AlumniCorps Spotlight: Tonya Miles ’82

Tonya Miles '82 and Aria Miles '14
Tonya Miles ’82 and Aria Miles ’14

“I was introduced to Princeton AlumniCorps by my daughter, Aria Miles ’14, who was a 2014-2015 Princeton Project 55 fellow in Washington, D.C.  I marveled at Aria’s growth and development as a civic-minded young adult under this fellowship. I recognized that AlumniCorps was a natural fit for Aria after Princeton, since she began her civic engagement and public service journey during Princeton’s Inaugural Bridge Year Program in 2009. As one of five Princeton students to spend nine months in Ghana prior to her freshman year, Aria gained invaluable experiences and insights on what it means to be of service to other people. In fact, I believe that AlumniCorps’ mission paved the way for Princeton’s Bridge Year Program, as I believe AlumniCorps personifies Princeton’s motto – Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All  Nations

Project 55 fellows are impressive! They are selected each year from a competitive applicant pool of Princeton University seniors and recent graduates. In recent years, approximately 12% of the Princeton senior class has applied for a Project 55 Fellowship. Each year we place between 40 and 50 fellows. I am impressed by our talented fellows, who have a desire to work for social change in our various geographic locations: Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.  The fellows, whom we place with our partner organizations, are well-received by staff and in many instances are invited to extend their stay with our partner organizations.  Our fellows and their work are making a difference! 

AlumniCorps’ slogan, Engage at Every Age,  appealed to me. Though my professional career was already rooted in public service, I first sought direct involvement in AlumniCorps through its ARC Innovators Program. It was a way for me to use my transferable professional skills and experiences to voluntarily support a non-profit organization with unique needs. Later, I was elected to the AlumniCorps Board of Directors.

I enthusiastically embrace my role as an AlumniCorps Board member.  It is an honor to set    policy and develop action-oriented strategies for our AlumniCorps programs.  My service as a Board member is a unique extension of my undergraduate Big Sister Program experience with middle-school students in the Princeton community and my undergraduate leadership roles in Princeton student organizations. My primary base is the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where my board service enables me to view unique community needs and identify how AlumniCorps can help meet those needs.”


Catching Up With AlumniCorps in Chicago

unnamed (4)In early November, AlumniCorps Executive Director Andrew Nurkin, Partnership Manager Caryn Tomjlanovich, and Development Director Sharon Keld ’80 spent two and a half packed days in Chicago, visiting partner organizations and longtime supporters. Among the partner organizations they met with were the Steans Family Foundation, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Better Boys Foundation, and North Lawndale Employment Network. They also sat in on a strategy session with the Chicago Area Committee, met with Chicago supporters and Board members, and caught up with counterparts at the University of Chicago Public Interest Program and Northwestern’s fellowship program.

Andrew, Caryn, and Sharon joined current fellows, mentors, and other Area Committee members for a pizza party at the offices of Jeff Sharp ’80. There’s nothing like Chicago pizza to bring the AlumniCorps community together! The next morning, the staff and Area Committee volunteers attended the weekly seminar that is held for the Princeton Project 55, University of Chicago PIP, and Northwestern fellows, about 50 in all. Hosted by Princeton Project 55 fellow Calvin Gross ’15, employees of Lawndale Christian Health Center talked about their challenges and successes providing access to health care in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

New Board Members Elected

The Princeton AlumniCorps Board of Directors recently elected six new members to the Board, including a new Chair.  Five members have been elected to three-year terms: Liz Duffy ’88, David Huebner ‘82, Tonya Miles ‘82, Juana Pacheco ’90, and Andrew Protain ’08.  Amy Olivero ’13 will be serving a one-year term reserved for a recent Project 55 fellow. Additionally, Duffy was elected as the Chair of the Board during a special meeting of the directors held in April. All terms became effective June 1, 2015.

These new members succeed Marsha Rosenthal ’76, Andrew Goldstein ’06, Anthony Quainton ’55, Richard Walker ’73, and Scott Taylor ’75, whose terms expired on May 31. As Chair, Duffy succeeds Kenly Webster ’55, who served as Chair during 2014-15. Webster remains on the Board ex officio as the President of the Class of 1955 and Immediate Past Chair of AlumniCorps.

Also at the May Board meeting, four current Board members were re-elected for three-year terms. These members are Anne Goldstein ’79, Kef Kasdin ’85, Dana Malman Warren ’03, and Dana Weinstein ’12. Three officers were also re-elected to serve additional terms: Kathy Miller ’77 as President, Leesy Taggart ’78 as Secretary, and Charlie Mapes ’55 as Treasurer.

We welcome all our new Board members and thank all our outgoing Board members for their service!

Liz Duffy ’88

Elizabeth Duffy ’88 became the president of International Schools Services on July 1, 2015. She previously served for twelve years as the Head Master of the Lawrenceville School. Before joining Lawrenceville, Liz was the executive director of the Ball Foundation and served in leadership roles at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is currently a trustee of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and has served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Independent Schools.

Liz graduated from Princeton with an AB in Molecular Biology, magna cum laude, and holds an AM in Administration & Policy Analysis from Stanford University’s School of Education, as well as an MBA and Public Management Certificate from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Her history with Princeton AlumniCorps stretches to the first years of Project 55, when as the staff coordinator for the Student Volunteers Council at Princeton she helped advocate for the fellowship program on campus. She subsequently served three terms on the Project 55 Board (1997 to 2008). As chair of the Board’s nominating committee during this time, Liz was instrumental in crafting the long-term transition strategy that has successfully included younger generations in the leadership of the organization. Following a search and recommendation by the nominating committee, chaired by Arthur McKee ’90, the AlumniCorps Board of Directors voted unanimously to elect Liz as the first AlumniCorps Board Chair not from the Class of 1955.

David Huebner ’82

David Heubner ’82 is a partner at Arnold & Porter, LLP in Los Angeles, California, where he focuses on international arbitration, international public law, intellectual property, and national security practices. Prior to this position, he served as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa for 5 years. As an ambassador, David led efforts to increase program focus on areas such as education, civil society capacity building, climate change, and cyber and maritime security. During that time, he also served as a guest lecturer and seminar leader at the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Canterbury, and University of Otago. David is also a founding national board member of the Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation (GLAAD).

David graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude in 1982 with a BA in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and received his JD from Yale Law School. He is admitted to the Bars of California, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Tonya Miles ’82

Tonya Miles ’82 works as the Chief Departmental Administrator at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) where she manages an annual operating budget of $3.9 million, provides oversight on various operations involving Litigation and Employment Law, Transactions, and Land Use, and executes human resources administration, among various other roles.

Tonya began working in the Maryland school system in the early 1990’s and was appointed to the Maryland State Board of Education by Governor Robert Erhlich ’79. In 2009, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan named her to the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Prior to this, Tonya worked for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as the Director and Operations Liaison of Administration and Operations for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®).

Tonya Miles graduated from Princeton University in 1982 with a BSE in Engineering Systems and Management and holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the AlumniCorps Board to fill a three-year term reserved for a member of the Princeton University class in its 33rd Reunion year, in this case the Class of 1982.

Juana Pacheco ’90

Juana Pacheco ’90 is the Director of Corporate Development for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). Before joining HSF, Juana was Executive Vice President at LATINAStyle Inc., one of the most influential publications for contemporary Hispanic women. In this role, Juana defined organizational priorities to advance the mission of the company, working directly with the President & CEO and Board of Directors. Additionally, she managed the fundraising, marketing, sales, and advertising aspects of the company. Juana is a published expert in the field of economic and community development with more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, working with organizations and entities that focus on Hispanics, women, and economic development issues.

Juana holds a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the National Urban Fellows Program (Baruch College CUNY). Juana, her husband, two daughters, four rescue dogs and one rescue cat live in New Jersey.

Andrew Protain ’08

Andrew Protain ’08 works for DonorsChoose, an innovative non-profit organization that generates millions of dollars in donations for public school teachers across the nation. Andrew began his work with DonorsChoose in 2008 as a Project 55 fellow. Since then, he has held various positions with DonorsChoose, moving from an Operations Associate to the User Experience Research Manager. His role as User Experience Research Manager requires that he manage the organization’s website and collect customer feedback to ensure the effectiveness and usability of the features on the website. He also develops and shares the best practices for conducting user research to the entire organization and assists with the planning of marketing campaigns.

Andrew graduated from Princeton University in 2008 with a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and certificates in Neuroscience and Japanese Language and Culture. He co-chairs the New York steering committee for AlumniCorps and was a 2014-15 Emerging Leader.

Amy Olivero ’13

Amy Olivero ’13 works as an advisory associate for KPMG, a global network of professional firms that provide Audit, Tax and Advisory services. She is currently working with New York Department of Health on the Delivery Service Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program for New York State Medicaid program. Prior to this, Amy Olivero served as a substitute teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, Virginia. She also worked as a research and policy analyst at the Embassy of El Salvador in Washington, DC and as a business and human resources intern for TISTA Science and Technology Corporation in Rockville, Maryland.

Amy served as a Project 55 fellow at the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services in Brooklyn, New York. She was elected to the AlumniCorps Board to fill the one-year Recent Fellow seat. Amy graduated from Princeton University in 2013 with a BA in Public Policy and International Relations and a certificate in Latin American studies. During her undergraduate years, she also spent a semester at the University of Havana in Cuba.

Welcome to Our Newest Board Members

The Princeton AlumniCorps Board of Directors recently elected four members to the Board. New Board members elected to three-year terms are Shena Elrington ’04 of New York; Michael Jennings of Princeton; and Scott Welfel ’06 of Jersey City. Dana Weinstein ’12, who lives in Washington D.C., was elected to a one-year Recent Fellow term.  

Additionally, current Board members re-elected for three-year terms include: Judy Hole Suratt s55 of New York and Leesy Taggart ’78 of Piedmont, California. Joe Sengoba ’10 served for two years in the Recent Fellow seat and was elected to a regular three-year term. Kenly Webster ’55 served ex officio since 2011 as the Immediate Past Living Chair. He was elected to a regular three-year term as a Board member and a one-year term as Board Chair, succeeding John Fish ’55.

For a complete list of AlumniCorps Board members, please click here. We are excited to welcome our new Board members to the Princeton AlumniCorps team!

Shena Elrington ’04

Shena M. Elrington ’04 is Director of the Health Justice (HJ) Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a nonprofit civil rights law firm committed to advancing health justice, environmental justice and disability rights through community lawyering and partnerships with the private bar. At NYLPI, Shena works in collaboration with community groups on a number of campaigns to ensure that people from medically underserved neighborhoods in New York have access to quality healthcare. Shena joined NYLPI in the summer of 2010 as a staff attorney in the HJ Program. Prior to joining NYLPI, Shena was a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, where she worked on white-collar and anti-trust matters and provided pro bono representation to clients on a variety of family, criminal, and immigration law matters. Shena graduated from Yale Law School in 2008, where she served as Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). She graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 2004, with an A.B. in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in African-American studies. Following her graduation from college, Shena worked as a program coordinator at the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship Program through a Princeton Project ’55 Fellowship, where she helped talented undergraduates in New York City explore internship opportunities in the nonprofit, government and business sectors.

Currently, Shena serves on the board of Gotham Health Federally Qualify Health Center, Inc. Shena also serves as the Leader-in-Residence for Health Equity at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College, where she works closely with talented undergraduates on applied research projects related to advancing health justice. Recently, Shena participated in the Princeton AlumniCorps Emerging Leaders Program, a competitive eight month management training program for aspiring leaders in the nonprofit and public fields.

Michael Jennings

Michael W. Jennings is the Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages in the Department of German at Princeton University. Jennings is also an Associated Faculty Member of the Department of Art and Archaeology and the School of Architecture and a Faculty Associate of the Center for the Study of Religion. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Ph.D. Program in Humanistic Studies. He focuses his teaching and research on European culture in the twentieth century. In addition to literature, he teaches on topics in cultural theory and the visual arts, with special emphasis on photography. He approaches cultural material from a perspective informed by historicist interpretive strategies and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School.

He is the author of two books on Walter Benjamin: Dialectical Images: Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Literary Criticism (Cornell University Press, 1987) and, with Howard Eiland, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (Harvard University Press, forthcoming in 2013). He also serves as the general editor of the standard English-language edition of Benjamin’s works, Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings (Harvard University Press, four volumes, 1996ff.) and the editor of a series of collections of Benjamin’s essays intended for classroom use, including The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire (2007); with Brigid Doherty and Thomas Levin, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility and other Writings on Media (2008) ; and, with Miriam Bratu Hansen, One Way Street (forthcoming in 2014). He is currently at work on two book projects: studies of the German photo-essay in the twentieth century and of calendrical forms in the German culture of the 1970’s.

Jennings serves as Director of the Alexander Kluge Research Collection at Princeton University and the Co-Director, with Ben Morgan and Anthony Phelan, of the Oxford-Princeton Research Collaboration in German. He sits on the Executive Committee of the International Walter Benjamin Society and the Uwe Johnson Association, and on the Editorial Board of the journals Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-Speaking World; links: Rivista di letteratura e cultura tedesca; and Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy and Culture. After serving as Master of Rockefeller College from 1990-1999 and as Chair of the Department of German from 1999-2012, Jennings is currently the co-chair of the steering committee for Princeton University’s decennial accreditation process.

Scott Welfel ’06

Scott Welfel ’06 is a Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. His fellowship is focused on removing barriers to employment for individuals with criminal records. In addition to supporting the policy work of the Institute in these areas, he assists individuals with criminal records in restoring their driver licenses, expunging their records, applying for certificates of rehabilitation, appealing denials of occupational and professional licenses, and general employment law issues related to their criminal records.

Scott received his J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law in May 2013, where he represented individuals charged with federal offenses through the Federal Defender Clinic. He is admitted to the state bars of New Jersey and New York. Prior to law school, he taught at North Star Academy Charter School in Newark as a Princeton Project 55 Fellow, worked as a field organizer in Colorado on President Obama’s first presidential campaign, and coordinated the Abandoned Properties Project for the City of Newark. He received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Princeton University in 2006. He has remained active with Princeton AlumniCorps through interviewing applicants, participating in the New York Area Committee’s Career Nights, and as a speaker at the 20th anniversary gala. Scott will participate in the 2014-15 Emerging Leaders program in New York.

Dana Weinstein ’12

Dana Weinstein ’12 is the Investments and Impact Manager for Partners for the Common Good, a national Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). PCG partners with other mission-driven lenders to provide access to capital for low-income people and places, helping to finance projects that build healthy and strong communities. She is also the Impact Manager for the Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA), the national association of CDFI banks. In these roles, Dana is responsible for recruiting investment and grant capital and managing the social impact initiatives of the two organizations. Previously, she was the Public Policy & Communications Associate for PCG and CDBA as a Princeton Project 55 Fellow.

Since completing her Fellowship, Dana has served as Co-Chair of the Project 55 Washington, DC Steering Committee. She will begin participation in the Emerging Leaders Program with the 2014-2015 cohort in Washington, DC this summer. In addition to her AlumniCorps activities, Dana volunteers with the DC Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign and the Online Hotline of RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). Dana graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with an AB in Politics in 2012.

AlumniCorps Welcomes Three New Staff Members

Princeton AlumniCorps is excited to welcome three new staff members to our team: Jasmine Jeffers ’11, Caryn Tomljanovich, and Sharon Keld ’80, all of whom joined the staff in the last five months.

Jasmine Jeffers ’11, Outreach Coordinator

Jasmine Jeffers ’11 joined the AlumniCorps team in January 2014 as our new Outreach Coordinator. She will be working to energize PP55 alumni and broaden the reach of AlumniCorps, priorities identified in the 2013-16 strategic plan.

Before joining the staff at AlumniCorps, Jasmine worked as a development staff member for two different nonprofits in the New York City area: the New York Common Pantry and as a PP55 fellow at New Heights Youth. Jasmine’s experiences as a fellow directly informed her decision to transition to this role. She is looking forward to connecting with inspiring individuals from every corner of the AlumniCorps community. Since entering this role, she has met with alumni from every several class years and professional sectors and has consistently been impressed with Princetonians’ passion for public service and their commitment to creating positive change. Her identity as a Princetonian and a nonprofit development professional influence her approach to the Outreach Coordinator role since she feels personally invested in the AlumniCorps community and has the experience needed to empower other alumni and translate enthusiasm into positive action.

Caryn Tomljanovich, Program Coordinator, ARC Innovators

Before joining AlumniCorps in November 2013, Caryn had a diversity of experience in the nonprofit and academic sectors. She has experience in development and fundraising work for an art museum and local land preservation organization and has worked extensively on grant writing, program development, marketing and implementation in local community and economic development organizations. For several years, she worked at Colgate University to design and implement the strategic plan for the Upstate Institute which connected students and faculty with civic engagement projects in the Central New York region.

Caryn says the energy and enthusiasm of the people in the organization appealed to her. She loves the idea of helping people connect to organizations and experiences that can have a positive impact on their lives and the long term well being of the nonprofit. She is looking forward to seeing the program grow and see the potential that it has for the future as well as making the first ARC Innovator matches in New York and Washington, DC.

Sharon Keld ’80, Development Officer

Sharon is a long-time AlumniCorps mentor in Chicago and a habitual volunteer. With a professional background in marketing, a few years ago she began to feel the desire to make a professional move that would combine her marketing skills and expertise with the reward she felt in volunteering. She joined the Peace Corps and served in Morocco as a small business development volunteer, helping artisans with small business. She also did two short-term stints in marketing at Habitat for Humanity Philippines and then in public relations at Millennium Challenge Account-Armenia.

The Development Officer position at AlumniCorps appealed to her because it combined not only her desire to apply marketing expertise in a nonprofit setting, but also her love of Princeton and Princetonians. What appealed to her while interviewing was the passion of the staff members and the volunteers as well as the way that AlumniCorps changes the lives of the program participants.

With the 25th anniversary approaching, Sharon feels that she has joined the organization at a good time. She is looking forward to events celebrating that milestone and to helping chart the plans for the future of alumni-driven civic leadership.