Our Team


Sasha Wells Headshot

Hailing from the South Bronx, Sasha joined the Double Discovery Center in 2022. With Columbia since 2011, she has worked in the Office of Alumni & Development and the Office of the Dean at Columbia College managing alumni leadership boards, key College-wide initiatives and serving as deputy chief of staff to former Columbia College Dean, James J. Valentini. Prior to joining Columbia, Sasha worked at the American Red Cross in Greater New York leading youth development programs and at the National MS Society building its volunteer programs. She earned a B.S. from Cornell University and a Master’s from Teachers College. Sasha is known in the Columbia community for her commitment to excellence, strong work ethic, humility and sense of humor. She has a heart for young people, which has been consistently present in her 20-year nonprofit career. Sasha loves creating art, international travel, and is the Center's self-proclaimed resident photographer. 

Annalisa Leite

Annalisa Leite joined the Double Discovery Center in July 2023. She holds a Bachelor’s in Communication and a Master’s in Strategic Communication and Public Relations from Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey. Annalisa has worked in the non-profit sector in Marketing and Development since 2018, most recently at Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) where she led their Marketing and Development efforts. Annalisa has a passion for meaningful work and giving back to the community. She currently volunteers with CASA where she advocates for abused and neglected foster children and is a member of the Recreation Commission in her hometown of Union Beach, NJ. In her free time, she loves DIY projects, reading, and traveling; her favorite destination is Walt Disney World and she hopes to visit every Disney resort around the world.

Danny Marquez

Danny Marquez joins the Double Discovery Center as the Development and Marketing Associate, bringing a vibrant blend of artistic talent and strategic communication expertise. Eager to make a meaningful impact, Danny is dedicated to advancing the Center's mission of empowering youth through education and opportunity. 

Prior to joining the Double Discovery Center, Danny was an integral part of the Communications and External Relations team at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. During a dynamic three-year tenure, he honed skills in crafting impactful messages and building meaningful relationships, helping to elevate SIPA's global presence.
A recent graduate of Columbia University's School of Professional Studies, Danny earned a master's degree in Strategic Communications. This program not only solidified his expertise in communication strategies but also provided a deep understanding of how effective communication can foster community and drive change.

Before venturing into the world of communications, Danny enjoyed a flourishing career as a professional violinist. He showcased his musical talents in the 2nd National Tours of two renowned musicals - "The Sound of Music" and "Finding Neverland." Holding a Master's in Violin Performance from the Brooklyn College Conservatory, Danny skillfully blended artistic expression with disciplined practice. These qualities, honed during his musical career, now significantly enrich his approach to communication and community engagement.

Katarina Milic

My name is Katarina and I am the Financial Assistant for the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University. I recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Finance from Baruch College and in my spare time I love playing tennis. 

Academic Enrichment

Rabiyya headshot

Rabiyya is a proud Brooklyn native and HBCU graduate of the illustrious Spelman College. Instilled with her alma mater’s mission to provide service to her community, Rabiyya has served as an educator in urban settings for 15 years.  A long standing adjunct lecturer in the English departments of the City University of New York’s Medgar Evers and York colleges, Rabiyya implemented the practice of culturally relevant teaching to spark the minds and interest of undergraduate learners from culturally diverse backgrounds.  She has also taught for academic enrichment programs like Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and NJ LEEP.  Rabiyya holds a B.A. in English Literature, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toledo; and her years of classroom teaching experience have led her to Teachers College at Columbia University where she is currently pursuing an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education Administration. To quiet the noise of busy days, Rabiyya loves to practice Bikram yoga.

College and Career Success

Leticia Vasquez

Inspired by her experiences as a first-generation college graduate, her upbringing in Queens, New York, and being raised by a Mexican immigrant family, Leticia channels her passion for and devotes her time to empowering young people and BIPOC professionals in the college access and higher education field so that as a collective we can tap into our highest self and unshackle our potential, promise, and assets that have been systematically suppressed and oppressed for too long. During her free time, she serves on various college access and community-oriented boards, committees, and councils, locally and nationally. Leticia received her BA from Hunter College and her MA in Higher and Postsecondary Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Leticia hopes that her professional journey will lead her to continue supporting the elevation and success of underrepresented and systemically marginalized people, particularly folx of first-generation, low-income, and BIPOC backgrounds.

Michelle Richards

Michelle has dedicated her career to providing counseling and advocacy to underrepresented students. After graduating with her B.A. in psychology from Hunter College, she began her career providing casework counseling to youth in therapeutic foster homes in the Bronx. She started her work in college access after transferring to Youth Development, where she helped prepare adolescents for transitioning out of foster care. Not only did she provide her students with college advisement throughout the application process, but she also provided college success counseling to ensure they maintained good standing and matriculated towards graduation. More recently, Michelle worked as a program administrator at an education company specializing in college readiness and oversaw their school and nonprofit programs. While there she developed a comprehensive college access program that has been implemented in several programs across NYC and adapted for NJ and CT. Michelle recently graduated with her MSEd in Higher Education Administration from Baruch, and looks forward to bringing her skillset around partnership development and college access to DDC. Michelle loves to travel, art, and trying new recipes.

Wil Aiken

Wil joined the Double Discovery Center in September 2023. He discovered his love for post-secondary access work as a tutor in college, helping high schoolers with their college application essays. After earning a BA in English and Film at the University of Rochester, Wil worked for a college prep program that placed him in a high school in Rochester, NY. Raised in the West Village, a love of city life drove him to bring his passion for post-secondary access back home. When he isn’t working, Wil is usually reading, or on his way to one of the city’s wonderful art house movie theaters. 

Mone Alexander

Mone joined the Double Discovery team in January 2024. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College, majoring in Psychoanalysis and African American Studies. Her professional journey has been diverse, ranging from working as a barista to employment at a delicatessen, ultimately leading her to a role in college success. Mone is passionate about ensuring that everyone, particularly those marginalized, othered, disenfranchised, and abandoned by unjust antiquated systems, deserves education and grace. In her current position, she aspires to empower students, providing them with the knowledge that there is much greatness in store, and access to higher education is just the beginning of their journey to future enrichment. In her leisure time, Mone dedicates herself to perfecting her recipes, crafting her graphic novel, and savoring the pleasures of fine dining.

Vikki Campos

Vikki joined the DDC in October 2023. Vikki is a Native New Yorker from Brooklyn and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. They have a Bachelors in Economics from Barnard College. That is where they discovered their love of college access work. Vikki got their Masters in Social Work at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College because they realized their students needed more mental health support. Currently Vikki combines their skills from social work with college access. In their free time, Vikki is hanging out with their black cat with one white paw named Sock. 

Cynthia Ling

Cynthia is a Third Culture Kid and a mid-career changer into the field of education. She received her BA in Psychology and Asian Studies from Mount Holyoke College, and after spending 15 years in the corporate world, she went back to graduate school where she re-discovered her passion for promoting equity in education where she has worked ever since through college access programming. Cynthia received her EdM in School Counseling and MA in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College and is also a licensed School Counselor in the State of New York and California. When she's not working, Cynthia is a self-proclaimed foodie, an avid binge-watcher, and believes that traveling is part of her lifeblood.

Belky Ochoa

Belky Ochoa joined DDC in January of 2023 as its 9th & 10th Grade College Access Counselor. She is a first-generation Latina, that has always wanted to give back to the community and help others. Belky graduated from Hunter College with a double major in English and Sociology. While in college she discovered her passion for counseling and being a guide to students like herself. Belky had many college counselors that helped her through her career. She now has an opportunity to do the same for others.  She loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family in her free time. In the future, she plans to obtain a master's degree to continue to serve students. 


Healthy Minds and Bodies

Day Harris-Drake

Day is a Licensed Master Social Worker who hails from Kansas City, Kansas. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees at the University of Kansas, and felt a drive to actualize her education and hone herself professionally in NYC, where she has lived since 2017. Her passion for the profession of social work has given her the opportunity to work with varying populations in multiple roles, including case management and supervision with unhoused and undocumented families, foster youth, and justice-involved populations at one of the largest supervised release organizations in New York City. Day believes that no matter the role, a person-focused, clinically-informed lens is necessary in order to work with people and communities holistically and in a manner that privileges unique strengths, and this is a focus that she brings in her current role as Assistant Director for the Healthy Minds and Bodies program. In her free time, you can find Day cooking vegan food, reading nonfiction or fanfiction, or shopping new niche fragrances.