Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Meet the Staff

Since we began serving the Georgia learning community in 1994, the Education division of Georgia Public Broadcasting has continued to expand the programs and services we provide. We have grown from a small department operating a single ITV channel to a resource-rich organization providing programming and training through multiple satellite channels, open air television, and the Internet. In order to ensure that we are meeting the needs of teachers and students, GPB has assembled a team of professionals with the experience and expertise required to understand those needs and provide solutions. Take a moment to read about each member of our staff below and learn who can assist you with specific questions you may have about GPB programs and services.

The Leadership

Mike Nixon - Director GPB Education
Mike served as the Director of GPB's Information Technology Division for four years before assuming the directorship of GPB Education. His background in information systems and distance learning technology enables him to develop unique solutions for Georgia educators that maximize GPB's technological infrastructure while providing high quality resources for use in the classroom. Under his leadership, GPB Education has continued to expand our video streaming and webcasting capabilities, which provide video resources to schools via the Internet without the need for a television or VCR. Additionally, he has solidified partnerships with the Georgia Department of Education and a number of other education entities that have resulted in the development of programs and resources that impact not only classroom teaching, but also professional development for educators. You may contact Mike at or 404-685-2256.

Patrice Weaver - Manager, Education Services
Patrice came to GPB after 15 years in the classroom. Before getting her master's degree in Instructional Design and becoming an award winning social studies teacher, Patrice worked as a Chief Executive Officer and Fiduciary Accountant for 10 years. Both of these skill sets serve her well as the Manager of GPB Education Services, where she is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the division including the budget, broadcast and streaming services, client services, and supervising the other Education Project Managers. She has been Executive Producer on a variety of education multimedia projects and continues to conduct professional development trainings statewide. Patrice actively cultivates partnerships with other state organizations in order to serve the needs of Georgia educators. You may contact Patrice at or 404-685-2563.

The Administrative Staff

Markisha Gray- Unit Service Financial Analyst
Before joining GPB, Markisha worked in many different industries as an accountant for five years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Livingstone College. Markisha's current role with GPB Education is the Unit Service Financial Analyst where she tracks, develops and analyzes budgets and statistical reports to show the department's financial position. In addition, she reviews and approves accounts payable and procurement transactions. She also monitors income and expenses for all GPB Education activities and Revenue Funded Production projects. Overall, she serves as the financial liaison for the department. If you should need any financial assistance, you may contact Markisha at or 404-685-2558.

Jascenda Pasley - Administrative Assistant
Jascenda has been with GPB Education for four years, during which time she has become an indispensable part of our team. She is the person you speak with when you call the main GPB Education phone number, and she can assist you with placing orders for GPB original programs, finding the technical assistance you need for your satellite or video streaming equipment, and locating the appropriate GPB staff person to answer your content-specific questions. Jascenda also inputs all of the program information you find in our online program guide and assists the project managers in preparation for conferences and trainings. You may contact Jascenda at or 404-685-2413.


Meghan Morris - Digital Communications
Meghan earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from Georgia State University. While attending Georgia State University, she also received a certificate in Tradeshow and Event Planning. After graduating, Meghan joined the GPB Education team as an Apprentice and is now the Digital Communications Coordinator. Currently, she produces the monthly Pipeline e-zine, web highlights, marketing materials and many other communication materials. She also helps to create awareness among Georgia's educational community about GPB's products and services. You may contact Meghan at or 404-685-2534.

Content Development

Barbara O'Brien - Senior Education Project Manager
Barbara works with members of the Content team to create curriculum-based resources for educators, students and parents. Additionally, she facilitates partnerships between GPB and other organizations to support the learning community in Georgia. Achieving Excellence: Inside Georgia Schools, C-47: Georgia Short Film Showcase, Graduation Counts! and Road Trip are the results of recent partnerships. Barbara is also the point of contact for Fine Arts Projects. In addition to a wealth of personal experience as a dancer and choreographer, Barbara has a M.Ed. in education with an emphasis in dance. She has taught fine arts in classrooms from the pre-K through postsecondary levels, served as an artist-in-residence for various educational programs, and worked with such noteworthy Georgia organizations as the Fulton County Arts Council, the High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences Woodruff Arts Center. You may contact Barbara at or 404-685-2545.

Deborah R. Grayson - Social Sciences
Deborah comes to GPB with a Ph.D. in American Studies and over 15 years of classroom experience at the college level where her areas of expertise included Biomedical Ethics and African-American Literature and Culture. She has received awards for excellence and achievement for her work as an educator and literacy volunteer in various church and community organizations. Deborah is also a painter, quilter and doll maker who regularly exhibits her work. A recent addition to the GPB family, Deborah serves as an Education Project Manager with a concentration in social sciences. Her current projects include overseeing programming and evaluating content for the social sciences. She also is developing and maintaining the extensive Georgia Stories website. Further, Deborah facilitates partnerships between GPB and other organizations throughout the state to serve Georgia educators and learners. You may contact Deborah at or 404-685-2418.

Digital Content

Katherine Aiken - Digital Distribution and TIE Network Manager
For seven years, Katherine taught middle and high school language arts in metro-Atlanta. Outside of the classroom, she also worked with educators by facilitating workshops, developing educational broadcast programming, and working with school districts across the country to deliver community-based initiatives. Katherine recently rejoined the GPB Education team after leaving Discovery Education where she managed the Georgia and Alabama DEN. Katherine's combination of teaching background and events planning experience enable her to collaborate with Georgia's ETTCs and RESAs to offer unique networking and professional development opportunities for Georgia educators. Katherine also coordinates the datacasting distribution project for K-12 schools across the state. You may contact Katherine at or 404-685-2338.

Rod Berry - Programming
Rod came to GPB Education from the world of database maintenance, where he worked to keep track of GPB's membership database for five years. Now that he's part of the Education team, Rod serves the crucial function of scheduling the programming that airs on Channels 410, 420 and 430. Rod is also in charge of seeking out new programming from vendors across the nation. If you have questions or concerns about the broadcast schedule, you can contact Rod. Also, if you would like to see more programming in a particular subject area, please let Rod know and he will do his best to acquire it for broadcast. You may contact Rod at or 404-685-2649.

Family Literacy

Carol Veatch - Coordinator
Carol comes to GPB with over 30 years experience in the education field. She earned a dual bachelor's degree from Ohio State University, in Elementary Education and Special Education and a M.Ed. from Georgia State University in Interrelated Special Education. Carol's educational experience includes classroom teacher, curriculum developer, grant writer and manager, teacher trainer, program developer, and researcher. In addition, Carol has partnered with universities to develop adult literacy programs. As Family Literacy Coordinator at GPB, Carol is dedicated to initiating and supporting quality children and adult literacy programs through literacy events, partnerships, production and Ready To Learn. If you have questions or would like more information regarding GPB Family Literacy, you can contact Carol at or 404-685-2555.

Laura Miller - Ready to Learn
Laura came to GPB from WGBH in Boston, where she served as a member of the team that piloted Ready To Learn (RTL), public broadcasting's answer to the call for all children to begin school ready to learn. Laura has a master's degree in Education, with an emphasis in English, and experience working in various educational settings within the K-12 arena. Since joining GPB, Laura has served the Ready To Learn needs of the entire state through workshops for educators, parents and caregivers. Additionally, she evaluates programming and oversees professional development in the areas of early childhood education, adult literacy and family literacy. Laura further serves the needs of these communities through the facilitation of partnerships with other organizations to develop initiatives such as the Department of Education's Reading First project. You may contact her at or 404-685-2521.


Lisa Hannabach - Administrative Assistant for Irasshai
When you call the Irasshai Hotline (1-800-883-7444 or 404-685-2811 in the Atlanta area), chances are Lisa's will be the first voice you hear. Although she has a bachelor's degree in Japanese Language and Culture from the University of Hawaii and has lived in Japan for ten years, she promises to answer your Irasshai-related questions in English. As the Administrative Assistant for GPB's Japanese language and culture distance learning program, Lisa provides support to the Irasshai staff, acts as liaison between staff and enrolled schools, and facilitates the day to day operations of the Irasshai office.

Kathy Negrelli - Program Manager
Kathy comes to GPB with a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Georgia and more than 20 years of teaching experience in Japan and in the United States ranging from elementary to university level. She has served on the team of Irasshai - GPB's high school distance learning course in Japanese language and culture - since its inception in 1995. She was an integral member in helping develop the Audio Interaction component of the course, as well as playing critical roles in the creation of Irasshai Explorer, the middle school course and i-irasshai, an interactive CD-ROM supplement to Irasshai. She currently acts as liaison between GPB and Irasshai subscribers across the nation, and is the editor of the Irasshai Shinbun, a newsletter devoted to providing information and activities to facilitators and students of Irasshai.

Katsumi Suzuki- Program Coordinator of Irasshai
Katsumi came to the United States as a college student to major in English at Shorter College in Rome, Ga. Her original plan was to stay in the United States for a few years until she graduated. During her last year of college, she went to visit a Japanese class at the University of Georgia. She was so excited to see American students learning Japanese, and she dreamed about becoming a teacher herself. She was encouraged to go to graduate school at UGA, where she studied Foreign Language Education and taught Japanese in undergraduate classes for six years. She is one of the original staff who has been working for the Japanese distance course, Irasshai, since it piloted in 1996. She completed her Ph.D. in 2001 and is still enjoying teaching Japanese and coordinating the Irasshai program.

Sakiko Suzuki- Program Coordinator of Irasshai
Sakiko is originally from Kyoto, Japan and moved to the United States in 1997. She earned her master's degree in Languages and Cultures from Kansai Gaidai University and in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia. She has been serving as a Program Coordinator of Irasshai since 2000 after having taught elementary school, middle school, and university both in Japan and in the United States. Since 2000, she has been helping high school students across the nation learn Japanese language and culture. Her 13 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings make her unique in her role as Distance Education Specialist in GPB's Education and Technology division. She hopes that more students in the United States will broaden their worldview through learning the Japanese language and culture.


Bix Doughty - Coordinator
Bix has been with GPB since 1987 and has been a part of GPB Education since the division was formed. While at GPB, Bix has played an important role in numerous projects, including initiating GPB's first online service, the installation of satellite dishes in K-16 schools throughout Georgia, and streaming educational content online. He has also been involved with the production of Salsa, Irasshai, Georgia Stories and many other GPB Education original productions. Currently, Bix focuses on GPB Education production projects for satellite and internet delivery, building the Apprentice Program, and coordinating the activities of the Apprentices at GPB. You may contact Bix at or 404-685-2566.

Jonathan Harris - Apprentice Program
Georgia Public Broadcasting's Apprentice Program Coordinator, Jonathan Harris, is an industry professional who has taught film and video production and post-production within the Department of Communication at Georgia State University for the last three years. Jonathan holds a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking and Art from Georgia State University and a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Davidson College. He is the Director of the documentary, Treasure Hunters, which screened at more than a dozen film festivals nationwide, won Best Documentary Short at the F4 Film Festival in Massachusetts, and received three other nominations. He was most recently the Writer and Co-director of the feature-length musical, Last Ride, which also appeared at film festivals nationwide. He worked as Post-Production Supervisor on The Adventures of Ociee Nash (distributed by Twentieth Century Fox) and has appeared as a panelist at the Atlanta Film Festival. Jonathan currently oversees all of the Apprentice Program's activities. You may contact him at or 404-685-2589.