Alumni-In-Residence: Fall 2023/Spring 2024

Location: United States

Pam Allyn '84Pam Allyn ’84 is an esteemed author, educator, and founder celebrated for her profound contributions to the world of education. Most recently, Pam created Dewey, a startup devoted to providing exceptional products for family learning.

Pam graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English and earned a master’s in deaf and elementary education from Columbia University Teachers College. Since then, Pam has authored many books for educators and parents, including “Every Child a Super Reader” and “Tell Your Story: Teaching Students to Become World-Changing Thinkers and Writers. She has created and scaled major educational programs used around the world, including LitCamp and MathCamp and has created World Read Aloud Day, celebrated in more than 60 countries annually. She is the founder of the nonprofit LitWorld and has served as senior vice president of innovation for Scholastic.

Pam’s contributions have garnered her numerous accolades, including The Children’s Village Legacy of Service Award, The Columbia University Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Kent Williamson Award for Exemplary Leadership Award.

Q3. What impact do you hope to have through your career?

A. I hope to have made life more joyous and wonderful for children. That is really my hope and dream. I have had some success with this, but there are many children who deserve more. My hope is that my life continues to allow me the privilege of serving this vision and reaching more children, always, with programs and experiences that honor their true selves and afford them happiness and the opportunity to learn.


Phil Edmundson '80

Boston, MA — 05/23/22 — Phil Edmundson, Founder and CEO at Corvus, poses for a portrait at the Corvus headquarters on May 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak)

Phil Edmundson ’80 is a serial entrepreneur who founded Corvus Insurance Holdings in 2017, a company that leverages new data and artificial technology to better manage cyber risk and reduce cybercrime. Utilizing novel data sources with a customer-friendly digital data platform called the CrowBar™, Corvus predicts and prevents claims, improves underwriting, and provides data analytics and business intelligence to brokers and policyholders.

Phil is the Managing Partner of Edmus Ventures, where he invests in InsurTech companies, including Verifly, Wellthie, Openly, Agentero, Cover Wallet, reThought, Shepherd and others, and served on the board of Cover Wallet prior to its sale to Aon. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. He also is the Vice Chair of the Trustees of Reservations, a conservation organization.

Phil graduated from Amherst College with a degree in Psychology/Neuroscience, where he was elected to Sigma Xi, the national scientific honor society. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from Babson College and a Masters of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Prior to Corvus, Phil co-founded and served as Chairman & CEO of the brokerage firm William Gallagher Associates, eventually acquired by Arthur J Gallagher. In addition, Phil has been an active leader in the Worldwide Broker Network, a Director of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB), and Chair of the Alliance for Business Leadership. In 2006, Phil advocated successfully for the campaign for Massachusetts Healthcare Reform (the model for Obamacare) while serving as Chairman of Affordable Care Today, a coalition of business, consumer, provider, and labor organizations.

Q3. What impact do you hope to have through your career?

A. To improve societal outcomes using insurance as a force for good.


Jennifer Estrada ’08 is a career nonprofit leader, educator, and advocate for social justice and human rights. Currently, Jennifer focuses on creating scalable and sustainable programs, training, and resources to support advocacy and activism for global human rights at Amnesty International.

Jennifer earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Amherst College and her master’s in comparative and international education from Oxford University. She has a background in the use of literacy, social-emotional learning, and positive psychology to promote self-expression, self-advocacy, leadership, and advocacy.

For the past 15 years, Jennifer has worked with global organizations to support young people, families, adult volunteers, and communities in building leadership and advocacy skills and creating sustainable development and community-led advocacy projects. Her work has been showcased at renowned events and platforms like the Global Education Conference, the World Literacy Summit, the NGO Commission on the Status of Women, and the International Literacy Association Conference.

Q4. Tell us about a job you did not get or take. How did this shape your career path?

A. I applied for and did not get a few different positions at the United Nations. Now I’m glad that I spent over a decade working for small nonprofit organizations that worked closely with community-based organizations and nonprofits in almost 30 countries. It built in me a deep respect for different kinds of expertise and the importance of understanding the context you are working within. It also gave me the opportunity to build a much wider range of skills and grow professionally.


Chelsea Agyiri ’18 is an Analyst in the Equity Research group at Putnam Investments (Putnam), specializing in the U.S. consumer staples sector. She is responsible for conducting fundamental analysis, developing insights on material sustainability issues, assessing valuations, and making buy/sell recommendations for packaged food, health and wellness companies.

Chelsea graduated from Amherst College with a degree in mathematics and a Five College Certificate in African Studies. She began her career at Putnam in 2018 as an Equity Associate. During her time, she has showcased her commitment to equity by restarting Putnam’s Black Professional Network and serving on its Diversity Advisory Council.

Q2. How do you use your liberal arts education in the work you do today?

A. I have to communicate both effectively and frequently, at a very high level. My liberal arts education not only equipped me to become a skilled communicator – but also a strategist and problem solver.


Tess Banta ’16 is a graphic novel editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Her career for the last eight years has centered around visual storytelling—since 2021, she’s worked as an integrated freelancer for First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, helping to develop comic books for kids, teenagers, and adults by providing editorial feedback and art direction. Before transitioning into publishing, she was part of the Acquisitions and Development team at LAIKA, a stop-motion animation studio in Portland, OR.

Tess has a Bachelor of Arts in Art and the History of Art, and Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought from Amherst, earning her what might have been the longest and most unwieldy major description in the 2016 Olio. In her free time, she enjoys writing, drawing, and overanalyzing media.