Our Team

Our Team

Rebecca Silbert, J.D.

Senior Director, Rising Scholars at Foundation for California Community Colleges

With her extensive experience championing issues related to mass incarceration, Rebecca Silbert collaborated with the Stanford Criminal Justice Center to develop the strategic plan for Renewing Communities. As part of Sustaining Futures, Rebecca Silbert led the initial collaboration between the NYU McSilver Institute and Corrections to College as well as provided ongoing strategy and support for the project. She is currently the Senior Director of Rising Scholars at the Foundation for California Community Colleges, in partnership with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, where she leads statewide advocacy and support for community colleges serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students.

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Kellie Nadler, M.A.

Regional Coordinator of the Rising Scholars Educational Services and Support at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

Kellie Nadler is dedicated to increasing higher education opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students. As the former Deputy Director of Renewing Communities, Kellie’s knowledge of and relationships with community colleges across California informed the Sustaining Futures’ strategy and goals, as well as facilitated and sustained participants’ engagement throughout the Community of Practice. Kellie continues to advocate on behalf of California’s incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students through their role at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office as the Regional Coordinator of their Rising Scholars program.

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Meaghan Baier, LMSW

Director of Healthcare Innovation at the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy, and Research

As part of Sustaining Futures, Meg Baier dually facilitated a variety of trauma-informed trainings and consultation calls as well as maintained the ongoing management of the Sustaining Futures Project. With her background in social work and her passion for social justice and trauma-informed practices, she helped Core Implementation Teams (CITs) think critically about their selected goals, anticipate obstacles, and identify their program’s strengths.

Outside of her work with Sustaining Futures, Meg is the Director of Healthcare Innovations at McSilver Institute. Her other past experience includes working in Alaska as an advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence and as a program coordinator for children who had experienced abuse and neglect.

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Andrew Cleek, Psy.D.

Chief Program Officer at the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy, and Research

Dr. Andy Cleek’s expertise on organizational change strategies spans local, statewide, and national initiatives. As part of Sustaining Futures, Dr. Cleek shared the key components to leading effective trauma-informed and resiliency-building organizational change initiatives as well as helped the Core Implementation Teams (CITs) develop strategies to reach their identified goals. Outside of Sustaining Futures, Dr. Cleek serves as the Chief Program Officer at McSilver Institute, where he oversees a portfolio of technical assistance offering training and support to all behavioral health, child welfare and intellectual and development disabilities-serving agencies in New York State. 

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Kirk “Jae” James, DSW

Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work at the NYU Silver School of Social Work

Dr. Kirk “Jae” James’ is deeply committed to making education humanizing and liberatory. His primary research focuses on deconstructing issues of mass incarceration as it pertains to trauma, cognitive development, culpability, and the examination of systems that foster and perpetuate racial injustice. Coupled with his lived experience as a formerly incarcerated higher-education student, Jae’s perspective and expertise was vital during our Sustaining Futures Project in California. Outside of his work with Sustaining Futures, Jae is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. 

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Anthony Salerno, Ph.D.

Innovation and Implementation Officer the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy, and Research

As our expert in trauma-informed and resilience-building practices, Dr. Tony Salerno developed key tools to help Core Implementation Teams discern which trauma-informed and resiliency-building goals were aligned with their values, important, and practical to accomplish during the Sustaining Futures Community of Practice. Dr. Salerno also provided critical guidance and tools for the CITs to help build buy-in, manage faculty burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma, and implement effective classroom strategies for their incarcerated students. 

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Tara Ready, LMSW

Program Coordinator at the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research

As a program coordinator at the NYU McSilver Institute, Tara is engaged with a variety of McSilver’s training and technical assistance initiatives including Sustaining Futures. As part of Sustaining Futures, Tara helped to coordinate the regional trainings, consultation calls, and training content.

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