Our Team

Alison Plavin,

Director of Alumni Engagement

Alison joined the College Mentors team in January 2014 after spending several years in the legal field. She graduated from Indiana University with a dual degree in History and Criminal Justice and earned a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Alison enjoys traveling, UK basketball, musicals, and exploring new cities with her husband and dog. A native of Lexington, KY, Alison is excited to be part of a growing organization that impacts the lives of kids, college students, and communities!

“College Mentors helps kids envision amazing possibilities for the future, while simultaneously developing college students into tomorrow’s community leaders. I am thrilled to be part of such an impactful and unique program!”

aplavin@collegementors.org

Amanda Koushyar,

Chief Operating Officer

Looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, Amanda Koushyar joined College Mentors as a program director in January 2005 and now serves as Chief Operating Officer. A native of Georgia, Amanda graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in management and a focus in finance and operation management. Amanda currently resides in Indiana with her husband and two little girls.

“I am touched on a daily basis with stories from mentors and children and how College Mentors has impacted them. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be involved in something so special! The passion of our volunteers is contagious and seeing the program in action is so rewarding!”

akoushyar@collegementors.org

Carly Cox,

Associate Director of Programming

Carly joined the College Mentors team in September 2017 after spending several years in the education field. She graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Kindergarten/Primary Education. Carly and her husband Austin live in Indianapolis and enjoy spending their time outdoors, watching documentaries, and learning about new and exciting parts of our world!

“I am passionate about making a difference in a community and I am thrilled to be a part of the College Mentors for Kids team! What drew me to College Mentors was their enthusiasm for making difference in a child’s life. By connecting college students and children, they have created a unique program with the ability to change lives. I am so happy to be included in this journey!”

ccox@collegementors.org

 

Carina Grainey,

Program Enhancement and Engagement Manager

Carina Grainey joined College Mentors for Kids in January 2014 after spending several years in South Korea working as a foreign language instructor. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a dual degree in communications and journalism and recently received a master’s degree in international development from Yonsei University. Carina is passionate about providing youth with the tools they need to succeed and thrilled to join the College Mentors for Kids team.

“The enthusiasm that everyone connected with College Mentors for Kids exudes is incredibly inspiring. By cultivating a link between college students and kids, this program has created something truly special with enormous potential to transform lives and communities. I am so excited to be a part of the story.”

cgrainey@collegementors.org

Carolyn Rowe,

Development AmeriCorps VISTA

Carolyn joined the College Mentors team in August 2018 as an Americorps Vista. She recently graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and a minor in Philosophy.  She was a member of the DePauw University Cheerleading Team. Carolyn plans on furthering her studies by attending law school with a focus on education policy reform. Her passion for service and equity in education led her to find a home at College Mentors where she looks forward to working for a program that empowers children with the confidence to succeed and conquer postsecondary education.

“I am thrilled to be a first-hand witness to the impact of College Mentors and the excellence, dedication, and determination of all those associated with the organization. I am honored to offer my service and learn all I can by working with people from all walks of life.”

crowe@collegementors.org

 

Cody Lopez,

Senior Associate Director of Programming

Cody was absolutely ecstatic to join the College Mentors National Staff in 2016! He graduated from Virginia Tech in May of 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and served as the founding chapter president of College Mentors for Kids at Virginia Tech during its first year and a half of existence on campus in Blacksburg. Cody has been a semi-professional DJ since 2011 and has opened for major artists, including T-Pain, Fetty Wap, and Sammy Adams. Native to Ridgeway, VA, he grew up in his local 4-H program and has worked with youth in multiple capacities focusing on leadership, life skills, and STEM-based initiatives. He’s so excited to continue his journey in youth development with his position on our team.

“I became a part of College Mentors for Kids because it became clear to me over all my years working with children that youth in our country don’t have many consistent or strong advocates. We all want “what’s best,” but that phrase does not have a universal meaning. College Mentors for Kids is dedicated to teaching kids how to think for themselves instead of what to think or making decisions for them and I believe that is an invaluable, incredible service. Children see the magic in the world because they look for it and we all have the amazing opportunity to be magicians.”

clopez@collegementors.org

Emily Meyer,

Development Associate

Emily Meyer joined the College Mentors team after graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2005. As an undergraduate majoring in English, Emily spent three years volunteering for the university’s College Mentors chapter. After having lived it as a college student volunteer for the program at IU, I feel blessed to work in a fun, energizing, and supportive work environment with the best people in the world, doing the best work possible. Natives of Indianapolis, Emily and her husband Jack have known each other since elementary school and have four young kids: John, Thomas, Rose, and Mae.  Emily’s oldest and youngest share a birthday, exactly six years apart.

“I love working for College Mentors because of all of the amazing people I get to interact with each day. From our dedicated university and school partners to our inspirational college students and children as well as our hardworking and enthusiastic headquarters staff and board, I continue to be inspired by the work and accomplishments of those involved with College Mentors for Kids.”

emeyer@collegementors.org

Erin Cosler,

Director of Operations

Passionate about youth and education, Erin joined College Mentors in August 2011 after graduating from Butler University with a dual degree in International Management and International Studies, as well as a minor in Spanish. Growing up, Erin spent her summers picking sweet corn on her families farm. Now, Erin is excited to work with an organization committed to making a difference in the lives of children across the Midwest.

“I initially joined College Mentors for Kids because I believed education was a way for kids living in poverty to rise above their current circumstances and appreciated the way College Mentors activities enhanced kids’ education. I still believe these things are true, but after being here 7 years I have come to experience the power of mentoring on both the kids AND the college students. Both expand their perspectives on the world, learn about new opportunities they may not have otherwise experienced, understand the importance of giving back, and inspire each other to reach their fullest potential.”

ecosler@collegementors.org

Jenna Woestman,

Operations Associate

Jenna joined College Mentors for Kids in 2016 as an Operations Associate and enjoys working with a team of individuals who are both fun to be with and passionate about the power of mentoring. Jenna and her husband, Joey, have one daughter, Analie, two cats, and 13 chickens. Jenna attended Iowa State University before graduating from a smaller Bible college in Iowa, where Joey also graduated from. They have lived in Indianapolis since 2010 and love calling this city their home.

“I enjoy supporting the college students as they do the week to week mentoring; it’s rewarding to hear the stories from the Little Buddies. Mentoring is an important part of my growth story, and I love that my work empowers others to continue to pay that forward to kids around the country.”

Julie Bowman,

Director of Programming

Julie Bowman joined College Mentors for Kids in 2012. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in finance and international business, she spent a year in the corporate world gaining business experience. Julie loves to travel, eat at local restaurants, play strategy board games & camp games, and spend time at her church, St. John the Evangelist! One of Julie’s favorite parts about College Mentors is the dual impact! She loves that the kids in our program spend time each week with a caring adult and learn about opportunities for their future, while the young adults who serve as mentors and chapter leaders develop invaluable philanthropic leadership, and career skills.

“Research shows that positive adult relationships are one of the key predictors of a child’s future success. College Mentors for Kids empowers college students to be those positive adult relationships to children in need of such an influence. I love that College Mentors for Kids improves communities in the Midwest by simultaneously empowering and inspiring children and young adults through its mentoring program.”

jbowman@collegementors.org

Laura Feldman Mishkin,

Director of Corporate and Foundation Development

Laura Feldman Mishkin joined College Mentors for Kids in 2005 were she served first as an AmeriCorps VISTA for both the  programming and development teams. Laura earned her Bachelor’s degree in sociology at Wellesley College, but she and her husband Ben are both native to Tennessee where they enjoy spending time and baking cookies with their two daughters. Laura was excited to join an organization with such a meaningful mission and loves being a part of a team that makes work a joy!

“I enjoy the combined approach to mentoring and college access as well as working with a young and growing organization.”

lmishkin@collegementors.org

Lexi Wood,

Associate Director of Programming

Lexi was excited to join the College Mentors for Kids National Office staff in July of 2018! She graduated from Ball State University with a B.S. in Social Work while simultaneously being an active participant in the College Mentors Ball State chapter. When she participated as a mentor she instantly bonded with her little buddy until serving as chapter president her senior year. Post-graduation, Lexi spent some time in the child welfare field where her passion for prevention grew and the need for College Mentors for Kids in the world was extremely apparent. Native to Granger, IN Lexi is an avid Notre Dame fan.

“I have a lot of gratitude for College Mentors for Kids. For connecting me with a wonderful little buddy who is still an important part of my life today. For helping me to call my almamater, my home. And for helping me to find a place within an organization that continues to touch my heart every day.”

lwood@collegementors.org

 

Macara Aloi,

Manager, Inspire Awards

Macara joined College Mentors for Kids, originally as a program director, in 2007. Her passion for helping others quickly narrowed to focus on children who were potential first generation college students, as she is. She loves that at College Mentors she has a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and college students each year. Both Macara and her husband are graduates of Purdue University. They enjoy spending time together with their three young children and participating in sports and outdoor activities.

“College Mentors quickly became not just my job, but a major part of my life. I feel fulfilled and excited to work each day, knowing that the impact our program has is positively changing the life trajectory for thousands!”

maloi@collegementors.org

Madalyn Pemberton,

Associate Director of Programming

Madalyn joined the College Mentors National Office team in July of 2018. She graduated from University of Virginia in May of 2018 with a dual degree in foreign affairs and economics. At the University of Virginia chapter with College Mentors, Madalyn served first as a mentor before subsequently holding various leadership positions throughout her four years as an undergraduate student. Having lived in Virginia her whole life – outside of a semester abroad in Berlin during the fall of her third year – Madalyn is super excited to create a life here in Indianapolis and embrace all that the city has to offer!

“Seeing how much the UVA chapter grew and evolved over just four years convinced me that this program is something very special. I’m excited to help further the impact of College Mentors on communities across the country!” 

mpemberton@collegementors.org

Meredith Smith,

Program Operations AmeriCorps VISTA

Meredith joined the College Mentors team in July of 2018 after graduating in May with a B.S. in Human Development from Virginia Tech. Through her classes in Human Development, Meredith discovered her passion for education and child development. After spending three years with College Mentors for Kids while in school she decided to give back to the program by participating in the year-long AmeriCorps VISTA program. She will be working with the programming team and the operations team. Meredith grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and is a big Ravens football fan. She enjoys trying new restaurants, spending time in the mountains and looking at pictures of sloths.

“It is inspiring to see what an impact College Mentors for Kids makes on thousands of mentors and little buddies across the nation. The organization was an integral part of my college experience and I am excited to learn more about how College Mentors functions at the national level.”

msmith@collegementors.org

Miranda Reuter,

Development Operations Associate

After serving a year as an AmeriCorps Development VISTA for College Mentors for Kids in 2017, Miranda was thrilled to become a permanent fixture of a team dedicated to creating a better present and future. Native to Indiana, Miranda graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Nonprofit Management. Growing up, she was heavily involved in 4-H where she showed a variety of animals such as pigs, sheep, and goats. Moving forward, she is elated to be a part of College Mentors as it continues to change lives and grow.

“From deciding to major in Nonprofit Management at Indiana University to the subsequent years of education, it has all culminated in me being a part of the College Mentors team. I love that College Mentors reaches kids at such a young age, enabling them to picture themselves on a college campus and to plan for their future. I am excited to be a part of an organization that proves its civic-mindedness through daily acts and its mission!”

mreuter@collegementors.org

 

Shelley Hunter,

CEO

Shelley joined the College Mentors for Kids family in 2008 first as a board member and later as CEO in 2016. She received her B.A. in English Literature from DePauw University and her M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Shelley loves to watch Jeopardy and gets especially excited when the following categories are selected: state capitals, sports, and literature. It was Shelley’s passion for education that drove her to become involved with College Mentors as a volunteer. Now as CEO, she is excited to spearhead development and community engagement efforts to reach our 2020 goal of serving 5,000 kids and 5,000 college students.

“College Mentors is important because it opens the doors to higher education for young people who may not have even considered the possibility of attending college and succeeding.”

shunter@collegementors.org

Stephanie Kohls,

Regional Director of Development and Community Engagement

Stephanie was first introduced to the College Mentors program in January 2010 as a mentor to a Bloomington, Indiana fourth grader and has since had the pleasure of serving in many roles with College Mentors as both a volunteer and staff member. Stephanie lives in Washington, DC where she works to build support and awareness for the College Mentors for Kids program in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“College Mentors for Kids provides elementary students a vision for their future and college students leadership experience and the opportunity to connect with their community. I love being involved with an organization that facilitates meaningful mentoring relationships with proven outcomes and working with staff and volunteers dedicated to providing children and college students the resources and experiences to realize a bigger and brighter future!”

skohls@collegementors.org

Yohana Dierolf,

Communication AmeriCorps VISTA

Yohana joined College Mentors for Kids in July of 2018. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Environmental Science with minors in Marine Science and Mathematical Decision Science. Yohana is a second-year AmeriCorps member who discovered a love for education and mentoring through her summers working as a camp counselor. After experiencing how acting as a mentor to her campers changed her for the better, she loves that serving with College Mentors will give her the chance to help others experience the same thing! She spends most weekends outdoors and is on an ongoing quest to find the best hiking trails in the country.

“Being surrounded by people here at College Mentors for Kids who work so hard to give both the mentors and the little buddies the resources that they need to become the best versions of themselves possible gives me so much hope for the future!”

ydierolf@collegementors.org

 

Ben Kitto

Associate, Ice Miller LLP

“I am excited to be part of an organization that introduces kids to college early on and provides them with the mentorship and support they need to get there in College Mentors for Kids.”

Brian Pyne (Secretary)

Senior Investment Advisor, Goelzer Investment Management

“College Mentors allows kids to explore the diverse opportunities that are available through a college education. It also helps to empower the kids to find their own path to a successful life through the encouragement and guidance of mentoring. I’m excited to help serve on the board and be a part of that mission.”

Bryant Pottmeyer (Vice Chair)

Director of Finance & IT, Worthington Industries

“My goal is to be an advocate for education by showing the business community that investment in early education is not only socially responsible; it is an investment in the future of our economy.”

David Staley

Associate Professor of History, Design, and Educational Studies, and Director, The Goldberg Center, The Ohio State University

“Educators are becoming more and more aware that mentoring, especially in the early formative years, has transformative effects that are perhaps just as important as any cognitive or academic skills young people might acquire in school. Having been fortunate to have had two inspirational mentors in my own life, I am privileged to be associated with an organization devoted to providing that opportunity to those who need it most.”  

Gershom Davis

North America Shared Services Accounting Manager, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.

“College Mentors for Kids provides hope to kids that otherwise may feel there is no hope for their success in the future.  It allows the kids to know that they are important and their future is important.  The importance of guidance and mentorship is at the core of the organization and I’m proud to serve on the board and give me time to help foster this vision.”

Jayme Stemle (Treasurer)

Director Financial Planning & Analysis, Indianapolis Power & Light Company

“I believe that every child should have the opportunity to succeed in life. This is why I am excited about the opportunity to serve on the Board of College Mentors for Kids, an organization that helps make that happen. College Mentors not only allows kids to learn about the importance of a college education, but also instills confidence so that they believe they can achieve great things in the future.”

Josh Brown (Past Chair)

Attorney and Owner, Law Office of Josh F. Brown, LLC

“College Mentors For Kids not only does a phenomenal job of mentoring kids, but also equally provides incredible leadership opportunities to our young and talented college age students that head up our chapters. This dual benefit to both young children and college-aged students is what not only attracted me to the organization but also sets the organization apart.”

Kelly Merryman

Director of Marketing, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

“Education is powerful. It opens up a world of wonderful possibilities. Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue the educational path of their dreams. I’ve always been incredibly grateful for the educational experiences that I’ve had in my life — something that I worked very hard to make happen. Through College Mentors for Kids, I’m honored to have the ability to help open doors and paths for our youth — our future generation, to create opportunities they otherwise may have never known existed.”

Mike Farrell, CPA

Controller, United Consulting

“I am excited to serve College Mentors for Kids and help to advance their mission.  I believe strongly in the power of mentoring, especially with the goal of connecting grade school kids with the broad possibilities and experiences a college mentor can provide.”

Nikki Shoultz (Vice Chair)

Attorney, Bose, McKinney & Evans LLP

“I am thrilled to join the board of College Mentors for Kids because it transforms the lives of kids, college students and parents and ultimately improves our community!”

Rebecca Thompson Boyle

Vice President, Fifth Third Private Bank

“I’m thrilled to serve on the Board of College Mentors for Kids, an organization that believes in the potential of all students. Together, in concert with families and communities, we can ensure kids are provided the educational opportunities they need and deserve.”

Scott Long

Vice President of Sales; Advisor, Apex Benefits

“College Mentors for Kids is an exciting part of my life because the programs and efforts of the staff have such wide-ranging positive impact not only in our Hoosier communities but in communities across the nation as well.”

Sheila Seedhouse Dollaske (Chair)

Director of School Development and Innovation, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana

“I am lucky to have seen firsthand the impact that College Mentors has on both the elementary students and college students. I am where I am today because of the outstanding leadership development and opportunities provided to me through College Mentors. I am excited to continue my own development, while ensuring that more mentors and little buddies are able to continue to benefit from the program.” 

Will Turner

First Vice President, Merrill Lynch

“What kids can achieve at an early age is truly astonishing. Connecting these kids with passionate college students is a powerful kick starter. I want to be part of a solution that truly leaves no kid behind. These are the reasons why I am excited to serve on the board of College Mentors for Kids!”

Joseph Cook

University of Evansville, Chapter President, College Student Board of Directors Representative

“College Mentors for Kids is more than just an educational program. This organization benefits all that are involved from the elementary students to the college students. These relationships that are developed between the children and mentors are life long and significantly impact each of their lives.”

Mariel Grove

Ball State University, Chapter President, College Student Board of Directors Representative

“When I entered into college I was looking for a way to get involved on campus, and the community I lived in. College mentors was that organization for me. Joining this organization has changed my college career for the better, and I’m happy I’ve gotten the opportunity to serve the kids and my community.” 

 

Our Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisory Board

Kevin Schuyler

CornerStone Partners LLC

“Mentorship is a wonderful way to achieve that unique personal fulfillment that can only come from giving of oneself in the service to others.”

Laura Sands, Ph.D.

Center for Gerontology, Virginia Tech

“College Mentors for Kids provides opportunities for promising children to develop confidence in their aspirations for attending college and for college students to enhance their leadership skills through mentoring.”

Patricia Power (Chair)

Bose Public Affairs Group

“Mentoring works. College Mentors created a system to benefit both the college and elementary students by empowering college students to impact young children by their example and dreams for a better future. There is no better way to give at-risk children a shot at their dreams, and to teach college students how to make a difference in their world. Genius!”

Russell Armstrong

Bose Washington Partners

“Mentoring can be a powerful way to build relationships between people of different ages, backgrounds, and means. Effective mentoring is not just hanging out, but an active connection characterized by mutual respect, trust, understanding, and empathy that leads to both tangible and sometimes intangible outcomes. Anyone who has had a good mentor, whether known by the formal sense or simply a friend, relative, or a stranger who took them under their wing, remembers and values the impact that person has had on their life. College Mentors for Kids is striving to make those kinds of connections between young kids and adults, exposing children to college aspirations early on and helping college students discover the joys of paying it forward to begin a lifetime of giving. That seems like a worthwhile endeavor I and anyone else should be able to get behind. That is why I joined.”

W. Aaron French

Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

“I credit my own mentors with much of where I am today. Without them, I could have easily been another kid without exemplars of success. I’ve decided to support College Mentors not only because of its goal of transforming the lives of children, but because it’s involved in so many communities – from Southwestern Virginia to the DC Metro Area – that are near and dear to my heart.”

Kylie Speier

Student Advisory Board Representative, Virginia Tech

“College Mentors for Kids allows children to explore a variety of opportunities for learning and growth, all while developing relationships with people from many different backgrounds. The memories and relationships I’ve made through College Mentors are priceless to me.”

Madison Lander

Student Advisory Board Representative,  James Madison University

“Why do I choose to mentor? Growing up, I was lucky to have many mentors throughout my life that helped shape me into the person I am today so I was honored with the opportunity to give back to the generations after me. It is an exhilarating feeling knowing you can have such a powerful impact on a child’s life. When I first joined College Mentors for Kids I never could imagine how much of a positive impact it would have on these kids, my peers, and myself.”