Executive Director & Board Member
An Austin native and graduate of Leadership Austin: Emerge 2015, Hudson earned a degree in Public Policy from Vanderbilt University and earned a Certificate of Journalism through an online program at the University of Massachusetts. Before PelotonU he co-founded a political advocacy startup and lived in Guatemala to help launch a rural community development organization.
Assistant Director of College Completion
Holly, a native Texan, graduated from Austin College and received her Master’s in Teaching from Marian University and her Master’s in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a Teach For America alumna and has spent the last eight years teaching or coaching students and teachers in Pre-K through college. Before PelotonU, Holly was leading the curriculum and instruction efforts for a high school charter district across Texas.
Director of College Completion
Sarah, a co-founder of PelotonU, graduated from Brown University in 2007 and received her Master’s in Educational Administration in 2013. Sarah served for five years at KIPP: Austin Collegiate as a high school social studies teacher, 9th grade team leader, assistant principal and principal. Prior to KIPP, she was a 2007 Rio Grande Valley corps member with Teach for America where she taught 9th World Geography and 10th World History.
Director of Student Recruitment
A Vanderbilt grad, Samantha returned to Austin after studying Human and Organization Development to work at Concordia University as an admissions counselor. There, she oversaw recruitment efforts in multiple cities, created and executed early high school outreach strategies, and launched scholarship programs totaling over $100,000. Previously, Samantha worked with multiple youth-focused nonprofits.
Board of Directors
Mary Ellen Pietruszynski
Mary Ellen is the Executive Director of the Sooch Foundation. A former teacher and attorney, Mary Ellen's work alongside area non-profits provides important insights into best practices for nonprofit governance and operations.
A co-founder of PelotonU and long-time entrepreneur, Rex has managed a variety of businesses and spearheaded numerous charitable initiatives. After developing an education program for his employees, Rex determined to create a program which would help hard-working students succeed in higher education.
Van is the Associate Vice President of Higher Education Research and Policy, Blackboard, Inc. Prior to Blackboard, Van was formerly the Director of Innovations at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and taught at both public and private universities for ten years.
Karen is the Vice President of Development and an Executive Coach for Emergent Execs. Previously, she served as President and CEO of the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. A veteran of the hospitality industry, she was formerly the Executive Director of Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
James is a Vice President at the private equity group Greenridge Investment Partners. His experience evaluating investments and supporting management teams through the execution of growth plans yields a strong understanding of the challenges growing organizations face. Previously James worked in investment banking and earned a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University.