FITW Project Team

Dr. Kerri McKenna, Division Chair of Developmental Education

Dr. Kerri McKenna has over 15 years of experience in teaching at the postsecondary level. She started at Gateway in 2009 as a developmental education faculty member and quickly was identified as a unique instructional and project leader at the college. She currently serves as Division Chair of the Developmental Education and Orientation to College Division, and is finishing up a stint as the colleges Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) director. As QEP Director, McKenna directed a complex transformation of the colleges advising processes. She will use lessons learned from this project management experience to inform her leadership of the FLEXspace project. McKenna is also viewed statewide as a leader in developmental education redesign and will use this passion and expertise to implement this important component of the FITW project. McKenna finished her doctorate in 2011 with a dissertation topic involving the factors influencing motivation and persistence of students enrolled in community college developmental education programs. Her command of the literature and research available on the developmental education redesign intervention makes McKenna uniquely qualified to lead this component of the FITW project.

Doug Penix, Director of Learning Environments

Penix brings valuable experience in leadership of similar efforts at a private, graduate level-focused college. He was instrumental in that institutions development and implementation of a learning commons model and the knowledge and expertise gained through that experience can be transferred to Gateway's project. Penix has provided leadership to Gateway's development of a thriving eLearning program and will apply these same active learning strategies into the FLEXspace model.

Kristen Smitherman, Project Manager

Kristen Smitherman serves as a Project Manager in the Grants Department and currently manages the implementation of the First in the World FLEXspace Project. Her experience in project management covers a wide variety of subject matters including violence against women, public benefits access in higher education, mechatronics education for rural technicians, fundraising, and, most recently, interactive teaching and learning models. In order to deepen her knowledge and skill set related to project management, Kristen obtained the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential in the Fall of 2013 a globally recognized and demanded credential that demonstrates that a project manager possesses project management knowledge, experience and the skills to bring projects to a successful completion. In addition to the management of grant projects, she collaborates with others at Gateway to identify grant funding opportunities, write funding proposals, develop grant-related policies and procedures, and share grant resources and successes throughout and beyond the college.