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Meet the Leadership

The Fostering Academic Achievement Nationwide network is supported by a Leadership Team representing expertise in child welfare and higher education.

Lori Tiller

Embark georgia

Lori Tiller is a public service faculty member at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development a unit of the Office of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia. She is the co-lead of the Embark Georgia network supporting higher education professionals as they serve invisible populations and works on a variety of youth leadership efforts both virtually and in person to increase the leadership capacity of young people from elementary through graduate school. Lori is a current Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Higher Education at UGA.

Rachel Strawn

Great Expectations

Rachel Mayes Strawn, Ph.D., is passionate about the transformative power of education and sees that power in action every day as the Program Director of Great Expectations, the Virginia Community College System’s program for youth who have experienced foster care. Under her tenure, the program has expanded to 21 of Virginia’s 23 Community Colleges and gained national recognition.

Maddy Day

Maddy Day LLC & Associates

Maddy Day founded the University of Washington Champions Program in 2010, developed and directed Fostering Success Michigan until 2018, and started the Fostering Academic Achievement Nationwide network in 2016. Maddy lives in Michigan and is currently a child welfare and education consultant and owner of Maddy Day, LLC & Associates, a consulting firm focused on systems reform.

Kerri Kearney

R is for Thursday

Dr. Kerri Kearney’s research and service focus on hidden student populations in higher education; organizational behavior, theory, and structure in higher education; and visual methods in qualitative research. She is the founder of the R is for Thursday Network of Oklahoma, which equips individuals to support college-bound foster youth/alumni and hidden student populations in college. Dr. Kearney is published in diverse fields including higher education and student affairs, management and executive coaching, and qualitative research.