The Team


Photography by Samantha Siegel

The Team Behind:


The Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College in collaboration with TEDxWomen.


NATHALIE MOLINA NIÑO is an international business strategist and serial entrepreneur currently balancing her time as playwriting candidate (Columbia) while spearheading the entrepreneurship strategy at Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies.




Erin Vilardi

ERIN VILARDI conducts leadership and organizational development for organizations that want to increase women in top positions. Prior to joining the Athena Center, she founded “Leadership Works” to advance women at the local level to gain civic, political and electoral power. While with The White House Project for 9 years she created “Vote, Run, Lead” the nation’s largest civic and political training program for women.

TOMIKA RODRIGUEZ joined the Athena Center to cultivate strategies and educational models that support students and professional women in developing their personal & professional leadership capacity. Most recently she created and managed successful leadership and academic retention programs serving underrepresented students, including one of few established empowerment programs for college women centering on the intersections of social identity.

Sasha Hill

SASHA HILL is a recent graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in Psychology and minored in English. Sasha has continually tried to find ways to exercise her passion for education and helping others throughout her college career and into her professional one; through her partnership with United Way during the summers of 2011 and 2012, Sasha developed and helped implement a mentorship program for under-served youth in New York

Alejandra DuqueAlejandra Duque is passionate about creating new and transcendent theatre. She teaches children and adults of all ages and is the founder and director of Theatre That Transcends, a community theatre organization teaching local, underserved communities to express themselves and address community issues through theater. She is a stage manager and director having worked alongside Austin Pendleton, Kristin Linklater, Melanie Joseph, Joanna Haigood, Lear DeBessonet & Ken Rus Schmoll.


ELISE SANTORA (Hernandez) recently starred as Abuela Claudia in the first national tour of In The Heights as well as its Broadway company. Other Broadway credits include Man of La Mancha starring Raul Julia, Paul Simon’s The Capeman and Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Toured internationally as a vocalist for such legends as David Bowie and Danny Kaye’s Unicef in Africa tour. Elise has served as teaching artist, acting/voice coach and audition coach for Manhattan Theatre Club, N.Y. Board of Education Arts Council, Theatre Development Fund, and York College among others.


SAMANTHA L SIEGEL is a photographer and dancer based out of New York City. Her love for photography was sparked after dancing all her life, where she found a passion in wanting to still human beauty in its many moving forms. As a dancer, Samantha specializes in Lindy hop, and tours the U.S. and abroad performing and teaching social dance with her professional dance partner. She is passionate about dance advocacy, working with and following Dance/NYC. Through spreading her love for dance and preserving beauty in her photographs, Samantha strives to remind everyone to celebrate joy everyday!

Scenic Design: Noriko Ohashi

Musical Contributor: Adam Jones

Our fabulous Interns:

  • Anastasia Rab
  • Sharon Kwong
  • Shenel Lambiro
  • Josephine McGowan
  • Julia Kennedy
Our rockstar volunteers:
  • Katie Donham
  • Nikila Kakarla
  • Lindsey Harris
  • Annelise Finney
  • Jose Robledo
  • Ann-Kathryne Mills
  • Victoria Sun

Special Thanks

  • Samantha Siegel, (Photography)
  • Greg Winkler
  • Cathy O’Neil
  • Tanya Malott
  • Amanda Ellis (TED)
  • Goldi Juer
  • Sun Min
  • Catherine Gray
  • Mike Banta
  • Ásta Hostetter
  • Tiffany Dugan
  • Doug Maget