CIS Michigan Staff
Mallory DePrekel, State Director of Communities In Schools of Michigan
Mallory DePrekel was born in Chicago and raised in Carlsbad, California before moving back to Chicago for college. Mallory graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Elementary Education, and minors in Spanish and TESOL, and a certificate in Urban Education. Mallory taught in Chicago Public Schools as a K-8 Spanish teacher for two years, but found her passion for non-profits while working at the McGaw YMCA in Evanston, IL as the Manager of Youth Services and later the Manager of Training and Development. It was at the Y that Mallory learned partnership development, cultural competencies, outreach and engagement and fundraising. She completed her Master’s in Public Service Management from DePaul University in Spring, 2016.
In June 2017, Mallory and her husband Peter moved back to Michigan to start their family and new careers. In July 2017, the DePrekels welcomed their first child, Carter Duke. After getting settled in Lansing, Mallory worked with in the Information Technology Empowerment Center (ITEC) in Lansing, MI as the Director of Education to build partnerships, develop programs and train staff.
Mallory sits on the Professional Development committee of the Michigan After School Association, is a certified YMCA of the USA Trainer and die-hard MSU and Chicago Cubs fan. In February 2019, the DePrekels welcomed their second child, Cole Henry. She and her family currently live in East Lansing, MI.
Catherine Mahler, Director Operations and Programs
Catherine is the Director of Data and Operations for CIS of Michigan. Since joining in 2017, she managed the rollout of CIS’s new data management platform across Michigan’s five state affiliates as well as the development and facilitation of the training curriculum. Her primary focus includes the development of a shared services model based on CIS National Business & Student Support Standards to better serve the needs of the Michigan affiliates in the areas of CIS model implementation, training, reporting, and resource sharing.
Prior to joining CIS, Catherine served as an elementary teacher for 10 years in the Chicago Public Schools and Flint Area School districts. She held roles as a bilingual teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, and Instructional Coach. Catherine also taught as an adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan-Flint and Central Michigan University in their Colleges of Education. Most recently she worked with the Lansing Public Schools as a Data Coach and completed a year-long course in Special Education Advocacy.
Catherine holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Western Illinois University and a Masters in Education from DePaul University as a fellow in their Urban Teacher Corps program.
Catherine is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and served as a business and development extensionist in San Augustine, Guatemala where she met her husband. She lives with her husband and three children in East Lansing, Michigan and continues to volunteer throughout the Lansing area.
Aisha Walters, Regional Director, Western Michigan
Aisha Walters is the Regional Director for Communities In Schools of Michigan in Battle Creek and Benton Harbor and a part of the leadership team. As a transplant to Michigan, Aisha received her BA from Hampton University located in Hampton Virginia, and her dual master’s in social services and Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr College located in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. Mrs. Walters is a licensed social worker with a clinical specialty and has extensive experiences working to integrate trauma-informed practices into community-based settings. For most of Mrs. Walters career she has practiced public health social work, exploring the impact of social determinants of health on the educational trajectories of children and their communities. While leaving in Philadelphia, Aisha began her collaboration with Communities In Schools in 2007, when she served as a community partner with CIS of Philadelphia and Delaware County programs. Within that capacity, Aisha provided direct training and workshops for pregnant and parenting teens who were receiving CIS case management services.
In 2016, when Aisha relocated to Michigan, she joined the Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo as a Senior Site Coordinator for the 2016-2017 school year. In June 2018, Aisha began working as a consultant with Communities In Schools of Michigan to coordinate, launch and develop a strategy for program expansion within Battle Creek. In February, Aisha transitioned into a full-time position as the new Regional Director. When Aisha is not working with CIS of Michigan, Aisha is an adjunct professor at Jackson College and Wentworth Institute for Technology (based in Boston Massachusetts) in their sociology departments. Additionally, Aisha enjoys spending time outside (when it is over 60 degrees) hiking with her pup Sally-Allly Jane Walters or just hanging out with her husband and two children Amina and Hayden.
Julia A. Cawvey, Director, Network Partnerships and Development
Julia A. Cawvey received her BA from Kalamazoo College, and MA in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. Julia started her career with Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo and joined the CIS of Michigan team in 2015. Throughout her career she has worked to improve the educational outcomes and experiences of students in low resourced schools and first generation college students. Julia is passionate about increasing access to educational opportunity for youth, supporting them while in the K-12 and post-secondary educational system and making sure it is relevant to their lives. She has worked for national programs like TRiO Upward Bound, the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program, and Jumpstart for Children. Julia is a champion for children. When not working with youth she can be found playing with her 2 puppies, cooking, or walking in the woods.
Meg EcElhone, Regional Director, Mid-Michigan
Meg McElhone is currently a Site Coordinator in Lansing for her third year. Previously, McElhone has been an AmeriCorps VISTA and a VISTA Leader, and worked for the State of Michigan with the Department of Health and Human Services. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a Religious Studies minor from Emmanuel College in Boston. She enjoys traveling and reading in her free time, as well as board games with friends and family.