team

Change built on relationships

The experience, skill, and personality of our team shapes our impact. Driven to redefine the norm and fueled by possibility, we are harnessing the power of human connection to accelerate social change.

  • DOROTHY J. EDWARDS, PH.D.
    DOROTHY J. EDWARDS, PH.D.
    President
    Bio

    Dr. Dorothy Edwards, author of the Green Dot Violence Prevention Strategy, has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University. Before serving as President of Alteristic, she was the founding director of the University of Kentucky Violence Intervention and Prevention Center. She provided counseling and taught at Appalachian State University and Texas Women’s University. She specializes in primary prevention and provides training and consultation in power-based personal violence, organizational capacity building, program implementation, strategic planning, and community mobilization.

    See Dr. Edwards in action!

    Quote

    I do this work because I believe with everything in me that current rates of power-based personal violence are not inevitable. I do this work because if I didn’t believe this could change, I would be accepting some truths about humanity that I am just not willing to accept. As a victim myself – even as my soul bleeds for my daughter – I am here in defiant resistance to this violence. I don’t know all the answers. I try each day to do this work with integrity and humility. I may be an imperfect vessel for this movement – but I am a persistent one – and I will keep trying until something works.

    Fun


    The window to my soul can be found through show tunes. Defying Gravity (Wicked) speaks to my refusal to accept the status quo and determination to change the world. She Used to Be Mine (Waitress) gets to my acute awareness of my own vulnerability and imperfection yet my belief that I make a difference despite those things. Light (Next to Normal) reflects my choice to love and feel despite the inevitable pain and loss that accompanies those choices. Then, no life narrative would be complete without a song from Hamilton. Grab every breath of your life, and see what you can make happen: My Shot.

  • KALKIDAN GOSSAYE
    KALKIDAN GOSSAYE
    Senior Vice President
    Bio

    Kalkidan leads Alteristic’s financial management and strategic planning. She oversees communications, development, and external and media relations. She also directs finance and operations policies and procedures. Kalkidan has 10+ years of experience in external relations, strategy, data management, and operations. She formerly served as the Senior Director of Growth and Stewardship at Teach for America. She also served as Chief Development Officer at Washington National Cathedral. She has an MA in Political Science from Indiana University and a BA from Indiana University-Purdue University.

    Quote

    I am in this work because I feel there is nothing impossible about our ability to create a world without violence – I don’t have all the answers and yet I know I have to wake up every single day and try my hardest to show up, learn, and lead in this movement as only a black, immigrant woman could. I know that in all of my very being I am compelled to move our world faster and still faster to a culture where no one suffers from violence – a world where girls and women, boys and men can reach their full potential because they live lives free from violence.

    Fun

    Here is everything you need to know about me – I love potatoes with every fiber of my being that absolutely, most ardently hates onions. My favorite part of going to the movies is seeing the previews and my biggest fear in life is dying without reading all the books that humanity has produced. I say that fully recognizing that my biggest fear will eventually come to bear. Until then, I will use every moment I can reading books. Now, I want you to understand this has to do with more than mere fears of intellectual inadequacy; I feel it is a moral obligation.

  • LEA HEGGE
    LEA HEGGE
    Vice President of Programs
    Bio

    Lea co-leads Alteristic’s programs and training efforts. She works on strategic planning and capacity building, and she provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention. Lea provides leadership in developing prevention curriculum and coaching of staff trainers. She has served as a violence prevention educator and domestic violence/sexual assault advocate in Montana and as a program evaluator for local and statewide violence prevention initiatives in Montana, Kentucky, Idaho, and Alaska. She holds a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Kentucky.

    See Lea in action!

    Quote


    I do this work because I can imagine with complete clarity, a world where interpersonal violence is talked about as a historical lesson learned. Something we refer back to when we talk about great cultural shifts and major social justice movements. I do this work because I’m not willing to resign to the world as it is, where interpersonal violence feels inevitable, where almost everyone I know has a connection to this issue, directly or indirectly. I do this work because this issue has gone on far too long and the time to fix it is now.

    Fun

    I find that coffee shops, chapstick, mountains, sleep, mac and cheese, and the Green Bay Packers winning are all imperative to my happiness. I also get sad when pomegranate season is over. I overthink EVERYTHING and I often think out loud. For example, this paragraph took me 8 hours to write and now my dog knows my likes and dislikes even more intimately.

  • KRISTEN PARKS
    KRISTEN PARKS
    Vice President of Programs
    Bio

    Kristen co-leads Alteristic’s programs and training efforts and contributes to strategic planning, capacity building, and prevention program development. She provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention. Prior to joining Alteristic, Kristen worked for a community based agency in Lexington, Ky., as the Education Coordinator and implemented Green Dot in middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the state. She also provided anti-violence presentations and workshops for the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky and medical and legal advocacy for survivors.

    See Kristen in action!

    Quote

    I am here because I believe in a different world. I believe in a world where power-based personal violence is not a common experience. I believe in a world where my kids will think of the current rates of sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and bullying the way I think of the time before television—a distant, far off, sounds too unreal to have ever actually been true, past reality. This is not just a dream: it is a real possibility, and it is ours to take.

    Fun

    Kristen grew up in a town in Kentucky and moved to a slightly larger city where she met a handsome man. They would get married and have kids (but not in that order, dun dun dun). Over the course of a decade, she would become addicted to coffee, be ‘that parent’ who talks about her kids all the time, and watch as her metabolism slowly turned on her.  Hold onto your seat as you watch her live life with passion for her work and family while she tries to maintain her double life as a Netflix enthusiast and a perpetual procrastinator. Suspense, passion, intrigue, potato chips.

  • MARIGAIL SEXTON
    MARIGAIL SEXTON
    Director of Communications
    Bio

    Marigail Sexton is the Director of Communications for Alteristic. She has worked with the organization since its inception as Green Dot, etc. Inc. Marigail holds a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky. Previous professional experience includes serving as the Executive Director of the KY Association of Sexual Assault Programs and work with the KY Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services, the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

    Quote

    My mantra is “be kind and do good.” I try hard to live by it every day. I believe that kindness is the way to peace and happiness. I’m dedicated to doing good work. Work that doesn’t just make me feel good about doing it, but work that is effective and creates real change. We have the power to create a world without violence that is as good as it can be for everyone. I’ve see what happens when people are filled with a vision of a kind world and given the tools to do good work. It’s magical.

    Fun

    I’m goofy and geeky. I love cooking classes, disco dancing and find a great amount of pleasure out of the “60 Second Fold of the Week” videos on YouTube (check it out!). I’m the kind of person who will dress up like a zombie and do “Thriller” down Main Street on Halloween. I find anything/anyone out of the mainstream interesting and good for my mind and soul. I live a fair amount of my life in the slow lane, however, doing yoga, hiking and hangin’ with my fabo kids and hubby, and having fun with friends (especially if it involves disco dancing!).

  • CRAIG STAPERT
    CRAIG STAPERT
    Director of Development
    Bio

    Craig join the team in October 2016 after nearly two decades in communications and development at Washington National Cathedral. He is responsible for building relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporations to help ensure Alteristic’s long-term effectiveness and growth.  Prior to moving to D.C., Craig lived in West Michigan and edited a theological journal entitled Perspectives. He is an avid organist and devotee of Baroque music and is learning about ice dancing from his daughter. He holds degrees in Classical languages from Hope College (BA) and the University of Texas (MA).

    Quote

    From that vantage of looking back toward growing up with my sister and looking forward to my young daughter’s future, I see this as a critical moment to create that cultural shift to ensure that everyone’s siblings and children will be safe and that the instances of violence we all know will soon become the exception and not the norm.

    Fun

    When chocolate and red wine fail, a wise Vulcan will remind you that there are always options.

  • SIRAJAH RAHEEM
    SIRAJAH RAHEEM
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Sirajah holds a Master of Public Health from Georgia State University. She provides training and technical assistance in the domains of power-based personal violence prevention and contributes to prevention program curriculum development. Sirajah’s graduate research focused on applying Title IX compliance efforts to develop comprehensive sexual assault prevention and response strategies in higher education. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Berea College.

    See Sirajah in action!

    Quote

    I believe interpersonal violence and gender-based violence can be directly addressed and reduced through collective work and responsibility. I believe that achieving a beloved community, one preserved by “understanding and redeeming goodwill for all,” is possible. My belief is driven by fantastic people around the world already putting in the work to reduce how communities are harmed. Together we have the capacity to change the world in a way that sustains us all. I believe another world is possible. To achieve it, we all have to put our fingers in the clay. This work is my contribution.

    Fun

    I enjoy swimming, but I don’t find myself around the water as often anymore. I write little stories and doodle in the margins of my very serious work. I like to read dystopian science fiction, fantasy, stories where black kids have happily-ever-afters, and angry blog posts written by funny people about current events. I am so thankful for the family that I was born to and for my chosen family. I dedicate my work to them and all that they endured.

  • NATE BURKE
    NATE BURKE
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Nate provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention and contributes to curriculum development. He earned his Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Bowling Green State University. As an undergraduate, he studied Organizational Communication and Consulting at the University of Central Oklahoma. He worked nearly seven years in Student Affairs within colleges and universities, advising fraternities and sororities, student leadership initiatives, and clubs and organizations. He has also served as a certified trainer for LGBT ally initiatives.

    See Nate in action!

    Quote

    Most of us are connected directly to issues of power-based personal violence. I am. My family and friends are. It’s real and it’s all around us. I believe we can change that. I believe it’s within our reach to shift our reality in real and meaningful ways within my lifetime.

    Fun

    In my (hypothetical) down time, you’ll find me exploring new cities (mostly in search of food), watching Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games, or binging on Netflix. I enjoy reading and writing, politics, spirituality, playing and listening to live music, warm weather, de-stressing on an outdoor run, and sleeping in whenever possible. I’m holding out hope that someday I’ll be able to telecommute to work from a beach somewhere. Here’s hoping!

  • MELISSA EMMAL
    MELISSA EMMAL
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Melissa Emmal is a Senior Trainer at Alteristic. She provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention and contributes to curriculum development. A native Alaskan with 14+ years of experience working to prevent and intervene against interpersonal violence, she was previously the Deputy Director at Alaska’s largest provider of domestic violence intervention and prevention services, Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis. From 2012 to 2015, Melissa took a leadership role in Alaska’s statewide implementation of the Green Dot initiative.

    See Melissa in action!

    Quote

    I believe that most people are fundamentally good and want the people around them to be safe and fulfilled. I believe that people will step into that place if they are met with kindness and non-judgment about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I believe that my most important contribution to making the world a safer place for me and my family is by building positive relationships and connections with people who have different thoughts and beliefs.

    Fun

    I am first and foremost an Alaskan at heart. Alaska is known as “the last frontier,” and I grew up with adventure and exploration at the heart of my family. I was raised to believe I could do anything I put my mind to and that humor is often the best medicine (my laugh can be heard a mile away). I am the youngest of 9 children, many of whom are also working toward making the world a better place as nurses, teachers, lawyers, or social workers. I love to read and, most importantly, love all things Harry Potter.

  • AMANDA HOUPT
    AMANDA HOUPT
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Amanda Houpt is currently a Senior Trainer at Alteristic. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the UNC Chapel Hill. She began her career in violence prevention at the Center for Women and Families in Louisville, KY. Her experience implementing Green Dot in KY high schools inspired her to pursue an MPH. She studied program planning, design and evaluation; arts-based health promotion strategies; and community-based participatory research. Prior to joining Alteristic, she managed two multi-year policy evaluation studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

    Quote

    I chose this career because too many people I love had been affected by violence. The world seemed to think that violence was unacceptable but inevitable, and this outraged me. It also fueled my desire to create change. I believe that as humans, we are worthy of a higher standard. That collectively, we can change things. In fact, I believe that we will change things. Powered by our personal connections to violence, the love we have for our communities, and our commitment to change, I believe we will measurably reduce current rates of violence and live in a world worthier of our humanity.

    Fun

    I am a voracious reader who loves to tell stories (sometimes out loud, sometimes in writing). I get a lot of inspiration from my ridiculous basset hound, Hildy Lou. She’s a bit like owning a pig-shaped billy goat, by which I mean that she will eat anything—toothpaste, socks, wheels of cheese, and wooden spoons. I also love dancing (preferably Jazzercise—seriously, you should try it) and having adventures. Also, Careless Whisper is my favorite song to kazoo to. That feels somehow important.

  • ALBERTO LORENZO
    ALBERTO LORENZO
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Alberto is a proud immigrant from Cuba; he was born on the island and raised in the U.S. Alberto has a BA in English and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in college student development from Barry University. Alberto also holds a Master’s degree in English Literature with a concentration in Latino studies and literacy from Georgetown University.  Alberto has worked on violence prevention initiatives, alcohol and drug education and outreach as well as crises response on college campuses.  Alberto Lorenzo is a Senior Trainer and resides in Miami, Florida.

    Quote

    My work is guided, first and foremost, by my heart.  Green Dot is the long answer to the very small and personal question: How will I carry this legacy? Having been personally impacted by power-based violence, my call to action is this work; it gets me out of bed each morning. I know that the human cost of violence is too great and it cannot wait. I constantly envision a world that’s safer; a place where people talk about a culture of power-based personal violence as a thing of the past, a trend that will not come back. 

     

    Fun

    I’m the epitome of the Cancer sign: from the caring homebody-ness to the mood swings and the ride-or-die-ness quality of my friendships. Most people don’t know that I love cooking or that I’m actually really good at it. My perfect kind of weekend involves the beach, a book, my family, my dogs, and a good “arroz con pollo” to go with it all. My German Shepherds run my life and their names are Ravenclaw and Godric (as in Gryffindor). Oh yeah, and I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Mischief managed.

  • SANDY BROMLEY
    SANDY BROMLEY
    Senior Training Team Lead
    Bio

    As a Senior Trainer & Training Team Lead at Alteristic, Sandy provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention, contributes to curriculum development, and coordinates Senior Trainers. She has an extensive background in power-based personal violence intervention and prevention. She was the Domestic Violence Coordinator for Fairfax County, VA, a Senior Attorney for the National Stalking Resource Center, the Director of Services for the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, and Coordinator of the New Mexico Intimate Partner Violence Death Review Team.

    Quote

    Over the past 15 years, I have witnessed a positive cultural shift in how our communities think about and respond to interpersonal violence, most notably in the last 2-3 years. I am increasingly convinced we can markedly reduce, if not eliminate altogether, domestic and sexual violence and stalking. I believe that harnessing the power, strength, compassion, kindness, and even the fallibility of humanity will create safer communities for the next generation. Let’s get to it! 

    Fun

    When not working on these issues, you can find me: at my favorite wine bar, hanging out with my amazing friends, cheering on my beloved Boston Red Sox, visiting my family all over the country, or, if it’s a Sunday, sleeping in and watching the political shows in my pj’s.

  • ANGELA KOON
    ANGELA KOON
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Angela Koon is a Senior Trainer at Alteristic. She has an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Loyola University Chicago and a BA from UNC Asheville. She’s been an adjunct professor for eight years, teaching courses in Women’s and Gender studies, Sociology, and the Humanities. Prior to joining Alteristic, Angela held multiple positions in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago. She managed a multi-agency initiative on campus gender-based violence. She was also the LGBTQ and Hate Crimes Specialist, advocating for victims and conducting outreach with community stakeholders.

    Quote

    I don’t take myself seriously, but I take this work very seriously. So many people I know and love, including myself, have been impacted by these issues. I want it to stop and I truly believe that I can play a tiny part in making that dream a reality. I believe in the power of personal stories to change people’s minds, especially preconceived ideas about race, class, sexual identity, and religious identity. I desperately want to live in a world where violence is not tolerated or accepted and everyone is expected (and will) do their part.

    Fun

    I am eternally Southern and identify strongly with my Tennessee and South Carolina roots. I love food and the communion of breaking bread with friends and strangers alike. In another life, I would have loved to have been a spy or an undercover agent, because I wig well and can transform myself into different characters. I think Edisto Island, South Carolina is the most perfect place on earth and hope to retire there one day. In my off time, I love playing with my pittie puppy Lucy, spending time with loved ones, watching my favorite shows, crafting delicious cocktails and riding my moto!

  • DARCIE FOLSOM
    DARCIE FOLSOM
    Senior Trainer
    Bio

    Darcie discovered her passion for violence prevention as an undergraduate student at the University of Rhode Island, and has been in the field ever since. She worked as the Community Educ. & Involvement Coord. and Advocate at Safe Futures in New London, CT and sat on multiple statewide task forces with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Most recently, Darcie was the Dir. of Sexual Violence Prevention and Advocacy at Connecticut College, which was one of the first colleges to implement Green Dot. She also coordinated the DOJ Campus Grant there and was an Adjunct Instructor.

    Quote

    I believe that we can absolutely reduce the instances of power-based personal violence. When people are empowered and believe in themselves and their community, amazing things can happen and ending violence is no different. This work isn’t about one person but the collective moments from all of us that will continue to create true culture change.

    Fun

    I’m a firm believer in a positive attitude and not taking life too seriously (although I’m terrible about taking my own advice). I unapologetically call my dogs “my kids” and I overshare pictures of them on social media. Snow skiing, being barefoot, and wine are some of my favorite things and there’s nothing better than driving around with the windows down and the music up on a warm, sunny day. As a native Mainer, I love lobster and I know that the ocean is some of the very best medicine. And my husband and family are pretty awesome too.

  • DITI BHASIN
    DITI BHASIN
    External Operations Coordinator
    Bio

    As an integral part of the External Relations team, Diti supports social media and web communications. She provides logistical support to all clients/ partners, including program registration, delivery of materials, and data management. Diti is responsible for ensuring that all events run efficiently and successfully including Green Dot Institutes. Diti is a makeup artist who owns her own business. She has worked with domestic violence shelters in Northern Virginia by sponsoring and planning beauty events. A native of New Delhi, India, Diti is local to the Washington, D.C., Alteristic team.

    Quote

    I do this work for my Grandfather (my Nana), who was killed in his own home. Nobody should experience losing a loved one because of the actions of someone else. I believe we can make sure that nobody ever experiences what I, and millions of other families, experienced.

    Fun

    I think dogs are better than humans, probably because I’m an only child and I talked to dogs more than the average person growing up. Being a right-brain type person, I believe creativity and art are very important. I love to travel, and I think everyone needs to just disconnect every once in a while.

  • MONICA SCAVONE
    MONICA SCAVONE
    Manager of Finance and Human Resources
    Bio

    Monica Scavone has an MBA from Mount St Mary’s College, a BS in Business from Mercy College, and a BFA in Communications from New York Institute of Technology. She is currently the Manager of Finance and Human Resources for Alteristic. She has over 35 years of work experience managing the finances, grants, and human resources for various businesses. She grew up in New York and lived there until October 2016, when she moved to Virginia.

    Quote

    I found this quote years ago and try to live my life it: “Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.” –Henry James

    Fun

    I love spending time with my family and friends; it makes me happy when we can get together.  I love to travel and see new places.  I love the beach and watching the sunset on the beach.

  • GAIL SCHOOLFIELD
    GAIL SCHOOLFIELD
    Executive Assistant
    Bio

    Gail Schoolfield is the Executive Assistant at Alteristic. She provides direct support for the President, including scheduling, travel, communications, and coordination of daily operations of the President’s office. She has a degree in English (writing) from George Mason University. Prior to coming to Alteristic, she worked in the publishing industry for 35 years.

    Quote

    I work with an incredible group of committed professionals who are determined to reduce violence by intervention and prevention in our community. I work to ease the tasks of the President so she can concentrate on what she does best – and not worry about the daily administrative details of the office.

    Fun

    I am NOT a public speaker, and am very happy working behind the scenes. I have been married for 35 years, have two great, adult kids, and we are adjusting to being “empty nesters”. I’m so happy this writing assignment is completed!

  • KATHY HEYMAN
    KATHY HEYMAN
    Operations and Training Support Specialist
    Bio

    Kathy Heyman recently joined Alteristic in May 2017 to serve as primary point of contact for the Operations Department and Trainer support. Kathy will provide administrative support for development, communications, and operations; and facilitate travel itineraries and resource development for Green Dot trainers. Most recently Kathy was Donor Stewardship Administrator at the Conquer Cancer Foundation (ASCO), along with similar work at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Foundation.

    Quote

    One of my favorite childhood memories is riding my bike all day around our neighborhood until called in for dinner – carefree and no worries. When raising our children in today’s world – we no longer have that comfort of “safeness” for our children. We are not able to let them “run and play” freely all day long with very little supervision. With the mission and dedicated work of our Green Dot teams we want to again be able to put “safe” back into our language in raising our children and for all humanity young and old. No one can do everything but everyone can do something. 

    Fun

    Things that make me happy: hearing my son’s laughter; seeing my husband smile at my humorous ways; spending quality time with family and friends; seeing my dogs wag their tails with happiness when I come home… really, really happy…being on the beach with a drink in my hand, the sun on my face, toes in the sand, staying to watch the sunset. Life is full of “happy”.