Meet Our Staff
Our dedicated staff are always happy and ready to help our students.
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Our dedicated staff are always happy and ready to help our students.
In free time, she enjoys listening to music, cooking, writing and spending time with her dogs, family, and friends. She also volunteers with a local rescue Paws Crossed Inc. as their Adoption/Volunteer Coordinator.
As a part of the Continuing Education and Skills Academy team at Florida Gulf Coast University, Tifarah Pardue works on talent initiatives across the university. She also works to develop micro-credentials and skill badges that address the skill gaps across various industries. As a part of her work with FutureMakers Coalition, a nationally recognized collective impact initiative, she also co-chairs several committees. She serves on several committees focused on regional and collaborative approaches to address workforce development in Southwest Florida. She joins this team after working at FGCU for the past 6 years both in the Lutgert College fo Business as the Corporate Programs Coordinator, where she oversaw internships for the college at both the graduate and undergraduate level and worked directly with local and national employers to address recruitment needs and challenges. Prior to this, she also worked in various community outreach positions across the region.
Originally from Arizona, she and her husband have called Fort Myers home for almost a decade and have a six-year-old daughter. In addition to her professional roles, she is an occasional runner, a working mom, and a workforce development champion. She is also pursuing her Ed.D. at Florida Gulf Coast University and studies workforce development trends and graduate employability factors. She received her M.A. from Colorado State University in English and worked as a composition instructor before focusing on community outreach, fundraising, and program development work over the last decade.
Catherine is the Administrative Assistant II to the Assistant Vice President of Innovative Education and Partnerships, Kristen Vanselow. As the Administrative Assistant Catherine maintains departmental documents, electronic records and project preparation. Catherine also assists with travel arrangements, scheduling appointments, coordinating events, purchasing and daily office communication.
Catherine joined FGCU in the fall of 2015 and has served as the administrative support for the Office of the Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of Planning and Institutional Performance, Office of the Ombuds, and Human Resources prior to joining the Innovative Education and Partnerships department.
Prior to joining FGCU Catherine held the following positions, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, City of Cape Coral Charter School Authority, Support Services Manager, Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt, PA., Executive Assistant to the Senior Partner and Managing Director, PA Consulting Group, New York City, New York and Assistant Director of Rooms Division, Essex House Hotel, New York City, New York.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Western Michigan University and a Certificate in Human Resource Management from Florida Atlantic University. Catherine lives in Cape Coral with her daughter and their two cats, Smudgee and Miyagi. In Catherine’s free time she enjoys baking, dancing, reading and traveling with her daughter Liliana.
Dr. Andrea Fortin
Dr. Fortin, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Integrated Studies at FGCU and Faculty Coordinator of Digital Badges and Micro-credentials, has extensive experience in development of workforce credentials and digital badges relevant to the Southwest Florida population. Dr. Fortin has led the development of the 10 transferable skills digital badge courses in addition to resources to support faculty and community partners interested in developing micro-credentials with FGCU. Dr. Fortin has contributed to the development of non-credit program offerings through the Continuing Education and Skills Academy of FGCU. Dr. Fortin volunteers to lead the Career Pathways initiative with the FutureMakers Coalition. She also works closely with the Roots of Compassion and Kindness (ROCK) Center through her research and teaching.
Melissa is a graduate of St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in History at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a Florida native reigning from Clearwater (claiming world’s most beautiful beach!) She is the Lead Navigator for the FGCU Complete program which assists students who have returned to complete a baccalaureate degree. Melissa brings a strong sense of empathy and guidance and has the ability to work with any age, any background. She finds it very fulfilling to help others attain a college degree as she has a keen sense of how obtaining a higher degree can change one’s life.
Melissa is immersing herself in all the great outdoor activities that Southwest Florida has to offer and has become involved in volunteering for CREW Land Management and loves to hike all the great trails.
Kiley Barnett joined the Innovative Education and Partnerships team as an FGCU Complete Student Navigator in fall 2021. Prior to becoming a navigator, Kiley was an academic advisor at FGCU, Kansas State University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Kiley earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Health and Human Performance and Secondary Education from Fort Hays State University (Hays, KS) and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership: College Student Development from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK). During college she competed as a collegiate athlete on the women’s golf team, participated in her sorority and other student life activities, which all led her to a career in higher education. Her professional background includes experience with student programming, orientation, and academic advising. She is committed to helping student grow, learn, and thrive during their time in school.
Kiley and her husband, Reid, have a young daughter and dog. Reid also works at FGCU as a strength and conditioning coach. Both Midwest natives, they enjoy college football, traveling, Disney World, and family time.
Ashley Bowers serves as a Complete Student Navigator in Innovative Education and Partnerships at Florida Gulf Coast University. She joined the team in spring 2022. As an individual born and raised in Southwest Florida Ashley has a commitment to the success of our community. She strongly believes that education leads to opportunity and that this access should be available to all that commit to personal achievement.
Ashley earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Management along with a Master of Education with specializations in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Florida. Following college, Ashley worked as a Traveling Leadership Consultant for Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. During her graduate education Ashley served as the Graduate Assistant for Academic Initiatives in Residence Life and was an intern at the University of Utah developing a residential curriculum program. Ashley worked for many years at Champions For Learning a not-for-profit organization in Collier County that focuses on providing lifelong learning experiences for every student. Prior to working at Champions For Learning Ashley was a professional at Florida Gulf Coast University as an Academic Retention Coordinator in the Center for Academic Achievement and at the University of South Carolina as a Residence Life Coordinator for the Capstone Scholars housing community.
Ashley and her husband, Jamie, have a young daughter and black lab. Jamie teaches 4th grade at Spring Creek Elementary in Bonita Springs, FL. They live on Fort Myers Beach and enjoy Florida outdoor adventures, home improvement projects, Disney World, traveling, and most importantly spending time with loved ones.
Juan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts from NJCU 2004. Since 1998 Juan has been producing, directing and promoting live stage shows, festivals, private, nonprofit, and corporate events. He had the pleasure of having a dual career from 1991-2016, as a law enforcement officer and media production specialist. He retired from law enforcement in 2016, moved to Florida in 2017, and today lives in Estero with his wife and two children. His productions and collaboration include venues in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Georgia, and Florida.
He has worked in all aspects of production including, lighting design, audio post-production, video pre/live/post-production, promotions, and graphic design. From 2008-2016 he worked at a NJ public university where he headed the video streaming live production department for all the major sporting events, stage presentations, and events of the educational institution. He has worked on shows with various musicians and comedians.
His passion for the arts is demonstrated in his work. Many of his own productions benefit local charities, which he is dedicated to. Currently he is a part-time Videographer for FGCU Innovative Education and Partnerships.