IEA’s staff is made up of dedicated individuals who are passionate about gifted youth and interested in devoting their time and energy to the personal development of every child who walks through our doors. IEA trains all staff members on the needs of highly able children and the best practices in the field of gifted education.

Our President


Elizabeth D. Jones, President & Co-Founder

Ms. Jones has been an educator, researcher and administrator of educational programs for over 30 years. She holds a master’s degree in special education from the University of Southern California and has completed doctoral work in the field of educational policy and learning theory. Ms. Jones served as the Associate Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Director of the Western Region for ten years prior to founding the Institute for Educational Advancement in 1998. While at CTY, Elizabeth served as Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Sally Ride and Dr. JoBea Way for a NASA and NSF sponsored educational initiative called KidSat. She received recognition from the National Diffusion Network for the creation and implementation of exemplary programs for underserved gifted students and specialized in the intellectual, social and emotional needs of students. She created and implemented the SDB teacher recognition program and expanded the scope of services at CTY. As President of IEA she was contracted to assist in the creation and implementation of the Davidson Young Scholars program. She went on to lead in the creation and implementation of the Award-winning Yunasa summer camp for the gifted and the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship program.



Our Staff

Niña Abonal, Program Coordinator

Niña is passionate about empowering and creating opportunities for youth through education. With a decade of experience in educational non-profits, she pursued her passion by taking on various educational roles , including tutoring students in K-8th grade, teaching SAT prep courses, serving as a coordinator and advisor for a  college access program, coordinating the Mock Trial program, and managing internships for high school students. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University where she earned her B.A. in Business Administration, a minor in Elementary Education, and Master of Arts in Educational Studies. During her free time, she enjoys volunteering, hiking with her pup, Cali, exploring new places to eat, and spending time with her family. She is eager to continue her passion working with youth at IEA and hopes to continually seek innovative ways to improve the quality of and access to educational resources for all students.

Morgan Carrion

Morgan Carrion, Assistant to the President

Morgan received a B.F.A in Studio Art from Biola University. She is an interdisciplinary artist committed to cultivating a rich awareness and engagement with the world around her. Morgan is passionate about education and deeply admires IEA’s commitment to developing the whole person. Over the past five years, Morgan has worked in a number of different educational and administrative roles. Prior to coming to IEA she served as a school group docent for The Getty Center and a nanny to a family with a gifted child. She is exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such lovely people and to further IEA’s meaningful mission.

Abby Daniels, Director of Development & Communications

Abby Daniels brings nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, marketing, communications and public relations to IEA. Prior to joining IEA, Abby served as Director of Communications at the MIND Research Institute, where during her 12-year tenure she helped grow the nonprofit from serving 14,000 students to well over one million with its K-12 math education programs. At MIND, she formed key philanthropic partnerships, resulting in major investments from Fortune 500 companies and national foundations, and also worked to establish the organization’s brand identity, visibility strategies, social media presence and website traffic. Abby is a passionate advocate of social change through building education equity for all learners, and she is excited to apply her passion and skills to serve the needs of gifted students and their families. She received her BA from University of Pennsylvania, enjoys reading the work of great fiction storytellers, playing volleyball and golf and attempting knitting projects.

Jennifer de la Haye, Program Coordinator

Jennifer de la Haye obtained a B.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis from California State University, Long Beach. She spent time as a freelance writer and customer service representative before arriving at IEA. Jennifer is thrilled to contribute to an organization that nurtures and provides guidance for gifted youth, whose earnest curiosity and relationship with the world around them she finds inspiring and delightful. She especially enjoys working at IEA because she is constantly learning, likes and respects her colleagues, and finds value in contributing to an organization she admires.





Nicole Endacott,
Program Assitant

Nicole Endacott has been an outdoor educator at a school science camp in the Santa Cruz redwoods, a volunteer mentor at a homework help center in an underprivileged community, an instructor for college students struggling in higher-level science and math courses, a test prep tutor, a classroom teacher for middle school science students, and, of course, an instructor for several IEA Academy courses. She has a B.S. in Biology from Azusa Pacific University, where she participated in field research focused on ecosystem recovery after fires. Nicole has loved forging connections with remarkable and unique IEA students who are just as passionate as she is about learning more about how the world works. When she’s not at work or planning her next class, Nicole spends her time exploring new places with friends, spending time with family, and watching nature documentaries or baking shows. She is excited for her growing role in continuing IEA’s mission in her home community of Pasadena and beyond!

Alexis Hopper, Program Coordinator

Alexis Hopper holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BFA in Music from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. Her love for working with children stems from 15 years of experience coordinating educational programs for institutions such as Chicago Children’s Museum and teaching group and private music lessons for ages two and up. Prior to coming to IEA, Alexis served as Program Coordinator for adult English language programs, a role in which she provided academic counseling and supported teachers in their endeavor to serve the needs of a highly diverse student body. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to a team that is uniquely equipped to respond to the needs of gifted children, and looks forward to fostering existing and future ties within the community. In her free time, Alexis loves to explore local neighborhoods by foot, bicycle, train and car, and looks forward to planning her next great camping adventure.

Kelly Gray, Development Assistant

Kelly has over a decade of experience working in the nonprofit arena. She has held communications positions at the Music Center, J. Paul Getty Trust, and Para Los Niños. She also has experience working in philanthropy, having served as a program associate at the Ahmanson Foundation and foundation administrator at the Roddenberry Foundation. She holds B.A. in Communication Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. Kelly is excited to be at IEA where she can use her knowledge of nonprofits to further IEA’s mission and support talented students so they can make a positive impact on our world. Outside of the office, she enjoys hiking in the local mountains with her family, skiing, and discovering a great novel.





Heather Honig,
 Clerical Assistant

Heather Honig is currently working towards her B.A. degree in Sociology and Education & Child Study at Smith College. She is interested in focusing her studies on educational inequalities and policies so she can work to make education equitable and accessible to students from all backgrounds. Prior to coming to IEA, Heather has worked at summer camps, afterschool tutoring programs, and the children’s library at her college. Heather loves working with kids and is excited to be a part of an organization that serves such a unique group of students.


Zadra Rose Ibañez, Director of Operations

Zadra Rose Ibañez joined the IEA team in 2005 after several years of office and finance administration in banking and pension administration. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Colorado State University and holds a Certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA. She remembers how frustrating it was to be an inquisitive child and appreciates that IEA provides the solution for that frustration, giving joy and a feeling of belonging and satisfaction to otherwise thwarted children. In addition to managing the operational side of IEA, Ms. Ibañez helps support individuals in their health and wellness goals, collects fountain pens, and sings in a band.





Hillary Jade,
Program Manager

A former gifted student, Hillary spent five years as a Program Director with Summer Institute for the Gifted, where she oversaw day and residential summer programs for Gifted and Talented students, before joining IEA. Hillary earned her B.A. in German from The University of Puget Sound and her M.A. in German from Middlebury College – both degrees of which she utilized as an ESL teacher in Germany for five years. Since 2013, she has enjoyed attending educational conferences and presenting at state gifted conferences on the social-emotional needs of gifted students, generational studies, design theory, and the importance of summer programming and academic enrichment. A former camp director – and self-proclaimed “camp nerd” – Hillary is excited to manage IEA’s programs, as they emphasize passion, integrity, creativity, perseverance, and balance. Hillary enjoys keeping up with her German, cooking, road trips, exploring L.A., and studying nonprofit management.

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Anvi Kevany, Administrative Assistant

Anvi Kevany has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California, and an M.S  degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from California State University at Northridge. Anvi has worked with several non-profit and government agencies, and, for the past 17 years, worked as a child and parent advocate, providing support, leadership and advocacy training to parent and community leaders. Anvi’s three children have all been identified as gifted learners, and she feels honored to be a part of a dedicated and talented team of professionals working to accomplish the ideals and mission of IEA.


Tiffany Kwong, Operations Manager

Tiffany Kwong graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received B.A.s in Sociology and Asian American Studies. She then pursued an M.A. in the Social and Cultural Analysis of Education at California State University, Long Beach. She enjoys working behind the scenes and playing a role in all of the programs and services IEA has to offer and loves the incredibly warm and inclusive spaces IEA has a way of creating. In her free time, she really enjoys cooking and sewing, especially in the company of family – the experience of spending time with her loved ones makes these activities particularly special to her.





Nicole LaChance,
 Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Nicole LaChance graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Journalism before moving West in pursuit of milder winters. Prior to joining the IEA team, she spent time working in marketing for an architecture firm and completed two years of national service in the AmeriCorps program. Over the past few years she has worked with nonprofits to communicate their message and impact to the world around them, work she is excited to continue at IEA. When not at the office, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling wherever she can and making bad puns.

Qiao Li, Coordinator

Qiao Li graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in Global and International Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining IEA, she was a graduate teaching assistant and taught courses in Sociology and Global Studies. Qiao also worked as a District Representative for a congressman and an assistant to a former Los Angeles Councilmember. At IEA, Qiao looks forward to serving a diverse population of gifted students through fostering their personal, social, and intellectual growth.


Bonnie Raskin, Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Manager

Bonnie Raskin has spent over a decade as the Program Manager for the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship at IEA, following a career in television as an executive and producer in addition to assisting the admissions staff at Campbell Hall and Marlborough schools in Los Angeles. Ms. Raskin graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in English literature and journalism and did graduate work at Boston University’s School of Speech and Public Communication and the Harvard Business School. Her husband works in television and film production, and their daughter is a graduate student in clinical psychology with a focus on substance abuse and addictive behavior. Ms. Raskin is devoted to animal rescue, rehabilitation and adoption through her involvement with local animal rescue organizations, most recently Wags and Walks. She enjoys the vitality, enthusiasm, smarts, savvy, generosity, support, and camaraderie of her colleagues at IEA and the CDB Scholar community – her extended family.


Brianna Safe, Resource Coordinator

Brianna Safe has worked with intellectually and creatively gifted kids since 2009. Prior to joining IEA, she received her B.A. in Humanities and English from Biola University in Southern California. She is particularly interested in how literary art can inform issues in human psychology about how individuals conceive of themselves and make decisions. As Resources Coordinator, Ms. Safe is dedicated to research and knowledge of national programs and services that challenge and support the gifted learner, with special interest in the social and emotional needs of this community.



Kate Duey, College Counselor

Kate Duey is a private college counselor serving gifted students. She has worked with students who are age-mates with their graduating high school class, home schooled students, community college students, and students seeking accelerated or early college entrance. Kate is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She has a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. She also has three incredible daughters.

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