Cohort #6 – 2024 Fellows
ACTE is excited to announce its sixth class of Fellows for its 2024 NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE. Twenty fellows were selected for the 2024 cohort. The NextLevel Fellowship provides professional and career growth opportunities to the next generation of leaders in postsecondary CTE programs through a nationally-recognized program that is engaging, individualized, and memorable.
Lily Apedaile – Office of Health Research & Partnership Director at University of Montana
Lily Apedaile is the Director of the Office of Health Research and Partnership at the University of Montana. She has worked at the University of Montana for over 5 years on healthcare workforce development, health professions education, and career and technical education. Before working in higher education she was a high school health science teacher in Montana.
Lacee Boschetto – Assistant Professor at Utah State University
Dr. Lacee Boschetto is an assistant professor at Utah State University, serving as a teacher educator in the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program. She has 19 years of teaching experience in secondary and higher education classrooms in California and Utah. Lacee is passionate about the role family and consumer sciences plays in schools and society, and focuses much of her research on FCS curriculum. In addition to her work with undergraduates, she works with students enrolled in USU’s online CTE graduate degree programs, holds expertise in CTE project-based learning, and serves as the Family and Human Development chair on the Utah Association of Family and Consumer Sciences board.
Kristi Dixon– Dean, General Education & Professional Programs at BridgeValley Community & Technical College (West Virginia)
Kristi Dixon has been the Dean of General Education & Professional Programs at BridgeValley Community & Technical College, in West Virginia, since 2017. Prior to that, she served as the Department Chair and faculty for Social & Behavioral Sciences at Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina. Her passion is creating stackable credentials with expansive on and off ramps leading to and from higher education to the workforce and back again.
Lizeth Fils-Aime – Director of Adult Education at Western Maricopa Education Center (Arizona)
Lizeth is the the Director of Adult Education at Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) in Glendale, Arizona, supporting the Phoenix West Valley. Since she was a post-secondary student at Pima Community College and The University of Arizona, she have been employed in post-secondary roles guiding and supporting students through their post-secondary educational journey. She has had the opportunity to lead West-MEC Adult Education programs for over nine years growing from a single campus with one program to four campuses with eight programs; attainment of Federal Student Aid approval; and attainment of institutional accreditation renewal.
Tola Francis-Sanusi – Tech Prep Consultant at Marion Technical College (
Tola Francis-Sanusi currently holds the position of Tech Prep Consultant at Marion Technical College in Marion, Ohio, with more than 15 years of experience in the field of business education at both secondary and postsecondary levels. In her administrative role, she serves as a bridge between educators, businesses, and the local community, striving to enhance awareness about Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
Tola’s primary mission is to ensure that students receive comprehensive information about available educational pathways, particularly through CTE programs that seamlessly transition to Community Colleges. She also plays a crucial role in the development of new, high-quality postsecondary CTE programs, always considering the specific needs of secondary and workforce partners. In addition to her professional commitments, Tola is dedicated to her own educational advancement and is currently in pursuit of her doctoral degree in the field of higher education.
Kyle Fulton – Engineering Coordinator at Central Ohio Technical College
Kyle Fulton currently serves as the engineering coordinator at Central Ohio Technical College. Prior to this, he held the position of manufacturing, workforce, and public safety coordinator at C-TEC Postsecondary Center for 8 years, following an 11-year tenure in the manufacturing industry. During his time in higher education, he has developed and facilitated numerous workforce development programs for the Central Ohio region, focusing on advanced manufacturing, engineering, and public safety. Kyle holds an associate degree from Mountwest Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University, multiple advanced manufacturing industry certifications, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati.
Garry Brandon Hensley – Dean of Career and Technical Education at McDowell Technical Community College (North Carolina)
Brandon Hensley, an educator and engineer from Morganton, North Carolina, is the product of a non-traditional pathway from industry into post-secondary education and workforce development. With Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Technology Education from North Carolina State University, a Master’s in Technology Systems from East Carolina University, and an expected Doctorate in Workforce and Organizational Development from Old Dominion University, Brandon stands as a representative of skilled trades education in the community college. His current role as Dean of Career and Technical Education at McDowell Technical Community College helps to promote his unwavering commitment to technical and vocational education.
John Holley – Dean for Technologies at Calhoun Community College (Alabama)
John Holley is the Dean for Technologies at Calhoun Community College, the largest Community College in the state of Alabama. John oversees twenty-three workforce development programs. Prior to his career at Calhoun, John was in mechanical contracting. His career in higher Education began in 1996 with non-credit workforce training for business and industry. In 2003, John left the contracting world and entered full-time into instruction with Calhoun. His interest areas in education focus on career, innovative technical adroitness, PreK-career pathways, and business/industry driven curriculum development.
Dr. Katherine Kandalec Holm – Associate Professor, Career and Technical Education / Interim Dean, College of Education at Athens State University
Dr. Katherine Kandalec Holm is an associate professor of Career and Technical Education at Athens State University and currently works as the Interim Dean for the College of Education. She has also served as an executive level mentor for doctoral students in adult and community education and an instructional coach for community college faculty. She is the Associate Editor for the Career and Technical Education Research journal and holds executive board positions with the Association for Career and Technical Education Research and Omicron Tau Theta. Dr. Kandalec Holm received her doctorate in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University and her Master’s in Workforce Education and Development from the University of Georgia. In addition, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Education and two Associate’s degrees.
Dr. Tara Lindahl – Assistant Dean, Academic Services at Washburn Institute of Technology
Dr. Tara Lindahl is the Assistant Dean, Academic Services at Washburn University Institute of Technology. In her role, she is responsible for all curriculum and assessment activities of the college, along with the supervision of programs in the Construction and Human Services/IT/Design divisions. Prior to her current role, she was the College and Career Facilitator at JC Harmon High School in Kansas City, Kansas where she supported CTE teachers and students enrolled in secondary and post-secondary CTE programs. Dr. Lindahl has worked in education her entire career, starting as a high school agriculture education teacher. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Education from Kansas State University, a Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry from the Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas.
Dr. Alexia Rolle – Dean, Career & Technical Education at Miami Dade College (Florida)
Miami Dade College (MDC) Apprenticeship Program which currently sponsors twenty apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs, the most of any Florida educational institution and was deemed Apprenticeship Ambassador by USDOL. Dr. Rolle has been awarded the MDC President’s Excellence Award, and selected for the FLDOE Chancellor’s Leadership Seminar and MDC President’s Leadership Academy.
Karen Lyn Saysay – Title V HSI Project Director at Los Angeles City College (California)
Karen Lyn’s dedication to the success of the inner-city high school students is evident in her extensive experience in Career Technical Education, spanning almost three decades in K-12 education. She now transitioned to higher education, currently as a Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI) Project Director at Los Angeles City College. She is currently running two Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Certified Nursing Assistant and Optician Technician in Los Angeles. On her downtime, she likes to hang out with her daughter, watch musicals, and hike non-instagram(able) trails. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and completed her doctorate degree from the other side of the freeway, USC.
David Shofstahl – Apprenticeship Coordinator and Skilled Trades Program Manager at Mountain Gateway Community College
David Shofstahl serves as Workforce Coach, Apprenticeship Coordinator and Skilled Trades Program Manager for Workforce Solutions and Community Education at Mountain Gateway Community College. With more than 25 years of field experience as a craftsman and supervisor in the construction industry, David understands the value of trade skills. He is multi-crafted through apprenticeships in masonry construction and plumbing, and HVAC, and considers it an honor to teach aspiring skilled trades professionals. David holds a BS in Civil Engineering Technology and a MS in Human Resource Education; he is currently working on a Ph.D in Education with a research focus on workforce development and skills gaps in the trades. He is a certified instructor in multiple crafts for the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum and an OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer for 10- and 30-hour outreach training programs.
Tonia Shook – Director at Fred K. Marchman Technical College
Tonia is the Director of Fred K. Marchman Technical College where she supports over 40 part- and full-time Career, Technical and Adult Education teachers in developing and implementing CTAE programs. She has held a variety of roles both in education administration and as an educator with experience spanning early childhood education through the university level. Tonia sets the bar for high performance and is recognized for her collaborative nature, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.
Kimber-lee Suiter – Assistant Director, Academic Coaching and Tutoring at Greenville Technical College
Kimber-lee Suiter serves as the Assistant Director for Academic Coaching and Tutoring at Greenville Technical College, where she is a highly valued asset. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College and a master’s degree from Liberty University, which attests to her exceptional qualifications. Her academic credentials and extensive professional experience demonstrate her expertise and unwavering commitment to her profession.
Jeanette Thomas – Education Program Consultant at Iowa Department of Education
Jeanette Thomas serves as Education Program Consultant for Equity with the Iowa Department of Education, Division of Higher Education. As an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, she collaborates with multiple stakeholders to promote access for underrepresented students in CTE, nontraditional, and STEM education programs. Jeanette provides leadership and technical assistance to ensure compliance with civil rights laws impacting education and participates in training facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. She has served on the State of Iowa Board of Education Equity Committee to inform policymakers on the lived experiences of underserved students in Iowa school districts and college campuses. Jeanette earned degrees in Bachelor of Applied Management Studies and a Master of Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University.
Karen Treas – Chief Administrative Officer/VP of Student Services and Industry Relations at William R. Moore College of Technology (Moore Tech)
Karen Treas is the Chief Administrative Officer for Moore Tech. She oversees career placement for students, promotes the value of the school to the wide variety of industries it serves as well as the greater Memphis community, and serves as the liaison between industry and the college. Together with a very competent team of instructors and staff, Moore Tech has achieved 95% to 97% placement rate of graduates over the past 5 years
Joy Vann-Hamilton – Founder & CEO at RW2 Career and Technical Education (RW2)
Dr. Joy Vann-Hamilton is the Founder and CEO of the nation’s first minority- and woman-owned, nonprofit career and technical school. Joy has a passion for and expertise in helping people access technical education and training and related career opportunities. Her previous work in the college of engineering the University of Notre Dame; serving as a regional academic dean in the for-profit career and technical education sector; and her work as a national educational consultant for the PEAR Institute of Harvard University providing professional development in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and SEL (social emotional learning) education all influence her current work.
Eileen Will – Perkins Director at Hostos Community College
Eileen Will holds a BA in English from City College and an MPA from Baruch College. She’s passionate about working with underserved communities and has spent most of her professional career as a public servant. Currently, she is in her 2nd year as Perkins Director at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx.
Christian L Zimmerman – Research Associate and Technical Assistance Coordinator at University of Central Florida
Christian currently works for the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities (FCSUA) at the University of Central Florida, where he assists postsecondary institutions across the state in building Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTPs) for persons with intellectual disabilities. Prior to joining FCSUA, Christian was the coordinator of the How I Reach Employment (HIRE) Program at the Lee County Technical Colleges. Christian is currently pursuing his doctorate in Exceptional Student Education and holds an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and a B.A. in English. In his free time, Christian enjoys reading and traveling with his wife, Denise.