Leadership Team

Courtney E. Brewster, Director

Courtney E. Brewster serves as the director of the College Prep Program (CPP) at Washington University in St. Louis. She has held several leadership roles with the CPP since its inception in 2014, including associate director, assistant director, and program coordinator. As the director, Courtney provides leadership, vision, and strategic support for the CPP, a multi-year college access and success program serving St. Louis-area under-resourced students. She supervises both full-time and seasonal staff members, including Washington University graduate fellows and undergraduate program assistants who staff the CPP’s on-campus summer living and learning programming. As the CPP’s senior leader, Courtney serves as the key liaison with internal and external partners, and is responsible for all aspects of program design, implementation, and evaluation. Prior to her work with the CPP, Courtney served as a coordinator of Student Success Programs in Cornerstone: The Center for Advanced Learning and as a residential college director, both at Washington University.

Courtney E. Brewster has worked in various student affairs roles and university committees at Washington University in St. Louis, Iowa State University, Syracuse University, and served as an assistant director of Student Diversity and Inclusion Services at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Additionally, she has taught courses in Psychology and in Social Justice Education. Courtney is a Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI) alumnus, a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI, LLC) and participated in the Washington University’s Professional Leadership Academy & Network (PLAN), a year-long professional development program intended to cultivate future leaders and impact tomorrow’s education.

Courtney E. Brewster received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and serves as the inaugural co-chair for Hope College’s Alumni of Color Advisory Council. Courtney E. Brewster earned a Master of Science in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York and completed a post-Master’s certificate program in Parenting and Family Strengthening Approaches to Enhance Child Well-Being at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work.

Ashley Prince, Program Coordinator

Ashley Prince joined the College Prep Program staff as Program Coordinator on February 3, 2020. In this role, she manages programming and activities for alumni scholars and provides programmatic and logistical support for the high school components of the program (Summer Academy and academic year activities). Immediately prior to joining the CPP staff, Ashley worked as a School-Based Integrated Health Specialist with Compass Health Network, providing case management and therapeutic skill building in various schools.

Ashley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a certificate in Linguistics from Princeton University. She also earned a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked in New York City as a court representative in an alternative-to-incarceration program, working directly with youth, families, court officials, and lawyers to advocate for alternative programming and better outcomes for court-involved youth. She has performed staff recruitment and program logistics and management for KIPP charter schools in Newark, New Jersey. Her experience also includes work in youth job readiness with STL Youth Jobs, college access and financial aid at the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and school-based mental health in various capacities.

Ashley brings with her a people-focused lens, understanding the diversity of scholars’ needs from academics to finances to emotional well-being, joined with an understanding of logistics and process management which is necessary for the execution of the CPP’s summer and academic programming.

Graduate Fellows

Graduate Fellows play a vital role in developing and enriching the overall College Prep community and are responsible for carrying out a variety of academic, social, and enrichment programming in addition to supervising program assistants and the cohorts. Read more…

Lauren Drumgold

Graduate Fellow Lauren is from Harlem, New York and graduated from Bates College with a Bachelors in Biology. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health at the Brown School. Before moving to St. Louis, Graduate Fellow Lauren worked with City Year New York helping middle school students in academics and facilitating after-school programming at a local public school in Harlem. She enjoys spending time with family and cooking new recipes. Graduate Fellow Lauren is looking forward to getting to know and help scholars on their journeys!

MacKenzie Gleason

Graduate Fellow MacKenzie is from Chicago, IL and received her Bachelor’s in Educational Studies and Religious Studies with a minor in French from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. She recently served as a college adviser with the Washington University College Advising Corps, where she worked to provide college and career access to students at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School. Graduate Fellow MacKenzie is now working toward her Master’s degree in Social Work at the Brown School where she hopes to gain skills to address and disrupt educational inequality and inequity. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, binge-watching TV series, traveling (when there’s not a pandemic, of course), listening to music, and hanging out with friends. Graduate Fellow MacKenzie is very excited to be joining the College Prep Program as a Graduate Fellow to work with our wonderful scholars and team!

Hanna Jeong

Graduate Fellow Hanna is from Buena Park, California, and graduated from University of Southern California in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. They are currently pursuing their Masters in Social Work at the Brown School, where they are concentrating in Mental Health with a specialization in Sexual Health and Education. Before coming to St. Louis, Graduate Fellow Hanna served as an AmeriCorps City Year Seattle member working with middle school students as well as a residential teaching fellow at Vassar College’s Exploring Transfer program working with community college students. Graduate Fellow Hanna enjoys traveling, making ceramics and sculpture, and seeking new and different cuisines to eat. They are eager to welcome this year’s cohort of scholars!

Portia Nartey

Graduate Fellow Portia is a second-year Master of Social Work student at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. She is the outgoing MSW Co-Chair of the Brown School Student Coordinating Council, the student governing body of the Brown School. Graduate Fellow Portia is from Ghana in West Africa, where she earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Ghana.  While at the University of Ghana, Portia was the Vice President of the GaDangme Students Association, a student ethnic association, and worked as an organizer of rural health and educational outreaches, where she recruited her fellow college students to volunteer as teachers in deprived rural communities in the southern part of Ghana. Graduate Fellow Portia worked as a foundation practicum student at ICHAD, a research center at the Brown School and currently has her concentration practicum with the International Institute of St. Louis.  Graduate Fellow Portia’s interests include leadership and advocacy, gender equity, human rights, migration, social policy, and international social and economic development.

Leah Nason

Graduate Fellow Leah is from Williamsport, Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2018 with a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a B.A. in Public Health. Before moving to St. Louis, Graduate Fellow Leah served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, co-teaching middle school guidance and counseling classes. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Health at the Brown School. Her passions include youth development, health equity, and data-driven storytelling and strategies. In her free time, Graduate Fellow Leah enjoys running, cooking potatoes, making new playlists on Spotify, and taking photos of friends! She is excited to welcome and work alongside this year’s cohort of scholars in the Citizenship and Freedom: From Plato to Maya course.

Juan Manuel Ramirez-Velazquez

Graduate Fellow Juan is currently a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at WU. He is in the Hispanic Studies section currently specializing on Colonial Literature and Cultural Studies in the Iberian Atlantic World. He received a M.A. in Hispanic Literature from the University of New Mexico, where he became passionate about teaching Spanish language and Hispanic cultures classes as a college instructor. He always strives to know his students and inspire them to engage in rich discussions, both as language learners and as residents of a globalized world. Graduate Fellow Juan is very excited about working as a WashU College Prep Program Graduate Fellow for the second year because he really loves to see students grow, both personally and professionally/academically. Besides working with the College Prep Program during the summer, Graduate Fellow Juan will be studying for his Ph.D. comprehensive exams while he takes the Mellon Dissertation Seminar about the “History of Ideas.”

Program Assistants

Undergraduate Program Assistants create opportunities for scholars to learn about themselves and are responsible for facilitating the general safety and well-being of the College Prep community by attending classes, sessions, meals, and off-campus events with students. Read more…

Eme Akpan

Eme is a rising junior at WashU from St. Louis, who plans to major in Anthropology: Global Health & Environment and minor in Spanish. On campus, you may find her cooking with the Culinary Arts Society or volunteering with WashU’s Children’s Project. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new music and staying active. She is ready for new experiences and is excited to get to know this years’ scholars.

Brianna Chandler

Brianna Chandler is a sophomore at WashU, and a proud College-Prep Program alum. She is double-majoring in American Culture Studies and Drama. Brianna cares deeply about her community and is always looking for ways to get involved. She looks forward to having a fun and enlightening summer with the scholars.

Kara Fisher

Kara Fisher is a rising sophomore at Columbia College and an Alumni of the College Prep Program. She is double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with plans to work on political campaigns after graduation. Kara is a First Year Mentor and Student Ambassador at Columbia, and she is also involved in the Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association, Homecoming Committee, and COVID Vaccination Awareness Committee. Some of her hobbies include reading, listening to music, rewatching the movie Lady Bird more times than she can count, and hanging out with friends and family. As a member of College Prep’s Cohort 4, Kara is ecstatic to be back at Washington University and working with scholars. Some of her favorite memories are from her years at WUCPP, and she hopes to make the program as memorable for new scholars as it was for her!

Natalie Fisher

Natalie is a rising sophomore at WashU studying Mechanical Engineering and Economics. She is from south Texas and has been loving exploring St. Louis as much as possible. When she has the chance, she loves hiking and being outdoors as well as playing piano. She is very excited to get to know the scholars this summer!

Hannah Grimes

Hannah is a rising junior studying political science and philosophy. She manages publicity for WU-Slam, edits for the Review of Philosophy, and does undergraduate research in political philosophy and German as a Kling Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading, and playing music. She is excited to work with this year’s scholars to make the summer meaningful and fun! 

Khadijah Kareem

Khadijah Kareem is a rising junior from the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She studies Anthropology: Global Health and the Environment. Khadijah’s favorite snack is popcorn and she loves finding new places to eat in St. Louis. Khadijah is excited to meet the students in the College Prep Program and introduce them to WashU! 

Destiny King

Destiny King is a rising sophomore from St. Louis, MO. She’s double majoring in Urban Studies with concentrations in Urban Design and Public Health and Psychology with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is currently enjoying the college experience however, in the future she plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health as well as a PhD in Epidemiology. Some of her interests include throwing pottery, drawing, singing, and watching movies. As a College Prep alumni scholar, Destiny is excited to be involved with the program again and looks forward to having an amazing summer!

Philip Lawal

Philip Lawal is a Cohort 4 College Prep Program alum. He is currently a rising sophomore at The Ohio State University and is a part of their Morrill Scholar Program. Philip is majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Video Gaming Studies, and plans to become a Computer Hardware Engineer. During his extra time, Philip likes to play video games, watch movies, and play board/card games with his friends.  As a CPP alum, Philip is excited to work with the next generation of College Prep scholars.

Christian Monzon

Raised in Schaumburg, Illinois, Christian comes to the College Prep Program enthusiastic to help prepare future college students for the rest of their academic careers. He intends to double major in Political Science and International/Area Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, and enjoys learning about current events around the world. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and watching pro sports.  

Jharna Rai

Jharna Rai is a rising junior at WashU and plans to major in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is also a College prep alumni scholar from St. Louis, MO. Some of her interests include art, poetry and chess. Jharna is excited to be part of the program and getting to know the scholars!

Jaliece Rivers

Jaliece is a rising junior and a College Prep Alumni Scholar studying marketing with a minor in French. She is heavily involved in the Olin Business School at Washington University, holding positions as an Olin Peer Ambassador and she is the returning Vice President of Events in the Olin Business Council. When she is not studying, she enjoys taking on new projects, including calligraphy and crocheting. She is excited to welcome and connect with the new cohort this summer!

Sofi Robayo-Camargo

Originally from Colombia, Sofi is a College Prep Alumni living in St. Louis. She is a rising junior on the Pre-Dental track, double majoring in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. On campus Sofi loves getting involved with dance groups, productions such as Carnaval, and is additionally passionate about the LatinX community and the youth.

Erick Saucedo

Erick is a rising sophomore from Chicago, majoring in Computer Science and Economics. He is involved with Carnaval and Niños Cambios Puertas, and is a member of Alpha Psi Lambda. Erick hopes to stay in academia and pursue a PhD in Economics with the end goal of becoming a professor. Apart from school, he enjoys learning more about the world around him and how it works, so you can frequently catch him watching documentaries. He is excited to meet all the new scholars and learn what they are passionate about!

Tabitha Smith

Tabitha is a rising junior at WashU. This is her second year serving as a program assistant and office assistant. She is a part of Cohort One and from St. Louis, MO. She is also a part of WashU’s Mariachi Band. Tabitha is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Music which could turn into her second major.  In her free time, She is always on the search for new musical artists and finding new restaurants. Tabitha is excited for the new summer and new memories to come.

Carlos Tyse

Carlos Tyse is currently a rising sophomore at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. He is majoring in Pre-Nursing and plans to be a nurse practitioner in the future. When there is extra time, Carlos enjoys music producing, watching movies, and playing chess with friends. As a College-Prep program alum, Carlos is thrilled to work with the scholars this summer.

Maxwell Vivian

Maxwell Vivian is a rising junior at St. Louis Community college, and a College-Prep program alum. He is majoring in Computer Network Engineering with a minor in Culinary Studies. Max enjoys playing sports and enjoys learning different things in hopes to be a jack of all trades. Max has many interests such as photography, video games, watching movies and documentaries, but most importantly, traveling.

Katelyn Watts

Katelyn is from Louisiana, Missouri. She is currently attending Central Methodist University and is majoring in Elementary Education. She is involved in Kappa Beta Gamma international sorority, Student Government Association, National Society for Leadership and Success, and is the mascot at Central Methodist.

Sparkle Whitaker

Sparkle, a rising senior from Chicago, is a B.A. candidate in Fashion Design with a second major in Sociology. She enjoys writing, baking vegan banana bread, and is obsessed with the color gray. Sparkle is excited to meet this year’s scholars and work with them over the summer.

Madison Williamson

I am a rising junior from Jackson, Tennesse who is majoring in Sociology at Washington University. I am a small business owner who creates luxury vegan lip gloss for an affordable price. In my free time, I love connecting with new people and traveling the world with my friends for new adventures!

Sandy Wongsirisakul

Sandy is a rising sophomore and a WUCPP alum from St. Charles, MO. She plans on double-majoring in Biology and International Area Studies as a part of the Pre-Med track. On campus, she’s involved in Habitat for Humanity, club tennis, and Thai Students Association. College Prep has made many of her past summers enjoyable, so Sandy hopes she can help do the same for the current scholars!