Founding Director & CEO
The Founder of Philo4Thought became interested in professional mentoring after 20+ years of formal experience as an educator, academic advisor and HR/Grant-Writing specialist. As a first-generation American, Chris experienced a broad array of mentoring styles in a variety of academic and professional levels since early childhood and has dedicated herself to providing for those who are transitioning into the mainstream academic/professional network of their desired occupation.
Having been raised in a diverse community, and with strong family values, Chris' first mentors were her strict-but-loving mom and grandparents. With the support of a wonderful family spanning well beyond the borders of NYC (to Greece, Egypt, France, Canada, and throughout the US), she learned to speak a variety of languages and also learned the value of resilience, strength, patience, generosity, faith, and education. Embracing her own rich and diverse cultural heritage, she believes that "community" doesn't end at a property line; that knowledge and experience are meant to be shared for the benefit of everyone and exists beyond the scope of geographic borders. She firmly believes that young people need good mentors because they are our future; rather than allowing them to be pushed down by the system, it's important for those who have succeeded in work and in life to lend a helping hand of support.
Living in New York seemed like a natural transition from her family's roots, but at the time mentoring services were... not as developed and efficient as they should be for a young, first-generation American in the big city. After being in NY a year, Chris was asked to tutor two new students from Alexandria (Egypt), who spoke no English. In mediating between the English-speaking instructors and the Arabic-speaking youth, Chris saw the value of educational mediation and advocacy from a different transitional standpoint. This was the first of many "Aha" moments. In college and graduate school, she volunteered for orientation services for international students, tutored bilingual and at-risk students, and participated in cultural events on and off campus. Later, she pursued a permanent career as a college professor of Philosophy, Literature, Environmental Studies, and Communications. She has served as Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences for many years. She coordinated an MHI-sponsored Women, Beauty & Image conference for young women in New York, featuring Oscar de la Renta as the Keynote. Throughout the years, Chris has served as a professional and academic mentor at several universities in New York, DC, and surrounding regions, and was the lead administrator for the coordination of a federally-sponsored program for underserved marginalized social groups looking to advance in scientific (STEM) careers. This and related training/experience inspired Chris to focus her professional efforts to advocate for (1) equal access to educational and professional resources; (2) increased awareness of and appreciation for an individual's unique cultural identity and heritage; and (3) empowerment of youth and professional women.
Chris holds the rank of Adjunct Assistant Professor at two Universities and currently serves as Administrative Manager at Columbia CGT-BE, is completing advanced interdisciplinary research in Educational Learning Communities for the completion of her doctorate at Columbia University and is the proud mother of two amazing children who always keep her on her toes.