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Alumni, Engagement, and Philanthropy

The division of Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy includes the Offices of Philanthropy, Alumni & Annual Giving, Engagement and the Morgan University Center and Event Services. To view the staff listing for the Offices of Alumni & Annual Giving and Engagement, click here. To view the staff listing for the Morgan University Center and Event Services, click here. The staff of the Office of Philanthropy is listed below.

Office of Philanthropy

Kris Phillips
Kris Phillips | Vice President for Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy and Executive Director of the APSU Foundation
Kris Phillips ('91, '21) returned to APSU, his alma mater, in 2016 after a 16-year tenure at the University of Tennessee and the UT Health Science Center. In his role, he oversees the APSU Foundation, Alumni and Annual Giving, Philanthropy and 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. In 2023, Kris and Tammy became proud grandparents to their first grandchild, Jack.
Vonda St. Amant
Vonda St. Amant | Assistant Vice President of Philanthropy
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 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
Kimberly Adkison | Senior Director of Donor Relations and Scholarships
Kimberly Adkison ('06, '10) is a Clarksville native and an APSU graduate with degrees in professional studies and management. She serves as the senior director of donor relations and scholarships. Kimberly oversees stewardship management and scholarship compliance.
Erin Morton Headshot
Erin Morton | Director of Development
Erin is a 2017 graduate of APSU. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. Previously, Erin worked in community and partner relations in the greater Nashville area before returning to Austin Peay in 2022. In her role, Erin works directly with the College of Business and the University College donors to meet the strategic goals of the University. Erin is married to her college sweetheart, William Morton (’16).
Lee Persinger Headshot
Lee Persinger | Director of Corporate Relations and Strategic Alliances
Lee Persinger (’91) is a graduate of Austin Peay. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing. She returned to the University in 2022, and is currently the Director of Corporate Relations and Strategic Alliances. Her work is focused on partnerships that support our strategic plan for student and faculty success, as well as community impact. Lee works with all of the colleges within the university as well as Student Affairs and Community Relations. Prior to joining the team at Austin Peay, Lee worked in employee relations and human resources management for a large, local manufacturer. Earlier in her career, she worked with corporate and non-profit fundraising in the Nashville and Clarksville markets. Lee is a Clarksville native with many ties to the community and University. She is the wife of Bill Persinger, University Executive Director of PR and Marketing. They have two children, Lainey and Watson.
Eric Evans
Eric Evans | Director of Development
Eric is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a student-athlete at Albion College and Cornerstone University from 2012-2017 before getting his bachelor’s degree in Communications at Arizona State. As a student-athlete, he played basketball. He also obtained his master’s degree from Arkansas State University in Sports Administration in 2021. Previously, Eric worked at the University of Tennessee athletics business office before transitioning to a fundraising and marketing role at Lincoln Memorial University. Eric supports Austin Peay’s fundraising initiatives, concentrating on the College of Behavioral Health & Sciences, the Erikkson College of Education and Military Affairs.
Kendell Sinks
Kendell Sinks | Director of Development
Kendell is a 2011 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Marketing with a concentration in International Business. A native to Hendersonville, Tennessee, she is excited to be a part of the Austin Peay State University family. Kendell serves as the Director of Development for theCollege of Science, Technology, Engineering & MathematicsandCollege of Arts and Letters. She’ll also be an active member and liaison ofThe Woodward Library Society. In her spare time, Kendell enjoys antique stores, picking at estate sales and discovering unique architecture and historical buildings.
Victor Felts
Victor Felts | Director of Development
Victor Felts came to APSU in 2010 after serving as an Assistant Dean at LSU and Emory University, where he primarily worked with fraternities and sororities. He has also worked at MTSU and Samford University. A Nashville native, he is a proud alumnus of Austin Peay State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and the University of South Carolina with a Master’s degree in Higher Education. His most recent role was as the APSU Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Student Life and Engagement.
Emily DeSpain headshot
Emily DeSpain Weide | Prospect Researcher
Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in psychology from Austin Peay in 2015. She worked as a social media marketer, event planner and administrative assistant before returning to work at her alma mater.


Payton Baggett
Payton Baggett Reynolds | Director of Communication
Payton Baggett ('14, '17) is a Clarksville native and an APSU graduate with degrees in journalism and marketing. 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 2018. She oversees press releases, email marketing, website content, social media and printed materials for the division of Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy.
Ashley Puskas
Ashley Puskas | Office Supervisor and Assistant to the Vice President for Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy
Ashley is a native of Dickson County and a second-generation alumna of Austin Peay. She earned her bachelor's degree in 2010. Though she 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. She is responsible for processing donations, assisting the Vice President and overseeing day-to-day activities in the APSU Office of Philanthropy.
Kelley Board
Kelley Board | Assistant Director of Donor Relations and Scholarships
In Fall 2006, 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 son, Richard Pardue III.
Hannah Williams
Hannah Heflin | Philanthropy Coordinator
Hannah grew up in the military. After her father retired, she ended up in Murfreesboro, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology in 2019 from Middle Tennessee State University. Shortly after, she met her husband, Austin, and they moved to the Clarksville area. Since graduation, she has worked in Human Resources under the umbrella of staffing until joining APSU as a Philanthropy Specialist.