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Our Staff

Aristófanes Cedeño, Executive Director and Academic Dean
Born and raised in Panama, Dr. Cedeño earned the degree of Attorney at Law at the University of Panama, where he taught political science before moving to the U.S. and obtaining his Ph.D. in Spanish literature from Michigan State University. For fifteen years, he worked as a professor at the University of Louisville. He has published a book on Panamanian culture. His research interests include natural law, the nineteenth century, and the Romantic Movement. He has published and edited a book and several papers in these areas. Dr. Cedeño joined the GSP as faculty in 1992 and has served the Program as Campus Director (NKU 1995-2001), Academic Dean (1998-present), and Executive Director (2006-present). Dr. Cedeño serves on the Board of the Kentucky Humanities Council and the National Conference of Governor's Schools. He has completed appointments as an American Counsel on Education (ACE) Fellow (2006-2007, University of Pittsburgh) and a Bingham Fellow (Louisville, 2012).  

Beth Carrier
Beth is originally from Sulphur, KY.  She graduated from Sullivan Junior College of Business in Louisville.  She retired from the Cabinet for Economic Development, Bluegrass State Skills Corporation in September 2012, where she served as the Executive Staff Advisor for the program.  She began working for the Governor’s Scholars Program as a part-time employee during the winter of 2013 and recently joined the staff full-time in August of 2014.  Beth currently lives in Frankfort with her husband, John. She has one son and one grandson.  She enjoys serving her church; spending time with family and friends; and traveling.

Cody Cook
Cody was a 2009 Governor's Scholar at Centre College. He received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from Centre College in 2014. Cody joined the full-time Governor's Scholars Program staff after working three summers on campuses in different capacities.  Cody's hobbies include traveling, volunteering, and being outdoors.  During the summer program, Cody works on the GSP-Northern Kentucky University campus as Director of Scholars.

Jenny Garcia (Young)
Jenny is originally from Ross, Ohio and a 2011 graduate from Centre College in Danville, KY where she received a BA in elementary education.  She has been a full-time employee of the Governor's Scholars Program since the fall of 2012, has worked during the summer on a GSP campus since 2010 in different capacities, and currently lives in Louisville.  To further her passion for education.  Jenny is working on her Masters in School Counseling from Spalding University.

Rita Meeks
Rita began working for the Governor's Scholars Program in 1998. She is originally from Frankfort, where she still resides with her husband, Steve. Rita has two children and one grandchild. In her spare time, Rita loves exploring the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and serving her church.

Danielle Moore
Danielle began working for the Program part-time in 2004 and joined the GSP staff full-time in 2010. Danielle coordinates GSP recruitment/informational events and scholar selection. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, and eating- really, she loves anything related to food! Danielle and her four dogs, Bella, Bruzzer, Moe and Sadie, live in Shelbyville.  

Bonnie Mullin, Fiscal Officer
Bonnie started her work with the Program in 1998. She lives in Louisville with her husband, Kyle, and has three children - Christopher, Heather, and Taylor. Apart from working on GSP’s finances, she enjoys housing a menagerie of animals, gardening, and supporting Christian Academy of Louisville’s softball team.

McKay Nelson
McKay was a 2008 Governor's Scholar at Morehead State University and is a Danville native. She graduated from Centre College in 2013 with a B.A. in English Literature. She is passionate about literacy, youth development, and community engagement. McKay has worked for the summer program since 2012 in various capacities and on many campuses. Most recently, she served as the Office Manager on the GSP-Murray State University campus. McKay joined the full-time Governor's Scholars staff in 2016.

Tina Nance, Associate Director of the GSP Foundation
Tina earned her J.D. from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and her B.A. in psychology from Transylvania University.  She previously worked for the Program from 2007 until 2009 and, after completing law school in 2011, she is excited to be a part of the staff again.  Tina currently lives in Lexington and enjoys Thai food, hiking, and tennis.

Harold (Hal) H. Smith, President of the GSP Foundation
Hal retired as President-Emeritus of Pikeville College and its School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2009.  A native of northern Kentucky, he graduated from Centre College and has an MBA from American University in Washington, D.C.  He served for 20 years as an administrator and lecturer at Centre College, 14 years as a vice president at Muskingum College (OH), and 12 years as President of Pikeville.  He and his wife, Karen, have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.