Faculty and Staff

Lynne Patrick

Lynne Patrick, Ph.D., is the Director of the Truman Pierce Institute (TPI), a research and outreach unit in the College of Education.


Linda H. Dean joined Truman Pierce Institute in 2012 following fifteen years at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where she was Director of Education and executive director of the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts.  She has edited textbooks and instructional materials for McGraw-Hill, Holt, and Prentice-Hall, and has taught literature, composition, and theatre courses at secondary and college levels.   She is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar and past secretary of Shakespeare Theatre Association.   At TPI, she currently works with the Anti-Bullying Summit and with “BUILD,” a leadership PLU that supports school/ community collaboration in anti-bullying initiatives. 


Sheniqua Griffin is a native of Dadeville, Alabama. She graduated from Dadeville High School in 2008. Sheniqua graduated from Southern Union State Community College in 2010 with an Associates Degree in Science. She joined the Truman Pierce Institute staff in August 2010. Sheniqua currently attends Auburn University and is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Industrial/Organizational psychology. Her research area of interest focuses on attitudes in the workplace. She believes that possessing great character, a hard work ethic, and a positive attitude are keys to success. Sheniqua is also an orientation student leader. As such, she empowers first-year transfer students and their parents with skills needed to sustain and establish a permanent position in the Auburn family.

Chris Groccia

Chris Groccia joined the Truman Pierce Institute staff through Temporary Employment Services in September 2006.  She has over 25 years experience in education including 13 years with the federally funded Head Start Program. She collaborated with Auburn faculty to design and write a preschool curriculum that offers a global perspective balancing Chinese and Western culture and language. She served as the Missouri Head Start State Collaboration Director creating partnerships at the local, state, and federal level supporting multi-agency and private/public partnerships for preschool children and their families. Currently she is a Project Director working with 21st Century Community Learning Centers afterschool programs across the state.  

Elaine Jordan

Elaine Jordan is the Administrator Support Associate for Truman Pierce Institute.  Her role is to provide clerical and administrative support with an academic department with responsibility for a broad variety of office support duties and tasks.


Teresa Smoot joined the Truman Pierce Institute in October 2011 as a Special Projects Coordinator . She has numerous years in education experience as a teacher and an administrator.  She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Jacksonville State University.  She also earned a B.S.E and M.S.E. with double majors in Biology and Political Science from Jacksonville State University.  She earned an Administrative certification from Samford University. Teresa loves the idea that there are limitless opportunities for our children’s future endeavors.

Anna Weinstein has served as editor of the Truman Pierce Institute's peer-reviewed academic journal, The Professional Educator, since 2007. The Professional Educator is a nationally disseminated, peer-reviewed electronic journal that focuses on current issues, research, and innovations related to educational partnerships. Anna has been working in educational publishing for more than a decade. She has written and edited educational materials for publishers such as McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, Guilford Press, Heinemann, Stenhouse, Peoples Education, Rosen Publishing, and education.com. Anna is a project editor for Cengage Learning's ed2go.

Last Updated: May 28, 2015

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