As vice president of the Texas Success Center, housed at the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), Cynthia Ferrell supports the implementation and scaling of student success strategies and policies for the 50 community college districts in Texas.
Prior to joining the Texas Success Center, Cynthia served as director of Student Success Initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as national director of leadership coaching for Achieving the Dream, director of the Board of Trustees Institute, director of Gulf Coast Partners Achieving Student Success, and UT director of the Governance Institute for Student Success. In these roles, she provided training and ongoing support for community college trustees, chancellors, presidents, and leadership teams to implement data-informed policies and practices to improve the success of all students.
Formerly the director of the Texas Developmental Education State Policy Initiative, Cynthia supported strategies jointly developed by TACC and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to scale successful innovations statewide and establish policy supports to improve developmental student success.
She earned a Ph.D. in higher educational administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin.
As the Director of Research and Evaluation, Kristina supports the mission of the Texas Success Center by implementing all research and evaluation processes. She manages internal and external collaborations to ensure projects are high quality, action-oriented, equity-focused and aligned with the Texas Pathways Knowledge Development Agenda. Additionally, Kristina manages Center databases and performs and supervises quantitative and qualitative analyses. She composes reports and other research deliverables, communicates findings with stakeholders, and informs the creation of training, technical assistance, and professional development for Texas Pathways colleges.
Prior to her roles at the Texas Success Center, Kristina taught mathematics for 15 years in high school and community college classrooms. During her 11 years at Austin Community College, she served as assistant dean of academic courses, developmental math advisor, and campus math contact to support improvements in the student experience. Kristina holds a baccalaureate degree in Mathematics from Georgetown University and a master's degree in Mathematics from New York University. She is a Ph.D. candidate in STEM Education at the University of Texas at Austin.
As the senior administrative associate of the Texas Success Center, Sway Youngston provides for the team in all administrative capacities.
Sway has grown in many support roles for various industries throughout her 15 + year career and is excited to grow as she learns about the needs of community colleges in Texas. She has a unique perspective as a former student at Texas community colleges and understands the value organizations like TACC provide.
Sway has a BA in communication with a minor in English from the University of Houston. She enjoys bicycling, social dancing, and cooking nutritious food.