Staff

Administration

Mary Dell Hayes

Executive Director

Mary Dell Hayes has served as the Executive Director of STSM since 2016. She has prior experience as the Volunteer Services Coordinator, Development Coordinator, and Director of Development. Mary Dell's job is to help the community achieve STSM's vision of healthy survivors thriving in a community free of sexual violence and engage people to end sexual violence through philanthropy and advocacy. Mary Dell received a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Relations with a minor in Public Relations at the University of South Carolina in 2006 and a Master of Business Administration degree from USC’s Moore School of Business in 2016. 

Mary Dell is the recipient of the South Carolina Governor’s Robin Burns Award for Volunteer Management in 2012 and the 2013 Charlotte Lunsford Berry Spirit of Philanthropy Scholarship from the Association for Fundraising Professionals. In 2014, Mary Dell was awarded the Palmetto Center for Women Tribute to Women in Industry Outstanding Young Woman Award. Mary Dell was recognized by the Columbia Regional Business Report as a 2017 Influential Woman in Business. Mary Dell is a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals Central South Carolina Chapter. Mary Dell enjoys cooking and finding new recipes, exploring South Carolina, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and rescue pets.

Brittany Russell

Director of Development

Brittany joined STSM in January 2017 as the Assistant Director of Development. In January 2018, she was promoted to the Director of Development. As the Director of Development, Brittany implements and manages STSM's development plans, and works with the community through fundraising and community events such as Walk A Mile In Their Shoes and the Tee It Up For STSM Golf Tournament.  

Brittany earned her Bachelor of Science in family and child sciences at Florida State University; and Juris Doctorate at University of South Carolina School of Law in May 2016.  During law school, Brittany was a student attorney for various nonprofit organizations in our community.  In her spare time, Brittany enjoys spending time with her two dogs Kane and Leo and going to the beach with friends and family.

Alexis Toomer

Operations Coordinator

Alexis joined STSM in June 2018 as the Operations Coordinator. As STSM’s Operations Coordinator, Alexis supports the daily operations of the organization and its employees. She is excited to work at an organization whose overall goal is to create a healthier community.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in public health in 2017 at the University of South Carolina; and is currently pursuing a Master of Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of South Carolina. Alexis graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC, and as a graduate with Leadership Distinction in community service. She is also an alumna of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, Alexis likes to watch basketball, bake, and travel.

Services For Survivors

Sherry Lewis, LPC/S, LAC, NCACI, SAP

Deputy Director of Clinical Services

Sherry Lewis has been a member of the STSM staff since November of 2008 as the Director of Therapy and now Deputy Director of Clinical Services. In her role, she is responsible for oversight and development of the clinical program, supervision of the clinical staff, providing individual counseling to survivors of sexual assault, and leading direct service providers to better understand trauma. Working at STSM allows Sherry to have the opportunity to be a part of the healing journey for survivors and work with a great team in the fight to end sexual violence.

Sherry earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia College and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Webster University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a State Certified Addictions Counselor Level II (CACII), a National Certified Addictions Counselor Level I (NCACI), and a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). In the community, Sherry is a member of the American Counseling Association, South Carolina Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (SCAADAC), and the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). Sherry and her husband enjoy watching movies, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. 

Catherine Gibson, MACN, LPC, CACI

Sumter and Clarendon Counties Clinical Program Manager

Katie joined the staff at STSM in November 2015 as the Sumter and Clarendon Counties Advocate Counselor, and was promoted to the Clinical Program Manager for Sumter and Clarendon Counties in October 2018. In her role, Katie provides individual and group therapy to survivors of sexual violence in Sumter and Clarendon Counties, as well as expanding the implementation of services within those service areas.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia College before receiving a Masters in Clinical Counseling from Columbia International University. Katie is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Working with STSM allows Katie to have an impact on the community that she grew up in. She enjoys being able to help her friends and neighbors create a safe community to live, work, and play in. 

Eva Maron, LMSW

Lexington and Newberry Counties Clinical Program Manager

Eva Maron joined STSM in March 2016 as the Newberry Advocate Counselor and was promoted to the Clinical Program Manager for Newberry and Lexington Counties in October 2018. In her role, Eva enhances and expands comprehensive services for survivors of sexual assault and abuse in Newberry and Lexington Counties. She enjoys working with survivors and being a part of their empowerment and healing journey. 

Eva received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2004 and a Masters of Social Work in 2006, both from The State University of New York at Buffalo, becoming a Licensed Master of Social Work. She has volunteered with the Harriet Hancock Center in Columbia. Eva spends her free time painting, sewing, reading and spending time with her partner and friends, her cat Malcolm and her dogs, Scout and Finn.

Deana Caldwell, LPC

Newberry and Lexington Counties Advocate Counselor I

Deana became an Advocate Counselor for Newberry and Lexington Counties in October 2018. As one of STSM's Advocate Counselors, Deana provides evidence-based treatment to individuals who have experienced or been affected by sexual violence in Newberry and Lexington Counties. Her favorite thing about her job is seeing individuals make healthy changes in their lives and supporting them through their healing process.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Guilford College in 2005, and a Master of Science in mental health counseling from Capella University in 2014. Deana is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Outside of work, Deana is spending time with loved ones, traveling, and shopping.

Meghan Bowden, LMSW

Sumter and Clarendon Counties Advocate Counselor I

Meghan joined the STSM team in August 2018. In her role as one of STSM's Advocate Counselors, she provides evidence-based treatment to individuals who have experienced or been affected by sexual violence in Sumter and Clarendon Counties. Meghan enjoys working with survivors to instill a sense of hope and healing within themselves, and is inspired every day working with various clients and STSM staff.

In 2015, Meghan graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington; a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina in 2018; and a Graduate Certificate in Drug and Addiction Studies from the University of South Carolina in 2018. Upon graduating from USC in 2018, Meghan became a Licensed Master of Social Work. Outside of work, you can find Meghan at a music concert, the beach, or on a tennis court.

Erin Davis

Clinical Services Coordinator

Erin joined the STSM team in October 2017. In her role as the Clinical Services Coordinator, she assists the clinical team by insuring the delivery of trauma-specific, evidence-based, comprehensive care to empower and support survivors of sexual assault in healing and restoration.  She plays a critical role in providing administrative support to the clinicians that aid in the provision of quality services to survivors throughout the continuum of care.  Erin also assists in promoting ongoing partnership development with other service providers across the communities within STSM's service areas.

Erin has 13 years of management experience in the customer service industry where her focus was on promoting and insuring high quality service and  product delivery. During that time, she also served as a lead district manager assisting other managers in various areas of professional development. When Erin isn't at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, cheering on the USC Gamecocks and Chicago Bears, and vacationing at the beach for Mustang Week.

Ari Foster, LMSW

Group Advocate Counselor I

Ari Foster first joined STSM in 2012 as a volunteer advocate before becoming the Underserved Survivor Advocate in August 2015. In October 2018, Ari switched roles and is now a Group Advocate Counselor. In her role, Ari provides counseling to survivors of sexual trauma and coordinates support groups STSM offers throughout the Midlands. She is grateful for the opportunity to support and advocate for diverse survivors of sexual assault, as well as to promote awareness within the community.

Ari graduated from Winthrop University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and completed a Master of Social Work from The University of Southern California in August 2015. She is a recipient of the President's Volunteer Services Award by The Corporation for National And Community Service in 2012. Ari enjoys watching movies, spending time with her family, writing, and listening to music.

Shawna Kier, MA, LPC

Advocacy Counselor II

Shawna joined the STSM team in September 2019 but has been working with trauma survivors since 2013. In her role as one of STSM's Advocate Counselors, she provides evidence-based treatment to individuals who have experienced or been affected by sexual violence in the Richland County area. Shawna enjoys finding the silver lining and values the importance of every individual’s story.

In 2010, Shawna graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from Central College in Iowa and in 2012 received a Masters Degree in Counseling from Lewis & Clark Graduate School in Oregon. Outside of work, Shawna will talk about anything related to books, coffee, dogs or her toddler. 

Jennifer Jeanquart, MS

Incarcerated Survivor Response Team Coordinator

Jennifer joined STSM in December 2017. As the Incarcerated Survivor Response Team Coordinator, Jennifer provide crisis intervention and advocacy services for male survivors of sexual assault incarcerated at various South Carolina Department of Corrections institutions. She enjoys empowering male survivors who are often overlooked because of their incarceration.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Lake Superior State University in May 2005; and her Master of Science in criminal justice in May 2017 from South University. She is a member of the American Corrections Association (ACA), and received her behavioral health certification through the ACA in 2015. When Jennifer isn't at work, you can find her spending time at the beach with her family, exploring South Carolina, or out with friends.

Ebony Ragin

Sumter and Clarendon Counties Care Specialist

Ebony joined STSM in June 2018 as a Care Specalist for Sumter and Clarendon Counties. She provides crisis intervention, case management, and legal advocacy to primary and secondary survivors of sexual assault. She enjoys providing survivors with resources and helping to meet their emotional needs during difficult times.

She earned her Bachelor of Social Work in 2014 from Coker College, and is a member of the National Association of Social Work and the National Society of Leadership & Success. Ebony spends her free time with her daughter, traveling, and participating in ministry activities within her church.

Keely Vaughn, M. Ed.

Incarcerated Survivor Response Team Care Specialist

Keely joined STSM in March 2017 as a contract employee and was bought on full time October 2017 as the Incarcerated Survivor Response Team Care Specialist. In her role, Keely provides individual rape crisis intervention and group services to the women at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution. Through her experience, Keely believes that the process of rehabilitation starts with addressing past sexual trauma which is prevalent among incarcerated females. 

She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013; and a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago in July 2016. Keely is a certified South Carolina Victim Service Provider and has been providing rape crisis support services since 2011. You can often find Keely reading, hiking outdoors, or on the couch watching her favorite movies and television shows with her family.

Community Education and Outreach

Kayce Singletary, MSW, MPH, CHES

Deputy Director of Education and Outreach

Kayce Singletary joined STSM in January 2012 as the Prevention Education Coordinator, was promoted to Community Education Director in January 2013, and now serves as STSM's Deputy Director of Education and Outreach. In her role, Kayce oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of STSM’s sexual violence primary prevention programs, as well as the organization's outreach and volunteer programs. Kayce’s favorite part of her job is engaging the community in discussions and action that will ultimately put an end to sexual violence.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from USC Aiken and a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health from the University of South Carolina. Kayce is a member of the State Alliance for Adolescent Sexual Health In South Carolina, the Richland County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force. She worked with the Department of Education to update the South Carolina Health and Safety Education Standards, and she presented at statewide, national, and international conferences on a variety of issues related to sexual assault primary prevention education including at TEDxColumbiaSC, the National Sexual Assault Conference, and the International Summit to End Sexual Violence. In her free time, Kayce likes to exercise, read, and spend time with her dogs.
 

Rachael Luff

Prevention Education Manager

Rachael joined STSM in January 2017 as Prevention Education Coordinator and was promoted to Prevention Education Manager in October 2018.  As Prevention Education Manager, Rachael oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of primary prevention education in Richland, Lexington, and Newberry counties. She is firmly dedicated to STSM’s mission to educate our community to identify and eliminate sexual violence.

Rachael earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina. She formerly tutored for the AVID program in Richland District Two, lead Wishmakers at USC, and served as a Guardian ad Litem at Richland County CASA. She has participated in anti-trafficking task force meetings throughout Columbia. Outside of work, Rachael currently participates in Our Shared Shelf and exercises at Pure Barre. She finds her happiness in reading, hiking, and taking road trips to visit her family in Philadelphia.

Kelly Wuest

Community Outreach Manager

Kelly joined STSM in November 2016 as the Volunteer Services Coordinator and was promoted to the Community Outreach Manager in October 2018. In this role, Kelly works with her team to create meaningful relationships between the agency and the community through volunteering and other opportunities. She is encouraged by those she meets who believe in STSM’s vision and empowered by working with them to make a difference while strengthening the community.

Kelly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia College and a Master's of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs from University of South Carolina. Prior to working with STSM, she worked with students at Florida State University, and then the University of South Carolina, engaging them in out-of-the classroom experiences, serving their communities and developing leadership skills. Kelly also enjoys roller derby, crossfit, camping, cooking and spending time with her husband and pets. 

Kynesha Benjamin-Gibson

Volunteer Services Coordinator

Kynesha joined the STSM team in June 2018. As the Volunteer Services Coordinator, Kynesha recruits and trains STSM’s diverse group of volunteers to serve as Advocates, Speaker’s Bureau and Office Volunteers in the Sumter and Clarendon areas. Kynesha’s favorite part of her job is having the opportunity to give back to various communities, educating others about the impact of sexual violence, and being apart of an agency that is geared towards creating a healthy environment free of sexual violence.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2015 from Coastal Carolina University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work from Walden University. Since May 2017, she has been member of the National Association of Social Work. When she isn’t at work, you can find Kynesha traveling, shopping, or spending time with her son.

Jenna Brown, LISW-CP

Prevention Education Specialist

Jenna joined STSM as the Crisis Outreach Coordinator in March 2017, and transitioned to the position of Prevention Education Specialist in October 2018. In her role, Jenna partners with schools in Sumter and Clarendon counties to implement STSM's Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum©.

Jenna graduated from College of Charleston in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Political Science, and went on to receive her Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina in 2014. Jenna and her husband have a daughter and two pugs. Her hobbies include photography, darkroom printing, and pottery. Jenna is also a member of the Main Street Society which promotes revitalization in Downtown Sumter and the Sumter Junior Welfare League.

Sarah Goode, MSW

Community Engagement Coordinator

Sarah began her career at STSM as a graduate intern in 2014 and now serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator. Sarah earned her Master’s of Social Work in 2015 from the University of South Carolina. Her work in foster care and residential treatment for youth fueled her passion for strengthening families and preventing violence.  She has been a presenter at the South Carolina Victims’ Rights Week Annual Conference, the South Carolina Thrive Annual Conference, and the National Sexual Assault Conference, and is a certified ACE Master Trainer. 

In her current role, Sarah partners with faith leaders to prevent sexual violence and provide holistic healing for survivors of sexual assault. Sarah is committed to social justice and healing for survivors of all types of violence and believes the church has a crucial role in achieving that goal. Sarah and her husband are actively involved in their local church and are joyfully parenting two children.

Sarah Ingraham

Volunteer Services Coordinator

Sarah joined the STSM team in October 2018 as the Volunteer Services Coordinator. In her role, Sarah recruits and trains STSM’s diverse group of volunteers to serve as Advocates, Speaker’s Bureau Volunteers,  and Office Volunteers in Richland, Lexington, and Newberry Counties. Sarah’s favorite part of her job is working with STSM's volunteers and getting to know their passion for survivor advocacy.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology in 2017 from the University of South Carolina. Sarah currently serves on the University of South Carolina Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST) Partnership Council, and advises the WGST program on community issues and opportunities related to the well-being of women and other underrepresented groups. In her free time, Sarah is performing in community theater productions and spending time with her cat.

Abbye Price, LMSW

Elementary Prevention Education Coordinator

Abbye joined STSM in October 2017 as the Elementary Prevention Education Coordinator. In her role as the Elementary Prevention Education Coordinator, Abbye partners with elementary schools in Sumter and Clarendon counties to implement STSM's We Care© and Care For Kids© curricula. Her favorite thing about her job is being an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and making a difference in her community.

She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina in 2014 and became a Licensed Master of Social Work. You can often find Abbye reading, at the gym, and spending time with her two daughters and husband.

Ricky Pulley, Jr.

Underserved Survivor Outreach Coordinator

Ricky joined STSM as the Underserved Survivor Outreach Coordinator in November 2018. In his role as the Underserved Survivor Outreach Coordinator, Ricky works with various underserved populations in the Midlands, including men, people of color, LGBTQIA+, athletes, and college students, that are survivors to provide violence prevention education for these communities. Ricky enjoys helping survivors regain their voice, while providing prevention education that is intentional for particular communities.

Ricky graduated from Morehouse College in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in religion and a minor in sociology. Ricky was recognized by Talented Tenth Greenville as one of the Top 10 Young Professionals in the Upstate for his volunteerism and mentorship within the community. His hobbies include cooking, reading, coaching basketball, and collecting shoes.

Alek Reaves, MSW

Elementary Education Coordinator

Alek joined STSM in 2016 as the Prevention Education Coordinator then transitioned in January 2017 into her current role as the Elementary Education Coordinator. In her role, she advocates for the safety of children through adult responsibility and prevention education within schools, youth-serving organizations, and adult gatherings throughout the midlands. Through family-school-community partnerships, she hopes to promote strong adult-child connections so children can develop healthy relationships with others throughout their life. 

Alek received a Master’s in Social Work from the University of South Carolina in 2015. She has experience as the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator through Richland County CASA. She also has experience as a presenter having led sessions at the Women’s Health Forum, Palmetto Association for Children and Families, Champions for Young Children Symposium, and Building Hope for Children. Alek is a certified Darkness to Light facilitator and ACE Interface master trainer. She looks forward to working with you so together we can strengthen families and build a resilient community.

Advocacy

Marie Sazehn

Director of Advocacy

Marie joined STSM as the Director of Advocacy in August of 2019. In this role, she oversees the legal advocacy efforts of the organization, which includes court accompaniment for survivors and education about options for understanding and navigating legal systems.

Marie received her undergraduate degree from Columbia College summa cum laude in 2007 and her law degree from Elon University School of Law in May of 2013. She was licensed to practice law in South Carolina in November of 2013. Marie started with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office that same year with the main responsibilities of creating and developing a new human trafficking program and managing the statewide South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force. Marie spoke and trained on human trafficking at over 150 events throughout the state and collaborated with the task force to write and release the South Carolina State Plan to Address Human Trafficking in 2014. Marie prosecuted domestic violence, criminal sexual conduct, and human trafficking cases during this time as well, and was a part of the team that secured the first state-level human trafficking convictions under the new law. She also directed the domestic violence program at the Attorney General’s Office including planning events like the annual Silent Witness ceremony. Marie joined the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) division starting in 2016, working alongside the ICAC task force and prosecuting child exploitation and illicit file sharing cases. In 2017, Marie started with the 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office as an Assistant Solicitor handling juvenile cases in family court, and eventually moved to prosecuting General Sessions level cases to include stalking, child physical abuse, and criminal sexual conduct matters.

Kristin Dickson

Inclusive Access Project Coordinator

Kristin joined STSM as the Inclusive Access Project Coordinator in November 2017. Kristin ensures that direct services and prevention education programming are accessible and understandable to people in our community who have a disability.

She graduated from Liberty University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in 2000. Kristin is also a Guardian ad Litem who volunteers to advocate for children who have been abused or neglected. She and her husband have 4 children.

Elizabeth Fulford

Legal Advocate

Elizabeth who goes by "Liz" became STSM’s Legal Advocate in June 2018. As the Legal Advocate, Liz provides support to survivors and their families while navigating through the criminal justice system, provides accompaniments to court/hearings/solicitor office/police departments/forensic interviews, and provides resources surrounding civil matters. Liz is also trained to provide Sensitivity training to local Law Enforcement Agencies upon request. Liz is passionate about working with survivors and having the opportunity to support them as they find healing on their journey.

Liz comes with a variety of education and knowledge about the Criminal Justice Field. She earned an Associates Degree in Public Service from Florence Darlington Technical College in 2007, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Limestone College in 2009, two graduate degrees from Capella University a Master of Science in Human Services in 2012 and Master of Health Administration in 2016. She received her Class I Law Enforcement Officer Certification through the SCCJA in 2017 while working in Law Enforcement. Liz is also an alumna of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and enjoy spending time with her son and crafting.