Major Gift Officers
Assistant Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement
Rina serves in a hybrid position within the division, focusing on parent and alumni engagement and philanthropy. It is her goal that parents will witness their students' growth and transformation through the Stetson experience, and will want to contribute through their time, talent and resources. Rina also strives to build authentic relationships with alumni so that she understands where their talents, passions and resources might connect within the university to have the greatest impact on the current student experience.
Rina previously served as dean of students and vice president for campus life at Stetson. This makes her a tremendous resource for parents and alumni alike. Rina joined the Stetson team in 2005 after nearly a decade at Rollins College and other small private liberal arts institutions throughout the country. Throughout her 25 years in higher education, she has been involved in numerous professional associations and has presented at several national conferences. In 2013, Rina was presented with the NASPA Region III Bob E. Leach Award for Outstanding Service to Students.
Rina holds a bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Western Illinois University.
Executive Director of University Development Initiatives
Tara focuses on developing relationships with alumni and friends to build affinity for the university and secure philanthropic support for the College of Arts and Sciences. As a member of the leadership team, Tara also oversees a team of major gift officers ensuring they are successful in each of their roles. Prior to joining Stetson, Tara spent over 10 years at UCF where she held four different positions with the UCF Foundation. She began her advancement career at UCF in alumni relations and then moved into development where she held positions with the College of Arts and Humanities, The UCF Fund and the College of Business Administration. Before transitioning into higher education, Tara worked as an event coordinator with the Brevard Cultural Alliance in Melbourne.
Tara graduated with honors from UCF with a Bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations and completed her MBA at UCF in 2009.
Associate Athletic Director, External Operations
Major Gifts Officer
Mike focuses on fundraising for the Stetson School of Music. Prior to joining Stetson, Mike served as the chief operating officer for the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City, Utah. His responsibilities included operational and strategic leadership for all areas, including guest services, education, zoological operations, marketing, human resources, facilities and development.
Mike has spent the majority of his professional career in a variety of roles at the Walt Disney World Resort, including creative entertainment, entertainment operations, new product development, finance, corporate and special events, and project management as well as professional development and training. Business units included Creative Entertainment, Park Operations, Costuming and Cosmetology, Disney Cruise Line, Consumer Direct Sales, Disney Event Group, Guest Information & Communication, and Disney Institute. Mike brings more than 25 years of industry knowledge, leadership, innovative ideas, and outstanding management skills and business relationships.
Mike holds an M.BA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in addition to Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Texas Tech University. Still an avid musician, he is the founder of the Tapestry Brass Quintet and performs regularly with regional orchestras and professional ensembles in Central Florida.
Major Gifts Officer
Since 1996, Liz has worn several hats within university advancement offices: Director of Alumni Relations, Major Gift Officer, Director of Gift Planning, to name a few! She began her career at Boston College, and continued her professional development at Merrimack College, Tufts University, University of New Haven, and WSHU Public Radio (on the campus of Sacred Heart University). She thoroughly enjoys cultivating fun, rewarding and long-lasting relationships with alumni and friends, and connecting them to opportunities that reflect their passions. She brings an energetic approach to everything she does!
Liz received her MBA from Boston College and undergraduate degree from Florida International University. Her husband is a philosophy and ethics professor. She and her husband also own a wellness center, and are guardians of 3 rescue kitties: Remi, Ophelia and Frankie “Blue Eyes”.
Major Gifts Officer At-Large
Josh Truitt serves as the director of development at-large, working across all departments, colleges, and athletics. Prior to joining the Stetson family in August 2016, he was a postdoctoral associate and special assistant to the dean of the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Education and Human Performance. Josh has extensive experience in technology transfer and can assist students, faculty, and staff to assess, protect, and commercialize inventions. He is active in several charitable and civic organizations and serves as a board member for the Adult Literacy League. Joshua received both his BS in Chemistry and PhD in Education from UCF and M.BA from Rollins College.