Meet the Nina Scholars Staff


 Maricopa Scholarship Coordinator: 
Leona Morales (480) 731-8460

  IUPUI Program Director: 
Charles Johnson (317) 278-7878

 Ivy Tech Program Manager: 
Andrea Thomas (317) 921-4617

Jo Ann Martinez

Program Director
(480) 965-6495 | (602) 496-1771 |

Jo Ann López Martínez grew up in Parker, AZ. She attended Arizona State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Chicana/o Studies followed by a Master of Education degree in Higher Education. Her first professional experience led her to work as a Program Advisor at Mesa Community College where she also briefly taught Introduction to Chicano Studies and Sociology of the Chicano Community. Later, she returned to ASU and led the Barrett Summer Scholars program, a summer residential camp for gifted Arizona middle school students, then as a liaison for ASU Preparatory Academy Phoenix, a charter school in partnership with ASU, and followed by serving as the Program Director of the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program. Currently, she supports students of the ASU Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program. She looks forward to making an impact on future first generation college students, their families, and their communities, and on continuing her crusade in promoting higher education! She is married and has two children. She recently completed a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Innovation from ASU.

Kelly Ready

Graduate Student Worker 
(480) 727-6561 | (602) 496-2646 | 

Kelly Ready grew up in Falls Church, VA. She graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in International Studies and Economics and a minor in Environmental Policy and Culture. Her passion for working with and empowering others led her to apply to ASU’s Master of Social Work program. She will graduate with her MSW in May 2023.

Kelly has worked in many capacities alongside students, including those who face barriers to completing higher education. She is passionate about helping students reach their full potential and achieve their goals. Apart from working in education, Kelly is excited about working in the mental health and environmental justice spaces. She is completing an internship this year at A New Leaf’s Dorothy B. Mitchell Counseling Center, a community-based behavioral health center in Mesa. She also supports a School of Social Work professor with research related to environmental issues and indigenous communities. Kelly is honored to be a part of the Nina Scholars program and excited to support scholars in their academic, personal and professional journeys.

Tiffany Thornhill

Nina Scholars Course Instructor 

Tiffany Thornhill was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and moved to Arizona in July of 2011. Tiffany spent several years working in administrative roles for government organizations before pursuing degrees in higher education. Tiffany was a Maricopa Nina Scholar (Cohort 15) and an ASU Nina Scholar (Cohort 17) and served as a Graduate Assistant for the ASU Nina Scholars program while pursuing her graduate degrees. She received an Associate’s Degree from Glendale Community College, a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Arizona State University. Tiffany began instructing the CPP Nina Scholars course in the Fall of 2020 and has constructed course content intended to encourage, empower, and inspire the incoming cohort of ASU Nina Scholars.

Tiffany has a strong passion for addressing historical trauma, racial injustice, systemic oppression, behavioral health, mental health, substance abuse and indigenous wellness. Tiffany is vehement about being a voice for anyone being oppressed, especially those experiencing oppression for the way they were born, and those living with challenging mental health symptoms. Tiffany believes that no one should have to suffer behind choices they didn’t make for themselves and her primary focus is on liberation from oppression in all forms.

Lucy Hoop

Community Engagement Assistant 
(480) 608-2355 | 

Lucy Hoop was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and moved in 2019 to attend Arizona State University. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Entrepreneurship and a certificate in Cross-Sector Leadership. Lucy values working with diverse groups to face complex challenges such as education and poverty.

She is heavily involved in the Next Generation Service Corps (NGSC), a 4-year leadership program that emphasizes change through collaboration among sectors and value-driven leadership. She has had the privilege of joining the NGSC Education Mission Team and serves as a Stepping Stones Mentor to provide guidance, motivation and role modeling for local high school seniors. As part of her motivation to serve underprivileged youth, she held the position of Fundraising and Development Intern at ONETrack International, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, MA that promotes alternative orphan-care solutions around the world. She is expected to graduate in May of 2023 and looks forward to a life of spreading positivity and serving others.