Dr. Lori A. WolffLori A. Wolff, Ph.D., J.D.

Director and Professor of Leadership & Counselor Education

Lori A. Wolff is the Director of the Dr. Maxine Harper Center for Educational Research and Evaluation and Professor of Leadership & Counselor Education. Her teaching emphases include higher education and statistics/research. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. from Saint Louis University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Creighton University. Dr. Wolff previously served as coordinator of the university’s higher education program, director of assessment for the School of Education, associate dean of students, and as an institutional research associate. She has also served as an administrator or faculty member at William Penn University, Drury University, and Saint Louis University, and was a judicial law clerk for the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Contact info: 662-915-5791 or

Dr. Marie BarnardMarie Barnard, Ph.D.

Associate Director and Professor of Educational Research

Marie Barnard is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Educational Research. She received her M.S. in Epidemiology from the University of Tennessee and Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Barnard has extensive research experience ranging from community evaluation projects to clinical trials. She has previously served as director of assessment for the School of Applied Sciences and held multiple academic administrative posts. Her expertise is in the areas of research methodology, program evaluation, public health, and interpersonal violence.

Contact info: 662-915-1946 or

Joey RutherfordJoey Rutherford, M.A.

Project Manager

Joey Rutherford is the Project Manger of the Dr. Maxine Harper Center for Educational Research and Evaluation. He began his career at CERE in 2006 as a research associate before becoming project coordinator. In September of 2013, he was named Project Manager. In 2006, he received his B.A. in History and Philosophy from the University of Mississippi. He is also a graduate of the university’s Management and Administrative Seminars for Human Resources Program (MASH) and the Research Administration and Management Program (RAMP). He recently received his Master’s of Higher Education/Student Personnel degree from the University of Mississippi in Spring of 2015.

Contact info: 662-915-7021 or

Megan BryantMegan Bryant

CERE EPSCoR Consultant

Megan Bryant is from Oxford, MS. She has worked at CERE since 2010 as a consultant. She is responsible for tracking over 350 EPSCoR students as they pursue their degree and enter into their chosen career. She also is responsible for conducting focus groups for various EPSCoR activities and programs. She is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.

Nicole BarnesNicole Barnes

Graduate Assistant

Nicole Barnes is a Master of Accountancy student from Marion, Arkansas. She received her Bachelor of Accountancy from The University of Mississippi. She joined CERE in Fall of 2015.

Elizabeth FowlkesElizabeth Fowlkes

Graduate Assistant

Elizabeth Fowlkes is a second year graduate student in the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education pursuing a degree in School Counseling. She is a native of Oxford and a graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Psychology. Elizabeth joined the staff in August 2014.

Virginia HolmanVirginia Holman

Graduate Assistant

Virginia Holman is from Fairfax, VA. She received her Bachelor of Accountancy from the Patterson School of Accountancy from Ole Miss in May 2015. Currently, she is working on her Master’s of Taxation while working at CERE.