Staff Listing

Administration & Operations

  • Photo of Betsey SmithBetsey Smith

    Betsey Smith serves as the RCU's director, overseeing all secondary curricula processes and providing supervision for all CTE-related activities and projects.
  • Photo of Pam StaffordPam Stafford
    Business Manager

    As the business operations manager, Pam Stafford oversees the daily functions of the business office and the unit's operations
  • Photo of Joseph DudgeonJoseph Dudgeon
    Project Coordinator

    As the business operations project coordinator, Joseph Dudgeon coordinates all project management activities and attends to equipment and information concerns. He also maintains event plans, monitors their progress, and handles issues as they arise.
  • Photo of LynnEilandLynn Eiland
    Project Manager

    As a project manager, Lynn Eiland provides support for the annual Mississippi Association of Career and Technical Educators conference, as well as for the daily functions of the business operations unit. Eiland also provides support for proposal preparation and management.
  • Photo of Chris GotwaldChris Gotwald
    Project Manager

    As a project manager within the Operations unit of the RCU, Chris Gotwald provides support for the online registration and course management system.
  • Photo of Courtney MartinCourtney Martin

    As the RCU accountant, Courtney Martin maintains accounting ledgers and provides financial support to the unit.
  • Photo of Mhaire NickelsMhaire Nickels

    As the RCU's receptionist, Mhaire Nickels directs calls and helps with enquiries, in addition to other administrative duties.
  • Photo of Caitlyn PowellCaitlyn Powell
    Office Associate

    Caitlyn Powell coordinates all travel arrangements for RCU staff and is the liaison between the RCU and Mississippi State University Travel Services and Travel Leaders, car rental companies, and hotels.
  • Photo of Romika Sudduth-ConleyRomika Sudduth-Conley
    Project Coordinator

    As a project coordinator, Romika Sudduth-Conley maintains RCU inventory, processes payroll and leave, and performs a number of additional business and operational tasks.


  • Photo of Sean OwenSean Owen
    Research Professor

    Sean Owen is a research professor for the RCU. In this role, he conducts educational research and oversees report-modeling for the RCU's current projects.
  • Photo of Riesa BlackwellRiesa Blackwell
    Project Manager 

    Riesa Blackwell serves as a project manager for the RCU, working with educators to coordinate and develop performance-based assessments in career and technical education pathways.
  • Photo of Ben AlexanderBen Alexander
    Project Manager 

    Ben Alexander is a project manager at the RCU. He is responsible for analyzing data and conducting research for the unit’s assessment team.
  • Photo of Bhanu ShanmugamBhanupriya 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.
  • Photo of Cliff ThamesCliff Thames
    Project Manager

    Cliff Thames supports secondary career and technical education national certification efforts, standard setting, and item alignment and development meeting processes.

Center for Cyber Education

  • Photo of Shelly HollisShelly Hollis
    Assistant Director, Cyber Education

    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.

Communication, Research, and Evaluation

  • Photo of Brock TurnipseedBrock Turnipseed
    Marketing and Communications Manager

    Brock Turnipseed provides leadership and oversight for the internal and external RCU communications projects.
  • Photo of Heather CraigHeather Craig

    As an editor, Heather Craig quality checks and refines a variety of written projects and publications for the RCU.
  • Photo of Amanda GronewoldAmanda Gronewold
    Communications Coordinator

    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.
  • Photo of Carl SmithCarl Smith
    Managing Editor

    As managing editor, Carl Smith oversees the production of RCU publications, including School Focus and Connections magazines. He also assists with the RCU’s social media accounts and manages the Connections website.


  • Photo of Sam WattsSam Watts
    Project Manager

    Sam Watts joined the RCU in November of 2017 as a project manager in curriculum. His duties include managing, developing, and fine-tuning curricula in numerous programs, including health science.
  • Photo coming soonAngie Davis
    Project Manager

    Angie Davis serves as a project manager for the RCU, working with educators to develop curricula in the STEM and business, marketing, and finance pathways.
  • Photo of Melissa LuckettMelissa 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.
  • Photo coming soonCourtney McCubbins
    Project Manager

    Courtney McCubbins serves as a project manager for the RCU curriculum team, facilitating the curricula development and instructional design process for the agriculture, food, and natural resources pathway.
  • Photo of Jo Ann WattsJo 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.


  • Photo of Judy MiddletonJudy Middleton
    Project Manager

    Judy Middleton is the director of Mississippi State’s GEAR UP grant program that prepares low-income students for success in postsecondary education.

Professional Learning & School Innovations

  • Photo of Myra PannellMyra Pannell
    Associate Director

    Myra Pannell, a senior research associate for the RCU, provides leadership and oversight of the RCU's work on innovative school initiatives.
  • Photo of Cindy MingCindy 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.
  • Photo of Suzanne BeanSuzanne 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.
  • Photo of Jenny CampbellJenny Campbell
    Project Manager

    As an instructional coach, Jenny Campbell is responsible for implementing and supporting innovative school initiatives throughout the state.
  • Photo of LaNell KellumLaNell Kellum
    Project Manager

    As a project manager at the RCU, LaNell Kellum supports the RCU's special education and secondary education efforts.
  • Photo of Ginny SandersGinny Sanders
    Project Manager

    As a project manager for the RCU, Ginny Sanders provides support to the MDE’s Office of Special Education as well as the Office of School Improvement.
  • Photo of Denise SibleyDenise 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.
  • Photo coming soonGinger Tedder
    Project Manager

    Ginger Tedder is a project manager responsible for implementing and supporting MDE’s innovative school initiatives throughout the state.