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Stetson University names three new directors

Director of Grants, Sponsored Research and Strategic Initiatives

Carol Buckels

Carol Gorski Buckels, former owner/manager of a professional grant-writing company in Missouri, has been named Director of Grants, Sponsored Research and Strategic Initiatives at Stetson University.

With a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia, Buckels brings experience in research, writing, editing and submitting grant proposals for nonprofit organizations to her new position at Stetson.  Buckels started in her new role in December.

Buckels’ primary responsibility at Stetson is to develop, support and advance an up-to-date university grants function, informed by current trends, best practices and developments in the federal, private and corporate funding communities.

In her former position, Buckels worked with many nonprofit organizations in Missouri, including a substance use and mental health treatment agency, a therapeutic riding center, contemporary ballet, a symphony society, Meals on Wheels, university professors and organic farmers. Successful applications, that totaled more than $12 million under her direction, included: The Kresge Foundation, National Science Foundation, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


Director of Strategic Communications and Assistant to the President

Amy Gipson

Amy Gipson has joined Stetson University as Director of Strategic Communications and Assistant to the President. In this role, Gipson will have the primary responsibility for planning and executing the communications strategy for a comprehensive fundraising campaign. Gipson also will report on the progress against the goals of the Strategic Map.

“In addition, Amy will also be working directly with me and other offices and departments across university campuses to appropriately enhance the university’s profile in the various media nationwide,” said Stetson President Wendy B. Libby.

Gipson comes to us from Stephens College where she has been the vice president for Marketing and Communications for the past six years. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she has a broad range of experience that includes publications and website development, traditional and social media, and messaging strategy.


Director of Student Financial Planning

Tara Jones

Tara Jones was named Director of the Office of Student Financial Planning. Most recently Jones served as Director of Financial Aid at Shorter University in Rome, Ga. She supervised awarding and management of funds in a complex environment that included 1,500 standard-term students, 2,000 adult students in professional and non-standard term programs, and about 300 online students.

Prior to that, she worked in all facets of financial aid since starting out as a student-employee in the Financial Aid Office of Kentucky Christian University. She also briefly served as executive director of Polk County Women’s Shelter in Cedartown, GA, and also worked in the Institutional Advancement Office at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga. Jones is actively involved in community service and volunteers her time with many organizations including the Rome Noon Optimist Club, where she chaired a childhood cancer awareness event.

Jones received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Bible from Kentucky Christian University, and her master’s degree in Non-Profit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.