meet our president

Tatiana Stantcheva, ph.d.

Tatiana Stantcheva is a co-founder and the executive president of NOVA Friends Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization with the goal of helping NOVA students in financial need to reach their academic potential. 

She has been a Professor of Physics at  Northern Virginia Community College since 2004, where she teaches, mentors junior faculty, and advises and coaches students. Maintaining a private coaching practice, she is also a member of the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the International Coach Federation

Board of Directors


Tatiana Stantcheva, Ph.D. –  President

Dr. Stantcheva – co-founder and the Executive President of NOVA Friends Fund.


Mr. James Gallatin – secretary and legal counsel

Formerly a senior partner at a global law firm with over 40 years of practice in the government and the private sector,  Jim is currently involved in several humanitarian projects such as representing pro-bono asylum-seeking transgender refugees and sitting on the board of multiple non-profits. His passion for learning and specifically physics led him to NOVA where he continues to take classes and enjoys interacting with NOVA faculty, staff, and students.


Elizabeth Tarpley, DDS – Treasurer

Dr. Tarpley ran a thriving and immensely satisfying dental practice in Northern Virginia for three decades. Prior to that, in what proved to be a byway on her career path, she worked for several years as an economist for the Bureau of Economic Analysis. While at BEA, she took evening classes in physics and organic chemistry – both prerequisites for dental school – at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University. Dr. Tarpley’s love of organic chemistry later morphed into a love of cooking; she also enjoys biking, gardening and playing charades.


Program Officers

awards selection committee

The selection committee, comprised of current or former NOVA faculty, evaluates and ranks the nominations. The president presents the top recommendations from the Selection Committee to the Board for approval.


Faculty Sponsors

We rely on current NOVA faculty and staff to nominate students to our program. 

our mission

Our mission is to elevate NOVA students in financial need to their true academic potential. We are unique because we offer not only a financial assistance in the form of a stipend, but also regular mentoring to ensure the continued success of our students.



Financial information

We strive for transparency in all aspects of our organization’s work. All our officers and staff members are volunteers. Our operational costs are covered by private funds so that 100% of donors’ contributions go towards  supporting NFF program placed students.


make a difference!

Supporting NOVA students is cost-effective and provides affordable education. The cost for a 3-credit NOVA class is currently about $600 and the classes are transferrable to many four-year institutions. Your financial support goes a long way at NOVA!