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Fuson, Nantz and Ramsey named to new positions at Riley Institute

The Riley Institute at Furman University is growing its diversity and critical issues programs. To that end, the Institute has appointed three staff members to new positions.

Jill Fuson

Jill Fuson has been promoted to director of the Riley Institute’s Center for Critical Issues (CCI), one of the Institute’s three centers of work. As director, she helps set strategic direction for CCI and is responsible for all the Institute’s policy events at Furman and throughout the state. The policy events are intended to raise the level of discourse among students and community members around issues critical to the progress of the state and nation. Fuson will also oversee all student leadership activities at the Riley Institute.

Courtenay Nantz

Courtenay Nantz, formerly director of the Riley Institute effort that brought New Tech schools to South Carolina, has been named senior associate with the Institute’s Center for Diversity Strategies. She will help review nominees and select participants from across the state for the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). DLI is a five-month leadership experience that teaches leaders from all sectors of South Carolina to foster and leverage the talent and experience of the state’s diverse people. Nantz will also work to strengthen links among the approximately 2,000 DLI alumni across the state.

Summer Ramsey

Summer Ramsey is the Riley Institute’s new director of marketing. Formerly director of communications at the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, Ramsey will work with Fuson on the planning and production of policy events and will oversee all marketing activities for the Institute, including establishment of marketing strategy, management of social media, web content and other communication platforms. She will also work with Furman University Communications to conduct media relations and create event and program collateral.

Riley Institute executive director Don Gordon said these staffing changes will work synergistically to strengthen the Institute’s programs and relationships. “Jill’s work will be instrumental in further growing the Riley Institute and Furman’s ability to produce high-quality policy events around issues that concern us all.

“Courtenay’s move to DLI cements our ongoing ability to build the carefully selected, statewide participant mix that will help drive progress in South Carolina.

“Finally, Summer’s strategic marketing work will effectively showcase our individual events and programs, help communicate the broader work of the Institute to a larger statewide audience, and will enable and support Courtenay’s work to strengthen connections among DLI alumni,” said Gordon.

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute broadens student and community perspectives about issues critical to South Carolina’s progress. Named for former Secretary of Education and South Carolina Governor Dick Riley, the Institute builds and engages present and future leaders, creates and shares data-supported information about the state’s core challenges, and links the leadership body to sustainable solutions. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change.

For more information about the Riley Institute, visit Or contact Jacki Martin, deputy director at the Riley Institute,, 864-294-3578.


Last updated July 31, 2017
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director