ACHE South is a dynamic network of diverse professionals who are dedicated to promoting excellence in continuing higher education and to sharing their expertise and experience with one another.  We are comprised of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.  International locations include Caribbean, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.  Our annual conference is held in April at various locations in the region.

ACHE South Bylaws

Meet Our Officers

Patti Spaniola, Chair
Patti SpaniolaPatti Spaniola is Program Director and Meeting Planner at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. Her first ACHE experience was in April 2011 at the ACHE South Regional Conference in San Antonio, Texas. After that, she was hooked on ACHE’s mission, members, and opportunities to serve the Continuing Education field. She has served on conference planning committees, as Member-at-Large and is currently the co-chair for the ACHE Annual Conference in Las Vegas on October 27-29. In 2013, she and the University of West Florida team served as host for the 2013 ACHE South Regional Conference. Patti earned a B.S. in Communication from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Regis University.  She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).

Chris Nesmith, Chair-elect
Chris NesmithChris Nesmith is the Associate Provost for Palmetto College and Dean of Extended University at the University of South Carolina, where his academic and administrative career has focused on providing access to educational opportunities for working adult, first-generation, and underrepresented students. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Arts from the University of North Carolina- Charlotte, both in English, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in Nineteenth-century American Literature. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches freshman composition courses and American literature. Chris served on the board of the South Carolina Association for Continuing Higher Education (SCACHE) from 2008-2014, and as its President in 2012.

Debbie Poweleit, Secretary
Debbie PoweleitDebbie Poweleit, Interim Director of Distance and Online Learning at Northern Kentucky University, has worked in higher education for 30 years, primarily with adult/postsecondary learners since 2002. Her experience has included private and public undergraduate admissions and orientation, online program coordination, cohort corporate partnerships, and oversees the PACE program, an evening accelerated program. Debbie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and an Associate degree in Business from the College of Mount Saint Joseph and a MS in Human Development and Leadership from Murray State University and a certificate in Career and Education Advising from CAEL.

Joseph Allen, Treasurer
Joseph AllenJoseph Allen is Treasury for ACHE South Region, a position he has held since 2006. He is also the Assistant Director at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. In his current role, Joseph works closely with the Center's leadership to coordinate its strategic planning initiatives, liaison with internal and external marketing partners and lead process improvement activities across the organization. Joseph also works directly with the Georgia Center Director to oversee and execute special projects that impact the overall organization.

Joseph holds both a B.A. and a Masters of Education from the University of Georgia and has worked at the Georgia Center since 1990.

Julie Shankle, Past Chair
Julie ShankleJulie Shankle is ACHE South Chair and serves Florida Institute of Technology’s Office of Online Learning as its Director of Online Learning. A graduate of Centre College in Kentucky and Florida State University, Julie studied theatre and worked in arts management for several years before making the transition to Online Learning at Florida Tech. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and a recipient of Florida Tech’s President’s Award for University Excellence and Most Valuable Panther Award. With ACHE, Julie has presented on the regional and national levels and participated on the planning committee for the Cocoa, Sandestin, Nashville, New Orleans and Charleston conferences. Julie was the voice of ACHE South on Twitter @ACHESouth from 2012 – 2013.

Brittany Sholar, Member-at-Large
Brittany Jones Brittney Jones has worked with Dual Credit at Western Kentucky University since 2010 and is currently the Program Coordinator. She received her Bachelors of Art in Psychology from Western Kentucky University, where she also received a Master of Arts in Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education. She is involved with the Association for Continuing Higher Education – South region, the Kentucky chapter of ACHE, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. She also holds a certificate in Career Counseling and is currently completing a certificate program in Staff Leadership.

Dewayne Neeley, Member-at-Large
Dewayne Neeley Dewayne Neeley is the Program Coordinator of Dual Credit at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is a member of ACHE South as well as the Kentucky Association for Continuing Higher Education (KACHE), the latter of which he has previously served as President. Dewayne is also a member of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and the Board of Directors of the Greenville College Alumni Association. Dewayne has a B.A. from Greenville College (IL) and an M.A.E. from Western Kentucky University. Dewayne will volunteer for the 2015 conference as a day chair.