Kevin F. Adler
Founder, Executive Director
Kevin is an M.Phil candidate in the Department of Sociology at Cambridge University. His dissertation on the vibrancy and loss of community life following a natural disaster was awarded “distinction.” He has presented his research and garnered awards at the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies graduate conference and the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference.
Prior to Cambridge, Kevin was the Benjamin H. Culley Award recipient (outstanding graduating senior), Boys State Leadership Scholar, Theodore R. Mitchell Endowed Scholar, Jane Jaquette Service Award recipient, and 2007 Politics Student of the Year at Occidental College (B.A., Politics).
Kevin has served in a variety of roles in nonprofits, political offices and campaigns, and Web 2.0 start-ups, including nuAlerts.com, the Commonwealth Club, the California Community Foundation, Article 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression, and the Office of Congresswoman Ellen O. Tauscher.
He is a 2010-11 Rotary District Ambassadorial Scholar, a past winner of the National Student Diplomat Essay Competition and a recipient of the Coro Fellowship. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, International Educator, Abroad View, and Oxy Worldwide.
Co-Founder, Director of Technology and Strategy
Erhardt comes to the team possessing a combination of knowledge and experiences in online social media and technology, social scientific inquiry, and education policy. He is passionate about educational innovation and the need for coordinated, community-based efforts to helping students succeed at all levels of study—affirmed by his participation in the Harvard Institute of Politics study group “The Politics of Public Education” led by Spring 2009 fellow Tina Flournoy.
Erhardt is a researcher at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, studying youth civic engagement and ethical sensibilities online. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, studying the U.S. textbook industries and exploring the challenges and opportunities for open educational resources. He is also a researcher of internet culture with the Web Ecology Project, and a micro-trustee of The Awesome Foundation.
Erhardt and Kevin first met at the University of Cambridge, where they both completed Masters of Philosophy in Modern Society and Global Transformations. Previously, Erhardt earned dual Bachelors of Science in Information Technology and International Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology
Corporate Secretary, Editor of the College 101 Blog
Lisa is a writer, pianist and speech & debate coach based out of Los Angeles. Having volunteered for many youth-centered organizations, including Parker-Anderson Learning Centers, the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of America, Lisa brings a blend of educational blogging, college networking and a rhetorical edge to BetterGrads. She recently has contributed to other organizations that use a college-tinted lens to mentor students, such as nuResume and Yollege, Inc.
Concurrently, Lisa is an Annenberg Fellow and graduate student in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Prior to joining BetterGrads, Lisa graduated from San Francisco State University as a “hood recipient” (valedictorian) with bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing and Communication Studies while working as a writer for SF State News. An alumna of SF State’s nationally-recognized speech & debate team, Lisa was named to the American Forensics Association’s All-American Team and was awarded Platform Speaker of the Year two years in a row (2006–8) by the Northern California Forensics Association.
With her experience rooted in editorial endeavors, public speaking and mentoring youth, Lisa’s goals are focused on improving the well-roundedness of students everywhere. Because, as she puts it, you can only be so much of a square.
Social Media Team
Dana is a political science major specializing in Cold War history at Owens Community College in Ohio. She loves global pop culture, reading a good book, snowboarding, tattoos and piercings. She works as a math tutor and peer mentor on campus under Title III, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and her goal is to become a political analyst for the U.S. government.
Matt is currently a fourth-year political science student at UC Davis, praying that the economy bounces back by next June. He is a fan of politics, sports, and pickles. He also likes writing for BetterGrads, and hopes that more people will read his posts.
David graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz (2008) with bachelor’s degrees in business management and economics. He then started SlugBooks.com, a website that provides transparency into textbook prices at college bookstores and online options including Amazon and Chegg. David has worked at several web startups including Google, and he is a huge fan of cost-saving consumer web applications. At BetterGrads, he contributes cost-saving insights to the blog and is also involved in the organization’s social media strategy and execution.
Annemarie has a background in both newspaper and online journalism. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in journalism from Arizona State University (2004), where she was a reporter and night editor for the student daily The State Press. She has since worked as an arts and entertainment writer, then as The Arizona Republic’s (Phoenix, AZ) education reporter, covering 15 school districts in the Southwest Valley. In Los Angeles, she has worked as news editor for Animation World Network and is now in direct marketing. Annemarie hopes to one day swim with a great white shark and not get chomped-on in the process.
Jacob Weiss graduated from Occidental College in 2009 with an AB in Economics, and a minor in Spanish Literary Studies. He brings to Bettergrads several years of experience in the retail industry, where he learned to fine-tune his customer service skills at Nordstrom, and was recently named the Customer Service All-Star at its Topanga Plaza store.
Jacob befriended Bettergrads’ founder Kevin Adler when he was selected to be a Director of Occidental College’s Charles R. Blyth Fund. During their short time together, Jacob recognized that Kevin was a capable leader, with passions for social entrepreneurship, politics, and basketball. When Jacob saw that Kevin was looking for volunteers for a personal project via a LinkedIn update, he immediately jumped at the opportunity to help Kevin in any way that he could.
During his years at Occidental, Jacob was a three-year member of its Ultimate Frisbee team “Detox”, a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and an avid challah baker.