Meet Graduate! Philadelphia

Meet the Team

Dr. Kevin Aiken

Vice President, College Success & Community Outreach 215.498.1497
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Dr. Kevin Aiken comes to Graduate! Philadelphia with over 20 years of college leadership experience. Dr. Aiken has led colleges through their strategic initiatives along with helping them implement strategic plans for college administrators and adult learners achieve their educational and academic goals. Dr. Aiken’s past experiences also include serving as Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management and Chief Operating Officer of Lancaster Bible College at the Center for Urban Theological Studies. He also served as a Recruiter, Admissions Counselor, Academic Advisor, Director of Student Accounts, Director of Admissions, and Director of Enrollment at Geneva College. In addition, he has taught various courses to adult learners including, Principles of Leadership, Introduction to Theology, and Development in Ministry. Dr. Aiken earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in Urban Leadership and one in Theology, both from Geneva College, He earned a master’s degree in Philosophy in Christian Thought from the Biblical Theological Seminary and has an earned Ph.D. in Leadership from Capital Graduate College. Dr. Aiken has written numerous publications, journals, and presentations. Dr. Aiken serves on numerous boards and associations. He currently serves as Director of Home Missions for the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention, Inc. (PBSC), and Music Director for the Pennsylvania Eastern Keystone Baptist Association (PEKBA). Dr. Aiken is a published writer and has authored two books: “Men Walking in the Power of God” and “Investigating the Restorative Processes for Pastors in the Urban Church.” Later this year, Dr. Aiken will be releasing his new book entitled “Disciplines for New Disciples.” Dr. Aiken articulates the main thrust of his life’s mission as, “It’s not business as usual.” He lives by his motto, “If you cease to learn, you cease to live.” The motto is evident by his persistent effort to effectively help adult learners reach their academic goals. Dr. Aiken remodified his life’s vision to a Transitional/Transformational Leadership, Mantra to “No One Left Behind.” Dr. Aiken attributes his accomplishments on being a third generation Educator, Faith-leader, and Inspirational speaker.

Anthony Johnson

College Success Advisor 215.360.4568
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Anthony Johnson is a Philadelphia native and a dedicated educator with over 20 years of experience in program management and administration. He is an instructor in the fields of education, human services, and GED. In addition to his work at Graduate! Philadelphia, Anthony is C.E.O. of Dream Field Academy, a non-profit organization that provides academic enrichment and fencing lessons to youth and adults. Anthony’s interests include motivating and challenging people of all ages to achieve. Anthony received his B.A. from Cheney University and his M.A. from La Salle University. He is the author of 7 books as well as over 80 articles in newspapers and magazines.

Zach Zimmerman

Data & Research Manager
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Zach Zimmerman is the Data and Research Manager at The Graduate! Network. Zach tracks the progress of current and developing Graduate! Network communities and provides them with technical assistance and training around the use of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools for data collection. He is also the community liaison for The Graduate! Network’s data projects, Bridging the Talent Gap and Data That Moves Us. Prior to joining The Graduate! Network Zach spent time working in the private sector, specializing in project management and coordination. Zach has always been involved in education and continues to pursue this passion by supporting students through tutoring in Mathematics. He has always found supporting students in this capacity to be extremely gratifying. Zach completed his undergraduate work at Ithaca College earning a degree in Mathematics. He is a lifelong music lover and musician.

Malik Brown

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Malik Brown is a seasoned leader with a unique portfolio of cross-sector experiences. His work and impact span multiple industries, including business, nonprofit, and higher education. At the Graduate! Network, Malik is responsible for developing strategic, cross-sector relationships (business, government, higher education, and nonprofit) in order to advance the mission of adult degree attainment, workforce readiness, and inclusive economic development. In his previous role as the associate vice president of workforce solutions & community impact for Peirce College, Malik was responsible for building workforce development solutions, cultivating strategic partnerships, and driving community impact. Prior to joining higher ed, Malik was part of the executive team at Diversified Community Services. He was responsible for the adult and family services division of the organization. Malik partnered with colleges and universities, city and state officials, corporations, and foundations to help working adults and families across the region achieve economic wellbeing and financial stability. Over the course of his career, Malik has worked in finance, customer relationship management, and diversity and inclusion. His time with national organizations like Inroads, Accenture, and the United Way has provided him with a broad range of management insights and capabilities—and a passion for serving working adults and nontraditional populations. Malik is a passionate advocate and champion of social and economic mobility for non-traditional learners. To make a difference and give voice to important regional issues, Malik also serves on several nonprofit boards and regional steering committees. He serves on the board of directors of ACHIEVEability and the Settlement Music School, and on the Education and Talent Steering Committees for both the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Main Line Chamber of Commerce. Malik is a life-long learner. He strongly believes in ongoing career development, sponsorship, and life coaching for those who are most disconnected from opportunity. He is a servant leader who is dedicated to the personal and professional development of others. Malik attended Clark University in Worcester, MA where he earned his BA and MBA. Malik has been married to his wife Ayana for 13 years and has two little girls (Aleena and Myka). He resides in the West Oak Lane section of the city. Above all else, Malik is most proud of his relationship with his two girls.

Denise Whittaker

Senior College Success Advisor 215.933.2139
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Denise has always wanted to teach and over the years has stressed the importance of continuing education to children as well as adults. Coordinating educational and fun events in her community became a major part of her time. Denise felt that if she wasn’t teaching in schools why not use that passion in her community helping her neighbors to make decisions based on good information; she felt this too was educating. She earned her B.S. at University of Phoenix when her son left home to attend college. On graduation day, her son told her that she was his inspiration and the long nights writing papers and missing sleep were all worth it. Denise says, “Stay committed. You will make such an impact on someone else’s life as well as your own.”

Hadass Sheffer

Co-founder of Graduate! Philadelphia President, The Graduate! Network 215.869.7569
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Hadass Sheffer is President of The Graduate! Network, Inc. and founding executive director of Graduate! Philadelphia, the program that launched the Network. Under her leadership, Graduate! is building regional capacity in Philadelphia and across the country for getting more adults to finish college. Much of Hadass’ career has centered on education and creating opportunities for positive change in higher education on behalf of underserved populations. Prior to Graduate! Philadelphia, she served as Director of Higher Education Fellowships and Program Development at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Her portfolio included several higher ed fellowships, campus-community grants for the 2000 White House initiative Imagining America, and Humanities@Work, a program that introduced doctoral students to non-academic careers. Earlier, she taught adult students at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania’s College of General Studies, and “traditional” students at Swarthmore College. In between, she worked for an electronic publishing company. Hadass earned an MBA from Temple University and completed doctoral coursework in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her B.A. in Linguistics is from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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