Staff Members

Meryl Phipps – Executive Director

Meryl Phipps has lived in Ithaca since 2005.  She has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and a JD from Cornell Law School. Prior to joining the Village, she was a staff attorney at Citizens Concerned for Children and represented young people in the court system.  She and her husband Bailey are the parents of ten amazing kids.  

You can reach her at

Robyn Saulsbury – Program Educator

Robyn Saulsbury is the Village at Ithaca’s Program Educator. A product of some of the best Ithaca has to offer—ICSD, GIAC, and the Village—she is now a special education teacher at LACS as well as a part-time employee of the Village. She leads the Females of Color Empowerment Group and oversees our tutoring efforts. She believes that every person has amazing qualities and worthwhile dreams that she hopes to help them realize and fulfill.

You can reach her at

Kat Hauger – Administrative Assistant

Kat came to the Village at Ithaca from Alternatives FCU where she had been Senior Accountant.  Previously, she had worked as the Administrative Coordinator for the IURA, owned her own Real Estate Appraisal company and currently has her own part time hypnosis/energy work business. Kat has a B.S. in psychology, philosophy and religion, and a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Peace Studies. She is also a L.M.T., and a Consulting Hypnotist (NGH). Kat is the Administrative Coordinator for the Village, blending bookkeeping with office management and administrative support.

You can reach her at

Sarah Wolff – Program Educator

Sarah Wolff is an Ithaca native, attending Ithaca schools for much of her life. She graduated undergrad at Sarah Lawrence College and proceeded to get a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary and a Master of Art in Literature from SUNY Cortland where she defended her thesis “The Life and Times of Austin Reed”, a pedagogical text which exhorts its audience from whiteness to witness. Before working for us, she was a teaching artist with Teachers and Writers Collaborative where she taught poetry writing while publishing anthologies of student writing in mostly special education classrooms. Now, she teaches Academic English and English Literature at TC3 and works as a Program Educator for the Village at Ithaca.

In her free time, Sarah likes to collect fabric, sew and quilt, garden, read, bake, and spend time with her 5-month-old puppy and rather tall son whose name means star in Douala.

You can reach her at

Shanta CarrProgram Assistant

After attending incredibly racist school systems, Shanta Carr entered New Roots and graduated from there with her GED. Since then, she has remained involved in a series of jobs that support her local community. She has worked for Macro Mamas, a nonprofit vegan catering company that sells its food at the Ithaca Farmers Market, and the Youth Advocacy Program. Now, she is a Program Assistant for the Village at Ithaca. She is determined to use her own trauma (and healing from that trauma) to guide the current Village Youth who have walked a similar path.

You can reach her at

Dewrail Daquan “Rockett– Program Assistant

Rockett grew up in Ithaca, graduating from IHS in 2012. He went on to attend Syracuse Univertiy, Onondaga College, and St. Thomas Aquinas College where he earned his B.S. in Social Work. He is now a Program Assistant for the Village at Ithaca where he’s able to be an extra voice of motivation for young folks in the community. When he’s not on the clock, he likes to play lacrosse, and basketball.

You can reach him at

Jeremiah Sokol – Program Assistant

Jeremiah grew up in Ithaca and graduated from LACS in 2017. While earning a degree in Human Services at Tompkins Cortland Community College, he also works as a Program Assistant for the Village at Ithaca. He looks at the Village as the space to be a quality mentor to other Black men who need a role model to look up to and rely on.

When he’s not working for the Village at Ithaca, he can be found studying, speaking excitedly about his classes, and weight-lifting.

You can reach him at

Sophie Sparrow – Case Worker

Sophie Sparrow is the Village at Ithaca’s social worker! She graduated with a B.A. in psychology from St. Olaf College, and proceeded to get her MSW from Boston University’s School of Social Work. Growing up with six black siblings, she grew up witnessing the disparities between how they were treated, and she was treated. Sophie is determined to create a better experience for children of color than her siblings had growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood in the 1990’s.

When she’s not working tirelessly for the Village at Ithaca, she is caring for her dog, Mia, or embracing her love of music by singing in her church choir or playing the trombone.

You can reach her at

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