The Steve Fund is committed to a  data-driven and evidence-based approach to improving the support for the mental health and emotional well-being of America’s students of color. The Fund’s scientific advisors provide important input on all of the  Fund’s programs, initiatives, and outreach efforts.

Meet the Steve Fund Scientific Advisors

Dr. Byron Breland

Dr. Byron Breland

Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland
President of San Jose City College

Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland was unanimously selected as the President of San Jose City College effective May of 2014, after having served as the interim president since June 2013. Dr. Clift Breland holds a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Economics and a Master of Science in Family Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. He subsequently completed a Master of Science in Education and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California. He was honored as a Presidential Fellow at the University of Southern California and received outstanding graduate student awards from both USC and the University of Maryland. Dr. Clift Breland comes to San Jose City College from the Long Beach Community College District, where he served as the Associate Vice President of the Pacific Coast Campus for five years. Under his leadership as the primary executive administrative officer on the campus, he ensured that the academic and student services and administrative operations functioned effectively. While holding administrative positions at the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Southern California, he successfully led community development, outreach, and student success initiatives. His educational career also includes serving as an Assistant Dean and Director of Judicial Affairs at the University of California, Irvine; Associate Dean of Student Development at Santa Ana College; and Dean of Student Affairs at Long Beach City College. Dr. Clift Breland’s instructional experience includes being an eighth grade English teacher in Prince George’s County, Maryland; teaching Community College Administration at the University of Southern California; and being a Learning Skills instructor in the School of Education at the University of Southern California, where he taught academic success skills to student athletes and first-generation college students. He has also taught Leadership Skill Development to community members in the City of Santa Ana and developed a Conflict Resolution course for student leaders at the University of California, Irvine. A few of Dr. Clift Breland’s publications and presentations include: “Factors Influencing the Educational and Career Transitions of African American and Latino Community College Students”; “Assessing the Degree Aspirations of African American and Latino Community College Students”; and “Using Civic Engagement at a Community College to Develop Community Leaders”. He has also been active in the broader community, serving on a number of boards to promote equity in housing and economic opportunities. His extensive work creating strategic community partnerships, particularly in urban environments, has successfully served the needs of traditionally underrepresented students in higher education, such as African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Pacific Islanders, or those who are the first in their family to attend college.

Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin

Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin

Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin, Ph.D
Dean, Pomona College

Dr. Collins-Eaglin is a psychologist who specializes in collegiate mental health issues and depression among African American women. She is currently the Associate Dean of Students for Wellness and Personal Success at Pomona College. She was the Director of the Michigan State University Counseling Center, Student Support Services – which includes Counseling and Psychological Services, Disability Services and the Academic Success Center. She was the P.I. for the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant, P.I. for the VOCA Sexual Assault Program, Co-P.I. for the MSU Creating Inclusive Excellence grant, 2010-Towards a Culturally Adapted Model of Risk and Protective Factors for African American Women College Student’s Mental Health at Michigan State University, and P.I. VAWA grant for Campus Safety Grant at Wayne State University.

As a psychologist her focus has been in the area of developing programs that promote psychological wellness and supports academic success. She completed her PhD, Ed.S, and MA degrees in the Combined Program of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. She is active nationally in professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association, and was chair of the Section for College and University Counseling Center in Division 17 and contributed on a national report about college student mental health.

She served on the accreditation board of the International Association of Counseling Centers. She holds national leadership roles in African American women’s organizations. In The Links, Inc. she was the Dean of the Scott Hawkins Leadership Institute, and chapter president of the Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She currently chairs an initiative on Mental Health for the international organization. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she chaired the mental health initiative as part of the international program committee from 2006-2010, and was chapter president of the East Lansing chapter of the sorority.

Dr. Jeanne Manese

Dr. Jeanne Manese

Dr. Jeanne Manese
Director, Counseling Center at UC Irvine

Jeanne Manese, Ph.D. is Director of the Counseling Center at the University of California, Irvine. She earned her B.A in psychology from the University of California, Irvine and also completed a masters degree in Education (M.Ed.) from Harvard University. Dr. Manese subsequently received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park with a specialization in Counseling Psychology. She was awarded an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship for her doctoral studies. Dr. Manese achieved the distinction of Fellow in the American Psychological Association (Division 17 and 45) and continues active involvement with the APA Minority Fellowship Program. Dr. Manese is also an active member of the Asian American Psychological Association. In 2013, her Counseling Center was honored with the APA Richard Suinn Achievement Award for demonstrated excellence in the recruitment, retention and graduation of ethnic minority students in doctoral psychology programs. Dr. Manese has published numerous articles and chapters related to training and practice with a focus on multicultural competency and social justice. She is currently conducting research and implementing programs focused on strength based interventions to enhance student retention at the university level. The Goals in Action program received a Program Excellence award from the Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education (O.C.C.D.H.E.). Dr. Manese was among the University of California co-investigators in a 6.9M state funded mental health grant (CalMHSA-SMHI) aimed at stigma reduction and suicide prevention and she continues to be active in this arena. Included in her work in higher education and mental health, Dr. Manese has practiced around the world with the Semester at Sea program as well as teaches a fieldwork course for undergraduates interested in psychology and public health. Dr. Manese has also worked in hospital settings, private practice and maintains a consultation practice.

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
President, Texas A&M University

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson is the second president of Texas A&M-San Antonio. A&M-SA is the first Texas A&M University System of eleven institutions opened in a major city and one of the fastest-growing universities in Texas.
Dr. Teniente-Matson, who was born in San Antonio, has over 20 years experience in higher education with a track record of accomplishments that support campus growth, including: faculty and student success, economic development, financial stewardship and broad-based entrepreneurial leadership.
She attended public universities throughout her academic career, which provided her with insight into the dynamics of receiving a public education. This extensive experience helped hone her vision for her post at Texas A&M-San Antonio. She also has extensive community service and leadership experience on numerous national higher education associations and boards, including board chair of the National Association for College and University Business Officers (2010-11), and Governor for City University of Seattle (2011-2013).

As a passionate public administrator, Dr. Teniente-Matson launched her career in Alaska — University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Anchorage – where she held a number of positions, including Director of Purchasing (UAA), Director of Procurement and Business Services (UAA), Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance (UAA), and Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services (UAA). In her role as Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, she oversaw a Capital Budget of approximately $100 million and an Operating Budget of $160 million; oversaw planning for campus facilities, maintenance and repair and long-term capital planning; and developed fiscal planning tools used for centralized resource management. Immediately prior to her appointment at Texas A&M-San Antonio, she served as Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of California State University Fresno, where she directed fiscal planning, investments, debt service, budgeting and financial management reporting of all university activities. Fresno State University had an annual Operating Budget of $334 million. Additional areas of responsibility included, overseeing the 1,300-acre campus footprint, its capital construction, planning, infrastructure improvements, and the Fresno State master planning activities; and the development of strategic partnerships and fiscal initiatives with Mayors of the various Central Valley communities, community college administrators and school districts.

She was responsible for the entirety of the financial operations of the Fresno State campus and its 5 auxiliary corporations inclusive of strategic budgeting, financial reporting, cash management, debt financing, taxation issues and risk management. Total GF budget $227M; Auxiliaries: $80M Athletics: $27M. Total operating budget: $334M. Endowment: $138M.

She also chaired the Fresno State Association, Inc., the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity, The Fresno State Athletic Corporation, and the CSU Risk Management Authority.

Her tenures have been marked by bold initiatives that helped shape the universities she has served. These include leading the construction design-development and donor support for numerous facilities initiatives including: the Henry Madden library expansion and Table Mountain Rancheria Tower, The University High School, various Division IA athletic facilities; and a one-of-its-kind outdoor peace garden, masterplanning and wayfinding at Fresno State. She led the partnership between the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Central Valley Business Incubator (CVBI) and Fresno State to jointly develop a $5M (13,000 gsf) Water-Energy-Technology Incubator, and she championed El Dorado Park (a distressed neighborhood adjacent to Fresno State) as one of five sites selected as part of the Obama White House initiative called Building Neighborhood Capacities Program.
She initiated and managed development of the University Center at University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus via public-private-partnership and oversaw construction of a “one-stop” shop for student services, and the acquisition and redevelopment of a 90,000 sq. ft. fledgling suburban mall.
She’s been recognized for her service in the field of education. This includes her appointment as a member of the Top 40 Under 40, by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce; University of Alaska’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Job Effectiveness; and her selection as a participant in the Consul de Mexico Jornada de Educacion held in Mexico City. She is also a sought-after speaker and mentor on contemporary issues in higher education leadership.
An advocate of continuing education, Dr. Teniente-Matson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management in 1989 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Master of Business Administration in 1998 from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fresno State in 2013.

Dr. Teniente-Matson is also a loving wife and mother to her husband Mike, and her two children, Phillip and Wyatt. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cycling, attending sports events, concerts and traveling.

Dr. Eduardo Padron

Dr. Eduardo Padron

Dr. Eduardo Padron
President, Miami-Dade College

An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at age 15. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College, a national model of student achievement and the largest institution of higher education in America, with more than 174,000 students.

An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2009, Time magazine included him among the “10 Best College Presidents” in the U.S. In 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year.” In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S., and the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted him its prestigious Centennial Academic Leadership Award. This year he became the first college president to receive the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service.

Dr. Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and a past Board chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents. Most recently, he was named chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans by President Obama.

Dr. Padrón is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world. He serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business/Higher Education Forum, the League for Innovation (former chair), RC-2020, the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, the White House Fellows Selection Panel (chair), the International Association of University Presidents. He has held leadership positions on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (chair), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Campus Compact, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and others.

President Padrón’s transformational accomplishments at Miami Dade College have been acknowledged by the national media, including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has received some of the most prestigious awards in and out of academia as well as several honorary doctorates. He is also the recipient of highest honors by the governments of foreign nations, including France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques; Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain, whose King Juan Carlos II bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.

Dr. Annelle Primm

Dr. Annelle Primm

Dr. Annelle Primm
Senior Medical Advisor, The Steve Fund

Annelle B. Primm, M. D., MPH, is currently serving as Senior Medical Adviser to the Steve Fund, Senior Psychiatrist Adviser to Urban Behavioral Associates, and several other organizations. During her career, Dr. Primm has been a physician executive at the American Psychiatric Association; a medical educator, administrator and clinician at Johns Hopkins Hospital Community Psychiatry Program; an editor of the books, Disparities in Psychiatric Care and Women in Psychiatry: Personal Perspectives; and a lecturer and video producer on the mental health of diverse and underserved populations. Well known for her leadership of community collaborations, Dr. Primm is the Convener and Chair of the All Healers Mental Health Alliance, a national network of mental health professionals, health advocates and faith community leaders that facilitates culturally tailored responses to the mental health needs of people affected by disasters.

Joyce Roche

Dr. Joyce Roche

Joyce Roche
President and Chief Executive Officer, Girls Incorporated

Ms. Joyce M. Roche served as the Chief Executive Officer and President at Girls Inc. from September 2000 to 2010. Prior thereto, Ms. Roche was an Independent Consultant since September 1998. She served as an Independent Management and marketing Consultant from 1998 to August 2000. She served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Carson Inc. from 1996 to 1998. Ms. Roche served as an Executive Vice President of Global Marketing for Avon Products Inc. from 1995 to 1996 and also its Vice President of Global Marketing from 1993 to 1994. She also held Senior Marketing positions with Carson Inc., Revlon Inc. and Avon Inc. She served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Carson Products Co. Ms. Roche serves as the President of Board and Trustee at Dilliard University. She serves as Director of AT&T, Inc. She has been an Independent Director of Macy’s Inc. (formerly, Federated Department Stores, Inc.) since February 23, 2006; She has been a Director of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. since February 2011; Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. since 1998, AT&T, Inc. (formerly SBC Communications Inc.) since October 1998, Tupperware Brands Corporation (formerly, Tupperware Corp.) since 1998, Girls Inc. since 1998. Ms. Roche serves as a Director at Carson Inc. She serves as a Trustee of Queens College, New York. She served as May Department Stores Co., since January 2003. Ms. Roche served as a Director of Southern New England Telecommunications Corp. from 1997 to 1998. She serves as a Director of The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. She served as a Director of The Southern New England Telephone Company Inc. She serves as a Chair of Board of Trustees at Dillard University. She is an alumnus of Stanford University’s Senior Executive Program and holds honorary doctorate degrees from Dillard University and North Adams State College. Ms. Roche holds an MBA in Marketing from the Columbia University. She holds B.A. in Math Education from Dillard University.

Dr. John Wilson

Dr. John Wilson

John Wilson, Ph.D
President, Morehouse College

As an advocate for the intrinsic value of education for all, Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr. has dedicated more than 25 years to the advancement of socially conscious and purposeful education; student success; and the good that comes from a college education. As a scholar, an educator, a consultant, a strategist and a fundraiser, he has moved universities and organizations forward with his efforts and vision. In January 2013, Dr. Wilson took office as the 11th president of Morehouse College, the nations’ only private, liberal arts institution dedicated to the education of African American males.

Prior to that position, Dr. Wilson was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), a position he held since 2009.

Born in Philadelphia to parents who attended HBCUs (his mother at Morgan State University and his father at Virginia Union University), Dr. Wilson understood at an early age the critical role HBCUs have played in the lives of their students and in United States history. He attended Morehouse College, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. Dr. Wilson continued his education at Harvard University, where he earned two master’s degrees in theological studies and education, as well as a doctorate in education, with a focus on administration, planning and social policy.

Dr. Wilson’s career in education began in 1985 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he served for 16 years in various roles and ultimately as the director of Foundation Relations. In this role, he helped to manage two record-breaking capital campaigns, with combined results approaching $3 billion.
While at MIT, he served for more than a decade as the president of the Greater Boston Morehouse College Alumni Association (GBMCAA). Under Dr. Wilson’s leadership, the alumni chapter raised more than $1 million in support of scholarships and community outreach, and he was consequently awarded Morehouse College’s Benjamin Elijah Mays Leadership Award in 1998. In honor of the impact he has had on both Morehouse College and the community, the GBMCAA established the John Wilson Leadership Award to recognize current Morehouse students who exhibit similar transformative leadership qualities.

In 2001, Dr. Wilson’s career led him to the George Washington University (GWU), where he served for eight years filling such critical leadership roles as executive dean of the university’s Virginia campus and associate professor of higher education in the Graduate School of Education. His research focused on best practices for the sustainability and stability of colleges and universities, as well as transformative advancement and finance in higher education. Dr. Wilson also assisted GWU in creating a university-wide strategic plan that addressed opportunities for advancement and success.

In his role as the nation’s executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs —which serves as liaison between HBCUs, the White House, 32 federal agencies, and the private corporate and philanthropic sectors—Dr. Wilson promoted HBCU excellence, innovation and sustainability. He was charged with strengthening the capacity of HBCUs to participate in federal programs; fostering private-sector initiatives and public-private partnerships; improving the availability and dissemination of information on HBCUs to inform public policy; sharing best practices within the HBCU community; and exploring ways to improve the relationship between HBCUs and the federal government.

Prior to his presidential appointment, Dr. Wilson served in numerous capacities throughout the nonprofit sector, including as a consultant for the United Negro College Fund’s Institute for Capacity Building and on the Kresge Foundation’s Black College Advisory Board. Additionally, he served on the trustee boards of the Samaritans, the Andover Newton Theological School and Spelman College.

Dr. Wilson is married to Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also founder and CEO of OmniSpeech, a speech technology company. They have twin daughters and a son.