Build
Your
Future
Our hands-on model relies on the expertise of our team and strong community partnerships. All members of our team share a deep commitment to our community partners, our mentors and, the students themselves.
 
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Managing Partners

Aaron Rakow, Chief Executive Officer. Aaron is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of College Steps. He has devoted his career to improving educational accessibility for students living with disabilities across a variety of categories.  Aaron is also an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and co-founded InSite Solutions, a school-based mental health consulting and direct service non-profit serving communities of poverty in Washington, DC. Collectively, Aaron has fifteen years of experience working within the behavioral health field including at the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Children’s National Health System, The Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Vermont. Aaron oversees all aspects of College Steps strategic planning, communications, and stakeholder relations.

Lauren Merritt, Chief Operating Officer. Lauren is a founding member of College Steps and has overseen the growth of College Steps partnerships from a single college program in Vermont to a comprehensive model featuring partnership sites throughout the northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. Lauren is identified as a national leader in post-secondary education for individuals living with disabilties. Lauren’s professional memberships include the Post-Secondary Education Consortium, Autism Advisory Council for Connecticut, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts (Chairperson), Ability Now (Chairperson), Waitsfield Children’s Center (Board of Directors), Green Mountain United Way (Board of Directors), Autism Speaks, and Connecticut Association on Higher Education and Disability. She leads and manages all aspects of College Steps operations, human resources and community relations.

Leadership Team

Brya Emery
Director of Admissions

Denise Halter
Chief Financial Officer

Chris Kennedy
Regional Director

 

Tori Milne
Director of Workforce Development

Dee Tippett
Staff Accountant

Kimberly Volitis
Community Coordinator

On-campus Staff
northern vermont university - johnson

northern vermont university - johnson

Kali Brgant
Program Coordinator

nova - loudoun

nova - loudoun

Taylor Bryant
Program Coordinator

County college of morris

County college of morris

Marybeth Burtt
Instructional Coordinator

Connecticut College

Connecticut College

Rob Carlucci
Program Coordinator

 
NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY - LYNDON

NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY - LYNDON

Maria Coviello Gould
Program Coordinator

nova - annandale

nova - annandale

Kathryn Dooley
Instructional Coordinator

nova - annandale

nova - annandale

Andrew Falion
Program Coordinator

american international college

american international college

Amy Mitrani
Instructional Coordinator

 
castleton university

castleton university

Patty Moore
Program Coordinator

county college of morris

county college of morris

Nancy Tichenor
Program Coordinator

NOVA - loudoun

NOVA - loudoun

Tommy Murphy
Instructional Coordinator

Norwalk community college

Norwalk community college

Tim Pearson
Program Coordinator

AMerican international college

AMerican international college

Chris Ryan
Program Coordinator

Board of Directors

George Daly
Dean Emeritus of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Pamela Gertz
Parent Advocate

Akron, OH

Dave Kearon
Director of Adult Services for Autism Speaks

Long Island, NY

Jennifer Markowitz
Pediatric Speech Pathologist, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Washington, DC

Patty Prelock
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President at University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

Jeff Schulz
Partner at Bellwether Education Partners

Chicago, IL

Ted Young,
Chief Financial Officer of Dorian LPG Ltd.

New York, NY