We partner with dedicated professionals to support our work.


Elgin Cleckley

Elgin Cleckley is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Design Thinking at the University of Virginia, School of Architecture. Elgin teaches Design Thinking studios and foundation courses at the School of Architecture, with an appointment in the Curry School of Education and the School of Nursing. Elgin previously was the 3D Group Leader and Design Coordinator at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, producing architectural designs, art pieces, and exhibitions for Canada and the world. Elgin holds a  B.S. Arch from the University of Virginia and an M. Arch from Princeton University. Elgin has taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois, Chicago, working in architectural firms in Toronto, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City.

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Christa Bennett

With a commitment to supporting communities where all have opportunities to thrive, Christa has over a decade of experience working with nonprofits. Christa's specialties include grant writing and relationship building with community members, including corporate partners. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from King's College London and has worked with organizations in North America, Europe, and Africa.


Maryfrances Porter

Maryfrances Porter, Ph.D., brings nearly 25 years of research experience and using data to leading local change initiatives across a wide range of service providers, including evaluating service systems across sectors (e.g., courts, school districts, non-profits, and local governments). She has expertise in assessing opportunities for growth, developing strategic vision and action, and facilitating collaborative, strengths-based problem solving across diverse groups. Dr. Porter completed her B.A at Emory University, and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia (emphasis in community psychology). She is also a licensed, clinical psychologist.