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Advisory Board

Glenda W. Crawford is a adjunct professor emerita of Elon University. She is former director of the Elon Teaching Fellows and has served as consultant on critical thinking and learner-centered pedagogy in Nanjing, The People’s Republic of China, London, England, Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Tbilisi, the Republic of Georgia. Dr. Crawford has published five books, one a second edition, in the area of adolescent learning. She is recipient of the Elon University Daniels-Danieley Excellence in Teaching Award and the North Carolina Professor of the Year awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She received a bachelor of arts in English, a masters of gifted education, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Gerry Francis is executive vice president and a member of the president's staff at Elon University. Prior to assuming the executive vice president position in June 2009, he served for 15 years as Elon's provost and vice president for academic affairs. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Appalachian State University, where he was a member of the basketball team. He earned his doctorate in mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech). In 1983, he joined the administrative ranks as dean of academic affairs, and was later named vice president of academic affairs before being named provost in 1994.


Heather Grahamhas more than 15 years of experience providing strategic planning, policy analysis, advocacy, research and project management support to foundations, state and federal policymakers and non-profit organizations. Currently a senior consultant with Education First, a national policy and strategy consulting firm, her recent projects include developing grant-making strategies for the Helmsley Trust's newly formed education program and the Lumina Foundation’s College Prep team, and providing technical support to a network of 12 social and emotional learning (SEL) providers as part of NoVo Foundation's newly-formed SEL learning network. Previously, Heather served as a program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has an M.A. in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a B.A. with honors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Sam Miller is a professor and the associate dean of academic affairs and student services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan and joined the faculty at UNCG in 1986. His research interests focus on student cognition and motivation, particularly as they relate to teacher education.


Nan Phipps Perkins is senior consultant for Credo, a higher education consulting firm, and vice president emerita at Elon University. She was a member of the president’s senior staff at Elon for more than 25 years, serving in consecutive roles as director of Communications, director of Publications and Public Information, dean of Admissions and Financial Planning / president for Enrollment Management and from 2000-2008 as the vice president for University Advancement. She attended Meredith College, has a B.A. from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton) and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Ron Shive is the senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Burlington, N.C. at which one component of the Elon Village Project meets. He studied at Auburn University (B.S., Microbiology), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), Erskine Theological Seminary (non-degree), and Union Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He has previously served three churches in South Carolina. He is very involved in local, national, and international ministries for social justice and peace. He is married to the former, Pamela (Pam) Young, who works with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh. They have two grown children and one granddaughter.


Tara Tinnin earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Biology from Guilford College.  She has been a part of the It Takes a Village Project for several years. She enjoys providing advocacy, education, and training within the community. A parent representative, Tara considers it an honor to serve on the It Takes a Village Advisory Board because she can give back to her community.