The Charlotte Team

Cheryl L. Richards, Ph.D.
CEO and Regional Dean

CR-e1392999170170-195x300Dr. Richards is CEO & Regional Dean for Northeastern University–Charlotte serving as the university’s chief executive for the first in a system of regional campuses across the U.S. The campus offers 15 master’s degrees, 3 doctorates and numerous graduate-level certificates. Dr. Richards is charged with extending resources of this top 50 university into the region by advancing its global corporate partnerships, cooperative education and research capabilities.

Dr. Richards began her career in higher education 25 years ago at Colorado State University and has since held leadership posts with the University of Denver, Regis University, EDUCAUSE and Central Piedmont Community College.

Since moving to North Carolina in 2004, Dr. Richards has become a recognized leader in the community serving multiple terms on the Charlotte Chamber’s Executive Committee and as Chair of the Education & Workforce Development Committee and several Chapters. Currently, she serves on the boards of Apparo, MeckEd and Smart Start and recently completed a term as President of Women Executives.

Dr. Richards has twice been recognized by the Mecklenburg Times as one of Charlotte’s “50 Most Influential Women” and was honored in 2014 as “Woman of the Year.” The Charlotte Business Journal recognized her as a “40 Under Forty” leader as well as one of the “Top 25 Women in Business.” A frequent presenter and speaker, she has also served as guest host for Carolina Business Review.

Dr. Richards holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication, master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education and Ph.D. in Leadership for Higher Education. She and her husband of 20 years are proud parents of two children.

Margaret “Peg” Bernhard, DPA
Associate Dean, Campus Administration

PB-253x300Dr. Margaret “Peg” Bernhard is responsible for the delivery of academic programs, student support services and campus operations.  Prior to joining Northeastern University, she served in a variety of administrative roles at Western Michigan University and Marquette University including Director of Academic Programming and Outreach, Interim Vice Provost for Extended University Programs, Research Officer, Director of the Employee Assistance Academic Program and Director of External Relations for the College of Business Administration.

Dr. Bernhard was assistant professor for the School of Community Health Services at Western Michigan University and an adjunct instructor for the College of Professional Studies at Marquette University.

Dr. Bernhard has a doctorate in public administration, master’s degree in educational leadership, and bachelor’s degree in political science and organizational communication all from Western Michigan University.  She is currently completing a master’s degree in dispute resolution at Marquette University.

Carlie Houchins
Director of Student Affairs & Faculty Services

CH-199x300As Sr. Academic & Student Support Specialist, Carlie Houchins manages the day-to-day site operations at Northeastern University’s Charlotte Graduate Campus. Houchins serves as an ambassador to prospective and current students, members of the community, business leaders, visiting faculty and other University administrators. She supports students through academic advising, registration and policy guidance, while maintaining a safe and effective environment for students, faculty and staff.

Houchins has extensive academic experience as an adjunct professor at various universities and colleges in the Charlotte area. Her teaching focus has been largely in marketing and public relations, which stems from her professional background in business.

Houchins received a BA in education from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and an MBA in marketing management from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. She is currently completing an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where she was awarded the Graduate Assistantship and a full-tuition scholarship. For her outstanding merit, she was invited to be a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Roxanne Ward
Campus Administrative Officer

RW-291x300Roxanne Ward serves as the Campus Administrative Officer.  In addition to supporting Dr. Cheryl Richards, Ward serves as the primary point of contact for the administrative office and provides assistance to the Charlotte senior staff.

With a professional background in higher education, Ward is attuned to what engages and inspires students, parents, alumni and donors. Prior to joining Northeastern University, she managed the administrative functions for the president’s office at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C.  Ward also supported the president’s office at The Nature Conservancy, an international environmental conservation organization headquartered in Arlington, Va.

Ward received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland University College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was the Student Commencement Speaker.

Noel Humphreys
Vice President, Corporate and Clinical Partnerships

NH-199x300In her role as VP Corporate and Clinical Partnerships, Noël Humphreys works to increase awareness of the University’s Charlotte Graduate Campus within the business community by aligning specialized curriculum opportunities with local corporate needs and promoting the breadth of research, programs and experiential learning opportunities to organizations across the Charlotte Region. Within healthcare, she is also responsible for fostering clinical partnerships through affiliation agreements with regional hospital systems and physician practices. She has secured several partnership agreements and works closely with clinical placements and other talent needs in our region’s burgeoning healthcare sector. Humphreys received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Davidson College.

Tamara “Tammy” McNish
Assistant Director of Admissions and Community Engagement

TMM-199x300As the Assistant Director of Admissions and Community Engagement, Tammy McNish acts as the he primary contact for associations, organizations and community events related to the recruitment and enrollment in the region’s social sector including education, nonprofit, government, sports and tourism organizations.

McNish has several years experience in higher education. Most recently, she was an admissions counselor at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., where she recruited adult students and promoted the university’s programs. Prior to Queens, McNish managed alumni relations, special events and communications at her alma mater, Hood College. There, she was also the assistant editor for Hood Magazine, the college’s alumni publication.

McNish received a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Hood College in Maryland, where she graduated with departmental honors. In 2003, she was selected for the Los Angeles Times Jim Murray Sports Journalism Workshop.

Meighan Avalos
Assistant Dir
ector of Admissions and Industry Engagement

As the Assistant Director of Admissions and Industry Engagement, Avalos serves as a liaison for the industrial sector of energy, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics and distribution as well as aerospace and defense. She works to build alliances with these local companies, helping them to leverage Northeastern’s resources for workforce development, corporate education, co-op, and research opportunities. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources from High Point University, where she also served as a Senior Admissions Counselor. Meighan is currently enrolled in the Master of Education program at Northeastern University – Charlotte.

Brittani McClendon
Enrollment Coordinator

BM-250x300As the Enrollment Coordinator, Brittani McClendon acts as the face of the Charlotte Graduate Campus welcome center in Uptown Charlotte, greeting students, corporate partners, alumni and visitors on the first floor level. Serving as the local contact prospective students and application, McClendon represents broad knowledge of the university’s operations, courses and programs. She received a BA in communications from Pace University and is enroll in the Public Administration program at Northeastern University – Charlotte.


Thomas Scott
Event Coordinator

BM-250x300As the Event Coordinator, Thomas Scott is responsible for the planning, logistics and execution of all events hosted by the Charlotte campus. He works collaboratively with the university staff and faculty as well as external groups, companies and associations strategically overseeing events from conception to completion.

Scott has a unique background having planned events ranging from small trainings to stadium concerts. As a member of the programs and events team for Charlotte Center City Partners, he served as production associate for events such as, the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Q-City BBQ Championship and the Nashville Christmas Parade. He received his BA in political science from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.