Hans K. Meeder
President & Founder, Ext. 4
Hans Meeder is a recognized expert in Pathways for Career and Life Success, as well as Career Technical Education (CTE) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. He has conducted original research on these topics, authored numerous reports, articles and books, including The Power and Promise of Pathways. Hans is also the author of the cutting edge blog, CCL In.Sight.com. Hans is available to provide compelling keynote addresses and to facilitate leadership forums among key education leaders and influencers.
Hans formed Meeder Consulting in 2005 and in 2012, co-founded the National Center for College and Career Transitions, in which he serves as President and CEO. Prior to his work with Meeder Consulting and NC3T, Hans served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. In this role, he led the Department of Education’s High School Initiative, and also guided policy development for implementation of the Perkins Act and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. Prior service includes roles with the U.S. House of Representatives, the 21st Century Workforce Commission, and the National Alliance of Business.
He earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland and also holds an MBA from the University of Maryland University College. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, and is father of four adult children.
Executive Vice President, Ext. 5
Brett is the co-founder of NC3T and Executive Vice President. He is published widely on the topic of business/ education engagement and has worked with businesses, nonprofits, and others on building effective education engagement programs. Brett is co-author of The Employer Engagement Toolkit.
He has also served as a visible advocate of partnerships, publishing extensively on the subject and hosting conferences, trainings, and webinars.
Pawlowski co-authored “Building Advisory Boards that Matter” (with Hans Meeder), a hands-on guide published by ACTE.
Operations Manager and Senior Project Manager, Ext. 2
Kandice works to help all projects operate efficiently and to share learning among our team so we keep getting better at what we do. She contributes project and research support to many NC3T initiatives, maintains the NC3T website, coordinates our webinars, oversees our product and service fulfillment, and manages all of our office/administrative duties.
Formerly she worked as the Education Director for the National Child Support Enforcement Association serving to coordinate professional development efforts for their members and led various professional committees. She received her master’s in clinical psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD, and her undergraduate degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Kandice also has a passion for educating the community about Lyme Disease and other tick-borne pathogens and is the founder of the Howard County Lyme Awareness group in Columbia, MD. She helped craft The Patient’s Access to Integrative Health Care Act of 2020 to protect Lyme Patient’s rights and testified twice in front of the Maryland House and Senate Committees before the bill finally passed in July 2020.
Marketing Manager, Ext. 6
Najah brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a marketing professional to help highlight the new and innovative products and services that NC3T offers while fostering relationships with our education partners and people we serve.
Najah A. Edmondson has worked as a marketing professional with years of experience from various industries ranging from legal to education. She earned her B.A. in English Writing with minors in Sociology and Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh. Najah also holds an MBA from Arcadia University where she was enrolled in an accelerated international program. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and kids. In Najah’s spare time, she loves reading novels by her favorite author, James Patterson.
Executive Assistant and Operations Assistant, Ext. 3
Carol supports the NC3T staff by providing administrative help for various projects, product fulfillment and logistics, some web assistance, manages our supplies, and coordinates specific scheduling for the team.
Carol has a diverse background having worked in a variety of fields including the wireless industry and the food service industry. She earned her B.S in Business and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park and her M.S. in Telecommunications Management from the University of Maryland, University College. She has volunteered for many years with Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and lives in Ellicott City with her husband and two daughters. In her spare time she enjoys running and all things Disney.
Customer Success Manager, Ext. 9
Brandon plays a vital role in serving our NC3T education partners through training and support of our Seamless software, making the technology transition convenient and pleasant.
Brandon has 8 years of experience working in Education including training, counseling, and creating individualized career plans for students. He most recently worked as an Integrated Education and Training specialist developing career pathways programs for Adult Education students in Southern Louisiana.
Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He and his family reside in Youngsville, Louisiana.
CareerSmart Schools Product Manager, Ext. 8
JoLynn plays a key role in the development and ongoing management of the new CareerSmart Schools platform as well as provides excellent customer service to our CareerSmart Classrooms platform users.
JoLynn has 5 years of experience in education ranging from work in secondary to postsecondary. Most recently, she worked for the Rapid City Area School District where she played an integral role in the development and implementation of the RCAS Academies & Pathways model. In addition to her experience with developing relevant and meaningful career-connected learning opportunities for students, she also has a background in building mutually beneficial relationships with community, business, and postsecondary partners.
JoLynn holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming and an MA in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Adult and Higher Learning from the University of South Dakota.
Tamarah Fields, Ed.S.
Pathways Services Director, Ext. 10
Tamarah serves as NC3T’s Director of Pathways Services. Within this role, she provides pathways system oversight, targeted coaching & consulting, and technical assistance. Tamarah’s expertise encompasses education, business partner engagement and outreach, community and school mental health, corporate sales and promotions, and economic development.
Over the last two decades, Tamarah has provided technical assistance and training in the fields of Career and Technical Education (CTE), Pathways, and Academies; economic analysis; strategic planning; data-driven goal identification, setting, and alignment; de-escalation and problem-solving; multi-tiered systems of supports/response to intervention: behavior (MTSS/RTI: Behavior); school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports (SW-PBIS); crisis intervention; master scheduling; experiential learning; stakeholder engagement; communication and relationship building; marketing and promotions; and leadership best practices.
Tamarah holds an Ed. S. degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. At the University of South Florida, she completed her M.A. dual-track degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Professional School Counseling, and her B.A. in Economics and Music: Vocal Performance; Tamarah’s A.A. degree was earned from Lake Sumter State College. Tamarah holds Florida Professional Educator Certification in Educational Leadership, Exceptional Student Education, and Professional School Counseling, and is licensed as a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern (FL-IMH14682). Tamarah lives in central Florida with her husband, daughter, son, and their three-pound Yorkie.
Meet Our Adjunct Staff
Joann M. Hudak, Ed.D.
Joann is an educational consultant with 35 years of experience in public education. She has been at the forefront of engaging school, workforce, and economic development leaders in creating effective partnerships to enhance student career readiness across Northeast Pennsylvania.
Joann is the co-lead in the development of a Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) online course designed to increase school leader’s knowledge related to student career readiness. In addition, she is conducting Work-Based Learning Workshops and Career Pathway Leadership Forums across the Commonwealth to increase and improve communication between career and technical leaders and school district and community partners.
Joann is an educational consultant who recently retired as the Assistant Superintendent for the Wallenpaupack Area School District. With 35 years of experience in education, Joann has served as high school and middle school principal at Wallenpaupack Area and taught Spanish for 12 years in the Pocono Mountain School District. She is an adjunct professor for Wilkes University teaching in the Educational Leadership Program and a Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Facilitator.
Joann is also deeply involved in regional workforce and economic development. She serves as the chairperson of the Wayne/Pike Workforce Alliance, a member of Wayne County’s Wayne Tomorrow! strategic planning initiative and is an advisory board member of the Stourbridge Project, the county’s technology incubator and accelerator. In addition, she is a member of the Wayne Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, and numerous other regional boards and committees.
Joann completed her Doctorate in Educational Administration at Widener University, received a Master’s in Educational Administration from East Stroudsburg University, a Master of Arts in Spanish from Montclair State University, a Bachelor of Science in Spanish and Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University and Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Union College.
Michelle conducts research, writing and analysis for various NC3T projects. Her work includes organizing and writing Pennsylvania Best Practices profiles and creating asset inventory reports for the Central Pennsylvania Career Pathways Partnership.She also has organized professional learning communities for administrators and educators and written case studies on innovative practices.
Michelle has experience as an educator and legislative analyst. She was an elementary school teacher in Virginia.She also worked as a policy analyst for the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission, which conducts evaluation and analysis for the Virginia General Assembly.
Michelle holds an undergraduate degree, Master of Teaching degree and a Master of Education from the University of Virginia. She and her family reside in Annandale, Virginia.
Connie supports NC3T’s work by providing technical assistance to communities wishing to design and implement Career Pathways, Career Academies, and other initiatives related to college and career-connected learning. She provides training in key strategies for implementation including working in teams, business engagement strategies, and leadership and change techniques.
Connie Majka has an M.Ed in Counseling Psychology and holds a Pennsylvania Certificate in Secondary School Counseling. She is a co-founder of the National Career Academy Coalition and is Professional Development Provider certified in Facilitation Skills and Consensus Building. She is considered an authority on the History of the Career Academy Model. A creative, innovative and dedicated educator, Connie skillfully cultivates productive partnerships and is adept at creating and operationalizing new ventures.
James A. Kraft, Ed.D.
Jim’s role in supporting the work at NC3T is to conduct research and develop recommendations for enhancing the delivery of education in school systems and state agencies. He also conducts workshops and serves as a subject matter expert in CTE.
Jim is an education consultant with 37 years of experience in public education. He has an accomplished background as a systemic leader of change at progressive career and technology centers in Pennsylvania. He has a passion for assisting others as education change agents. His expertise includes; providing technical assistance with the development and implementation of career clusters, career academies, and career pathways, with an emphasis on the whole student through the development of strong partnerships with schools, employers, and postsecondary institutions. He also has significant experience working with school leaders to design physical spaces and to implement instructional delivery techniques to better facilitate collaboration and teamwork.
Edward Shafer, Ed. D.
Ed Shafer is a career educator with 49 years of experience in public schools and the non-profit sector. He holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia and served as the Director of the CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York from 2010 to 2014 and recently as a Sr. Consultant with the Successful Practices Network and the National Center for College & Career Transitions (NC3T). He works with NC3T on several projects in various states.
Dr. Shafer is president and CEO of Educational Advisors and Support, LLC which provides the CTE support services of Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment, Strategic Planning, Literacy Solutions, Problem and Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking to school districts and intermediate agencies. He is the author of two studies on the outcomes of the New Your State Approve CTE Program model based in 80 individual reviews of Programs of Study. Recent work with NC3T includes designing program reviews for the U-46 school district outside of Chicago and the Norfolk City Public Schools. Dr. Shafer also recently led CTE strategic planning efforts in several north Carolina School Districts.
Susan supports NC3T’s work by writing and developing innovative curriculum for CareerSmart classrooms. She has worked in Career and Technical Education for 13 years, instructing Career Exploration, Human Services, Business, and Work-Based Learning classes.
Susan Leon is currently an Instructional Specialist for West-MEC, focused on instructional coaching, professional development, and curriculum development. She has an M.Ed in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Career and Technical Education and a Bachelor’s in Marketing. Susan is a key stakeholder in developing district-level instructor training and is the state lead for the Work-Based Learning professional development class. She and her family reside in Surprise, Arizona.
Stephanie McHugh, Ed.D.
Stephanie uses her extensive experience and expertise in developing materials for NC3T’s CareerSmart Schools system and in advising districts regarding K-12 Career Exploration and Education Plans.
Dr. McHugh is currently the Vice Provost for Secondary Education – High School, Commonwealth Charter Academy in Pennsylvania.
With 22 years of experience, Dr. McHugh has served in various educational leadership roles before her current position, including school building and district administration, pupil services, counseling, and career readiness.
She obtained a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s degree in educational administration from Duquesne University; and a master’s degree in counselor education, a bachelor’s degree in economics, and a bachelor’s degree in government and public service from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. McHugh is a National Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors and holds the following certifications from the Pennsylvania Department of Education: Secondary School Counseling 7-12; Supervisor School Counseling K-12; Principal Certification K-12; Curriculum and Instruction K-12; and a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility.
She is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University and California University of Pennsylvania; a consultant for College Bound Academy, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, and the National Center for College and Career Transitions; and a Pennsylvania Department of Education Career Readiness Trainer for the Statewide Workforce Regional Network.
Dr. McHugh is married to David, and they have two children. In her spare time, she enjoys reading historical fiction, bike riding, spending time with her family, and watching and riding off into the sunset.