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.

“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,

Senior Associate Director of Programming

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

Cody Lopez,

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 for 7 years and has even 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,

Operations 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

Erin (Murphy) Cosler graduated from Butler University in 2011 with a dual degree in International Management and International Studies, as well as a minor in Spanish. Passionate about youth and education, Erin joined College Mentors in August 2011 and is excited to work with an organization committed to making a difference in the lives of children across the Midwest.

“The dedication of the College Mentors for Kids staff and volunteers is truly inspirational; it’s refreshing to work with people wholly committed to investing in the next generation of leaders. Children are the future, and through positive mentor relationships they will be equipped with the skills and confidence they need to impact the world.”

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 is excited to now work for an organization committed to impacting the lives of children and developing the leadership skills of college students.

“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

Since Laura Feldman Mishkin joined College Mentors for Kids in 2005, she’s worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA and on the programming and development teams. Laura earned her degree in sociology at Wellesley College. Laura and her husband Ben are both natives of Tennessee.

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

lmishkin@collegementors.org

Macara Aloi,

Development and Community Engagement Manager

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

Lindsay Grzymski,

Development Intern

Lindsay is so excited to be a part of the College Mentors for Kids team as an intern for the summer! She is going to be a senior at Purdue University and will be serving her second term as president. Lindsay is studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and hopes to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. She loves being involved with College Mentors for Kids at Purdue and seeing her little buddy grow each time they are together. In her free time, Lindsay likes to run or do yoga!

“College Mentors for Kids is changing so many lives every day and I am so lucky to be a part of it! The little buddies continue to teach me more than I can teach them, and I cannot wait to see how they change the world.”

lgrzymski@CollegeMentors.org

 

Morgan Somers,

AmeriCorps Programming VISTA

As a part of her gap year before Dental School, Morgan started serving as a VISTA for our College Mentors for Kids team in August of 2017. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Human Biology as well as a minor in Psychology. Morgan is excited to be a part of an organization that utilizes college students to empower children to aspire for brighter futures.

“Growing up my family had several resources that allowed me to receive a great education which gave me the power to strive towards my dream of becoming a Dentist. I’m so inspired by organizations like College Mentors for Kids that give children these same resources so they can strive for their dreams as well.”

msomers@collegementors.org

 

Miranda Reuter,

AmeriCorps Development VISTA

A recent graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Nonprofit Management, Miranda wished to find a team of individuals devoted to creating a better present and future. Furthermore, she wanted to gain professional experience. An AmeriCorps VISTA placement at College Mentors was the perfect fit. She’s elated to be part of the team and eager to go on this year-long learning journey.

“From deciding to major in Nonprofit Management 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 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

Molli Powers,

Programming Intern

Molli has spent three years in various leadership roles in Butler University’s Chapter of College Mentors for Kids, including Chapter President. Working with the children in this program has completely changed her life and she is eager to give back to the organization this summer as an intern! She will be graduating from Butler in May 2019 with a degree in Elementary Education and plans to spend her career serving the future leaders and difference makers.

“This program has shown me how people of all ages from different backgrounds and environments can come together and leave a positive impact on this world. Many people think this program is for the kids, but I’ve learned more from the little buddies than I could ever teach them”

mpowers@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

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.”

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.”

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.” 

Paul Schmidt

Retired Cardiologist, St. Vincent Medical Group

“College Mentors for Kids is the best mentoring program for elementary school children at risk in this country. It is of vital importance to me and should be for all Americans who care about the future of our country. At the current one-state scale, the program has already created significant improvements in the academic and behavioral performance of the children. It has thus captured the attention and imagination of all those who know and support the effort. I believe this unique work will lead to a higher percentage of these program participants graduating from high school, and living out the uplifting results of wiser and more mature personal decisions compared with their matched peers. My vision, shared by many others, is that when this opportunity becomes available on a nationwide basis, these positive results for the individuals involved will also have far-reaching positive social, cultural, economic, academic and national security consequences, and so improve the lives and futures for all of us.”

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!”

Veronica Scotto

Associate Vice President, Global Marketing; Cyient, Inc.

“Joining the board of College Mentors for Kids is an exciting opportunity to share my passion for helping children achieve their full potential. Connecting little buddies with college students and watching them learn and grow together is very rewarding and I am so pleased to be a part of this fantastic organization.”

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.”  

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.”

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.”

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.”

Bryant Pottmeyer

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.”

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!”

Rebecca Thompson Boyle

Business Development Manager, CID Capital

“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.”

Alex Card

Marian University, chapter president, college student board of directors representative

“College Mentors for Kids greatly impacts everyone involved in the program. Not only do the kids learn about the benefits of higher education, but they get to build quality relationships with a mentor. These benefits also extend to the college students and allow them to witness, firsthand, the impact they can have on children for only 2 hours a week. For me, I credit this organization for fueling my passion to work with kids and encouraging me to find a career that helps children.”

Toccoa Kinsey

Ball State University, chapter vice president, college student board of directors representative

“College Mentors for Kids allows our youth to explore culture and diversity, community service, and higher education in their community at a young age. This organization provides exceptional educational opportunities for children in communities nationwide, while providing college students with a wonderful opportunity to mentor a child and personally grow.”

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.”

Our Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisory Board

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.”

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.”

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!”

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.”

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.”

Madison Lander

Student 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.”