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. 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 Executive Vice President. Amanda graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in management and a focus in finance and operation management. Amanda is native of Georgia, where she currently resides 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

Carina Grainey,

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

Chris Hawkins,

Regional Director of Development & Community Engagement

Chris joined the College Mentors team in November 2015 after spending several years in sports marketing and sales at the collegiate and professional level. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in political science and from Florida State University with a masters degree in sports administration. While at FSU, he taught classes and managed student volunteers. Chris is excited to be involved with such an ambitious organization that strives to help so many.

“I love the impact that being a volunteer mentor for College Mentors has on our college students. Our program inspires our mentors to be positive role models and to grow and mature in ways that will help them succeed in college and for the rest of their lives. The fact that they are also leaving an indelible mark on their adopted communities only makes their efforts more impactful.”

chawkins@collegementors.org

Cody Lopez,

Associate Director of Programming

Cody is absolutely ecstatic to be a part of the College Mentors National Staff! 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. 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.

“The thing I love most about College Mentors for Kids is its unwavering belief in the fact that everything we do should be for the children we serve. It’s such a special thing to see individual people come together and really put every ounce of their time and effort into helping kids see the magic and their own potential in the world that surrounds them.”

clopez@collegementors.org

Emily Meyer,

Operations Associate

Emily Meyer joined the College Mentors team after graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington in 2005. As an undergraduate majoring in English, Emily spent three years volunteering for the university’s College Mentors chapter. Emily and her husband Jack are Indianapolis natives and have three children: John, Thomas, and Rose.

“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 Hall,

Associate Director of Programming

Laura joined the College Mentors for Kids team after graduating from the University of Indianapolis in 2014. While studying Professional Writing, Laura volunteered as a mentor at our UIndy chapter, as well as a summer intern at the National Office. In addition to her passion for making sure every child’s story is told, she is wholly committed to the mission of College Mentors for Kids—she is excited to connect college students with the most to give to the kids who need it most.

“My life changed when I became involved with College Mentors for Kids—I realized that I was not alone in my desire to impact a child’s life and education, and more than that, I realized that there was a great need. Children around the country need the support that is unique to the mentor-mentee relationship. This organization not only recognizes this need, but also capitalizes on the numerous advantages afforded to college students to remedy this need.”

lhall@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

Shelley Hunter,

CEO

A passion for education drove Shelley 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 is thrilled to be joining the College Mentors team after graduating from Indiana University in 2013 with a degree in Nonprofit Management. She was first introduced to the program in January 2010 as a mentor to a Bloomington fourth grader and has since had the pleasure of serving in many roles including chapter president, summer programming intern, and student board representative. A native of Indianapolis, Stephanie is excited to continue connecting college students with the most to give to kids who need it most.

“My favorite part of College Mentors is the incredible, symbiotic mentoring relationship that we facilitate for our youth and college students. The inspiring stories of our little buddies realizing their potential and the college students gaining leadership and service experience is life changing. I am so proud to be able to work for College Mentors and to be part of a staff dedicated to providing children and college students the resources and experiences to realize a better and brighter future!”

skohls@collegementors.org

Brian Pyne

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 (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

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.”