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Riley Institute announces promotion, adds new staff

|Megan Dodgens|Sally Morris Cote|

Last updated July 24, 2018

By News administrator

The Riley Institute at Furman University has promoted team member Megan Dodgens to director of diversity leadership strategies and has added two new staff members, including Sally Morris Cote, Ph.D., as director of planning and evaluation capacity building and Nichole Grant as administrative assistant.

Megan Dodgens

Dodgens, a Clemson graduate and seven-year veteran of the Institute, oversees a number of the Riley Institute’s diversity programs, including the Diversity Leaders Initiative and the annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner, presented in partnership with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and other Upstate chambers. Dodgens’ promotion reflects the expansion of her responsibilities and her contributions to the organization.

“While Megan has brought great improvements to management of our diversity programs, her new title is driven by her increased role in program conception,” said Don Gordon, executive director of the Institute. “Importantly, this promotion also reflects the great value Megan brings as a core team member who contributes to many of the Institute’s programs and projects.”

Sally Morris Cote

Cote, who has been working part-time with the Institute’s Center for Education Policy and Leadership (CEPL), now joins the team full-time. A graduate of Furman University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she has extensive experience in survey design and qualitative research.

“In addition to helping to develop and manage research projects, Sally will work with organizations across the state to improve their capacity to plan and evaluate their programs,” said Brooke Culclasure, research director at the Riley Institute.

Nichole Grant

Grant is transitioning to her new role from a career in teaching with Greenville County Schools and Spartanburg School District 5. She is a graduate of Presbyterian College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We’re so impressed with Nichole’s ability to collect, organize, analyze and present information and solutions. She will be a great asset to our day-to-day operations, as well as to production of our policy events and student activities,” said Jacki Martin, deputy director of the Institute.

For more information, contact Jacki Martin at 864-294-3578 and

About the Riley Institute at Furman University
Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute broadens student and community perspectives about issues critical to South Carolina’s progress. It 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, visit

Last updated July 24, 2018
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