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Our Team


Rachel Rush-Marlowe

Founder & Executive Director

Rachel Rush-Marlowe is a passionate education policy professional with expertise in higher education topics such as federal student aid, student loan default, rural community college issues, college leadership, and postsecondary data collections. She has worked at a variety of education organizations such as the Association of Community College Trustees, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, New America, and at Quality Information Partners on contracts for the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2020, Rachel founded ResearchEd, and began providing research, advocacy, and data services to postsecondary institutions and affiliated organizations across the country. Rachel's passion for education policy and research comes from a deep commitment to students, something that she learned from her parents, who are both educators.


Helena Okolicsanyi

Director of Communications

Helena Okolicsanyi joins ResearchEd with over eight years of marketing and communications experience in both journalism, legal marketing, B2B, and education technology. Helena's journalism work has been featured in Teen Vogue,, the Huffington Post, Remodeling Magazine, and other publications. Helena brings her tenacious passion to supporting the communications and marketing strategy to expand the importance of education access for all. Helena is a graduate of George Mason University with a degree in Global Affairs. Helena lives in Washington, D.C. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood where she also serves as Vice President of the Crispus Attucks Development Corporation, a community organization dedicated maintaining Crispus Attucks Park a completely community-run park.

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Sahana Vivek


Sahana Vivek is a rising sophomore at Georgetown University, pursuing her studies in International Political Economy. She has a profound passion for education, having served as a teacher and mentor in debate and public speaking. Sahana's commitment to fostering knowledge and personal growth even led her to establish her own educational organization focused on local equity. Now, Sahana is eager to expand her skill set within the industry by joining the team at ResearchEd. She is interested in exploring the intersection of equity, education, and the economy and strives to make positive changes in those areas.


Rob Watson

Contracts and Development Manager

Robert Watson brings over 30 years of expertise in change management and human relations to the team. Rob’s passion lies in creating positive organizational change, which goes back to 1974, when he worked as a human resources officer for the U.S. Coast Guard. There he led seminars on gender and racial discrimination awareness, and eventually created a Coast Guard-specific organizational development program. A life-long learner and teacher of organizational effectiveness, Rob joined forces with key researchers from Stanford University to create leadership programs based on principles that would ensure long-lasting behavioral change, which he has applied throughout his career and in his role at ResearchEd. At ResearchEd, Rob supports every aspect of business development from proactive outreach to prospective clients to contract development.

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Josette Souza 

Communications Associate

Josette is a Marketing & Communications Consultant who specializes in helping arts, culture, media, and mission-driven organizations start and grow audiences, develop expertise in marketing data analytics, increase revenue, and expand their impact. Past clients include Amtrak, Design Museum Everywhere, Bravely, and Tall Glass Media.


Tarush Lall

Director of Operations

Tarush Lall is an expert in the creation and management of complex data systems, in both higher education and health care fields. He is also a talented project manager with experience in maintaining budgets and documentation for enterprise wide projects. His interest in education policy began during his graduate program where he had the opportunity to work in a variety of student support roles- as an academic coach, student advisor, orientation leader, and teaching assistant. With a background in computer science and mechanical engineering, Tarush brings a unique and valuable perspective to the team.

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Ayana Tapper

Policy Associate

Ayana Tapper is a recent graduate from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Political Science and History. During her time at Rutgers, she has worked at two internships sites and served two non-profits focused on fostering equity. Among her school accolades, she won a spot in a small cohort that studied politics and democracy for a year and a half, before becoming a class representative. Additionally, Ayana is one of only eight award winners sent from her University to Washington D.C. to participate in nonprofit work. Finally, her future plans include law school, to eventually use her degree to serve marginalized communities.

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Dylan Mazelis

Project Manager

Dylan Mazelis is an educational researcher, program developer, and success coach. He has a robust higher education background with experience in educational technology, data assessment, and student support services at a range of institutions. As a first-generation college student, Dylan has dedicated his career to understanding equity challenges in postsecondary spaces while providing opportunities to improve outcomes on individual and systemic levels. He is particularly interested in areas of higher education such as leadership development, underserved student populations, community engagement, and disability services.


Gabriel Calza-Everett

Senior Research Fellow

Gabriel Calza-Everett is interested in researching the connections between issues in educational equity and structural deficits in governmental policy and social safety net programs. His interest in higher education research emerged through his experiences at various community, public, and private higher education institutions. He is an expert in various qualitative and multi-method research methods and methodologies. Gabriel holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Government from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a master's degree in Conflict and Development Studies from Ghent University, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Tulane University. Gabriel is a co-author of ResearchEd's 2023 California Community College CEO Tenure & Retention Study.


Perrine Monnet

Research Fellow

Perrine Monnet is passionate about community engagement in policy specifically surrounding issues of community development, economic security, and housing. Her previous roles in civic engagement as a community organizer in her home state of Colorado led her to pursue research and policy work. She has previously worked as an analyst at the World Bank researching women's economic participation and a community organizer for various nonprofit organizations advocating for public lands and green energy. Perrine joined ResearchEd while pursuing her Master's of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

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