Our team of interdisciplinary staff and scholars in the social and behavioral sciences have extensive experience collaborating with partners on the development, testing, and implementation of evidence-based, affordable and scalable strategies for creating learning and working environments where all individuals achieve their potential. 

We believe that sustainable, impactful change comes from inclusive and cross-disciplinary partnerships that center the expertise and experiences of the people closest to the challenges we’re trying to address. We value our team members and partners as individuals with personal goals, experiences, interests, and preferences, and we commit to creating a culture built on trust, transparency, and respect in all we do. Our respect and care for one another extends seamlessly to our clients and partners.

Meet our team

about us

Dr. Mary Murphy is the Herman B. Wells Endowed Professor at Indiana University and founder of the Equity Accelerator. She is a recognized international leader in the field of equity, diversity, and inclusion in educational and organizational settings. She teaches undergraduates, graduate students, and executives and advises CEOs and leaders on how to create more inclusive growth-minded learning and working environments. 

Dr. Murphy is Latina--born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She earned a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from Stanford University. She completed a NSF postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. In 2012, she joined the faculty of Indiana University and, in 2013, was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS). In 2019, she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)—the highest honor bestowed on early career scientists by the United States Government. She is the recipient of more than $8 million in federal and foundation grants including a recent $2.2 million NSF CAREER award for her research on strategies to improve diversity in STEM organizations. Her research has been profiled in The New York Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, and NPR, among other outlets. Mary’s new book on organizational mindset, Cultures of Growth, will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2023. 

founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Mary Murphy

Dr. Sara Woodruff moved to the Equity Accelerator from the College Transition Collaborative (CTC) where she was Senior Director of Research and Strategy. She focuses on overseeing the projects in EA’s portfolio, managing research staff, developing and supporting key partnerships, as well as designing projects to align with EA’s current and future strategic goals. She brings to the EA her passion for education and desire to increase access and opportunity to high-quality education that improves outcomes for all students--particularly students from structurally disadvantaged groups. 

Prior to her work at CTC, Sara spent over four years as a policy evaluation researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. During her tenure there, she worked across early childhood, K-12, human services, and international research. Her expertise includes measures and assessment development and validation, early mathematics and literacy development and cognition, program evaluation, data collection, with an emphasis on equitable practices and outcomes.

She completed a B.A. in Economics and Spanish at Duke University and earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. 

Chief Strategy Officer 

Dr. Sara Woodruff 

Krysti Ryan, PhD, oversees Equity Accelerator's daily operations and fiscal management. She focuses on putting EA’s organizational values into practice through the direct management of EA’s service lines and staff, and through financial management of EA’s portfolio with an eye toward long term sustainability and impact. Prior to becoming EA’s Chief Operating Officer, Krysti served as the Director of Research for College Transition Collaborative and then Director of Strategy for Higher Education at Equity Accelerator where she oversaw EA’s research portfolio, as well as the development and testing of evidence-based tools and resources that leverage social-psychological principles, research findings, and practitioner expertise to create equitable learning environments. 

Krysti earned her B.A. from Willamette University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, Davis where her scholarship focused on identifying the mechanisms that advance greater social support and inclusion for transgender and gender-diverse youth, particularly in education and medical environments. When she is not at EA, Krysti can often be found enjoying the outdoors, usually chasing after her two young kids. 

Dr. Krysti Ryan


Christine Logel, PhD is an Associate Professor of Social Development Studies at Renison University College, affiliated with University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. In her recent scholarly research, she studies identity and belonging among structurally disadvantaged students including racialized minorities, financially-stressed students, students with disabilities, English Language Learners, students facing weight stigma, and students contending with the implications of the covid-19 pandemic. 

Dr. Logel earned her Ph.D. in social psychology at University of Waterloo, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at University of Colorado and Stanford University. She received University of Waterloo’s Equity Award for her work promoting women’s success in STEM fields. Her work has been funded by organizations including the Raikes Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Higher Education Quality Council of Canada. Dr. Logel teaches Introductory Psychology.

Dr. Christine Logel


Our team works cohesively with each other and our partner schools and organizations to advance our mission of creating more equitable working and learning environments. 

As EA’s Program Coordinator, Chaghig provides overall project management, tracking, and communications for EA’s programs, from leadership and staff operations to research practice projects. Chaghig earned a B.S. and M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley and Stanford University respectively.  As a former STEM major, Chaghig was drawn to EA for the work we do improving college spaces so that all students can thrive, and is happy to put her project management skills to use on work she can be passionate about. She is grateful for the way our team thoughtfully approaches everything we do, from creating organizational norms and values to rigorous project design. Chaghig is a big fan of EA’s commitment to work-life balance and finds her balance in yoga, hiking, and serving as pit crew chief for her bustling family.  

PROGRAM coordinator

Chaghig Walker

As Project Coordinator, Katie works in close collaboration with cross-functional, distributed teams, coordinating the general daily operations for research projects, including a multiyear, multisite randomized controlled trial conducted by CTC. Katie earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Waterloo. She finds it incredibly rewarding to work with a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate about creating more equitable work and learning environments. The fact that our team is an all-around kind, compassionate, and fun group is an added bonus that she really cannot understate. In her free time Katie loves to get outdoors and spend time in nature and is grateful to live close to many parks where she enjoys hiking, skiing, canoeing, and camping. 

Project coordinator

Katie Mathias

As EA’s Senior Data Analyst, Cassie leads all aspects of data processing and analysis for EA’s collaborative research projects. Cassie earned her B.A. in Math from Pomona, a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Davis, and also studied Computer Science at UC Berkeley.  Cassie was excited to join EA because of her commitment to working at an equity-focused organization, and the thoughtful, intentional, and rigorous approach we take to everything we do. Cassie is grateful that her varied educational and work experiences ultimately led her to what she considers her dream job. Remote work has been an unexpected benefit, and she looks forward to someday relocating to the mountains for more hiking and backcountry skiing with her partner and dogs.

Senior data analyst

Dr. Cassie Hartzog

As Director of Research, Kathy leads our research project teams, responsible for the design, development, and execution of EA’s research projects and evidence-based interventions and tools. She maintains the organization's commitment to rigorous and collaborative research, while also ensuring that EA’s research and internal practices remain aligned with our mission, values, strategic goals, and the needs of our external partners. 

Kathy earned her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley, M.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Indiana University. Seeing how our work shapes both large-scale policies and people’s day-to-day experiences provides Kathy with motivation and hope, and she is happy to be working somewhere she can share her expertise in such a meaningful and impactful way. Kathy loves to explore new places (from hiking trails, to playgrounds, to ice cream shops) with her partner and two small kids, almost as much as she loves curling up in bed with a good book.  

director of research

Dr. Kathy Emerson

Jen assists in the coordination and development of our research practice partnerships, including survey implementation, data collection and management for multiyear, multisite collaborations. Jen earned a B.A. in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, an M.S.W. in Social Work from Fresno State, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Jen was drawn to this work after years of working with underrepresented/served youth and seeing their struggle with the transition into college; she was very interested in learning more about the impact of psychological experiences on college persistence. She feels lucky to have joined this amazing team and be surrounded by people passionate about our mission. Jen spends most of her down time juggling her family’s crazy schedule and loves being in the gym watching her kids play basketball.

RESEARCH coordinator

Dr. Jen Coakley