Awakenings Crew

Staff | Board Members | Literary Reviewers | Art Committee

Laura Kinter

Executive Director

Laura Kinter serves as the Executive Director of Awakenings. She holds a B.A. in Film and English from Vassar College and moved to Chicago from Philadelphia. Her passion for education through storytelling, grassroots community building, and the arts has helped Laura guide Awakenings through exponential growth over the last several years.

Laura is active in the Ravenswood community as both a business leader and a resident, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. Laura has gone through 40 hour sexual assault crisis intervention training.

Jeri Frederickson

Creative Director

Jeri comes from a longstanding freelancer background in nonprofit and commercial organizations on the administration and production end of theatre and writing.

She began at Awakenings as a volunteer and has gone through the 40hour sexual assault crisis intervention certification. She studied Theater, English, and Spanish at Hope College and holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She has two monsters, deemed to be cats, and an affinity for people, coffee, and motorcycles.


Jacqueline Valdez

Programming Coordinator

Jacqueline first encountered Awakenings as a programming intern, and later joined the Art Committee before becoming Programming Assistant. She is a block printing artist who engages with repetitive printing and paper-making practices in order to meditate on trauma and connect with her Mexican heritage. Jacqueline holds a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Art History with a focus in Latin American Colonial and Contemporary Art and is invested in creating art and writing for social change. Gardening, furniture rehab, and macrame are some of her many hobbies.

Board of Directors

Joy Airaudi

Board President

Joy Airaudi received her BA in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison and her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.  She has fought for justice and fair and compassionate treatment for survivors of domestic and sexual violence for over twenty years.

She has volunteered with Rape Victim Advocates for over twenty years as a volunteer medical advocate, educator and board member where she set policies and developed programs and trainings for the largest freestanding sexual assault center in Illinois.  She worked as a prosecutor in Cook County for seven years, where she focused on domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Joy also designed and conducted trainings for police officers, attorneys, nonprofit staff and volunteers and the general public as the Program Attorney for the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime where she published the article “Making the Connection between Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking” in the journal Juvenile and Family Court Justice Today.

She worked with congressional staff to improve national anti-stalking legislation and with local agencies to draft House Bill 3423 to grant appellate rights to incarcerated domestic violence victims.  She has been doing pro bono work with local domestic violence and sexual assault agencies in conjunction with the ABA Subpoena Defense Project to assist them in protecting client confidentiality. She was the recipient of Sarah’s Inn’s 2015 Together Strong Award for her work on behalf of domestic violence survivors.

Joy has been the chair of the board of directors of the Awakenings Foundation since 2017.  She works as an Administrative Hearing Officer for Chicago Public Schools. 

Christina Bourne

Christina Bourné

Board Vice Chair

Christina Bourné is an accomplished arts administrator, educator, and performing artist based in Chicago, IL. She began her career as a public speaker and guest soloist for women’s and youth enrichment conferences across the Midwest before becoming a teaching artist and arts administrator.

During her career she has helped to create in-school and after school programs, facilitated workshops and lectures and even a concert series to discuss social and cultural issues such as race, gender equality, and collective non-violence through the lens of the arts.

Her past leadership roles in arts administration have been Director of Creative Engagement at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University where she grew the department’s program reach to 20,000+ participants per year, Interim Executive Director of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, and founding member and Program Manager for Enrich Chicago—an arts led movement aimed at undoing racism and building racial equity within the sector.

When not enhancing lives through arts advocacy or arts and enrichment program development, she can be found performing with her family of nine—comprised of her seven siblings and her mother—The Bournés. Christina is an independent non-profit consultant working with individuals and organizations throughout Chicago and nationally with a focus on fundraising, board development, strategic planning, and organizational leadership.

She will be stepping into the role of Director of Development for Forward Momentum Chicago in 2020 and is the newly appointed Board Vice Chair of Awakenings. 

Megan Rupp Ugolino

Board Treasurer

I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in History from Ohio State University in 2010. After graduation, I joined Dominican Volunteers USA (DVUSA) as a full-time volunteer working with Heartland Alliance as an English Language Training (ELT) Instructor for refugee and immigrant families. Following my volunteer year, I was hired by Heartland to continue as an ELT instructor where I worked, in various positions within Heartland, for the next five years.

In 2017, I was asked to return to DVUSA and have the privilege of serving as the Executive Director today. Dominican Volunteers work for eleven months in full-time positions as educators, healthcare workers, companions for isolated seniors and individuals who are incarcerated, case managers, and advocates for survivors of domestic violence and ecological justice. Our mission is to create lifelong allies and advocates for justice and liberation through accompaniment, kinship, simple-living, and community.

I enjoy engaging my hands through cooking, baking, woodworking, gardening, and knitting. My preferred escapes are reading, playing guitar, traveling, riding my motorcycle, and Harry Potter movie marathons with my wife, Cara, and our grumpy rescue pup, Oscar.

Bronwyn Pearce

Bronwyn Pearce is originally from South Africa where she spent over fifteen years leading and implementing large social impact programs. Bronwyn earned a Master’s in Management Degree in the field of Public and Development Management from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and describes herself as a champion for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Sarah Wiseman

Board Secretary

Sarah graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Management and a BA in Foreign Language and Literature in 1996. She obtained her MBA (with focus on Strategy and Organizational Development) in 2011 from the University of Chicago. Sarah has spent the bulk of her career in the Corporate Real Estate Services industry holding a wide variety of roles from Human Resources to Business Development.

She currently holds a Global Leadership role and is responsible for a team of 400+ professionals across the world. Sarah grew up in a household where Art of all types but most particularly visual arts, were held in high esteem. She brings to the board a passion for art and artists, strong business acumen and a love for managing and collaborating with teams.

Jen Hasso

Jen Hasso is an educator, historian, archaeologist, artist, writer, scholar of the arts and social sciences, and advocate for human rights, peace studies and social justice. She has been fortunate to make a career out of her diverse interests and to collaborate with scholars and creatives from an array of fields. She loves to travel, experience the unique ways that others express themselves and to engage in dialogues about life and cultures different from her own. She views the arts as a universal language that has the power to heal, unite, foster tolerance, promote equity and strengthen communities, both locally and globally.

Art Committee

Celyse Biesiada 
Carol Chang
Jacob Chapparro
Taylor Dalton
Trissa Dodson
Ania Garcia
Jen Hasso
Chase Hauser

Laurie Hrad
Leah Huskey
Raeleen Kao
Raina Kor
Jeremy Lampkin
Gillian Marwood
Abby Mros

Ramona Pozek
Lena Romano
Leah Taylor
Bianca Thompson
Daniel Washelesky
Lauren Wood
Ru Zhou