Marsha Boyd Pharr
Executive Director for TRIO Programs
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 a 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.
Maurice Mathis serves as the Assistant Director for the NC State Upward Bound programs. He began working with an Upward Bound program in Missouri in 2007 and has since enjoyed helping students reach high school graduation and college entrance. In 2010 he began volunteering with the NC State Upward Bound Program. From there, he completed his internship with the TRIO Programs office working with both the Upward Bound and Talent Search programs. After working with other TRiO programs in the state, he returns ready to utilize his skills with the students in both Upward Bound programs. “Mr. M,” as the students call him, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Truman State University and Master of Science degree in organizational communications from NC State University. Being a first-generation college student, Mr. M understands the particular challenges students face when they don’t have a steady figure walking them through the college access journey – he is happy to stand in as this figure with the students.
Terry Baxter serves as the Program Coordinator for the NC State Upward Bound programs. He began working with an Upward Bound Program in Western North Carolina in 2011 and has continuously worked with high school students to help reach their goals of higher education. Prior to working at TRIO, he was an educator working with students to achieve success in the classroom. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University where he first began to work with students, he is passionate about serving the Upward Bound programs to help students reach their dreams. Outside of TRIO he enjoys watching/playing sports and Netflix. Mr. Baxter looks forward to helping scholars with NC State Upward Bound programs achieve their goal of attending college.
Canitria Cook serves as the Academic Coordinator for the NC State Upward Bound Program. She is a native of Franklinton, NC. She received her B.A. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016. Prior to joining our staff, she served two years as the College Adviser at Northern Vance High School with the Carolina College Advising Corp. As a first-generation college student, Ms. Cook is passionate about working with underprivileged and underrepresented students. She believes in the power of education and its ability to help prepare students for a prosperous career, personal growth, and civic engagement.
Administrative Support Associate
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.