Kanler Cumbasss joined ESG as an intern in 2021 to support the postsecondary attainment portfolio. Prior to joining ESG, Kanler served as a graduate assistant for the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Mentor Program, where he connected students to alumni for meaningful mentoring relationships. Moreover, while in graduate school, Kanler conducted research for the National Science Foundation alongside UGA faculty. In particular, Kanler engaged in qualitative research for a multi-institution, mixed-methods study that examined students’ access to work-related experiential activities relative to their postsecondary institution’s proximity to economic and workforce regions. Kanler also worked with UGA’s Office of Student Financial Aid as an Administrative and Research Associate in 2020. In this role, Kanler assisted other University staff to distribute over $1M in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds to eligible students.
Kanler holds a Master of Education degree in higher education administration from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Piedmont University.
Why are you in this work?
In 2018, approximately 54 percent of students at my undergraduate institution were Pell eligible, thus having a tremendous impact on who was able to fully participate in the success functions of the University. Working alongside administration to improve student outcomes and mobility, I realized that I could pursue a life-long career in higher education to uplift low-income, rural, and marginalized student populations. This realization, coupled with my own experiences, led me into graduate studies and has shaped my career.
Education Strategy Group is dedicated to equity in education and meeting, if not exceeding, attainment goals across the United States. Further, the organization believes that high-quality higher education leads to economic growth and mobility for underserved students and communities. My personal values deeply align with ESG, and I am excited to get to work!
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