Meet the Team
Dr. Akiba J. Covitz
Foundry College CEO
Dr. Akiba J. Covitz has led business development processes at numerous Ed Tech companies, including serving as founding Vice President for University Relations at edX. Akiba started his career as a tenure-track professor, and his academic career culminated with his appointment as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and a member of the faculty at Harvard Law School. At Harvard, under the leadership of now United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Akiba oversaw the extraordinary expansion and diversification of the HLS faculty, after a long period of stagnant growth. Akiba then served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Relationships at Academic Partnerships, an online program management provider and he recently headed up business development at Minerva Project. Akiba has also served as a senior advisor to such organizations as Entangled Solutions (now part of Guild Education) and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn
Foundry College President and Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn is the President and Chief Academic Officer of Foundry College. He led a team of instructional designers in building the Foundry curriculum, and designing the teaching techniques, based on his decades of work in learning science. Most recently, Dr. Kosslyn served as the Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Minerva Schools at the Keck Graduate Institute. He was previously the director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Prior to that, he was chair of the Department of Psychology, Dean of Social Science, and the John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James at Harvard University. He received a B.A. from UCLA and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, both in psychology.
Faculty & Instructional Designers
Our instructional designers collaborated with Dr. Kosslyn to develop the Foundry College curriculum, including specifying key capabilities to be taught and developing detailed lesson plans for each session. Our trained faculty use these lesson plans to instruct each class, incorporating active learning techniques to ensure that students learn the material, put it into immediate practice, and retain it for the future.
Dr. Louise Vigeant
Dr. Louise Vigeant is the Instructional Designer for Critical Analyses. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell University, specializing in linguistics, logic, and language. With over ten years of experience in higher education, she has taught and designed courses online and in the classroom, for universities in the Netherlands and the United States, on topics ranging from applied ethics, to human rights, to critical thinking.
Dr. Beth Callaghan
Dr. Beth Callaghan is an Instructional Designer for Foundry College courses including: Clear Communication, Practical Problem Solving, and Working with Others. She received her B.A. in English and World Literature from UCLA, her M.A. in English from UC Irvine, and her Ph.D. in English and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California. She has taught in high school and college classrooms in southern California and was previously an Assistant Professor and course designer at The Minerva Schools at KGI. She is passionate about creating curriculum that gives students real-world skills and connects concretely to their life experiences.
Lisa Lee, M.Ed.
Credentials Program Manager and Instructional Designer
Lisa Lee is Foundry College’s Credentials Program Manager, and also serves as an Instructional Designer for the Working with Others and Managing Yourself at Work courses. She received her M.Ed. in International Education Policy from Harvard and her B.A. in International Relations from Boston University. She began her career on Wall Street trading securities before finding her passion in Education. Since then, she has taught in over a dozen different countries and worked on educational design projects for institutional clients including the Inter-American Development Bank and the Center for Homeland Security Studies. She is most passionate about empowering students to think and be more effective in all they do.
Dr. John Percival
Curriculum Development Consultant
Dr. John Percival
Dr. John Percival, Ph.D., is Foundry College’s Curriculum Development Consultant. He received his B.A., M.B.A., and Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the founder of the executive education and finance consulting firm JRP Associates, and taught finance for more than thirty years at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he held the positions of Adjunct Professor of Finance, Assistant Professor of Finance and Associate Director and Associate Vice Dean of the MBA Program. After leaving Wharton in 2014, he taught at and was the founding Dean of the Business College at the Minerva Schools at KGI. He has developed executive education curricula for some of the nation’s largest industry-leading firms, and has participated in executive education programs at Penn State, Carnegie-Mellon, Columbia, and a wide range of international colleges. Dr. Percival is a past recipient of the Anvil Award for Teaching Excellence in the Wharton MBA program and the Core Teaching Award in the Wharton Executive MBA program. He has also authored and co-authored articles and chapters that have appeared in publications such as the Journal of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Risk and Insurance, the Financial Times, and Wharton on Emerging Technologies.
Dr. Kacey Warren
Professor and Instructional Designer
Dr. Kacey Warren is the Professor for the Critical Analyses, Practical Problem Solving, Learning at Work, and Analyzing and Conveying Information in Business courses; and also serves an instructional designer for the Learning at Work and Analyzing and Conveying Information in Business courses. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and French from CSU Sacramento, and earned her Ph.D. from CU Boulder, where she was also a Doctoral Dissertation Fellow for the James R., Anne M., and R. Jane Emerson Student Support Fund in the Humanities. Kacey had the honor of acting as Subject Matter Expert for the development of Philosophy 12 (Ethics) for CCCOnline and was recently awarded Instructor of Excellence for the Arts and Humanities, 2018. She is a published author specializing in Social and Political Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, and Philosophy of Disability and Bioethics. Kacey’s most recent publication “Using Stimulants to Promote Academic Equality” is an open peer commentary and was published in 2016 in the American Journal of Bioethics.
Dr. Melanie Obitz-Bukartek
Dr. Melanie Obitz-Bukartek is the Professor for the Clear Communication, Working with Others, Managing Yourself at Work, and Thinking with Software courses. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her M.Ed in Data-Based Decision Making and Organizational Improvement from Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her successful teaching record spans nearly two decades, and for the past six years, she has instructed adult learners both online and in-person. In addition to her specialization in adult education, Melanie is an expert in literacy, data-based decision making, and educational leadership. She has received multiple awards for Innovation in Teaching, and was a Kiwanis Club of Annapolis 2017 Teacher of the Year Winner.
Ms. Jamie Grettum
Ms. Jamie Grettum is the Instructor for the Salesforce Admin Super Set Foundations and Salesforce Admin Super Set Skills courses. She earned her B.A. in Social Work from San Jose State University and is a Certified Salesforce Administrator. She specializes in teaching system admins and new users the essential Salesforce skills needed to accomplish daily tasks, and has been training and consulting around Salesforce since 2010. Jamie spent a large portion of her earlier career as a Business Analyst supporting Sales Operations in the corporate training industry. This experience laid the foundation for understanding the unique needs of Sales users and where those needs intersect with Sales technology configuration. Jamie is committed to helping students master the skills needed to be effective Salesforce administrators.
Ms. Debra Hunter
Ms. Debra Hunter is the Instructor for the Project Management Foundations course. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, earned her M.S. in Management and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and was also a Sloan Fellow in Public Policy Management and Analysis at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She is an expert in her field with more than 20 years of experience in consulting and information technology, having worked in local government with the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach and for consulting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Sierra Systems. As a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), she regularly teaches and mentors others to contribute to the Project Management and Technology professions. She also serves on the Small Business and Job Creation Advisory Board for the 36th Congressional District of California.
Mr. Reed Shell
Mr. Reed Shell is the Instructor for the Project Management in Practice course. He holds a B.A. in Communication from Boise State University and a M.A. in Organizational Leadership from George Fox University. He is a 30-year Information Technology professional who has worked for Fortune 50 companies, non-profits and small businesses. As a Certified Scrum Master and active Project Management Professional (PMP), he coaches companies in their agile transformations and served as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the Project Management Institute (PMI) Northern Utah Chapter. When he is not managing people, process, projects, or instructing, you will find Reed in his kayak soaking crab pots at his favorite bay on the Oregon Coast or rockhounding with his wife and best friend of 35 years.
Faculty & Student Support
Our faculty and student support staff serve important roles at Foundry College, overseeing and supporting both faculty and students to ensure academic success.
Dr. Beth Callaghan
Dean of Faculty Affairs
Dr. Beth Callaghan is the Dean of Faculty Affairs, leading our faculty support services to recruit, advise, and train our faculty. She received her B.A. in English and World Literature from UCLA, her M.A. in English from UC Irvine, and her Ph.D. in English and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California. She has taught in high school and college classrooms in southern California and was previously an Assistant Professor and course designer at The Minerva Schools at KGI. She is passionate about creating curriculum that gives students real-world skills and connects concretely to their life experiences.
Dr. Louise Vigeant
Student Services Manager
Dr. Louise Vigeant is the Student Services Manager, leading student support services and providing academic oversight of the student experience. Dr. Vigeant received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell University, and has over 10 years of experience in higher education as both a professor and an administrator. Her career began at Amsterdam University College, where she designed and ran the college’s academic advising system, and also managed the Department of Social Sciences. She subsequently moved to the University of Mississippi to teach in the Department of Public Policy Leadership, where she founded and continues to lead Team 36, a non-profit that helps students from under-resourced high schools prepare for and succeed on the ACT. Most recently, Dr. Vigeant taught and designed courses for Minerva Schools at KGI.
Nick Rothacher is the Senior Coach, providing direct coaching to our students and is responsible for leading our student coaching program. Nick was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He completed undergraduate degrees in Biology and Spanish and graduate degrees in business and education. After finding success in sales, he transitioned into a student support role at a nonprofit online university, and most recently started and sold his own business. He enjoys working with others to move his organization or team forward and is thrilled to bring his experience and enthusiasm to Foundry College. When he’s not working, he is spending time with his family, planning his next trip, or mountain biking near his home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Allegra Lanzara is the Personal Coach, providing direct coaching to our students. Allegra was born and raised outside of Albany, New York. She earned an undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies, a graduate degree in education, and is a Certified Professional Coach through Coaching for Transformation. She has worked in higher education for almost ten years, most recently as an Academic Adviser. She has a passion for helping students navigate structure and organization while supporting individual experience. When she’s not working, Allegra is spending time with her family and dogs, practicing yoga, or exploring near her home in Atlanta, Georgia.
Business Leadership Team
The business leadership team manages admissions, operations, partnerships, technology, marketing, communications, student experience, and other administrative responsibilities at Foundry College.
Chief Student Experience Officer
Melanie Vuynovich is the Chief Student Experience Officer, leading student experience and administration at Foundry College. Most recently, Melanie ran her own communication firm in San Francisco, providing strategic marketing, branding, and messaging guidance to a variety of education, technology, non-profit, and enterprise businesses. Previously, she was a core member of the founding team at the Minerva Project/Minerva Schools at KGI. Before that, she managed communications at Intrax, a cross-cultural exchange company. She has significant public relations experience in a number of industries including education, consumer and B2B technology, lifestyle, travel, food, and the arts. Melanie holds a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish from Indiana University.
Chief Operating Officer
Meredyth Lacy is the Chief Operating Officer, leading operations at Foundry College. Prior to Foundry, Meredyth worked in a variety of roles spanning the public, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors. Meredyth most recently worked in strategy and operations for several LinkedIn Learning and LinkedIn Talent Solutions sales development teams in North and South America. Previously, Meredyth served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Napolitano at the University of California system. Prior to UC, Meredyth worked for several years in consulting at Bain & Company and the Bridgespan Group. Meredyth graduated from Pomona College with a BA in Economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Chief Technology Officer
Scott Williams is the Chief Technology Officer at Foundry College. Scott has spent the last 30 years designing and building complex, distributed computer systems. He has worked in a number of industries, including: Education (McGraw-Hill), BioTechnology (Twist Bioscience), Entertainment (Netflix), Computer Software and Services (HP, Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, Intuit), Banking (Bank of America, BNY Mellon), and Defense (DARPA, Lockheed Martin). Scott has spent an equal amount of his career at small/medium sized startups and large, well known companies. Several of the startups with which he has been associated have gone on to be acquired or IPO on the public markets. Scott graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University with a double major in Russian and Computer Science. In his free time, Scott likes to hike in the hills of Marin County, body board, and surf.
Head of Marketing
Karen Adams is the Head of Marketing at Foundry College. Prior to Foundry, Karen worked in a variety of marketing roles spanning economic development, workforce development, and higher education, providing experiences that encompass a 360° view of business and industry. Karen most recently led marketing and recruitment activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Karen is a graduate of Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, where she attended as an adult student while working full-time and raising a family – which she credits for instilling her love of lifelong learning and driving her passion to help others find their way along their educational journey.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is committed to the vision and mission of Foundry College. The Board consists of nine members, six of which are confirmed at this time.
Founder and Managing Partner, Learn Capital
Dr. Stephen Kosslyn
Founder and President, Foundry College
Senior Vice President for Strategy, Arizona State University
Founder and Managing Partner, Learn Capital
Managing Partner, Together Education; Co-Founder and Board Chair, Relay Graduate School of Education
Dr. Akiba J. Covitz
CEO, Foundry College