Reunion 2019: SESP Hosts Alumni Luncheon

Reunion 2019: SESP Hosts Alumni Luncheon

SESP wall blurbsTwo dozen School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) alumni from a wide range of careers will join current undergraduates for networking conversations and lunch at noon on Friday, Oct. 25 in Annenberg Hall, room GO2.

The SESP events are part of a three-day schedule of Reunion Weekend activities that include tours, a tailgate, football game, career seminars, and class parties. View the entire Reunion Weekend schedule.

To attend the luncheon, RSVP at

Meet our Alums:        

Becca Abara (BS14, Learning and Organizational Change), works as the engineering, operations lead, program manager and agile coach at Etsy.

Ellen Blanchfield Befort (BS89, Human Development and Social Policy, Organizational Studies), is an education consultant who works with gifted high school students who have special learning needs. 

Erika Carter (BS18, Social Policy), is a law student at Columbia University and worked as a securities division analyst for Goldman Sachs. 

Lynette Calucin Connell (BS89, Human Development and Social Policy, Organizational Studies) is a pediatrician with NorthShore University Health System.

Zoe Goodman (BS13, Social Policy) works as a consultant for LifeLabs Learning, which does leadership and management training for more than 600 companies around the world, including Hinge, Twitter, and The New York Times.

James Keane (BS16, Learning and Organizational Change), is a product manager for Nielsen Analytics Console.

Vince Keenan (New Careers in Education, '78) is celebrating his 30th anniversary as CEO of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, the professional medical society for Illinois'5,000 family physicians. 

Stephanie Kerr (Comm'89, Secondary Teaching Certificate) is director of organization development at Harley-Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee where she leads employee learning, talent management, diversity and inclusion, and organizational development teams.

Blake Kolesa (BS18, Social Policy) is a second-year law degree candidate at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a teaching assistant for professor Sarah Waldeck’s first-year torts class. He also serves as a staff member of the Loyola Law Journal and competes as a member of the Appellate Lawyers’ Association moot court team.

Emily Machado (BS09, Social Policy) is assistant professor of language, literacy, and culture in the College of Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research and teaching are focused on children's literacy and language learning in multilingual classroom settings.

Don Martin (PhD95, Education Administration) spent 28 years in graduate enrollment and student services and was dean of admissions/financial aid and dean of students at Columbia University (Teachers College),  The University of Chicago (Booth School of Business), Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism), and Wheaton College (Illinois). He wrote and published Road Map for Graduate Study: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students and coaches grad school applicants worldwide with a 97 percent acceptance rate.

Kate McKenzie (BS13, Learning and Organizational Change) is currently a manager in learning and development at KPMG and the co-founder of Project Pause. She is a lifelong learner passionate about holistic growth, especially incorporating play into learning and change.

Sheila Merry (BS77, Human Development and Social Policy), is executive director of Evanston Cradle to Career, a collective impact initiative focused on addressing racial inequity for children and youth in Evanston.

Danielle Moehrke (BS13, Social Policy), is director of partnerships and program innovation at OneGoal.

Eric Morales (BS16, Social Policy) is assistant director of direct appeals at Northwestern.

EL Da' Sheon Nix, (BS04, Human Development and Psychological Services HDPS), is the community relations director for Tutoring Chicago.

Elizabeth Partoyan (BS93, Human Development and Psychological Services) is an independent consultant on organizational capacity-building for local and national nonprofits focused on education systems redesign, school-community collaboration, holistic supports for children and youth, and equity and social justice.

Haley Pilgrim (BS14, Learning and Organizational Change) is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the 2018 Women of Color Graduate Student Award and the 2019 Student and Community Engagement Award for her commitment and impact on the Penn community.

Carol (Lacey) Richardson (BS99, Human Development and Social Policy), is a licensed psychologist who primarily works with school-aged children and adolescents.

Janet Rocha (BS08, Learning and Organizational Change) is a research assistant professor at Feinberg and is a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow.

Julie Romeo, (MS89) is the creator of The Fairy Tale Trials, an award-winning educational theater project and curriculum that she has developed and taught over the past three decades at Northwestern, the Northeast tri-state area, and abroad. Read more about the Fairy Tale Trials in SESP Magazine. 

Amy Rosenband (BS04), is vice president of social change for Ogilvy.

Debbie Rosmarin (BS04, Learning and Organizational Change) is a speech-language pathologist with the U.S. Department of Education.  She is also a certified natural food chef.

Sara Saltzer (BS19, Social Policy) is a federal campaign assistant for ActBlue, a nonprofit organization that builds fundraising software for Democratic campaigns.

Darrin Thornton (BS89, Human Development and Social Policy, Organizational Behavior) is assistant director of the Penn State School of Music and associate professor of music education.

Daphne Woolfolk (BS89, Human Development and Social Policy) is principal for the Mudita Group, LLC, where she takes on executive roles to help companies align mission, strategy, and action.



By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 10/24/19