Jorge Perez
Jorge Pérez, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness

Dr. Jorge Pérez joined the UT System in 2018 after twenty years in Georgia, where he was vice provost for institutional effectiveness, SACSCOC accreditation liaison, and professor of information systems at Kennesaw State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in information systems from Florida State University. Digital literacy is the focus of his current research.

The recipient of a prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship, Jorge spent the 2013 academic year in Boston analyzing the strategic plans of constituents of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. He has served on the boards of the Informing Science Institute, Latin American Association, Atlanta Council on International Relations, and Atlanta Electronic Commerce Forum. Jorge has industry experience as a systems analyst, web developer, and consultant. He was inducted into the PhD Project Hall of Fame in 2019.

Jorge is an Ironman Lake Placid finisher who enjoys running, cycling, teaching spin classes, and hiking with his rescue pit bull, Murphy.


Institutional Research

Brian Hester
Brian Hester, Ph.D.
Director of Institutional Research and Business Intelligence; Chief Academic Data Officer

Dr. Brian Hester, Director of Institutional Research and Business Intelligence, has been with the University of Tennessee System since 2010. He has served in various committees and service roles with UT over this time period. Brian has also been an active member of the Tennessee Association for Institutional Research for the past eight years – serving in leadership roles as secretary from 2016 through 2017 and most recently as vice president in 2018 and president in 2019.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Brian is a graduate of Bearden High School and a three-time graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned a bachelor’s in English, a Master’s of Business Administration, and a PhD in Higher Education Administration. Before joining the UT System, Brian worked in the private sector in business management. He currently serves as a board member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church and has served as its treasurer numerous times over the past fifteen years.

Brian, his wife Alice, son Nicholas and daughter Sophia live in Knoxville, and they spend most of their free-time together – playing sports, gardening, and enjoying the many parks and nature areas around Knoxville and East Tennessee.

Taylor Sherrod
Taylor Sherrod
Assistant Director of Institutional Research
Taylor joined the Institutional Research team as an intern during her time as an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and then started as a full-time employee in the fall of 2019. She primarily works on submitting all student data to THEC as well as the data collection and reporting for the Board of Trustees meetings. In her free time, Taylor enjoys spending her days with her husband, Logan, and two Labrador Retrievers, Mac and Olive. She also enjoys running, reading, gardening, and trying new sourdough recipes in the kitchen.
Griffin Judy
Griffin Judy
Research Associate
Griffin is an East Tennessee native and a Research Associate for the Institutional Effectiveness team. Griffin is a University of Tennessee, Knoxville alumni. He completed his undergraduate degree in 2022. He studied Business Analytics, Information Management, and Technical Communication. He works on automation, documentation, and technical writing.
Michael Richards
Michael Richards
Research Associate
Michael Richards is a native Tennessean and a research associate for the Institutional Effectiveness team. His work includes providing data visualizations for ad hoc projects along with UT Transparency and Impact. Michael also works alongside the SMART Policy Network to help reduce opioid addiction in Tennessee by providing legislators and policymakers with well-designed and created materials that expose the effects that opioid addiction has on Tennessee. He has a bachelor’s degree in Geography which he earned from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville in 2020.


Business Intelligence

Rachel Borashko
Rachel Borashko
Assistant Director of Business Intelligence
Rachel joined the Business Intelligence team in 2021 after working with the University of Tennessee Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development as a data analyst. Rachel primarily works on ETL and querying and modeling data using SQL Server, Analysis Services (SSAS), and Integration Services (SSIS). Prior to her time at UT, she was a research specialist and data analyst with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy where she worked on a variety of community data and nonprofit evaluation projects. Rachel holds a master’s degree in data science and analytics and a bachelor’s degree in statistics and sociology, both from Grand Valley State University.


Jake Hagenow
Jake Hagenow
Software Developer
Jake joined the Business Intelligence team as an intern in the summer of 2021 and began his position as a software developer later that year. He primarily works on creating data visualizations in tools such as Power BI, including assisting with the querying of data and building models to power those visualizations. Jake has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Middle Tennessee State University. In his free time, Jake enjoys spending time with his wife Blake and rock climbing – both in East Tennessee and across the country.

Nick Humensky
Software Developer
Nick Humensky joined the UT System on October 1, 2022, as a software developer. He has a Bachelor of Arts and an MBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Nick’s professional background is in data analytics. Outside of work, he enjoys lifting weights, golfing, and spending time with his dog Alfie.

Jimmie Whittenbarger
Software Developer
Jimmie Whittenbarger joined the University of Tennessee System on October 1, 2022, as a software developer. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Management Information Systems from Tennessee Tech University and has worked in the business intelligence field for over a decade. He primarily works on creating data visualizations in tools such as Power BI, including building datasets to power those visualizations. In his free time, Jimmie enjoys playing a variety of musical instruments and spending time with his dog Klaus.


Planning & Assessment

Cheryl Folger
Cheryl Fogler
Planning Coordinator
Cheryl was born and raised in Missouri but spent the last 26 years in Illinois where she and her husband, Matthew, raised their three sons. Cheryl holds a bachelor’s degree in history degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s in history from Illinois State University. She has been an institutional research and strategic planning professional for ten years and is an active member of both the Association of Institutional Research and Society for College and University Planning.

Cheryl and her husband fell in love with Knoxville while visiting their son, a UTK graduate student, and decided to make Knoxville their forever home. They enjoy outdoor living, traveling, and watching all NCAA sports.

Ashley Ludewig

Ashley Ludewig, Ph.D.
Assessment Coordinator
Ashley joined the Institutional Effectiveness team in April 2023. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from South Dakota State University, a master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from University of Louisville. Prior to joining the UT System, Ashley worked at Auburn University for nearly five years where she began as faculty in English and served as Interim Director of Composition. Later in her time at Auburn, she served in the Office of the Provost, where she coordinated the university’s successful reaffirmation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In addition to her role as the project manager and lead writer and editor, she designed assessment systems for non-instructional units and helped develop a long-term strategy for institutional effectiveness.
Originally from South Dakota, Ashley has enjoyed living across the southeast but is excited to settle in East Tennessee as it has long been her favorite part of the country. Outside of the office, she enjoys going on walks with her rescue pit bull Mr. Magoo, visiting local breweries, and keeping up with the latest true crime podcasts and documentaries.


Data Visualization


Project Management

Jeremy Bradford
Jeremy Bradford
Project Coordinator
Jeremy, originally hailing from Ohio, embarked on a remarkable journey that seamlessly blends military service and a passion for technology. Following high school, he embraced adventure and enlisted in the Navy, commencing a decade-long active service that took him around the globe. During this time, Jeremy discovered his affinity for technology and fueled by his newfound passion, dedicated himself to mastering computer skills. His commitment manifested in the attainment of A+ and Net+ certifications, solidifying his expertise in the rapidly evolving field.

In 2008, after a decade of active duty, Jeremy transitioned to civilian life, relocating to Tennessee with his wife and son. Undeterred by leaving active duty, he joined the Navy Active Ready Reserves, extending his service commitment for an additional 15 years, in which he retired after 25 years of service. This decision allowed him to balance his military dedication with civilian pursuits.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Jeremy sought opportunities in the burgeoning field of technology. His journey led him to a role as a Systems Administrator in the nuclear sector in Oak Ridge. Over the years, he honed his skills and earned the title of SQL Database Administrator, paving the way for a fulfilling role at the University of Tennessee. Joining the Department of Technical Services (DTS), then Information Technology Systems (ITS), within the University System Administration, Jeremy assumed the responsibilities of a SQL DBA and System Administrator.

Eager to specialize further, he delved into program development, securing a position in the Business Intelligence group as a software developer. In this role, Jeremy applied Extract Transform Load (ETL) and Data Engineering techniques, contributing significantly to the establishment of the University of Tennessee System (UT) Administration’s student data processing system.

Driven by a desire for leadership, Jeremy embarked on a dual educational journey. He earned an Associate degree in Business Administration from Pellissippi State and is currently on the cusp of completing his bachelor’s degree in business administration/information systems management through the University of Tennessee Martin. Post-graduation, he aspires to pursue an MBA, further augmenting his managerial acumen.

Jeremy’s dedication extends beyond academia, as evidenced by his Project Management Professional (PMP) and Lean Six Sigma certifications. Currently serving as the Project Coordinator for the Academic Affairs, Research, and Student Success team under the Institutional Effectiveness group, he continues to make impactful contributions to the University.