Mississippi Education Policy Fellows announced by MSU to study rural education

Contact: Emile Pennington

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The newest cohort of educators and administrators from across the state has been selected for the Mississippi Education Policy Fellowship Program, or MS EPFP.

MSU Social Science Research Center logoOne of only 10 such programs in the U.S., MS EPFP is hosted through Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center and is an initiative of the national Institute for Educational Leadership.

Amanda Tullos, project manager, explained that the initiative is “so valuable in network and leadership development as well as understanding the legislative, policy and appropriation process.”

With 16 fellows participating through May 2024, the group will focus on rural education, including the role of rural schools in communities and the workforce, and the specific needs and concerns of these schools in policy and practice.

“Across the year, we will hear from a variety of speakers and panelists whose work intersects with education policy and practice. Many are alumni of the MS EPFP program who have gone on to leadership roles across the state,” said Devon Brenner, SSRC director and program director.

Organizations and agencies involved include the Mississippi Community College Board, AccelerateMS, Woodward Hines Education Foundation, National Rural Education Association and the Mississippi Department of Education.

Next spring, the fellows travel to Washington, D.C., where they and program peers from around the country will meet with their respective elected representatives and leaders of the Institute for Educational Leadership. Established more than a half-century ago, this institute is a nonprofit devoted to “helping policymakers, administrators and practitioners at all levels bridge bureaucratic silos and undo gridlock to improve outcomes for all young people and their families.” For more, visit www.iel.org/about-us.

“This year’s cohorts include representatives from four- and two-year institutions of higher learning, administrators and educators from preK-12 education, and a range of non-profit groups to learn together. To our knowledge, no other program in the state brings together such a diverse range of individuals to learn and network together,” said Brenner.

Learn more about the SSRC online at ssrc.msstate.edu.

The 2022-23 MS EPFP Fellows include (by institution or office):

  • AccelerateMS: Lori Nail, youth programs manager
  • Cleveland School District: Charles Johnson, deputy superintendent
  • Jackson Public School District: Angel Freeman, psychometrist
  • West Lauderdale Middle School: Robbi Cooper, assistant principal
  • Madison County Schools: Nicole Cockrell, school principal
  • Mississippi Achievement School District: Sarah J. Bailey, executive director of innovation and transformation
  • Mississippi Community College Board: Brandi Ratliff, professional development specialist
  • Mississippi State University: Christina Reynolds, director of partnership and education liaison for the Office of Research and Economic Development; and Katerina Sergi, assistant research professor with the Social Science Research Center
  • Mississippi State University-Meridian: Myrick Nicks, assistant clinical professor; and  LaMareshia Johnson, instructor
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Monica L. Coleman, program officer
  • University of Mississippi: Roger Davis Jr., inclusive excellence and engagement director for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement; Ashleen Williams, instructional assistant professor; and Amanda Winburn, associate professor
  • Starkville Oktibbeha School District: Vernita Wilson, assistant superintendent

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 - 1:28 pm