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College Success Navigators

MARC has contracted with a team of experienced individuals to serve as college success navigators, working one-on-one with returning adult students to help them to and through college. Beginning in September, these navigators will be available at community locations to meet with people who are interested in getting back to school and completing degrees. For more information, contact:

Pamela R. Harris

Pamela Harris joined the KC Degrees initiative in August 2016, and is now a project coordinator. Pamela brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in social services, public education, postsecondary education, community engagement and parent and family engagement. Prior to joining KC Degrees, Pamela was employed at Kansas City Public Schools as director of parent and family engagement. Previously, she worked for the Kauffman Scholars, Inc., program as the dean of students and vice president of parent and family engagement. Pamela holds a Bachelor of Science degree in human development and family life from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science in organization development psychology from Avila University. She is a life-long learner and has spent the past 17 years working to improve the lives of children and families within the Greater Kansas City community. In her new role, Pamela will serve the KC Degrees initiative by supporting returning adult students to and through college and help them understand their postsecondary options. She will work closely with college advisors, financial and enrollment services personnel.

Cathie Peterson

Dr. Cathie Peterson joined the KC Degrees team as a college navigator in September 2016. Before joining the team, Cathie served as director of the Center for Adult and Professional Education at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. In that role she advised adult students and developed a schedule of accelerated degree completion courses for adult students. In addition to working at MNU, Cathie was employed for 20 years at Johnson County Community College. She has also served as dean of academic affairs at various universities, and community and technical colleges in Kansas City, Missouri; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Irvine, California; and Beatrice, Nebraska. After retiring a year ago, Cathie decided she wanted to continue to work with higher education institutions while serving the community of adult learners in the Kansas City region, and the KC Degrees initiative provided the perfect opportunity to help returning adult students get the information they need to complete their college degrees. Cathie earned a bachelor's degree in education from Minnesota State University, a master's degree in adult education from the University of Nebraska and and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.Her educational background and her passion for lifelong learning will benefit the students who are part of the program.

Carrie Barnes

Carrie Barnes joined KC Degrees as a college navigator in December 2017. She has lived in eastern Jackson County, Missouri, most of her life. She received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Central Methodist University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). She worked in the private industry in human resources for a number of years, and has worked as an academic advisor at Metropolitan Community College and UMKC. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and cheering for our hometown teams. She is passionate about helping students finish their degrees, and is excited to work with KC Degrees students.

Ebony Hodges

Ebony Hodges joined the KC Degrees initiative in December 2017, and works as a college success navigator. Ebony’s background includes 11 years of experience in administration within the United States Air Force. Her experience covers an array of roles such as advisor, coordinator and mentoring instructor. She has significant experience in client relations, advising career and education trails and community involvement. She served as president of the Junior Advisory Council where she led peers in self-building exploration. She also served as chairperson of the morale and engagement committee within the medical department, serving all ranks providing social and communal attainment. She has attained Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees and earned Airman Leadership School certification and mentorship instructor certification through the Center for Creative Leadership. Her enthusiasm and motivation toward education and propelling clients towards personal advancement will benefit the students who are a part of KC Degrees.

Tamika Doolin

Tamika joined KC Degrees as a college success navigator in January 2018 after working as a graduate admission advisor for Avila University. Prior to her time at Avila, she served in career and employment services, assisting job seekers and employers with search, preparation and placement. Before working in the community setting, Tamika worked in higher education for nearly 15 years, performing various student support and leadership roles. With well-rounded knowledge of multiple facets of the college experience, she offers a diverse range of expertise on advising and coaching individuals in their career and academic pursuits. Tamika is a natural born-entrepreneur, coming from a family of small business owners. She successfully owned and operated a mobile frozen novelties business in Wisconsin with her husband for three years and plans to launch a seasonal food truck business in the Kansas City area in 2019. Her education includes a Master of Science in human resources/organizational development, a Master of Science in Education in family studies, and a Bachelor of Science in psychology with an emphasis in business and technology.


Program Staff

Sheri Gonzales-Warren
Community and Economic Development Program Director

Sheri Gonzales Warren is program director for MARC's postsecondary attainment and workforce development efforts, including GradForce KC and KC Degrees. She also leads MARC's work on human capital as part of the KC Rising initiative, a business-led economic development initiative for the Greater Kansas City region. Sheri's background includes eight years of experience in administration at a university, including two years as an academic advisor/program assistant. She has significant experience managing private and public funds for initiatives in county, state and regional contexts. She is also an experienced project manager, with over 15 years of experience in development, implementation, and evaluation of strategic plans and projects to advance an organization's mission. She has served on and led a number of county or regional coalition initiatives. Sheri holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. She joined Mid-America Regional Council in 2015.

Cedric Deadmon
Outreach and Advising Project Manager

Cedric Deadmon is the Outreach and Advising Project Manager for KC Degrees. Cedric joined Mid-America Regional Council in August 2016 and is a part of the workforce development and community development division at MARC. His work will focus on increasing postsecondary educational attainment in the region. Cedric brings 15 years of experience in higher education and economic and community development to MARC. Most recently, he served as the director for the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community in Jackson, Tennessee. In that role, he organized activities designed to increase college attainment rates among adults through partnerships with public and private colleges and universities, technical colleges and community colleges. Cedric was instrumental in launching successful college access initiatives in Tennessee and was part of a team recognized with an innovation award from the National Association of Development Organization in 2012 and 2013 for his work with the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI College Access Project) of Southwest Tennessee. Cedric has presented at statewide conferences on college completion, advocated for a student bill of rights, and worked with statewide college access initiatives including serving as a consultant for the Tennessee College Access and Success Network where he was a key figure in a recently launch pilot program entitled PATH: Preparing Adults for the Transition to Higher Education. He has a bachelor of arts from Lane College with a major in mass communications and a minor in sociology.