René has been active in the field of collegiate program development for over 15 years. Formerly the director of the Center for Women and Financial Independence, she is responsible for program design and management, as well as strategic and fiscal planning of the center’s financial education and entrepreneurship activities. She has served as a mentor to and resource liaison for aspiring undergraduate entrepreneurs at Smith College. She has also developed and led interactive financial education workshops for middle and high school students. She currently serves as a research associate for projects focused on women’s financial knowledge and behavior. René received her master’s in sociology from the University of Arizona and bachelor’s degree in African American studies and ethics from Smith College.