To ensure a strong, healthy network of people, SVP continually strives to increase the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures represented in the organization.
In this spirit, SVP founded a two-year Brainerd Fellowship.
We wish to attract people who couldn't otherwise make the required financial commitment and who will add value to and find personal reward from SVP’s work. Past fellows have added a great deal to the work of SVP, particularly serving on grant committees where they brought perspective and insight that would otherwise have been lacking.
This two-year Fellowship is intended to widen and strengthen the circle of partners involved in SVP. This fellowship is named in honor of SVP’s co-founder, Paul Brainerd, and reflects his spirit and ethos. The fellowships are funded by current Partners, covering the annual partner contribution.
SVP invites Brainerd Fellowship applications at beginning of each summer. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Willow Russell.
Meet a Few of Our Brainerd Fellows...
Originally from El Paso, TX, Bernadette Merikle has tested various corners of the country that don't have hurricanes or earthquakes. A graduate of Cornell with a Bachelors degree in Science Communication with an Independent Focus on Cultural and Health Communication, Bernadette also completed her Masters of Education in Student Development Administration from Seattle University.
Nitya Venkateswaran is currently a PhD student at the University of Washington in Educational Leadership and Policy studies where she is studying principals’ efforts to strengthen the quality of instruction at their schools. She is originally a San Francisco Bay Area native and braved the northwest weather to learn how to support meaningful change in public schools to close opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color.
Ada Williams Prince holds a B.A. from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont and an M.A. in Development Studies from Bradford University, England. She has worked with refugees since 1994 beginning in Nepal with Bhutanese refugees.
Seattle native, C’Ardiss Gardner Gleser is currently the Director of Programs at Technology Access Foundation. Prior to working in education, C’Ardiss worked at IDX Systems as a Software Engineer for a number of years. Her passion for education and equity lead her away from Corporate America and back to school to pursue her passions.
Amber Banks was selected as one of SVP’s 2011 Brainerd Fellows. She is a former special education teacher from Los Angeles, CA. who moved to Seattle two years ago to pursue a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington. Amber's doctoral research focuses school-community partnerships and equity issues in public education and she is also a Research Assistant in UW's Teacher Education Program.
CiKeithia Pugh was selected as one of SVP’s 2011 Brainerd Fellows. She is the Early Literacy Program Manager at The Seattle Public Library where she is responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the library’s early literacy programs and services. Her current projects include library sponsored Kaleidoscope play & learn groups, story time coordination, publications and materials, and community outreach.