Heather Smith, Ph.D.
Faculty Director
Levine Hall 285


Heather Smith, Ph.D. is the Faculty Director of the Levine Scholars Program. Since its inception. Dr. Smith has supported LSP across several roles most recently as its Faculty Fellow providing oversight to civic engagement, undergraduate research, and study abroad. She is also a Professor of Geography and her department’s former Interim Chair and Ph.D. Program Director. Her research on immigration and urban settlement contributed to her receipt of the 2019 Distinguished Scholars Award from the American Association of Geographers’ Ethnic Geography Specialty Group and the 2014 Provost’s Faculty Award for Community Engagement. Her student mentoring has earned her both campus and national-level recognition. She is the recipient of UNC Charlotte’s 2017 Harshini V. De Silva Graduate Mentor Award and the 2023 Susan W. Hardwick Award for Excellence in Mentoring from the American Association of Geographers. A Morehead Scholar, she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduate degrees in her native Canada. 

Zack Newsome
Associate Director
Levine Hall 287


Before joining the Levine Scholars Program, Zack worked in Undergraduate Admissions at Charlotte for over eight years, most recently serving as an Associate Director. He has worked in higher education for over thirteen years at public and private institutions allowing him to serve as a resource for students from college exploration to matriculation. He completed his undergraduate degree at UNC Charlotte. What he enjoys most is connecting with prospective scholars/students as they transition from high school to college and representing a university that has had a major impact on his life.

Tiffany Wilson
Coordinator of Scholar Support and Initiatives
Levine Hall 283

Tiffany Wilson joined the Levine Scholars Program in 2022. Prior to joining the Levine Scholars Program, Tiffany worked as an Academic Advisor in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science Department at UNC Charlotte. Tiffany earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Kent State University. She also earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Counseling from Kent State University. Tiffany is currently working on her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education at UNC Charlotte. Her goal is to continue to support students in achieving their educational, career, and personal goals. 

Misty Morin
Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement and Communications
Levine Hall 284


A 2019 graduate of UNC Charlotte, Misty Morin is thrilled to come back to the university as a member of LSP staff. During her time at Charlotte, she was highly involved in the Honors College and the Martin Scholars Program. After graduation, she received a Fulbright Grant and taught English in La Rioja, Spain. The breadth of her professional career is quite broad, initially working in finance and later in the mortgage industry, but most recently spearheading communications efforts for a local staffing firm specializing in disability employment. Misty enjoys writing poetry and hiking waterfall trails with her dog Maisel in her spare time.

Tonderai Mushipe
University Program Associate
Levine Hall 282

Tonderai Mushipe joined the Levine Scholars Program in 2021 and provides broad-based support in office management, budgeting, student services, and recruitment.  Tonderai earned both his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Master’s in Public Administration at UNC Charlotte. He is also working on his Ph.D. in Urban Geography from UNC Charlotte.  His doctoral work includes community-based research assessing how residents of traditionally lower-middle-class neighborhoods were responding to the opening of the light-rail extension in Charlotte.  Tonderai has also been heavily involved in peer mentorship and student leadership at UNC Charlotte, previously serving as the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Government.  He enjoys helping students find their paths and carve their own niches both inside and outside of class.   


Carlette Smith
Business Services Coordinator
Levine Hall 286

Carlette Smith joined the Levine Scholars Program in 2022 as the Business Services Coordinator. Carlette earned her Bachelor of Business Administration-Management from Brenau University, Gainesville, Georgia in 2005. She spent 18 years in corporate with a manufacturing company, moving with the company to the Charlotte area in 2010. Carlette believes that business is really about relationships and she welcomes the new relationships she will make as Business Services Coordinator.

Ariana Rivera
Graduate Assistant
Levine Hall 281


Ariana Rivera is a graduate assistant for the Levine Scholars Program and provides support in seminars, civic engagement projects, and undergraduate research.  She earned her Bachelors of Science in Health Systems Management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Healthcare Administration at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and hopes to begin her own nonprofit tailored to improving resources and promoting wellness programs that aid in the overall health of those in underprivileged neighborhoods. In her free time, Ariana loves to engage in various physical activities such as beach volleyball and soccer. She also enjoys spending time with her dog, hanging out with friends and family, exploring local food spots, and traveling.

Rianna Waters
Graduate Assistant
Levine Hall 281


Rianna Waters is a graduate assistant for the Levine Scholars Program and assists with communication, recruitment and event planning. She earned her Bachelors in Leadership Administration at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education. Her ultimate goal is to obtain her doctorate in African American Studies to become a professor and mentor. While not focusing on school and work, Rianna likes to read, shop and watch movies. 

Diane Zablotsky, Ph.D.
Former Faculty Director - 2010-2023

Dr. Zablotsky earned a Bachelor of Science in Individual and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980 and a Master of Arts in Social Science from the State University of New York in 1984. After working in long term care for several years, she earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland in 1990. Before joining the faculty at UNC Charlotte in 1992, Dr. Zablotsky worked as a social science analyst at the National Institute on Aging (National Institutes of Health) and Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Andrus Gerontology Center (University of Southern California). Her research has focused on aging, health care, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on midlife and older Americans. Before joining the Levine Scholars Program she was Associate Dean of Student Support in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Interim Chair of the Department of Sociology. She is currently a board member of BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women in North Carolina.