Media

Arlington, VA- Today, Common App, the non-profit organization that serves over 1 million students and nearly 1,000 colleges and universities each year, announced that it has created two new senior-level roles for Constituent Engagement and Product. The hires come as Common App aims to expand beyond the application to empower more students to access, afford, and attain postsecondary opportunities.

Dr. Ileana Rodriguez will begin on March 14 as the new Senior Vice President for Constituent Engagement. In her new role, Dr. Rodriguez will lead Common App’s college and university member, student, and counselor engagement, enabling coordination across current constituencies. As Common App expands its services to support more students, this role will also build relationships with partners in new markets to ensure those services have the desired impact. 

Jonell Sanchez will begin on March 14 as the new Senior Vice President of Product. In this role, Sanchez will help to identify new products and services and establish strategic partnerships that will increase the number of underrepresented students who use Common App’s platform--not just to apply for opportunities, but to afford them and complete them successfully. 

“Common App’s superpower is listening to the needs of the communities it serves and collaborating with them to develop solutions and services to advance our mission and vision. As we expand beyond the application to empower more people to access, afford, and attain opportunity, we will need a strategic and focused engagement strategy for our existing and new constituents. I’m so excited to welcome Dr. Ileana Rodriguez and Jonell Sanchez to the Common App team and look forward to working with them.”

Jenny Rickard, President & CEO, Common App

Dr. Ileana Rodriguez joins Common App from Colectiva, LLC. As Founder and CEO, Dr. Rodriguez provided customized strategic consulting services to non-profit organizations to navigate growth and change while advancing diversity, equity, and inclusiveness across all of their systems and practices. Prior to founding Colectiva, Dr. Rodriguez held senior leadership positions at Teach For America, The College Board, and Triton College. 

“Educational equity is a centering force for my professional purpose,” said Rodriguez. “I’m excited to be joining Common App as it engages colleges, universities, counselors, teachers, and partners in its pursuit of access and equity in the college admission process, vastly expanding opportunity for all students.”

Jonell Sanchez joins Common App from Sanchez Strategic Advisors. He provided organizations strategic executive consulting services in product development, business transformation, go-to-market and scaling growth in the U.S. and global for organizations like Educational Testing Service (ETS), Ness Digital Engineering, and others. Prior to joining ETS, Sanchez held senior leadership positions at ACT, the National Student Clearinghouse, Pearson Global, and The College Board. 

“Common App’s vision and mission align with my personal experience as a childhood immigrant from Cuba and student from an underserved community and with my professional values and commitment to educational opportunity, access and impact at scale in the U.S. and abroad,” said Sanchez. “I am honored to join the team at this crucial point in the higher education landscape and to help expand Common App’s products and services to lower the barriers to college access and attainment, especially for historically underserved students.” 

Sanchez and Rodriguez will join the Common App team as the organization moves into its next chapter, focused on revolutionizing the entire college-going process to increase equity with solutions that:  

  • Show students all of the different opportunities available to them,
  • Streamline both the first-year and transfer process,
  • Help them pay for those opportunities,
  • Shift information and choice to the hands of students and,
  • Help organizations and colleges that provide opportunities find and support people to enroll and achieve their personal aspirations.