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Newsletter Article March 18, 2022

Ascendium Strengthens Education Philanthropy Team With New Hires

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy team rang in 2022 with a pair of exciting new hires. The organization recently welcomed Scott Davis as a learning and impact officer and Amy Girardi as a senior program officer in the Remove Structural Barriers to Success focus area. Both team members bring decades of expertise in creating and facilitating systemic change.

Scott comes to Ascendium from Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he was the manager of institutional research. A first-generation college graduate, he brings nearly 20 years of experience as an applied researcher and program evaluator on a variety of projects in K-12 and postsecondary education. In his role as a learning and impact officer, Scott is working to strengthen Ascendium’s grantmaking strategy and execution through evaluation and research.

"I'm excited to welcome such a seasoned evaluation professional to our emerging learning and impact unit,” says Bethany Miller, deputy director - learning and impact. “In his two decades in education research and evaluation, Scott has conducted over 50 evaluations! He will be a critical leader in helping Ascendium and our partners systematically learn about progress towards our big goal of achieving better outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.”

Amy joined Ascendium in January after spending more than a decade at one of our grant partners, Jobs for the Future (JFF), where she led efforts to cultivate transformational systemic change in service of learners of color and those from low-income backgrounds. As a senior program officer, she co-leads strategic grantmaking for Ascendium’s Remove Structural Barriers to Success focus area, which focuses on reducing or eliminating institutional and systemic barriers for underrepresented postsecondary education learners so they can achieve their academic and career goals.

“The exceptional breadth and depth of Amy’s expertise adds significantly to an already strong team in our Removing Structural Barriers focus area,” says Keith Witham, deputy director - education grantmaking. “Her arrival improves our capacity to identify the most urgent challenges our grantmaking should address and to proactively design and deploy innovative investment strategies that cut across sectors and levels of system change.”

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy isn’t done growing yet. We anticipate several additional opportunities over the next few months. Watch the Careers page for openings.

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