Our Team

Michael Preston, Ed. D.

Executive Director — Connect on LinkedIn

Michael Preston, Ed. D. has served as Executive Director of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities since July 2015 where he works with Florida International University, The University of Central Florida, and The University of South Florida on collaborative projects designed to increase retention, improve graduation rates, and ensure graduates are career ready. Previous to taking on this unique role, Dr. Preston served the students of The University of Central Florida since 2011 as the Director of the Office of Student Involvement where he oversaw a comprehensive involvement program including entertainment programming, student organizations, volunteer and service programs, and student government.

Dr. Preston has worked in higher education for nearly 20 years and is commonly asked to speak and present on topics such as student affairs assessment, personal career development, student engagement practices, and developing student leadership competencies. In addition to his work in student affairs at UCF, Dr. Preston is also a faculty member in the Higher Education and Policy Studies department where he teaches on the subject of Organization and Administration in Higher Education. 

Previous to UCF, Dr. Preston worked in student affairs for 13 years at Stephen F. Austin State University where he also worked in student engagement and involvement programs. Dr. Preston is a graduate of East Carolina University and Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and earned his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies at Texas A&M – Commerce in 2011. A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Dr. Preston grew up in Homestead, Florida. When Dr. Preston is not working you can find him along with his wife Nicole and daughter Caroline at Walt Disney World, a place they call their second home.

Ginny McPherson Botts, Ed.D.

Assistant Director of Research Programs and Services — Connect on LinkedIn

Her primary responsibility is overseeing the implementation of the Consortium’s STEM grant, which focuses on increasing the number of STEM degrees awarded to and STEM employed graduates from under-represented groups. In addition to working at the Consortium, Ginny adjunct teaches at the University of Central Florida and is a board mentor for Support Our Scholars. She has both published and presented on topics related to student athletes, academic engagement, and student success.

Ted Greenberg

Research Writer — Connect on LinkedIn

Ted Greenberg is a native of Miami, Florida. As a non-traditional student, he graduated in 2007 from Rollins College with a BA in English and in May 2012 the University of Central Florida awarded him his MFA in Creative Writing—the same day his son earned his Juris Doctorate from Florida State Law School! As Coordinator, Administrative Services, Ted handles event planning, travel arrangements and reimbursements, and financials. He has taught and tutored college English courses and writing, was the 2012-2013 director of the Maitland Poets and Writers, and remains involved in the Central Florida arts and writing communities.

La Toya Hodge

Assistant Director of Communications & Strategy — Connect on LinkedIn

La Toya Hodge is a skilled leader with over ten years of integrated marketing experience. Working for leading global technology, manufacturing, consumer goods corporations and higher education organizations has helped her to hone her marketing and strategic development expertise. She is responsible for external communications, partner relationship management and community engagement.  She is currently leading an integrated brand marketing initiative to build brand awareness for the Florida Consortium in the Sunshine State. She is also the primary media contact for official Florida Consortium information and its partner universities.  

During her tenure at Polycom LaToya managed partner enablement initiatives, thought leadership programs, and strategic communications to improve alignment and engagement with Polycom partners.  She designed annual event marketing campaigns that achieved communication program goals for TEAM Polycom; Polycom’s global partner conference for four years in a row. She also led global campaigns including “Workplace of the Future” and “Defy Distance”. During her three year stint at Agfa, LaToya managed communications and public relations for the North American territory. She successfully relaunched GreenWorks; an award winning multi-channel awareness program and campaign during her tenure. 

La Toya has both published and presented on topics related to leading remote teams, business communications, social selling, women in technology and careers in STEM.

In her spare time LaToya invests in local and global causes such asTech2Empower, TechWomen, Jobs Partnership of Florida and Step up Women’s Network.  She recently became a certified mentor through the Mentoring Standard.

Silvia Pulido, Ph. D.

Academic Researcher & Biochemist — Connect on LinkedIn

Silvia Pulido Ph. D. is a biochemist with over eighteen years’ experience in industry and tier one academic research. In 2012 this segued into faculty development and research administration. In her former role as Assistant Director of Research at University of Central Florida’s College of Nursing, she mentored nursing faculty in developing grant proposals for National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and private foundations. Dr. Pulido is a recent graduate of the 2016/2017 UCF Leadership Empowerment Scholar program.

Prior to moving to the University of Central Florida, Dr. Pulido served as the Director of the Proteomics Core Facility at the Center for Reproductive and Contraceptive Health (CRCH) at University of Virginia Medical School (a NIH Research Center). Before this, she was a NSF Research Training Grant Fellow at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) where she studied oxidative changes to calcium binding proteins using Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectroscopy. Prior to working at the NHMFL, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Switzerland in Pharmacology and Clinical Biochemistry. Dr. Pulido is a minority scholar, receiving a Ph.D. from Boston University Medical School, and a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Pulido lives in Orlando with her husband and son. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, kayaking and hiking with her family. She also enjoys photography.

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