Administration & Program Coordination


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. Pursuing a 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
Program Coordinator, Sr.
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. Pursuing a 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.

Jason GravesJason Graves
MAPS Advisor
University of Louisville

Responsibilities: Jason serves in an advisory capacity to MAPS utilizing his extensive experience in the field of work-based learning to assist MAPS in identifying and developing partnerships, implementing processes for tracking success, and pinpointing areas of improvement.

Education: Bachelor's degree from Indiana University Bloomington. Masters of Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville. Master's in Secondary Administration from Spalding University.

Experience: Jason worked for 16 years in secondary education as a teacher, administrator, mentor and CTE coordinator in the Louisville /Southern Indiana area. While working on his first masters, Jason developed the University of Louisville Project Graduate program, helping hundreds of adult learners and returning veterans reenroll in college and complete degrees that they had previously started. This work inspired his passion for helping people choose their path in both education and life. As a member of the original steering committee and academy coach, he championed the implementation of the Ford Next Generation Learning model at Greater Clark County Schools and the transition to high school career education. As the Regional Director of the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, he developed secondary to higher education pathways that utilized the apprenticeship model to increase student participation and curriculum rigor. Jason fundamentally believes in the importance of quality partnerships between community, business and education.

Fun fact: Jason played as an Extra in the My Morning Jacket Okonokos DVD. 

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. 

 Emily Sayers
Manager of Workforce Programs
Gateway Community & Technical College

Responsibilities: Emily partners with employers and community organizations through apprenticeship, customized training, continuing education, job profiling, and testing services in order to develop and deliver comprehensive workforce strategies to meet industry needs.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Northern Kentucky University and Masters of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development with a concentration in Workplace Learning & Performance from The University of Louisville.

Experience: Emily has a background training and development across multiple sectors and began her work at Gateway as a Corporate Trainer. Previously she had worked in higher education, but found her love of training and workforce development in the hospitality industry. She is currently pursuing her SHRM-CP certification and sits on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at The University of Louisville.

Fun fact:  Emily loves cooking and baking with her chef husband and received her certificate in Culinary Arts of Cincinnati State.

 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.


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