Senior Director, SSS Programs
Courtney Simpson earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from NC State University. Ms. Simpson has a proven track record and demonstrated commitment to the TRIO Programs. As a first-generation college student herself, she has used her various roles at the university to advocate for and mentor first-generation, under-resourced students. Prior to becoming Director of Student Support Services and Student Support Services STEM, Courtney served as a Program Coordinator for the Educational Talent Search, an Academic Advisor in the College of Management, and an Assistant Director in the University’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. Courtney has served as Director of Student Support Services and Student Support Services STEM over the past 9 years and became Senior Director of TRIO Collegiate Programs after successfully obtaining the Ronald E. McNair grant, alongside Marsha Pharr. Courtney serves as the Chair for the First in the Pack Program and is a 3rd-year student in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development doctoral program at NC State University.
SSS-STEM ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Pack Promise Coordinator
Rebecca earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration & Student Personnel from Kent State University (Kent, OH) and a B.S. in Mathematics with a secondary education certification from Albright College (Reading, PA). She found her passion for working with TRiO programs while serving as a Graduate Assistant for TRiO SSS. Prior to her role at NC State, she worked with TRiO SSS, Peer Mentor programs, and First Year Experience at the University of South Florida Saint Petersburg. As a certified Gallup Strengths Coach, Rebecca combines this expertise with her knowledge of student development and advising to help students discover their strengths, pursue their goals, and find success through college, and beyond.
Kyle Blochl attended Appalachian State University and earned both his BS in Secondary English Education and his MA in Instructional Technology: Educational Media – Media Literacy. Previously, he worked at Daytona State College’s Writing Center as a writing specialist, and has also worked as a school teacher and computer tech. As Tutor Coordinator, Kyle makes sure that all of the TRIO tutoring needs are fulfilled. He also assists TRIO students in writing needs, including resumes, personal statements, and more. Additionally, Kyle is a certified TESOL instructor and assists with English language learning.
Dawn Speas is from Winston-Salem, NC, and earned a B.S degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Shaw University (Raleigh, NC). Prior to joining TRIO, she was a Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist. For many years she worked as a Project Manager coordinating multiple projects and implementing software for a diverse client population. As a first-generation and low-income student, she is very passionate about supporting students by working with colleagues and campus partners to provide academic, financial, career readiness resources, and life skills to succeed in higher education. In 2018 she received the Pride of the Wolfpack Award that recognizes individual employees for a special or unique contribution to their college, business unit, or NC State University. She enjoys taking walks in her neighborhood, making candles, aromatherapy, practicing meditation and mindfulness that she also shares with students via workshops to help relieve stress, anxiety and promote an overall sense of well being. Dawn is currently a graduate student pursuing her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at NC State.