Meet the Fellows

Del Mar Encore Fellows are charged with advancing the organizations’ selected mission-focused initiatives. Learn more about our fellows:

Frieda Bennett Frieda R. Bennett, Ph.D, St. Mary Development Corporation, worked at Sinclair Community College for 30 years, serving as Dean of Business and Assistant to then-President Ned Sifferlen. After retiring, she taught Organizational Leadership for five years at Wright State University. Since retiring from Wright State, she continued to remain active in regional leadership in her sorority and serves as communications coordinator for the WSU Retirees Association. She became a Del Mar Encore Fellow in 2018, placed at St. Mary Development Corporation, to lead a project to determine the technology literacy of older residents, research technology as it relates to telehealth, and develop a plan to improve access to health services through the implementation of technology.

Debra BrathwaiteDebra Brathwaite, Ph.D, Preschool Promise, is a former deputy superintendent of schools in several systems, including Dayton Public Schools, where she was instrumental in the creation of the Charity Adams Earley Academy for Girls. Although she left Dayton for a similar position in South Carolina in 2008, she returned to her home in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood when she retired. She serves on the boards of the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center and the Dayton Society of Natural History. She also teaches at the University of Dayton. At Preschool Promise, she is working on creating a &ldquo:Promise Pathway,” to enable childcare providers to earn certifications and degrees to increase their incomes and improve the quality of care and teaching for our youngest citizens.

Kaye Manson Kaye Manson Jeter, Ph.D., Dayton Metro Library, retired from Central State University as Dean of the Dayton Campus. She also served as the Dean of the College of Education and the Director of the Institute of Urban Education. Dr. Jeter holds doctorate degrees in both law and education and served as general counsel for the Tennessee Department of Education, providing statewide leadership to schools and districts in all matters of law. She has been an attorney in private practice and worked as a teacher, counselor and administrator in Michigan public schools. She became a Del Mar Encore Fellow in 2018, leading a project with Dayton Metro Library to create a sustainable, volunteer-led Homework Help programs in area branches.

Eric JohnsonEric Johnson, Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging, is a highly experienced independent educational video producer, who has worked with many of the leading publishing companies in the field of teacher education. His clients have included the American Montessori Society, the University of Dayton and the Ohio Department of Education. He has also worked in the private sector, creating training videos for NCR, GE Aircraft Engines and the Mazer Corporation. He volunteers for the Yellow Springs Senior Center, driving older adults to appointments and errands. At the Parker Center, he will develop an educational curriculum and video, aimed at reframing participants’ and viewers’ perceptions of aging and challenging the prevalence of “ageism” in our culture.

Kathy StevensKathy Stevens, Ph.D., Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2, a retired engineer whose last few career positions were as a senior executive for the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and General Electric Aviation. Using her research, program management and strategic thinking skills, she is working with the Area Agency on Aging and its provider network to understand and address the shortage of workers who provide direct services to older adults in our region. She will research, define and measure the scope of the current challenge to finding and keeping workers, and develop proposed solutions for employers and policymakers.

Noreen Willhelm Noreen Willhelm, The Dayton Foundation Senior Fellow, spent nearly 30 years working with area nonprofits in positions ranging from public affairs director to executive director. Previously, she was a reporter and assistant metro editor with the Dayton Daily News and the former Journal Herald. She joined The Dayton Foundation in 2018 as Del Mar Encore Senior Fellow, where she coordinates the work of the Del Mar Encore Fellows, serves as liaison with the Fellows’ Host Organizations, and provides outreach to the older adult-serving community.

The Dayton Foundation has selected nonprofit organizations to host a Del Mar Encore Fellow. Read more about our host organizations and partners.

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File date: 07.01.20


Noreen Willhelm

“Have a question about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative? I can help.”
Noreen Willhelm, Senior Fellow, (937) 225-9949

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