Vice PresidenT, U.S. Programs
Shane Mazzella has over twenty years of program management experience in the nonprofit sector. As vice president of U.S. Programs for The Fund for American Studies, her responsibilities include overseeing all of the TFAS summer and semester academic internship programs. Prior to that, she directed the organization’s programs in philanthropy including the summer Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service and programs for professional leaders in the philanthropic sector.
Previously, Shane served as Vice President of Legal Affairs & Administration for the Center for Individual Freedom, where she managed the organization’s legal programs. She also worked as a program manager for a Michigan volunteer center where her primary responsibility was promoting volunteerism and charitable activities on college campuses. Shane currently volunteers with a number of community nonprofit organizations including the Junior League of Northern Virginia and Stop Child Abuse Now! of Northern Virginia where she has served on the Board of Directors. Originally from Michigan, she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from Western Michigan University and is an avid Detroit Red Wings fan.
TFAS Academic Director
Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and the academic director at The Fund for American Studies. Through this position, Dr. Bradley works to enhance the impact and reach of TFAS economic education programs through courses, seminars, videos and social media. She also delivers lectures around the country and oversees curriculum development and evaluation for economics courses.
Previously, Dr. Bradley served as the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, where she continues research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. In addition to her work with TFAS, she is a professor of economics at The Institute for World Politics and Grove City College. She is a visiting professor at George Mason University and has previously taught at Georgetown University and Charles University in Prague. She is currently an Acton Affiliate scholar and a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. She is a lecturer for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education.
Senior Director, Journalism + Communications Program Track and D.C. Programs
Communications program after a number of years working in radio, television and public relations. He formerly served as vice president of communications for Veritas Media Group where he produced documentaries and radio as well as television commercials. He also provided on-camera media training for government officials and business executives. In addition, Joe worked as a senior correspondent for FCF News where he interviewed members of Congress, White House officials, political candidates and policy makers. He produced over 2,000 hours of various television broadcasts dealing with Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, and privacy and technology issues. Joe has appeared on Fox News, CNN, Good Morning America, the BCC and numerous other print and broadcast media outlets.
He resides in South Riding, VA with his wife and six daughters. Joe enjoys reading, hiking, and playing with his mini-Australian Shepherd, Bella.
Program Director, International Affairs
Colin Parks is the director of the International Affairs and the Law Fellowship programs. Prior to joining TFAS, he served as the director of student recruitment and intern coordinator at The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. Colin brings to TFAS a love of organization building, student mentorship, and connecting with people.
He received his B.A. with a double major in Political Science and History, and a minor in Philosophy, from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and pursued graduate studies in national security affairs at The Institute of World Politics.
As an Air Force brat, Colin was born in Germany and grew up in multiple locations across the country. In his free time, Colin enjoys traveling, grilling for family and friends, and following the ups and downs of the Washington Nationals. He and his wife reside in Woodbridge, VA and are active members of St. Mathew’s Cathedral Parish.
Program Director, Public Policy + Economics
Laura Cusack serves as the director of the Public Policy + Economics track of TFAS D.C. Summer Programs. In this role, Laura has seen the life-changing impact TFAS makes in the lives of college students each year. She enjoys working with students to ensure their internships, coursework, professional development, and all other opportunities they experience are successful and rewarding.
Prior to joining TFAS, Laura served as Program Director of JUF’s Israel Education Center in Chicago and Development Associate at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago. Originally from the Chicago area, Laura received her bachelor’s degree in political science from North Park University.
Program Director, BuSIness + Government Relations
Lainey Carlton serves as program director of the Business + Government Relations track of the TFAS D.C. Summer Program.
Prior to her work at TFAS, Lainey spent five years at the Institute for Justice (IJ), where she managed IJ’s law student and undergraduate summer and semester programs and acted as a recruiter. Lainey also spent a year abroad teaching primary school children in Madrid, Spain. It was in both roles that Lainey developed her passion for education and working with students.
A native of Texas, Lainey graduated from Texas Christian University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (go Frogs!) and during her senior year completed a semester internship program in Washington, D.C., which solidified her desire to return to the nation’s capital after graduation. She now lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and in her free time enjoys travel, working out on her Peloton and curling up with a good novel.
Program Coordinator, CApital Semester + Leadership and the American Presidency
Abby is the program coordinator for the TFAS Washington Fellowship and the Leadership + The American Presidency program. She is a graduate of Regent University where she received a BA in government with a minor in history.
Before joining TFAS, Abby spent several summers interning with Generation Joshua, which sparked her interest in working with students and helping them develop leadership skills and experience. Abby is an alumna of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leader Program where she spent a semester interning with Heritage Action for America. A native of Frederick MD, she is excited to be able to call D.C. her new home.
Recruitment, Admissions, Operations + Alumni Engagement Staff
Senior Director, Recruitment, Admissions + Operations
Mary C. Stankus came to The Fund for American Studies in 2004 as the admissions assistant and later served as the U.S. programs coordinator. She is now the senior director of recruitment, admissions + operations where she organizes the recruitment efforts and admissions process for the Washington, D.C. programs. She is also responsible for planning program events and working with the program’s academic partner, George Mason University.
Mary graduated magna cum laude in 2004 from James Madison University. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in art history. She studied at University College London in England for a semester during her junior year.
Originally from Manchester, New Hampshire, Mary is an avid Boston Red Sox fan. She now lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband and two children. Mary serves on the board of the Parent Teacher Association at her children’s school.
Director, Program Operations + Outreach Design
Melissa Grannetino is the director of program operations and outreach design. In this role, she creates printed/digital promotional materials and website content, manages social media platforms and develops learning management systems.
Prior to joining The Fund for American Studies, she led training programs, developed speaker series and special events and assisted with fundraising at Foundation Center.
Melissa has served as a member of the selection committee for Advancement in Management (AIM) Award Competition (formerly known as The Washington Post Award) and is a volunteer faculty member at the Leadership Institute. Additionally, she also developed and implemented donor cultivation and stewardship programs at both The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and sociology/anthropology from Denison University.
Manager, Alumni Engagement + Special Programs
Jennifer Stangland serves as the alumni engagement and special programs manager on the Collegiate Programs Team.
Prior to joining the team at TFAS, Jen spent five years teaching high school English Literature & Composition in San Francisco, where she developed her love of educational programming, and most importantly, spending her time with students. She also served as a Program Coordinator for the Community College Initiative Program at Northern Virginia Community College, where she welcomed international students to the United States for a year of academic study and internship experience. Jen thoroughly enjoyed interacting with these students from around the world, as she spent a year studying abroad in Asia herself, and continues to spend a significant amount of time traveling internationally.
Jen graduated with a degree in Social Sciences from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and later earned her teaching credential from San Francisco State. Jen is a recent transplant to the D.C. area from California, where she now enjoys exploring the city with her husband via new outdoor activities, restaurants and art museums. In her free time, you can find her planning her next camping trip, painting, or hosting friends for dinner.
Coordinator, Recruitment Partnerships + Admissions
Elisabeth Merrifield serves as the coordinator of recruitment partnerships + admissions for TFAS D.C. Programs.
Prior to working at TFAS, Elisabeth worked as the event and office coordinator for the William & Mary Washington Center, managing the event space and system, alumni events, supporting Center undergrad academic programs and oversaw the budget. She also worked as the stack maintenance and building assistant at William & Mary Libraries within the circulation department.
As an Air Force Brat, Elisabeth moved around a bit. She graduated from William & Mary in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree with a double major in government and history. She worked her senior year as a student assistant at the W&M Libraries circulation department. She enjoys reading, trying new cooking recipes, exploring new wineries, and long walks with her dog.
Outreach + Engagement Coordinator
During the summer of 2022, Mohamed participated in the Leadership and the American Presidency Program Track of the TFAS Program. His time in D.C. left him yearning for more, and therefore, the following summer he interned for TFAS as a Communications + Media Program Advisor. In his new role, Mohamed hopes to ensure that students have a life-changing experience like he did, as well as continuing to build relationships with alumni of the program.
Mohamed is a graduate of Denison University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both political science and communication with a concentration in narrative journalism and a minor in cinema.