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Staff

Patricia Donnelly has served as the Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, since August 2002, where she is responsible for strategic planning, board development, managing a $1.2 million budget, a staff of 14, and adult literacy and beginning-level ESOL educational programs. She has three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, most of which has been in education and the performing arts. Patti has a B.A. in Economics from Mary Washington College, and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Marymount University.  She also attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business School’s Executive Leadership Program. She serves on the Board of the Virginia Literacy Foundation, the Virginia Adult and Continuing Education Board and WETA's Community Advisory Council. Patti also served as an adjunct faculty member at Marymount University teaching in the Graduate School of Business. She received the 2007 Nancy Jiranek Award for Leadership Excellence in Literacy, and is a graduate of Leadership Arlington. pdonnelly@lcnv.org
 
Ruba Marshood Afzal, Associate Director of Community Engagement, first became involved with LCNV as a volunteer tutor before joining the staff. Ruba brings 15 years of international development and non-profit experience. Ruba has worked with global and local agencies, ranging from the United Nations to small non-profits in different parts of the world, cultivating collaborative partnerships among communities and stakeholders to organize and advocate for their interests. Ruba has a BSc in Biology from University of Maryland and an MA in International Development and Environment from Duke University. A first-generation American, fluent in Arabic, Ruba is proud to serve LCNV's mission. A published photographer and photo-editor, Ruba also enjoys exploring the outdoors with her kids and sharing a great meal with family and friends. rafzal@lcnv.org
 
Carole Vinograd Bausell, Director of Academic and Student Affairs, holds a doctorate in education from Johns Hopkins University with specialization in literacy and learning disabilities, a master’s degree in special education from the University of Delaware, and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from Cambridge University. In addition to coauthoring a set of books on teaching reading, writing, and mathematics, Carole has tested and taught students with learning challenges; instructed adult ESOL learners; and occupied a variety of program-management, editorial, and research positions. She was the recipient of a State of Maryland Governor’s Award for her volunteer work with refugees. cbausell@lcnv.org
 
Kate Chu, Financial Manager, brings years of experience in adult education and project management in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.  She has worked as a volunteer tutor and as an Assessment Specialist with LCNV.  She also has experience teaching children through the No Child Left Behind program.  Kate is passionate about adult education and is inspired daily by volunteers and students.  She received her MS in Finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and her BA in English and Economics with a minor in Japanese from Ohio State University.  In her free time, she enjoys learning Mandarin, traveling, baking, and cheering for her alma mater during college football season. kchu@lcnv.org
 
Shasha Cui, Student Services Coordinator, holds a master’s degree in International and Comparative Education from George Washington University. She is an inquisitive, driven, and outgoing language lover. She has several years teaching English and Mandarin both in China and U.S.  She hopes to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to improve their intercultural competence and communication skills.  In her free time, Shasha likes spending time visiting museums, galleries and embassies, exploring new restaurants in Georgetown, hiking, and has a passion for volunteering on weekends. scui@lcnv.org
 
Tess Fulton, Volunteer Coordinator, has lived in the Washington, D.C. area for over a decade. After receiving her degree in Communications from American University, she spent a few years working in retail before transitioning to her last job as a Government Contractor at the Department of State. The experience of interacting with such diverse perspectives opened her eyes to the many issues facing our modern world. The desire to instigate positive change and to enable individuals to improve their quality of life has led her to the Literacy Council. In her free time, Tess enjoys exploring the outdoors, reading literature, listening to music, and being with her family. tfulton@lcnv.org 
 
Christopher Griffiths, Communications Coordinator, holds a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Mary Washington. After graduating in 2016, he worked on international human rights campaigns, as well as science education and outreach initiatives. He is excited to create positive change in his community as a member of LCNV’s staff. In his free time, Chris enjoys reading, music, and the arts. cgriffiths@lcnv.org
 
Ashley King, Admissions Manager, is a BEST Plus Trainer and manages LCNV student intake and assessments. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with BA's in History and Spanish. She volunteered as an ESOL Instructor and Program Director for four years at the Bridge Community Development Corporation in Richmond, Virginia. She also worked for the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department for five years. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, dancing, traveling, and watching sports - especially football and soccer. aking@lcnv.org
 
Michael Mahrer, Director of Development and Public Relations, has over 20 years of experience in the fundraising and marketing field, managing fund development and strategy, donor relations, direct marketing, organizational communications, and administrative operations. He has spent the last 17 years working in the educational nonprofit sector. Michael has created and managed multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns that have won national awards and recognition. Michael currently serves on the Community Action Advisory Board (CAAB), which advises the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on the needs, concerns and aspirations of low-income persons; and recommends policies that promote meaningful change. Michael has lived in Northern Virginia for the majority of his life. mmahrer@lcnv.org
 
Xavier Muñoz, Faculty Support Manager. Language learning has come alive for him through his experiences teaching adult immigrants. Working with them to reach their goals has made him see education as inextricably tied to both the local and global context and cultures. Currently completing his master’s degree in TESOL from SIT Graduate Institute, he graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Human Biology concentrating in language and cognition and holds an SIT TESOL Certificate. He served three years as an AmeriCorps member with LCNV teaching beginning-level, family learning and workplace classes. The White House recognized him as a César E. Chávez Champion of Change in 2014 for his work with adult immigrants. He also received LCNV’s Mid Allen Ries award for exceptional contributions to advancing the organization. xmunoz@lcnv.org
 
Soo H. Park, Instructional Design Manager, holds a Master of Education degree in Instructional Design, a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, and a Bachelors of Science in Commerce. She brings a decade of professional experience as an instructional designer and business consultant in the corporate world, as well as a wealth of English language teaching experience, including as a Lead Teacher for LCNV. Prior to assuming her current role, Soo served as a highly valued member of the AmeriCorps teaching team. spark@lcnv.org
 
Melissa Rea, Academic Operations & Student Support Services Manager, has over 20 years of experience in the field of Adult Education as a teacher, coordinator and director. She has worked for LCNV for over two years. Melissa also teaches one class a week and received an “Outstanding Instructor” honor from her students this year.  In the past, she has worked in shelters, a jail, nonprofits and the Arlington County school system. The work with her adult learners has been a great inspiration to her. Melissa earned her Master's of Science degree in Adult Learning and Human Resource Development from Virginia Tech. She received the "Local Heroes" award from Arlington County for her work at the Arlington County Detention Facility. Melissa enjoys traveling, swimming, meditation, and spending time with her friends. She is actively involved in her community as a volunteer and social justice advocate. mrea@lcnv.org
 
George Reyes, Technical Operations Administrator, currently holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from George Mason University. He aspires to go back to school in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Health Administration. After graduating in 2014, he worked as an IT Consultant for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and also worked within the healthcare industry where he dealt with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Periodontics, and Pediatric Dentistry. In his free time, George enjoys free base rock climbing, endurance training, and eating with friends and family. greyes@lcnv.org 
 
Mary Tack, Development Manager, has over 20 years experience working in nonprofit organizations in the areas of research and education. Mary received her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and her Master’s from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has a variety of writing experience ranging from letters and short articles in membership publications to RFPs and report writing. She also previously managed an education database. These skills relate directly to her development work at LCNV in managing the donor database, donor communications, special events, and grant writing. In her free time, Mary volunteers at her church and enjoys reading, traveling and photography. mtack@lcnv.org
 
Lidia Ventura, Executive Assistant, joined LCNV after graduating from Training Futures. She is currently completing her Associate degree in accounting. Her passion for adult education is illustrated through her own experience. She is very excited to be part of the LCNV team and to work for an organization that provides educational advancement to the community. In her free time she loves to spend time with family and friends. info@lcnv.org 
 
 

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