Meet Our Team

Our team strives to make the Summer and Non-Degree programs dynamic and engaging for the students we serve. We are constantly finding new ways to improve our current programs, as well as creating new ones that better serve the needs of our students.

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Chrishon Blackwell

Summer & Non-Degree Programs Director

Chrishon earned her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from National University in La Jolla California. She is TESL/TEFL certified and holds two undergraduate degrees in Political Science and International Business Management from the University of Western Ontario and University of Texas, San Antonio, respectively.

Chrishon is responsible for working with GW’s Summer and Non-Degree programs team and other campus partners to develop and grow summer and visiting programs that serve the university's strategic priorities on retention, diversity and internationalization. She will also provide guidance in growing special programs including Summer Institutes, GW Pre-College, Corcoran Arts Continuing Education and International Summer programs.

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Hoang My (Ping) Nguyen

Student Program Coordinator

Hoang My is proudly a son of Vietnamese immigrants. He earned his bachelor of arts in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and master of social work from the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed a year as a research fellow in Hong Kong. As a social justice advocate, his aim is to transform the conditions in society, especially in higher education landscape, for marginalized communities. He centers all his work around compassion, community and transformation.

Hoang My is a “foodie,” which means he loves everything pertaining to food. In his leisure time, he enjoys exploring the city, trying out local eating spots and cooking Vietnamese food. Moreover, he loves nature and its preservation – long hikes and conversations are ideal. As a product and lover of the Southeast Asian culture, he welcomes any sharing of knowledge and culture associating with such culture.

As the student program coordinator, Hoang My partners with local area schools and community based organizations to continue efforts to enroll a diverse student population. Hoang My also manages the residential experience for students enrolled in special summer programs including the selection, training and supervision of summer staff.

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Fernando Santiago

Program Associate

Born and Raised in Puerto Rico, Fernando started in the field of adult education as an English and Spanish instructor for the Berlitz Language Company, where he would go on to become a training and development supervisor and then director. His life-long dream has always been to help others pursue higher education, and he got his chance when working for Cambridge College out of their Puerto Rico campus, and then later with the Ana G. Méndez University, and now with the George Washington University.

He has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Puerto Rico and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. He is also passionate about exploring the ways technology and education intersect and has led several initiatives that implemented new systems and processes to support instruction and educational administration. In his spare time, Fernando loves reading and exploring new places with his family. He also volunteers for a multi-level Girl Scouts' troop as a first aider, field trip planner and meeting co-leader.

Fernando is responsible for supporting the Office of Strategic Enrollment Initiatives by providing accurate enrollment reporting, data tracking and ensuring compliance with university policies. He is also responsible for managing and maintaining the Customer Relations Management (CRM) and Student Information (SI) systems for the department. Additionally, Fernando works with the unit to identify issues, recommend improvements and changes to policies where needed and coordinate efforts with other university units including Student Accounts, the Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid and GW schools and colleges in order to facilitate broader unit needs such as billing, registration, student records maintenance and general service.

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Ali Schmierer

Pre-College Program Director

Prior to joining Summer & Non-Degree Programs, Ali was a program director at a K-12 educational nonprofit in Peru where she designed, monitored and evaluated new initiatives such as health, social work, psychology, leadership and empowerment. Ali worked closely with the community to identify overarching issues and was able to create result-driven solutions. Previously, Ali worked at AmeriCorps where she managed the development of a community park based in Louisiana. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

As the director of the Pre-College Program, Ali works to develop exciting and enriching courses and co-curricular programming for summer students. In addition, she works to establish local and national partnerships that increase and support the diversity of our high school programs.

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Helen Snelgrove

Executive Assistant

A born and raised Washingtonian, Helen is a product of the District of Columbia Public School System and proud School Without Walls alumna.  She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2015 with a BA in Psychology. During her time as an undergraduate, Helen played for the TU Women’s soccer team, and was extremely involved in community service, mentoring and leadership within several on-campus organizations. During the warmer months, you will find her gardening; during the cooler months, you will find her knitting while watching college football.

As executive assistant, Helen works regularly with parents and students in our office to advise them on the details of our programs and help them with any needs they may have. She also supports the office on a day-to-day basis with administrative and logistical tasks.

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Kimberly Tanner

Program Assistant

Kimberly graduated with honors in 2017 from GW with a BA in Sociology and is currently a GW MA candidate in the same major with an emphasis in Criminology.

Kimberly has had leadership roles in GW's Center for Student Engagement as residence director along with resident advisor. While in these roles, she supervised eight resident advisors and five residence halls, was in charge of student community engagement events and oversaw crisis management on the Mount Vernon Campus. She was highly involved with the hiring committee for residential advisors and has mentored first-year students on conflict resolution. She also worked at D.C.'s Jewish Community Center, overseeing and coordinating events for their inclusion program for adults with disabilities. She has held other roles at the JCC including head swimming coach, arts instructor and administrative coordinator.

As the program assistant, Kimberly manages the logistics for our special summer programs. Mainly working within the Pre-College Program, Kimberly's role includes arranging housing, dining and transportation, as well as assisting faculty and staff in coordinating off-campus site visits for the students. Kimberly works to ensure all students are feeling engaged and welcome through all programming our office provides. Kimberly has great logistics and programming experience, is thrilled to be a future double graduate from GW and considers the Mount Vernon Campus to be her home away from home.


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Bryce Webster-Jacobsen

Assistant Director for Student Engagement

Bryce was born and raised in a quintessential Midwestern town outside of Chicago, but has long been drawn to D.C. After stops in Connecticut, Texas, Georgia and Vermont, he joined the team at GW. When not working with college students, he enjoys all things outdoors, attending concerts and exploring coffee shops. Bryce earned his master's of education in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University. Throughout his professional career, he has been focused on supporting the transitions and on campus experiences of international students. His past work includes co-curricular programming and admissions work for both international and domestic students.

As the assistant director for student engagement, Bryce is primarily responsible for overseeing student advising, engagement and the enrollment process for visiting and matriculated international students enrolled in summer, non-degree and other special programs. Bryce is also responsible for supporting business development and relationship management for sponsoring agencies and international partners.

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Ruofei Zhang

Administrative Support Assistant

Ruofei was born and raised in China. In 2012, he decided to study abroad in the United States, moving to Russellville, Arkansas where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Economics and Finance from Arkansas Tech University. During his studies, he began to realize the importance of cultural exchange, student mobility and the role of country-to-country cooperation and development. In 2017, he decided to pursue a Master of Arts degree in International and Comparative Education from GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. He is passionate about exploring new ways to bridge cultures and help more students follow their dreams of higher education.

In his role as Administrative Support Assistant, Ruofei is responsible for assisting the team across summer, special programs and international enrollment. His day-to-day tasks include preparing orientation materials, creating reports on enrollment data, developing post-program evaluation summaries and supporting the execution of summer co-curricular programs.