh also works with young athletes as a coach for Expressions Elite Basketball. He holds a B.A. in Management from Utica College of Syracuse University.

 

Cortney Lima
Associate Director of College Admissions
clima@thecollegecrusade.org

Cortney Lima is responsible for providing support to Crusaders and their families throughout the college search, selection, and enrollment process. In her role, Cortney also provides assistance on securing scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of Admissions at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where she spearheaded initiatives that supported first-generation students and students of color. A Pawtucket native, Cortney graduated from Charles E. Shea High School and earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Education from Assumption College.

 

Ranika Reyes
Associate Director of Middle School Operations
rreyes@thecollegecrusade.org

Ranika Reyes coordinates the daily operations of our middle school Advisory staff. Previously she served as the College Crusade Advisor at Woonsocket Middle School and at Gilbert Stuart Middle School in Providence. She has also worked for the RI Mentoring Partnership as an AmeriCorps volunteer, for the RI Key Program, and for CVS corporate headquarters. A former Crusader, Ranika graduated from Classical High School and earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Rhode Island.

 

Lauren Schechtman
Director of Middle School Operations
lschechtman@thecollegecrusade.org

Lauren Schechtman is responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of The College Crusade’s middle school operations. She oversees a team of Middle School Advisors who serve Crusaders in grades 6-8. She also manages our Admissions operations and is responsible for building student membership in The College Crusade. Lauren is Vice President of the Board of Directors for Segue Institute for Learning. She is also a member of the Providence School Department Community Partners committee and the Central Falls Square Mile Coalition. She has extensive experience in youth program development and administration, including several years as Program Coordinator for Times2 Academy and 14 years with The College Crusade. Lauren holds a B.S. in Social Work from Florida International University.

 

Lani Willmar
Associate Director of College Admissions
lwillmar@thecollegecrusade.org

Lani Willmar is responsible for providing support to Crusaders and their families throughout the college search, selection, and enrollment process. In her role, Lani also provides assistance on securing scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid. Previously, she worked as an Admission Officer at Brown University and was a part of the Resuming Undergraduate Education committee, the QuestBridge committee, and the Diversity Outreach Team. Prior to working at Brown, Lani was a Fulbright Scholar in the Slovak Republic. Originally from Corona, California, Lani attended Williams College through the QuestBridge foundation and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and English Literature. She is a member of the QuestBridge National Alumni Advisory Board and provides support to QuestBridge alumni.

 

Meet our school-based College Crusade Advisory staff.

 


Family Engagement Staff

Olinda Matos
Director of Family Engagement
omatos@thecollegecrusade.org

Olinda Matos is responsible for engaging, empowering, and educating College Crusade families so they can advocate for their child’s success and social development and support their child’s readiness for postsecondary education. She coordinates all family workshops, activities, and events with the support of the Family Engagement Coordinator, Family Liaisons, and staff. Prior to joining our staff, Olinda served as Admissions/Family Engagement Manager for Paul Cuffee Charter School. She holds a B.A. in International Relations & Philosophy from Simmons College and an M.P.A. in Community Development & Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Delaware.

 

Antonia Urena
Recptionist/Data Specialist
aurena@thecollegecrusade.org

Antonia Urena serves as primary data entry specialist for data collected as part of the Crusade’s extensive program survey administration efforts. Other duties include the generation of evaluation survey reports, maintenance of Advisor caseload reports, updating Crusader records, and entry of program attendance and admissions data. She previously served as College Crusade Admissions Assistant.

 

Enma Velasquez
Family Liaison Coordinator
evelasquez@thecollegecrusade.org

Enma Velasquez works with the Director of Family Engagement to deliver programs, workshops, and other events for families of Crusaders. She provides Spanish translation at family workshops and presentations, supports a staff of Family Liaisons, and communicates daily with families of Crusaders. Enma began her career with The College Crusade as a Family Liaison in 2008 and joined the full-time staff in 2011. Her son and daughter are Crusaders. She is currently completing her A.A. in Business Management at the Community College of Rhode Island and plans to then earn a four-year degree.

 

Meet our College Crusade Family Liaison staff.

 


Development Staff

Robert J. Oberg
Director of Grants & Senior Advisor
boberg@thecollegecrusade.org

Bob Oberg currently directs all grant activities at The College Crusade and works closely with our data and evaluation staff to identify the impact our program has on student success. Bob oversaw communications and development for The College Crusade between 1993 and 2002 and rejoined the senior staff of the organization in 2007 after spending five years as the director of operations and senior communications strategist for Im-aj Communications and Design. He is an alumnus of Leadership Rhode Island and past vice chairman of The Rhode Island Rivers Council. For 28 years, he directed The Olney Street Group, an independent literary workshop that he founded in 1980. Bob holds a B.A. in English Literature from Providence College and was awarded a graduate fellowship in journalism from the Poynter Institute.

 


Communications Staff

Karen Donovan
Marketing & Communications Officer
kdonovan@thecollegecrusade.org

Karen Donovan communicates the mission, vision, and spirit of The College Crusade with materials designed for print, web, and social media. She creates content for our website, manages our alumni relations programs, and serves as liaison with members of the media. Karen has over 30 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, including 10 years as an account executive for a public relations agency in Providence. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Hobart & William Smith Colleges and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

 


Finance / Operations Staff

Monique Collins
Director of Finance and Administration
mcollins@thecollegecrusade.org

Monique Collins has 20 years of experience in overseeing the fiscal operations of social service agencies and educational organizations. She served most recently as Director of Finance for Day One, the Sexual Assault and Trauma Center of Rhode Island. She also worked in leadership for the International Institute of Rhode Island and was responsible for the financial systems at Beacon Charter School for the Arts, the International Charter School, and The UCAP School. Passionate about being part of a team that serves vulnerable populations, Monique possesses a thorough knowledge of accounting regulations and brings extensive expertise in federal, state, and local grants management. She has supervised numerous A-133 nonprofit audits and has served as staff liaison to numerous boards comprised of corporate leaders, social service providers, and industry stakeholders. Monique has also served on the board of directors for Warwick Figure Skaters and the Warwick Girls Ice Hockey Association and is a captain of multiple United States Tennis Association teams. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Rhode Island College and is currently pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Johnson & Wales University.

 

Brenda McMahon
Fiscal Officer
bmcmahon@thecollegecrusade.org

Brenda McMahon handles day-to-day financial operations for The College Crusade, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll, in addition to human resources. Brenda was previously employed at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island for 12 years and has extensive experience in accounting and finance. She holds a B.S. in Accounting and a M.B.A. from Providence College and subsequently earned a B.A. in Elementary/Special Education and M.S in Special Education, also from Providence College.

 

Linda Viveiros
Program Operations Coordinator
lvivieros@thecollegecrusade.org

Linda Viveiros performs diverse day-to-day functions relating to program operations at The College Crusade and provides continuous vital support to the Senior Vice President for Operations and the Integrated Services Team. Before joining The College Crusade, she ran her own printing company. Linda graduated from the Executive Assistant program at Gibbs College. She has worked for The College Crusade for 10 years.

 

Emily Winchell
Special Projects Officer
ewinchell@thecollegecrusade.org

Emily Winchell is responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing special projects for the College Crusade, many which focus on innovation and organizational development. Her work also includes managing fundraising events as well as assisting with developing grant proposals. Prior to joining the College Crusade, Emily served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Paul Cuffee School. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rhode Island College, an M.P.S. in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University, and recently completed her Certificate of Graduate Studies in Nonprofit Management from Rhode Island College.

 


Data / Evalution Staff

Ron Cardoza
Database Administrator
rcardoza@thecollegecrusade.org

Ron Cardoza oversees intake of our student and program data from a variety of sources and provides data to internal and external partners. He also provides application development and programming support to our organization. Prior to joining The College Crusade, Ron was employed as a DBA/Programmer for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He holds an M.A. in Finance & Taxation from Bryant University and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Roger Williams University.

 

Ryan Durgin
Information Technology Support Specialist
rdurgin@thecollegecrusade.org

Ryan Durgin is responsible for all aspects of computer set-up, installation, troubleshooting, service, upgrades, and maintenance for The College Crusade. Prior to joining our staff, he served as IT Support Specialist for Neighbors Emergency Center and Optum Healthcare. Ryan holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island.

 

Yolanda Infante
Data Specialist
yinfante@thecollegecrusade.org

Yolanda Infante provides data entry and maintenance services for The College Crusade’s extensive student tracking database. Before joining The College Crusade, she worked in case management for a job counseling service.

 

Erin Twomey-Wilson
Evaluation & Research Specialist
etwomey-wilson@thecollegecrusade.org

Erin Twomey-Wilson oversees data and evaluation at The College Crusade to inform development, implementation, measurement, and communication about the impact of student and parent programs. Prior to joining our staff, she served as an Underwriting Analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield and a Research Analyst for the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Erin holds a Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) from Penn State University, an M.S. in Physics from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and a B.S. in Earth Science from Bridgewater State University.

 

 


 

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