TS Staff


Marsha Boyd Pharr


Marsha Boyd Pharr has provided supervision for the Talent Search Program since its inception in 1992 and began providing leadership and supervision for the Upward Bound Program in 1998. A native North Carolinian, Ms. Pharr has dedicated her entire career to serving students in this state. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of Education as a Consultant for the NC Department of Public Instruction, Career Counselor at North Carolina Central University and currently as the Director of TRIO Programs at NC State University. She is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Masters of Education Degree from North Carolina State University. The philosophy of TRIO—providing equal access to higher education—is a passion which sustains her career path.

_MH14138La’Toya Reed


La’Toya Reed is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of Saint Augustine’s College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration. A TRIO-SSS Alumna, Mrs. Reed has spent 6 years working with the Saint Augustine’s University Talent Search and Student Support Services programs, and is dedicated to supporting equal access to a quality education here at NC State. Ms. Reed serves Zebulon Middle School, Knightdale High School, and all non-target schools.

Alec Virgil


Alec Virgil has a passion and undying support for youth. His belief is that through drive and commitment, one can lead a life of abundance. Alec was born and raised in Wilson, NC. He graduated from North Carolina State University with his B.A. in Sociology. With the guidance of his parents and chosen mentors, he decided to live a purpose driven life despite the reality of adversity that many of his peers faced. Before working as Program Coordinator at TRIO, Alec taught grades K-12, earning Beginning Teacher of the Year in 2018. He then traveled the country doing presentations at universities and K-12 institutions on Diversity and Inclusion. Mr. Virgil serves East Wake High School, Wendell Middle School, and Zebulon Middle School. Alec stands for a world that is educated, abundant, peaceful, and loving and is committed to providing high quality education to students around the world.


FS2Frances De Los Santos


Frances De Los Santos graduated from NC State University with her Bachelor’s in Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to working at TRIO, she was an NC State College Adviser where she got her first taste of work in college access. Ms. De Los Santos is a first-generation citizen and college graduate, and is passionate about serving the Talent Search program to help students achieve their goals. Ms. De Los Santos serves Selma Middle School, Smithfield Middle School, and Smithfield Selma High School.

Catherine Wright

Administrative Support Associate
Contact Info

Catherine Wright is from Nassau, Bahamas and has earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration with a major in Human Resource Management from McHari International College (The Bahamas). She has worked in the administrative field in the education industry for more than thirty years, supplying thorough administrative support to senior executives. Catherine is the current Administrative Support Associate of the TRIO Programs in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs at NC State University. Her role ensures the smooth operation of events and academic activities within the TRIO Programs.