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Advisory Board

Angela Owusu-Ansah, associate dean of the School of Education at Elon University, is also director of Master's Programs, Teacher Education Programs and Unit Assessment-Accreditation. She is an associate professor in educational assessment, quantitative research and administration. She has been the editor of The Educational Collaborative journal and has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Forum on Public Policy: A Journal for the Oxford Round Table. She was educated in Ghana (BA), Spain (MS), America (Ph.D.) with a residency at Oxford University, UK. Her research interests include quantitative literacy, assessment and intercultural competence. Her hobbies are painting abstracts and playing basketball.

Dr. Gerald G. Duffy is a former elementary school teacher, teacher educator and researcher. He holds a rank of professor emeritus from Michigan State University, where he served for 25 years as a professor of reading and as a senior researcher in the Institute for Research on Teaching.  From 2004-2010, he was the William Moran Distinguished Professor of Reading and Literacy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His professional emphasis has been on teaching and studying field-based teacher education efforts, with a particular interest in reading comprehension and teacher thought and decision making. He is the author or co-author of several books, and has published over 150 articles and research papers. He is currently retired and living in Deer Park, Wash.

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 Graham has 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.