Not Your Typical Tech Bros

Jean Rhodes and Nancy McNamaraMentorPRO was co-founded by sisters Jean Rhodes and Nancy McNamara, whose interests and expertise are perfectly aligned for this mission. As a clinical psychologist, mentoring expert, and  award-winning college professor for more than 30 years, Jean deeply understands the strengths and struggles of young adults and how to apply best practices to advance students’ lives. And, as a computer scientist, Nancy knows how to harness technology to improve outcomes. After starting her career at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, CA, where she helped to pioneer technology platforms, Nancy worked at a Cambridge-based tech startup before launching her own successful company Academic Web Pages, more than 20 years ago.

The spark that ignited MentorPRO came as the sisters were walking along the beach at the Jersey shore, where they’ve been going their entire lives. Jean had just finished writing a  book on mentoring and was bemoaning the persistently small effects and lack of focus in most programs, despite clear findings showing the value of goal-focused, evidence-based practices. Nancy asked whether technology could be leveraged to help disseminate best practices and, several years later, they are continuing to advance this idea. MentorPRO’s big break came when they were awarded a generous grant through the National Institute of Mental Health’s highly competitive Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. They are delighted to be working with each other, their talented team, and an expanding array amazing partners.

Meet Our Team

Jean Rhodes

Jean Rhodes

Co-founder
Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology, UMass Boston

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Jean Rhodes is the Frank L. Boyden Professor of psychology and Director of the Center for Evidence-Based mentoring at UMass Boston. She has devoted her career to understanding and improving mentoring relationships, publishing over 250 peer-reviewed articles on the topic over the past three decades and have worked tirelessly to disseminate this work. This includes co-authoring the National Mentoring Partnership’s Elements of Effective Practice, which has been downloaded by more than 10 million practitioners worldwide, helping to establish Centers for Evidence Based Mentoring in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and creating the popular Chronicle of Evidence-Based mentoring.

Nancy McNamara

Co-founder
CEO & Founder, Academic Web Pages

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Nancy founded Academic Web Pages in 2002. Previously, she worked for The Worx Group, as a Senior Application Developer, where she engineered internet solutions and at OffRoad Capital as a Senior Programmer. For more than a decade, she worked at Interleaf, Inc. in Cambridge, MA, as a software developer and before that at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, CA. She has a B.S. in Computer Science from UCSB.

Thomas Abraham

Thomas Abraham

Chief Technology Officer

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Thomas has a passion for using tech to make people’s lives better. He sits on the Advisory Board of City University of New York (CUNY) for the TechWorks Initiative, one of the US’s most extensive Federally Funded Software Education programs. His company HubSpire, where he is CEO, has also partnered with SproutCoding to teach coding and web development to children in Zimbabwe.

Ania Sanchez

Ania Sanchez

Director of Product Success

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Ania is passionate about marketing, developing products and consumer attraction and retention. With previous experience at renowned international companies in the Retail, Cosmetics, Tech, and Toy Industries, she is now our Director of Product Success. Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Ani graduated with her Bachelors in Business and Marketing prior to completing her Masters in Business Administration at Vanderbilt University.

Alex Werntz

Alex Werntz

Director of Research

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Alex works with the MentorPRO team on research and product development. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia in 2020, specializing in supportive accountability for technology-delivered interventions. Her dissertation focused on how individuals with mental health challenges and their loved ones can be motivated to seek treatments that work. She is excited to work with the MentorPRO team to improve access to mental health, wellness, and education apps that work.

Megyn Jasman

Megyn Jasman

Director of Customer Success

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Megyn helps put our translation of mentoring research into action. She works closely with our partners to reach the shared goal of improving outcomes for mentees. Megyn is also the Assistant Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts Boston with Dr. Jean Rhodes, investigating how the mentoring field can be revolutionized to best support today‘s youth. Megyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychological Science, and is furthering her education by working towards a Master’s degree in Community Psychology to understand how community-based programs can help prevent the development of adverse mental health conditions, as well as bridge gaps in services.

Ramya

Ramya Ramadurai

Research and Implementation Specialist

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Ramya works with the MentorPRO team on conducting research and disseminating results. She is a rising 5th year PhD student in clinical psychology at American University, specializing in using digital tools to increase the specificity and cultural responsiveness of treatment interventions. Her research program is at the intersection of affective science, dissemination and implementation, and culture. She is excited to work with the MentorPRO team to understand factors that enhance the relationships and outcomes of peer-mentoring, especially for marginalized individuals, and more generally to increase access to evidence-based tools to support college student success.

Desireé Robertson

Desireé Robertson

Senior Training and Program Development Specialist

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Desireé has extensive expertise in mentoring, program management, curriculum development, and professional development. As the former Director of Training and Product Design at MENTOR, she played a pivotal role in driving the organization’s vision for quality training development and product design, ensuring best practices in adult learning theory and instructional design. Her leadership led to the launch of the impactful Black and Brown Girls’ Mentoring Movement. An international trainer and facilitator, Desireé’s reach spans restorative justice, youth voice, critical mentoring, and supporting college students in finding meaningful mentoring opportunities, inspiring and empowering individuals across the globe through her commitment to fostering positive change in communities through wellness and mentoring.

Quentin Johnson

Quentin Johnson

Senior Advisor and DEI Specialist

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Quentin oversees an innovative University of Chicago Summer Institute designed to identify and support talented undergraduate students from a broad range of backgrounds interested in the study of economics. Prior to joining BFI, he developed and managed diversity and inclusion outreach and recruitment for interns, research assistants, and economists as the first-ever Senior Economics Outreach Specialist for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Board). Quentin helps to create strategic partnerships with colleges, universities, professional and public organizations to motivate students and encourage them to study and pursue economics as a career field. He is the committee chair for partnership strategy for Pathways to Research and Doctoral Careers (PREDOC), a consortium of universities and research institutions that aims to foster a talented, diverse, and inclusive population in the quantitative social sciences. He also serves on the advisory board for the Sadie Collective, an organization dedicated to addressing the critical lack of Black women in economics and related fields.

Amanda Black

Amanda Black

Business Manager

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Amanda’s background is in administration, financial management, and accounting for human services programs and small businesses. Amanda earned a History BA in 2000 from Westfield State University. Amanda lives in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts where she enjoys drawing/painting, swimming/running, cooking/baking and gardening.

Chris Gavris

Chris Gavris

Sales & Marketing Representative

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Chris helps MentorPRO through his tireless marketing, prospecting, outreach, data research and sales. His key focus is on the college and post-secondary markets. A Boston native, Chris Gavris graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington.

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