Leadership Team


Jessica Brinker

Email: jessica_brinker@unc.edu
Telephone: 919-962-2644

The Friday Center director provides administrative oversight for all of the Center’s programs and services. The director of Credit Programs provides leadership and strategic oversight for the Center’s portfolio of credit-granting programs including Carolina Courses Online, Part-Time Classroom Studies, and UNC Core. Additionally, the director of Credit Programs is responsible for the relationship and collaboration between Friday Center Credit Programs and UNC-Chapel Hill academic departments.

Jessica joins the Friday Center after six years at UNC-Chapel Hill, working most recently as the Operations Director for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the School of Government, as well as previously working at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School to develop and launch online formats of existing on-campus programs. Prior experience includes undergraduate academic advising, student government and student organization advising, and management of a campus framework for student organization recognition, both at Duke University and Ohio State University. She has a MA in Higher Education Administration from Ohio State University and a BS in Business Management from North Carolina State University.


David Elkins

Email: sdelkins@email.unc.edu
Telephone: 919-962-2589


The director of business operations prepares, submits, monitors, reports, and forecasts the budgets and accounts for the various Friday Center units. Additionally, this position provides financial perspective to the Friday Center’s plans and strategies, and advises colleagues on applicable fiscal and administrative standards, guidelines, and regulations.

With 18 years of experience in financial management, David has worked for UNC-Chapel Hill for 16 years, with previous positions in the Office of Sponsored Research and the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine. David earned his Business Administration degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Annette MaddenAnnette Madden

Email: madden@email.unc.edu
Telephone: 919-962-1123


The director for Professional Development and Enrichment Programs leads the development and execution of noncredit continuing education programs including evening courses, seminars, lecture series, and professional certificate programs—with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations and extension of the University’s research and resources to a broader community.

Annette Madden earned her BA in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and her MEd in higher education administration from North Carolina State University. Her diverse career in continuing education has included work in health affairs, women’s studies, business, and the performing arts.  For the past seventeen years she has served as program director of the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women program.  She is the 2007 recipient of UNC-Chapel Hill’s University Award for the Advancement of Women.


Tyler RitterTyler Ritter

Email: tyler_ritter@unc.edu
Telephone: 919-843-5836


The chief operating officer in the Carolina Office for Online Learning (COOL) directs daily operations of this University office, located in the Friday Center. The COOL offers consultation, design, and marketing support for a broad range of UNC-Chapel Hill online programs offered through professional schools, departments, and centers.

Tyler Ritter has twenty-five years of experience in marketing and strategic communication design. She held marketing and supervisory positions in the Friday Center’s department of communication and instructional design from 2004 to 2016, when the COOL was formed. Prior to joining the Center, she held senior leadership positions in several regional advertising agencies. Tyler obtained her BA in speech communication from UNC-Greensboro. In 2010 she earned a graduate certificate in technology and communication from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and will complete her Masters in Technology and Communication in December 2017.


staff-debra_watkinsDebra Watkins

Email: watkinsd@email.unc.edu
Telephone: 919-962-2591


The director for conference services directs and executes logistics for conferences and events hosted at the Friday Center and oversees the daily operations of the Friday Center’s conference facility including oversight of conference planning, business development, and technology services.

Debra Watkins has twenty-one years of experience in events management. She was previously senior associate director for events management at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Union, where she collaborated with all segments of the University community on the development of University policies, programs, and services for student organizations. For ten years, Debra served on the Carolina Union Performing Arts committee, and in 2011 she received the University’s Diversity award. Debra holds a BS in business administration from North Carolina Central University.