A new chapter for the Lab: Bill Hughes is now President + CEO See Announcement

Casey Andree

Instructional Designer

Casey Andree brings a lifelong focus on equitable access to education, and a background in K-12 mathematics and competency-based learning to his role at the Education Design Lab. He’s joining the team as an Instructional Designer working on the XCredit project with the Digital Transformation team.

Prior to joining the Lab, Casey worked as the Competency-Based Learning Specialist for Denver Public Schools, in addition to a decade teaching secondary math. He can’t wait to get to work turning lived experience and 21st century skills into workplace currency for New Majority Learners.

Casey holds a master’s degree in Education from Christian Brothers University, and a bachelor’s in Classics-English from Colorado College.

Outside of work, Casey enjoys HIIT, collecting original comic art, and occasionally appearing in film, commercial, and theater projects in Colorado.

Carolina Mendez

Education Design Intern

Carolina Mendez brings her higher education and policy background to the Education Design Lab as an Education Design Intern working with the Lab’s Community College Growth Engine Fund (CCGEF). Carolina is a full-time student at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, where she is pursuing her Master of Public Policy, with an emphasis in education policy.

Prior to joining the Lab, she worked as a Senior Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator at the University of Minnesota – TC, where she focused on access and recruitment efforts for low-income, first generation, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, and BIPOC students in the Twin Cities. Additionally, she served as a facilitator and trainer for gender equity and access for University of Minnesota staff and students. She’s excited to join the Lab and continue pushing equity-based efforts through the Fund and make large-scale change for new majority leaners.

Carolina holds her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ayanna Conway

Social Media + Community Specialist

Ayanna Conway joins the Lab as the Social Media + Community Specialist with experience in brand management, marketing, and building a strong presence on all social media platforms for organizations. She hopes to use these skills to bring the Lab’s mission and vision to life as well.

Ayanna has spent the past eight years working as a Social Media Manager for community-based projects in addition to working as a Social Media Marketing Manager in the auto industry. She provides expertise in establishing brand identity and target audiences by implementing specific and intentional strategies in order to increase overall brand awareness for organizations.

Ayanna holds a B.S. in Business Management from Grand Canyon University with a minor in Marketing. Now that she has joined the Lab, Ayanna is most excited about the opportunity to flourish in a team environment with fellow Labbies who are not only supportive, but are extremely knowledgeable on all things involving equity and education design.

Ayanna lives in Phoenix, Ariz., where she was born and raised. When not working, she enjoys teaching dance classes at a local dance studio with the hopes of inspiring the next generation of young, talented dancers to dream beyond their current reality!

Nalini Ravindranath Headshot

Nalini Ravindranath

Manager of Foundation Partnerships

Nalini Ravindranath is the Manager of Foundation Partnerships. She collaborates with the Lab’s education designers and senior leadership to advance a range of business and partnership development activities. Nalini also serves as the primary project manager for the Lab’s fundraising operations including grants management and compliance processes. 

A commitment to expanding opportunities for historically underinvested learners has driven her professional pursuits over the past decade. Nalini began her career with Teach For America as a 7th grade English teacher in New York City. In subsequent years, her teaching and lived experience as a first generation college graduate has informed her work with a range of national nonprofits at the intersection of education and workforce systems. 

Most recently, Nalini led the fundraising efforts of the Forum for Youth Investment. In this role, she provided strategic leadership to the organization’s revenue development activities, worked across departments to translate project goals into funding strategies, and deepened the pipeline of philanthropic partners. Nalini also led the DEI efforts of the organization and implemented practices that expanded internal equity. Prior to the Forum, Nalini managed research projects at the Finance Project supporting state and local Departments of Education devise equitable school financing formulas. During her tenure at YouthBuild USA, she supported the execution of a $20M technical assistance contract with the U.S. Department of Labor, which served 100 local YouthBuild programs across 40 states. 

Away from the Lab, Nalini is an avid long-distance hiker and blogs about her experiences. She completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. Nalini is also a dog mom to her elderly “Chiweenie,” true crime podcast aficionado, documentary film obsessive, and voracious reader.

Jeffrey Lewis headshot

Jeffrey Lewis

vsbl Client Success Manager

Jeff is excited to bring his background as a former classroom teacher, longtime coach, and decades-long experience in the SaaS Support and Success within the Higher Education sector to the Education Design Lab.

Jeff has followed a rather unique path to arrive where he is now.  After earning a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Syracuse University he had a brief stint as a professional soccer player in Canada.  It was during this time that Jeff discovered his passion for working with children and decided to parlay this passion into becoming a classroom teacher.  Upon earning a Secondary Mathematics Teaching Certification from Buffalo State College, Jeff relocated to North Carolina where he taught 6th grade math for 5 years (nominated Teacher of the Year at the Durham School of the Arts in his first year) before taking a position as a Program Coordinator at All Kinds of Minds, now part of the Q.E.D. Foundation, whose mission is to create, inspire, cultivate, and sustain cultures of transformational learning where we are all learners, learning changes lives, learning needs to happen in different ways, and learning empowers us.

Just prior to the Lab, Jeff served for 11 years as Director of Client Support and Success at ThinkOptimal, a SaaS provider of innovative career technology solutions for organizations and individuals.  During his tenure at ThinkOptimal, Jeff pursued his M.S. in Athletic Administration at North Carolina Central University.

When not working Jeff can be found on the soccer pitch coaching for an MLS Next Academy club, collecting and reading comics (current collection exceeding 23,000), or spending time with his girlfriend Sonnie, daughter Jada, and rescue boxer-pit mix, GiGi.

Rachel Kahn

Education Designer

Rachel is delighted to bring her background in higher education administration, workforce development, and project management as well as her love for relationship building and storytelling to the Education Design Lab as an Education Designer with the Lab’s Community College Growth Engine Fund (CCGEF).

Rachel began her career in higher education in 2014, and has since held a variety of administrative roles with several higher education institutions. It was during her time serving as the Director of Career Services for Unity College that Rachel discovered her passion for connecting students to gainful employment, and focusing on the outcomes of higher education.  She continued fostering that passion in a cross-functional capacity in the roles of Chief Advancement Officer and Chief of Staff at Unity College as the College leaned heavily into focusing on student outcomes through the lenses of student-centered design and equity.

Just prior to joining the Lab, Rachel served as the Dean of Workforce and Professional Solutions at Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC).  Rooted in her personal mission to help address inequities in access to higher education, the community college setting allowed her to engage in work that directly addressed the needs of New Majority Learners. It was here that Rachel first connected with the Lab while leading EMCC’s participation in the BRIDGES Rural project, geared towards strengthening the capacity of rural community colleges to serve as critical economic growth engines for their learners and communities.

This engagement with the Lab seamlessly paired Rachel’s professional background with her personal mission in a way that was enlightening.  Now, as a member of the Lab, Rachel is excited to support the Fund and effect large-scale change in the name of equitable education solutions in a sustainable way. 

Rachel holds a M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Southern New Hampshire University, and a B.A. in History Education from Siena College. When not working, you can find Rachel experimenting in the kitchen, reading the latest historical fiction and nonfiction, and exploring the beautiful state of Maine where she currently lives with her partner, Chris.

Dr. Rufus Glasper

President + CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College

Dr. Rufus Glasper is President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities.

Dr. Glasper, Chancellor Emeritus of the Maricopa Community Colleges, served as Chancellor from 2003 through February 2016, and held district leadership positions for three decades.

Nationally, Dr. Glasper serves as an advisory board member for the Center for Community College Student Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin; Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – The WNET Group: American Graduate Path to the Future; and The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, North Carolina State University. Dr. Glasper serves on the board of directors for the Education Design Lab; and COMAP, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications. He also served as trustee for the Higher Learning Commission and the American Council on Education.

Dr. Glasper is an active community member, serving on the boards of the Arizona Community Foundation and the Arizona State University Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. He is also an emeritus member of Greater Phoenix Leadership.

Dr. Glasper earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College, as well as a master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University. He received his doctorate of philosophy degree in higher education finance from the University of Arizona.

Brian Rubin

Senior Education Designer

Brian Rubin joins the Lab as a Senior Education Designer. Brian brings high energy, a thirst for hard work, and service to others to every aspect of his life. His work has supported civic, faith-based, and education organizations, where he looks for opportunities to bring people together to create something better.

Driven by a desire to shift the status quo, Brian decided to pursue a career in design, after many years serving organizations as a professional fundraiser. He realized how much communities and organizations fail to address the challenges implicit in cultures driven by uniformity. 

A Gifted Storyteller with the capacity to inspire others to action, he aims to create intentional space to awaken creativity and collective self-expression and enable meaningful human connection and collaboration that will translate to flourishing communities. He is interested in building platforms that reach diverse audiences and shed light on stories and issues that often fail to be green-lighted.

Brian is a  graduate of Northwestern University where he played football. He is a New Jersey native, but is now DC-based and lives in Prince George’s County, MD with his wife and two sons.

Jagir Pipalia

Data Analyst

As a Data Analyst at the Lab, Jagir works across the Lab horizontally to manage and scale the newly formed Data Collaborative for a Skills-Based Economy (Data Collab). Jagir is responsible for managing the Lab’s master data set, creating user-friendly reports and dashboards, and resolving data issues with Lab staff and external partners.

Jagir is a data analyst with experience in operations, program management, and marketing. Jagir is excited about utilizing data to address the most difficult challenges confronting higher education and developing programs that are inclusive of the New Majority Learners and future-ready.

Jagir graduated from Georgetown University with a Master of Public Policy and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Master of Science in Economics. Jagir spends his spare time teaching meditation and breath work sessions.

Andrea Flores

Education Designer

Andrea recently joined the Lab as an Education Designer. She has nearly two decades of experience in the field of adult learning as a former TESOL educator and senior learning experience designer, both in the higher education and nonprofit space. 

She has worked both internationally and domestically focusing on designing learning experiences for both education providers and employers across a range of learner groups. Prior to joining the Lab, she led the design on a range of projects such as an award-winning multimedia case on educational ethics; a blended, personalized graduate course on how people learn funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; and the design of a global training ecosystem for the World Mosquito Program, a nonprofit funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is committed to reducing the burden of mosquito-borne disease.

Andrea employs a range of design strategies and methods to support the growth, development, and success of learners across a variety of contexts. Currently, she is working on the Community College Growth Engine Fund in collaboration with community college leaders in the design of micro-pathways to increase economic opportunities for new majority learners.

Andrea holds a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and Spanish, and she received her master’s degree in Education, Technology, and Innovation from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

When she’s not at work, she enjoys running a small community of learning designers, exploring the city looking for the best coffee shops, reading, and watercolor painting.