Dr. Sasha Jarrell
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Dr. Sasha Jarrell began her academic career at her local community college in Enterprise, Alabama. However, it wasn’t until she attended graduate school at Auburn University that she began her pursuit of higher education administration as a graduate teaching assistant. After graduating with her Ph.D. in Applied Discrete Mathematics, she served as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.
In 2006, she joined Northwest Florida State College as a faculty member, teaching mathematics. Her dedication to success was quickly recognized, and she was asked to chair the Department of Mathematics from 2008 to 2011 before being named Vice President of Academic Affairs. The college’s Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Jarrell to as Interim President of NWF State College from January 1-December 31, 2016, during her fifth year of executive leadership with the institution.
Dr. Jarrell and her husband, Steven, reside in Niceville and have two daughters, Addalyn
Vice President of College Advancement
Cristie Kedroski is the Vice President of College Advancement at Northwest Florida State College. She is responsible for leadership and oversight of all functions assigned to the Office of College Advancement, including marketing and public relations, external fundraising, alumni relations, special events, scholarships and the NWF State College Foundation.
Kedroski previously served as the Interim Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Florida’s Great Northwest, a regional economic development organization representing 16 counties in Northwest Florida. Preceding her tenure at Florida’s Great Northwest, she worked for the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce as the Special Events Director and at Office Depot’s Corporate Headquarters in Delray Beach as the Marketing Manager.
Kedroski received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and her Master’s in Business Administration at the University of West Florida. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast and is a graduate of the Leadership Okaloosa program.
Kedroski and her husband, Art, reside in Niceville and they have three daughters,
Kaylee, Kelsey, and Kassidy.
Vice President Administration/Chief Financial Officer
Randy White serves as the Vice President of Administration/Chief Financial Officer at Northwest Florida State College, a position he has held since 2014. White is responsible for college financial affairs, administrative services and safety. Before stepping into his role at NWF State College, White served as a Colonel in the United States Airforce. During his years of service to his country, White served as the Director of Budget Operation Integration, Director of Financial Management at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and as the Director of Financial Management at the Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base. While deployed to Iraq, White served as the Deputy Director of Resources and Requirements for the Multi-National Force.
White’s community and professional activities include Member of the Council of Business Affairs (COBA), Florida College System; Member of the COBA Steering Committee, 2016-2017; Member of the Association of Florida Colleges; Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM), Acquisitions; Chairman, Armed Forces Retirement Home Advisory Council; Board Member, Eglin Yacht and Dive Club; Board Member, Windward Property Owners Association; and Finance Committee, Crosspoint UMC.
White received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems from McMurry University and his Master of Science degree in operations management from the University of Arkansas.
White and his wife, Maria, reside in Niceville and they have two children, Greg and
Mandy, and two grandchildren, Colin and Jacob.
Chief Information Officer
Cole Allen is the Chief Information Officer at Northwest Florida State College. Allen leads the college technology strategy and staff to ensure alignment with the institution’s vision and goals. Allen brings over 10 years of IT management experience in higher education, and has a proven track record in successful implementation of complex IT initiatives.
Allen previously served as Manager of Information and Instructional Technology at the Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University. He has also served as Network Administrator at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
Allen received his Executive MBA from Auburn University at Montgomery, and his Bachelor’s
in Organization Management from Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Dean of Institutional Research, Analysis, and Planning
Pauline Anderson is the Dean of Institutional Research, Analysis, and Planning a newly created position at Northwest Florida State College. Pauline is responsible for research and data analysis in support of institutional innovation and decision making. She promotes communication between internal college constituencies to determine and clarify data needs and research requirements. She is also responsible for coordinating the reporting of college data to state and federal agencies.
Anderson previously served as the Interim Dean/District Director of Institutional Research; the District Director of Institutional Planning, and Senior Research Associate at Broward College. Preceding her tenure at Broward, she served as the Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami.
Anderson received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom and her Master’s Degree in Race and Ethnic Studies form the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.
Anderson and her husband, Ethan, reside in Niceville and have one son, Kade.
Principal, Collegiate High School
Anthony Boyer is the Principal of the Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College, a position he has held since 2005. During his tenure, CHS has received National Blue Ribbon recognition in 2006 and 2011, earned an “A” in the Florida Accountability Program and placed in the top five percent of all high schools in the State of Florida in the Florida School Grading system from 2000-2015.
In his previous employment, Boyer served for three years as the Coordinator of the college's Public Safety Division and Criminal Justice Training Center. He holds an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of West Florida. He also earned his associate in science degree from Northwest Florida State College, and baccalaureate and master's degrees from Troy University in resource management and public administration, respectively, and a Certified Public Manager credential from Florida State University. He also previously served at Pensacola State College, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the City of Crestview in various supervisory and management roles.
Boyer resides in Crestview with his wife, Marilyn, and their two children Dominique
Director of Professional and Continuing Education
Julie Cotton has over 20 years of marketing, public relations, and project management experience as well as being an active volunteer in the community. She serves as the Director of Professional and Continuing Education at Northwest Florida State College. As the director, she oversees the following programs: Costa Leadership Institute, Personal Enrichment, Jr. Raiders, Fitness and Wellness, Community Education, and the American Heart Association training center as well as being active in the community.
Prior to joining Northwest Florida State College, Ms. Cotton was the Vice President of Marketing for developer, Legendary, Inc. in Destin. She was responsible for advertising, public relations, community relations and special projects for the Legendary companies including Emerald Grande Resort, Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club and Legendary Marina.
Her community activities include past president of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast; serving on the Board of Directors for the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, YMCA Emerald Coast and Kiwanis Club of Destin; volunteer for the American Heart Association; marketing chair for the Destin Harbor Association; and a graduate of Leadership Okaloosa. She served as on Honorary Commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field in 2012-2013 and on the Florida Bar Association, Grievance Committee.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Destin Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. She is a member of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and the United Way marketing committee.
Cotton received the Destin Chamber Chairman’s Award for Volunteer Service Award in 2015 and was awarded Member of the Year by the Junior League of the Emerald Coast in 2007. She was selected as an Emerald Lady by Emerald Ladies Journal in 2006 and named an Emerging Leader in 2005 by Emerald Coast Magazine.
Cotton is also an adjunct professor for the college’s Business & Computer Science department teaching Leadership, Group Dynamics, Introduction to Business and Business Communications. She holds a bachelor of arts in public relations from Spring Hill College and a master’s of science in management from Troy University.
Cotton resides in Shalimar with her husband, Byron, and their daughter Callie.
Director of NWF State College, Fort Walton Beach Campus
Ross Hamilton, Director of NWF State College Fort Walton Beach campus, grew up on the northern Florida coastal plain and was attracted to the estuarine habitat and ecosystems at an early age. The interdependence of living and nonliving factors to sustain a functional ecosystem provides material for perpetual investigation and learning.
Hamilton is a charter member of the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Advisory Committee and has a bachelor of science degree in biology from William Carey College with an emphasis in marine biology from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. He also obtained a master of science degree in biology with emphasis in ichthyology from Northeast Louisiana State University.
Hamilton’s teaching experience includes Biology, Zoology, Marine Biology and Tropical Biology. He has been employed by Northwest Florida State College for 48 years. He has served as the Chairman/Professor of the NWF State College Science Department, and taught college science to high school students for a decade at the NWF State College Collegiate High School.
In 2008, Hamilton received the Marjorie Carr Award which recognizes contributions to Florida's aquatic resources and accepted the award on the behalf of the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance of Northwest Florida State College.
Hamilton and his wife, Jenny, reside in Fort Walton Beach and have two children, Linde
Bowman and Chad Hamilton and four grandchildren.
Executive Assistant to the President
Carolyne Laux began her service to Northwest Florida State College in 1973 as secretary to faculty. In 1975, she began working as the Executive Assistant to the President serving the founding President, Dr. McCracken for 13 years and has continued in that role with each college President forward. Laux is responsible for the Board of Trustees of the college for agendas, board meetings, board minutes and is the custodial person, on behalf of the President, for board records and information. She also manages the Office of the President, the budget, and supports the President.
Laux received her Occupational Certificate in Office Management in 1990 from Northwest
Florida State College.
Dr. Michael Lucchesi
Director of Grant Development
Michael D. Lucchesi, Ph.D., is the Director of Grant Development a newly created position at Northwest Florida State College. He is responsible for researching, identifying grant opportunities and writing proposals as well as assisting staff and faculty with pre-award activities. As the Director, Dr. Lucchesi, promotes collaborative initiatives with public and private agencies and other institutions to extend the opportunities of the college.
Dr. Lucchesi received his Ph.D. from Capella University in Organizational Management; a master’s degree in Logistics Management from Florida Institute of Technology; a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Park University; and an associate’s degree from Community College of Air Force.
Dr. Lucchesi was the Director of the Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation, and Logistics (CEATL) for Tarrant County College District. In this capacity, Dr. Lucchesi managed the CEATL day-to-day operations, to include administration, facilities, marketing, and program development in support to both credit and non-credit courses which have a direct correlation to meeting industry workforce solutions.
An experienced aviation manager and project leader, Dr. Lucchesi previously was a program manager for Unmanned Systems in the Washington D.C. area, where he served in the cutting technology industry of conceptual ideas to manufacturing and delivery of newly developed unmanned systems.
Prior to program management, Dr. Lucchesi served 30 years in the United States Air Force with his final assignment as the Air Force’s Career Field Manager for Aircraft Armament Systems. He was the top senior noncommissioned officer to the Air Force’s Director of Logistics, and co-chaired the aviation and munitions training board and the maintenance chief advisory board. He assisted in strategic level planning, policy development, and was a key spokesperson for contingency operations involving maintenance and logistic matters.
Dr. Lucchesi currently resides in Crestview, Florida with his wife Mimi. They have
five children; Christopher, Joshua, Lilian, Amanda, and Jordan.
Director of Human Resources
Nancy Murphy serves as the Director of Human Resources for Northwest Florida State College, a position she has held since 1998. Murphy is responsible for all Human Resource functions of the college including employee recruitment and retention, employee relations, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, insurance benefits, retirement programs, fingerprinting, employee contracts, budget, evaluations, federal and state employee laws and requirements and position classification systems. In her position, she serves 350 full-time employees and 400 part-time employees, while also serving as the college’s Equity Coordinator, Title IX Coordinator, and the ADA Coordinator.
Murphy received her Associate of Arts Degree in 1992 from Northwest Florida State Community College and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Resources Administration from St. Leo College in 1997. Murphy is also a graduate of the Leadership Okaloosa program.
Murphy’s professional affiliations include the Society for Human Resource Management, Florida Association of Community Colleges, American Society for Training and Development, Florida Community College Equity Commission and the Florida Community College Human Resources Council.
Murphy resides in Niceville.
Stephanie Pettis, APR
Director, Marketing and Public Relations
Stephanie Pettis, APR, has 17 years of experience working with event planning, internal and external communications, marketing, media relations, public relations research, strategic communication, website design and management, copy writing, social media management, and editing. Her experience includes strategic communications in the areas of higher education, business, and industry. Her work has been recognized by professional organizations such as the Alabama Community College System Public Relations Association, the Alabama Rural Electric Cooperative Communications Association, the Association of Florida Colleges, Florida Public Relations Association and the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR).
Pettis is a graduate of Troy University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations/Print Journalism and a Master's Degree in Strategic Communications. Pettis is also a graduate of Columbia Southern University with a Master’s in Business Administration. Pettis obtained an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in August 2015 through the Public Relations Society of America’s Universal Accreditation Board.
Pettis is a member of the Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) and serves as the chapter's accreditation chair. She is an alumni of Leadership Clarke County and Leadership Monroe County (Alabama) and Leadership Okaloosa (Florida). She serves on the Board of Directors for the Shelter House Domestic and Sexual Violence Center. She has been a member of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast since 2015. Pettis is also a member of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations and serves on the NCMPR national board as Director-at-Large and on the Executive Council for NCMPR’s District 2 region.
Pettis resides in Niceville.
Director of Athletics
Ramsey Ross is currently the Director of Athletics at Northwest Florida State College, and has served in that role since 2012. During his tenure as Athletic Director, Ross has excelled at maintaining high standards set forth for the Raider Athletics Program. In addition to being amongst the most compliant two-year colleges in the NJCAA, and boasting incredibly high graduation and matriculation rates, the college enjoyed one of the most successful athletic seasons in the history of the National Junior College Athletic Association under Ross’ watch in the 2014-15 academic year. That season, the Men’s Basketball and Baseball programs both won FCSAA State/NJCAA Region VIII and NJCAA National Championships, the Women’s Basketball program made it to the NJCAA National Elite 8, and the Softball program made the quarterfinals in the FCSAA State/NJCAA Region VIII Tournament.
A local product from Fort Walton Beach, FL, Ross has been employed at NWF since 2004. During his first year at the college, the Florida State University graduate served as the Student Activities Coordinator where he oversaw all student organizations, sponsored the Student Government Association, and coached the Brain Bowl (won the 2005 FCSAA State Title) and Forensics teams. At the completion of that academic year, Ross returned to his roots and accepted the Coordinator of Athletics position at the college. From 2005-2012, Ross was responsible for assisting the former NWF State College Director of Athletics, Mickey Englett, in all of the operations of the department. From that knowledge and experience, Ross was able to make a smooth transition to Athletic Director upon Englett’s retirement in 2012.
Ross earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Florida State University and continued his education there with a Master’s of Science in Sport Administration. He currently serves as a voting member of the Council of Athletic Affairs and is the Chair-elect for the Panhandle Conference.
Ross and his wife, Meagan, reside in Santa Rosa Beach and have two daughters, Elle
Dean of Technical Education
Dennis Sherwood serves as the Dean of Technical Education for Northwest Florida State College, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to working for NWF State College, Sherwood served in various roles at Gateway Technical College including Director of Aeronautics, Associate Dean, Dean of Trades and Industry, Director of Facilities and Director of Safety and Security.
Sherwood graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor of science degree in aeronautics. Immediately upon graduation, he worked as a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also earned his masters of education degree in educational administration from the University of South Florida.
During his time at NWF State College, Sherwood has worked to develop workforce related programs for the college. The first was the development of a CNC option in the Engineering Technology Degree. This program was developed using the partnership model that was developed at Gateway Technical College. This model has resulted in the college partnering with Okaloosa County School System to offer high school academic programs, at the college’s main campus in Niceville, that serve as a pathway into the college’s associate of science degree.
Sherwood and his wife, Ann, reside in Crestview.
Director, Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center
Jeanette Shires serves as the Director of the Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, a position she has held since 2013. She is responsible for all daily operations, budgeting and management for the center which is the Emerald Coast’s primary cultural venue. The center serves more than 80,000 patrons annually and generates $750,000 to $1 million in revenue each year.
In her role as Arts Center director, Shires also has supervisory oversight of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra operated under the auspices of the college, as well as the college’s Art Galleries and permanent art collection. She previously served as Associate Director and fiscal manager for the Arts Center for 12 years. Prior to joining the college, Shires worked in property management and accounting.
Shires holds a master’s degree in management from Troy University and a bachelor of science in accounting & management from Gwynedd Mercy College. In addition to her role as director of the Northwest Florida State College Mattie Kelly Arts Center, she also serves as an adjunct instructor in the college’s Business and Computer Science Department teaching courses in supervision and organizational leadership.
Shires and her husband, Steve, reside in Niceville.
Dr. Anne Southard
Dean of General Education and Grants
Dr. Southard is the Dean of General Education and Grants at Northwest Florida State College. From 2007 to 2009, she was the Associate Dean of Instruction and Educational Services, and from 2004 to 2006, she was the Director of Learning Technologies. She currently is responsible for General Education, Grants, and Teacher Education at NWF State College. She initiated the Grants Department for the College, which was awarded $1.3 million in a consortium Department of Labor grant in 2012. Dr. Southard implemented four baccalaureate programs in Teacher Education, and she played key roles in the two most recent SACSCOC accreditations, as well as leading the College’s 2016 Aspen Award submission effort. She has twice served as Acting Vice-President of Academic Affairs, most recently in 2016.
Prior to her administrative positions, Dr. Southard taught as a professor in the Communications department for twelve years, teaching literature and composition courses. She currently teaches a business communication course. During her tenure as a faculty member, she was a finalist in the Florida Association of Community College’s Teacher of the Year competition.
Dr. Southard holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, and she earned her doctorate in Education, with an emphasis in educational technology, from the University of West Florida in 2001. During her master’s program, she was selected as Graduate Student of the Year. She has presented at various conferences and published in the Community College Review and Innovation Abstracts.
Dr. Southard and her husband, Burle, reside in Laurel Hill.
Dr. Aimee Watts
Dean of Students
Dr. Aimee Watts is the Dean of Students at Northwest Florida State College, a position she has held since October 2015. As the Dean of Students, she serves as the lead for Student Affairs and oversees college campuses, admissions, student records, academic advising, and student life.
Dr. Watts has been with Northwest Florida State College since 1998. She previously served the college as Interim Dean of Students, Director of Student Life, Adjunct Instructor, Academic Advisor, Financial Aid Specialist, Admissions Specialist, and as a part-time Staff Assistant in Athletics. She has enjoyed her many roles at the college and loves learning with students, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Watts received her bachelor’s degree in business management from Troy University, a master’s degree in management with an emphasis in leadership from Troy University, and both educational specialist and doctorate degrees in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in diversity studies from the University of West Florida. She is a member of the Niceville-Valparaiso Rotary Club where she serves as Membership Chair and a high school mentor for the Take Stock in Children scholarship program.
Dr. Watts and her husband, Tom, reside in Niceville and have one son, Seth.