Staff Listing


Administration & Operations

  • Betsey Smith

    Betsey Smith serves as the RCU's 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

  • Courtney Martin

    As the RCU accountant, Courtney Martin maintains accounting ledgers and provides financial support to the unit.

  • Mhaire Nickels

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

  • Romika Sudduth-Conley
    Administrative Assistant II

    Romika Sudduth-Conley serves as an administrative assistant for the RCU and performs a number of administrative and operational 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 is the project manager for a statewide performance assessment for career and technical pathways.

  • Cathy Curtis
    Instructional Design Specialist 

    Cathy Curtis serves as an instructional design specialist for the RCU. In this role, she provides support and quality control in assessment processes.

  • Alexis Nordin
    Senior Research Associate

    Alexis Nordin serves as a research associate for the RCU. In this role, she helps schools administer national certification exams and provides item alignment and development assistance as part of the RCU's assessment team.

  • Dana Seymour
    Project Manager

    As a project manager, Dana Seymour assists the assessment department with standard setting for statewide CTE tests. She also conducts research and evaluation for a variety of education-related topics and programs.

  • 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.

Communication, Research, and Evaluation

  • Kristen Dechert
    Project Manager

    Kristen Dechert directs communication, research, and evaluation at the RCU, overseeing production of magazines, newsletters, social media, toolkits, and other communications projects. She also manages staff executing research and evaluation projects for the center.

  • 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.

  • Jason Hauser

    As an editor, Jason Hauser helps to ensure the quality of RCU’s various publications, communications, and assessment materials.

  • Karleigh Kimbrell
    Graduate Research Assistant

    Karleigh Kimbrell is a graduate research assistant at the RCU and works on a variety of projects. She is a 2017 graduate of Mississippi State University.

  • Roslyn Miller
    Senior Research Associate

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

  • Carl Smith

    As an editor, Carl Smith edits numerous RCU documents and works, including MS-CPAS test banks, curricula, internal communications, and external materials.


  • Brad Skelton
    Project Manager

    Brad Skelton has been a part of the RCU since 2012, where he serves as a project manager. He provides expertise, leadership, and oversight for all curricula produced by 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

    Kenny Langley joined the RCU in 2015 as a Project Manager. His efforts include R&D for the state's new science standards and computer science initiative, as well as revision and expansion of the state's STEM Pathway/Cluster curricula, and coordination of a statewide Maker education group.

  • Melissa Luckett
    Instructional Design Specialist

    Melissa Luckett joined the RCU in July of 2016. As an Instructional Design Specialist, she coordinates the curricula development process for the Human Services pathway and several other programs.

  • Jo Ann Watts
    Project Manager

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

  • Sam Watts
    Project Manager

    Sam Watts joined the RCU in November of 2017 as the project manager for health sciences. His duties include managing, developing, and fine-tuning the various health science curricula in Mississippi.

  • Amanda Wood
    Project Manager

    Amanda Wood joined the RCU in 2018 as a Project Manager. She manages various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula and projects

Professional Learning & 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.

  • 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.

  • Cindy Ming
    Project Manager

    As a project manager, Cindy Ming serves as an instructional coach for the RCU and is responsible for implementing and supporting MDE's innovative school initiatives.

  • Suzanne Bean
    Project Manager

    Suzanne Bean serves as a project manager at the RCU. She provides leadership in special education and professional learning, including statewide initiatives, training educators, and leadership development.

  • Anne Brinkmann
    Project Manager

    As a project manager, Anne Brinkmann serves as an instructional coach for the RCU and is responsible for implementing and supporting innovative school initiatives.

  • Hannah Ford
    Graduate Research Assistant

    Hannah Ford is a graduate research assistant and works on the Computer Science for Mississippi (CS4MS) National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

  • Holly Holladay
    Project Coordinator

    Holly Holladay joined the professional learning team at the RCU in January 2018 as a project coordinator. In this role, she assists with coordinating training for Mississippi’s Career and Technical Education teachers.

  • LaNell Kellum
    Project Manager

    As a project manager at the RCU, LaNell Kellum supports the RCU's special education and secondary education efforts.

  • Judy Middleton
    Project Coordinator

    Judy Middleton, a project coordinator at RCU, works in the secondary and special education division developing teacher resources for special education professionals.

  • Denise Sibley
    Senior Research Associate

    As a senior research associate at the RCU, Denise Sibley is responsible for conducting research and providing actionable information that contributes to the unit's secondary and special education efforts.

  • Michelle Taylor
    Project Manager

    Michelle Taylor plans and facilitates online professional development for multiple areas. She has a passion for business; and in her role with the RCU, she writes and plans online professional learning and assessment courses and teaches the online high school business courses.

  • Theresa Wheeler
    Project Manager

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