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Our Staff

We are professionals who have worked in colleges and high schools supporting students in their postsecondary and career endeavors. We’re committed to using our skills and insight to support Lenfest Scholars as they pursue and achieve their dreams. 

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Dr. Martha Denney
Executive Director  |

Martha Denney, Executive Director since August 2020, grew up in a small town in rural upstate New York. She holds a BA in French from Hamilton College, a Masters in Education from Harvard University, and a PhD in Anthropology from Brandeis University. She has been working in higher education for over twenty years, holding positions at Colby College, Georgetown University, and most recently, Haverford College. She has experience in international education, program administration, faculty development and student affairs, as well as having taught French, music, education and anthropology at a number of levels. She has lived in France, Switzerland, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts but has never been courageous enough to learn to ski downhill. She is deeply committed to access, affordability and student success in higher education, and is delighted to be working with the marvelous staff and committed Board of Directors of LSF, helping Lenfest Scholars achieve their potential.


Emily Enters-dake
Scholar Advisor  |

Emily joined the advising team in September 2023 after being on the higher education side of things for just shy of a decade. After graduating from Emerson College in 2014 with her Bachelor of Arts in Theater Studies, she went on to complete a Master of Education degree in Higher Education at Merrimack College. She has worked as an academic advisor, a college admissions counselor, and a department admin. While her own higher education all took place in Massachusetts, she is originally from Skippack, PA, where she currently resides with her husband and two young children. When she isn’t chasing those kids around, Emily tries to sneak in time to read (or listen) to books or keep up with all the latest TV crazes. As the daughter of a former high school college counselor, college access and support have been long-held values for Emily. She is excited to support Lenfest Scholars through the entire college search and application process and aid in the high school to college transition. 

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Tasha Flowers
Operations & Systems Coordinator  |

Tasha Flowers (they/them/theirs) joined the Lenfest team in June of 2022. They are looking forward to being a worker elf who builds and maintains infrastructure so that Lenfest can continue to support the academic and career success of rural students in Pennsylvania. Tasha’s background is in interdisciplinary arts with formal education at the bachelor’s and master’s level. They have a deep love of music, writing, and performance art in particular, but also practice in several other mediums including photography, graphic design, and experimenting with nontraditional materials. As a lifelong-learner, they value growth and spend a great deal of time watching tutorials on YouTube as well as taking courses in subjects that interest them. Tasha is a huge fan of rugby after playing a bit in undergrad. They root for all New Zealand teams (except for the Crusaders).

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Layshan Gilliard
Events & Communications Manager |

Layshan joined the Lenfest Scholars Foundation team in June 2022. She holds a B.S. in Psychology & Clinical Counseling from Kutztown University and an M.S. in Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs from West Chester University. As a first-generation college graduate, she is extremely passionate about mentoring and providing the tools and resources needed for success to other first-generation students. Since graduating from Kutztown, Layshan has put herself in spaces geared toward college access and success, where she gained experience in advising, social media, public speaking, and event coordination. After graduating from her master's program in 2020, Layshan went on to work for Upward Bound at Reading Area Community College, where she advised and supported 9th - 12th graders who were set for college. She provided small and large-scale events, workshops, and trips both virtually and in person to ensure her students were connected no matter the distance between them. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Layshan finds joy in traveling, Marvel movies, plants, and music!


Kim Jackson
Director of Advising & Scholar Support  |

Kim joined the Lenfest team in December 2020 and is thrilled to be on board. She has been working with students in almost every capacity possible to help them with their college and career goals for the last thirty years. Kim grew up in Chester, Pennsylvania, and attended West Chester University, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, her Masters in Higher Education Counseling and her Certification in Secondary School Counseling. She started her career in Student Affairs as a residence hall director and loved it! She then went on to work in Academic Advising, Multicultural Affairs, Disability Services and she has worked with several high school to college transition programs. In 2005, she shifted her focus to work with high school students, becoming a School Counselor. She worked exclusively as a College Counselor for five years, then spent another ten and a half years working with a caseload of 300 high school students on personal and academic issues, helping them to create their postsecondary plans. To her, there is nothing like the palpable atmosphere of a thriving college campus! However, the process of searching, selecting and applying to college can be overwhelming for students and parents. As a first generation college student, Kim understands this all too well. She believes strongly in finding the right fit and is committed to helping Lenfest Scholars choose the college that will provide them the most transformative experience possible. Kim and her husband live in East Norriton and have three daughters. Kim loves to read and listen to podcasts, sometimes practices yoga, enjoys musicals and the theater, and especially loves to cook and bake. Most of the people she follows on social media have something to do with food!

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Brenda Reyes-Lúa
Events & Communications Coordinator |

Brenda Reyes-Lúa is a 2005 Scholar Alum from Biglerville High School. She holds a degree from Georgetown University. Brenda has been a resident of Adams County since her arrival in 1993 from Michoacán, México. She serves as the Associate Director at the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College, where she strives to connect students and faculty with community-based work to foster social change. Before joining Gettysburg College, Brenda oversaw services for the Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program, providing educational and advocacy services to hundreds of families in her community. Brenda also serves as a guiding member of Casa de la Cultura and advises The Butterfly Coalition, a student group that provides support to undocumented students at Gettysburg College. When not engaged in the work of community change, Brenda enjoys traveling and spending time with her two daughters.


Jordan Snavely
Scholar Advisor  |

Jordan Snavely joined the advising team in May 2023. She has worked in higher education and nonprofit settings for about 10 years. The majority of her experience was served in higher education in admissions, instruction, and student services. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Temple University in Adult and Organizational Development in 2014. Her Master of Science degree is in Higher Education Leadership/Administration (with a concentration in Student Affairs) from Post University in 2023. As a first-time college student herself, her passion is to help guide students transitioning from high school into college seamlessly. She believes college can be a pivotal life-opportunity for students (professionally and personally), although the process can appear daunting. She is adamant about aiding in the obstacles that keep special student populations from seeing success. Jordan is a resident of Philadelphia, PA. She is an avid shopper, foodie, dog-lover, and huge supporter of local coffee shops especially when traveling.


Larry Thi
Director of Operations |

Larry joined the Lenfest Scholars Foundation team in May 2023. Most recently, Larry served as the Manager for Alumni Engagement at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation where he designed, implemented, and evaluated initiatives and programs to engage and build relationships with more than 2,000 alumni of the Foundation scholarship programs. Prior to the Cooke Foundation, he served in various postsecondary advising and leadership capacities at the School District of Philadelphia's Office of College and Career Readiness and 12PLUS, a community based organization dedicated to cultivating college-going cultures within Philadelphia public schools. As a recipient of generous scholarships from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the Carolina Covenant, Larry firsthand understands the significant impact of scholarship organizations in helping high-achieving students with financial need achieve their postsecondary aspirations. He envisions a day where equity is at the core of conversations, practice, and results for higher education accessibility and postsecondary achievement. As a child of Vietnamese immigrants, Larry recently embarked on a journey to travel throughout Southeast Asia to return to his ancestral lands, study religion, politics, and society in the region, and train Muay Thai. A Philadelphia native, Larry is a graduate of the Community College of Philadelphia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Pennsylvania. 


Steve Watter
Advising Consultant |

Steve came to the Lenfest Scholars Foundation in June 2020 after a 40-year career in higher education advising and supporting students through the inevitable ups and downs of college. The first ten years of this time span found Steve working at colleges and universities, large and small, across the country--in Colorado, Wisconsin, Washington State, and Illinois. After finally settling down, he served for more than 30 years in the Dean’s Office at Haverford College near Philadelphia. His primary goal is that all students with whom he works enjoy the best possible undergraduate experience. Steve’s association with Lenfest first began in 2016, when he was asked to sit on one of the interview teams charged with selecting the new cohort of Lenfest Scholars. Participating as an interviewer over the next five years Steve became so impressed by the quality and character of the Scholars and the transformative mission of the Lenfest College Scholars Program that, when invited to come out of retirement to join the Lenfest staff, he jumped at the opportunity. Steve considers it an honor to be part of the Lenfest Scholars Foundation. Steve looks forward to getting to know well each of the Scholars and being a source of support and advice as they navigate their college experience, bringing to bear on this important work his expertise and dedication to the success and well-being of his students. A native of industrial northern New Jersey who now considers Philadelphia home, Steve holds degrees from Oberlin College (OH) and Colorado State University and engaged in advanced study at the University of Pennsylvania. When not worrying about his advisees, Steve enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, eating, music, theater, traveling, and bad puns. He is also an avid, but inept, golfer. Fore!

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