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Our Team

  • Erin Carr

    Research Project Manager

    “Learning and growth in my life has always been preceded by new challenges or ideas, as difficult or unwelcome as some of them were at first. Heterodoxy is important to me, because learning is important to me.”

    Erin is a nonprofit professional with a passion for supporting the work of mission-driven organizations in shaping the future. Previously, Erin spent more than five years working in grant-making at organizations including Brooklyn Arts Council, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Creative Capital. She also worked in education and public programs at the Museum of the Moving Image and the Brooklyn Museum. While attending New York University, she worked as a Resident Assistant in NYU’s comprehensive residential life programs, where she developed interactive events expose students to different perspectives. With this background, she is excited to engage in conversations around campus expression and viewpoint diversity at HxA. Erin has a BA in Art History and a MA in Museum Studies with a focus on education, community engagement, and nonprofit management – both from NYU.

  • Cory Clark

    Director of Academic Engagement

    “There is no surer way to become intellectually stagnant than to limit the range of perspectives you are willing to ponder. And there is no surer way to stall progress than to punish those willing to ponder fearlessly.”

    Cory is a social scientist with expertise in moral and political psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California, Irvine in 2014. Cory’s research investigates how unconscious motivations (e.g., to judge and punish others, to gain status, to amplify the success of our ingroups) influence how we approach and evaluate information, and ultimately, what we come to believe. You can read more about Cory and her research here.

  • Amna Khalid

    John Stuart Mill Faculty Fellow

    “The willingness to see and engage with different perspectives lies at the heart of learning, intellectual growth and fostering empathy. Without heterodoxy there is no hope for bridging differences and communicating across divides.”

    Amna is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She specializes in modern South Asian history and the history of medicine. 

    Born in Pakistan, Amna completed her Bachelors Degree at Lahore University of Management Sciences. She went on to earn an M.Phil. in Development Studies and a D.Phil. in History from Oxford University.

    Amna’s research explores the connections between Hindu pilgrimages and the spread of epidemics in British India. She has authored several book chapters on the history of public health in nineteenth-century India. 

    Growing up under a series of military dictatorships, Amna has a strong interest in issues relating to censorship, academic freedom, open inquiry and free expression. Her essays and commentaries on these same issues have appeared in outlets such as the Conversation, Inside Higher Ed and the New Republic. 

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  • Daniel Koas

    Event Planner

    “Heterodoxy is about embracing our natural curiosity and respectfully encouraging others to embrace theirs. I believe that everything should be analyzed and interrogated; some ideas may turn out to be wrong, but others may be right. How can we be real learners if we don’t question, constructively disagree, and discover?”

    Daniel comes to Heterodox Academy with a background in community engagement and event planning. Prior to joining the HxA team, Daniel was the New York regional director of a Jewish communal organization where he planned and executed conventions, summer camps, trips, and leadership trainings. He also spent a year living and working in Izmir, Turkey as part of a community development fellowship. He holds a BA in American Studies and History from Brandeis University.

  • Manon Loustaunau

    Director of Operations

    “Heterodox thinking (as opposed to orthodox thinking) can improve every aspect of our lives — from our personal relationships, to how we spend our leisure time, to how we approach professional challenges. I want to help others benefit from experiencing new perspectives as much as I have benefited from it!”

    Manon comes to Heterodox Academy with a background in non-profit administration, community engagement, and design. Prior to joining Team HxA, she managed operations at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in Richmond, Virginia, a museum focused on uniting communities through education. She holds a BFA in Fashion Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Debra Mashek

    Executive Director

    “Heterodoxy matters in the academy and beyond.  To think with — and learn from — people who see the world differently than we do enables all of us to solve the world’s toughest problems, expose falsehoods, and improve the human condition.”

    Debra has spent two decades studying how people form relationships with each other. She earned a BS in psychology/biology in 1997 from Nebraska Wesleyan University.  She received both an MA (1999) and PhD (2002) in social/health psychology with an emphasis in quantitative methods from Stony Brook University. After completing a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at George Mason University, she moved to the Claremont Colleges, where she served 13 years as a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts at Harvey Mudd College (HMC).  She has published over 30 academic articles and chapters, and has edited two academic books. She has won multiple awards at both local and national levels for her teaching; her favorite courses to teach are Psychology of Collaboration, Intellectual Virtues, and I’m Right; You’re Wrong.

    In addition to her strengths in research and teaching, Mashek has broad experience in university administration and systems change. After receiving tenure in 2011, Mashek served three years as HMC’s Associate Dean for Faculty Development. Later, at the behest of the Deans of the seven Claremont Colleges, she directed grant-funded efforts to better leverage the colleges’ collective potential on the academic front. Based on the successes of that project, Mashek was charged with launching the new Office of Consortial Academic Collaboration, which serves five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions.  As the principal of Cogit8 Consulting, she works with clients to cultivate the collaborative capacity of individuals, teams, and organizations. She is an experienced administrator who practices shared leadership to ensure team members are able and eager to contribute their talents and expertise to their work.

    Mashek describes herself as a heterodox enthusiast who values, seeks out, and creates open inquiry and viewpoint diversity both professionally and personally.  Although she was reluctant to leave her tenured professorship at a top liberal arts school, Mashek is powerfully drawn to the mission of Heterodox Academy. The polarization on campuses leaves her worried about the very foundations of the academic enterprise.  She became the first Executive Director of Heterodox Academy in January 2018.

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  • Christine Richards

    Director of Membership

    “I was inspired to join the HxA team because of the values promoted by the organization – humility, open-mindedness, curiosity, respect for all viewpoints, authenticity. I believe all people can benefit from the cultivation of these values – especially students within the academy – which makes working at HxA so rewarding!”

    Christine joins Heterodox Academy with nearly 10 years of experience in non-profit membership and development. Most recently, she spent five years with the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she managed a membership program of 7,000 members. She has a BA in Art History from Florida State University.

  • Cynthia Schweighart

    Executive Assistant

    “In today’s polarized world, Heterodox Academy is a much-needed breath of fresh air, reminding us that we all need to consider and value differing viewpoints. This is especially true on college campuses, where our future leaders are being prepared for the working world. Diversity of thought, the courage to express different opinions, and the willingness to listen to them, are more important now than ever before.”

    Cynthia comes to Heterodox Academy with over 14 years of experience in Administrative Operations.  She is a seasoned C-Level Executive Assistant with a diverse background in the private sector, having supported Executives at a variety of enterprises, ranging from a startup IT company, to a prominent university in California, to a government contractor specializing in helping Marines transition to civilian life.  Cynthia is a native Spanish speaker and a graduate of San Diego State University.

To contact our team, please email us at