MI icon Staff

Jared Cash, President and CEO

Jared Cash brings nearly 20 years of educational experience at Maine public and private colleges and universities to the executive leadership position at the Mitchell Institute. Previously, he served on the executive leadership team at the University of Southern Maine as Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing, overseeing a broad portfolio of programs, including Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, Student Financial Services, Marketing, Public Affairs, Athletics, and several student opportunity programs, such as Jobs for Maine Graduates, the university’s Promise Scholar Program and the federally funded TRIO programs. Prior to his role at USM, he was Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing at the University of Maine at Farmington. While there, he co-authored and received a $1.2 million grant to support peer-to-peer financial literacy across the University of Maine System and cultivated a $3.2M private gift, the second-largest in the institution’s history, which launched a bold, incentivized scholarship program that rewards persistence and strengthened emergency interventions for students who face unforeseen adversities. He previously served as the Scholarship Director at the Mitchell Institute, as well as Senior Associate Dean of Admissions at Bates College, his alma mater. He holds a bachelor’s in economics and political science, as well as a master’s degree in education with a concentration in higher education leadership from Northeastern University. Jared has dedicated over 10 years of public service on his local school board, currently serving as vice chair to one of the largest school districts in the state. As a graduate of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Jared enjoys seeing his family live and grow up in his hometown community. He continues to reside in Norway with his wife and is the proud father of two daughters, as well as Westie and Scottish Terriers. He and his family enjoy all things outdoors that the four seasons of Maine offer.  [jcash@mitchellinstitute.org]

Jeff Candura, Director of Development

As the Director of Development, Jeff will lead the work of inspiring people and foundations to make philanthropic investments in the success of nearly 600 college-going Mitchell Scholars each year from every community in Maine. Jeff comes to the Mitchell Institute from the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) Foundation, where he served as Development Director and later Executive Director. At the MSSM Foundation, he helped to significantly increase fundraising revenues and guided grantmaking for student scholarships, faculty professional development, and facility improvements. Before the MSSM Foundation, he served as the Development Director for the Maine Democratic Party from 2019 to 2021, when his team oversaw consecutive record fundraising years, and Director of Advancement at Gould Academy in Bethel, where his office was responsible for annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, and several on- and off-campus events. He also held development positions at Tufts University and the United Way of Larimer County in Fort Collins, Colo. Jeff earned a B.A. in English from Ithaca College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado–Denver. Learn more about Jeff in our May 2024 announcement of his appointment.
[jcandura@mitchellinstitute.org ]

Kristen Case, Scholar Research and Grants Manager

As the Scholar Research and Grants Manager, Kristen researches and analyzes Mitchell Scholar outcomes and develops funding proposals for foundations that are aligned with the Mitchell Institute’s mission and work. She also coaches Mitchell Scholars who are pursuing opportunities that call for compelling personal and professional narratives, and she advises Mitchell Scholars who are interested in pursuing graduate study in the humanities and careers in academia. Kristen comes to the Mitchell Institute from the University of Maine at Farmington, where she was a full Professor of English, specializing in American Literature. At UMF, Case advised hundreds of undergraduates and provided intensive individual coaching for students applying to graduate school in English, creative writing, and related fields. She also founded and continues to co-direct the Monson Seminar, a three-week residential course for highly motivated Pell-eligible and first-generation college students pursuing creative and research-based projects. Building on her first professional experiences as an elementary and middle-school classroom teacher, she has emphasized the importance of expanding the aspirations of first-generation college students along with their intellectual development. Kristen earned a B.A. in English, Summa Cum Laude, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Columbia University; an M.S. in education from Bank Street College of Education; an M.F.A. in poetry from Brooklyn College; and a Ph.D. in English from The City University of New York. Learn more about Kristen in our March 2024 announcement of her appointment.
[kcase@mitchellinstitute.org ]

Marc Glass, Brand and Communications Director

As Brand and Communications Director, Marc develops external communications and tells the story of the Mitchell Institute across all of the organization’s channels. He also serves as the editor of development communications, helping donors understand the power of their giving. Marc joined the Mitchell Institute in June 2022 after serving in several higher education communications roles, including director of strategic communications at the University of Southern Maine, assistant vice president of advancement and communications at the University of Maine at Farmington, director of advancement communications at Bates College, and assistant director of communications at Colby College. After graduating from Bates, he taught English at Jay High School for seven years. In addition to his work in higher education communications, he spent six years as a career and academic advisor at UMF, helping students with their pursuit of majors, internships, employment, and graduate school admission.
[mglass@mitchellinstitute.org ]

Alex Carrier Hitchcox, Events Manager

As the Events Manager, Alex is responsible for the coordination and operational management of 25+ annual events for Mitchell Scholars and the Mitchell Institute community. Like every member of the staff, she engages with Scholar-facing programs and participates in the annual evaluation of scholarship applications. Alex comes to the Mitchell Institute with nearly a decade of diverse higher education experience, including professional positions in Admissions, Career Advising, Employer Relations, Student Retention, and Student Activities. She received her bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Public Health at the University of Richmond and a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education.

Andrea Mitchell, Programs Manager

Andrea joined the Mitchell Institute in 2017 as a Project Manager, following a 30-year career in social services. She is honored to be involved with the Mitchell Institute again and enjoys managing the Fellowship and Promise Fund programs. Andrea is a native of Maine, graduated from Bradford College with a B.A. in Psychology, and is a licensed social worker.
amitchell@mitchellinstitute.org ]

Casey Near, Scholarship Director

As Scholarship Director, Casey focuses on increasing every Mitchell Scholar’s prospect for success, enhancing the wraparound supports that are a hallmark of the Mitchell Scholar experience, cultivating networks to help strengthen Scholars’ career development, and leading the organization’s holistic review process to select more than 180 recipients of the $10,000 Mitchell Scholarship each year. Casey came to the Mitchell Institute from Collegewise, a national provider of college admission counseling, tutoring, and test-preparation services, where she most recently served as Executive Director of Counseling and later Dean of Counselor Development. Before joining Collegewise, she was an admission counselor at Mills College in Oakland, California. After transferring from the University of Pennsylvania, she graduated with a B.A. in American Studies and highest honors from Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Learn more about Casey in our February 2024 announcement of her appointment.
[ cnear@mitchellinstitute.org ]

Lisa Sirois

Lisa Sirois, Finance Director

Lisa joined the Mitchell Institute in December of 2006 and is responsible for the financial management and accounting of the Institute. She brings more than 20 years of financial, accounting, and analytical experience to the Institute. Prior to joining the Mitchell Institute, she worked in a variety of accounting and analytical capacities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Lisa grew up in Augusta, attended Cony High School, and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a B.S. in Business Administration. She lives in South Portland and enjoys the Maine outdoors.
lsirois@mitchellinstitute.org ]

Adam Thibodeau

Adam Thibodeau, Scholarship Operations Manager

Adam assists primarily with the implementation of the scholarship programming. The 2001 Mitchell Scholar from Lawrence High School and a graduate of the University of Maine with degrees in English and Theatre, he has previously worked in performing arts venues throughout New England, from backstage to the box office. He is excited to live in Portland and to be able to help new classes of Mitchell Scholars attend college and succeed in their professional lives. When he is not at the Mitchell Institute, you are likely to find him helping out at Portland Stage.
athibodeau@mitchellinstitute.org ]