Civic Engagment Office

Staff Biographies

Nell Anderson came to Bryn Mawr in 2000 as the Praxis Program was just initiated at Bryn Mawr and has provided leadership to the development of the program since that time.  She is currently a Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND).   Her focus at Civic Engagement has been on the development of key partnerships between the College and organizations and schools in the Norristown and Philadelphia communities.   She has an MSW (U of Penn ’78) and a BS in Psychology (Georgetown ’75) and has many years of experience in higher education, program management, and counseling.   Prior to coming to Bryn Mawr, her work focused on increasing the college access and success of students from the Philadelphia public schools. She continues to be interested in these issues, and is also interested in issues related to immigrant communities and public health. 

Nell lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Manuel, and cat, Fiddlesticks.   She has three grown children and four grandchildren.  She keeps her life in balance with the support of yoga and has recently discovered spinning! 

Ellie Esmond began working at Bryn Mawr College in 2000 when Civic Engagement was still known as the Community Service Office.  Ellie works with individual students and student groups who want to become engaged in the community through direct service, internships, activism, and advocacy. She also works with community members and local and national organizations to help develop and publicize civic engagement opportunities  to students.  She has helped to develop programs like Community Based Work Study, Summer of Service, and LEAP—Leadership, Empowerment, and Advancement Program.  One of her favorite things about working with Bryn Mawr students is learning about their many interests and working with them to find opportunities to both learn and grow through meaningful engagement with the community.   

Originally from Virginia, Ellie attended James Madison University and majored in English with a minor in Women’s Studies.  She received her Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies from Rutgers University before starting her career at Bryn Mawr College. 

Ellie currently resides in Southern New Jersey with her husband, Kevin, their son, Paul, and two overweight cats, Alice and Mo.  She loves to travel and try new restaurants, is an amateur knitter and an avid reader.

Ellie can be reached via phone at 610-526-6591 or email at

Anne Bradley is one of the Praxis Field Placement Coordinators at Civic Engagement.  Originally from Haiti, Anne Bradley has been living in the U.S. since 1992.  She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA and a Master in Social Service Management with a Home and School Certification from Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work and Social Research in 2002.  Anne lives with her husband, three children, her youngest sister and her dog, Genevieve.  She loves to travel, read, listen to music and take long walks.  Anne has been involved in Haiti since the earthquake with the rebuilding of a school, providing/leading/supporting conferences on education and mental health issues to various groups in Haiti.


Sydney Coppola is administrative assistant at Civic Engagement, managing the office and coordinating the student travel reimbursement system and background clearances processes.

Sydney has been at the College for almost 10 years in various capacities. Previously, she worked in Penn’s Development Office as communications coordinator.

Sydney attended Villanova University and majored in English. She lives with her husband, three children and two cats, and spends most of her personal time attending swim meets, band concerts and dance recitals. In her free time, she enjoys music, movies and reading. Sydney can be reached at 610.526.7320 or

Ana Cordova coordinates the Adelante Program, a STEM College Access program that works with 7th and 8th graders in the Norristown Area School District. She is the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) with Civic Engagement, which formed the position with longtime Norristown community partner, ACLAMO Family Centers. Through a three-year VISTA grant from Pennsylvania Campus Compact, Ana is working to make the Adelante Program sustainable under ACLAMO Family Centers. Ana works closely with Bryn Mawr students and key faculty to plan, develop, and implement STEM-enrichment and college-bound activities for junior high school students, while providing a reflective learning experience for Bryn Mawr volunteers.

Ana obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Physics at Bryn Mawr College in May of 2013. She is originally from Pomona, California and credits her own College Access program, Bright Prospects, as a driving force behind her attendance and success at Bryn Mawr. As such, aspects of the Adelante Program are modeled after the Bright Prospect program. In addition, Ana volunteers her time as a Science Presenter at the Franklin Institute and hopes to attend graduate school in the near future.

To learn more about Ana's work at Civic Engagement, read the Spotlight article. Ana can be reached at 610-526-7807 or by email at

Quanisha Smith has ten years of social justice and nonprofit organizational experience with specialized expertise in leadership development, community organizing, and program development. She is the Community Based Work Study Program Coordinator, a position dedicated to supporting federal work-study students seeking off-campus experiential and community-based  learning opportunities with local non-profit organizations and schools, and providing them with personal and professional development training. Previously, Quanisha was the Co-Executive Director of ACTION United, Pennsylvania’s largest community organization of low to moderate income people, directing a highly effective educational justice campaign for Community Schools in Philadelphia. She started at ACTION United in 2012 as the Director of Leadership and Community Development, following two years at the Women’s Law Project as the Domestic Violence Assistant Project Coordinator.

Quanisha is a University of Pennsylvania alumna and holds a Bachelors of  Science in Human Services from Springfield College. Currently, she is candidate for a Master Degree of Social Service, MSW equivalent, with a concentration in Community Practice, Policy & Advocacy and Organizational Behavior and Management from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research.

Quanisha is an avid reader and currently resides in Philadelphia. She enjoys traveling with her fiancé, Gregory, and their son Gregory II. Quanisha can be reached at (610) 526-7319 or by email


Gino Nicholas, Praxis Coordinator for Civic Engagement, has worked in the field of education since 2009. He taught high school social studies at Roxborough HS and Parkway West HS in Philadelphia, and in 2012 was awarded the Charles R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the highest award given to a public school teacher in Philadelphia. At Parkway, Gino was involved with the students in various capacities, including the creation of a poetry club, coaching the softball team, and serving as the Junior class sponsor. He also was the school coach for the city-wide speech competition, for which his student won first place in 2012. Gino also had a close relationship with Bryn Mawr College during his time at Parkway West, serving as a Field Placement Supervisor and a host to a BMC student teacher.

Gino holds an M.S. in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University, as well as a B.A. in History, and a B.S. in Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. He has lived in Philadelphia for five years and is now beginning his transition from secondary education into higher education.

Gino can be reached at 610-526-7967 or by email at