Our Team


Matilda Stubbs
Research Assistant

Matilda joins the American Bar Foundation’s Future of Latino’s initiative as a research assistant. In this supportive role, she assists project directors in planning and executing regional roundtables and summits, as well as other administrative needs. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University. Her dissertation Documenting Lives: the Material and Social Life of Case Files in the U.S. Foster Care System examines the intermingling of lives surrounding bureaucracies involved in child welfare and social service administration more broadly. She also instructs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Elmhurst College, and the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

Elisa Zizza
Grants Officer, American Bar Foundation

2015December_063Elisa serves as a Grants Officer for the American Bar Foundation (ABF), an empirical interdisciplinary research institute on the study of law and its impact on society. At the ABF, Elisa is responsible for identifying, writing, and submitting grant applications in support of the ABF’s research, programmatic, and general operating needs and for administering and reporting on all grant-funded projects.

Prior to joining the ABF’s team, Elisa worked as a Project Manager for the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Development Office in a temporary capacity. There, she monitored and executed strategic interactions with donors and prospective donors to enable the Individual Giving team to meet its annual fundraising goal.

Previously, Elisa worked for the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. She served the organization in several roles, with increasing responsibility, during her five and half years there. As a Planner/Senior Planner, Elisa secured over $2.7 million in grant funding from foundations, corporations, and government entities; led teams of middle and upper management, program staff, and community partners to provide strategic guidance on program development, evaluation, and fund development; and coached program directors on how to develop effective policies and procedures to implement contracts more effectively. As Advocacy Coordinator for CACLV’s program, the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania, Elisa established the first Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ nutrition education program in Pennsylvania, managed Second Harvest’s largest independent research study which was used for education and advocacy purposes; and enhanced Second Harvest’s marketing and communication efforts by participating in the ad-hoc website development committee, co-authoring and maintaining the website, and co-managing the organization’s social media platforms.

Elisa has a BA in Philosophy/Political Thought from Muhlenberg College and a MA in Political Science from Lehigh University, where she was the Community Fellow for the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion.

Cheyenne Blount
Communications Associate, American Bar Foundation

blountphotoCheyenne is a Communications Associate at the American Bar Foundation (ABF), an independent national research institute committed to empirical research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes. At the ABF, Cheyenne is responsible for elevating the organization’s visibility to its stakeholders and to the general public through media relations, public relations, marketing, and special events. She assists in the creation and dissemination of content and research to news media, funders, the legal academy, and other stakeholders.

Prior to working with the ABF, Cheyenne attended Northwestern University, and interned with Picture Show Films, Homicide Watch Chicago, and the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Jinja, Uganda. She was also involved in the Medill Justice Project, an award-winning national investigative journalism center that examines potentially wrongful convictions. During her time at Northwestern, she spent a semester abroad in Paris, where she studied critical theory, literature, and media at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).

Cheyenne received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in 2015.