Staff

Carla O’Connor, Ph.D

Director

Carla is responsible for the development, implementation and ongoing improvement of the Wolverine Pathways initiative. Her team works with targeted school communities to provide enrichment and exposures that aim to increase the likelihood that promising young people apply, attend and graduate from the University of Michigan.

CaVar D. Palmer Reid, Ph.D

Assistant Director for College Success and Donor Engagement

CaVar serves as the Assistant Director for Wolverine Pathways. In this role, he promotes college and career access among students from underserved communities by collaborating with campus and community partners. Prior to joining with Pathways, CaVar worked as an Academic Advisor in the College of LSA at the University of Michigan. CaVar holds a B.A. in African American Studies and English from Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan.

Lara Du headshot

Lara Du, Ph.D

Senior Program Manager

Lara is responsible for the math curriculum at WP as well as planning and overseeing certain administrative tasks. She holds a bachelor’s degree in math from University College London and a Ph.D. in math, specializing in Number Theory, from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Wolverine Pathways, Lara designed math curriculum, taught at various levels and ran math outreach. She believes strongly that math is for everyone and that it’s best learned through active exploration. Lara is passionate about helping students from underserved communities find infinite joy in math because of both her own lived experiences and the amazing students she’s worked with.

O’Shai Robinson

Database Administrator

O’Shai, a Baltimore, MD native, received his B.A. in Business Technology Administration from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).  And he is currently pursuing an MBA and M.A. in Information Systems from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is responsible for the maintenance of the program’s data systems and technological needs.  O’Shai has been working in education since 2006 and is passionate about how technology can improve and inform our work. Prior to his work as database administrator, O’Shai worked as a district facilitator for Wolverine Pathways and a student organizer in Baltimore.  One of his favorite experiences in Wolverine Pathways was launching a balloon into space with a group of 12th grade scholars.

Davee Hunter

Administrative Specialist

Davee is directly responsible for managing the coordination, direction, and policy development in areas of administration, finance, facility operations, human resources, and support services. She manages the administrative team and supports the program director in planning and pacing of high-level special projects and the assistant directors in streamlining initiatives administratively throughout the department, and is also a member of Wolverine Pathways executive team. She enjoys Wolverine Pathways because the team works diligently on programming, and uses an integrated approach to foster student success; and it is enlightening to see everything come to fruition.

Angela Anderson

Administrative Assistant

Angela is responsible for supporting the Wolverine Pathways staff, students and parents.  She has worked in administrative support for PreK-12th grade public school education in Ann Arbor since 2005.

Lauren Richardson, M.A.

Interim Program Manager

Lauren is passionate about student development, youth empowerment and educational access. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Social Foundations of Education from Eastern Michigan University. After graduating from U of M, she began managing after-school enrichment and college readiness programs in southeast Michigan. When Lauren joined Wolverine Pathways in 2018, she was quickly and deeply inspired by the thoughtful and inquiring young scholars in the program. Lauren finds great purpose in contributing to college access, and she is grateful for the opportunity to engage with so many motivated and creative young people.

Pete Vandermeer

Assistant Program Manager

Pete serves as the Assistant Program Manager for College Access at Wolverine Pathways. Originally from Ypsilanti, he received his Bachelor of Science in History from Central Michigan University. Pete began his career in education as a high school social studies teacher and college counselor for several years in San Antonio, Texas before joining Wolverine Pathways in 2019. Having the opportunity to work with students and families in his home state is what he loves most about WP, and his passion for equity and expanding college access to underrepresented communities is what drives him. Pete is also very passionate about music, and he enjoys playing guitar and drums for family and friends.

Brenda Vasconcelos-Ramirez

Program Coordinator

Brenda received her Bachelors of Arts in Latino/a Studies and Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan. She moved from Mexico at the age of six and was raised in Detroit. Her experiences as a first-generation college graduate and residential advisor fuel her passion for serving youth on their path to a college degree. She enjoys working with families as they transition to college. Some of her favorite WP experiences include new student orientation, professional development conferences for students and graduation.