The Awakenings Foundation Crew!

Staff | Board Members | Committee Members | Awakened Volunteers
Liz Moretti

Liz Moretti

Gallery & Grant Program Director

Liz Moretti serves as the Gallery Director and the Awakened Artist Grant Program Director for the Awakenings Foundation. She has been with Awakenings since its opening in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago. Liz is proud to be the human of two cute dogs Gracie and Cricket who often come to work with her.

Joy Airaudi

Board President

Joy Airaudi graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BA in International Relations in 1989.  She received her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1992.  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-five 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 Awakenings’ Board of Directors since August 2016.  She works as an administrative law judge and arbitrator.

LaShanda Nalls

LaShanda Nalls

Awakened Artist Grant Committee Memeber

LaShanda Nalls, Ed. D, is the Director of Trauma Therapy at Rape Victim Advocates. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, who earned her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at the Illinois school of Professional Psychology. She also received her Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology with her dissertation focused on the Experience of Childhood Incest Among African American  Women. With over 12 years of experience, her clinical work has always involved working with survivors of sexual assault in which she has a great passion for. Her journey began as a clinical intern at C-4 Quetzal Center, it became clear to her that working with survivors and their families would be an integral part of her professional work. While at C-4, she provided individual and group counseling services to survivors and their families as they recovered from sexual abuse. After earning her Masters degree, she was eager to continue the work, joined the RVA family and became the Adolescent/Adult counselor. In this capacity she worked to develop and maintain the quality and accessibility of counseling services for adolescent survivors of sexual violence and their families. LaShanda believes that a positive and trusting relationship is the foundation of effective therapy. She combines in-depth understanding with a survivor-centered individualized approach to healing. In addition to the provision of services she is also involved with training other professionals and the public about issues pertaining to sexual violence and oversees the counseling Internship Program.

Melanie Schikore

Awakened Artist Grant Committee Memeber

Bio and Photo Coming Soon.
Katie Kirkenmeier

Katie Kirkenmeier

Awakened Artist Grant Committee Memeber

Katie Kirkenmeier earned her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology, now Adler University. Katie is currently a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and Licensed Art Therapist (ATR). Katie currently works as the Clinical Educator and as an Art Therapist at Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center in their Skokie location. In her role as a clinician, Katie works with children, adolescents, and adult survivors and significant others of sexual abuse. As a clinical educator, Katie works in the community to help train other professionals in working with survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault.

Laura Kinter

Laura Kinter

Associate Director

Laura Kinter serves as the Associate Director of the Awakenings Foundation. She holds a B.A. in film and English from Vassar College and moved to Chicago from Philadelphia. She is active in Ravenswood community building, and in her spare time tends to her dashing pet tortoise, Mr. Darcy.

Grace DeSant

Grace DeSant

Associate Board Co-Chair

Grace DeSant

Grace DeSant, Associate Board Co-Chair, is originally from Southern California and is an active theatre, performance and burlesque artist in the Chicago area. She strongly believes in the healing power of art, and wishes to help as many fellow survivors find and develop safe spaces to express their truths.

Allison Carvalho

Allison Carvalho

Associate Board

Allison Carvalho is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Geography and Masters Degree in Sustainable Urban Development. She works on affordable housing policy at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Intersectionality Development at DePaul University’s Vincentian Community Service Office. Catch her a week behind on her word of the day calendar or riding her bike without a helmet on.

Nick Hancock

Nick Hancock

Associate Board Co-Chair

Nicole hails from a small town in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Studio Art from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. After relocating to Chicago, Nick has primarily developed and worked in operations management in the service industry. He spends his free time reading and exploring/travelling.

Chloe Eastburn

Chloe Eastburn

Associate Board Secretary

Chloe Eastburn

Chloe Eastburn, Associate Board Secretary, recently graduated from Depaul University with a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an intern for the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline, and cannot wait to get started working with the folks at Awakening’s. In her spare time she can be found lost in an 80’s themed Spotify playlist, and spending time with her friends she feels grateful to have.

Ariana Erickson

Ariana Erickson

Associate Board

Ariana Erickson

Ariana Erickson holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from DePaul University where she graduated with highest honors. Ariana completed a major in International Relations with a specialization in Human Rights, as well as a secondary major in Peace, Justice Conflict Studies and a minor in Spanish. She serves as the Philanthropic Initiatives Coordinator at Heshima Kenya, an international NGO that serves to protect unaccompanied girl refugees from throughout East Africa.

David Blixt

David Blixt

Associate Board

David Blixt

David Blixt is an award-winning author and actor living in Chicago. An Artistic Associate of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and Resident Stage Combat Instructor at the Chicago High School For The Arts, David spends his days exploring classic theatre and history, then writing about them. He is very lucky his wife and children put up with him.

Jean Cozier

Jean Cozier

Founder

Jean Cozier is the Founder, President, and Artistic Director of Awakenings Foundation. Read her full bio here.

Torrie Flink

Director of Resources

Bio and Photo Coming Soon