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Staff

Staff 

The i3 project ran from 2011 – 2017 and was driven by the staff listed below. Work with New Tech Network continues.
For information, contact Jacki Martin, below. 

Courtenay Laughlin Nantz
Courtenay Laughlin Nantz joined the Riley Institute in 2008 as Project Director for the Center for Education Policy and Leadership, leading a second grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation on public education in South Carolina. In 2012 she began leadership of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant project, undertaken with KnowledgeWorks Foundation and funded by the US Department of Education. She is responsible for directing the implementation of the transformative New Tech Network model in high poverty, historically low-performing schools in South Carolina, and expansion of the model to districts across the state. Courtenay joined the staff of the Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) in 2015, working to craft DLI classes in the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina. A former teacher and school administrator in Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, she is a 1989 Furman graduate and earned her M.A. in School Leadership and Administration at Furman in 2003.
Scott McPherson
Scott McPherson joined the Riley Institute in 2012 as the New Tech Network liaison with the Center for Education Policy and Leadership. He is a 2005 Furman University graduate with degrees in History and Political Science, a 2008 Fulbright-Hays scholar, and in 2009 earned an M.A. in African History at University of Florida. He helps coordinate the implementation of transformative New Tech Network high schools in South Carolina’s I-95 corridor and the expansion of the Network across South Carolina. He works with the Riley Institute’s Montessori education research project, supervises the WhatWorksSC web resource and award, and is project coordinator for the Institute’s Emerging Public Leaders program. 
 
Donald L. Gordon
Donald L. Gordon has been the Executive Director of the Riley Institute since its inception in 1999. Dr. Gordon is a Professor of Political Science at Furman where he specializes in African and Middle Eastern Politics. Under his direction the Riley Institute has grown to include the Centers for Education Policy and Leadership, Diversity Strategies, and Crucial Issues all designed to address issues critical to  the future of South Carolina. On leave from Furman, he served as a Chief of Staff and Committee Counsel in the US House of Representatives. Dr. Gordon received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida.
Jacki Martin
Jacki Martin is Director of Operations at the Riley Institute at Furman University, where she assists the Executive Director in developing and funding the spectrum of the Institute’s programs and in supporting the staff who are managing them. Jacki also serves as the leader of the Riley Institute’s Center for Education Policy and Leadership. Her background is primarily in policy and program management around community development issues, with an emphasis on management of large-scale, multi-county, multi-sector outreach initiatives. She has an undergraduate degree in communications from the University of South Carolina.
864.294.3578