Eleven leaders from College System of Tennessee are among 32 selected for Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute 2021-22 class

Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute

Eleven of the 32 members of the 2021-22 class of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute, announced Tuesday by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), represent the College System of Tennessee and seven of its community and technical colleges.

SCORE  invited the 32 leaders from education, government, business and nonprofit organizations to participate in the sixth Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute (CTLI) cohort. The 11 members selected from the College System of Tennessee include eight leaders from our college campuses and three from the system office. 

Since 2016, CTLI has created a space where leaders from across Tennessee collectively focus on eliminating barriers to postsecondary education and completion. Over the coming year, this diverse group of leaders will work to identify the barriers and equity gaps that exist in our postsecondary system and advocate within their own communities to drive systemic change.

"For several years now, numerous leaders throughout the College System of Tennessee have benefited from the professional development experience and the opportunity to interact with leaders across Tennessee in government, education and philanthropy,” said Dr. Russ Deaton, executive vice chancellor for policy & strategy at the Tennessee Board of Regents, the system’s governing board. “The experience not only allows our leaders to network with colleagues to find collaborative solutions to public policy problems, but it exposes them to the perspective of other partners who are working hard to improve the lives of Tennesseans. It has become an invaluable component of TBR’s approach to leadership development and we are grateful to SCORE for including several TBR representatives in this year’s class.”

In partnership with The Hunt Institute, SCORE will provide learning opportunities for CTLI participants and translate that learning into action during the year-long program. CTLI’s goal is to eliminate barriers to postsecondary education and completion in Tennessee — work that is made more urgent due to education disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Community college enrollment rates in Tennessee dropped significantly in the fall of 2020, most notably for Black and Hispanic students,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “Given the compounding effect the pandemic is having on college enrollment, persistence, and completion, it is more urgent than ever that we partner with the leaders in this cohort to ensure that every Tennessee student has the opportunity and supports needed to attend and complete postsecondary education.”

By 2025, the Lumina Foundation projects that 60 percent of adults in the United States will need education beyond high school in order to obtain gainful employment. According to the latest figures from the Lumina Foundation, Tennessee’s college attainment rate is just shy of 47 percent.

SCORE has partnered with The Hunt Institute since 2019 to provide national perspective for CTLI participants and help lead them in translating what they learn into action in their communities.

“Over the past three years, we've been impressed with the way in which CTLI has brought together a diverse group of thought leaders from across Tennessee," said The Hunt Institute President and CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi. “Among past cohort members, we've seen an immense increase in leadership capacity and knowledge regarding higher education issues. I'm confident that we’ll see further improvements in higher education as we develop more leaders capable of championing education reform in their local communities and across the state. We are excited to continue our partnership with SCORE and look forward to supporting these efforts for years to come."

The participants chosen for this cohort bring varied expertise and perspectives to the program.

Members of the new CTLI class from the College System of Tennessee are:

  • Dr. Shanita Brown, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Karen Brunner, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Student Success Initiatives, Roane State Community College
  • Dr. Jeff Cockrell, Programs Coordinator, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville
  • Bo Drake, Program Director, Vice President of Economic & Workforce Development, Chattanooga State Community College
  • Nathan Garrett, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Workforce Alignment, Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Carlton Greene, Associate Dean Business & Technology, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Ruth Ann Holt, Vice President, Student Affairs, Columbia State Community College
  • Dr. Sidney McPhee, Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Success, Motlow State Community College
  • Amy Profant, TN Pathways Regional Coordinator, Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Chris Tingle, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Data Strategy, Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Mike Whitehead, President, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Pulaski

Other members of the 2021-22 CTLI class are:

  • Kiah Albritton, Policy and Communications Associate, The Education Trust in Tennessee
  • Sonji Branch, CEO, Communities In Schools of Memphis
  • Dr. Ernest L. Brothers, Associate Dean, The Graduate School, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Alex F. Ortiz Calix, Director of School Operations, Kipp Memphis Academy Middle
  • Dr. Verontae Deams, Interim University Registrar, Tennessee State University
  • Dr. Leslie Eldridge, CTE Supervisor, Putnam County School System
  • Dr. Christopher Garner, Director of Student Life, Meharry Medical College
  • Dr. Shane Harwood, Executive Principal, Signal Mountain Middle High School, Hamilton County Schools
  • Dr. Alexis Gatson Heaston, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Health Administration, and Health Sciences, Tennessee State University
  • Alisha Hinton, Senior Specialist, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
  • Dr. Jacob Kamer, Director of Research and Strategy, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
  • Karla MacIntyre, College Access and Success Manager, Conexion Americas
  • Michelle McKissack, Board Commissioner, Shelby County Schools
  • Matthew Otero, Senior Director of Data, tnAchieves
  • Anna Lisa Roberts, Economic Development Manager, Williamson Inc.
  • Dr. Javiette Samuel, Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Dr. Ahmad Sims, Dean of Student Success, Christian Brothers University
  • Inna Slisher, English Language Learners Supervisor and Migrant Liaison, Knox County Schools
  • Dr. Anna Lora Taylor, Assistant Professor of Counseling, Carson-Newman University
  • Dr. Dustin Warren, Assistant Principal, Culleoka Unit School, Maury County Public Schools
  • Dr. Bobby White, Founder and CEO, Frayser Community Schools



The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) believes all Tennessee students deserve success in college, career, and life. SCORE supports a unified and coordinated approach to education — from kindergarten through postsecondary — focused on helping all students complete high school and postsecondary education, earning the diplomas and credentials needed for a rewarding career. An independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan advocacy and research institution, SCORE was founded in 2009 by Senator Bill Frist, MD, former US Senate Majority Leader. SCORE measures success by the academic growth and achievement of Tennessee’s students. Learn more at tnscore.org.

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 it was established 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. Learn more at hunt-institute.org.


The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.