CIHAD Staff Bios.

Rachael Gazdick, Ed.M, MSW, President & CEO                                                            phone: 303-861-5005 x 100

Rachael joined the CIHAD team in October 2012.  She brings the organization 18 years' previous experience in education and advocacy, most recently as Executive Director of Say Yes to Education Syracuse.  Housed in the School of Education at Syracuse University, Say Yes is a school district-wide organization serving more than 22,000 students in 31 schools.  While at Syracuse, she was also an assistant professor for the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies.  From 2001 to 2008, Rachael was assistant director and then director of the Office of Community Engagement and Integrative Learning, running an array of community-focused programs and initiatives operating within a social justice context located on campus.  From 1999 to 2001, she was executive director of Near East Side Community Development Organization of Syracuse (NESCO), focusing on job placement, training, mentoring and youth programs.  She began her career with Teach for America, serving as a special needs teacher in South West Louisiana for two years. 

Rachael has a master's in education from Harvard University; a master's in social work from Boston College, where she focused on needs assessments, grant writing, nonprofit management and community mobilization; and a bachelor's in speech communication from Syracuse University.

Stephanie Dreiling, VP of Finance & Operations                                               phone: 303-861-5005 x 104

Stephanie Dreiling joined the CIHAD team in 2008 after returning to Denver from Maui.  There she worked with Paradise Television and the Pacific Whale Foundation. She brings over 10 years of administrative experience working in both the for-profit (Oppenheimer Funds) and nonprofit sectors. Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis on public relations and advertising from the University of Northern Colorado. 

Stephanie Costner, VP Programs & Evaluation                                                              phone: 303-861-5005 x 103

Stephanie Costner joined the CIHAD team as the Vice President for Programs and Evaluation in August 2014. She will be overseeing the roll-out of programming and services at our new partner site, Ruby Hill elementary and provide support to our older Dreamer cohorts. Stephanie will also oversee all external grants and will manage program data and reporting. Before her tenure at CIHAD, Stephanie served as Director of the Say Yes Collegiate Preparatory Academy (SYCPA) at Syracuse University; a program designed to support Syracuse High School students as they transition from secondary to post-secondary education. Prior to Say Yes, Stephanie had a nine year appointment at the University at Buffalo. As a New Media and Curriculum Developer, she was responsible for developing and implementing academic courses, programs and projects which integrated new and emerging technologies cross- disciplines. She also developed distance learning teaching models and was responsible for the development of web-based technology training seminars for the academic and professional staffs at The University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center.

Stephanie graduated from Medaille College, with a B.S. in Government Services and Louisiana State University with a M.A. in Higher Education Administration.

Madeline Williams, Director of Post Secondary Education & Workforce Development phone: 303-861-5005 x 110

Madeline joined the CIHAD team in July 2017. 

Melissa Kaiel, Ruby Hill Elementary Clinical Director                                                            phone: 303-861-5005 x 114

Melissa joined the CIHAD team in July 2017.

Dusty Teng, Senior Class Program Director, Records-Rainaldi Class of 2018 phone: 303-861-5005 x 108

Dusty joined the CIHAD team in 2008 from Adams County Connections – a mentoring program for middle school students in the underserved areas of Adams County School District 50.  She also worked collaboratively with other local mentoring organizations to implement the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program, assisting youth affected by parental incarceration.  Dusty has experience facilitating life-skills development classes for youth participants as a part of the Promoting Healthy Families parent education program. She also served as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at Western Youth Network in Boone, N.C., where she worked with adjudicated youth in mentoring and after-school programs.

Dusty earned bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and journalism from Appalachian State University. She is currently playing a lead role at CIHAD in the area of education reform.

Justin Johnson, Assistant Program Director, Records-Rainaldi Class of 2018 phone: 303-861-5005 x 113

Justin joined the CIHAD team in 2012 as AmeriCorps member.  After two years AmeriCorps with the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation’s Records-Rainaldi Class of 2018, he rediscovered his passion for working with youth and is staying on as a Senior Fellow for the 2014-2015 year.

Justin attended Ohio University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sport Management. Before moving to Denver, he worked as a Sport Sponsorship Consultant in Connecticut. Justin enjoys fly fishing, basketball, riding bikes, and rooting for the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Rigo Tostado, Program Director, Weill Class of 2018                           phone: 303-861-5005 x 101

Rigo joined the CIHAD team  in August of 2014 as the Program Director for the Weill Class. Previously, Rigo spent 6 years as a Program Director at the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County. Rigo received a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and in Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Redlands in May of 2008.

Emily Hirsch, Senior Fellow, Weill Class of 2018                                                            

Emily Hirsch started with the CIHAD team as an AmeriCorps member in August 2014 with the Weill Class. Emily stayed on as Senior Fellow with the Weill Class in 2015. Emily plans on staying with the Weill dreamers until they graduate in 2018. 

Emily grew up in Marietta, GA and attended college at the University of Arizona, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and Human Development. Before her time with the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation Emily worked within the non-profit sector at Livewell Colorado and Connect Us. Emily is passionate about creating a safe space for all dreamers and helping each dreamer reach their highest potential.