Lauren Conte

College Data Coach

As a College Data Coach and member of the Lab’s Digital Transformation team, Lauren Conte supports the work of the Community College Growth Engine and the Data Collaborative for a Skills-Based Economy. She partners with colleges to help strengthen their capacity to collect data crucial to understanding the impact of innovative micro-pathway programs on new majority learners.

Lauren comes to the Lab with extensive experience in the higher education sector and expertise in mixed-methods data collection, institutional data management, and data analysis. Her work is motivated by a fiery passion to improve access to higher education by removing barriers for traditionally underrepresented individuals. Before joining the Lab, Lauren worked in NORC at the University of Chicago’s Higher Education Analytics Center, where she specialized in web survey development and researched campus climate topics such as mental health and wellness, sexual assault prevention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

HOMETOWN: Methuen, Massachusetts

EDUCATION: Wesleyan University 

BACHELOR’S: B.A. in Psychology with minors in Data Analysis and Education

MASTER’S: M.A. in Psychology

WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK I’M… playing in recreational sports leagues, trying out new recipes, and brewery hopping with my dog, Springer.

Caroline DeLeon

Education Designer

Caroline DeLeon left Education Design Lab in October 2023. This is an archived post.

Caroline DeLeon serves as an Education Designer with the Community College Growth Engine team and brings over 10 years of higher education and student development experience in addition to policy work and advocacy for new majority learners.

As a first-generation college graduate, Latina, and daughter of immigrant parents, Caroline brings passion to her work by giving back to her community and uplifting the next generation of leaders. She thrives when working with learners who need assistance navigating their personal, academic, and career pathways to more opportunities.

Having a love for nonprofits, Caroline’s career began by assisting the greater Boston area with financial-aid literacy education and completion, which led her to complete her master’s degree in Higher Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. She has since worked with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and institutions including Georgetown Law, Northeastern University, and American University.

A native of Massachusetts, Caroline is a fan of all New England teams and can often be seen sipping on Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees and displaying sports memorabilia with reminders of her BOSTON STRONG roots.

Mary Ann M. DeMario, PhD

College Data Coach

The Data Coach role gives Mary Ann the opportunity to blend her interests in creative problem solving, collaborative team building, and building a community of practice with her knowledge of data systems, data governance, data policy, and data design. Mary Ann’s role as a College Data Coach allows her to continue to support college data capacity while facilitating shared experiences aimed at supporting students.

Prior to working at the Lab, Mary Ann spent 17 years as a specialist in the Institutional Research Office at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. Monroe was the first college in the nation to deliberately collect data on students’ marital and parental status, and Mary Ann was the first researcher to analyze that data. The result was a seminal study that demonstrated that campus-based child care helps student-parents with young children persist in and graduate from college. Following that and other studies on Monroe student-parents, Mary Ann helped Monroe apply for and receive the Education Design Lab’s Single Moms Success grant in 2019.

She is excited to join the Lab because she worked closely with it for four years on the Single Moms Success initiative. That experience allowed her to witness the transformational power of human-centered design.

HOMETOWN: Neptune, New Jersey

BACHELOR’S: Psychology, SUNY Potsdam

MASTER’S: Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

DOCTORATE: Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

FAVORITE QUOTE: “There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right”.  – Albus Dumbledore

WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK I’M… spending time with my husband and 8-year-old son.

Kaman Hung, D.HSc

College Data Coach

Dr. Hung brings a background in data analytics, education, and organizational process improvement to Education Design Lab as a Data Coach. He currently works on enhancing data governance policies and facilitating data-driven decision-making for partner higher education institutions through the Lab’s Digital Transformation team. Prior to joining the Lab, Kaman held various roles, including serving as a program mentor at Western Governors University, where he fostered an online learning community for nontraditional learners and collaborated on program improvements. 

He also worked as a senior talent operations insights specialist at Shopify, where he developed measurement plans and enhanced learning programs and service dashboards. He is excited to join the Lab because of his passion for data-driven decision-making and educational innovation. With a background spanning computer science, education, and expertise in improving human performance through learning programs, Kaman is eager to contribute to the Lab’s mission of advancing education through innovative solutions and data-driven insights.

HOMETOWN: Asbury, New Jersey

BACHELOR’S: BA Communication/Broadcasting, Kean University; BA Computer Science, University of the People

MASTER’S: MS Digital Marketing, Western Governors University; MS Exercise Science, PennWest California; M.Ed. Digital Learning, Lamar University; M.Ed. Experiential Learning, Plymouth State University; MBA, Quantic School of Business & Technology; Ed.S. Educational Leadership, Arkansas State University

DOCTORATE: D.HSc. Health Science, PennWest California

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do”. – John Wooden

WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK I’M… exploring the world through books, traveling to new places, hiking in nature, and indulging in the joy of cooking gourmet vegan foods.

Ivan Lui

Education Designer

Ivan Lui brings a unique mix of experience in intentional design, academic research, project management, economic development, and social work to the Lab, where he works as an Education Designer for the Designers in Residence project.

A native Californian, Ivan moved to Minnesota years ago to work as an engineer. Since then, he’s switched gears several times, going to the Middle East and Africa for international relief and development work, directing a nonprofit using agricultural business to promote economic development in developing countries, earning a master’s degree in Social Work, and working for a regional inter-governmental organization focused on changing youth outcomes in the Twin Cities.

Outside of the Lab, Ivan loves to read, cook, run, and spend time with his family.

Rebecka Ramos, PhD

Senior Education Designer

Rebecka co-designs solutions with partners, facilitates partner and group learning sessions, and supports partners through the change process as a Senior Education Designer. She brings her passion for equity and commitment to change to her projects, like Opportunity @ Work and BRIDGES.

Prior to joining the Lab, Rebecka was an educator in the higher education system. She has worked on  digital courseware, designed learning experiences, structured and facilitated learner support services, and wrote open-source textbooks.  She strived to give her students agency, belonging, and a sense of growth in their gateway English courses. 

HOMETOWN: Winter Haven, Florida

BACHELOR’S: B.A. in English, Nyack College

MASTER’S: M.A. in Literature, University of Central Florida

DOCTORATE: Ph.D. in Education Policy and Change Leadership, Walden University

FAVORITE QUOTE:  “Everything is figure-out-able” – Unknown

WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK I’M… reading, watching movies, and laughing with my family. You may catch me at the beach with my camera or a good book.

Courtney Bell

Learning Experience Designer

Courtney Bell believes in learning by doing and is excited to bring her background in learning design to the Education Design Lab as a Learning Experience Designer working on the Design Academy.

Prior to joining the Lab, Courtney worked as a Senior Learning Experience Designer at IDEO U, where she led the development of a transformational learning product, Sprints. She also worked at the University of Colorado Denver as an instructional designer, developing courses with topics focused on equity and the social determinants of health. Her favorite part of her field is poking at, questioning, and solving intriguing problems. She approaches this work by designing for interconnectedness so that people and communities can build capacity.

Courtney holds a Master of Public Health from Colorado State University, a master’s in Learning Design & Technology from University of Colorado, a bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, and a graduate certificate in Human-Centered Design and Innovation from University of Colorado Denver. She’s also a certified health education specialist.

Outside of work, Courtney enjoys playing rugby (previously union, now Aussie-style touch), singing bad karaoke, attending musicals, and dabbling in crafts (baking and making things).

McKenzie Paterson

Community Designer

McKenzie Paterson (she/her/hers) is the Community Designer at Education Design Lab and brings her experience in community building, social design, intercultural communications, and civic and social learning to support the Lab’s work. In her role, McKenzie leads the Lab’s community of practice to elevate an interconnected ecosystem of practitioners through equity-centered learning and collaboration for redesigning systems of learning and working at the margins.

Prior to joining the Lab, McKenzie was an Outreach Coordinator at the Close Up Foundation, where she cultivated and managed equity-centered partnerships with schools and communities in Washington, Illinois, Idaho, Maine, and Virginia. Previous to that, she was an Education and Youth Development Specialist with Peace Corps Thailand and partnered with her local community to pilot a portfolio of capacity-building programs for educators and learners throughout central Thailand. She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Public Relations from Syracuse University.

McKenzie is a fierce champion of radical joy and humanity, and she believes deeply in the magic of connection to catalyze our collective liberation. She strives to bring this passion to support the Lab’s mission in contributing to a future where people who have been historically and systematically underinvested in have opportunities to create the futures they want for themselves.

McKenzie lives in Washington, D.C., and loves exploring the natural and curated world around her, discovering new music that speaks to her soul, and all the little moments in between spent with her community that make her feel fully alive.

Sofia Lopez Nunez

Board Member

Sofia Lopez Nunez is a finance consultant and design thinking strategist with extensive experience managing complex projects across diverse industries and geographies. She is part of the Teaching Team at IDEO U, where she supports learners to develop and enhance their creative leadership skills. Her prior experiences include leading the Latin America Finance organization at Caterpillar’s Distribution division, where she was a member of the region’s executive leadership team. She also worked at HSBC in Panama, starting her career in corporate and investment banking.

Having lived across seven different countries in the Americas and worked on a worldwide scale, Sofia understands the important role education plays in our society and our future. She has volunteered in multiple efforts, including OpenIDEO’s Early Childhood Education and Education in Emergencies challenges. She also serves as an alumni mentor to McGill University students and is a First Movers Fellow at the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.

Sabina Sariyska

Instructional Designer

As an Instructional Designer, Sabina Sariyska is excited to bring her hybrid background to the Education Design Lab. She is a creator for XCredit, the Community College Growth Engine Fund, and the Data Collaborative.

Prior to joining the Lab, Sabina walked many paths, acquiring a bouquet of skills along the way. From creating interactive art installations after college to working as a respiratory therapist in neonatal units around the nation, each path has been filled with learning, exploration, practice, growth, and development. Excited to join a nonprofit that embraces the multiple dimensions each of us contains, Sabina is looking forward to collaborating on projects that will elevate people and their skills, knowledge, and earning potential.

Sabina holds a Master of Arts in Learning Design and Technology from the University of Colorado, Denver; a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theatre from Concordia University in Montreal; and an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care from Pima Community College in Arizona.

Outside of work, Sabina enjoys the Colorado sunshine, gardening, dancing, audiobooks, and puzzles.