Pioneering social impact organization InsideTrack welcomes leaders in higher education, workforce development, social impact, and technology to its national advisory board

PORTLAND, ORE. (June 18, 2024) – InsideTrack, the nonprofit student success organization that has served more than 3.2 million students over the last two decades, today welcomed four senior executives in education and social impact to its national advisory board. Representing more than 70 years of combined experience in the fields of postsecondary education, technology, and social impact, the incoming advisory board members will help shape InsideTrack’s ongoing work to help support historically underserved learner populations complete their postsecondary education goals.

"At a time when learners are facing rising costs, a growing crisis of basic needs security, and a multiplicity of other challenges that stand in the way of college completion, organizations across various sectors are working with a heightened sense of urgency to maximize their investments in student support,” said Ruth Bauer White, president of InsideTrack. “The addition of these student success and equity champions to our advisory board will bring invaluable new insights and expertise as we work to help more learners realize their education and career aspirations during a period of profound change for our sector.”

The new advisory board members, joining InsideTrack’s board as of May 2024, are as follows:

  • Isa Ellis is the senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she has a keen focus on expanding access to equitable education and career pathways for historically underrepresented and systemically marginalized populations. Prior to joining the foundation, Ellis was national vice president at the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA), where she led the organization’s pioneering postsecondary and workforce development strategy. Additionally, Ellis serves on boards at Digital Promise, Workforce Matters, UNCF Pacific Northwest, and Seattle Central College.

  • Dr. Marla Franco, vice president of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) initiatives at the University of Arizona, has worked in higher education for nearly two decades at public universities across California and Arizona, serving roles within academia and student affairs to support historically minoritized students. Dr. Franco spearheaded efforts that resulted in the University of Arizona becoming the first four-year public university in the state of Arizona to be federally recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2018. Her leadership also resulted in the University of Arizona receiving the seal of Excelencia from Excelencia in Education, an organization that recognizes institutions that demonstrate intentional impact and success for Latino students.

  • Abby Marquand is the managing partner of economic mobility at New Profit, where she has served since 2021. Marquand holds 15 years of experience in the spaces of nonprofit strategy, corporate philanthropy, workforce development, postsecondary education, and policy research. Prior to her role at New Profit, Marquand held roles in corporate philanthropy at Mastercard and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and has also served as the director of the New York Alliance for Careers in Health Care at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, and the director of policy research at Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI).

  • David Morales currently serves as the senior vice president of technology and chief innovation officer at Western Governors University, where he is responsible for technology-focused aspects for the institution and leading the university’s journey of digital transformation. Morales has nearly two decades of experience as a technology leader and software engineer, including former roles at a research and development center for NASA.

Since 2001, InsideTrack has coached more than 3.2 million students across a broad range of educational institutions and organizations—from rural communities and high schools, community colleges, universities, and minority-serving institutions to employers, labor unions and workforce agencies. Today, the organization draws on this deep expertise in unlocking education and career outcomes to provide a suite of other offerings, ranging from retention coaching, career coaching, professional development and training, and other high-touch services designed to improve the success of students and employees.

InsideTrack’s existing national advisory board members include Amy Dunham, chief communications officer at Habitat for Humanity, Dr. Timothy Renick, executive director at the national institute for student success at Georgia State University, Zakiya Smith Ellis, Ed.D., principal at the Education Counsel, Julian Thompson, director of strategy at the Institute for Capacity Building at UNCF, and Dr. Yolanda Watson Spiva, president and CEO of Complete College America.


About InsideTrack: InsideTrack is a mission-driven nonprofit that fuels positive change by empowering and advancing all learners to achieve their educational and career goals through the transformative power of coaching. We help people get the education they need to enhance well-being, create opportunity and secure meaningful employment — ultimately facilitating economic and social mobility. Since 2001, we have served over 3.2 million learners, partnering with more than 350 institutions and organizations to directly improve enrollment, retention, completion, and career advancement – tailoring our coaching outcomes to fit the needs of our partners and the learners they support. Our coaching methodology is evidence-based and research-confirmed, supporting all types of learners at every stage of their journey — especially those who face systemic barriers to postsecondary success. We are a catalyst for transformational impact, ultimately empowering learners and the organizations who serve them. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn @InsideTrack and X @InsideTrack.

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