Meet the Goodnight Scholarships team that supports the program’s scholars through various events, funding, advising, and community-building opportunities.
Meet the Goodnight Scholarships Staff
Allison Medlin, Ph.D.
Allison Medlin joined the Goodnight Scholars Program in January 2015. She previously worked with the University Scholars Program since 2004. She has a comprehensive background serving students from diverse backgrounds and majors. In 2021 Allison was promoted to Executive Director of the newly expanded Goodnight Scholarships office. In this role, she also oversees the Community College Collaboration (C3) program. Allison earned both her B.S. in Family and Community Services and M.A. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis through NC State’s College of Education in 2019. Her dissertation research focused on foster care alumni in higher education. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading science fiction, watching movies and hanging out with her family.
- B.S., Family and Community Services, Michigan State University (2000)
- M.A., Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, Michigan State University (2003)
- Ph.D., Educational Research and Policy Analysis, NC State University (2019)
Jill Zalewski joined the Goodnight Scholars Program as the Assistant Director in 2017, and became an Associate Director in 2021. She graduated from Roger Williams University, with a Bachelors in Communications, and then left New England to pursue her M.Ed in Higher Education Administration at NC State. Before coming back to NC State she worked in residence life at George Mason University and Duke University. In her free time, Jill enjoys running, hiking, paddleboarding and virtually any activity that can get her outside. She is currently on a quest to visit every state park in North Carolina and has visited 35 of the 41 parks.
- B.A., Communications, Roger Williams University (2010)
- M.Ed., Higher Education, NC State University (2012)
Anthony Olaiya Wright
Anthony Olaiya Wright joined the Goodnight Scholars Program as the Assistant Director in April 2021, and became an Associate Director in September 2022. He graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison with his Bachelor’s of Business Administration and then pursued an M.S.Ed in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University. After graduation he returned to Wisconsin to work as a career advisor in the Wisconsin School of Business, and then worked in Leadership Development at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In his free time, Anthony enjoys listening to and creating podcasts, playing fantasy sports with friends, grilling out in his backyard, and exploring nature with his wife and dog.
- B.B.A, Management Human Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015)
- M.S.Ed, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Indiana University (2017)
Sierra Smith joined the Goodnight Scholars Program as a Program Coordinator in October 2021, and became an Assistant Director in June 2022. She graduated from Meredith College with a Bachelor’s in Dance Studies and Communication and then pursued a M.A in Higher Education from Elon University. After graduation she returned to Raleigh to serve as the Program Specialist for College Programs in the Shelton Leadership Center at NC State. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching shows and movies, attending sporting events, and trying new sushi restaurants with her partner.
- B.A., Dance Studies & Communications, Meredith College (2018)
- M.A., Higher Education, Elon University (2020)
Joselyn Barrientos joined the Goodnight Scholars Program as a Program Coordinator in October 2021. She graduated from NC State University with her B. A. in International Studies and is currently working towards an M.Ed. in Higher Education at University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Joselyn has previous work experience with the NC State College Advising Corps, as well as NC State’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In her free time, she loves travelling, reading and spending time with her fiancé and their dog.
Gaige Cogswell is a North Carolina native from Holly Springs, NC. He is a double alumni of Appalachian State University where he received his Bachelors in Sociology and my M.A. in Student Affairs Administration. Before coming to NC State, Gaige worked in Academic Advising and Orientation at Appalachian State University as well as in Student Leadership and Service at Meredith College. Gaige also had an awesome opportunity to work in tech at UKG. In his free time, he loves to play volleyball, tennis, and pickleball. His favorite thing to do though is to travel and see the world.