Each year ACTE announces its class of Fellows for its NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE (formerly known as the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – sponsored by ECMC Foundation). 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.
Meet the Past Fellows
Cohort 4 - 2022 Fellows
ACTE announced its fourth class of Fellows for its 2022 NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE (formerly known as the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – sponsored by ECMC Foundation) in March 2022. Sixteen fellows were selected for the 2022-2023 cohort.
Bryan Bertucci – Coordinator for Career and Technical Educations, Louisiana Community & Technical College System – Louisiana
BJ Bertucci is a CTE Coordinator for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. In his role, he works with workforce to connect students to authentic work based learning experiences. Bertucci has fifteen years in education and over eight years working with CTE programs statewide. Bertucci lives outside of Baton Rouge with his wife, Christina, and three daughters.
JoAnna Collins – Faculty and Program Coordinator, Northern Virginia Community College – Virginia
JoAnna serves as program coordinator for Board of Nursing Workforce Healthcare training programs at Northern Virginia Community College. JoAnna Collins has over 29 years experience in the healthcare field. Starting in Pre-hospital Emergency Services as an EMT and progressing through her education as an LPN, ADN, BSN and recently earning a Masters in Education with a concentration in Leadership, JoAnna believes strongly in career pathways from entry-level vocations through education and professional development. JoAnna believes work-life balance and time management are key in achieving goals both personal and professional.
Luanne Cook – CTE Recruiter and Retention Specialist, Allegany College of Maryland
Luanne Cook is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Recruiter and Retention Specialist with Allegany College of Maryland. Having spent most of her career as a licensed social worker, she has embraced the role of reaching underrepresented special populations by supporting their desire to obtain higher education and join the workforce. Her secondary role as a Retention Specialist utilizes strategies to address retention deficiencies and implements her knowledge of community and campus resources to connect students to benefits and reach their goals. Boosting a student’s confidence while providing equitable and accessible education opportunities in Career Education increases their value to family and community, an endeavor she is passionate about.
Justin Erickson – Assistant Director, Manatee Technical College – Florida
Justin Erickson is the Assistant Director of Manatee Technical College in Bradenton, Florida (USA). Justin began as an engineering and manufacturing instructor over 15 years ago. Then shifted to a career as an electro-mechanical engineer for an automation company designing, fabricating, and assembling new products and test processes covering multiple industries. Currently, he works alongside the staff at Manatee Technical offering quality high wage, high demand technical training programs associated with the current demands and trends of the local workforce. Justin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art at Eckerd College and his Master’s Degree in Career and Technical Education from University of South Florida.
Robert Earl Frederick, Jr. – Head of Cuisine Management, Clark College – Washington
Chef Frederick has nearly 10 years of experience as an executive chef, culinary arts instructor, kitchen manager and catering chef. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI (Culinary Arts A.A.S.) and Warner Pacific University in Portland, OR (Business Administration B.S.). That background led to chef and instructor positions with Walt Disney World, Club Med, Nike, Job Corps and Intel. Chef Frederick has been certified by the American Culinary Federation (CEC) and is a Certified ServSafe instructor and proctor. He is also an active board member for the Vancouver Farmer’s Market (WA).
Karla Head – Administrator at Southwest Region School District – Alaska
Karla has been in education for over 25 years: as a teacher, coach, athletic director, counselor, assistant principal, principal, and now as a director at Alaska Technical Center. She is the proud mother of five children and one very precious grandbaby. Professionally, one of the largest motivating factors in her career is to provide as many diverse opportunities as possible for all students, so that each person can pursue their postsecondary pathway to success.
Shelia Hyde – Faculty, Dallas College – Texas
Sheila Hyde-Clower is a current faculty member and Faculty Fellow at Dallas College in Dallas, TX. She has obtained a Master of Business Administration and Master of Education, Administration. In Fall 2015, Sheila had the opportunity to transition from teaching high school to Dallas College. The move to postsecondary education has allowed her to focus on developing and growing future business leaders in her CTE classes, training and developing student leaders by connecting them to a CTSO. She believes that competition breeds excellence and devotes time to designing contests to help students demonstrate their technical skills.
Jennifer Kline – Program Manager-Healthcare, GateWay Community College – Arizona
Jennifer Kline, M. Ed. is the Program Manager for Clock Hour Healthcare programs at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, AZ. In her role at GateWay Community College, she manages 6 healthcare programs across multiple extended sites and develops and maintains industry partnerships. Jennifer is passionate about student success and seeks to eliminate access barriers and promote equity in her program areas. In the past few years Jennifer has created Maricopa County Community College Districts first healthcare apprenticeship programs, was a two-time recipient of the Innovation of the Year award, initiated the district’s first free immunization clinic, and was the recipient of the League of Innovation’s League of Excellence award.
Rigieta Lord – Dean – Workforce, Adult and Vocational Education Services, College of the Marshall Islands – Marshall Islands
Rigieta Radinikuva Lord is currently Dean of Workforce, Adult and Vocational Education for the College of the Marshall Islands in Majuro, Marshall Islands. In this role, Ms. Lord provides leadership and coordinates all non-credit and Continuing Education programs of the College which include Adult Basic Education (ABE), a high school equivalency diploma program, non-credit and credit Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs including Maritime Training and Carpentry, Youth skills training and Workforce Development Programs. Ms Lord earned a Master of Teaching from University of Fiji and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning at Grand Canyon University. Ms Lord’s long-term professional interests includes developing policies for implementation of Vocational education and training in secondary and post-secondary schools in isolated small island states to reduce the gap in skilled workforce and provide an advantage in migration.
Larry Paredes – Agriculture Industrial Technology Instructor, West Hills College – California
Larry is a full-time Industrial Science Instructor at West Hills College Coalinga Farm of the Future. Born and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley, he left to serve in the United States Navy as a Corpsman and Field Medic. After spending more than twenty years as a welder, fabricator, and machinist, he returned to college to become a welding instructor in order to teach others the trade that he’s so passionate about.
Giuseppina Stigler – Assistant Grant Director, Perkins Grant, Queensborough Community College – New York
Giuseppina Stigler holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Student Services, and a Masters in Counselor Education from Queens College, City University of New York. For the last 10 years, she has been dedicated to the success of students in Career and Technical Education programs at Queensborough Community College. Currently, she is serving as the Interim Perkins Grant Director for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).
Christine Storms –Lead Program Development Owner, Western Governors University – Wisconsin
- Dr. Christine Storms holds an EdD from Aspen University in Leadership and Learning in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Storms has worked in higher education for over 16 years as an instructor, program manger, curriculum developer and multiple senior-level leadership positions. She is a former highly successful HVAC business owner. Dr. Storms brings her experiences together to provide a high quality unique perspective to higher education in the career and technical education arena.
Ginger Tedder – Project Manger – New Teacher Induction Program (New CTE Training Program/Licensure), Mississippi State University – Mississippi
Ginger Tedder is a Project Manager for CTE Professional Learning at the Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum Unit. A 22-year veteran educator with experience as an administrator, preschool teacher, and 7th-12th English, social studies, and economics teacher, Ginger has been in her current role for 2 years at the MSU Research and Curriculum Unit. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Social Studies Education from Mississippi State University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University.
Nicole Thompson – Dean of Applied Sciences, Carteret Community College – North Carolina
Nicole Thompson is dean of Applied Sciences at Carteret Community College. With over twenty years of experience in the North Carolina Community College System, Nicole has served as a faculty member, program chair, and dean. In her current role, Nicole provides leadership and support to a diverse group of CTE programs such as aquaculture and boat manufacturing. She also serves as Guided Pathways lead for the College and is an active SkillsUSA advisor. Outside of work, she enjoys time with her husband and son.
Barbara Wahi – Senior Director Work Based Education and Experiential Learning, Amarillo College – Texas
Barbara is currently the Director for work-based learning and HSI STEM grant Director at Amarillo College. She is responsible for developing and managing the College’s Earn and Learn Program which provides students with a variety of experiences that are designed to bridge the gap between classroom instruction and the world of work. She has managed various engagements and teams in providing adequate and relevant strategies to influence initiatives and policies designed to improve Amarillo College’s CTE programs. Barbara holds a Master’s in Business Management from the University of Buckingham, UK and has eight years professional experience in grants and project management, stakeholder engagement and change management.
Cohort 3 - 2021 Fellows
ACTE announced its third class of Fellows for its 2021 NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE (formerly known as the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – sponsored by ECMC Foundation). Twenty fellows were selected for the 2021-2022 cohort.
Daniel Adams – (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 – (Louisiana)
Shelsi Barber-Carter is a resident of Zachary, Louisiana and has served 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 – Dean of Instruction, Bakersfield College (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. . 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 – Kirkwood Community College (Iowa)
Brad Kinsinger is the Dean of Agriculture Sciences, Hospitality, and Culinary Arts at Kirkwood Community College. He is the founder and the former 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 – Western Governor’s University (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 her former position, she continued 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 – (Virginia)
Tiffanie Rosier has served 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 the Dean of Technical Education and Workforce Development at Southern Union State Community College, and the former Director of Technical Education. 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 – Phoenix College (Arizona)
Dr. CJ Wurster is the Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at Phoenix College. CJ 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 his previous role as Associate Dean in the Academic Affairs division. 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.
Cohort 2 - 2020 Fellows
ACTE announced its third class of Fellows for its 2020 NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE (formerly known as the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – sponsored by ECMC Foundation). Nineteen fellows were selected for the 2020-2021 cohort.
Sophia Alston – Association for Career and Technical Education
Dr. Sophia Alston is the Senior Postsecondary Manager at ACTE. She previously served as 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 – University of Maryland Global Campus
Dr. Pam Carter serves as Vice President and Dean, School of Business at University of Maryland Global Campus. 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 – OnTrack Greenville, South Carolina
Kia Fisher Keyton works to develop strategies and best practices for interventions and student preparation beyond high school as the OnTrack Director of School and Community Engagement. Kia formerly was at Greenville Technical College in 2016 and was the Director of the Transitions Program. In her role as Director, she managed 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 –
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 formerly worked 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 Customized Training Account Manager – Workforce Solutions Group at 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 Chief Program Officer at the 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 – Inver Hills Community College, Minnesota
Jared is currently the Director of Career Development at Inver Hills Community College. 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.
Cohort 1 - 2019 Fellows
ACTE announced its first class of Fellows for its 20219 NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE (formerly known as the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – sponsored by ECMC Foundation). Nineteen fellows were selected for the 2019-2020 cohort.
Andrea Golden-Pogue, OU Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma
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!”
Learn more from Andrea in the video here.
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.
Learn more from Brandon here.
Bryanne Peterson, Virginia
Bryanne Peterson earned her Ph.D. through the Integrative STEM Education program at Virginia Tech. 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.
Learn more from Bryanne here.
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.
Learn more from Carrie here.
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.
Learn more from Claire here.
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. 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.
Learn more from Crystal here.
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.
Learn more from DeAnna here.
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.
Learn more from Diana here.
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.
Learn more from Dominque here.
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.
Learn more from Frank here.
Georgia Reagan, Strategy Officer at Lumina Foundation, Colorado
Georgia Reagan 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.
Learn more from Georgia here.
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.
Learn more from Jacob here.
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.
Learn more from Jeff here.
Lynne McCoy, Louisiana
Lynne McCoy served 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.
Learn more from Lynne here.
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.
Learn more from Nzingha here.
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.
Learn more from Rachel here.
Rosario Torres, Program Officer of Career Readiness at ECMC Foundation, California
Rosario previously worked for MDRC’s postsecondary policy team as a Research Analyst in 2018. Rosario also supported 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.
Learn more from Rosie here.
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.
Learn more from Sharnee’ here.
Torrie Costantino, Program Officer at Colorado Community College System
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. 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.
Learn more from Torrie here.