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 leadership 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 & Managing director

Dr. Sara Woodruff 

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


Krysti Ryan, PhD, moved to the Equity Accelerator from the College Transition Collaborative (CTC) where she was Director of Research. She leads the design, development, and management of EA’s research approach. She also oversees the development and testing of evidence-based tools and resources that leverage social-psychological principles, research findings, and practitioner expertise to create higher education learning environments that foster equitable student experiences and academic outcomes. 

Krysti earned her B.A. from Willamette University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, Davis. 

Dr. Krysti Ryan

Director of strategy for higher education

Dr. Kathy Emerson


Meet our staff

EA staff work cohesively with our leadership team, research partners, and partner schools and organizations to advance our mission of creating more equitable working and learning environments. 

Dr. Cassie Hartzog

Senior data analyst

As Project Director, Kathy oversees projects as they move through all stages, from research material design and development, data collection and analysis, to final goals and deliverables. She also serves as a content expert on social psychological and educational evidence-based practices. 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.

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. 

Katie Mathias

Project coordinator

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.

Chaghig Walker

PROGRAM coordinator

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. 

Dr. Jen Coakley

RESEARCH coordinator

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 the University of Fresno, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley.