Meet the AVP and Directors

Rabekah Stewart, Ph.D. Executive Director, TRIO Student Support ServicesRabekah D. Stewart, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs 
Pronouns: she/her/hers/herself/Dr.




Dr. Rabekah Stewart serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Stewart's research is in the intercultural and career experiences of African-American women in leadership at predominantly white institutions; as well as minority student identity development on the college campus. Throughout Dr. Stewart’s career, she has served as a high school and college English instructor; and for the last 11 years as a TRIO professional. Her focus is on helping the underserved student and staff populations in higher education. As a leader in education access and attainment, she strives to create opportunities and support change initiatives for the betterment of all students.

In her spare time, Dr. Stewart loves to travel, attend cultural activities and events, listen to live jazz and R&B music, cook and bake new healthy recipes, and spend time with family and friends. Her quote to live by is, “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Keep moving forward!

Nina BarudzicNina Barudzic, Ph.D.

Director, Multicultural Programs
Pronouns: she/her/hers/herself/Dr.



Dr. Nina Barudzic serves as the Director of Multicultural Programs. Dr. Barudzic completed her doctoral studies in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University and has been working the past four years in Multicultural Affairs. She is extremely passionate about diversity, creating inclusive and equitable spaces and advocating for marginalized students. She enjoys "teaching and working on challenging projects that push the needle for students' success." In her free time, she plays tennis and enjoys time with her family and friends.


Ryan R.G. Reed, Ed.D PortraitRyan R.G. Reed, Ed.D.

Director, Access & Success Programs
Pronouns: he/him/his/himself/Dr.




Dr. Ryan Reed serves as the Director for Access & Success Programs at Missouri State University. Dr. Reed's work focuses on providing support services and advising students who are participants in several Missouri State community partnerships, including the Kauffman Scholars, Wyman Scholars, College Bound, Boys and Girls Clubs, KIPP schools, Student African American Brotherhood and Big Brothers & Big Sisters students. Dr. Reed supervises the Bears LEAD program and staff. Dr. Reed holds a Doctorate of Education in Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University and a Master of Science in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University. His research interests focus on first-generation, low-income, and urban students; education equality in access and affordability; student leadership development; and student conduct. Dr. Reed is housed in the Meyer Library room 109.

Nicholas HorneNicholas Horne, B.F.A., B.S.

Director, TRIO Upward Bound
Pronouns: he/him/his



Nicholas Horne is the Director of the TRIO Upward Bound Program at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Throughout his five-plus years as a TRIO professional, Nicholas has consecutively achieved 100% retention rates with his students and has exceeded his program objectives of post-secondary enrollment by over 25 percentage points. Within his year at Missouri State University, he has successfully written a renewal grant for continued funding of 1.5 million dollars and has grown participation by 725%. 

Knowing that it takes a village to raise a child, Nicholas recognizes the importance of being an advocate for the students he serves. Nicholas continues to be a strong voice in the state of Missouri by advocating for TRIO programs and requesting funding support from Congress. Currently, Nicholas is serving as co-chair of the Legislation and Education Committee for his 10 State Professional TRIO Association. He is also the State of Missouri's representative. His current priorities as representative are to strengthen the professional development programming of new professionals, build a mentorship model for professionals within the Chapter, and develop processes/ resources for retaining TRIO professionals. Additionally, Nicholas hopes to implement statewide initiatives for more consistent interaction and opportunities for collaboration with other TRIO professionals. 

Since graduating from Avila University in Kansas City in 2018 with a BFA in Directing and Producing, Nicholas has continued being a lifelong learner through extended studies. In December 2021, Nicholas received additional degrees in Public Administration and Education from Central Methodist University. He started his Master's in Education Policy in Spring of 2023.

In his free time, you can find Nicholas watching a theater show, taking a camping trip, or trying a new eatery in town.