The Hunt Institute Adds 26 New Members to ElevateNC: Higher Education

September 21, 2021


Members of the second ElevateNC: Higher Education cohort.

Cary, NC. – The Hunt Institute is pleased to announce the members of its second cohort of the ElevateNC: Higher Education program, which is designed to enhance leadership capacity and provide a space for development of statewide and community-specific strategies that increase postsecondary attainment. The cohort consists of prominent leaders from a variety of sectors, and includes state policymakers, K-12 superintendents and teachers, higher education administrators and faculty, members of the business community, advocacy organizations, and local government representatives.

The Hunt Institute will administer ElevateNC: Higher Education in partnership with myFutureNC, which aims to have two million North Carolinians with a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030. MyFutureNC will provide expertise on how cohort members can overcome barriers to drive progress toward this goal. Barriers to achieving the goal include sizeable achievement and attainment gaps persist; higher education funding and revenue sources are at risk of even greater declines as states seek to recover from the lingering effects of the pandemic; and many nontraditional students, such as adult learners, must be engaged.

“After a transformative year, higher education in North Carolina has entered a period that is primed with opportunities to make changes that will benefit students,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, president & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “This new cohort of dynamic leaders is working to affect these changes in their communities, and the ElevateNC program will provide a forum for them to compare notes on best practice solutions and build new collaborative relationships. We are excited to welcome this group and we look forward to supporting their efforts to ensure that all North Carolinians are able to realize the benefits of a postsecondary education.”

During a period of eight months beginning in October, participants will meet for four sessions – the meetings will be held virtually as appropriate, and one session will be jointly held with a similar program in Tennessee. Sessions will take place over two days and cover different topics and policy issues, as well as offer ways for leaders to move from learning to implementing in their home communities. During each meeting, participants will hear from leading practitioners, students, elected officials, and state and national resource experts.

The 2021 ElevateNC: Higher Education cohort is:

  • Alvin Atkinson, Director, Initiative for Just and Sustainable Communities, Winston-Salem State University
  • Dr. Jim Beeler, Senior Director College Access Partnerships, Appalachian State University
  • Senator Jim Burgin, State Senator, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Representative Becky Carney, State Representative, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Dr. Monique Colclough, Director of Teaching and Learning, Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research
  • Dr. Patrick Crane, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, North Carolina Community College System
  • Dr. Robin Cummings, Chancellor, UNC Pembroke
  • Dr. David English, Vice President for Academic Programs, Faculty, and Research, UNC System
  • Senator Amy Galey, State Senator, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Nation Hahn, Head of Growth, EdNC
  • Karen Howard, Commissioner, Chatham County
  • Representative Ricky Hurtado, State Representative, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Tracey Johnson, Commissioner, Washington County
  • Freebird McKinney, Director of Government and Community Affairs, NC State Board of Education/ NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Andrew Meehan, Co-Founder, Relate Advocacy, LLC
  • Andrea Poole, Executive Director, NC Education Assistance Authority
  • Mark Reed, Managing Director, John M. Belk Endowment
  • Dr. Lawrence Rouse, President, Pitt Community College
  • Dr. Jennifer Servi-Roberts, Director of Veterans Upward Bound, Central Carolina Community College
  • Sneha Shah-Coltrane, Director, Advanced Learning and Gifted Education, DPI
  • Dr. Andrew Sioberg, Director of Educator Preparation, DPI
  • Representative John Torbett, State Representative, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Representative Julie Von Haefen, State Representative, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Tabari Wallace, Special Advisor, Principal Engagement, Office of the State Superintendent
  • Dr. Anthony Watlington, Superintendent, Rowan-Salisbury Schools
  • Dr. Stelfanie Williams, Vice President of Durham affairs, Duke University


About The Hunt Institute

An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since its establishment in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership, and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. For more information, please visit:

About myFutureNC

myFutureNC is a statewide nonprofit focused on educational attainment that includes some of North Carolina’s most influential education, business, and civic leaders. The organization was formed with the goal to create a stronger, more competitive North Carolina. myFutureNC is working across sectors and in communities throughout the state to close gaps in the education pathway, to promote alignment between educational programming and business/industry needs, and to ultimately improve educational opportunities for all North Carolinians. Join our efforts, stay in touch and help champion success for our state and all of its people. Visit

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