New WHEF Faces and Titles

The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) welcomed three new employees in December and January. With the revamping of WHEF’s organizational structure, several employees have undergone title changes to support its new strategic plan and levers of change. 

Three New Faces 

Josephine Dunigan joined WHEF in December 2022 as the coordinator of GEAR UP Outreach with Delta State University. She has an extensive background in the world of education. An Information Technology graduate of Mississippi Valley State University with a Master’s degree in Management Leadership, Josephine brings a history of positive results and dedication from her previous roles. She aims to make the students, schools, and families she supports as a coordinator feel valued and have the best access to postsecondary resources.  

Josephine is based in Indianola, MS, and has two sons, one who went to Mississippi State University and served in the Marine Corps for eight years and the other who attends Jackson State University. When she is not traveling around the Delta supporting schools, she loves reading and traveling. 

WHEF also welcomed Morgan Miller to the communications, policy, and advocacy team as director in January 2023. Morgan recently moved back to Jackson after serving as a director of communications in student services at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, focusing on marketing and digital strategy for student engagement and well-being.  

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 2010, Morgan moved to Jackson from her hometown, Atlantic City, NJ, to be a meteorologist and reporter for WJTV News Channel 12. In 2013, she transitioned into public relations and communications, working for the ACLU of Mississippi and then the Mississippi Department of Transportation, cultivating her passion for communications strategy as a public service. Morgan lives in Jackson with her family, two dogs, and a cat. When she is not thinking about communications strategy, she can be found listening to podcasts, baking, or teaching yoga.  

Jackie Rogers joined WHEF in December 2022 as the communications, policy, and advocacy project manager. Prior to WHEF, she worked for the Program in International Affairs, a degree-granting academic unit at the University of Colorado Boulder. During her tenure there, she helped the program incorporate new communications tools, increase alumni engagement, and launch multiple annual events.  

Jackie graduated from Central Michigan University, where she majored in communications and art. She holds a Master of Education degree in higher and postsecondary education from Arizona State University. When not in the WHEF office, she can be found on her farm running around with her dogs or among the cows, chickens, and bees. 

Strategic Title Changes & Promotions

Kierstan Dufour is now WHEF’s director of external training & partnerships for Get2College. She has led the Foundation’s FAFSA scaling efforts and created training/professional development programming for Mississippi educators to support college access for Mississippi students. Kierstan partnered in the creation of the curriculum, student workbook materials, and Master Teacher of CCR course for the support of the graduation requirement College and Career Readiness high school class. She serves on the National College Attainment Networks FAFSA Expert advisory board and is published in the Foundation Review for FAFSA scaling work. Kierstan joined WHEF in 2015. 

Shannon Grimsley joins Kierstan as the assistant director of eternal training and partnerships. She will support the expansion of WHEF’s scaling efforts and professional development and training for statewide partners. Shannon began at WHEF in 2011 after 13 years at Millsaps College, focusing on Admissions. 

Nikki Jackson will serve as a program manager reporting to the Chief of Staff and supporting WHEF’s grantmaking investments beginning in March 2023. Prior to joining the WHEF team in 2017, Nikki accumulated over twenty years of experience championing the needs of under-resourced communities to achieve economic self-sufficiency and enhance their quality of life. Her previous roles have included need-based data analysis, legal and governmental document evaluation, and case management.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

Minette D. Ketchings now serves as the chief operating officer and controller of WHEF. Minette also serves as the corporate secretary of WHEF and MHEAC. She began her career with the organization in 1991. She holds a Bachelor of Professional Accountancy degree from Mississippi State University and is a licensed CPA. 

Shanell Watson now serves as chief of staff for WHEF. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s grantmaking investments, and managing organizational research, evaluation, and learning processes. Since joining the Foundation in 2007, Shanell has served in various roles, including financial analyst, data analyst, and, most recently, program officer. She was a member of Philanthropy Southeast‘s 2020 Hull Fellows Leadership Class and currently serves on the governing boards of the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi and the Community Foundation for Mississippi. 

Posted by Comms Department at 19:47