Director, Student Success Programs (Central/Southeast)
Nicole Alexander serves as Scholarship America’s Director, Student Success Programs for the central and southeastern United States. She has worked with Dollars for Scholars since 2005 in a variety of roles, and currently also serves as national liaison between Dollars for Scholars and the Scholarship America marketing department.
Nicole brings to Scholarship America a wealth of experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. She started her own public relations consulting firm, Alexander Images, and worked in PR and communications for the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center and the National Kidney Foundation of Indiana.
In her free time, Nicole volunteers at a domestic violence shelter in her current hometown of Nashville.
Despina Costopoulos Emerson
Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships (West)
Despina Costopoulos Emerson serves as Scholarship America’s Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships for the western United States. In addition to supporting Dollars for Scholars, Despina is an experienced leader in financial aid policy.
Before joining Scholarship America, Despina directed California Cash for College, the state’s public-private financial aid partnership program. During her tenure, Cash for College assisted a half million students and their families in applying for federal and state financial aid. Despina’s work expanding opportunities for students spans nearly twenty years and includes service in the California Secretary of Education’s office under Governor Gray Davis. Most recently she co-led a coalition of state and student leaders, and organizations to establish emergency aid programs at California Community Colleges.
Despina lives and works in Sacramento with her husband Ed, two pet chickens and her Saint Bernard, Noodles.
Director of Dollars for Scholars Growth & Development
Don Setterlof serves as Scholarship America’s national director for Dollars for Scholars Growth and Development. He previously served as Executive Director of Indiana Dollars for Scholars, and as Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships for the Upper Midwest.
Don serves as the first point of contact for new and prospective Dollars for Scholars volunteers. In his time as Growth and Development director, he has streamlined the affiliation process and spearheaded the creation of working relationships between Scholarship America and prospective volunteers. He is also leading an innovative pilot effort to build partnerships between Dollars for Scholars and the automotive industry, focusing on the need for increased technical education opportunities.
Prior to joining Scholarship America, Don served for more than 30 years as an elementary educator and principal. He lives and works in Florida.
Lynne Perry Zervas
Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships (Northeast)
Lynne Perry Zervas serves as Scholarship America’s Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships for the northeastern United States. Over nearly 20 years with Scholarship America, Lynne has worked on all aspects of Dollars for Scholars support. She also works closely with the Dollars for Scholars national office on the Collegiate Partners program, ensuring that colleges work with students to maximize Dollars for Scholars awards.
With experience as a high school teacher, textbook editor, long-term mentor and Dollars for Scholars volunteer, Lynne brings a depth of knowledge and historical perspective to her affiliate service. She remains dedicated to encouraging students of all ages and walks of life to pursue their college goals.
Lynne lives and works in the Greater Boston area, near the original home of Scholarship America.