PLSP Fellows and Team
Class of 2021
Daniel Adams – Chemeketa Community College/ Oregon Office of CC and WFD (Oregon)
Dan Adams got into education more than 20yrs ago as a middle school STEM teacher to do equity and racial justice. He has served as an Operations Director with InsideTrack and also a Data Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education. Most recently as Oregon’s Statewide Director of Career Pathways, he’s managed a $2,000,000 grant to all seventeen independent Oregon community colleges and built a data system that demonstrated career pathways eliminated the opportunity/achievement gap while serving a significantly higher portion of Students of Color. Dan is honored to serve as Co-Chair of the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition which seeks to create safe schools and communities where every family can belong, every educator can teach, and every child can learn regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Carla S. Arciniega – Lane Community College (Oregon)
Carla S. Arciniega is a Project Coordinator Lead and Perkins grant Coordinator at Lane Community College. She has worked at LCC for a little over 4 years, and more specifically in a CTE and Perkins coordinator capacity for 3 years. In this role, Carla, loves to be able to create positive change in students’ learning experiences. Carla is currently finishing an Executive Master’s in Public Administration at Portland State University, and the focus of her research is on career technical education and social upward mobility.
Shelsi Barber-Carter – Baton Rouge Community College (Louisiana)
Shelsi Barber-Carter is a resident of Zachary, Louisiana and currently serves as the Perkins Grant Coordinator at Baton Rouge Community College. With over 10 years of experience in education administration, she has worked diligently to build effective partnerships and foster the development of innovative tools and strategies that are used to engage and educate the next generation of young people to lead productive and successful lives as adults. As a strong advocate and administrator for Career and Technical Education, she is committed to setting the stage for increasing the knowledge level about CTE opportunities that are available to secondary and post-secondary students. With such a forceful drive, she is pursuing her doctoral degree in Educational Administrative Leadership and Research and plans to use the degree to influence greater change in her local community and beyond.
Tracey D. Cooper – Temple College (Texas)
Tracey Cooper is the Executive Director of Nursing at Temple College. After spending over 20 years in Nursing Education, she views her role as being a resource for faculty and students with the goal of providing a high-quality learning environment that will lead to student success. One way she has accomplished this is by securing funding through grant opportunities to support faculty development and provide state of the art equipment for the Nursing Simulation Lab. She received her BSN from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and her MSN in Nursing Education from West Texas A & M University.
Dr. Rebecca Farley – West Hills College Coalinga (California)
Dr. Rebecca Farley’s twenty-three-year career in education has included teaching, administration, career technical education, industry partnerships, dual enrollment pathway development and large-scale grant management across California. Her leadership in the development and scaling of the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep program included managing the partnership between three community college districts, thirteen K-12 districts, and several industry partners, which collectively serve thousands of Ag Prep students annually. In the West Hills Community College District she has managed and scaled a robust early college dual enrollment system that serves a significant portion of the college’s current unduplicated headcount, and manages the scheduling, staffing, and student supports of the program. Rebecca is passionate about providing world-class equitable, accessible, collaborative educational opportunities for all students. Rebecca has spoken at the state and national level on topics such as educational innovation, education and economic mobility, early college and career pathway development, and comprehensive student support services.
Dr. Tachaka Hollins – Tennessee Board of Regents (Tennessee)
Dr. Tachaka Hollins is currently the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents. An alumna of Middle Tennessee State University and East Tennessee State University. She obtained a Master of Business Education and Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. For over 16 years, Dr. Hollins has worked extensively in higher education administration with a focus on student success and workforce development. In addition to her work as an administrator, she is a devoted wife and mother of three.
Brad Kinsinger – Hawkeye Community College (Iowa)
Brad Kinsinger is the founder and director of the Global Agriculture Learning Center at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa (USA). Brad has fostered and cultivated agricultural and educational partnerships in Brazil, Denmark, Greece, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Malaysia, and the Netherlands, with new partnerships expanding to other countries. Brad received his bachelors of science in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University and masters of science in International Agriculture from Oklahoma State University. Brad is currently working towards his doctoral degree in Postsecondary Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Brad resides in La Porte City, Iowa with his supportive wife, Jill, and their three children.
Moira Lafayette – Blackhawk Technical College (Wisconsin)
Moira Lafayette has been the Dean of Health Sciences and Public Safety at Blackhawk Technical College for the past three years and uses her leadership skills to oversee educational program management in a dynamic and flexible learning environment. She has worked in public health training and higher education for over twenty years and draws upon her expertise in academic program management to foster learning environments that ensure students success.
Alesksander Marthinussen – Northern Virginia Community College (Virginia)
Aleksander holds a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Narvik University College in Norway, where he was born and raised. Before relocating to the U.S. in 2008, he worked for the European Space Agency, Norwegian Space Center and Andoya Space with student outreach and teacher professional development in STEM. Aleksander currently works at Northern Virginia Community College as a Program Manager for NOVA SySTEMic, the College’s STEM Outreach Program. He provides leadership and coordination of STEM activities in the community such as STEM summer camps, STEM expos, STEM workshops and other outreach activities.
Darlene O’Rourke – Queensborough Community College (New York
Darlene O’Rourke holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from University of Maryland, College Park and Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Baker College, Center for Graduate Studies. Throughout her 12 years at Queensborough Community College, she has been dedicated to grant-funded programs that helped bridge underserved high school students to college, and most recently, expands her experience to the Strengthening Career and Technology Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) as the Perkins Grant Director and Officer. In this position, she continues her passion to bond higher education and student excellence with Career and Technical Education programs. Outside of her professional life, she is a devoted wife with two children and a very special canine.
Martha Payan-Hernandez – Fullerton College (California)
Martha Payán-Hernández has built a rewarding career in post-secondary education and possesses experience in workforce development, adult education and Career and Technical Education (CTE) in both noncredit and credit areas. She brings over 23 years’ expertise in managing grants, community relations and developing marketing strategies. In her role at Fullerton College, in California, Martha is the CTE Director, Strategic Recruitment and Outreach, managing recruitment, marketing, and outreach strategies to promote CTE programs. In this capacity, she develops activities and strategies that bridge collaborations between K-12, ROP, noncredit adult education, business, industry, and workforce development stakeholders. In addition, she promotes diversity in nontraditional CTE programs, outreach to underserved populations, and works collaboratively to increase articulation agreements with local high schools.
Bernie Phelps – Montana Technological University, Highlands College (Montana)
Bernie is the Program Director for Carl D. Perkins and Perkins Rural Reserve Institution (Career Pathways) grants and Dual Enrollment and also serves as the TRIO Student Support Services Academic Coach. A Montana native, she has been part of Montana Technological University for the past 16 years establishing secondary, post-secondary and industry partnerships. The past four years have focused on improving opportunities for all Montana students in Career and Technical Education Programs. She currently serves on the Highlands College Advisory Board, a member of the Highlands College Leadership group and member of community and institution committees. In her off time, she enjoys time with her husband and grown children and taking pictures of Big Sky County.
Brian Rick – Southeastern Illinois College (Illinois)
Since and early age, Brian has always been interested in the trades and the Career and technical education field. He has worked in several high schools as well as local community colleges in a teaching and now administrative role. Brian originally worked in the architecture and construction industry before coaching high school students which allowed him to find his passion and enter the education field. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time traveling and at home with my wife and two kids who are 2 and 5 years old.
Tiffanie Rosier – Northern Virginia Community College (Virginia)
Tiffanie Rosier serves as a STEM Education Coordinator for NOVA SySTEMic at Northern Virginia Community College. Her role is to facilitate and coordinate STEM integration and Career Exploration activities at all grade levels from K-12 to Community College in various in person and now virtual formats. Tiffanie also works to develop relationships with higher education and business partners to coordinate activities for student’s academic, career and professional development. Tiffanie coordinates regularly scheduled STEM/CTE Workshops for students and potential students on topics related to career and professional development activities, along with information about academic programs at NOVA.
Eric Sewell – Southern Union State Community College (Alabama)
Eric Sewell is currently the Director of Technical Education at Southern Union State Community College in Opelika, Alabama. He has worked in education for the past 9 years with the last five years dedicated to Career and Technical Education programs in higher education. He serves as a liaison establishing and maintaining working relationships with local schools, businesses and community agencies. He is passionate about student success through career and technical education programs. Eric holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Agricultural Education from Auburn University and multiple leadership certifications.
Dr. Ashlee E. Spannagel – Southeastern Community College (Iowa)
Dr. Ashlee Spannagel serves as the Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development at Southeastern Community College. Dr. Spannagel is a licensed educator and began her career in education as a high school agriculture teacher. She possesses over ten years of experience in secondary and community college education.
Vickie Thomas – Eastern New Mexico University Roswell (New Mexico)
Vickie has worked with non-traditional students for more than 20 years with a focus on developing a properly skilled and trained workforce using a non-credit format. She currently leads the Center for Workforce and Community Education at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell, New Mexico which provides training for current and future employees and employers in the local area and leisure learning opportunities for children and adults.
Katie Vincent – Owensboro Community and Technical College (Kentucky)
Katie holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Science in Human Development and Leadership degree from Murray State University. She has been with Owensboro Community and Technical College since 2007. Prior to joining OCTC’s Workforce Solutions team in 2010, Katie spent three years as project manager of a U.S. Department of Labor Biotechnology grant, working with the college’s academic division. During her 13-year tenure with OCTC, Katie provided project management and success coaching to multiple work and learn programs including GO FAME, GO CAREERS, IBEW, and TECH X. She currently serves as the Director of Workforce Partnerships, working closely with employers to identify training opportunities and assist them in growing their workforce with industry-recognized, customized programs and/or training. In addition, Katie serves on a project team to implement GO FEMALES, a National Science-Foundation initiative to advance female incumbent workers in the manufacturing industry.
Dr. CJ Wurster – Gateway Community College (Arizona)
Dr. CJ Wurster has been providing leadership to CTE programs in the areas of Business, Information Technology, Applied Technology, Trades, Beauty & Wellness, and Health Care at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, AZ since 2010. In his current role as Associate Dean in the Academic Affairs division, he also provides operational oversight to three of GateWay’s extended sites located throughout the Greater Phoenix Metro area. He is committed to equity, shared governance, and transparency in providing leadership toward education and workforce solutions in the communities that GateWay serves. Dr. Wurster is originally from central New York, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Rochester Institute of Technology where he was also captain of the men’s basketball team. He earned his Master’s of Administration degree and Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.
Dr. Xue Xing – University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Nevada)
Dr. Xing is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She obtained her Ph.D. in Workforce Education from the University of Georgia. Her research interests focus on college and career preparation of adolescents and adults during school-to-school and school-to-work transitions, career and technical education (CTE), and career advancement of working adults.
Class of 2020
Sophia Alston – Technical College of the Lowcountry, South Carolina
Dr. Sophia Alston is currently the Director for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at the Technical College of the Lowcountry. An alumna of Colgate University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. She obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Policy and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. For over fifteen years, Dr. Alston has created and managed programs that support underserved populations. In addition to her work as an administrator, she has continued to express her passion for education by teaching for nearly a decade.
Carol Ash – Central New Mexico Community College, New Mexico
Dr. Carol Ash is the Dean of the school of Health, Wellness and Public Safety at Central New Mexico Community College where she leads, guides, and directs a faculty and staff team of almost 400 in the instruction of 49 career technical education degree and certificate programs at multiple campuses. Carol holds an Ed.D in higher education and organizational change from Benedictine University, a Master of Science in integrated marketing communications from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and media arts from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Pam Carter – Community College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dr. Pam Carter serves as Dean of Business & Technology at Community College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA. With 23 years of higher education experience and 6 years of industry operations experience in contracting, logistics and human resources, Pam strives every day to make a positive difference in the lives of students because she believes education can change the trajectory of a person’s life. She earned her PhD in Business Administration (MIS and Organizational Behavior) from Florida State University, her MBA from University of Maryland College Park, and her BIS in Applied Business Communications from George Mason University.
William Castillo – Leeward Community College, Hawaii
William Castillo is the Workforce Development Coordinator at Leeward Community College’s Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. He has over 13 years of experience in education and non-profit organizations with an emphasis on adult education. William volunteers as the Treasurer for Hawaii ACTE and enjoys event planning and writing about food.
Emilie Cherry – Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland
Emilie Cherry is currently the Director of High School Collaboration at the Community College of Baltimore County. A Baltimore native, she has been a part of higher education for the past 12 years with the last seven years dedicated to Career and Technical Education programs. She serves as a liaison establishing and maintaining working relationships with Maryland county high schools, local businesses and community agencies. She is passionate about college and career readiness and student success through CTE programs. Emilie holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in Professional Studies with a focus in Leadership, Management and Education from Towson University.
Kimberly Dreaden – Indian Hills Community College, Iowa
Kimberly M. Dreaden graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a minor in Soil Water Science. Before working at Indian Hills Community College as the Bioprocessing Program Director and head instructor, she worked in the biomanufacturing industry as a Research Specialist.
Shakari Fraser – Cowen Institute: Tulane University, Louisiana
Shakari is the Senior Manager of the Earn and Learn Program in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is responsible for ensuring program impact by implementing strategic goals and coaching the team to effectively hire, retain, and advance opportunity youth. She oversees the improvement of systems and program operations for Earn and Learn. Shakari is a graduate of Louisiana State University and hold an advance degree from Southern University at New Orleans. She is passionate about empowering young adults in New Orleans to advance along living- wage career pathways.
Kia Keyton – Greenville Technical College, South Carolina
Kia Fisher Keyton began working at Greenville Technical College in 2016 and is the Director of the Transitions Program. In her role as Director, she manages the program designed to provide 100 students enrolled in Career and Technical Education majors with support services and resources needed to complete their degree. Kia Keyton is an honors graduate of Clark Atlanta University’s School of Communications. She has a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre Arts as well as a Certificate in African American Theatre from the University of Louisville. She enjoys traveling, reading, going to the movies and seeing and performing in live theatre.
Josh Labrie – Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia
Josh has more than 15 years of experience in STEM education including nine years as a K-12 teacher in chemistry and physical science as and seven years in higher education. Currently at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), he is director of NOVA SySTEMic, leading the college’s STEM outreach efforts. While earning a bachelor’s in chemistry and a master’s in teaching at the University of Virginia, he conducted epilepsy research, worked for the VDOT Research Council and the School of Engineering in the development and teaching of engineering kits to foster interest and excitement in STEM.
Albert L. Long, Jr. – Southern State Community College, Ohio
Albert L. Long Jr, JD “AL” has over 25 years’ experience working within workforce development, juvenile and adult populations in the area of community corrections, various roles career technical education, secondary & post-secondary education as well as the development of diversity & inclusion initiatives. “AL” obtained his B.A. in Criminal Justice from Kentucky State University and shortly thereafter his J.D. from Salmon P. Chase College of Law and Northern Kentucky University. “AL” is currently an Instructor of Criminal Justice at Southern State Community College and serves as their Diversity & Equity Specialist, as well as working a Senior Consultant for The Correctional Management & Communications Group, LLC where he works in the areas of policy development as well as liaison for public, private and governmental entities to promote expand business opportunities.
Susan Moreland – Colorado Mountain College, Colorado
Susan is a higher education administrator and former senior military officer with years of experience in curriculum development, distance education, academic and student support, and human resource management. She oversaw career, technical and adult education programs across multiple campuses, ensured accreditation compliance and improved student outcomes. Susan now works at Colorado Mountain College as the Dean, School of Nursing, Health Science and Public Safety.
Brett Richardson – St. Louis Community College, Missouri
Brett Richardson has over 15 years in higher education from roles as a faculty member to leadership. Brett currently serves as the Manager of Career and Technical Education Partnerships and Processes for St. Louis Community College. His work revolves around administering the Perkins Grant and other state CTE funding sources. He supervises a dynamic team of CTE Retention Specialists who focus on improving retention and completion rates for CTE students. Brett currently serves as the Missouri Council of Career and Technical Administrators Post-secondary Cluster Chair. Brett has his undergraduate degree from Ball State University and his MS in Administration from Southeast Missouri State University.
Rick Ross – Valley City State University, North Dakota
Rick Ross is an Associate Professor of Career and Technical Education for Valley City State University, where his duties are to recruit and train trade and industry professionals to become teachers. Rick came to Valley City State University in 1995 to implement the universities new laptop university initiative. He was responsible for writing all training and conducting that training to faculty, staff, administration and students. In 1999 Rick became a full faculty member at Valley City State University in the Business Department, in 2001 Rick took over the Department Chair of the Business Department. Rick served as Chair of the Business Department for 4 years. Rick moved to the Career and Technical Education program in 2010 where he teaches classes, assess prior learning experiences and works one on one with teachers in trade in industry.
Adrian San Miguel – Idaho Career & Technical Education, Idaho
Adrian San Miguel is the Director of Postsecondary Education & Workforce Training for Idaho Career & Technical Education in Boise. Originally from Texas, he received his degrees from Baylor University and has spent the last 14 years working in higher education in Texas, Indiana, and Idaho. His career and passion have focused on serving special populations, nontraditional students, and diversity-related initiatives. He provides state leadership for Federal Perkins and Adult Education programs at the postsecondary level. He also provides oversight of programs that are designed to create awareness and a vision of equity for special populations and nontraditional occupations through Idaho’s Centers for New Directions. He also supports and provides technical assistance to Idaho’s six technical colleges for degree & certificate career & technical education programs and non-credit workforce training center programs.
Jared Scharpen – Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Minnesota
Jared has worked in postsecondary education for over six years, and in his current role as Career Coordinator for the Minneapolis Community & Technical College Career Services Department, he coordinates programming and services provided to CTE students. Given that the college identifies as a minority-serving institution, Jared has worked authentically towards empathic cultural fluency in order to equitably serve his students while coaching them along their career pathways. Jared also works with hiring managers and organizational leaders in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area to ensure pathways that value and include the students he serves.
Jason Simon – Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, Kentucky
Jason is Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC) where he helps lead a multi-state educational initiative with over 70 educational and industry partners. He is especially passionate about bringing industry and education to the same table in order to fill the manufacturing skilled trade shortage across the US. Jason is a proud husband to his wife Anastacia and father to six beautiful children. He is also a Marine Corps veteran where he served with 1st Marine Division.
Alberto Urbina – Houston Community College, Texas
Alberto Urbina is a native Houstonian and former welder. He completed his associate degree from Houston Community College, bachelors degree from University of Houston, and graduate degree from University of Texas at Arlington. He has been an educator for more than 15 years. He now works as the Dean for Material Science at Houston Community College in Texas.
Laura VanWaardhuizen – Iowa State University, Iowa
At 17, Laura boldly declared she would not follow in her parents’ footsteps by becoming a teacher or going to Iowa State. After earning a degree in Textiles and Apparel, she worked in both the Quality Assurance and Design departments at Lands’ End. Feeling like something was missing from her career, she returned to college to became an Family and Consumer Science teacher. After 10 wonderful years teaching high school CTE, she has transitioned now to teaching future Family Consumer Science teachers at Iowa State (and cautions everyone to be careful what they say). Her “Why?” is to equip others with the tools to make conscientious choices and achieving their maximum career and life potentials. Laura now works as the Family & Consumer Sciences Education & Studies Program Coordinator & Assistant Teaching Professor at Iowa State University.
Kelly Washington – Altierus Career College, Florida
Kelly Washington is the Academic Dean at Altierus Career College, in Tampa Florida. She has worked in the post-secondary CTE space over eight years and was formerly the Vice President for Academic Advising at Zenith Education Group, now called ECMC Education. Kelly earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from Bowling Green State University. She has two children and loves to spend time with her family at the beach!
Brittney Williams – Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Louisiana
A native of Baton Rouge (LA), Brittney Williams is committed to strengthening the educational opportunities of students by assisting state leaders in both vision and scope. She earned her undergraduate degree with Louisiana State University and her graduate degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. Currently, she is completing her Doctorate of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Mrs. Williams worked extensively with the Carl D. Perkins Grant at Baton Rouge Community College for 10 years before joining the state’s career and technical education team at Louisiana Community and Technical College System. Outside of her role as a post-secondary leader, she is a devoted wife and mother of two.
Class of 2019
Andrea Golden-Pogue, OU Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma
A devout believer that you have to touch a heart before you ask for a hand, Andrea loves people and it shows! Andrea Golden-Pogue is known for delivering high-impact, engaging workshops. She has worked extensively in healthcare, small business consulting, career and technical education, leadership and personal & professional development. She shares with all audiences her zest for life, her passion, and energy surrounding her desire to contribute and add value in every situation.
Andrea is a Registered Nurse and long time Career and Technical Education educator. She is also certified as a Personify Leadership Trainer and is a trainer/coach for the John Maxwell Team. Her philosophy of taking care of people translates into her teachings and coaching sessions. She contributes to teams and organizations long after the training is over. Andrea customizes programs and creates presentations for any and all groups. Continue to get to know Andrea at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-golden-pogue/
Andrea’s education includes a Masters of Science in Nursing from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from East Central University. She is currently employed as a Nurse Educator/Healthcare Consultant with the OU Health Sciences Center. Prior employment includes the Oklahoma State Department of Career and Technology Education. One of her career highlights was serving on the Association of Career and Technical Education National Board from 2012-2015. She values Post-Secondary Education and encourages others to obtain certifications and licenses and/or degrees. Her mantra is “never stop learning!”
here.Learn more from Andrea in the video
Brandon Hudson, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee
Brandon Hudson is the Senior Director of Workforce & Economic Development at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. He started his career in technical education as a high school business teacher and adjunct faculty member at a community college. He then took a job with the Tennessee Department of Education where he served as the State Director for two career and technical student organizations, SkillsUSA and FCCLA. After three years there, he transitioned into postsecondary CTE by serving as the Coordinator of Special Programs at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Nashville.
Brandon attended Middle Tennessee State University, earning an undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Business Education. He holds an MBA from Bethel University and a post-graduate certificate in Community College Leadership from East Tennessee State University. He is currently enrolled in the Higher Education Leadership doctoral program at ETSU.
He and his wife Julia and live in Murfreesboro, where she is an academic interventionist. They have four dogs: Opie the Goldendoodle, Ozzie the Labradoodle, Roadie the poodle, and Olive the Australian Shepherd mix. They enjoy traveling, hiking, attending concerts, and attending MTSU football games. Brandon loves to golf and cook on his Big Green Egg smoker.
here.Learn more from Brandon
Bryanne Peterson, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, Virginia
Bryanne Peterson earned her Ph.D. through the Integrative STEM Education program at Virginia Tech where she now works as a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology. Bryanne taught for over 10 years in Virginia schools prior to moving to Higher Education and holds five endorsements, four of which are in CTE. She is an ITEEA 21st Century Leadership Academy Fellow, VT Citizen Scholar, and a recipient of the SMA Leon von Autreve honor level 2 scholarship. Bryanne’s research interests lie at the intersection of CTE and STEM education; she examines how different experiences and pedagogical approaches affect student pathways to STEM careers.
here.Learn more from Bryanne
Carrie Scheiderer, Central Region Tech Prep Center, Ohio
Carrie Scheiderer has over 14 years of experience working in secondary and higher education and over eight years of post-secondary leadership and management experience. For the past seven years, she has served as the Central Ohio Tech Prep Consultant for Central Ohio Technical College in Newark, Ohio and currently serves as the Chief Administrator for the Central Region Tech Prep Center at Central Ohio Technical College. Carrie is a graduate of Ashland University, ACTE’s National Leadership Fellowship Program, Ohio’s Byrl R. Shoemaker CTE Institute, and The National Career Pathway Network’s (NCPN) Leadership Development Academy.
Scheiderer is ACTE’s Region 1 Vice President-Elect, serves on Ohio’s Career-Technical Administrator’s Executive Board, ACTE’s Region 1 Policy and Conference Planning Committees, and is also a member of Young Leaders of Licking County.
here.Learn more from Carrie
Claire Van der Plas, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado
Claire Van der Plas is an Assistant Dean of Instruction at Colorado Mountain College, Leadville, CO. The CTE programs she oversees include ones that focus on making the most of the campus’ unique location and resources, such as Ski Area Operations, Natural resource Management, Avalanche Science and Geographic Information Systems, as well as programs in Welding, Electricity and Culinary Arts.
Claire is quite new to CTE, having come from a background in fine art. She taught art at Universities in Singapore, New Zealand and the US and was the chair of the Department of Art and Theatre at Adams State University in Colorado prior to her current role at CMC.
Claire has an MFA in Painting from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a BA in Political Science from University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
here.Learn more from Claire
Crystal Latham-Alford, SkillsUSA Texas Post Secondary, Texas
Crystal Latham-Alford is the Executive Director of SkillsUSA Texas Post Secondary. Crystal launched her career in the career & technical education industry while Director of Student Activities at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Sweetwater. Through her time at TSTC she assisted in growing SkillsUSA Post Secondary program throughout the system. She transitioned into the executive director of SkillsUSA Texas Post Secondary. With the same drive and enthusiasm she had to expand SKillsUSA at TSTC, she is expanding membership, industry partners, and exposure of SkillsUSA Texas Post Secondary not just within the state but nationwide. Mrs. Latham-Alford has passion, drive for not only Career Technical programs grow among the different colleges and the state but encourages the students who participate in SkillsUSA Texas to become better than they were the day before. Students who she comes in contact with her sees the passion and drive she instills in them, continues with the people they (the students) come in contact.
Mrs. Latham-Alford earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Texas Tech University in Marketing. She spent most of her life in Lubbock, Texas and currently lives in Colorado City, Texas with her husband, Blaze Alford with their three children.
here.Learn more from Crystal
Dr. DeAnna Little, Meridian Technology Center, Oklahoma
Serving as the Director of Instruction at Meridian Technology Center, Dr. DeAnna Little works with an incredible team to educate, enrich lives and secure economic futures. She oversees all aspects of instruction for the trade and industry programs. Dr. Little earned her Ph.D. in Workforce and Adult Education from Oklahoma State University. Her research examined administrators’ perceptions of alternative CTE delivery methods in an effort to raise awareness of the challenges postsecondary students’ encounter while they are in the working and learning stage of their lives. She is currently serving as the past president for the instructional leaders division within OkACTE.
here.Learn more from DeAnna
Diana LaBelle, Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology Programs, New York
Diana LaBelle is an Assistant Professor and the Chairperson of the Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology Programs at SUNY Broome Community College in upstate New York. Diana is working toward fulfilling workforce needs through degrees, certificates, and credentials as well as new programs. In addition to her teaching and departmental duties, Diana is also leading the development of SUNY Broome’s Aircraft Maintenance Technician AOS Degree Program. Diana She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Robotics. She was previously a helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps.
here.Learn more from Diana
Dominique Footes, University of the District of Columbia Community College, D.C.
Dominique Footes is currently the Program Coordinator of College Readiness, Partnership, and Volunteer for College Access and Readiness for Everyone (C.A.R.E.) Program at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. She manages the daily operations of the dual enrollment program at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. She also serves as an academic advisor for all dual enrollment students. She works in collaboration with partnering secondary schools to ensure student success and transition in college and career readiness. She currently sits on the University of the District of Columbia Community’s College’s CTE Council, where she has connected with academic faculty and program coordinators to promote a deeper understanding of how CTE pathways can work for students. Dominique holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park.
here.Learn more from Dominque
Frank Polen, Buckeye Career Center, Ohio
Frank Polen is in his fourth year as the Assistant Superintendent, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Adult Education Director at Buckeye Career Center in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and is currently serving in his twenty third year of public education. Previous to joining Buckeye Career Center, Frank was a public school teacher, coach and principal in two different school districts for a combined nineteen years. As a principal, Frank’s buildings were consistently ranked among the very best in Ohio, earning the Ohio Department of Education Excellent with Distinction designation multiple times. Frank held four years of collegiate experience at Ohio Dominican University and Denison University prior to joining the public school system. Frank earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Ohio Dominican University, and received his M.E. Educational Leadership from Salem International University. Frank is actively involved in multiple workforce initiative and development committees, serves on the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and a professional speaker and presenter. Frank is a resident of New Philadelphia, Ohio. He and his wife Gretchen, an elementary school teacher, are the parents of two daughters, Kendall and Reese.
here.Learn more from Frank
Georgia Reagan, Emily Griffith Technical College, Colorado
Georgia Reagan is the Associate Director of Admissions, Concurrent Enrollment, Testing, & Recruitment at Emily Griffith Technical College. She is passionate about educational equity and access, college persistence and success, and workforce education. She has 8 years of experience in the non-profit, K12, and higher education institutions and continues to fight for equitable education and job opportunities for all students.
She is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and is bilingual in Spanish. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish from The University of Alabama and her Master’s of Arts in Hispanic Studies from Louisiana State University. Georgia is originally from Alabama and relocated to Denver in 2017. She enjoys running and hiking in her free time.
here.Learn more from Georgia
Jacob Kassuba, Zenith Education Group, Virginia
Jacob Kassuba is the Vice President at Zenith Education Group and is responsible for campus operations for the three Altierus Career College campuses. Previously, Mr. Kassuba was the executive director at the Chesapeake, Virginia, campus, with responsibility for the campuses in Chesapeake, Virginia; Woodbridge, Virginia; South Plainfield, New Jersey; and Southfield, Michigan. His leadership focus has been building efficiencies, driving outcomes and developing teams for student-centered educational environments. He has led and created a diverse array of projects and initiatives within his school groups around compliance, leadership, accreditation, outcomes, community partnership, enrollment, faculty development and student success.
Prior to joining Zenith in February 2015, he had more than 13 years of higher education experience in multiple markets throughout the country. His previous roles have included instructor, program chair, associate director of education, director of education and campus president. Additionally, Mr. Kassuba spent four years at his alma mater as an instructor, tutor and counselor with TRIO Upward Bound, which serves high school students from low-income families and high school students pursuing a path to become first-generation college graduates. Being both a first-generation college student and graduate, Mr. Kassuba is especially passionate about what education can do to change an individual’s circumstances.
Mr. Kassuba holds an MBA from Cornerstone University and a BS in health sciences from Grand Valley State University.
here.Learn more from Jacob
Jeff Henderson, Indian Hills Community College, Iowa
Jeff Henderson started his work career as an Electronics Technician for four years before starting my career in higher education. He first started as the Industrial Maintenance instructor at the college developing the program over the next three years before transitioning into the Robotics program. He guided the robotics program for eighteen years and now serve as the Program Director for the Advanced Manufacturing Programs at Indian Hills Community College.
here.Learn more from Jeff
Lynne McCoy, Bossier Parish Community College, Louisiana
Lynne McCoy serves as the Director of Academic Outreach and Certified Perkins Representative for Bossier Parish Community College in Northwest Louisiana. Prior to joining post-secondary education, she was a business teacher and an assistant principal at a rural high school as well as an adjunct instructor of education at a regional university. Before entering the education field, Lynne worked in various administrative positions in the public sector ranging from accounting specialist to accounting supervisor to business manager.
here.Learn more from Lynne
Nzingha Williams, CPCC’s Merancas Campus, North Carolina
Nzingha started her career in higher education in 2013, as an office assistant to the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Academy at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2014, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to take a position at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), where she continued to work with students in the BLET Academy. October of 2016, she was offered the position of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator at CPCC’s Merancas Campus.
As a CTE Coordinator, she serves as a liaison between CPCC, the community, and Charlotte- Mecklenburg School System’s CTE programs. Her role allows her to share the many opportunities CPCC has to offer and help students transition from secondary to post-secondary and the workforce.
Through her role, Nzingha has found her passion for career and technical education and understands how it can transform the lives of families. She truly understands the connection between education, workforce development and economic mobility. It is her long term goal to continue in this profession and gain the skills necessary to continue to impact lives and policy. Her education includes a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Criminology from North Carolina State University, MBA from University of Phoenix, and she is currently working on her Doctorate of Education in Adult and Community College Leadership from North Carolina State University.
Nzingha is a proud wife to her husband Michael and mother to two fur babies, Roscoe (pug) and Bella (boxer mix). Her hobbies include traveling, dancing, singing, and spending time with family and friends.
here.Learn more from Nzingha
Rachel Andre, Seattle Colleges, Washington
Rachel Andre is the CTE & High School Initiatives Manager for the Seattle Colleges located in the state of Washington. Although new to the role this year, she has been with the Seattle Colleges for almost four years and previously provided navigational support to students through a unique partnership with Seattle Housing Authority. She also worked as a program director for YouthForce, a youth internship non-profit, and began her career working in an education program for out-of-school youth. Rachel studied Anthropology at the University of Washington with a focus on cultural identities within institutions such as prisons, hospitals and schools. In her spare time she enjoys hiking in the beautiful pacific northwest.
here.Learn more from Rachel
Rosario Torres, MDRC, California
Rosario joined MDRC’s postsecondary policy team as a Research Analyst in 2018. She currently provides technical assistance to MDRC’s new College Promise Success Initiative which supports College Promise and Free College promise programs aimed at promoting student success in college by implementing evidence-based student support practices. In addition, Rosario also supports the research support and analysis to the New World of Work (NWoW) Program, a 21st-century employability skills curriculum currently being taught at over 50 community colleges in California. This curriculum provides instruction in 10 key competencies, using work-relevant content, and can be taught in a traditional class setting or online. Prior to joining MDRC, Rosario held various supporting roles in K-12 and higher education as a financial aid officer and college admissions counselor.
here.Learn more from Rosie
Sharnee’ Hobbs, Bishop State Community College, Alabama
Sharnee’ Hobbs is an Instructional Coordinator at Bishop State Community College in the GED/Adult Education Department. She received her bachelors degree in History from the University of South Alabama and later returned to her alma mater and earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.
She has worked in the Adult Education Department for 11 years as a part-time/full time Adult Education Instructor and she has held her current position since 2016. In addition to her many years working with adult learners, Mrs. Hobbs taught 6th, 8th and 9th grade history in the Mobile County Public School System for 9 years. She has a genuine love for education and enjoys helping her students achieve academic success.
Mrs. Hobbs loves all aspects of Adult Education. Her passion and enthusiasm were recognized by state leaders and she now serves as on the GED Professional Development Team. In this role, Mrs. Hobbs travels across the State of Alabama presenting strategies and best practices to adult education instructors.
In her spare time, Mrs. Hobbs enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. She also enjoys reading, shopping, relaxing at the beach and talking for hours with her mother. Her motto in life is to always find something good in everything and everyone, love hard and never be afraid to try, try and try again.
here.Learn more from Sharnee’
Torrie Costantino, Utah Valley University, Utah
Torrie Costantino always followed the conventional rules of education; finish high school get a bachelors and a masters and that guarantee’s great money and success. Then she started working in career and technical education and learned just how misguiding the conventional method can be sometimes. Torrie is a two time graduate of Arizona State University where she studied English Literature for her Bachelor’s and went into Family and Human Development for her Master’s in hopes of one day becoming a school counselor, until she discovered her passion for CTE. Torrie has explored post-secondary careers by starting part-time in running a fantastic outreach club, that she still holds dear to her heart, to working for Career Services before finding her place as the CTE Pathways Coordinator for Utah Valley University. Her eyes have been drastically opened to other side of education that is Career and Technical education and wishes to both promote and teach the public about the benefits of Pathways and a CTE degree.
here.Learn more from Torrie
Lauren Fillebrown – Programs Coordinator, Partnerships
Lauren Fillebrown is a graduate of Penn State University where she studied Agriculture Business Management. Lauren has had numerous internships throughout college including interning at USDA in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture as a Wallace Carver Fellow, Farm Staff at Weavers Way Farms, Philadelphia’s largest urban farm, and as a consultant to the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Lauren also has had teaching experience as she was a short-term Agricultural Educator. She has served as a Leadership Facilitator for the National FFA Organization and as the Project Specialist for the NJ Office of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Education. Lauren sees the value of Career and Technical Education, and desires to both advocate and educate the public about the benefits of CTE and CTSOs. Today, she has taken both her passion for agriculture and the skills gained through several leadership opportunities to ACTE where she is currently serving a Programs Coordinator at the Association for Career and Technical Education.
Dr. Michael Wright – Program Consultant
Dr. Michael Wright, DTE, has been in the CTE field for 42 years, teaching at the high school, community college, and university levels, including 20 years in administration. Dr. Wright created and Chaired the Department of Career and Technical Education at the University of Central Missouri, founded the Missouri Center for Career Education through grant funding, and went on to become the Dean of the College of Education serving 10 years in this role before retiring. Dr. Wright received more than $10 million dollars in funding and has published numerous articles in professional journals and co-authored a middle school level textbook, Gateway to Engineering. Dr. Wright has received several awards for leadership in the field.
The new Advisory Committee for the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program will be announced in September 2021. If you are interested in becoming part of this advisory committee, please contact Lauren Fillebrown.
Research Development Team
Research and Evaluation Partner
Steve Klein, Ph.D.
Center for School, Family, and Community at Education Northwest
Contact Information: Steve.Klein@educationnorthwest.org
Dr. Steve Klein directs the Center for School, Family, and Community at Education Northwest. He specializes in the design of performance accountability, finance, and career pathways systems for career and technical education and the evaluation of career readiness and workforce policy initiatives. His expertise includes delivering customized technical assistance to support state agencies and educators in improving the quality and use of data; aligning career education and workforce development systems to improve student transitions; and using longitudinal education and employment data to assess program performance.
Dr. Klein holds a B.A and M.S. Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in K–12 Educational Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. When not at work he can be found in his workshop building Arts and Crafts furniture or practicing MIG welding.
For more information about Education Northwest, please visit www.educationnorthwest.org.