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Our Team

Dr. Justin Aglio

Executive Director, Readiness Institute at Penn State

Dr. Justin AglioDr. Justin Aglio is the Executive Director for the Readiness Institute at Penn State. In addition to his duties at Penn State, he is a visiting LearnLab fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Getting Smart columnist, and a member of the Remake Learning network. 

Prior to assuming his role at Penn State, Dr. Aglio was an award-winning educator, serving as a teacher, principal, and district leader. He started several all-new initiatives in public education, including the first K–12 artificial intelligence program in America, and was selected as a participant in the 2015 Presidential Maker Roundtable discussion at the White House. 

His thoughts on academic achievement, equity, leadership, STEM, artificial intelligence, personalized learning, and innovation have been featured in such publications as Forbes, EdSurge, Education Week, American School Board Journal, and School Administrator. Dr. Aglio has been a keynote speaker and presenter at a variety of national conferences including ASCD, ISTE, FETC, PLearn, OETC, and the AIM Institute for Learning and Research.

Tracey DeBlase Huston

Vice President for Outreach, Penn State

Tracey HustonTracey DeBlase Huston is the Vice President for Outreach at Penn State. She has more than 31 years of experience in the university relations, strategic communications, marketing, and student recruitment fields.

Prior to her appointment as Vice President, she held several positions during her tenure at Penn State including Associate Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Services for Outreach and Online Education, Executive Director for Outreach and Online Education Marketing and Admission Services and Director of Communications. Before her arrival at Penn State, Tracey served in two different roles at Juniata College. She was the Assistant Director of Public Relations and the Director of Sports Information.

Her work has been recognized nationally with awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the University Professional Continuing Education Association, and the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America. She holds a B.A. degree from Juniata College and an M.S. degree from Penn State. She is a consultant and lecturer on issues and opportunities related to strategic communications, and she is a certified facilitator for Development Dimensions International (DDI).

Dr. Stan Thompson 

Executive Adviser, Readiness Institute at Penn State

Stan ThompsonStan Thompson is the Executive Adviser of the Readiness Institute at Penn State and the Senior Director of The Heinz Endowments’ Education Program. Before joining the Endowments in September 2008, he was the Executive Director of Times Squared Academy for Engineering, Mathematics, Science and Technology. He also served as Times Squared Academy’s academic dean for K–12 education.

His past professional experience includes working as a middle and high school English teacher in Kansas and New York and as a middle school principal in Wisconsin and Rhode Island. He has also held leadership positions at the Coalition of Essential Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in Massachusetts. Stan has been the recipient of the Metropolitan Life/National Association of Secondary Schools State Principal of the Year and currently serves as the co-chair of the Education Committee for the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics and is a member of the Board of Visitors of The Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Stan holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Wheaton College, a master’s in English literature from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, a master’s in educational administration from Harvard University, and a doctorate in educational administration and leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Emma Hance   

Program Manager and Strategic Planning Specialist, Readiness Institute at Penn State 

Emma HanceEmma is the Program Manager and Strategic Planning Specialist for the Readiness Institute at Penn State. In her role, Emma plans and manages the Readiness Institute’s portfolio of programs, paying special attention to the long-term goals, strategy, and sustainability of the Readiness Institute. By incorporating elements of STEAM education, project-based learning, and mentorship, Emma engages Penn State resources and community partners to help Pittsburgh area high school students achieve their post-secondary education goals and become community and future ready. 

Emma holds a B.A. and B.Phil. from Penn State, Schreyer Honors College, and a M.S.Ed. from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining the Readiness Institute, Emma served as the Program Manager for the Robert and Patty Tunno CITY (Community Innovation Training for Youth) program at the Penn State Center Pittsburgh and taught secondary mathematics within the Detroit Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Lloyd Cleveland

Program Assistant, Readiness Institute at Penn State 

Lloyd ClevelandLloyd assists in the planning and implementation of programs for the Readiness Institute at Penn State. He is responsible for supporting internal/external stakeholders, mentoring students, and helping to coordinate routine program logistics. Lloyd is a masonry and carpentry specialist in the U.S. Army and a daycare teacher at Sewickley Community Center.

He is currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education at the Community College of Allegheny County. 


Fred Quinn

Project Assistant, Readiness Institute at Penn State 

Fred QuinnAs the Readiness Institute Project Assistant, Fred aids in the planning and implementation of programming for the Readiness Institute at Penn State. Fred is also responsible for supporting and mentoring Readiness Institute learners as they work to become community and future ready.

In addition to his role with the Readiness Institute, Fred is a Genius Administrator with Apple and is pursuing a degree in business administration from Morehouse College. Fred also currently serves as the Advocacy Chair with the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh.

Strategic Support Services Team

Creative Editorial and Design Norman Benford and Brian Mizikar, Penn State Outreach and Online Education Creative Services  

Development — Susan Kukic, Penn State Outreach and Online Education Development and Alumni Relations 

Foundation Relations — Sophie Penney Leach, Penn State Foundation Relations 

Financial Officer — Tracey Demko, Penn State Outreach and Online Education Central Finance 

Human Resources — Lindsey Harter and Abby Christie, Penn State HR Strategic Partners Consultants 

Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity — Karen Armstrong, Penn State Outreach and Online Education Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity 

Information Technology — Cecelia Merkel, Mark Belkowski, and Cody Donaldson, Penn State Outreach and Online Education Information Technology  

Marketing — Janine Gautiere, Penn State Outreach Marketing Strategy 

News and Communications — Christie Black, Penn State Outreach and Online Education News Bureau 

Operations — Mary Ann Farrell, Penn State Center Pittsburgh and the Readiness Institute at Penn State 

Programming and Logistics — Corinna Fisher and Kelly Driftmier-Meléndez, Penn State Conferences and Institutes 

Risk Management and Compliance — Clay Mattson, Penn State Grants and Contracts 

Volunteer Educator — Dr. Carol Wotten

Web Strategy and Technology — Greg Angle, Penn State Outreach and Online Education Web Strategy