Chief of Staff

Barbour joined Partners for Rural Impact in the spring of 2023 after having served as the Vice President for Student Life at Berea College.
Barbour earned her undergraduate degree in political science in 1991 from Berea College. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from West Virginia University in 1994 and her doctorate degree from Indiana State University in Higher Education Leadership in 2014.

What does “success” for rural communities/schools look like for you?

Success for rural communities and schools is having funding for rural areas. It means, not having to divide funding sources amongst rural vs, urban, but actually investing in rural places (as well as investing in urban too). In other words, not competing for funds, but investing in areas in which we all should care about. Success also means, having a rural agenda where people understand that in order to have a better quality of life for those living in rural places, decision makers, and funders need to become educated about rural areas. Education is the key to investing in better communities.

What is something from your own education that has made a lasting impact? Did this lead you to do the work that you do?

Racism from a high school counselor who said I was not college material has made a lasting impact on me. I really hate to acknowledge that, but her hatefulness, fueled me. My mother taught me that when someone tells you, you are not worthy, you cannot do something that is in the best interest to advance me educationally, then you show them. As my pastor says, “I can show you better than I can tell you.” I know it was racism on her part, because how she spoke to me and the black students, she was the counselor over. She never encouraged us to go to college. Anyhow, by her actions, I took to heart that every person that society casts aside due to race and class, I am going to be there to uplift them and show them that, yes we can DO and WE WILL!

What problem do you want to solve?

I’d love to say racism and homelessness are the issues I would solve, but I think that is not a possibility. However, I NEVER lose hope. As a first world nation, why do we have homelessness? It’s because we as a nation do not care about the issues and as long as it doesn’t impact the individual, their families, then that is someone else’s problem. I wish I could win the big million, and billion dollar lotteries because I would at least give to help mental illness; try and solve homelessness, provide jobs so people can have better qualities of life. As for racism, I would hope that the kindness I give back in the world would show those who don’t like me (and others) because of the color of my skin, that I am a good person and don’t judge on my skin color (judge by my heart)!


Vice President for Capacity and Civic Infrastructure

Crowder has 20 years of experience in strategic planning as well as developing and implementing educational programs for youth and families. Before joining PRI, she was a senior associate within the leadership development unit at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She has a bachelor’s in biology from North Carolina Central University, a master’s in school psychology from Howard University, and a doctorate in urban educational leadership from Morgan State University.

What is the key to building strong partnerships?

The key to building strong partnerships is building relationships and keeping the result at the center of the work. We are aligned around a result and we keep that first we are able to connect intentionally and have a greater impact. It is all about being “with” each other rather than building a partnership that does “to” or “for” each other.

What is something from your own education that has made a lasting impact? Did this lead you to do the work that you do?

I had a ninth-grade honors math teacher who looked like me tell me I didn’t belong in that class. This hit me in my heart. My first black teacher and she didn’t wrap her arms around me to support my growth. I was determined from that point to prove her wrong. I went on to graduate High School and College top of my class. I ran into her the last semester of my Senior year in college and I was able to tell her, look I made it and not only did I finish high school but was on my way to graduate school on scholarship. My goal was to step into education and walk the walk differently and be there for students especially those that looked like me. Through this experience, I learned to focus on the principal Kujichagulia which means self-determination. I had to make up my own mind to set and accomplish goals. It is my hope that as I work across communities, I can inspire others do the same.

What problem do you want to solve?

I don’t necessarily have a problem I want to solve but I want to bring attention to the needs of black, brown, and indigenous communities that are rooted in rural places. Often times their voices are left out of the “rural” conversation and when the population size is small they can become invisible unless you are in a rural space that is majority black or brown. We need to be thinking about the “whole” of rural places and ensure “all” means “all.”


Vice President for Strategic Impact

Garver grew up in rural Ohio and understands the challenges children and families are facing day to day. He graduated first in his class from Berea College with a teaching degree and went on to earn a master’s degree. 


Vice President for Human Resources, Operations and Legal

Hargrove is an experienced nonprofit executive with expertise in Results Based Leadership, Collective Impact implementation, and organizational policy development and oversight. Most recently, she served as the director of business affairs in the student affairs division of the University of Cincinnati. She has over a decade of experience in human resources.

What is something from your own education that has made a lasting impact? Did this lead you to do the work that do? 

As a first-generation student, I understand the value of education and having caring adults in your life to encourage you along your educational journey.  My family, teachers, and community were my Village supporters who invested in my academic and character development.  Their presence and modeling during pivotal points in my educational experience were a part of my motivation to lead a life of service to others.

The work that I do is driven by my passion for equal access and opportunity to high-quality education for every student so that every child, regardless of geography or demographics, can attain success and pay it forward for the next generation. 


Vice President for Place-Based Partnerships

Hogg has more than 20 years of experience leading public districts in Appalachia and was a middle school science and social studies teacher. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in middle grades education from Eastern Kentucky University. As a first-generation college graduate, he feels a deep responsibility to pay forward what has been paid forward to him.

What is the key to building strong partnerships? 

Strong partnerships are nurtured and grown through a shared possibility and commitment to the greater good. Listening and hearing the unique needs of each other without sacrificing the organization’s qualities, characteristics and culture. Seeing our differences as strengths and another piece of the puzzle of a thriving community is critical. Being in regular communication and putting a stake in the ground where there will be shared work and where there won’t be is also critical. In essence, partnerships are built by being in a relationship with each other.

What problem do you want to solve? 

I think the problem that most confounds me and I’d love to solve is the scarcity mindset that pervades all aspects of our communities.  Whether it is educational opportunities, jobs, housing our governance structures, the pervasive thinking is that there is “only so much” and we’d better get it for the members of our team—whatever that team is.  The result is that we are always set against each other and trying to justify our own needs as greater than our neighbors.  What if the mindset shifted?  What if it became, “we have enough?”  How would that shape housing? Jobs? Education?  Until all have access to “enough” then our communities and our neighbors can never be whole and live meaningful, choice-filled lives where thriving is the norm instead of struggling.  I’ve seen glimpses of the abundance mindset when organizations and communities come together to lose themselves in a greater cause—it is lovely and the closest I’ve been to the Beloved Community.

What does “success” for rural communities/schools look like for you? 

Opportunity and access are two indicators of success in rural communities.  All members of the community have the opportunity to engage in quality education from cradle through career.  There are multiple opportunities to be engaged in shaping the policies that create a thriving culture in the community.  Safe, adequate housing is available to all. Choice is abundant for jobs and career ladders are embedded ensuring economic mobility.  The richness of the community’s culture is celebrated regularly through traditions and also embedded in the daily infrastructure. 


Vice President for Finance

Jordan has nearly 15 years of experience working in nonprofit leadership positions in grant development, finance, operations, compliance, auditing and strategic planning. Previously, she spent ten years working in the banking industry in Appalachian Kentucky. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Eastern Kentucky University.

What does “success” for rural communities/schools look like for you? 

To me, success for rural communities and schools means each and every child has access to opportunities and resources that build on their abilities and skills to help them flourish and thrive. 

What is something from your own education that has made a lasting impact? Did this lead you to do the work that you do?

My eighth-grade math teacher made a huge impact on how I viewed my mathematical capabilities and ultimately led me to the finance and accounting path. I had strong math skills that were not fostered by other teachers, and Mr. Smith encouraged me and gave me space to learn and grow in a space not traditionally welcoming to female students.

What is the key to building strong partnerships? 

A key to building strong partnerships is the ability of the partners to work toward creating resilient relationships.  When the partnership experiences adversity in any form, it is essential that the partners have open dialogue to realign the work and continue progress toward improving outcomes.