Meet the Team

Hans K. Meeder

President & Founder

Hans Meeder is a recognized expert in Pathways for Career and Life Success, as well as Career Technical Education (CTE) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. He has conducted original research on these topics, authored numerous reports, articles and books, including The Power and Promise of Pathways. Hans is also the author of the cutting edge blog, CCL Hans is available to provide compelling keynote addresses and to facilitate leadership forums among key education leaders and influencers.

Read more about Hans

Hans formed Meeder Consulting in 2005 and in 2012, co-founded the National Center for College and Career Transitions, in which he serves as President and CEO. Prior to his work with Meeder Consulting and NC3T, Hans served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. In this role, he led the Department of Education’s High School Initiative, and also guided policy development for implementation of the Perkins Act and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. Prior service includes roles with the U.S. House of Representatives, the 21st Century Workforce Commission, and the National Alliance of Business.

He earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland and also holds an MBA from the University of Maryland University College. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, and is father of four adult children.

Brett Pawlowski

Executive Vice President

Brett is the co-founder of NC3T and Executive Vice President. He is published widely on the topic of business/ education engagement and has worked with businesses, nonprofits, and others on building effective education engagement programs.

Read more about Brett

He has also served as a visible advocate of partnerships, publishing extensively on the subject and hosting conferences, trainings, and webinars.

Pawlowski co-authored “Building Advisory Boards that Matter” (with Hans Meeder), a hands-on guide published by ACTE.

Kandice Dickover

Project Manager

Kandice works to help all projects operate efficiently and to share learning among our team so we keep getting better at what we do. She contributes project and research support to many NC3T initiatives, maintains the NC3T website, coordinates our webinars, oversees our product and service fullfillment, and manages all of our office/administrative duties.

Read more about Kandice

Formerly she worked as the Education Director for the National Child Support Enforcement Association serving to coordinate professional development efforts for their members and led various professional committees. She received her master’s in clinical psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD and undergraduate degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Kandice also has a passion for educating the community about Lyme Disease and other tick-borne pathogens and is the founder of the Howard County Lyme Awareness group in Columbia, MD.

Amber Ross

Project/Administrative Assistant

Amber supports the NC3T staff by providing administrative help for various projects, product fulfillment and logistics, some web assistance, manages our supplies, and coordinates specific scheduling for the team.

Read more about Amber

Amber received her bachelor’s of science degree in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Throughout her tenure at UMD, she was heavily involved in many organizations including acting as Vice President of UMSuccess, Ambassador for the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, and a member of the University of Maryland Dance Team. In her free time, Amber volunteers at Elizabeth’s Arms in Forestville, MD to help decrease high-risk pregnancies in her community.

Meet Our Adjunct Staff

Joann M. Hudak, Ed.D.

Education Consultant

Joann is an educational consultant with 35 years of experience in public education. She has been at the forefront of engaging school, workforce, and economic development leaders in creating effective partnerships to enhance student career readiness across Northeast Pennsylvania.

Joann is the co-lead in the development of a Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) online course designed to increase school leader’s knowledge related to student career readiness. In addition, she is conducting Work-Based Learning Workshops and Career Pathway Leadership Forums across the Commonwealth to increase and improve communication between career and technical leaders and school district and community partners.

Read more about Joann

Joann is an educational consultant who recently retired as the Assistant Superintendent for the Wallenpaupack Area School District. With 35 years of experience in education, Joann has served as high school and middle school principal at Wallenpaupack Area and taught Spanish for 12 years in the Pocono Mountain School District. She is an adjunct professor for Wilkes University teaching in the Educational Leadership Program and a Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Facilitator.

Joann is also deeply involved in regional workforce and economic development. She serves as the chairperson of the Wayne/Pike Workforce Alliance, a member of Wayne County’s Wayne Tomorrow! strategic planning initiative and is an advisory board member of the Stourbridge Project, the county’s technology incubator and accelerator. In addition, she is a member of the Wayne Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, and numerous other regional boards and committees.

Joann completed her Doctorate in Educational Administration at Widener University, received a Master’s in Educational Administration from East Stroudsburg University, a Master of Arts in Spanish from Montclair State University, a Bachelor of Science in Spanish and Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University and Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Union College.

Niki Jackson

Education Consultant 

Niki provides research and analysis for various NC3T projects.  These projects focus on a range of issues including apprenticeships, standards development, policy research and pathway implementation.

Read more about Niki

Niki has been involved with education issues for over fifteen years.  Formerly, Niki was the Director of Government Relations at the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education where she covered secondary and postsecondary policy issues, including high school reform, the Perkins Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Workforce Investment Act.

Most recently, Niki has provided client services in the areas of curriculum development, program standards development, policy research/analysis, and highlighting best CTE practices.  She received a B.S. in Mass Communication with minor in English from the University of Charleston.  She resides in North Carolina with her husband and three boys.

Michelle Hebert-Giffen

Education Consultant

Michelle conducts research, writing and analysis for various NC3T projects. Her work includes organizing and writing Pennsylvania Best Practices profiles and creating asset inventory reports for the Central Pennsylvania Career Pathways Partnership.  She also has organized professional learning communities for administrators and educators and written case studies on innovative practices.

Read more about Michelle

Michelle has experience as an educator and legislative analyst. She was an elementary school teacher in Virginia.  She also worked as a policy analyst for the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission, which conducts evaluation and analysis for the Virginia General Assembly.

Michelle holds an undergraduate degree, Master of Teaching degree and a Master of Education from the University of Virginia. She and her family reside in Annandale, Virginia.

Connie Majka

Education Consultant

Connie supports NC3T’s work by providing technical assistance to communities wishing to design and implement Career Pathways, Career Academies, and other initiatives related to college and career-connected learning. She provides training in key strategies for implementation including working in teams, business engagement strategies, and leadership and change techniques.

Read more about Connie

Connie Majka has an M.Ed in Counseling Psychology and holds a Pennsylvania Certificate in Secondary School Counseling. She is a co-founder of the National Career Academy Coalition and is Professional Development Provider certified in Facilitation Skills and Consensus Building. She is considered an authority on the History of the Career Academy Model. A creative, innovative and dedicated educator, Connie skillfully cultivates productive partnerships and is adept at creating and operationalizing new ventures.

Edward Shafer, Ed. D.

Education Consultant 

Ed Shafer is a career educator with 49 yeas of experience in public schools and the non-profit sector. He holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia and served as the Director of the CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York from 2010 to 2014 and recently as a Sr. Consultant with the Successful Practices Network and the National Center for College & Career Transitions (NC3T). He works with NC3T on several projects in various states.

Read more about Ed

Dr. Shafer is president and CEO of Educational Advisors and Support, LLC which provides the CTE support services of Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment, Strategic Planning, Literacy Solutions, Problem and Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking to school districts and intermediate agencies. He is the author of two studies on the outcomes of the New Your State Approve CTE Program model based in 80 individual reviews of Programs of Study. Recent work with NC3T includes designing program reviews for the U-46 school district outside of Chicago and the Norfolk City Public Schools. Dr. Shafer also recently led CTE strategic planning efforts in several north Carolina School Districts.

Dana Brown, Ed.D.

Education Consultant

Dana supports NC3T’s work by providing technical assistance and coaching to schools/districts wishing to design and implement Career Pathways, Career Academies, and other initiatives related to college and career-connected learning. 

Read more about Dana

Dana Brown is the Federal Programs Director at Mountain Home Public Schools located in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Dana has educational credentials from Henderson State University – a Bachelor of Business Management, a Master of Science in Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction from Arkansas State University, a Specialist in Education, specializing in Educational Administration from Arkansas State University, and a Doctor of Education from Harding University. Prior to her current position, Dr. Brown was the principal at Mountain Home High School Career Academies for 15 years. During her tenure at Mountain Home, she led this high school redesign through research, development, and implementation of Career Academies in grades 10 – 12 and partnered with Mountain Home Junior High School administration in the development of a Freshman Transition Academy under the status of a Conversion Charter school. Dr. Brown serves on the National Career Academy Coalition Operating Board, as well as, participates as a Reviewer for NCAC. As a Reviewer, she and a conducts Baseline Analysis, for schools that have been an academy for more than one year, as well as, Career Academy Reviews to evaluate current programs and best practices of schools in order to provide guidance and professional development for schools that are considered a career academy model. Her work with community partners and business advisory board led to receiving the Ford Foundations National Designation of Leadership in High school Redesign at the Professional Level in a Rural Setting. Dr. Brown lives in Mountain Home with her husband and son.

Back to Top