SHECP Staff 2017-09-19T16:33:43+00:00

Executive Director: Harlan Beckley

Harlan has over 40 years of experience in higher education and has worked in poverty studies for 18 years.

“I offer no formula for ending poverty, but thousands of emphatic, informed and thoughtful graduates will offer a myriad of plausible and promising remedies.” said Beckley in a speech at NIagara University in 2015. (Pictured here at the SHECP Symposium in 2015.

He served on the Washington and Lee faculty beginning in 1974.  In 1997, Dr. Beckley helped to create and became the first Director of the Shepherd Program on Poverty and Human Capability. In 1999, Dr. Beckley was named the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion and in 2002 he received the state of Virginia’s highest award for excellence in education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

He retired from the W&L and the Shepherd Program Faculty in 2014. Dr. Beckley served as Vice President and President of the Society of Christian Ethics from 1999-2001 and as Acting President of Washington and Lee University in 2005-06. He has served as the founding director of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty since 2012.

He earned a Ph.D., M.A., and M.Div. from Vanderbilt University and his B.S. from the University of Illinois. He was a Post-doctoral fellow at The University of Chicago Divinity School. Harlan Beckley CV. Mail Harlan –

Academic Director: Stephanie Rolph

Stephanie Rolph is Associate Professor of History at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. A native of Mississippi, Stephanie received her PhD from Mississippi State in 2009. In addition to her work with SHECP, she also serves as Director of Community Engaged Learning at Millsaps and offers college classes to women at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Stephanie is an active scholar of the post-1945 American South. Her publications have appeared in The Right Side of the Sixties and the Journal of Southern History. Her first book, Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954-1989 will be available June 2018 from Louisiana State University Press.

 Assistant Director & Coordinator of Internships: Amy K. DeHart

Prior to joining SHECP in October 2014, Amy was Assistant Director for Conferences, Programs, and Marketing for the Virginia Military Institute Center for Leadership and Ethics from 2009 – 2014. This position capped her 15 year association with conference and program development for the Institute.  She earned her B.A. from Earlham College, and has worked for many years in program development, communications and organizing.

Alana AbbotDirector of Development: Alana Abbott

Alana Abbott has over 25 years of experience in strategic development largely within the not-for- profit sector. Prior to joining SHECP in September of 2016, Alana worked in management consultancy for Plaid, LLC.  There she helped institutions of higher education and not-for-profits better achieve their missions through re-organizing their strengths and mitigating their weaknesses.  A native of Canada, Alana’s formal education is in the fields of economics, anthropology and law in both Canada and England. Her background has prepared her for a career helping to shape and develop not for profits, charities and government agencies.

Work-study Students

Balen Essak

Balen Essak is currently a sophomore at W&L who is planning on majoring in economics and minoring in Poverty and Human Capability studies. He competes on the school mock trial team and like playing racquetball and running to stay in shape. As well as that, Balen serves on the W&L Hillel Board as the Speaker’s Chair. After school, Balen plans on attending law school and eventually becoming a public defender. Balen was a Shepherd Intern in the summer of 2017 placed at the Wahington, DC Public Defender Service.

Alex Woodward

Alex Woodward is a freshman at W&L who plans on majoring in Global Politics and minoring in Poverty and Human Capabilities. She enjoys church and spending time with friends and family. Alex is also an avid fan of The Bachelor. In the future Alex plans on attending law school to become a human rights lawyer. She is looking forward to many more years working for SHECP.