Meet the Team
JONATHAN BRUSH is the President and CEO of Unbound, a homeschool graduate, and a homeschool dad of six. He worked for nine years as a Director of Admissions for a private, liberal arts college, and then spent over ten years working in non-traditional higher education.
Jonathan loves Unbound and Unbound students and dreams every single day about new ways to connect them to each other. He gets to work with the world’s best team and the most amazing student body in the history of the world (which is just as awesome as it sounds), and field questions about Rule 4 violations (ask an Unbound student to explain). Jonathan and his family make their home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
MEGAN HIETT is the COO of Unbound. She is a 2014 Unbound graduate who fell in love with her college experience as she earned her BSBA. She enjoys being the ‘get it done’ force behind new ideas and loves interacting with students online and in person. When she’s not planning events, creating spreadsheets, or keeping the Unbound team on track, she can usually be found spending time with friends, mastering a new skill, or booking a flight for her next adventure.
ELLIE SMITH is the Executive Director of Sales and Marketing for Unbound. She is a homeschool and Unbound graduate with a degree in Communications from Thomas Edison State University. In 2017 and 2018, she served on the Unbound National Student Cabinet as the Director of Sales and Marketing. In 2019, she traveled to Ecuador with Unbound’s mission team.
When Ellie isn’t working with our awesome students, she’s probably reading too many books at once, working on a graphic design or hand lettering project, or napping. Because naps are awesome. Her favorite meals are street tacos, popcorn, and coffee.
VICTORIA GRANT is the Executive Director of Learning for Unbound. An Unbound graduate, Victoria has served in a variety of roles including student leadership, coaching, and in the Business and Leadership program. She is passionate about equipping young adults to recognize their potential, to know God, and make Him known in daily life.
When she’s not working on an Unbound project, you can find her scribbling on a novel, playing a favorite instrument, riding horses, watching a sunset, or dreaming up some new adventure that absolutely includes the Pacific coastline. One of the best parts of her world is walking alongside her fellow Unbound students as they make an eternal impact in their generation.
JACE BOWER is the Marketing Coordinator for Unbound. An Unbound alumnus, he has experienced firsthand the powerful advantages of doing college differently and participating in an intentional community. Jace graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History in 2016 and has worked in restaurant management and marketing since then. He also served on the Unbound Student Cabinet in 2019.
The author of two books and a semi-regular blogger, Jace can often be found doing something with words. When he’s not, chances are he’s reading about theology, listening to music, or playing pool or tennis with his wife Shannon in their Virginia home.
DAVID RETHEMEYER is a Senior Marketing Specialist for Unbound. He was a homeschool graduate by age 16, earned his BSBA through the Unbound program, and finished his MBA from Missouri S&T by age 21. He specializes in branding, content marketing, and digital advertising.
In his spare time, David enjoys gaming with friends, tinkering with his computer, serving at his local church, snapping photos, and eating absurdly spicy chicken wings.
ABRAHAM CHEN is the Director of Media at Unbound. He graduated with a degree in Communications while getting the opportunity to create content on the Be Unbound YouTube channel for a year and a half. Unbound has allowed him to enter the media production industry even while in school. He finds joy crafting creative ways to convey truth in stories that challenge and inspire.
Abraham is a proud native of New York City. Yet, he takes full advantage of the Unbound network by traveling often and loves to explore creation. When he isn’t sleeping on a long flight, Abe is having fun catching up with friends around the world, analyzing films, writing, and diving into anything sci-fi.
CARMEL MAKAYA is the Social Media Manager at Unbound. She first learned about Unbound through a YouTube video over five years ago, and is excited to now have the chance to introduce other students to an alternative way of receiving an education.
When she is not trying to understand the latest changes to the social media algorithms, she is consuming and sharing as many stories as she can, through reading, writing, video, and design.
TRENT EMMACK is an Admissions Counselor for Unbound. He enrolled in Unbound in 2018 and is currently pursuing a Business Degree in Marketing Analytics. Trent served on the 2020 and 2021 Unbound National Student Cabinets, as well as the 2021 Community Development Committee.
In his free time Trent can usually be found lifting weights, watching football (Go Chiefs!), playing the latest RPG, or catching up on TV shows everyone else watched a decade ago. He’s down to do just about anything as long as it involves the right people, which usually means going on crazy adventures with fellow Unbound students and alumni. His love of anything pyrotechnic has also garnered quite the reputation…
HANNAH SCHWINDLE is a Research Specialist, Student Life Advisor, and Declare Coach for Unbound. As an Unbound graduate, she has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of leadership roles with the Student Life, including the 2020 and 2021 National Student Cabinet. Now, she uses these skills throughout the different areas of her life to serve and glorify the Lord.
When she is not working on a project or communicating with a student, you can often find Hannah spending time with her local community and family or traveling around the United States and having adventures.
OLIVIA JACKS is an Operations Coordinator for Unbound. While pursuing her history degree, she found encouraging friendships and opportunities for growth within the Unbound student community. This discovery led to her serving in several leadership capacities, such as co-leading the Student Welcoming Squad, throughout her time as a student.
In addition to all things Unbound, Olivia loves reading books old and new, drinking tea, and spending time with family and friends in the mountains of Virginia.
MICHAEL CAPRERA is a Media Production Specialist for Unbound. He is a recent transplant to the beautiful mountains of Colorado and graduated with his degree in Information Technology from Thomas Edison State University in 2019 through the Unbound program.
Michael also exercises his Unbound spirit through astrophotography, star time-lapse, hiking, having deep conversations, as well as playing, composing, and producing music. You might also find him getting really excited about electric cars, Elon Musk, or personal finances.
FAITH SCHWINDLE is a Content Research Intern for Unbound. All four of her older siblings have been part of Unbound, and she has enjoyed being both a student and a staff member. She is finishing high school but has already started working on college classes (in addition to being an Ascend student). She plans to get a business degree and a graduate certificate of nutrition through Liberty University in order to become a nutritionist, but God may open another door.
When she’s not working on school or research, Faith is probably thinking about or writing in one of her novels. She loves interacting with her family and friends, and she travels frequently to visit relatives and old friends. If you really want to get her excited, just start talking about movie soundtrack scores. She and her family move frequently, but they currently live in northeastern Illinois.
TAMMA PHILLIPS is a Video Production Assistant for Unbound. She is currently working on a Communications degree which she started through Unbound in 2017. Although Canadian-born, she patriotically defends and praises both her American, British, and Canadian heritages – there’s nothing like waving a British flag during the fireworks of the Fourth of July while claiming the neutrality and kindness of Canada.
Her immense enjoyment of videography stems from making small videos with her family throughout her childhood and her current series of personal vlogs. Besides video creation, she enjoys reading, baking, and most of all, ice skating. A common theme found through her journey is summed up well in this quote by William Romaine: “[God] does all things for the best! And He is teaching you not only to say it, but also to feel it.”
TIM FISHER is the Controller and Director of Teams & Talents for Unbound, where he not only crunches numbers but also ensures the team members have what they need to succeed. He is pursuing a degree in accounting through Thomas Edison State University and jumps at nearly every chance to travel he gets.
When he’s not studying about vision and leadership, Tim enjoys creating adventures with friends, running, biking, and reading. His life mantra is “Live life with an open hand.” He lives in the Greater Cincinnati area.
KAITLYN BRUSH is an Academic Specialist for Unbound. She is a soon-to-be Unbound graduate, and some of her best memories, closest friendships, and most important lessons have come from serving on several Unbound student leadership teams, including the Student Leadership Initiative and the 2020 and 2021 National Student Cabinets.
Kaitlyn is passionate about good stories, strong community, and discovering beauty in all its forms. When she’s not doing school or spending time with Unbound students (or often even when she is), you might find her sitting around a campfire, canoeing on the river, hiking, traveling, or spending time with her family.
ASHLEIGH BRUSH is a Content Research Intern for Unbound. After taking Navigate in the spring of 2021, Ashleigh has found new adventures around every corner. Since then, she has been able to work on high school classes while earning college credit and pursuing multiple job and internship opportunities. Interning with Unbound has been a fantastic and rewarding experience.
Reading, writing, and learning have always been Ashleigh’s passions, but you might also find her getting excited about creativity, small rivers, or anything competitive. When those things are combined with family and friends, you’ve found her happy place.