Roopal Mehta Saran, Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, is responsible for strategic planning, managing a $1.2 million budget, a staff of 15, board development, and adult literacy and beginning-level ESOL educational programs. She previously served as the Director of Account Management at KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play to the daily lives of all kids. Prior to KaBOOM!, Saran worked at First Book, a national non-profit literacy organization, as Senior Director of Community Development. Before her move to the nonprofit sector, she worked as an attorney representing school districts and state Departments of Education. Roopal received her BA in English and MA in Education from Stanford University and her JD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Roopal serves on the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service, the hub for service at Stanford University that serves as a model for how universities prepare students to be of greater service to the public. She currently lives in Falls Church, VA with her husband and three children, where she volunteers with her local elementary school PTA and her local Girl Scouts council.
Ruba Marshood Afzal, Associate Director of Community Engagement, became involved with LCNV as a volunteer instructor before joining the staff to cultivate and foster strategic relationships with other nonprofit, civic, government and corporate entities. Ruba brings 15 years of international development and non-profit experience. She 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 was recently competitively selected as one of 16 non-profit professionals to join the 2018-2019 Princeton AlumniCorps' Emerging Leaders Program. She received her BSc from University of Maryland and her MA from Duke University. Ruba is a first-generation American, fluent in Arabic. A published photographer and photo-editor, Ruba also enjoys exploring the outdoors with her kids and sharing a great meal with family and friends.
Jordan Alexander, Student Services Coordinator, was born in Frankfurt, Germany to a military family. He has held positions working for BMW of North America, Airrosti Rehab Centers, and the Public Allies program of Washington D.C, before coming to Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. Jordan has travelled extensively to over twenty countries throughout the world and a majority of the United States. The experience of interacting with peoples of diverse backgrounds opened his eyes to many issues during his childhood. In his free time, Jordan enjoys photography, writing, travelling, listening to music, and being around cars and motorcycles. Jordan earned his bachelor degrees in International Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University with a minor in Anthropology and Sociology. He hopes to earn his masters in Conflict Analysis or Intercultural Conflict Management in the future.
Carole Vinograd Bausell, Director of Academic and Student Affairs, holds a doctorate in education from Johns Hopkins, a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from Cambridge, a Certificat d'Etudes Supérieures from the Sorbonne, and a Governor’s Award for her work with torture survivors seeking asylum in the U.S. She has served in a variety of leadership, editorial, research, and teaching positions and was appointed to an outcomes roundtable for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bausell led randomized controlled trials in learning, the results of which formed the basis for her series of books known as The Bausell Home Learning Guides. Carole grew up in Delaware, where as a teen she received an American Field Service scholarship to Japan through The Tatnall School. During college, she studied acting at the Conservatoire National in Paris and subsequently acted in productions stateside. In her free time, Carole is the lead vocalist in the group French Coast Café and loves to dance to Creole music from southwest Louisiana.
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.
Christopher Griffiths, Communications Coordinator, holds a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Mary Washington. After graduating, he worked on international human rights campaigns, as well as STEM 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.
Ashley King, Admissions Manager and Registrar, brings extensive experience in Adult Education and teaching to her multi-faceted role at LCNV. She coordinates student intake, registration, and assessments for all LCNV programs. Ashley is recognized as an outstanding trainer. For the past five years she has conducted numerous trainings for staff and volunteers on the standardized BEST Plus tests, with over 100 volunteers throughout the state graduating from her classes ready to assess English Language Learners’ (ELL) speaking and listening skills. Prior to joining the LCNV staff, Ashley graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with BA's in History and Spanish and volunteered as an ESOL Instructor and Program Director for four years at the Bridge Community Development Corporation in Richmond. Ashley grew up in Herndon, Virginia. Before finding her passion in the ELL field, she worked for the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department. Now in her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to concerts, traveling, and crocheting new projects.
Michael Mahrer, Director of Development and Public Relations, has over 25 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 18 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 as the Vice Chair of 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 is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has lived in Northern Virginia for the majority of his life.
Xavier Muñoz, Faculty Support Manager, is passionate Teaching adults and supporting teacher development. He is completing a MA in TESOL from SIT Graduate Institute. His previous education includes a BA from Stanford University and an SIT TESOL Certificate. He served three years as an AmeriCorps member with LCNV teaching beginning-level, families learning and Destination Workforce classes. He taught ESOL in Nicaragua and tutor basic adult literacy in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, the White House recognized him as a César E. Chávez Champion of Change for his work with adult immigrants and refugees. He also received LCNV’s Mid Allen Ries award for exceptional contributions to advancing the organization. His professional interests are in teacher education, social responsibility, LESLLA, and NNEST issues. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, theatre, and spending time with his family and dog.
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.
Melissa Rea, Academic Operations & Student Support Services Manager, has 24 years of experience in the field of Adult Education as a teacher, coordinator and director. In the past, she has worked in homeless shelters, family reunification programs, recovery programs, a jail, nonprofits and the Arlington County school system. This work included a year of volunteer service through the Medical Mission Sisters with Project HOME in North Philadelphia working with some of Philadelphia’s most chronically homeless men and women. While there she helped to start a job training program and a GED program; thus beginning her life-long passion for all things adult learning. The work with her adult learners has been a great inspiration to Melissa, and she feels called to serve the most vulnerable in our society. Melissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Concentration in Peace & Justice Education from Villanova University. She earned her Masters 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 once backpacked through Africa for six months on her own. She enjoys traveling, swimming, meditation, and spending time with her friends. She has also been active in social justice issues over the years.
George Reyes, IT Database Administrator, is the first generation American born from both sides of his family. After graduating in 2014 with his Bachelor’s Degree from George Mason University, he worked at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for 3 years as an IT Consultant. When he’s not in the office as Salesforce Admin for LCNV you might catch him at the gym, rock climbing, finishing up a home interior restoration project for families around the Northern Virginia area, or working on cars.
Marizol Rojas, Executive Assistant, joins LCNV after graduating from Training Futures. She’s very excited to be part of the team and to work for an organization that provides educational advancement to the community. Marizol likes gardening, crafting, scary movies, and spending time with her husband and 3 children.
Mary Tack, Development Manager, has over 20 years of experience working in nonprofit organizations in the areas of research and education. Mary grew up in northeastern PA and 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 enjoys reading, traveling and photography.
Amy Tristan, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, is a graduate of Colgate University with a degree in Social Psychology. Before coming to LCNV, she worked as a Preschool Ministry Director which involved recruiting, training, and leading a large team of volunteers. Prior to that, she was the Pro Bono Coordinator at a corporate law firm in DC that donated thousands of hours annually in the representation of nonprofit organizations and indigent individuals. Altogether she has over a decade of experience working with volunteers and serving communities in the DC area. She loves seeking out people who have particular interests, skills, and abilities and empowering them to use those abilities to meet the needs of others. In her free time, Amy enjoys running, playing volleyball, baking cupcakes, drinking good coffee and spending time with her husband and two young children.