IDP Alumni Action Council

The IDP Alumni Action Council (IDPAAC) provides professional development opportunities to IDP facilitators after they graduate from Cornell. Our vision is an engaged and connected network of IDP alumni who connect within and across their various professions, regions, and interests to support mutually beneficial learning experiences with IDP. Our mission is to engage our growing alumni network through professional development opportunities. The IDPAAC works closely with IDP leadership to support IDP alumni programming and offerings.

IDPAAC Executive Committee: Dylan Van Duyne, Victoria Phillips, Cole Johnston, Kyle Muna, Sarah Aiken, Veronica Dickson La Rotta, Katelyn Fletcher, Hadar Sachs, Maya Portillo, Elana Kuppermann

Our inaugural IDP Alumni Action Council.
Front row (from left to right): Sarah Aiken, Veronica Dickson La Rotta, Katelyn Fletcher, Hadar Sachs, Maya Portillo
Back row: Dylan Van Duyne, Victoria Phillips, Cole Johnston, Kyle Muña, Elana Kuppermann

Sarah Aiken

Sarah became involved with IDP as a student in EDUC 2610 while at Cornell and has continued to stay involved ever since as a facilitator for the program! Sarah graduated from Cornell in 2018 with a Bachelors in Human Development. She then moved to New York City where she has taught special education in charter, private, and public school settings. Sarah received her Masters in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism from Teachers College at Columbia University. She now teaches life skills and vocational skills to young adults with autism at the NYC Department of Education. Sarah is excited to continue to explore the intersection of her work in urban special education with dialogue and all things IDP!

Veronica Dickson La Rotta

Born in Brazil to Colombian and Argentine parents, Veronica spent a decade living in Asia before completing her education in the United States. Veronica graduated in 2018 with a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and a minor in China and Asia Pacific Studies. She has worked in rural China as a Princeton in Asia Fellow, at a  Vietnamese consulting firm based out of Hanoi, and at a DC-based nonprofit that implements anti-corruption and open government initiatives. She is currently a Masters student at Georgetown University studying international development.

Katelyn Fletcher

Katelyn graduated in 2015 from the College of Human Ecology, where she studied Human Development and Education. She co-facilitated the Intergroup Dialogue Project and was inspired by her experience to write an honors thesis evaluating IDP’s impact on students. After graduating, Katelyn earned her Masters in Elementary Education while teaching in a 5th-grade classroom. In 2022, she earned her PhD from New York University in Developmental Psychology. Katelyn’s work focuses on the intersection of classroom instruction, research, and evaluation. She currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Temple University, where she evaluates children’s learning from education interventions through an equity lens.

Cole Johnston

Cole is a CALS 2020 graduate with a major in International Agriculture and Rural Development and a minor in Inequality Studies. IDP was the most important part of his undergraduate experience. It provided him with the first social space where he felt welcome to express his full self and equipped him with communication tools that would revolutionize his familial relationships, his professional interests, and ultimately his worldview. Today, he leverages his IDP experiences in his work as a facilitator for StoryCorps, where he travels across the country and creates space for people to share and preserve their most treasured stories and relationships. He also works as a union steward at StoryCorps on behalf of the Communication Workers of America, where he is constantly thinking about how strategic change and human connection can create a more just and meaningful workplace.

Elana Kuppermann

Elana (she/her) graduated from Cornell (CALS) in 2016 with a B.S. in Communication – Social Influence & Persuasion. She first encountered IDP in her sophomore year when she enrolled in EDUC 2610 and then continued her involvement as an undergraduate facilitator throughout her senior year. Elana participated in alumni IDP events in New York after graduation and facilitated Community at Cornell sessions. IDP deeply impacted Elana, shaping how she carries herself as an ally and her passion for social impact. Elana also is grateful to IDP for introducing her to people at Cornell she might not otherwise have met–people with whom she formed close friendships and from whom she continues to learn so much. After Cornell, Elana spent time living and working in Sydney, Australia, and then went on to law school at Cardozo School of Law in New York. Now, Elana works in commercial real estate and enjoys finding ways to use IDP skills daily, as well as through participation in Employee Resource Groups and joining a People & Culture Committee. Elana is excited and grateful to be part of the IDPAAC and looks forward to growing community and connection through alumni engagement.

Kyle Muña

Kyle’s first IDP workshop was in the summer of 2017 as part of the Prefreshmen Summer Program (PSP). What struck him instantly was the vulnerability and introspection toward his identities that he had not been used to in high school and his curiosity to learn more in college. During the spring of his sophomore year, he decided to take EDUC 2610, which he strongly connected to the themes of human connection, social justice, and strategic change in the readings and class dialogue. He became a cofacilitator during his senior year (during the virtual year of instruction) and still has so much gratitude for the time he engaged in what felt like true community during a time when human connection was compromised due to the pandemic. As a native Chamoru, IDP gave him a nuanced lens to understand his own identities both in and outside of Cornell, fueling his passion for improving educational access and opportunities for other Pacific Islander students in higher education. Kyle graduated in 2021 with a B.S. in Human Development from the College of Human Ecology.

Today, Kyle serves as a college access mentor in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania community, supporting high school juniors and seniors. Many of these students are first-generation and come from limited-income backgrounds. Through his mentorship, he continues to foster intergroup dialogue, assisting them in navigating their transition to college. This involves teaching them how to forge connections across differences and find a sense of belonging within their communities.

Victoria Phillips

Victoria Phillips is an Environmental Consultant for the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), whose passion for sustainability lies at the intersection of the built environment, behavioral change, and equity. Prior to CET, she served in the City of Boston first as a City Planner for the Boston Planning and Development Agency before joining the Environment Department as a Climate and Environmental Planning Project Manager. Since facilitating EDUC 2610 her senior year, Victoria has continued to participate in IDP as a Community at Cornell Alumni Facilitator and inaugural IDP Alumni Action Council member. 

Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Victoria is currently pursuing her MS in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. She received her BS in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University as well as obtained a Harvard Extension School Graduate Certificate in Corporate Sustainability and Innovation and Harvard Business School Online Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy.

Maya Portillo

Maya Portillo has worked in early childhood education for over six years in various roles ranging from research, evaluation, community organizing, philanthropy, and now in policy. Maya has a passion for early care and education as a tool to uplift the needs of young children and their families and more broadly, as a lever to combat poverty. Maya holds her undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy from New York University.

Maya found a community and home within the people she met during her time at IDP and that is why she continues to show up for this community. The people she’s met in IDP are still some of her closest friends to this day and she is committed to supporting the next generation of IDPeople.

Hadar Sachs

Hadar Sachs is a political strategist and donor advisor focused on civic engagement and democracy. She started her career in disaster recovery as a long-term recovery planner following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since 2014, Hadar has been involved with Intergroup Dialogue at Cornell, both as a student facilitator and in alumni facilitation and advisory roles.
Originally from Tel Aviv, Hadar grew up in the Bay Area (CA). Hadar holds a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies (2017) and is pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dylan Van Duyne

Dylan graduated in 2018 from the College of Arts & Sciences with majors in Spanish and Psychology. IDP fostered his passion for social justice education and facilitation. He used the skills from IDP in his career in teaching and currently uses many of the skills as they relate to facilitation, adult coaching, and communication across difference.

Dylan is a former high school educator and is currently a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioner within the School District of Philadelphia. He is deeply passionate about centering equity in K-12 education and adult learning centered on providing folks with the skills and knowledge to create conditions for actionable change in their communities.