Michell Tollinchi-Michel, PhD
Managing Director, The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS)
Michell is the Managing Director of the Young Women’s Leadership Schools. She manages and informs program budgets, while assessing the impact our programs and external partnerships have on the success of our students and schools. She manages and leads the Girls Education New York central team to achieve program outcomes and support best practices across our school network. In addition, she serves as a partner to the principals supporting their schools in the areas of: Early College Awareness, Leadership, STEAM, and Health and Wellness.
Prior to joining the Student Leadership Network, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Transitions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Michell collaborated with community partners to ensure high quality programs and services that contributed to the successful transition of students from pre-college through graduation. At RPI, she had direct oversight over the Office of the Registrar, Office of Career and Professional Development, International Student Services, Multicultural Programs, and The Arch (Experiential Learning) Program. Before heading to Troy, NY, Dr. Tollinchi-Michel spent 10 years at Barnard College where she served as the Associate Dean for Academic Enrichment and Community Initiatives at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was primarily responsible for the oversight of access and opportunity programs for a diverse student population. Additionally, she worked in collaboration with various departments and units, Barnard faculty and the local Harlem Community to continue to provide opportunities that will enrich and complement the lives of all students with a particular emphasis on underrepresented minorities and first generation students. Prior to Barnard, she served as the Director of the Gateway Academy at the City College of New York, where she led advising initiatives and programs for students who had not declared a major. Before City College, Michell spent six years at Fordham University where she led the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP/CSTEP). During her time there, she assisted in the creation of the first CSTEP Summer Program for incoming freshmen interested in STEM and the health professions.
Michell is a product of the Puerto Rican community and the Bronx, New York; she is the only member of her family to attend and graduate from a four-year college. She received a BA in Psychology and Spanish from the State University of New York at Albany, a Master’s of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she attended Fordham University where she obtained her PhD in Social Services. Her research there was focused on college persistence among Latina undergraduate students. She has dedicated her career and life to supporting minority and women students who strive to achieve their full potential, no matter what their backgrounds.