National Coordinating Center Team Members
Meet the Think College National Coordinating Center (NCC) Team!
The NCC is housed at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Our staff, consultants, and partners have years of experience in research, technical assistance, and training, as well as program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Research and Evaluation Team
Knowledge Translation and Dissemination Team
Knowledge Translation Manager
Rebecca manages all aspects of knowledge translation and dissemination for the NCC.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Assistance and Training Team
Kathleen Becht, Ph.D.
Technical Assistance Coordinator
Kathleen coordinates all technical assistance and training activities for the NCC, including management of the NCC Help Desk.
- Email: email@example.com
Russell Thelin, MS, LVRC CRC
Technical Assistance Provider
Russ provides consultation to college programs related to partnering effectively with vocational rehabilitation agencies.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Assistance Consultants
Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University
Kelly directs a successful program for students with ID at Western Carolina University and is a member of the special education faculty there. In her role with the NCC, Kelly provides technical assistance related to program development and operations.
- Email: email@example.com
Margo Izzo, PhD
Program Director, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center
As the Director of Ohio’s Statewide Consortia (OSC), Dr. Izzo assists postsecondary programs across Ohio to enhance their programs for students with IDD. In her role with the NCC, she consults on transition to college and careers for people with intellectual disabilities.
Brian Freedman, Ph.D
Unit Director, University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies
Dr. Freedman leads postsecondary transition programs at the UD Center for Disabilities Studies. In his role with the NCC, he provides technical assistance on all aspects of program development.
Executive Director, LeadLearnLive
Ms. Lackey is the Founder and Executive Director of LeadLearnLive and the parent of a student with intellectual/developmental disabilities. She offers technical assistance to families and professionals on grassroots organizing for program development.
Lisa Pluff, MA
Director, Office of Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Education, UNC Greensboro
Lisa’s experience includes over 20 years in postsecondary education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and non-profit and program management. She serves as the Program Director for UNCG's CTP program.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susanna Miller-Raines, MSW
Operations Coordinator at the Center for Leadership in Disability, Georgia State University
Susanna's 20 years of experience in the disability field includes transition, inclusive postsecondary education, leadership development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, coordinator for the Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium and a director on the AUCD Board of Directors.
External Project Evaluation
Teresa Grossi, PhD
Teresa has extensive background in secondary transition and employment for individuals with disabilities and evaluates the activities of the NCC in her role as external evaluator.
- Email: email@example.com
Think College National Coordinating Center Partners
Denise Rozell, Senior Policy Strategist
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. Denise Rozell is the Policy Strategist at AUCD, working primarily on post-secondary education, employment and independent living and is the lead staff person for the NCC/AUCD partnership. Denise has twenty-five years of experience in disability policy at the federal and state level. In her role with the NCC, Denise provides technical assistance and support around public policy development in the area of postsecondary education for students with ID.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephan Smith, Executive Director
AHEAD is the leading professional membership association for individuals committed to equity for persons with disabilities in higher education. Stephan Smith, the Executive Director of AHEAD, is the primary contact for the AHEAD/NCC parternship. In addition to serving as the chief staff officer at AHEAD, Stephan has taken on increasingly complex roles in local, state, and national arenas advocating for the total and equitable inclusion of people with disabilities in higher education and the workplace. He also serves on numerous national and international advisory boards and executive councils related to people with disabilities, education, employment, transition, social justice, and civil equity.
- Email: email@example.com