Meet the Board

Learn a bit about the team behind Beneficence Family Scholars

Michele Owen

Executive Director

Michele is passionate about breaking the cycle of generational poverty and trauma. She has a Dual Masters in Social Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and previously worked as a trauma counselor and case manager. Michele was hired as the Executive Director in October, 2019. Michele coordinates all the major operations of BFS, manages interns, and is the primary point-person for the families participating in the BFS program. Michele also leads grant-writing efforts and fundraising opportunities.

Contact Michele

Lydia Kotowski


Lydia is passionate about empowering others to be successful. She has previously volunteered with nationally-ranked nonprofits and studied nonprofit management and development. Lydia founded BFS after she volunteered with Family Scholar House in the summer of 2018. Lydia’s role at BFS is to manage the Executive Board, serve as as the face of the organization, and handle legal work
Currently, she is studying law at The Ohio State Moritz College of Law. 

Contact Lydia

Jason Powell, Ph.D.


Jason has a passion for helping those who have been marginalized. He is an Intellectual Historian who has lead classes focused on generational poverty. Jason’s role in BFS is to help emphasize the importance of the Humanities, interact with marginalized communities, and promote BFS to Muncie. He hopes to assist BFS in achieving its big-picture vision by helping board members, committee members, and volunteers use their strengths effectively in BFS.
Currently, Jason works as an instructor in Ball State University’s Honors College. 

Contact Jason

Kris Powell

Secretary, Volunteer Coordinator

Kris has a passion for working in and with the community. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and has worked for several nonprofits in Muncie. Additionally, Kris helped to organize and start Deacon’s Pantry which provides food to Muncie families in need. At BFS, she serves as Secretary and volunteer coordinator. 
Currently, Kris works for St. Lawrence Church and volunteers with Deacon’s Pantry in downtown Muncie.

Contact Kris

Phil McPherson

Phil is passionate about helping the families of Muncie flourish. Prior to retirement, Phil worked as an engineer in the glass industry. In addition to his work, he has also volunteered with numerous nonprofits. Phil serves on the board of directors for Huffer Memorial Childcare Center and is a leader at St. Lawrence Church. Phil is also a member of the Knights of Columbus. With BFS, Phil helps to advise on business management and strategy, utilizing his professional skills to help BFS be financially secure. 

Jeongyoon Lee, Ph.D.

Honorary Board

Jeongyoon is passionate about engaging the community through nonprofits. Previously, she has worked with other nonprofits and civil society organizations, and has research expertise in nonprofit organizations and voluntary sector management. Jeongyoon’s role in BFS is to contribute and help structure the organization and its management. She hopes to promote collaboration between BFS, local nonprofits, and Muncie as a whole to ensure that each group is reaching their full capacity in building up the community. 
Currently, Jeongyoon is an instructor in the Department of Political Science at Ball State University. 

Wilisha Scaife

Wilisha is passionate about advocating for families in her community. She is a self-proclaimed community advocate who works with Muncie families, especially those that have been marginalized, to help their voices to be heard. Wilisha’s role in BFS is to bridge the gap between the community and schools while ensuring families are able to work toward the education they deserve. She hopes to bring authenticity from her own past experiences as a single parent in college to BFS. 
Currently, Wilisha is a Family-Community Engagement Liaison and instructor for Ball State University’s Early Childhood Department. 

Mary Dollison

Honorary Board

Mary has a passion for serving her community and helping people help themselves. She is a retired teacher who co-founded Motivate Our Minds, a nonprofit in Muncie. Mary’s role in BFS is to assist with fundraising and acquainting the organization with families in the community. She hopes to help the organization reach its vision of a thriving community rooted in education, family, and beneficence. 
Currently, Mary serves the Muncie community through her volunteer work and as a member on the Whitely Community Council. 

Joyce Mitchell

Honorary Board

Joyce is passionate about serving her community wherever she can. She is a retired Registered Nurse who continues to volunteer and do community work around Muncie. Joyce’s role in BFS is to use her expertise  as a previous board member of several nonprofits to help our organization. Joyce hopes to empower families and the Muncie community however she can. 
Currently, Joyce serves Muncie through her volunteer work with Longfellow Elementary School, Muncie food pantries, and her church. 

125 E. Charles Street, Suite 218 

 Muncie, IN 47305