Difference Makers Who Inspire

The world is full of Difference Makers improving their communities—in ways big and small. As part of TIAA’s commitment to those stepping up when we need it most, we recognize our partners and associates making an impact.
suny buffalo state

Nanci Monaco and Mark Schachter

Parents aren’t the only ones stressed about staying home during the pandemic. It takes a toll on kids, too. That led SUNY Associate Professor of Child Development, Nanci Monaco and her husband, fellow child psychologist Mark Schachter, to write a book for families, Covid Kids: Joy’s Story of Coping in a Difficult Time. Their book explores topics like being isolated away from friends and family, and having to wear a mask. More information can be found at Covidkidsbook.net. 
University of washington

Julie Kientz and Shwetak Patel

Married professors Julie Kientz and Shwetak Patel saw students struggling financially as a result of the pandemic and decided to create an emergency support fund to help. “If we can help students stay on top of relatively smaller financial burdens before they compound, I think we can make a big difference,” Julie said. The fund will help students pay for things like medical costs, car repairs, family emergencies and housing insecurity; Julie and Shwetak hope the fund will inspire others to help. (Source: washington.edu)
University of wisconsin

Nancy Kujak-Ford & Jenna Furger

When the University of Wisconsin’s annual Women and Leadership Symposium was canceled because of COVID-19, two women staff members (Nancy Kujak-Ford and Jenna Furger) in Madison, WI decided to take it online—and to the next level. They launched 31 Days of Women Leadership Learning, providing live and pre-recorded videos from different female leaders each day of the month. More than 2600 virtual attendees from across the country attended for free to hear discussions around voice and how it impacts race and gender, mental health, and finding, building and using their leadership.
tiaa bank

Babacar Ba

Tying together passion and purpose, TIAA Bank associate Babacar Ba and his wife Souadou donated disposable masks to Howard University Hospital, a TIAA client and Souadou’s alma mater. Through Souadou’s professional connections in the fashion industry, they were able to secure 300 masks during the early days of the pandemic, when it was challenging to acquire personal protective equipment.