NC-SARA Announces New Communications, Outreach Staff

Updated by on Mon, 08/03/2020 - 14:17

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August 3, 2020                                                                         

NC-SARA Announces New Communications, Outreach Staff

New hires will enhance NC-SARA’s communications, outreach & research efforts

Boulder, CONational Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) today announced two new hires that will support ongoing efforts to enhance the organization’s communications, research analysis, and community engagement efforts.

“We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to expand our team at NC-SARA to better serve our partners and constituents at the federal, state, and institution level,” said Dr. Lori Williams, CEO of NC-SARA. “I’m confident both Mel and Rachel will bring great insight and expertise to our organization as they spearhead the advancement of several priority initiatives designed to raise awareness of the value of SARA and identify avenues to enhance interstate distance education nationwide.”

Dr. Melanie Booth joins NC-SARA as Director of Educational Programming and Communications effective August 1. In this role, Dr. Booth will oversee all aspects of the development, revision, enrollment, and completion of online and face-to-face training with State Portal Entities (SPEs) and SARA-participating institutions. Additionally, the Director will write and curate content for several new NC-SARA publications.

A recognized and respected leader, Dr. Booth has dedicated her 20+ year career to advancing high-quality postsecondary programs and institutional vitality. She brings to NC-SARA extensive insight and experience in academic and co-curricular outcomes with an emphasis on innovative educational experiences in face-to-face and online environments; learning assessment and program evaluation; faculty and staff development; and student support strategies to close equity gaps. Most recently, Dr. Booth operated her own consulting agency providing support to several colleges and universities and higher education organizations, including ACCJC, WSCUC, and NWCCU.

Dr. Rachel Christeson will serve as NC-SARA’s new Assistant Director for Research and Data Analysis effective August 17, 2020, where she will provide strategic support on policy research and general data efforts, assisting NC-SARA’s annual data reporting and analysis work. Dr. Christeson will also support the collection, analysis, and reporting of qualitative and quantitative data efforts on a wide-range of projects in support of NC-SARA activities.

With more than 12 years of experience in education data analysis, research, and program assessment and evaluation, Dr. Christeson brings a wealth of knowledge to NC-SARA.  She has extensive experience with data systems development and a strong understanding of database design, implementation, and utilization. Previously, Dr. Christeson was a research associate at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), where she helped coordinate data analysis and analytics projects for various state level agencies, the Aspen Institute, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Complete College America, the Lumina Foundation, NC-SARA, and Strada Education Group.

To learn more about NC-SARA, visit

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