The mission of University Advancement is to build and maintain a donor base that will
make a difference in the lives of students, faculty, and staff today and for the future.
This enables the university to fulfill its educational mission by augmenting current
budgets and building on the university's endowments.
Ronald Bailey | Vice President for External Affairs
Retired Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey is a 1977 graduate of Austin Peay. While he was a
student, he played football for the Governors and participated in the University ROTC
program. Bailey spent 40 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, with his final assignment
being the deputy commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations for the Marine Corps.
During his career he oversaw the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, and he served as
commanding general of the First Marine Division, as commanding general of the Third
Marine Expeditionary Brigade and as deputy director for operations of the Joint Staff.
He was also a Military National Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Following
his retirement, he returned to Austin Peay in 2018 as the vice president for external
affairs. He now oversees the University’s offices of advancement, communication and
Kris Phillips | Assistant Vice President for University Advancement
Kris returned to APSU, his alma mater (’91), in 2016 after a 16-year tenure at the
University of Tennessee and the UT Health Science Center. In his role, he is responsible
for all university engagement and fundraising activities. Kris and his wife, Tammy,
have two sons, Brayden and Parker. Parker is also an Austin Peay graduate and a former
Governors baseball player.
Vonda St. Amant | Assistant Executive Director
Vonda is a 1983 graduate of APSU. After several years in non-profit fundraising, Vonda
returned to her alma mater in 2010 and currently serves as the assistant executive
director. In her role, Vonda oversees a dynamic development team and provides donor-focused
leadership to help meet the strategic goals of the University.
Kimberly Adkison | Director of Donor Relations and Scholarships
Kimberly is a Clarksville native and an APSU graduate with degrees in professional
studies and management (BS ’06 and MS ’10). She serves as the director of donor relations
and scholarships. Kimberly oversees stewardship management and scholarship compliance.
Matt Bucy | Director of Development Operations and Annual Giving
Jordan Harmon | Assistant Director of Athletics - Development
Jordan attended APSU (BS ’17) and was a member of the Governors baseball team. He
embraces the opportunity to be in a position to give back to his alma mater while
serving as assistant director of athletics - development. Let’s Go Peay!
Jerica Swiger | Director of Development
Jerica Swiger has worked in the areas of arts, culture and development for several
years with organizations such as Ohio Northern University, Eastern Michigan University
and The Chicago Architecture Foundation. Jerica brings nearly 20 years of experience
in all areas of non-profit and higher education management to APSU, where she assists
the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Behavioral Health Sciences and the
College of Graduate studies with membership development, programming, board development
and fundraising. She holds a master’s degree in non-profit management with a concentration
in human services and a bachelor’s degree in arts management with a minor in management.
Brad Averitt | Director of Development
A native of Erin, Tennessee, Brad is a two-time Austin Peay alumnus (BS ('10) in corporate
communications and MS ('17) in health and human performance). He began his career
at APSU in enrollment management, serving as an admissions counselor from 2010 to
2016 and as the coordinator of graduate recruitment from 2016 to 2018. He is eager
for the opportunity to continue serving and strengthening his alma mater in his role
as director of development, working with the College of Business.
Payton Baggett | Advancement Communications Specialist
Payton is a Clarksville native and an APSU graduate with degrees in journalism and
marketing (BS ’14 and MA ’17). She previously worked as a reporter for ClarksvilleNow.com
and an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation
before returning to Austin Peay in her role as the Student Publications Assistant.
As the Advancement Communications Specialist, she oversees press releases, email marketing,
website content, social media and printed materials.
Ashley Puskas | Office Supervisor
Ashley is a native of Dickson County and a second-generation alumna of Austin Peay.
She earned her bachelor's degree in 2010. Thoughshe has a heart for earth sciences,
her head is in business. Her husband Eddie graduated from the APSU Center at Fort
Campbell in 2013. He is a veteran of the US Army. As the office supervisor, she is
responsible for processing donations and overseeing day-to-day activities in the Advancement
office. In her free time, she enjoys long walks outdoors, hunting and snuggling with
her two dogs.
Kelley Board | Advancement Coordinator
In 2001, Kelley earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in
Knoxville with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology. She entered the arena
of higher education in 2017 and worked her way to the assistant director of admissions
role at Daymar College in Nashville, Tennessee, before coming to APSU. In her position,
she works with stewardship and donor relations. Kelley has a six-year-old son, Richard
Angie Leonard | Advancement Specialist
Angie worked for three years as the administrative assistant for the Wilbur N. Daniel
African American Cultural Center at APSU before coming to University Advancement in
2019. As the advancement specialist, she works with gift processing. When she is not
hard at work, she is with three of her favorite people, her husband Jeremy and their
two sons Landon and Liam. She and her family have a seven-year-old adopted bird dog