The Steve Fund is powered by a growing team passionate about improving the support for the mental health and emotional well-being of America’s students of color.
Evan is co-founder and president of The Steve Fund, the nation’s only organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of college students of color. Evan came up with the idea of starting the Fund days after the passing of his brother and best friend, Steve, who died from mental illness in 2014. Steve had received a masters in psychology and was deeply supportive of the well-being of others. The Steve Fund is the legacy of a gifted, loving, and compassionate young man who felt called to help others.
The Fund works with colleges and universities, outstanding non-profits, researchers, students, emerging adults, mental health practitioners and experts, and with groups serving diverse populations to stimulate dialogue and promote effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education. Its core pillars are knowledge building, programs and partnerships, youth engagement, and tech innovations. The Steve Fund’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Diverse Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post and The Harvard Crimson.
Evan graduated from Harvard College in 2009 and lives in New York with his wife and the world’s most adorable dog.
Anuja Khemka has served as Executive Director of the Steve Fund since January 2018. Anuja has extensive programmatic expertise in youth development, college access and persistence, workforce development and training, and entrepreneurship training. Prior to her work with the Fund, Anuja spent over 15 years in the corporate and philanthropic sector focusing on program planning and implementation, thought leadership, and fundraising. She has held senior leadership roles at JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy and Goldman Sachs Foundation. Anuja was a Management Fellow at Columbia University and received her Masters in Social Work in Social Enterprise Administration. Anuja completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University with a BA in Business Economics. Her work in philanthropy has been featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Youth Today, Forbes, Huffington Post, New York Times and Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Jason Bell Rose
Co-Chair, Youth Advisory Board
Jason Bell Rose, co-chair, Youth Advisory Board, is the brother of Stephen C. Rose and a freshman at Harvard University. Jason is passionate about advocating for quality mental-health awareness and services within the community of young people of color. Jason focuses on communications for the Fund, bringing forward the voices of students, conference attendees, and participating scholars.
Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble
Senior Scientific Advisor
Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble is the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Steve Fund. She is Director of The AAKOMA (African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully-Healthy Adolescents) Project and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University. She is an adolescent and child psychologist and a clinical researcher in the area of mental health disparities. Her research interests include reducing mental health disparities for African American and diverse adolescents; treatment engagement for depression in diverse adolescents; mental health stigma reduction in diverse populations, health equity in suicide prevention, Community Based Participatory Research with a specific focus on Faith Based Health Promotion and Mindfulness in diverse parenting contexts. The AAKOMA Project and Lab employs evidence-based, culturally relevant behavioral interventions to improve psychological/psychiatric treatment engagement by African American adolescents and their families for depressive disorders. Dr. Breland-Noble is currently involved in multiple initiatives with Faith Based and other community partners in Durham, NC, Montgomery County, MD, Loudon County, VA and Washington, DC.
Dr. Annelle Primm
Senior Medical Director
Annelle B. Primm, M. D., MPH, is currently serving as Senior Medical Director 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.
Senior Advisor for Programs
Deidra D. Dain, MBA, serves as the Senior Advisor for Programs, designing programs and services that deliver research-based information and implementation tools to stakeholders in nonprofit and higher education settings. Throughout her career, Deidra has consulted extensively with public and private organizations in strategic change management, communications, and program development. She’s managed federal contracts for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Office of Head Start. Her private clients include the American Red Cross, New Beginnings Youth & Family Services, and Habitat America, LLC, among others. In 2017, she produced the PBS documentary, Saving Place, Saving Grace, the story of Trappist monks’ struggle for reformation of their home by embracing an intense sustainability initiative in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Chair, Youth Advisory Board
Alexandra Williams is a senior at Yale University majoring in political science with a concentration in urban studies. She serves as the National Youth Adviser of the Steve Fund and oversees the development and activities of the Youth Advisory Board and directs other youth engagement initiatives. Having worked with the Steve Fund for nearly two years, Alex has witnessed it’s massive growth in capacity and impact under the Rose family leadership and is constantly inspired by the organization’s commitment to supporting the mental and emotional well being of students of color. She is excited to work with the Youth Advisory Board to create meaningful programs that will reshape the institutional landscape of mental health services and support available at colleges, universities, and society at large for young people of color.
Social Media Support
Stephen Berkemeier leads social media outreach for the Steve Fund. He is a Senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in psychology. He is passionate about mental health research, and has been a member of the Gender and Health Research Lab and the University of Michigan school of social work for nearly three years. Stephen has been with the Steve fund for over a year and has helped lead the social media outreach for the fund during this time, as well as assist with numerous other projects. He is excited to continue his work with the Steve Fund, and is striving to contribute to the development of new programs and initiatives for changing the academic climate surrounding students of color.
Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, PhD, is Director of the AAKOMA (African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully-Healthy Adolescents) Project and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University Medical Center. She serves as Senior Scientific Adviser to The Steve Fund. Dr. Breland-Noble, psychologist and researcher, focuses on reducing mental health disparities in racially diverse youth and families. Her clinical expertise includes culturally relevant treatment for depression and anxiety in teens and adults. She has spent most of her career in academic medicine and is a recognized expert in adolescent depression disparities. Dr. Breland-Noble is currently funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Institutes of Health. She leads multiple research teams with a focus on patient-centered outcomes research, community-based participatory research, behavioral clinical trials, and faith-based mental health promotion. She has been appointed to the American Psychological Association Board to Develop Depression Treatment Guidelines and the PCORI National Advisory Panel on Addressing Disparities. Dr. Breland-Noble completed her training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD), New York University (MA), Howard University (BA), and Duke University School of Medicine (MHSc).
Meeta Kumar, PhD, is a psychologist and an experienced professional in the field of college mental health. She currently serves as the Director of Outreach and Prevention Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services as well as adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. She is responsible for coordination, development and delivery of university wide programs that support mental health and wellness of students. She works closely with all campus constituencies including faculty/staff, student groups and parents/families. She is a national presenter on an array of college mental health topics. She is adjunct faculty in the Asian American Studies department. She received her PhD from the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.
Jeanne Manese, PhD, is Director Emerita of the Counseling Center at the University of California, Irvine, which, in 2013, was honored with the APA Suinn Achievement Award for demonstrated excellence in the recruitment, retention and graduation of ethnic minority students in doctoral psychology programs. Dr. Manese is published in the areas of multicultural supervision and training, mentoring, and strength based interventions for undergraduate well being and academic achievement. Her most recent publication is Cases in Multicultural Clinical Supervision: Models, Lenses and Applications. Dr. Manese has achieved the distinction of Fellow in the American Psychological Association (Division 17 and 45) and is a Fellow of the Asian American Psychological Association. She has been honored by the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies and the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers for her work in the area of multicultural training. Dr. Manese has additionally worked in hospital settings, private practice and maintains a consultation practice. Dr. Manese completed a masters degree in Education from Harvard University and received her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park with a specialization in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Manese continues her lifelong commitment to addressing disparities in mental health treatment for people of color, mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds through the higher education pipeline, and promoting civil rights and social justice.
Dr. Annelle Primm
Senior Medical Advisor
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.
David Rivera, PhD, is an associate professor of counselor education at Queens College, City University of New York. A counseling psychologist by training, his practical work in higher education includes college counseling, academic advising, multicultural affairs, and leadership development. Dr. Rivera’s research focuses on cultural competency development and issues impacting the marginalization and wellbeing of low-income/first-generation college students, people of color, and oppressed sexual orientation and gender identity groups, with a focus on microaggressions. Dr. Rivera is an adviser to The Steve Fund, faculty with the Council for Opportunity in Education, board co-chair of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies, on the executive committee of The Society for the Psychological study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and on the American Psychological Association’s Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. Dr. Rivera holds degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Wyoming. He has worked and trained at a variety of institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, the New School University, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Addiction Institute of New York. He has received multiple recognitions for his work from the American Psychological Association, the American College Counseling Association, and the American College Personnel Association.