TS Staff

Maurice Mathis

Senior Director, TRIO Pre-College Programs

Contact INFO 

Maurice Mathis provides oversight for both Upward Bound and Talent Search as the Senior Director for TRIO Pre-College Programs. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Truman State University and his Master of Science in Organizational Communication from NC State University. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Fayetteville State University. Maurice has served students in Upward Bound and Talent Search for 13 years across three institutions. As an educator, Mr. Mathis has provided a variety of workshops for students and professionals at the local, regional, and national levels. He has served as a National Trainer for the TRIO Training Project (Priority #5), a SAEOPP Board Member / Committee Chair for the Emerging Leaders Institute, and an NC TRIO Board Member. Through each appointment, he keeps the students he serves at the forefront and, as a result, has attended Policy Seminar in Washington DC multiple times to fight for increased funding for TRIO programs. Maurice enjoys all facets of TRIO work: from writing grants to creating partnerships to increase opportunities for students to overnight trips with students!

La’Toya Cesar 

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR TRIO TALENT SEARCH PROGRAMS
CONTACT INFO

La’Toya Cesar provides supervision for the TRIO Talent Search Legacy and TRIO Talent Search Encore Programs. Ms. Cesar received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from Saint Augustine’s University and her Master’s in Business Administration from Strayer University. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education at Fayetteville State University.  A first-generation college graduate and TRIO-SSS Alumna, Ms. Cesar has 13 years of experience working with TRIO Programs and currently serves as an NC TRIO Board Member. She is passionate about student advocacy and is committed to supporting policy change to support access and equity in higher education. 

FS2Frances De Los Santos

TALENT SEARCH LEGACY PROGRAM COORDINATOR
CONTACT INFO

Frances De Los Santos graduated from NC State University with her Bachelor’s in Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to working with 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.

 
 

Josie Rikard

TALENT SEARCH LEGACY PROGRAM COORDINATOR
CONTACT INFO

Josie Rikard graduated from NC State University with her Bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences and Biological Sciences. Prior to working with TRIO, she worked with Student Leadership and Engagement on campus where she connected students to meaningful leadership development, campus involvement, and community engagement opportunities. Ms. Rikard is passionate about the growth and personal development of the students we serve in helping them reach their goals of a debt-free education. Ms. Rikard serves East Wake High School, Wendell Middle School, and Zebulon Middle School. 

 

Trevor Dobbins 

TALENT SEARCH ENCORE PROGRAM COORDINATOR
CONTACT INFO

Trevor Dobbins graduated from North Carolina State University in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a minor in Coaching Education. He has since continued to further his education as he is currently pursuing a Master of Education at NC State University in the College Counseling and Student Development program. Mr. Dobbins is a first-generation college graduate dedicated to supporting and enabling students in our Talent Search Program to follow in his footsteps and be the first in their families to go to college and graduate. Mr. Dobbins serves Southern Wayne High School, Brogden Middle School, and Grantham Middle School.

Jared Nichols 

TALENT SEARCH ENCORE PROGRAM COORDINATOR
CONTACT INFO

Jared Nichols is a 2020 graduate of Radford University, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Recreational parks and tourism. As an undergraduate student, he served as a student orientation leader, parent guide, and Freshman seminar teacher’s assistant for 3 years.  Mr. Nichols’ start in North Carolina began as an admissions counselor and recruiter at Campbell University where he provided guidance to students for academic development and success. Mr. Nichols has a passion for helping students realize their hopes and dreams. “I am so happy I get to make a positive impact in the communities that we serve every day.  My mission is to ensure that students are able to carry out any dream and goal they have for themselves, by encouraging them and showing them the guidance and support they need”. 


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.

Gabrielle Joyner

Administrative Support Associate
Contact Info

Gabrielle Joyner serves as the Administrative Support Associate for the TRIO Pre-College Programs. She is a native of Greenville, North Carolina. She earned two bachelor’s degrees (B.S. in Criminal Justice, B.A. in Psychology) from East Carolina University in 2016. With almost five years of administrative experience, she is dedicated to providing quality administrative services to support the TRIO staff and the students and families served by TRIO.