Staff Listing


Administration & Operations

  • Julie Jordan

    As the RCU’s director, Julie Jordan provides leadership and oversight for all aspects of the RCU’s work.

  • Betsey Smith
    Associate Director

    Betsey Smith serves as the RCU’s associate director, overseeing all secondary curricula processes and providing supervision for all CTE-related activities and projects.

  • Pam Stafford
    Business Manager

    As the business operations manager, Pam Stafford oversees the daily functions of the business office and the unit’s operations

  • Roo Gleim
    Project Coordinator

    Roo Gleim joined the RCU in March 2016 as a project coordinator. In this role, she helps process financial ledgers, create invoices, and assist in daily business operations.

  • Kristi McIlwain
    Administrative Assistant

    Kristi McIlwainserves as an administrative assistant, filling a number of administrative and operations roles for the RCU.

  • Holli Mitchell
    Project Coordinator

    Holli Mitchell joined the RCU in 2015 as a project coordinator. As a member of the operations team, her duties include coordinating travel and assisting with meeting logistics.

  • Mhaire Nickels

    As the RCU’s receptionist, Mhaire Nickels directs calls and helps with enquiries, in addition to other administrative duties.


  • Sean Owen
    Associate Research Professor

    Sean Owen is an associate research professor for the RCU. In this role, he conducts educational research and oversees report-modeling for the RCU’s current projects.

  • Nithya Arumugam
    Programmer Analyst

    Nithya Arumugam joined the RCU in 2015 as a programmer analyst and is particularly involved in developing web applications and database administration.

  • Ashley Brown
    Data Coach

    Ashley Priebe Brown serves as a data coach for the RCU. In this role, she works to build partnerships across the state between schools and economic groups.

  • Cathy Curtis
    Instructional Design Specialist 

    Cathy Curtis serves as an instructional design specialist for the RCU. In this role, she works on curriculum development and revision.

  • Betsy Jones
    Project Manager

    Betsy Jones serves as a project manager for the RCU, where she provides assistance in ensuring quality assessments.

  • Alexis Nordin
    Research Associate III

    Alexis Nordin serves as a research associate for the RCU. In this role, she assists in preparing and reviewing curricula, research synopses, and grant applications.

  • Bhanupriya Shanmugam
    Project Manager

    Bhanupriya Shanmugam is an IT project manager at the RCU. In this role, she manages and executes database and reporting projects and supports the RCU’s information systems.

  • Ellen Shaw
    Project Manager

    Ellen Shaw serves as a project manager for the RCU. She provides support and quality control for curricula produced by the RCU.

  • Michelle Taylor
    Project Manager

    As a project manager, Michelle Taylor plans and facilitates online professional development for the RCU and writes business curricula for Mississippi’s CTE programs.

Communication, Research, and Evaluation

  • Kristen Dechert
    Project Manager

    Kristen Dechert joined the RCU in 2011, where she oversees communication, research, and evaluation work for the center. Additionally, she conducts research on a variety of projects, including performance-based compensation and career and technical education.

  • Emile Creel
    Managing Editor

    Emile Creel joined the RCU in June 2016 as the managing editor for Connections and School Focus magazines. In this role, she writes and edits for the magazines and manages their associated social media accounts.

  • Amanda Gronewold
    Graphic Designer

    Amanda Gronewold joined the RCU in July of 2014 as a graphic designer. She oversees all aspects of graphic design for the RCU, including designing materials for the RCU’s magazines, conference materials, websites, and reports.

  • Anne Lang

    Anne Lang joined the RCU in August 2015, where she serves as editor. In this role, she edits all reports, curricula, and magazines produced by the RCU and contributes to research and communication projects.

  • Roslyn Miller
    Research Associate III

    As a research associate at the RCU, Roslyn Miller conducts research on educational projects, designs and constructs evaluations, and teaches online courses.

  • Supriya Mishra
    Data Coordinator

    Supriya Mishra works with the RCU as a data coordinator, processing research and evaluation data on a variety of projects.

  • Dana Seymour
    Project Manager

    As a project manager, Dana Seymour coordinates research and evaluation projects for the RCU. In this role, she designs and conducts research to evaluate the effectiveness of education-related programs, policies, and methods.

  • Holly Holladay
    Graduate Research Assistant

    Holly Holladay is a graduate research assistant at the RCU where she works with the communications team on a variety of projects.


  • Scott Kolle
    Senior Research Associate

    Scott Kolle has been a part of the RCU since 2004, where he serves as a senior research associate. He provides expertise, leadership, and oversight for all curricula produced by the RCU.

  • Mandy Clark
    Instructional Design Specialist

    Mandy Clark joined the RCU in July 2016 as an instructional design specialist. She writes education and training curricula and human-sciences curricula for the RCU.

  • Gayle Fortenberry
    Project Manager

    As a project manager at the RCU, Gayle Fortenberry coordinates agricultural-education program and curricula development for the RCU.

  • Sandra Gibson
    Instructional Design Specialist

    Sandra Gibson joined the RCU as an instructional design specialist in 2016, working with the Computer Science for Mississippi (CS4MS) pilot program and with the assessment team.

  • Shelly Hollis
    Project Manager

    Shelly Hollis joined the RCU in November 2014 as a project manager. Her duties include the development and implementation of Mississippi’s K-12 computer science pilot program (CS4MS), data reporting, and supporting information systems.

  • Kenny Langley
    Project Manager

    As a project manager at the RCU, Kenny Langley manages the development of science curricula, computer science projects, and other CTE enterprises.

  • Melissa Luckett
    Project Coordinator

    Melissa Luckett is a project coordinator at the RCU. As a member of the operations team, she provides logistical support for various projects that promote the RCU’s mission.

  • Brad Skelton
    Project Manager

    Brad Skelton joined the RCU in 2012 and is a project manager for the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Pathway as well as the Law and Public Safety programs. He also provides leadership for online monitoring in partnership with the MDE.

  • Jo Ann Watts
    Senior Research Associate

    Jo Ann Watts joined the RCU staff in 1994. As a senior research associate, she is responsible for all facets of the instructional-design process for the architecture and construction cluster, including curricula development and revision.

Professional Learning

  • Lois Kappler
    Project Manager

    As a project manager for the RCU, Lois Kappler provides training for educators, including teacher and leadership development through the High Performance Leadership Institute, CTE new-teacher training, and the CTE Administrators’ Academy.

  • Leanne Long
    Assistant Research Professor

    As a project manager at the RCU, Leanne Long develops, coordinates, and presents face-to-face and online training for Mississippi’s CTE educators.

  • Theresa Wheeler
    Research Associate II

    As an RCU research associate, Theresa Wheeler creates, revises, and facilitates online professional learning. She also serves as the systems administrator for the RCU’s learning management system, Canvas.

School Innovations

  • Myra Pannell
    Senior Research Associate

    Myra Pannell, a senior research associate for the RCU, provides leadership and oversight of the RCU’s work on innovative school initiatives, including career academies, early college high schools, districts of innovation, and instructional coaching.

  • Kristin Fuhrmann
    Project Manager

    Kristin Fuhrmann serves as an instructional coach at the RCU. She is responsible for implementing and supporting innovative school initiatives in Mississippi.

  • Cindy Ming
    Project Manager

    Cindy began work at the RCU in July 2015. In her role as a project manager, she serves as an instructional coach and supports Mississippi’s innovative school initiatives.

  • Denise Sibley
    Senior Research Associate

    Denise Sibley joined the RCU staff in 2003. As a senior research associate, she is responsible for all facets of the instructional-design process, including analysis, development, implementation, and evaluation.

Special Education and Secondary Education

  • Amanda Tullos
    Project Manager

    Amanda Tullos serves as a project manager at the RCU. She is a former assistant principal at Clinton Park Elementary.

  • Suzanne Bean
    Project Manager

    Suzanne Bean serves as a project manager at the RCU. In this role, she works on professional learning and school-innovation projects, including statewide initiatives, training educators, and leadership development.

  • Tracy Handley Burt
    Project Manager

    Tracy Handley Burt has 23 years of educational experience from the state of Alabama. Tracy Handley Burt is currently serving at the RCU as a project manager.

  • LaNell Kellum
    Project Manager

    LaNell Kellum is an accomplished administrator with an extensive background in educational administration, research, project development and management, and teaching in Mississippi and Oklahoma.

  • Judy Middleton
    Project Coordinator

    Judy Middleton, a project coordinator at RCU, assists with logistics and event planning.