Jeff SunJeffrey C. Sun, J.D., Ph.D.
Principal Investigator and Project Director
University of Louisville

Roles & Responsibilities: Professor of Higher Education and Affiliate Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Innovation & Strategic Partnership, MAPS PI & Project Director and Curriculum Team member. 

Education: BBA, MBA, Loyola Marymount University; JD Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University; M. Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University

Experience: Dr. Sun has been working in higher education since 1998. He has taught at New York University, Teachers College at Columbia University, University of North Dakota, and University of Louisville. His research focuses on higher education law and policy as well as professional education.

Fun fact: Dr. Sun has been employed continuously since he was 16, so it might explain why he values the education-to-work initiatives. He is from San Francisco, but he enjoyed immensely living in Grand Forks, ND explaining why he likes cold weather. He has 10 nieces and nephews identifying whom he gets to spoil.

Lily Assgari, Ph.D. 
Program Director
University of Louisville

Roles & Responsibilities: Dr. Assgari will oversee MAPS program outreach, budget, and overall mission as well as process improvement and implementation.

Education: Dr. Assgari earned her Bachelor's and a Master's from James Madison University in Psychological Sciences before arriving at University of Louisville, where she earned a Master's and Doctorate in Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Experience: Dr. Assgari has a passion for facilitating the use of data to guide decision making and in her previous role, she was tasked with demonstrating the impact that student services have on persistence and student learning.

Fun fact: When she is not at work, you can find Dr. Assgari tending to her many houseplants, immersing herself in creative hobbies, or attending a UofL football game.

D'Neika LopezD'Neika Lopez
Assistant Program Director
University of Louisville


Responsibilities: D'Neika is responsible for RAP Development at the University of Louisville. She serves as Project Manager for RAP portfolio (overseeing processes, timeline, deliverables, etc.). D'Neika also manages data collection and reporting of performance for University of Louisville Registered Apprenticeship Programs to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Education: Associate of Arts at Jefferson Community and Technical College. Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Counseling at Lindsey Wilson College. Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration at the University of Louisville.

Experience: D'Neika spent 8 years in the United States Army Reserves as a Unit Supply Specialist and a Human Resource Specialist. She worked in the Office of Medical Student Affairs in a role directly supporting student success and wellness for 3 years prior to joining the MAPS team.

Fun fact: Her favorite television shows (and movies) are the ones where the hosts/characters are tasked with hunting down some lost historical artifact. She absolutely loves the National Treasure movies and the Discovery Channel television show, Expedition Unknown. 

Annika BennettAnnika Bennett
Assistant Director
University of Louisville 


Responsibilities: Annika works with academic units at the university to develop and expand apprenticeship-style programs in Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing. She also coordinates marketing efforts and employer engagement. 

Education: Associate of Arts at Jefferson Community and Technical College. Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Learning at the University of Louisville. Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration at the University of Louisville.

Experience: Prior to working with the University of Louisville, she worked with the workforce development department at Trilogy Health Services where she served as a success coach for the organization’s apprenticeship program.

Fun fact: Annika is an avid runner. She has completed three half-marathons and hopes to run the NYC marathon in the future.

D'Neika LopezCaitlin Fugate
MAPS Apprenticeship Navigator and Advisor
Gateway Community & Technical College


Responsibilities: Caitlin connects students to registered apprenticeship program opportunities, provides supplemental student support, and oversees completion of GCTC’s RAP programs according to approved curriculum plans.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a focus in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Leadership from Northern Kentucky University.

Experience: Caitlin has a background in Student Advising and Success Coaching as well as part time teaching. She has worked at Gateway Community and Technical College for 9 years. She is currently pursuing her Communication Teaching Certificate at Northern Kentucky University. Caitlin also serves on two local government Boards in Boone County, Kentucky.

Fun fact: Caitlin is an only child, but is expecting her fourth child in August. She loves boating at Lake Cumberland and taking trips each year with her family to the beach.

 Crystal Mozee
Apprenticeship Project Coordinator 
Jefferson Community & Technical College

Responsibilities: Crystal partners with Jefferson Community and Technical College's Faculty and Workforce Solutions Department to increase apprenticeship programs in Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and IT industries.

Education:Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Learning from University of Louisville.

Experience: Crystal started working in education as an Instructor with middle school students at JCPS. She enjoyed education and knew she wanted to pursue a career in post secondary education, which led to her current current position at Jefferson Community College.

Fun fact:Crystal loves to bake, cook, and take road trips with her daughter. 

 Rebecca Maddox
MAPS Apprenticeship Coordinator
Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

Responsibilities: As the Apprenticeship Coordinator in the Workforce Solutions Department of Elizabethtown Community & Technical College, Rebecca focuses on developing modern apprenticeship programs that support careers in information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing.

Education: Bachelors in Communications, University of Louisville. Master’s in Library Science, Indiana University at IUPUI.

Experience: For close to 15 year, Rebecca worked for Louisville Free Public Library primarily as the Manager the Southwest Regional Library. She has also worked as a library staff member for the University of Louisville Reference Department and for Barr Memorial Library on Fort Knox. Throughout her career, she has served on many community boards and service organizations, taught information literacy and workforce classes, and developed strong community partnerships.

Fun fact: In her spare time she is a Taekwondo student, a volunteer with the Girl Scouts, and she is an active marching band/wind symphony mom.

Heather TurnerHeather Turner, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Policy for the SKILLS Collaborative
University of Louisville

Responsibilities: Overseeing all aspects of research and publishing related to the grant

Education: B.A. English at Temple University, M.A. English at University of Delaware, M.A. Higher Education Administration at UofL, Ph.D. Candidate in Higher Education at UofL

Experience: Nearly 10 years of experience in higher education; over 6 years at UofL; over 3 years in LEAD

Fun fact: She is an avid hiker and trail runner, and has over 85 houseplants.

Former Team Members

Gianina Fink, Ph.D., Curriculum Team Member, University of Louisville

Jason Graves, MAPS Program Director and Advisor, University of Louisville

Ann Elizabeth Larson, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator, University of Louisville

Jose Lopez, Apprenticeship Project Coordinator, Jefferson Community & Technical College

Kimberly Mattingly, Apprenticeship Project Coordinator, Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

Emily Sayers, Manager of Workforce Programs, Gateway Community and Technical College

Nicole Venema, Marketing and Communications Intern, University of Louisville

Jessica Weatherford, Apprenticeship Project Coordinator, Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

Josh Williams, MAPS Program Director, University of Louisville

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Grant award number: HG-34348-20-60-A-21| Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Sun
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