Who We Are
Who We Are
SIG Officers

2023-2024 List of Officers

Heather McCambly,  PhD - Co-Chair 2023-2024

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Email: mccambly@pitt.edu

Twitter: @hmccambly

Dr. Heather McCambly is assistant professor of critical higher education policy at the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary scholar who studies the role of organizations, including grantmakers, in (re)producing systemic, racial inequalities. She does this work with a commitment to producing knowledge that can help us, collectively, build alternative pathways toward just futures of Black, brown, indigenous, and low-income students and institutions over time. Constructs central to her work include racialized organizations, institutional persistence and change, racial frames, political development and racial backlash, and organizational sensemaking.

Ida Oberman, PhD - Co-Chair 2023-2024

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Email: dridaoberman@gmail.com

Dr. Ida Oberman is Senior Research Fellow at Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences, Alfter, Germany, and founder and executive director emerita of Community School for Creative Education, the country’s first Intercultural urban public Waldorf School, a full-service K-8 community school in Oakland, CA. Dutch born and German educated with Abitur from  Waldorf School Tūbingen,  she holds a  BA from Swarthmore and PhD from Stanford. She is founder and past director of the Waldorf Education Professional Development Certificate Program at Mills College School of Education  2015-2022 and a former Education Program Officer at the Hewlett Foundation. Ida is co-founder of the Philanthropy and Education SIG in 2001. For full selection of publications click here

Ali Watts - Co-Program Chair  2023-2024

Email: ali.watts@utah.edu

Dr. Ali Watts is Assistant Professor and Director of Higher Education Programs within the University of Utah’s Department of Education Leadership & Policy. She holds a PhD in Higher Education from Penn State University, an EdM in Higher Education Administration from Boston University, an MA in English Literature/Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Georgia, and a BA from Colgate University. Initially trained as a critical social theorist working in the humanities, she brings an interdisciplinary and speculative orientation to questions related to organizational learning, graduate student and early career scholar socialization, and the future of work in U.S. colleges and universities. A significant thread of this agenda focuses on tracing the complex and contradictory history of the relationship between education researchers and private philanthropic foundations—drawing particular attention to moments where this relationship constrained or enabled transformative change efforts on campus and beyond. The goal of this work is to map potential strategies for building equity-minded cross-sector coalitions committed to redistributing resources and relationships in ways that address historic and persisting social inequities.

 Chase McNamee, PhD - Co-Program Chair  2023-2024


Email: mcnamee@gmail.com

 Dr. Chase McNamee is a scholar-practitioner in institutional advancement and higher education. He has served in a variety of roles as a practitioner and leader in higher education and institutional advancement, including in alumni relations, donor relations & stewardship, fundraising, development strategy, and gift processing and management. He is a co-founder of Advancing Belonging Consultants (ABC). Our ABC team uses evidence-informed practice and research to partner with advancement professionals to achieve enhanced belonging, justice, and liberation within their organizations for their constituents, stakeholders, and teams.

Dr. McNamee graduated with his doctorate in Higher & Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He serves as a research fellow for The Tzedakah Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University and Associate Editor of Philanthropy & Education. His research focuses on evidence-informed practice and policy and identity-based philanthropy in institutional advancement and higher education. In addition, he currently works full-time as a Senior Project Manager at the University of Denver, where he manages the DU Impact 2025 Strategic Imperatives projects and Community + Values, an initiative aimed at increasing the sense of belonging and community for the DU community, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and beyond.

Krystal Villanosa, PhD – Secretary/Treasurer  2023-2024

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Email: kvillanosa@spencer.org

Dr. Krystal Villanosa is an associate program officer at the Spencer Foundation, where she supports education research projects that engage in collaborative and participatory partnerships that result in new insights into the processes, practices, and policies that improve education for learners, educators, families, communities, and institutions where learning and teaching happen (e.g., schools, universities, museums, other workplaces). She is a learning scientist by training and studies education practitioners' conceptualizations of racial equity, focusing on the consequences and material impacts of practitioners' beliefs and attitudes about racial equity on how they design interventions to remediate educational inequality. Her recent work includes an examination of how museum practitioners discursively position the minoritized communities they seek to engage and an analysis of the effects of COVID-19 and the Movement for Black Lives on postsecondary education grantmakers' sensemaking and strategies.

Dana Lucka, EdD – Webmaster/Member at Large  2023-2024

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Email:  dml7@fresno.edu

 Twitter: @dmzlucka

Dr. Dana Lucka is a professor in the School of Business at Fresno Pacific University, teaching courses in leadership, organizational development, management, change theory, and diversity.  She holds an EdD in Higher Education Leadership from California State University, Fresno, an MA in Educational Administration, and a BA in Journalism. She also holds postgraduate certificates in communication and change leadership. Spending the early part of her career in a corporate environment and authoring two textbooks on corporate structure, she brings a unique perspective to collaboration, community partnerships, and engagement.   Areas of focus and research are community engagement and motivation, resiliency and grit among graduate students, academic persistence, board/volunteer development, viable nonprofit management, and long-term strategic planning. She is currently a Fulbright Specialist and consults with various entities on educational design, strategic planning, leadership/change management, and organizational sustainability.

Stephanie Sowl, PhD - Member-at-Large  2023-2024


Email: ssowl@ecmc.org

Twitter: @StephanieSowl

Dr. Stephanie Sowl is a program officer at ECMC Foundation, a national postsecondary funder based in Los Angeles, CA. She oversees a portfolio of grants focused on supporting faculty, administrators, practitioners, and policymakers, primarily through professional development and learning. Stephanie joined the philanthropic world one year ago with a focus on radicalizing the Foundation’s approach to grantmaking, prioritizing student voice, and institutional transparency and accountability. In her short time at ECMC Foundation, Stephanie continues to leverage her passion for research and experience as a practitioner to interrogate the ways in which philanthropy has historically and contemporarily reproduced systems of inequality as it relates to grantmaking within the postsecondary system.

Stephanie has a PhD in Higher Education from Iowa State University and conducts research on the spatial inequality of rural college access and success, how college-going cultures are created in rural communities, and the residential mobility patterns of adults post-college graduation. She has published in journals such as Journal of Higher Education, Innovative Higher Education, and Rural Sociology and previously served as AERA Division J’s graduate student representative from 2019-2021. Prior to her doctoral work, Stephanie was a research analyst in Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College and an academic advisor and coordinator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

Crystal Martinez - Graduate Student Representative  2023-2024

Ms. Crystal Martinez is a second-year master's student in the educational leadership and policy program at the University of Utah. Her career choices have been driven by a strong belief in the power of higher education. Currently serving as the Associate Director for a college and career readiness program at Success in Education, Crystal passionately empowers students to navigate higher education and career pathways. A substantial part of Crystal's role involves skillfully navigating donor fulfillment while ensuring the prosperity of programs. Her experience in collaborating with donors not only sustains essential initiatives but also fuels her continuous quest to explore the impact that philanthropy has within education. Always mindful of aligning donor contributions with the organization's mission and goals, Crystal strives to create meaningful partnerships that amplify the impact of educational initiatives.She continues to assess and reflect on philanthropy's role within the educational system, contributing significantly to her organization and positively impacting students' lives.

Nora Reikosky - Graduate Student Representative 2023-2024

Ms. Nora Reikosky (she/her) is a joint PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the Education, Culture, and Society division of the Graduate School of Education, and in the political science department, where she specializes in political theory and American Political Development. Her research critically explores the impact and stakes of private philanthropic actors in the democratic institution of public education, particularly where these actors intersect with and influence workforce and career readiness efforts—such as computer science for all—to educate students for future economic participation. Prior to pursuing a PhD, Nora worked in the Google, Inc. legal department and at a national charter management organization implementing personalized and blended learning.


SIG 148 currently has an ad hoc nominations and awards subcommittees.  All SIG members are welcome to apply by reaching out to the current SIG Co-Chairs: mccambly@pitt.edu or dridaoberman@gmail.com

Additionally, each year the SIG puts out a call for reviewers.  Please reach out to the Program Chair if you are interested in assisting:  ali.watts@utah.edu

Structure & Governance

According to its Bylaws, SIG 148 is governed by a Board consisting of a Chair (or Co-Chairs), a Program Chairs (or Co-Chairs), and a Secretary/Treasurer.  This position can be served together or as two separate positions.