Amy Jaffe Barzach joined The Women's Education and Leadership Fund (WELFund) as director in November 2011. Under her leadership WELFund has continued to thrive and launched its innovative WELCorps Leaders program for undergraduate students. Developed in collaboration with partners in academic and student affairs, and inspired by the way students were challenged, empowered, and supported at Hartford College for Women (HCW), the WELCorps Leaders program is focused on building community, connections, concrete skills, and confidence. The program is being built incrementally until it is a four-year program that responds to the opportunities, challenges, and transitions experience by female students at each stage of their undergraduate experience.
Amy brings a passion for inclusive leadership and inclusive communities to WELFund in addition to professional experience in marketing, community relations, nonprofit management, and executive coaching. Amy was founding executive director of the National Center for Boundless Playgrounds, the first national nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create inclusive, barrier-free playgrounds where children, with and without disabilities, could play and learn together. During Amy's tenure as its founding executive director, this award-winning organization defined a new standard for children's playgrounds in the United States and beyond, and partnered with 135 communities in 25 states to develop inclusive playgrounds at schools, parks, state parks, and hospitals.
Amy has been the subject of countless articles about her work with inclusive playgrounds and received numerous awards, including the Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers Award. When elected into Ashoka's global fellowship of social entrepreneurs in 2002, Amy was one of the first Ashoka Fellows in North America. Before founding Boundless Playgrounds, Barzach served as vice president of marketing for The Hutensky Group, Marketing Manager for the Rouse Company, Regional Marketing Director for the Pyramid Companies. In addition, she did training for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center in Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor of science in economics from the University at Albany, and a Masters of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
"As a resident of West Hartford, I have for many years been inspired by the University of Hartford." Amy said. "It is a personal and professional pleasure to serve as the director of WELFund at the University of Hartford as it works to advance women’s potential in the Hartford College for Women tradition”.
Alexandra Coury joined the Women's Education and Leadership Fund as the Program Manager in November 2013. Prior to joining the WELFund family Alexandra (Alex) was the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services for the University's Department of Athletics. In her time in Athletics she oversaw the Academic Department, and under her direction in 2011-12 the Hartford Hawks won their first America East Academic Cup since 1996-97. The Hawks then went on to win back-to-back Academic Cups for the first time in school history in 2012-13. Alex also advised the Hartford student-athletes in their leadership and community outreach initiatives as well as directed a variety of community and department events.
Alex started her tenure at the University of Hartford as a recruited member of the softball team. During her time as a student-athlete she was elected to represent all nine universities of the America East Conference to the NCAA Division-I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Within the role Alex voiced the opinions of Division-I student-athletes on NCAA operations and legislation to NCAA officials, school presidents and athletics administrators. She also spent time as the Division-I student-athlete representative on the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics.
Alex has earned two degrees from the University of Hartford. She holds a bachelor of science in management from the Barney School of Business with a minor in communications from the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Barney School of Business.
"I am thrilled to promote and assist with all the wonderful programs WELFund has to offer. As a graduate of the Laura Johnson Initiative I know firsthand how these programs can impact a woman's life in a positive way," Coury said. "I am thrilled to take on a new challenge at the University of Hartford and elated to create new ways to empower females to be better leaders."