The Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) team is an integral part of the Tufts University Advancement Office. Organized as a central group that spans across the four Tufts University campuses, at least one team member is assigned to a specific school or program, allowing for collaborative and comprehensive engagement with internal and external partners.
Ippolita has served as senior director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) since 2016 after three years as associate director of CFR for the Tufts University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Tufts, Ippolita was associate director of preclinical research and development at NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals, and assistant professor of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned a M.S. in Biology from University of Rome/La Sapienza, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University. Ippolita has coauthored over 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and books.
Dr. Tracy E. Schmidt is Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Health Sciences at Tufts University. Dr. Schmidt focuses on leveraging her biomedical research training to foster relationships and securing private funding support from local, national and international partners in order to advance the institution's priorities and mission. Directing fundraising efforts for the biomedical campuses, including the Dental and Veterinary schools as well as the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging while providing direct support for the Medical School, Dr. Schmidt works across schools to engage more corporate support and raise the Tufts health science research profile overall. Prior to Tufts, she held the position of Associate Director of Corporation and Foundations at UMass Medical School as well as an innovation management and commercial development role in their Office of Technology Management. Dr. Schmidt has over 15 years of biomedical research experience in the higher education and medical space; she has performed sleep, cardiovascular, and viral research in human, mouse and cell culture systems at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, University of Illinois at Chicago and UMass Medical School. Dr. Schmidt received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from UMass Medical School and B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University.
Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
This position is currently open. Ippolita Cantuti-Castelvetri, Senior Director is providing interim support for the HNRCA and can answer any questions at Ippolita.Cantuti_Castelvetri@tufts.edu / 617-627-5263
Sonnya supports the School of Dental Medicine, securing corporate and foundation support. She began her career as an English teacher in Japan, and then taught high school Spanish and worked as an adult ESL teacher in New Jersey. She has held a variety of roles in higher education administration, most recently as Dir. of Institutional Support at Cambridge College, where she helped to build a robust foundation and corporate funder pipeline. Sonnya also worked as Dir. of Project ALERTA at UMass Boston, leading a nationally recognized enrichment program for elementary school-aged Latino and English language learners in Boston Public Schools, and in state relations/regulatory affairs at Lesley University. She has a BA in Spanish from Ursinus College and an MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.
Steve joined the Corporate and Foundation Relations team in April 2020 where he supports the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. In this role, he cultivates new and deepens existing relationships, helps align complex research projects to the goals of corporate organizations and charitable foundations, and assists in realizing the institutional objectives of the Friedman School. Prior to joining Tufts, Steve practiced law in the Boston office of Jackson Lewis and later as an independent consultant specialized in labor and employment. Steve received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the Boston University School of Law.
At the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Amy targets local, national, and international corporations and foundations for their support in advancing the school’s programs, research, and outreach initiatives. Prior to joining Tufts in 2020, Amy served as a Foundation Development Officer at GBH where she cultivated strategic relationships for research-based educational media projects for PBS and PBSKids. She has extensive experience managing national corporate sponsorships, facilitating relationships with institutional funders, and developing fundraising strategies for new projects. Amy holds a BA in Social Psychology from Wheaton College, and an MA in Mass Communication & Speech from Austin Peay State University. She’s also a trained facilitator, negotiator, mentor, and coach.
Donna has been with Tufts University since 2013, working with faculty and funders to maximize the impact of research support at the university. She works with the School of Arts & Sciences, Tisch College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, helping to identify and solicit foundation and corporate support for institutional priorities. Prior to joining Tufts, Donna worked at Boston Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, supporting their corporate fundraising efforts. Donna received her undergraduate degree in History from Boston College and holds an MBA from Simmons College.
Brett joined the Corporate and Foundation Relations team in 2017. He works with the School of Arts & Sciences, the Fletcher School, and Tisch College, helping to identify and solicit foundation and corporate support for their programs, research and other projects. Prior to joining Tufts, Brett worked as a corporate attorney for a New York law firm, where much of his work involved investment and acquisition transactions. Brett has carried over much from this prior experience as now he works on behalf of Tufts and its faculty to help secure funding for their important projects and to navigate the complex multi-party relationships and transactions that this involves. Brett has a BA in Political Science from Tufts and a JD from Hofstra University School of Law.
Teri joined the CFR team in November 2015 supporting The Fletcher School and soliciting foundation and corporate support for the school’s programs, research, and other initiatives. Prior to joining Tufts, Teri worked at Lahey Health System and Beverly Hospital for seven years securing foundation, corporation, and government support for healthcare non-profits and initiatives throughout the system. She also worked in CFR at the environmental non-profits the Trust for Public Land and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Teri holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Dickinson College and an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch New England. Prior to graduate school, she worked for Pathfinder International and spent 6 months in Turkey training the Asia/Near East regional staff on grant writing, project management, and performance reporting.
Since April 2015, Kit has worked in Corporate & Foundation Relations at Tufts: first supporting the School of Medicine and the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and most recently, the School of Engineering. Kit works with corporations and foundations to garner support of school programs, research, events, industry-academic collaborations and other initiatives. Prior to joining Tufts, Kit worked in Corporate Relations at Boston Children's Hospital raising funds for community health, primary care and global health. Before Children's, she spent nearly 7 years at Oxfam America, an international development and humanitarian support organization, as the Manager of New Business Development. In 2006, after working in the for-profit world in high tech for many years, she received an MA in Intercultural Relations with the intent of transitioning to non-profit.
Sharon joined the CFR office in November 2019 as Administrative Coordinator. She manages the day-to-day operations and finances of the department, focusing on the Medford campus where she is located, and working with the Boston and Grafton campuses as needed. Prior to coming to Tufts, Sharon’s career path included positions with area synagogues and hospitals, where she focused on facilities and operational management, budgeting, and scheduling events and meetings. She worked closely with congregants, medical personnel, and patients. After receiving her BA in Journalism from Northeastern University, Sharon lived in Israel for a year, participating in a post-graduate program offered by the Boston Israeli Consulate. Upon returning to Massachusetts, she attended Suffolk University and was awarded her MBA. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at several places including her synagogue, Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, and the Jenks Senior Center in Winchester.
Tod joined the CFR team in 2017 as a researcher supporting the development staff. Currently, Tod works as an Administrative Assistant and helps the CFR team preparing briefings and strategies for potential corporate and foundation donors. Tod also helps maintain the CFR database and prepares donor profiles. Previously, Tod worked as an archivist for the City of Newton, where he helped to catalogue and preserve archival material in the city’s historical collection. Before that, he spent over two decades as a corporate research librarian supporting the engineering, business development, and strategic planning departments with General Dynamics. Tod has a BA in English from the University of Connecticut, and an MLS from Simmons College School of Library and Information Science.
Christina joined the CFR team as a researcher in January 2020. Alongside Tod, she consults with the directors of development across multiple Tufts schools to create profiles on corporations and foundations that best match their philanthropic interests. Christina also identifies Tufts alumni connections, in order to form bridges between the university and various corporate and foundation donor prospects. She assists in updating the CFR database as well. Christina formerly worked at both locally and internationally recognized nonprofits in New England. She was also formerly an Outreach Educator with the dance company, Festival Ballet Providence. Christina holds a BA in Theology and a Minor in Dance from Providence College. She was awarded with the distinction of highest honors in the concentration of Theology and received the Dance Minor Award for her excellence in dance performance, choreography, and academics. In 2018, Christina was chosen to be published in the online theological journal, Caritas in Veritate, for her paper regarding the crucial need for Catholics to engage in interfaith dialogue and how such dialogue is imperative to promote peace.
Nicki works closely with the development officer at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine on fundraising, grant stewardship, and reporting, and provides administrative and stewardship support to the entire CFR team. She has more than ten years of experience in writing and editing, with a focus on philanthropic and business proposal development. Prior to joining Tufts, Nicki was the marketing manager at a transportation consulting company, where she oversaw the development of competitive business proposals. She holds a BA in English Literature from Wheaton College.