President's Division

President's Office Staff


Manya Whitaker

Dr. Manya Whitaker
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff

(719) 389-7801

As Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Dr. Manya Whitaker serves as an extension of the President, partnering with the President on a variety of cross-divisional and executive initiatives, providing critical direction and leadership to optimize strategic priorities such as the college’s antiracism commitment. She serves as the President’s principal aide in managing sensitive and confidential issues; helps with the development of college policies, processes, and practices; is the President’s representative on key college committees, and helps to manage high-priority projects to ensure successful launch and execution.

Manya is also an Associate Professor of Education with expertise in social and political issues in education. Her research examines the development and sustainment of teachers’ diversity-related self-constructions within urban schools. She is especially interested in the long-term effects of anti-oppressive and liberatory curricula and pedagogy within teacher preparation programs on teachers’ inclusive instructional practices. Her courses such as Diversity & Equity in Education, Teacher and Teacher Identities, and Educational Psychology inform, and are informed by, her research. Her recent book, “Public School Equity: Educational Leadership for Justice,” capitalizes on her consulting with K-12 organizations. She also writes an early career advice column for The Chronicle of Higher Education.



Rachel DeonRachel Deon

Executive Assistant to the President & EVP/Chief of Staff

(719) 389-6702

With a background in international higher education and executive-level support, Rachel provides strategic assistance to the President and Chief of Staff through facilitating internal and external relationships, operationalizing key initiatives, and actualizing the goals of the President. By partnering with constituencies within the Colorado College and Colorado Springs communities, Rachel ensures that the President and Chief of Staff reach their objectives through effective engagement and follow-up.

Prior to joining Colorado College, Rachel worked as an independent thought partner to Fortune 500 C-suite executives and in graduate program administration at McGill University. Rachel holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Elizabeth LeslieEL1.jpg
Administrative Assistant to the President's Office

(719) 389-6703

Elizabeth has been working at Colorado College since 2016 and came to the Office of the President in 2023. Her focus is on the hospitality for visitors and guests and venue management for Yalich conference room. The other major functions of her job are gift acknowledgements and written communication to faculty, students, staff, and the community at-large.

Prior to Colorado College, Elizabeth worked as a project manager in telecommunications at MCI and Verizon, computer chip manufacturing at Atmel, supply chain in the airline industry, building ejection seats for airplanes and helicopters, and brakes for the Airbus 321 airplanes for Goodrich Corporation. She has been a project management contractor and elementary school teacher.

Elizabeth is a Colorado native and earned her MBA from Regis University, (Denver, Colorado), in Operations Management with a Project Management specialization.

She is a former Board member and Trustee for the Colorado Symphony in Denver. She is a current member of Women of Note and the Colorado Symphony Guild.

Elizabeth is also a supporter of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and the Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra.

She engages in community service with the Women’s Club of Colorado Springs, American Association of University Women, Woman’s Educational Society, and Pikes Peak Opera League.

In her free time, Elizabeth tries to visit her adult daughter in Aurora, Colorado. Lately, she is seeking time in the glorious mountains, on a golf course, taking the boat out to a lake, watching a hockey game at Robson, or walking her dogs with her husband, Mike.



Caryn Lawler Maconi-headshot-002.jpg
Director of Executive Communications 

(719) 389-6138

Caryn directs strategic communications on behalf of the President and the President's Office, and helps shape President Richardson's "voice" for consistency when speaking to internal and external audiences. She develops annual presidential visibility plans to ensure the college's vision and priorities are communicated effectively to target audiences  including current and prospective students and families, faculty and staff, alumni, and community partners.

Before moving to the President's Office, she worked in Advancement for two years as Director of Advancement Communications. In that role, she supported the college's fundraising and alumni and family engagement goals. Caryn is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to Colorado College, she worked in communications, media, and PR for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Triathlon. 



Monica Indrebomindrebo2.jpg
Assistant to the Board of Trustees and Special Projects Manager

(719) 389-6609

As Assistant to the Board of Trustees, Monica is a liaison between the Board and Colorado College staff and faculty. She works closely with President Richardson, EVP Whitaker and the President's Cabinet on a variety of endeavors from coordinating logistics for the Board of Trustees' triennial meetings to orchestrating several programs out of the President’s Office such as the Work of the College Series, the President’s Leadership Awards, the Just World Awards, the Summer Activism Institute with Professor Popkin and more.

Monica brings expertise in governance, project management, and public service from the 4th Judicial District, Colorado Springs Utilities, and Colorado Springs City Council. Monica holds a B.A. in English from Western Colorado University. 



Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

Lyrae Williams Lyrae Williams
Associate Vice President

(719) 389-6699

Lyrae assists the President in institutional planning, evaluation, and overall effectiveness. She serves to enhance the President's ability to develop and enact data-driven decisions in support of the college's mission, values, and goals. She also provides oversight for institutional data reporting, survey compliance, and the release of institutional data to the public. She served as the college's Director of Budget between 2007 and 2012, overseeing the Budget Office and the development of the college's annual budget. Prior to coming to Colorado College, Lyrae was at the University of Maine School of Law, Wesleyan University, and the University of Arizona. Lyrae holds a Master's Degree in Higher Education Finance and Economics, as well as a B.S. in Finance and Accounting, both from the University of Arizona. 



Ben Moffitt Ben Moffitt
Associate Director of Institutional Research

(719) 389-6842

Ben coordinates institutional compliance reporting, including submissions to the National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Learning Commission, American Association of University Professors, Higher Education Data Sharing consortium and others. He supports the office's mission to enhance the President's ability to enact data-driven decisions, and provides data support for strategic planning and other campus projects. Ben has been with CC since 2007, previously supporting the college's Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Prior to coming to Colorado College, he provided institutional research support for the Chattanooga branch of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.


Institutional Equity and Belonging

Peony Fhagen pf12.jpg
Associate Vice President, Institutional Equity and Belonging

(719) 389-6087

Peony provides strategic vision, planning, and implementation for antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. She collaborates with people across campus  to ensure antiracist initiatives are embedded within divisional operations and reviews existing, and develops new, policies, procedures, and practices that increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Peony is a full professor and a developmental psychologist. She studies racial identity and is part of a research team that developed the Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS) and the Cross Ethnic/Racial Identity Scale (CERIS), measures that assesses racial identity patterns among Black Americans and adults from various US ethnic/racial backgrounds, respectively. These measures are based on Nigrescence Theory, and Peony and her research team recently published an article in American Psychologist titled Nigrescence Theory from 1971 to 2021: The Critical Contributions of William E. Cross, Jr. Peony has also co-created a life-span developmental model of racial identity with Dr. Cross. Most recently, she has published work on college students' DEI needs, faculty learning communities for anti-oppressive pedagogies and using an ADEI lens in budgeting and financial decision-making.

Along with being an administrator and engaging in scholarship, Peony deeply enjoys teaching. She has taught courses on racial identity development, the science of microaggressions, adolescent development, multicultural psychology, social & emotional development, laboratory in qualitative inquiry, laboratory in child development, first year seminars on the psychology of selfies and cultural identity & history lessons, and a short-term abroad course in Botswana & South Africa. 



Rosalie Rodriguez  headshot-2-fall-2021_edited-2.jpg
Associate Vice President, Institutional Equity and Belonging

(719) 389-6897

Rosalie Rodriguez serves at the Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Belonging.  As part of the College’s three-person Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, Rosalie partners to lead strategic vision and thoughtful and collaborative leadership. Rosalie is a strategic leader who brings over twenty-years of experience working on equity and justice in higher education with specific attention to the student experience, institutional systems, disparate policies on disenfranchised communities and food insecurity on college campuses. She has developed and facilitated trainings, workshops and programs to increase cultural awareness, understanding, and competence, and championed the critical understanding of how privilege and power affect systems, relationships and access. Rosalie holds a B.S. in Biology and Communication from Juniata College and a M.A. in Community Psychology and Social Change from Penn State Harrisburg.



Ersaleen Hope
Assistant Vice President, Institutional Equity and Belonging

(719) 389-6766



Crystal Cravens
Antiracism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Programs Coordinator

(719) 389-6849

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/23/2024

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14 E. Cache La Poudre St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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