Education

Ché Abram

An Oakland native, Ché brings experience in higher education and community leadership to BlackFemaleProject. She considers herself a change maker as a designing and founding member of Oakland SOL Middle School, culture shifter moving diversity and inclusion initiatives forward, and servant leader by centering the needs of her partners in decision making.

Her career mostly centers in higher education with beginnings in admission and recruitment. Her in depth work as a Black woman and engagement with students of color lead to her current role as Associate Director of Diversity with Samuel Merritt University. In this role she focuses on implementation of system wide diversity and inclusion initiatives, providing impactful programming addressing the social determinants of health, and retention of students of color.

In her personal life she can be found organizing around educational needs in the Oakland Unified School District as a board member of Oakland Community Organizations/Faith in Action East Bay, parent voice with Californians for Justice, and can be found in numerous meetings with city, county, and state leaders gaining clarity and funding for schools. Her passion has been working closely with BlackFemaleProject because it has been a way to Pay tribute to the Black women who have guided her through every career and life choice she has made.

Ché holds both her Bachelor of Science in Business Management and MBA in Management and Leadership from Holy Names University. Personally, Ché is a the mother and bonus mother to 13 year old children, thrives on stand-up comedy, and her most sacred self-care practices are reading romance novels, travel near water, and spending times with close friends and family.

Location: Oakland, CA

Industry: Higher Education

Tameka McGlawn

Dr. Tameka McGlawn, Public Education Transformation, Research and Evaluation Dr. Tameka McGlawn serves as the Executive Director of the University of California Berkeley’s College and Career Academy Support Network (CCASN). Dr. McGlawn has provided a servant and transformational leadership approach to urban learning communities for nearly twenty-five years. Having served at every institutional level (K-20), in a myriad of settings and professional roles, Dr. McGlawn offers a unique perspective on student-centered assets and achievement, leadership optimization, equity-based outcomes and intersectionality.

Her actionable research interests, where she has served and facilitated professional development, learning and capacity building includes, strategic reform implementation, systemic mechanisms of accountability, culturally responsive pedagogy and leadership, building network-community alliances through innovative collective impact initiatives and Design-Based Implementation Research and Improvement Science. Dr. McGlawn is a proud graduate of both the CSU San Diego’s Community Based Block Multicultural & Social Justice Master’s Program, and the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California where she earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She also holds credentials in Administrative Services and Pupil Personnel Services.

An effective consensus builder and action-oriented researcher, Dr. McGlawn brings an ideal synthesis of research savviness, practical application and a deep devotion to increased equity and economic opportunities for all students, their families and communities.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Industry: Public Education Research, Evaluation and Assessment

Charmaine Mercer

Charmaine Mercer is a Program Officer in Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, focused on advancing educational experiences and outcomes, especially for those furthest from opportunity. Charmaine was previously a director and senior researcher for the Learning Policy Institute; has served as vice president for standards, assessment, and deeper learning at the Alliance for Excellent Education; and has held various positions on Capitol Hill, including senior staffer for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; senior staffer for the Education and Labor Committee; and researcher for the Congressional Research Service. She holds a Ph.D. in politics and education policy and master’s degree in political science from Claremont Graduate University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University. Charmaine is a native Californian, home after being on the East coast since 2002, and the shamelessly proud mom of adorable twin boys.

Prior to joining the foundation, Charmaine was a director and senior researcher for the Learning Policy Institute, where she led a small team of dedicated researchers, policy advocates, and communication specialists. In a previous role, she served as the vice president for standards, assessment, and deeper learning at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization that focuses on secondary schools. Charmaine has also held various positions on Capitol Hill, including as a senior staffer for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, a senior staffer for the Education and Labor Committee, and a researcher for the Congressional Research Service.

Charmaine received her Ph.D. in politics and education policy from Claremont Graduate University, as well as her master’s degree in political science. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University. Charmaine is a native Californian, finally returning home after being on the East coast since 2002, and the shamelessly proud mom of adorable twin boys. She also enjoys running.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Industry: Education Policy, Philanthropy

Nicole Norlfes

Dr. Nicole Norfles facilitates Council for Opportunity in Education’s (COE) STEM Community of Practice; is co-Principal Investigator on multiple National Science Foundation grants; directs and coordinates multiple U.S. Department of Education grants; and directs COE’s Onboarding Professional Development and TRIO Chicago Collaborative.

She previously served as Education Program Officer with the Oprah Winfrey Foundation; Policy Consultant with Casey Family Programs; Special Assistant to the founding President of COE; and Fellow at the Pell Institute. She co-taught a Michigan State University South Africa study abroad course; a Drexel University online leadership course; and George Washington University courses in educational foundations, leadership, and supervision.

Dr. Norfles presents at numerous national and international conferences, and serves on multiple boards; she received her doctorate from The George Washington University.

Location: DC Metro Area

Industry: Education