AlumniCorps: inspiration + unearthed passions for Toni Murphy ’05

Toni Seaberry Murphy ’05, Former PP55 Intern at the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, Washington, D.C.

Toni Murphy ’05 (left) with her husband and three children.

Which aspect of your internship was most impactful to you and why?

I enjoyed the different Project 55 gatherings for alumni and folks working in DC. I remember going to one such gathering at the home of a U.S. Senator who was a Princeton alumnus. It was amazing – I was 18 and being exposed to different circles of people with power and influence.

We were in the midst of the tech boom/ bust, and the housing market was severely affected. We were determining which local banks to fund based on their role in the local economy in different parts of the U.S. I loved working for CDFI because it was altruistic, but it helped me understand financial markets. My internship gave me a window into the financial world and set the bar high. Had it not been for my Project 55 Internship, I don’t know if I would have gotten a Bank of America internship the next year and gone into public finance for my sophomore internship.

What advice would you offer a Princetonian who’s considering a PP55 Fellowship?

Working with an organization like the CDFI Fund as a PP55 Intern/ Fellow gives you a great entree into the business world with the safety net and support of your alumni family to ensure your success. You can enter the workforce without all the brokering you usually have to do to get into the system. With PP55 you’re allowed to make mistakes and learn from the ground up.

Why give to Princeton AlumniCorps?

When I give to AlumniCorps, it’s easy to see where my money is going. I find that the mission is clear, the influence is there, it’s giving back and paying it forward. AlumniCorps is a small, nimble organization and I know my dollars are going to go a long way.

Join AlumniCorps for our Reunions Events!

Friday, June 2, 2:00 -3:30 pm
Reunions Panel, Moving the Needle: Princeton AlumniCorps and Systemic Social Change

Please join us for a panel discussion focusing on three AlumniCorps partner organizations who work to create systemic social change through philanthropy, policy, and research. Princeton alumni leaders will talk about their organizations and the contributions AlumniCorps programs–especially Project 55 Fellows–have made to their work.


Reunions Panelists: Arthur McKee ’90, Director of Research, CityBridge Education; Sodiqa Williams ’05, VP External Affairs, Safer Foundation; James Burgess ’09, Executive Director and Co-Founder of OpenBiome
  • Arthur McKee ’90, Director of Research, CityBridge Education
  • Sodiqa Williams ’05, VP External Affairs, Safer Foundation
  • James Burgess ’09, Executive Director and Co-Founder of OpenBiome

Location: Computer Science Building, Room 104, Princeton University

Friday, June 2, 2017, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Farewell to Andrew: A Luncheon
Please RSVP below

Sunday, June 4, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Board of Directors Meeting

AlumniCorps Board meetings are open to the public. Please RSVP to Kimme Carlos at or (609) 921-8808 ext.1 by Friday, May 19, 2017. We hope you will be able to join us!

Location: The Convocation Room (Room 113), Friend Center, Princeton University
The Convocation Room (113) is located in the Friend Center for Engineering Education at Princeton University. You can obtain parking directions by using the intersection of Olden and Williams Streets, or plug 35 Olden St. into your GPS.

Parking: There is street parking, as well as parking in University lots 10 and 13, located on Williams Street. Metered parking on Williams and Olden is not enforced on Sundays.

Why support Princeton AlumniCorps?

Princeton AlumniCorps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As such, we rely on the generosity of our donors, who provide nearly 80% of our operating budget. Our programs in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, New Jersey, and Washington DC, annually provide mentorship, training, and professional development to approximately 80 talented
passionate university graduates and nonprofit professionals who in turn, directly affect thousands of people served by our partner organizations. Your contribution ensures that the next generation of leaders at nonprofits across the spectrum including community development, social justice, education, the environment, public policy and more, can develop the skills and knowledge they need to effect long-term, systemic social change.

Keystone Society
The Keystone Society is comprised of a select group of donors who have chosen to assure the long-term health and sustainability of Princeton AlumniCorps by including AlumniCorps in their estate planning. Society members know that the assets they commit now will continue to aid AlumniCorps for generations to come, as it develops civic leaders, builds an
expansive community, and creates social impact. For more information on how you can ensure your legacy with AlumniCorps, please visit the Keystone Society website.

Current PP55 Fellow, Ramie Fathy ‘16 (far right, with co-workers at UCSF)

“Project 55 offers a chance to work ‘In the Nation’s Service and in the Service of Humanity’ in a structured, supportive environment with the freedom and time to reflect on one’s efforts, purpose, and ultimate goals. Fellowships involve high impact projects supervised by leaders in the field who are dedicated to our success.”

Former PP55 Fellow, Geoff Mitelman ’00 (pictured holding placard at a march)

“I’m the Founding Director of Sinai and Synapses, which bridges the worlds of religion and science…The work I did [as a Fellow at] Facing History, which uses the Holocaust as a lesson in human behavior, still influences me today. I use many of their methodologies in teaching. Their belief that history is a moral enterprise guides my rabbinate.”

Former PP55 Fellow, Julie Wingerter ’92 (at her 20th reunion with her family)

“The number of amazing PP55 alumni that are working for systemic change in our country is inspiring! These are smart people who are dedicating themselves to helping solve some of society’s toughest problems.”

Regional Updates, Spring 2017

AlumniCorps Regions Map 2017-18

Seven members of the Class of 1966 hosted lunch for Boston-area AlumniCorps Project 55 Fellows from their 2016 grandchild class, meeting downtown at the Carrie Nation Cocktail Club. John Hart ‘66 reports, “The Fellows have impressive accomplishments and activities and are great conversationalists as well. This was the first 1966-2016 event since the 50th.”

Class of '66 with PP55 Fellows in Boston
Clockwise in the first photo from Rick Bowers in the striped sweater at the head of the table: Rick Bowers, Nina Narayanan, Ned Groth, Clara Kerwin, Sanjay Rao, Mike Tooke (head of the other end), Carl Corey (in 50th blazer), Owen Mathieu, John Hart, Emilee Tu, and David Williams (missing: PP55 Fellow Dinara Gabdrakhmanova).

Class of '66 with PP55 Fellows in Boston

In addition, within the past three months, Fellows in Boston attended two public health forums. The first was a lecture on the behavior economics of scarcity with Princeton Professor Eldar Shafir, as well as a coffee chat with the Boston University Dean of Public Health. The second was an all-day symposium on reducing health inequities. The Boston Area Committee will wrap up the year with a seminar at the Children’s Advocacy Center, a longtime supporter of Project 55 and an outdoor picnic dinner to celebrate their Fellows.


During the last week of April, PP55 Fellows joined fellows from the University of Chicago and Northwestern for a seminar at the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs, a group working to address crime, education, health, poverty, and energy and environmental challenges in urban areas. In early April, the Committee hosted a happy hour so that Fellows, mentors, and Chicago Area Committee volunteers could catch up with Princeton AlumniCorps staff in town. In March, fellows organized a potluck game night and invited their mentors. Everyone brought their favorite dish and board game for a relaxed evening of fun. The Chicago Area Committee wants to give a special thank you to Amy Beth Treciokas ’87 for hosting the event in her beautiful yoga studio. The Area Committee is excited to be holding their end-of-year dinner in a few weeks to celebrate another successful fellowship year in Chicago!

New Jersey

The New Jersey Area Committee hosted a post-webinar seminar in March. They also hosted an outreach event on February 2 where AlumniCorps Interim Executive Director and Board President Kef Kasdin ’85 spoke to approximately 15 attendees about AlumniCorps’ new strategic plan and vision. Attendees also got the opportunity to share their expertise as mentors for social entrepreneur opportunities and meet the four Project 55 Fellows placed in New Jersey:

  • Sahana Jayaraman, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
  • Kelsey Kane-Ritsch, D&R Greenway Land Trust
  • Aliisa Lee, International Schools Services
  • Maya Wahrman, Princeton University, Office of Religious Life

On May 4 the Committee hosted a forum for about 25 people about entrepreneurship. Those in attendance got the opportunity to become acquainted with other alumni who have a commitment to civic engagement. Kef Kasdin ’85, President and Interim Executive Director of Alumni Corps, spoke about AlumniCorps’ new Strategic Plan. Special guest speaker Anne-Marie Maman ’84, Director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council spoke about entrepreneurship.

Invest in Emerging Leaders: a summary of the Emerging Leaders 2017 Spring campaign

This year, AlumniCorps took a new approach to raise money for our Emerging Leaders program, galvanizing six years of Emerging Leaders alumni to join together to raise $6,000. As further incentive, the Harris Finch Foundation generously provided a one-to-one match challenge for the first $6,000 raised. Thanks to 48 donors, we exceeded our match and raised $7,058 for a total of $13,058!

EL NYC 2016-17
The 2016-17 cohort of Emerging Leaders in NYC at their closing celebration with program facilitator Yael Sivi (far right)
EL DC 2016-17
The 2016-17 cohort of Emerging Leaders in Washington, D.C. at their closing celebration with their program facilitator, Hilary Joel ‘85 (far left)

At each closing celebration, a few Emerging Leaders spoke about the impact the program had on them. A few excerpts from the NYC celebration:

A.J. Taylor reflected: “… the mere fact that I’m up here speaking to you today is a direct result of all the things I learned from the program… Emerging Leaders literally and figuratively helped me find my voice.”

Annabel Barnes of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation said, “The course was, somewhat uncannily, giving me every lesson that I needed, just when I needed it… Emerging Leaders modeled the kind of team that I hoped to one day lead and be a part of.”

“When I reflect on the past nine months in Emerging Leaders, my primary response is gratitude for the privilege of participating in a program I didn’t even know I needed,” said Jesse Bassett of Good Grief, Inc.

News from the Field: ARC Innovator making an impact in Harlem

Brian Leung ’12,  ARC Innovator at Harlem RBI (now DREAM Charter School)

Brian Leung ’12

Brian Leung is a senior analyst at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. On a daily basis, he uses analytical and statistical methods to lead and evaluate projects that minimize disparities and injustice in the City’s youth population. He volunteered as an ARC Innovator with Harlem RBI (now DREAM Charter School) in 2016-17.

How did you discover ARC Innovators?
I learned about the program from the Princeton Alumni listserve. I’d been looking for an education-based pro bono project and it seemed to be a great fit given the skills I use in my day job. At work, I frequently deal with underserved populations. I live about ten blocks away from Harlem RBI, so this project hit close to home because it’s in my community. In the Mayor’s Office, my work is mile-high. At Harlem RBI, I was working on the ground and making a tangible difference.

What did you do at Harlem RBI (now DREAM Charter School)?
They needed help with choosing an e-learning solution for distributing materials to faculty, staff, parents, and students. My final deliverable was a 50-page slide deck ranking each popular solution on the market for the implementation leader and principal. I spent about 80 hours over the course of many weekends for four months.

How did your assistance help Harlem RBI (now DREAM Charter School)?
The person who would implement the chosen tool didn’t have enough hours in the day to do the research himself, so I saved him a lot of time. In addition, I provided an outsider’s perspective and strategic insight.

How did the ARC Innovator project benefit you?
Their feedback helped me develop as a private consultant. While ARC Innovators is usually promoted to seasoned professionals, this AlumniCorps program provides opportunities that should be leveraged by both new and experienced professionals.

Dream Charter School

DREAM Charter School (formerly Harlem RBI) is a model learning community with high expectations, a strong culture of care and a vision of student success and excellence. DREAM was established in 2008 with 100 scholars in kindergarten and first grade. Today, they serve 486 scholars in PreK through eighth grade. They will open their doors to their first ninth grade class in fall 2017.