NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Fellowship
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. 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.
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.