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 meryl@villageatithaca.org.

Kat Hauger – Administrative Coordinator

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 contact@villageatithaca.org.

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 sarah@villageatithaca.org.

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 jeremiah@villageatithaca.org.

Sophie Sparrow – Social 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 sophie@villageatithaca.org.

Chris E. “Chrissy” Suter – Program Educator

Chris E. “Chrissy” moved to Ithaca in 2012 in pursuit of a Master’s degree in education, and decided to stay. Before joining Village, she taught students in grades 2-6, and specialized in mathematics curriculum as well as academic coaching and staff development. Suter also holds a B.A. in philosophy, and a nagging one-third of a doctorate in education (completion TBD). As a school leader, Suter was known mainly for providing a sense of safety, belongingness, and acceptance for both staff and students alike, as well as for analytical problem-solving and the gifts of a neurodivergent brain that functions almost as well as a 2007 Excel Workbook. She believes that building meaningful human connections opens minds to alternate perspectives, cultural humility, and social justice, and she will never stop pursuing these ideals. That being said, most of her time outside of work is spent with her dogs!

You can reach her at suter@villageatithaca.org.

Jenny Cosgrove – Program Educator

Jenny Cosgrove moved to Ithaca in 2022 after graduating from Alfred University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine arts. Before joining the Village as a Program Educator, Jenny taught ceramics at local community centers and summer camps in Maine, and spent other summers working with youth groups on small farms in the Finger Lakes region. They are passionate about regenerative creative work and serving the community through artistic and social practice, with plans to continue towards a terminal degree. When not working with the Village, Jenny enjoys sculpting, reading, and long hikes with her dog.  

You can reach her at jenny@villageatithaca.org.

R.J. Lavine – Development Coordinator

With over 20 years of service and management experience in a wide range of non-profit sectors, R.J. brings curiosity and determination to their role at the Village. They were recently the Managing Director of the Hangar Theatre Company. They served as Director of Development and Communications at the Kitchen Theatre Company for two years prior, expanding the theatre’s development portfolio through strategic foundations, corporate, and individual stewardship. R.J. is a performer and writer who believes in the transformative power of the arts to connect and heal communities.

You can reach them at rj@villageatithaca.org.

Mercedes Redmoon – Director of Housing Operations

Mercedes moved to Ithaca in 2004 to attend TC3. Finding a community and family, she decided to stay after leaving TC3 in 2005.  She started with the Village at Ithaca in June 2022 and has since become the Director of Housing Operations at Village House. When not helping to combat youth homelessness in Tompkins County with her get-it-done attitude and sassy retorts, Mercedes can be found at home running her jewelry business, Red Metal Jewelry, and listening to Spotify while singing to her cat.

You can reach her at mercedes@villageatithaca.org.

Andrea Champlin – Intake Specialist/Youth Coordinated Entry Lead

Andrea grew up in the Fingerlakes region and moved to Tompkins County in 2010. She attended Tompkins Cortland Community College and Ithaca College, where she studied Creative Writing and Psychology. After graduation, Andrea stayed in Tompkins County and has worked at a variety of local youth-serving organizations. She is currently completing her Master of Social Work degree part-time at the University at Buffalo. When she is not working or studying, she can be found dancing, knitting, and tending to her plants and pets.

You can reach her at andrea@villageatithaca.org.

Jenn Marcos – Residential Manager

Jenn is new to Ithaca by way of Boston. They bring over 15 years of experience working with a vast array of clientele in hospitality and human services. Jenn’s gender-affirming esthetics practice has specialized in serving the specific needs of LGBT and BIPOC communities, and they are very excited to turn their empathy and skills toward non-profit work and lifting up the underserved and marginalized. They are passionate about creative expression, community organizing, and holistic self-care practices. Outside of work, they enjoy crafting, yoga, dancing, and singing. The majority of their free time is spent on adventures with friends and doting on their cat, Zelda.

You can reach them at jenn@villageatithaca.org.

Adamina Smith – Program Assistant

Adamina grew up predominantly in Ithaca, NY, and much of her family did too. As a neurodivergent, queer person of color in a predominantly white town, she constantly felt restricted by the walls other people put around her. Her main goal is to create an environment where people feel safe to express themselves and assist them in forming their own version of success.

Adamina graduated from Ithaca High School in 2018, then attended The People’s Medicine School to study herbalism, and Sumi’s Touch BIPOC doula program in 2020. She will be attending college in the fall of 2023 to study adolescent psychology and work towards becoming a pediatric occupational therapist. 

Adamina loves children and has been babysitting since she was 10 years old. Most recently, she has worked as an assistant at a daycare center with 2-3 year olds, as a one-on-one aid for a neurodivergent child, and now at the Village!

You can find Adamina roller skating at the skatepark, playing bass and singing at open mic night, taking photos at concerts, doing one of a million craft projects she’s working on, or you can’t find her because she’s constantly traveling.

You can reach her at adamina@villageatithaca.org.

%d bloggers like this: