Board and Advisors

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Board of Directors

Nancy Creel, public relations consultant

Nancy is a concerned parent, marketing and public relations consultant and one of the founders of CSO. Nancy’s career has included assignments as Turner Communications video producer with the Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Falcons; political work as campaign press secretary to the governor of Texas; and a principal in the start-up of a national communications firm selected three consecutive years to the Inc.500™. She received her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in Journalism and American Studies.

Doris Davis, educational consultant, Doris Davis Educational Consulting, LLC

Doris is the Founder and President of Doris Davis Educational Consulting, LLC. During her 30-year career, her roles have included Associate Provost for Admissions and Enrollment at Cornell University, a member of the Board of Directors for The Common Application. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the Ameson Chinese Elite Program and the Board of Advisors for the Ameson American High School Program. As a first-generation college graduate, Doris received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and a Master of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also pursued Ph.D. studies in American History at the University of California at Berkeley.

Bruce J. Poch, education policy consultant

Bruce served as Vice President and Dean of Admissions at Pomona College for 23 years before stepping down in 2010. Prior to his service at Pomona, Poch was associate dean of admissions at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He has worked with the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the Education Conservancy. He is frequently cited by reporters in articles on the admission process and issues of access and equity for students. Bruce earned his A.B. in government and English from Oberlin College in Ohio, the first coeducational college in the United States and the first in the U.S. to admit students of African descent in a multiracial environment. He later earned his Ed.M. from Harvard University in Social Policy and Planning.

Matt Rubinoff, founder & Executive Director, Center for Student Opportunity – ex officio

Matt Rubinoff is the staff representative on the Board. As Center for Student Opportunity’s founder & Executive Director, Matt oversees day-to-day operations for the organization, including strategic planning and partnerships, programming, capital procurement, staff recruitment, and overall operations management. Matt graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, from where he earned his B.A. degree in sociology. At Emory, Rubinoff was a Fellow in Community Building and Social Change and led a community program with refugee and immigrant high school students in Clarkston, Georgia. He is also a graduate of Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Program through the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership.

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board is a special group of higher education, college access, and nonprofit leaders who provide insight and advice to Center for Student Opportunity and the I’m First project.

Ann Coles, Senior Fellow, College Access, UAspire

Josanne DeNatale, President & Co-founder, Cognitive Marketing

Bill Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Harvard University

Michelle Gilliard, Partner, Venture Philanthropy Partners

Tia Gordon, Founder and CEO, TTG+Partners

Tally Hart, retired Senior Advisor for Economic Access, The Ohio State University

Kevin Jennings, Executive Director, Arcus Foundation, former Assistant Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

Daniel Lugo, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Franklin & Marshall College

Joni Petschauer, Senior Fellow, American Council on Education

Sarah Smarsh, journalist, public speaker, and educator

Larry Shinn, retired President, Berea College

Student Advisory Board

Our Student Advisors are dynamic students who beat the odds to become the first in their family to attend college. These students have won the  I’m First! Scholarship, and in addition to sharing their college experiences and offering advice to the next generation of students who will be first on our blog, they help us improve and grow our programs and services to the I’m First community.

Angelica Robinson, Dillard University, ‘13
Hometown: New Orleans, LA

Abigail Macias, Dartmouth College, ‘14
Hometown: Sparks, NV

Alexis King, University of Florida, ’16
Hometown: Gainesville, FL

Alexis Montes, University of Rochester, ‘15
Hometown: National City, CA

Ashley Roberts, Illinois Wesleyan University, ’13
Hometown: St. Peters, MO

Carlton Hassell, Rochester Institute of Technology, ’16
Hometown: Richmond, VA

Clarissa Murphy, The Evergreen State College, ’16
Hometown: Cross Plain, WI

Cody Thach, Pomona College, ’16
Hometown: Ontario, CA

Cynthia Cruz, Illinois Wesleyan University, ‘15
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Duylam Nguyen-Ngo, University of Virginia, ‘13
Hometown: Richmond, VA

Ese Uwhuba, University of Pennsylvania, ’16
Hometown: Mesa, AZ

Irvin Gomez, Dartmouth College, ‘14
Hometown: Waukegan, IL

Ivania Zepeda, Brown University, ’16
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Luong, Amherst College, ‘14
Hometown: Oakland, CA

Jeremy Harris, University of Missouri, ‘14
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Jesse Sanchez, Harvard University, ‘13
Hometown: San Diego, CA

Joseph Dingman, Occidental College, ‘13
Hometown: Pueblo, CO

Joey Lynn, University of Georgia, ‘15
Hometown: Pelham, GA

Jordan Lillegard, University of Southern California, ‘14
Hometown: Long Beach, CA

Julianna Moreno, Texas State University, ‘15
Hometown: Houston, TX

Khadijah Williams, Harvard University, ‘13
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Lauren Mayo, University of Georgia, ‘15
Hometown: Marietta, GA

Leah Jean-Louis, Swarthmore College, ‘14
Hometown: Cambridge, MA

Long Dang, Williams College, ‘15
Hometown: Dorchester, MA

Lot Kwarteng, Miami University, ‘14
Hometown: Bronx, NY

Lysa Vola, Williams College, ’13
Hometown: Jensen Beach, FL

Madison Zollner, Missouri University of Science and Technology, ‘15
Hometown: Marthasville, MO

Maggie Acosta, Bowdoin College, ’16
Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Minh Ngoc Nguyen, Yale University, ‘15
Hometown: Leslie, GA

Nahomi Velasquez, Boston University, ‘15
Hometown: Fresh Meadows, NY

Rodney Savannah, University of Southern California, ‘15
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Seanna Leath, Pomona College, ’13
Hometown: N. Little Rock, AR

Shaun Devlin, Washington and Lee University, ‘14
Hometown: Canton, IL

Tyler Lattimore, Emory University, ’16
Hometown: Gainesville, FL