MCAN Announces New Hires in Expansion of Team to Improve College Attainment in Michigan

Operations assistant and program assistant demonstrate growing team at MCAN

January 8, 2016 - LANSING, MICH. – MCAN announces the hire of two assistants to their growing team. These individuals will help with the organization's goal of increasing the number of students in Michigan pursuing postsecondary education. Connor McLaughlin, program assistant, and Dawn Stemen, operations assistant, both started this week. In the past year, MCAN has nearly doubled its staff of dedicated individuals who are working to serve communities across Michigan, especially those with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates.

"Our team is growing, along with our commitment to increase the number of Michigan residents with high-quality degrees or credentials," said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. "These two new professionals are excellent additions to our staff as we work to touch even more lives in 2016. Their experience will ensure we start the New Year off on the right foot."

Connor McLaughlin previously worked as the Dr. Kathy A. Agard Fellow in Community Philanthropy with Our State of Generosity project at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, conducting research on the history of Michigan's philanthropic infrastructure by archiving historical documents and oral history interviews. Connor holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Grand Valley University. At MCAN, McLaughlin will work to support MCAN's local community investment work through multiple high-impact programs developing the infrastructure and activity to increase Michigan's college attainment rate.

Prior to joining MCAN, Dawn Stemen served as director of educational partnerships and site director for Olivet Nazarene University's School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. She's also the office manager for the Church of the Nazarene's Michigan District. Dawn received her undergraduate degree in Office Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University of Mount Vernon, Ohio. At MCAN, Stemen will work under the director of finance and operations and ensure day-to-day support in the office, along with maintaining constituent relations.

MCAN is also hiring a newly created position, the director of finance and operations, which will manage financial, human resources, administration and operational functions for the organization.

About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state's college access movement, MCAN's mission is to increase Michigan's college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate's degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan's rate still lags behind the national average of 40 percent. It is MCAN's goal to increase Michigan's postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Lisa King, communications consultant
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Cell: 313-451-1387

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