Staff | Institute for Educational Advancement
 

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 35 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 (CTY) and the Director of the Western Region for 10 years prior to founding the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) in 1998, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the unique educational needs of gifted children and their families. While at CTY, Ms. Jones served as Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Sally Ride and Dr. JoBea Way for a NASA and National Science Foundation-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 also created and implemented the Sarah D. Barder Fellowship teacher recognition program and expanded the scope of services at CTY. As President of IEA Ms. Jones was contracted to assist in the creation and implementation of the Davidson Young Scholars program. With IEA, 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. Since its inception, IEA has impacted the lives of over 10,000 young people through direct programs and services. Ms. Jones currently serves on the Advisory Board for GRO Gifted, the Advisory Board for Young and Healthy, and the Board of Directors for Math Academy.

 

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Direct Line: 626-403-8900 ext. 202

 

 

Our Staff

 

 

 

 


Mallory Aldrich,
Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Admissions Coordinator

Mallory Aldrich graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education. She then pursued a MEd. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Gifted Education at Arizona State University. Prior to joining IEA she worked an Advanced Placement High School Social Studies teacher for nearly nine years in Arizona.  She is thrilled to be working with CDB Scholarship Program and continuing her work with Gifted Students. Outside of work Mallory loves cheering on her beloved University of Arizona Wildcats, traveling and running.

 

Contact Mallory for Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 207

 

 

 

 


Lucy Blagg,
 Program Assistant

Lucy is a writer and educator passionate about sharing the magic of literature with students of all ages. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts, and her B.A. in English Literature from U.C.L.A. Over the years she’s taught writing-intensive humanities courses to college students, tutored middle school, high school, and college students and mentored middle school and high school girls through an arts-focused after-school program. In her spare time she loves learning about plants and animals, hiking, reading, painting, making music, and watching documentaries. She is excited to join IEA’s community of enthusiastic learners!

 

 

 

 


Jennifer de la Haye,
 Document Specialist

Jennifer enjoys literature, writing, podcasts, yoga, and exploring. She spends most of her time sharing these things with her two spirited daughters. Before arriving at IEA, Jennifer obtained a bachelor’s in English with a creative writing emphasis from Cal State University, Long Beach. Growing up, she loved attending summer camps both as a camper and as a counselor, so she was thrilled to be a part of IEA’s Yunasa program for a while. Jennifer is grateful to work with both grown-ups and children who never stop growing and learning.

 

 

 

 


Nicole Endacott,
 Senior Program Coordinator

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!

 

Contact Nicole for IEA Academy, LABS, and Spyglass Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 215


 

 

 

 

Megan Figueroa, Program Manager

Megan Figueroa comes to the IEA team with 10 years of experience in youth programming. She first realized her passion working with youth development while teaching for an after-school program in Long Beach. It was no surprise that Megan was a natural educator, having come from a long line of teachers and professors. Since then Megan has worked for several non-profit organizations dedicated to serving young people. She is excited to work with the gifted community at IEA and provide students the space to work towards meeting their full potential and build meaningful relationships with peers and adults. Megan holds a BA in Anthropology from Biola University. In her free time she enjoys camping, fiber arts and playing with her dog, Luna.

 

Contact Megan for IEA Academy and EXPLORE Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 209


 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Goldstein, Executive Assistant

Beth Goldstein has over 14 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Prior to joining IEA, Beth worked at a private family foundation for eight years in a variety of roles including programs and supporting the Executive Office and Board of Directors. Beth graduated Cum Laude from The University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree double majoring in Public Management and Policy and Health and Human Services and completed her master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California. Beth is a native Angeleno and outside the office she loves exploring all Los Angeles has to offer with her husband, toddler and Goldendoodle, Bailey.

 

Contact Beth for Executive Office Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 213

 

 

 

 


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.

 

Contact Alexis for IEA Academy Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 208

 

 

 

 


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.

 

Contact Zadra for IEA Operational and Development/Finance Matters
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 212

 

 

 

 


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.

 

Contact Anvi for Operations or other General IEA Matters
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 205

 

 

 

 


Qiao Li,
 Coordinator

Stemming from her personal journey as a child born and raised in China, Qiao is especially interested in exploring how social and emotional wellbeing in children feeds into the development of the whole self. Qiao holds an MA in Global Studies focused on education from UC Santa Barbara and a BA from UC Berkeley. At Yunasa, seeing campers challenge all aspects of self, and experience joy, self-empowerment, empathy, and growth during their week at camp, while making intense connections with like-minded peers, fuels Qiao’s passion to work with gifted children. Qiao looks forward to broadening her impact to serve more children in needs through Yunasa, advocacy, and other services provided by IEA.

 

Contact Qiao for Yunasa and Public Policy Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 211

 

 

 

 


Amber McClarin,
 Enrollment Coordinator

Amber is dedicated to connecting students to resources that can help them expand their potential. Prior to joining the IEA team, she held a marketing and outreach role at a private Los Angeles area high school where she especially enjoyed connecting with the students outside the classroom and using those opportunities to guide their developing views of themselves and the world.  Amber obtained her BA in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico. She is passionate about documentary films, history and reading.

 

Contact Amber for IEA Outreach, Enrollment and Web Portal Information
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Direct Line: (626) 403-8900 ext. 216

 

 

 

 


Justin Pansacola,
 Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Justin is a digital communications professional working to promote IEA as a national leader in gifted education. He attended the University of California, Riverside, where he earned his B.A. in Creative Writing. He is a Los Angeles native and has a dog named Biff.

 

Contact Justin for media inquiries and press
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Direct Line: (626) 403.8900 ext. 214

 

 

 

 


Bonnie Raskin,
 Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Program Director

Bonnie Raskin is the Program Director of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship at IEA, where she has worked for the past fifteen years, 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 attended Yale University and Washington University in St. Louis, graduating with a B.A. in English literature and journalism and did her Masters level 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 doctoral student in clinical psychology with a focus on chemical dependency and addictive behavior. Ms. Raskin is devoted to animal rescue, rehabilitation and adoption through her involvement with Los Angeles animal rescue organization Wags and Walks. She enjoys the vitality, enthusiasm, smarts, savvy, generosity, support, and camaraderie of her colleagues at IEA and the CDB Scholar community.

 

Contact Bonnie for Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Information 
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Direct Line: (626) 403.8900 ext. 203