Get to Know
Our Fellows

Fall Cohort 2016

  • Ali Toxtli
    People’s Climate Arts

    Ali is a public anthropologist focused on gender, race, culture, and entrepreneurial development. Toxtli’s experience spans over 10 years of collaborations with community through ethnomusicology, public health, bike/pedestrian mobility, and cultural/economic advocacy in Latin America and the United States. His work has allowed him to serve on the migrant advisory council for the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, become a member of People’s Climate Arts, now People’s Collective Arts, and selected as a 2017 National Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Leadership and Advocacy Fellow. Currently he manages the Bushwick farmers markets for Riseboro Community Partnership and proudly serves as Board President of the Bushwick Food Cooperative. Ali aims to continue co-creating working possibilities for minority, low income, and migrant communities in the New York area and their home sending communities.

    Toxtli holds a Master’s in Mexican Anthropological Studies from the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP).

  • Anupa Gewali

    Anupa Gewali is the senior communications and development associate at Adhikaar, the only staffed organization in the country that serves and organizes Nepali speaking immigrants and refugees. Her primary focus is strengthening how Adhikaar’s impact is conveyed, through earned and owned media, spokesperson training and building relationships with partners and allies. Anupa comes to Adhikaar with experience in leadership development and training for student organizers at the undergraduate level, especially for minority and low-income students passionate about global health. Her research has focused on the organizing efforts for public health policy addressing tobacco and other substance abuse in rural Ladakh, India. She holds a bachelors in Public Health and Journalism from the University of Rochester.

  • Carolina Rodriguez
    Community Service Society of New York

    Carolina oversees a network of over 30 community-based and small business serving organizations that provide enrollment assistance through the New York State of Health, NY’s Marketplace.  Carolina has expertise on matters related to health care reform and health insurance. Prior to this position, Carolina worked at the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island where she conducted public health insurance enrollment and retention work.

    Carolina has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Christon Harris
    Generation Schools Network

    Christon is a New York native who has spent the last decade endeavoring to bolster and enrich the lives of young, disadvantaged people of color in urban areas. In his current role as the Implementation Manager at Generation Schools Network, Christon is responsible for implementing GSN’s model at partner schools and providing technical assistance to teachers and principals in areas including college and career readiness, health and wellness, and teaching and learning. Before GSN, Christon ran a print and online magazine for six years and utilized this magazine writing and design expertise to teach high school students for two years. He then managed a college access and success program for first-generation college goers in New York City for five years. Christon holds a BS in Communication and a double minor in Business and Nutrition from Cornell University and a certificate in project management from Baruch. Christon is also a proud Social Innovation Fellow of StartingBloc, a fellowship for burgeoning change agents and social entrepreneurs.

  • Constance Ferber
    Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of NY

    Constance Ferber is the Knowledge Manager at the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC). She oversees NPCC’s use of data to inform the nonprofit sector on trends through surveys, reports, and resources and manages NPCC’s impact measurement structures. Prior to NPCC, Constance worked for CRS in their Health & HIV unit. She is also on the Young Professionals Board of the Washington Heights CORNER Project, a New York City-based harm reduction organization. Constance has a B.A. in Sociology from the College of Wooster and a M.A in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University.

  • Indira Goodwine
    Camille A. Brown & Dancers

    Born and raised in Queens, NY, Indira Goodwine is an arts administrator committed to using art as a form of activism to educate, inspire and service diverse communities. Her professional career in arts administration began at Harlem Stage where she worked in both Programming and General Management. During that time, she also served as the Company Manager for Camille A. Brown & Dancers and as of August 2016 transitioned into the role of Managing Director.

    In addition to NYCT, Indira has participated in other notable programs such as the American Express Leadership Academy and Dance/USA’s DILT Program. She has also been a speaker for Next Generation National Arts Network and Dance/USA’s Annual Conference. Indira received her M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from The Florida State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

  • Ingrid Haftel
    Center for Urban Pedagogy

    Ingrid Haftel is Community Education Program Director at the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement. Before CUP, she was Curator of Exhibitions at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, where she developed public exhibitions on contemporary issues in urban planning and design. Ingrid received her B.A. in English and Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington, and her M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago.

  • Jason Minnis
    Brooklyn Academy of Music

    Jason Minnis is an Application Architect / IT Project Manager for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). BAM is one of the oldest performing arts institutions in the United States. Jason’s role involves managing BAM’s internal and external software development projects as well as maintaining BAM’s application & web architecture. Jason is also an active volunteer within his community of East New York Brooklyn having served as a STEM speaker and as a mentor for Big Brothers Big sisters.  Jason received his B.S in Management Information Systems at Florida State University and his M.S. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. 

  • Jean Tanler
    Business Outreach Center Network

    Jean promotes the development and retention of businesses in New York City and connects them with resources and opportunities to maximize their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Prior to BOC Network, Jean was the co-owner of Local Labels, a retail company selling specialty foods and gifts made in the five boroughs. In addition to her experience as a small business owner, she has served as the Program Manager for the Neighborhood Preservation Center, a resource center for community groups working toward the improvement and preservation of New York City’s neighborhoods. Her experience also includes performing public outreach and participation efforts at the Regional Plan Association, the Municipal Art Society, and the planning firm, Howard-Stein/Hudson Associates. She has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television at New York University.

  • Jennifer Stokes
    Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

    Jennifer Stokes is Deputy Director of Partnerships & Programs at the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership where she has worked for more than 10 years.

    She has headed a wide range of programs in her tenure with the organization, including business attraction and retention efforts, marketing, safety and security and façade improvement.

    In her very new title with the organization, which she begins in October 2016, her work centers on strengthening and expanding the organization’s work in business retention, local hiring and employment, events management, arts and culture and neighborhood safety. 

    Jennifer is very passionate about her work supporting small businesses and loves that she gets to do it in her beloved hometown of Brooklyn. Jennifer is also an advocate and lover of the arts, particularly dance. 

    Jennifer’s undergraduate and graduate studies were in International Studies (City College of New York) and Urban & Environmental Planning and Policy (Tufts University) respectively.

  • Jennifer Tirado
    Green City Force

    Jennifer Tirado is currently Director of Urban Agriculture Initiatives and Land Improvement at Green City Force where she runs the Urban Farm Corps 10-month AmeriCorps service and training program. Jen graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sustainable Living from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

  • Jill Mosebach
    Tribeca Film Institute

    Jill Mosebach is an accomplished writer and non-profit fundraiser with 10 years of experience building diversified revenue, crafting mission-aligned content, cultivating strategic relationships, and managing grants to ensure program effectiveness and donor compliance. She currently serves as the Director of Institutional Giving at Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), a non-profit arts organization founded in the wake of 9/11 to advance storytelling for social change. She manages TFI’s relationships with 20+ institutional donors, including the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and raises funds for TFI’s education, interactive, and artist programs. Prior to TFI, Jill served as the Associate Director of Development at Historic Hudson Valley, a museum consortium founded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.,  where she helped to expand the organization’s digital and education programs, specifically related to the history of slavery in the American North. There, she helped to secure more than $1 million in competitive new funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (one of seven grants awarded in the U.S.), the Brooke Astor Fund for NYC Education in The New York Community Trust (one of 17 grants awarded), the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and others. Previously, she served as the Senior Grant Writer for Helen Keller International, a global NGO that works to prevent blindness and malnutrition in 22 countries worldwide. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Jill spent her early years in New York as a journalist, first interning at SPIN magazine and forging a creative career as a freelance writer and a traveling wine buyer for a boutique in Brooklyn. Jill earned her BA in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed graduate coursework in international human rights at NYU.

  • Joo Han
    Asian American Federation

    Joo Han is the program and communications director at the Asian American Federation (AAF), a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of underserved Asian Americans through leadership and advocacy. She manages a number of youth, education, and capacity-building programs to support AAF’s 60 member agencies and advocate for the most pressing needs of New York City’s Asian communities. As a former teacher, she is particularly passionate about AAF’s work to support English Language Learners and highlight the mental health issues impacting Asian American youth due to bullying and microaggressions.

    Prior to joining AAF, she taught English Language Arts to middle and high school students in New York City and New Jersey. Her experience managing human resources and organizational development in the private sector for a number of years convinced her to go back to the classroom and ultimately the nonprofit sector to educate youth and community members about racial and systemic injustices and empower them to discover their agency through knowledge and education.

    She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Williams College and master’s degree in English education from Teachers College of Columbia University.

  • Kara Gilmour
    Gibney Dance

    Kara Gilmour is the Director of Community Action at Gibney Dance, an organization on the leading edge of mobilizing the arts to address social justice issues. She has worked over two decades developing programs to promote public engagement through arts, education and community service. Prior to joining Gibney Dance, Kara served as the Director of Education at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy where she founded and directed the park’s education and environmental stewardship programs. She has worked for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Applied Research and Consulting, and as a consultant for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Education Development Center, Lincoln Center Institute, and Grand Street Settlement. Kara’s work is informed by her experience as a professional dancer with Gibney Dance Company (NYC), Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Montreal, QC) and Paula Josa-Jones Performance Works (Boston, MA). She holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

  • Kate McLetchie-Sheldon
    Waterfront Alliance

    Kate McLetchie-Sheldon is the chief operating officer at the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit organization with the mission to protect, transform, and revitalize the New York Harbor and waterfront. In her role she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, helping to guide existing and develop new programs, overseeing fundraising and communications strategies, and providing cross-departmental direction and leadership. Prior to her current role, Kate served as the Waterfront Alliance’s director of development and communications for two years. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco and spending a decade leading environmental and community development initiatives in Morocco, Tanzania, and Afghanistan, Kate has found her home in New York City and its waterfront. She holds a Master of Science in marine and atmospheric sciences from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, where she also spent a semester at The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport.

  • Kimberley A. Wong

    Kimberley A. Wong is Program Director of Community Health Programs at BronxWorks, a multiservice settlement house that helps individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being. Kim oversees BronxWorks’ food and nutrition services, managing a kitchen that serves over 31,000 healthy meals per year to children, youth, and high risk adults. She also manages community-asset driven programming aiming to increase access to healthy food and promote active lifestyles in the South Bronx.


    Kim has worked in the Bronx for the past six years, dedicated to working in marginalized, food-insecure communities that have a tendency towards poor health outcomes. In her previous role at BronxWorks, she coordinated nutrition services for people living with HIV/AIDS including a food pantry, congregate meals, and educational workshops. Prior to joining BronxWorks in 2012, Kim served as Healthy School Coordinator at City Harvest, connecting a public elementary school in the South Bronx with the resources needed to improve the school food environment.

    Kim has been a speaker in past Just Food Conferences and was recognized by the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College as NYC’s 40 under 40 who are working to transform the food system. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and holds an MPH in Public Health Nutrition from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. In her spare time she enjoys being outdoors and cooking vegetarian meals.

  • Lori Schlabach
    Hester Street Collaborative

    Lori Schlabach is the Director of Development + Operations at Hester Street Collaborative. Her role encompasses everything from fundraising to human resources to budget management. Lori started out her career as an ESL teacher and administrator in Tianjin, China. She then moved back to rural Ohio and spent a few years in media and publishing before moving to NYC in 2008. After four years working in development at a homelessness advocacy organization, Lori joined the Hester Street team in 2012, bringing a passion for public space, community empowerment, the Oxford comma, and spreadsheets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Malone University.

  • Luis Caridad

    Luis Daniel Caridad serves as Assistant Director at GOLES, a housing and preservation organization serving the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In that capacity, he manages the organization’s direct service team; helps lead GOLES’ fundraising efforts; is in charge of recruiting and training new staff; and works on projects of strategic importance to the organization.

     Before joining GOLES, Luis Daniel worked at New Economy Project, first as the organization’s Community Education Coordinator and later as its Development and Communications Coordinator. Luis Daniel’s previous experience also includes working at ACCION USA, a leading non-profit microfinance organization, first as a Loan Consultant and later as the manager of a lending team.

  • Maire O’Malley
    Youth Represent

    Maire graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in 2013, where she was a member of the Phi Delta Phi honor society and was the recipient of both the Evelyn Gross and Judge Sydney Gold Memorial Scholarships.  Prior to joining Youth Represent, she worked as Development Director of ACE Programs for the Homeless, and in senior development positions at The Doe Fund and Urban Arts Partnership. She has a B.A. in English from The College of New Jersey.

  • Marleen Litt

    Marleen Litt, LCSW graduated from Yeshiva University School of Social Work in 2002. Prior to joining JCCA in 2009 she worked as a clinical social worker at Beth Israel Medical Center, North Charles Institute for the Addictions and Cornell School of Medicine. She is currently an Assistant Vice President of Waiver in the Care Management division at JCCA and has oversight to the Bridges to Health Waiver, Parent Advocate and Family Resource Center programs.

  • Melissa D'Andrea
    Girls Incorporated of New York City

    Melissa D’Andrea currently serves as the Vice President of Programs for Girls Incorporated of New York City. The mission of Girls Inc. of NYC is to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. As VP of Programs, she oversees all program strategic planning and is a core member of the senior leadership team.  

    Melissa is a youth development professional with 11 years of experience in program design and implementation for NYC youth. Prior to joining Girls Inc. of NYC she was the Program Manager of Teen Leadership Opportunities for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, managing programs in the focal areas of STEM, Business and Entrepreneurship, Personal Leadership Identity, and Environmental Leadership for over 7,000  6th through 12th grade girls throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In addition to her work with New York City girls, she spends much of her personal and professional life working with LGBTQ and court-involved young people.

    Melissa has a BA degree in Human Services from SUNY Empire State College, Graduate Certificates in Fundraising and Board Development and Nonprofit Management from SUNY Purchase College, and a Certificate in Mentoring Supervision from Fordham University.

  • Melissa West
    Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

    Melissa West is a dancer/choreographer/curator whose work investigates the body’s relationship to spatial and sonic environments. This includes works for stage and film, as well as alternative landscapes and underutilized public spaces. Originally a student of the Staten Island Ballet, Melissa holds dual degrees in Dance and English from Hunter College. She holds an MA in Performance Studies from New York University where her work focused on recontextualizing the socio-political landscapes of Staten Island through an embodied choreographic practice. In 2012, she received the Premier Grant and the Excellence in the Arts Award, both funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs through Staten Island Arts. Since 2008, her work has been presented at venues including the Atlantic Salt Factory, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, The Living Theater, Triskelion Arts, Queens Museum, The Brick Theater, The Greenbelt Nature Center, and the Bowery Poetry Club. West has held residencies at the Curiosity Project/Staten Island Arts, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, and the Greenbelt Conservancy. 

    As a curator, Melissa West has presented artists ranging in disciplines from dance and music to the visual arts. Artists she’s curated include Vicky Shick, Yoshiko Chuma, thingNY, Giga Herbs, Sofa Club, Diana Domoracki-Kisto, Mary Ellen Carafice, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Olsi Gjeci, and others. In 2014, she received the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fellowship for her project, wandering affect, that premiered at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art. 

    An artist with a commitment to activism, West facilitated a roundtable conversation, The Future of Dance on Staten Island, in 2014, to identify and build the infrastructure to support a viable dance community on Staten Island. Melissa West has participated in symposia at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics at New York University and was a panelist for the Geographic Equity in the Arts at the Dance/NYC Symposium in 2015. mwest is a 2016-17 CUNY Dance Initiative artist in residence at the College of Staten Island. She is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.

  • Milagro Suarez
    Natural Resources Defense Council

    Milagro is the Senior Facilities Manager for the NY and DC offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement.  NRDC continues to work to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. As a Senior Facilities Manager, Milagro is responsible for managing the design, planning construction and maintenance of equipment, building and other facilities matters with sustainable strategies and practices, with the focus on social equity and sustaining the environment. 

  • Natalie Milbrodt
    Queens Library

    Natalie Milbrodt leads Queens Library’s Metadata Services division, responsible for the system’s cataloging and digitization efforts. In 2010, Milbrodt developed the Queens Memory program on behalf of Queens College, CUNY and Queens Library. Queens Memory collects oral histories, photographs and other mementos from residents at public events and exhibits them alongside selections from the library’s archives on the project’s website,  The program has won financial support from the Knight Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Archives and Records Administration, and others.  The program was recognized in 2012 by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services with an Outstanding Collaboration Citation, and in 2014 by the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York with an Educational Use of Archives Award.  Dozens of libraries and other cultural heritage organizations have hosted Queens Memory events where neighbors can come to share stories and mementos for inclusion in the Queens Memory digital archives. Milbrodt graduated in 2000 from Michigan State University with a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and a Specialization in Film Studies. Before joining the library profession, she worked for film production, design and marketing firms in both creative and management roles. 

  • Philip A. Alexander
    Brooklyn Arts Council

    Philip A. Alexander is a creativity catalyst who seeks to inspire and empower others in their own artistry. He partners with artists and educators in pursuit of meaningful and effective arts pedagogy, having held management and leadership positions with such esteemed organizations as Roundabout Theatre Company, Empire State Partnerships, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and the New York State Alliance for Arts Education. He consults in the realms of professional development, assessment and strategic partnership, having supported the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Center for Arts Education, VSArts, and the US Department of Education, among others. Holding a doctorate in theatre history, he is seen regularly at professional gatherings as workshop leader or featured speaker.

  • Rachael McKeon
    FAIR Health

    Rachael McKeon is the Deputy Director of Operations at FAIR Health. 

    FAIR Health is a national, independent not-for-profit corporation that brings transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information by making unbiased data, consumer resources and research tools accessible to all stakeholders.  In her current role, Rachael participates in the development of strategies to improve FAIR Health’s operational activities. She is involved in the company’s quality assurance programs, planning of senior management strategy sessions, and manages the corporation’s support staff. 

    Prior to her current role she was the Director of Web Services. She was responsible for the planning, development and maintenance of the web portal environment. Rachael managed enhancements and changes to the commercial and consumer-facing web portals as well as the mobile applications.

    Prior to joining FAIR Health, Rachael worked at Sandell Asset Management, providing research support to both analysts and the CEO. Earlier experience included positions focused on her musical strengths and talent at Red Light Management and Force One Entertainment.  Rachael graduated from Indiana University at Bloomington with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Business. 

  • Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello
    African Film Festival

    Rumbi is an avid supporter and student of African culture, education, and issues. A native of Zimbabwe, Rumbi has been working with the New York African Film Festival for over ten years as an ambassador, screening moderator, and outreach officer or at in-school and community programs. Her drive to gain and spread knowledge of African peoples and culture has led her to active roles with organizations including the Zimbabwe International Film Festival and the Pedro Reyes’ People’s United Nations. Rumbi has a BA in Economics, with a minor in Mathematics, from Mount Holyoke College. She also holds a BSc in Accounting from the University of South Africa. As a Forensic Accountant, her credentials include a CPA, CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics) and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner). She has lent her financial expertise, as a consultant, to CBS News and The Daily News. Her highly acclaimed Figuring Financial Forensics, where she presents complex financial matters in a straightforward and accessible manner. Her writing is featured in other prominent financial publications, including those of the AICPA and ACFE.

    Rumbi is a member of the Advisory Group for Take it to the Bank, an initiative of the New York Comptroller’s Office, aimed at improving financial literacy and providing resources to the unbanked and underbanked in New York City. She is a judge for the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards, a past president of the Queens/Brooklyn Chapter of the NYSSCPA and a member of the AICPA’s Litigation Services Committee. Rumbi is an active participant in the NYSSCPA’s Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program, which seeks to expose underrepresented minority students to accounting and business careers. Rumbi is a writer and an avid distance runner, and is proud to include the New York City Marathon among her achievements.

  • Shay Saleem
    Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

    Shihadah “Shay” Saleem is Senior Museum Educator and Coordinator of GOALS (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for Girls at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in NYC. Shay graduated from Alfred University in 2001 with a Bachelors in Arts, focused in geology/environmental science. Following her love of sciences, Shay ventured to Florida to obtain her Masters from the University of South Florida in Geomorphology. During her graduate career she also participated as a 2-time recipient of NSF’s GK-12 OCEANS program, as a graduate fellow where she team-taught 6th, 7th, 3rd and 4th grades. She also facilitated a number of teacher professional developments for K-12 teachers and administrators. In Florida Shay also worked as a mentor with the Oceanography Camp for Girls through the College of Marine Science. Currently, Shay continues to provide girls, teachers and communities with innovative, applicable and engaging STEAM programs at the Intrepid Museum, complete with free Saturday programs, youth and community development and summer programs.

  • Tracie Robinson
    Human Services Council

    Tracie Robinson is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Human Services Council of New York (HSC), where she is responsible for research, writing, mobilization of coalitions, and legislative outreach. Tracie has a diverse professional background that includes legislative advocacy in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Prior to joining HSC, Tracie served as Director of Policy and Development at EdisonLearning, an for-profit education services company that partners with schools to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students. In this role, she drafted legislation, managed lobbyists, and made policy recommendations in the areas of education funding, high school dropout prevention, and school accountability. Tracie has also worked as a law clerk at the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.  As a law student, she held internships in several federal agencies as well as a Washington-based nonprofit organization that promotes government transparency. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Boston University and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  She is admitted to the New York bar.