About Us

NC A&T provides a dynamic learning experience to all students responsive to current critical needs in higher education and the disciplines. Located in Academic Affairs, the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OSPIE) supports all institutional units in planning, assessment, research, and analytics to achieve institutional effectiveness. 


OSPIE Team Members


Alexander Yin, PhD

Alexander Yin

Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness 

Email: ayin@ncat.edu

Alexander ("Alex") Yin is the Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. He oversees OSPIE, which is the primary source of official data for the university, providing data and analysis for evidence-based decision-making and strategic planning throughout A&T. Alex has almost twenty years of experience in planning and research at two of the nation’s top land-grant universities, including the University of Vermont, where he was the Assistant Provost of Institutional Research and Assessment, and Penn State, where he worked as a Senior Planning and Research Associate. 

Alex’s accomplishments include transforming the University of Vermont's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment to be a resource for the university community by being an adaptable and proactive office committed to producing sustainable, timely, reliable, and valid data analysis. He did this by overseeing the creation of Catamount Data and tirelessly meeting with vice presidents, vice provosts, deans, associate deans, directors, faculty, staff, and students to promote a culture of data-informed decision-making.

Alex hopes to build something similar at NC A&T. Alex is a native of New Hampshire who earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education and a Master of Applied Statistics at Pennsylvania State University. He also earned a Bachelor's and Master's in Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  


Vonda Patterson

Executive Assistant, Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

Email: vlpatte1@ncat.edu


Thelma Woodard, PhD, MPA, MA

Director of Assessment and Evaluation, Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness 


Thelma Woodard is the Director of Assessment, Evaluation, and Institutional Effectiveness, with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville In her current role, Thelma collaborates with faculty and staff across the university to support assessment and continuous improvement efforts. 


 Kismye Elder

Planning Assessment and Research Coordinator, Planning, Assessment, and Research

Email: kmelder@ncat.edu

Kismye has proudly been a part of the North Carolina A&T State University community for six years. Starting in the Office of Financial Aid, Kismye transitioned to the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (OSPIE) in October 2018. With eleven years in higher education, Kismye currently serves as the administrator of Faculty Success and Freshdesk.  Kismye's professional journey in higher education has been a dynamic exploration of learning, problem-solving, and process improvement. Kismye has expressed her excitement regarding new opportunities and that each day brings in higher education, and she looks forward to continuing her journey of making a positive impact in the academic realm. 


Kelvon Barkley

Assessment and Technology Coordinator, Planning, Assessment, and Research

Email: kjbarkle@ncat.edu

Kelvon Barkley is an accomplished individual with a solid academic background and a passion for education. She graduated Cum Laude from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, earning a degree in Economics with a Minor in Applied Mathematics.  Since 2018, Kelvon has been an integral part of the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OSPIE), contributing her skills in various roles.  In addition to the effort contributed by Kelvon regarding OSPIE, she also serves as an adjunct mathematics professor at a local community college in the triadKelvon is a multifaceted individual who combines academic excellence, professional dedication, and a rich personal life, positively impacting both in and out of the office. 


Cornelia Johnson

Institutional Specialist, Planning, Assessment, and Research


Cornelia, an invaluable addition to the OSPIE team since 2020, boasts over 12 years of rich experience in higher education. Her contributions are fortified by a diverse set of Strengths Quest attributes, including positivity, developer, harmony, and WOO, infusing the team with a unique blend of skills and perspectives. With a Master of Arts in Human Services, Cornelia holds certifications, including the CT3 Teacher Certification in Middle School Math and the Aggie Certified Customer Service Trainer. Complementing her professional roles, she dedicates herself as an NCAT Staff Senator for Academic Affairs. 


Lily Hwang, Ph.D., E.D

Director, Institutional Research 

Email: lhwang@ncat.edu

Li-shyung (Lily) Hwang has more than 25 years of applied educational research experience serving different educational organizations, including two-year, four-year, public, and private postsecondary institutions and a state-level education department. Her specialties include data management, analytics, business, and content knowledge, and data visualization through various institutional research projects. Before joining A&T, Hwang established the institutional research office at Georgia Gwinnett College, a University System of Georgia member, and served as its director for nearly 14 years. She was responsible for a full range of institutional research functions, from strategic planning to daily operations, including developing and maintaining strategic plans, infrastructures, and processes, validating and maintaining institutional databases, and supporting upper-level decision-making processes, program reviews, assessments, and accreditation efforts. Lily Hwang earned her B.Ed. in home economics education from National Taiwan Normal University, her M.S. in adult education, and her Ed.D. in adult education with interdisciplinary minors in sociology and statistics from North Carolina State University. 

Mujahid I. Ashqar, Ph.D

Business and Technology Application Analyst, Institutional Research 


Mujahid Ashqar is a Business and Technology Application Analyst at the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at North Carolina A&T State University. Mujahid holds a Ph.D. and Master's degree in Computational Science and Engineering from the same institution; his proficiency extends to data science, statistical analysis, databases, and programming languages. While Mujahid specializes in data collection, analysis, and faculty support, he contributes significantly to research studies with several publications and conference presentations.  Additionally, Mujahid's commitment to excellence and trustworthiness has consistently resulted in success across diverse roles, encompassing statistical engineering, higher education, external surveys, and accreditation reporting.