Nov 2006 speakers


This ONE-DAY conference will be held at the DePaul University Conference Center in downtown Chicago at 1E. Jackson.


This is a list of people who will be speakers and be part of panels at the November 30, 2006 Conference.   All are volunteers!  We thank them for sharing their time and talent.   Workshops and presenters are subject to change without notice.  If you would like to do a workshop at future conferences, or in an 0n-line conference, email the T/MC at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   
This conference will be interactive, meaning everyone who attends is a potential speaker and has something to contribute.  Introduce yourself in the Discussion Forums at the web site so that you know who else is attending and you can keep talking to each other after the conference ends, which is when the work of Capacity Building and Collaboration really takes place.

Karina Ayalo-Bermejo, Esq, Executive Director, Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend-A-Hand Program
The Lend A Hand Program was established in 1993 by lawyers and judges at the Chicago Bar Association/Foundation. It's goal is to support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region by raising visibility, recruiting volunteers, and raising money that is given in annual grants and awards to various volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.  The Tutor/Mentor Connection has been a partner of the LAH since 1994.

Ms. Ayala-Bermejo is Executive Director, Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend A Hand Program of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA).  She is also Director of Community Services, for the Chicago Bar Association (CBA). Prior to joining The CBA, Ms. Ayala-Bermejo was an assistant attorney with the Chicago Board of Education (CBOE). She has been active in a variety of community service activities in Chicago for over 13 years and received the Mayor's Leadership 2000 Award. She was selected to participate in the Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Program in 2001-2002. In September of 2002, she was awarded the DePaul University College of Law Outstanding Service as Young Alumnus. In March 2003, she was awarded the Latino Law Student Association Distinguished Alumnus Award. Ms. Ayala-Bermejo is the President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and serves as secretary for the Our Children in the Courts Foundation.

Daniel F. Bassill, Tutor/Mentor Connection
Daniel F. Bassill is President of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, T/MC. He is also a Commissioner on the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. Bassill has spent more than 30 years, mostly as a volunteer, leading organizations that connect workplace volunteers with inner-city youth living in Chicago's Cabrini-Green neighborhood. Bassill first became a tutor in 1973, then became the volunteer leader of the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring program in 1975. He and 6 other volunteers formed Cabrini Connections in 1992 and the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993. Through the Tutor/Mentor Connection, Bassill leads a global strategy intended to draw needed resources to all volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, including Cabrini Connections, in Chicago and other major cities. This strategy is based on knowledge management and marketing strategies that Bassill learned during his years as an advertising manager for the Montgomery Ward corporation. Visit to see this strategy in action. Visit to learn more about the Cabrini Connections program.  Read Dan's Blog at  

Rev. Steve Braxton, President of Marketplace Consulting, member of Board of Directors, Black United Fund of Illinois, Inc.
Reverend Steve Braxton is an ordained minister in the International Council of  Community Centers & Churches-who is revered as a leader that has amassed a reputation for being spiritual, socially, and politically savvy. He is also an entrepreneur, consummate businessman and a recent published author. He is the oldest of ten siblings born in Natchitoches, La. He experienced first hand-the manacles of prejudices as he grapple with raw discrimination growing-up as young man working on a sharecropping plantation in rural Louisiana-which gave him invaluable in-sights to deal with challenges and conflicts.

He has served as both youth pastor and senior of the United Church of Hyde Park, in the South Lake Shore Area of Chicago. In addition, he has provided leadership as COO & CEO in various capacities for corporate, small business, franchise operation, non-profit and faith-based organizations and institutions.  Rev. Braxton has a passion and strident commitment to work toward acts of noble cause for the good of humanity. Such as mentoring of youth, and displaced families of Katrina. He has committed portion of the sale of his books to the plight of families of Katrina and Rita. Titles of books are: The Road That is Difficult to Travel and Prayer For An Occasion.

Gachele Coffey
Gachele Coffey, is a Radio and Television Personality-she began her radio broadcasting career on WBEE Jazz Radio and her Television debut on Channel ABC's  7-as Co-Host of the Herb Kent “Step pin on 7” show. She is known for the radio show “Your Morning Coffey”.While serving in numerous capacities, either as host of various shows, or as host of television infomercials-some of which aired on WJYS T.V.-Gachele is a role model and mentor to young people, also she is a inspirational/motivational speaker for businesses, community organizations and churches. She has begun writing the manuscript to get her voice in print-a first book, working title:”It's Your Morning Coffey-Time To Wake Up” She is a spouse and a mother

David L. DuBois, Ph.D. Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences within the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. David L. DuBois, Ph.D.,  received his doctorate in clinical-community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a minor in quantitative methods. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed studies of youth mentoring, including a meta-analytic review of the literature on the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs. In 2003, he co-chaired the National Research Summit on Mentoring. Along with Jean Rhodes, he then co-authored the National Research Agenda for Youth Mentoring that emerged from the Summit. He also is lead co-editor of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring (Sage Publications), published in 2005. The Handbook is a comprehensive 36-chapter compendium of current theory, research, and practice in the field of youth mentoring and recently received the Social Policy Award for Best Edited Book from the Society for Research on Adolescence. Dr. DuBois has received funding to conduct research on youth mentoring from the William T. Grant Foundation and from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The research sponsored by NIMH includes a randomized design evaluation of an innovative mentoring program for girls co-developed with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. He also is a co-investigator on a randomized design evaluation of Positive Action, a school-based prevention program, as part of a multi-site study of social and character development programs being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Dr. DuBois serves as a consultant to local, state, national mentoring organizations and is invited regularly to speak and conduct workshops on youth mentoring research and its implications for practice both in the U.S. and abroad. He also has been faculty advisor to a university chapter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program and a mentor himself in a BBBS program.

Tamara Gathright, Ph. D, University of Chicago Center for Urban School Improvement
Tamara Gathright is the Director of Evaluation Research at the Center for Urban School Improvement (USI).  In this capacity, she provides strategic direction to ensure that the work of the Center is fully evidence based. Tamara is also co-leader of the USI Academic and Social Support Initiative, supporting schools in developing practices that facilitate the successful integration of academic and social support functions.  She is a member of the USI Information Infrastructure Systems group and task leader for the development of clinical case management technology designed to bring efficiency, evidence-based decision making, and accountability to social support practice in schools. Before joining USI, Tamara was a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow on Urban School Reform at the Consortium on Chicago School Research. She obtained a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in clinical and community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ted Gibbs, Illinois Learn and Serve America Coordinator, Office of Lt. Governor Pat Quinn
Currently, Ted is the chief Education Policy Advisor with the Office of Lt. Governor Pat Quinn. Ted is also the Illinois Learn and Serve America Coordinator, a program that engages over 45,000 students throughout Illinois in service learning. In 2003 Ted received his Bachelor of Arts-Cum Laude from Providence College. From 2003-2005, Ted served as a seventh grade classroom teacher at the largest Hispanic parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago while also a member of the Illinois AmeriCorps in 2004-2005. He was awarded a Masters Degree in Education from Loyola University in 2005.

John Hosteny, Corporation for National Service
Mr. Hosteny works at the Corporation for National and Community Service, a small Federal agency whose mission is to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to their community. He has extensive experience is in developing and managing national service programs (e.g. VISTA, AmeriCorps) that have a community/economic development focus. Mr. Hosteny serves as Co-Chair of the Community Service Committee for the United States Federal Executive Board. And for the past two years he has been an Ex-Officio Member for the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. John graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor's in political science and a master's in public service management.

Dr. James Kulich, Executive Vice President and Professor of Math at Elmhurst College
James Kulich currently serves as Elmhurst College¹s Executive Vice President. Jim has over 20 years of experience in higher education, in faculty roles at both Elmhurst College and the University of Minnesota, and as a member of Elmhurst College¹s senior administrative team. Jim earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Northwestern University and is an alumnus of John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH. Jim is also an alumnus of Harvard University¹s Institute for Educational Management. Personally, Jim is married to Dawn, a high school music and theater teacher, and has a wonderful daughter Melody whom he and Dawn adopted from China in 2005.

Sybil Madison-Boyd, Ph. D, Director of Elementary School Partnerships, University of Chicago Center for Urban School Improvement
Sybil Madison-Boyd is the Director of Elementary School Partnerships for the USI Network.  She joined USI in 2003 with over 15 years of experience working in urban public schools consulting with teachers, developing parent partnership programs, building school-university partnerships, and conducting preschool-based observational research.  At the Center, Sybil has helped lead and expand the Academic and Social Support Initiative, an effort to help schools create cultures and practices that address students’ academic, social and developmental needs.  She also has been a design team member for the University of Chicago charter campuses, specifically addressing preschool start up.  Before joining USI, Sybil had a faculty appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry. She earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Andre Meeks
Andre Meeks holds a BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Aurora University and was the 2005-06 Wackerlin Fellow for Aurora University's Helena Wackerlin Center for Faith & Action. In that capacity, Andre headed the university's Experiential Learning Project, acted as a liaison for student organizations wishing to perform community service, was an officer of the Office of Diversity Affairs, and lectured to classes in the Interdisciplinary Studies department. Currently, Andre is a graduate student at Lake Forest College's Master of Liberal Studies program concentrating on Social Theory and International Politics.

Troy Ratliff, Executive Director, The Joseph Kellman Family Foundation
Mr. Ratliff oversees all direct operations of the Better Boys Foundation, including administration, programming and fiscal management.  Mr. Ratliff is an experienced public administrator, working both with the Chicago Committee on Urban Opportunity and the Model Cities Program while with the Mayor's Office, and serving most recently as the managing Deputy Commissioner in the Chicago Department of Procurement Services.  He holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Public Administration from Roosevelt University. Active in community service throughout his career, Mr. Ratliff has worked with Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, Chicago Youth Centers, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Illinois Mental Health Association, among others.

Penny Sebring,  Ph.D, Founding Co-Director, Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago
Penny Bender Sebring is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Chicago and Founding Co-Director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research. She is the lead author of The Essential Supports for School Improvement and co-author of Charting Chicago School Reform: Democratic Localism as a Lever for Change (Westview Press, 1998). Ms. Sebring was a Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher. She has published articles on a variety of topics, including students' course-taking patterns in high school, urban education, school leadership, and the use of research and evaluation results. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Grinnell College, where she is a life member of the Board of Trustees. She received a Ph.D. in Education and Policy Studies from Northwestern University. Ms. Sebring serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Public Education Fund.

Felecia Thompson, Executive Associate to the President for Community Partnerships at Trinity Christian College
A native of Burlington, Iowa, Felecia moved to Chicago and attended the Chicago Public Schools. She attended DePaul University and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree(s) in Sociology and Psychology. Felecia holds a Master of Science degree in Human Service Administration. She has written for several major Christian and secular publications. In l992, she co-authored the Women's Ministry Handbook, published by Victor Press.

Felecia has held positions with the City of Chicago, Moody Broadcasting, and currently serves as a faculty member and Executive Associate to the President for Community Partnerships at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. In October l993, Felecia founded and became Executive Director of Family Care Network, Inc. a not-for-profit organization that ministered to the needs of greater Chicagoland families through mentoring, computer training, summer day camp, social services, and medical education programming. This organization, by 2002, served nearly 3,000 community residents yearly. The program has been recognized by the City of Chicago, Mayor's Office, Jewel-Osco (Anderson) Corporation and others.

Jon Tomaso, Director of Admission Outreach Programs at Dominican University
Jon Tomaso is the Director of Admission Outreach Programs at Dominican University. In this position with the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Dominican, Jon works with many of the youth-based community organizations in the Chicagoland area. He also recruits incoming freshmen to the university from the City of Chicago, Suburban Chicago, Saint Louis, Kansas City, and New Orleans. Jon has been working in college admission for nineteen years.

Spruiell D. Weber White, Senior Program Officer of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Spruiell D. Weber White is a Senior Program Officer in the Program on Human and Community Development, with grant making responsibilities in education, community change and public housing transformation. He joined the Foundation as a program officer in 1995 and was promoted to his current position in 1998. Prior to MacArthur, Spruiell served in a number of executive leadership positions for the Chicago Jobs Council, the City of Chicago Human Relations Department, the United Negro College Fund, and Urban League affiliates in San Francisco and Seattle.

Spruiell is a founding member of Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy, a member of the Field Services Committee for the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and former board advisor to the Illinois Ethnic Coalition and the Center for Impact Research. In the past he served as a mayoral appointee to the Private Industry Council and the Empowerment Zone Coordinating Council. He received the Masters of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in English Literature from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Kenneth Williams, Sr.
Kenneth Williams, Sr., is an ordained Elder-Valley Kingdom Ministries International, he has traveled extensively to Brazil with his spiritual father to minister to masses of people seeking salvation and to be healed, he serves in an enormity of leadership capacities in the daily operations of the ministry at Valley Kingdom's varied locations in South Suburban Chicago. Which includes Chairman of the Deacon Board, Mentoring Ministry and Christian Education teacher/leaders for married couples. Elder Ken is also an entrepreneur and small business owner-where he is entrenched in the education-to enlightened and educate young people on the principles and strategies of personal finances, debt elimination and wealth building. He is a husband, father and grandfather


Conference Planning Team.
The Tutor/Mentor Conferences are a collaboration of many people. All speakers donate their time, and without this contribution, these conferences would not be possible. Several people are active in planning and hosting. They include, Renee Tucker Martinez and Alexandria Taylor,  Associated Colleges of Illinois, Karen Royster James, Columbia College of Chicago, Rev. Steve Braxton, President of Marketplace Consulting, Ana Llorens, Ariane Lee and Toni Pullen, Cabrini Connections, and Dan Bassill, Tutor/Mentor Connection. 

Join in planning future conferences: 
One goal of the T/MC Conference is to create a community of people who learn from each other, network, and collaborate to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in all places where they are needed.  We encourage all workshop presenters, conference participants and interested supporters, including business and foundation leaders,  to visit the DISCUSSION Section at where you can join one or more groups in this community.

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, c/o Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il. 60654 Phone. Skype #dbassill; FAX 312-787-7713; email: | Powered by OpenSource!