With more than three decades of combined experience in higher education, the Student-Ready Strategies team is well-versed in national student success efforts, with particular expertise in supports for adult students and developmental education reform. Learn more about us.

Sarah Ancel
Founder & CEO

Sarah Ancel founded Student-Ready Strategies to accelerate the nation's progress toward a more equitable postsecondary system that serves all students. Sarah has a unique combination of local, state and national experience in higher education policy and practice and a proven record of successful student-focused reforms. She is a policy expert, a strategic and tactical implementer, and a keen analyst of data, environment, and opportunities. She is a leading national voice in serving non-traditional student populations more effectively.
Before forming Student-Ready Strategies, Sarah served as Senior Vice President for the national nonprofit Complete College America. Sarah grew and coordinated support for its 46-member Alliance of States and its network of CCA Fellows. She provided policy consultation, coordinated with funders, delivered in-state technical assistance, and developed and launched a strategy for returning adults. Before joining CCA, Sarah served as Associate Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Policy for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. In that role, she was responsible for implementing the Commission’s strategic plan, including developing and advancing the Commission’s legislative priorities. She came to that role after spending nearly a decade contributing to the fiscal management and oversight of Indiana’s state and local governments.

Sarah holds a master’s degree in economics from IUPUI and a
bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Indiana University
Bloomington. She served as an adjunct professor for her alma mater for three years and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the School of Liberal Arts.

Vanessa Keadle
Chief Strategy Officer

Vanessa Keadle serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Student-Ready Strategies. In this role, she supports efforts to help more education leaders, institutions, and systems transform through policy and process evaluation, strategic planning and agenda-setting, custom implementation support, and myriad other student-centered, equity-focused higher education services.

Prior to joining Student-Ready Strategies, Vanessa served as the Senior Strategy Director at Complete College America where she worked with states, systems, and institutional consortia to implement student success strategies. Her expertise is in developmental education reform, particularly corequisite support. Additionally, Vanessa spent nearly three years working for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission as the Coordinator for Research and Evaluation in the Division of Student Affairs.  In that role, Vanessa worked with West Virginia GEAR UP to evaluate the grant program by incorporating data collection strategies to enable rigorous research designs that supported the work of the college access program.

Vanessa’s prior experience in higher education include serving as the Director of Student Life at Marshall University in West Virginia where she worked for almost five years to assist students, parents, and other university stakeholders in navigating key institutional policies to better support retention and success. Before Marshall University, Vanessa served as the Assistant to the Director of Student Affairs at Penn State, New Kensington campus where she planned student engagement activities, including new student orientation and leadership development workshops.

Vanessa is currently working towards her education doctorate degree and is writing her dissertation which focuses on corequisite support and college student persistence. She holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bethany College.

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Josclynn Brandon
Director of Equity Projects

Josclynn serves as the Director of Equity Projects at SRS, where her primary responsibilities include project management, research, and data analysis with an equity lens. She contributes years of higher education experience in research, student affairs, and as an instructor. 

As Josclynn joins SRS, she is weeks away from earning her doctorate degree in education from Indiana University, where she concurrently serves as a Research Project Associate at the Center for Postsecondary Research. In this role, she contributed to the management of three different nationally administered surveys. Further, in her time at IU, Josclynn was an associate instructor for the History of Black Women in Higher Education course. Josclynn previously served as the Coordinator for Leadership, Volunteerism and Diversity at Western Kentucky University, where she advised several student organizations, planned service-learning experiences, and implemented leadership development programs. She also was an instructor for the University Experience course at WKU. She has additional experience in career services and residence life. 

Josclynn’s experience prior to higher education includes serving as an Associate Content Producer for a news station, where she focused her efforts on telling the stories of marginalized communities in the Chicago metro area.

In addition to her current academic work, Josclynn has earned a master’s degree in Journalism from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast News from Western Kentucky University.

Josclynn was the 2021 recipient of the NASPA Region IV-East Graduate Student Rising Star Award, the 2022 recipient of the Umoja Award from the NASPA African American Knowledge Community and the Womxn's Research and Scholarship Award from the NASPA Womxn in Student Affairs Knowledge Community.

Interested in joining the
Student-Ready Strategies team?