Welcoming our newest board members

3 min readFeb 28, 2023

by ScholarMatch

We recently welcomed three new board members to help advance our mission of supporting first-generation college students on their pathways to college and beyond. These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge in different areas, including accounting, higher education, and product marketing. Their dedication and expertise will be critical in shaping the future of ScholarMatch. Keep reading to get to know them.

Ayanda Magwaza, CPA, ScholarMatch’s Treasurer

Ayanda Magwaza is a senior manager based out of PwC’s Florham Park office with over eleven years of experience working on complex accounting, auditing, and financial reporting, including SEC compliance. As an auditor, Ayanda has experience planning and supervising large and mid-size US and international financial statement audits. While at PwC’s National Office Accounting Services Group, she has helped teams and clients navigate complex accounting issues while contributing to thought leadership and guides. Her current focus areas include financial instrument-related technical accounting topics impacting the utilities and energy sectors and emerging greenhouse gas accounting and reporting issues. After graduating from the University of KwaZulu Natal as a PwC bursary recipient with a bachelor of commerce in accounting and finance, she went on to qualify as a chartered accountant in South Africa (currently not active) and as a certified public accountant in the US and is an AICPA member.

“The ScholarMatch mission resonated with me and made me reflect on my years as a first-generation student navigating the journey I was on and its challenges. ScholarMatch gets it. I’m excited about the work the organization is doing and will continue to pave the way for others.”

Dr. Heather Jane McCarty

Dr. Heather Jane McCarty is the co-founder and co-director of the Lytton Center for History and the Public Good and a professor of history and gender and women’s studies at Ohlone College. Heather holds a B.A. in African American studies and history from UCLA and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. Her research interests include race and gender relations, social movements, crime and punishment, and the West. Heather began her higher education teaching career in the San Quentin State Prison college program. Heather’s passion for the community college mission and working with underserved and first-generation college students brought her to Ohlone College in 2006. Prior to this, she served as an assistant professor of history and the single-subject social science coordinator at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Brandon Wong

Brandon is an experienced product marketer with 18+ years of experience leading and scaling business and marketing strategies in the consumer, enterprise technology, and SaaS space. Brandon’s experience has spanned from early-stage education technology start-ups (Edmodo, BrightBytes) to global companies such as Adobe, where he has been leading consumer product marketing for students since 2016. Prior to joining the technology space, Brandon began his career in the education nonprofit world, leading communications and development efforts for MATCH Education and the KIPP Foundation. Brandon has a master’s in education policy from Harvard University and a BA in economics & communications from Boston College.

“I am thrilled to be joining the ScholarMatch Board of Directors to help advance the mission of supporting first-generation students to and through college. Having a college degree is one of the most powerful ways to increase opportunities, and the reality is that not every student gets that opportunity. ScholarMatch addresses this gap head-on and that is why I am so excited to join such an incredible organization.”

Learn more about ScholarMatch and ways to get involved at scholarmatch.org.




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