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VALRC Welcomes New Staff

The Resource Center is pleased to welcome two recent hires who join us in our mission to help support adult educators.

Katherine Hansen


Communications & Community Engagement Specialist

Katherine Hansen brings to this new specialist role decades of global intercultural communications, business development, and teaching experiences that bridge the academic, nonprofit, and corporate worlds. At VALRC, she provides specialized professional education, intervention, and outreach services in the area of adult education and literacy through creating and developing new programs, initiatives, and events. She designs and delivers training, as well as provides coordination and project management including multiple aspects of a comprehensive communications and marketing program. Katherine holds an M.Ed. in adult learning from VCU with a specialization in human resource development and a business management degree. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from Cambridge University.

Elizabeth Severson-Irby


Literacy Specialist

Elizabeth Severson-Irby succeeds Vic Sanborn as VALRC’s Literacy Specialist, providing leadership for instruction and program management in Virginia’s adult education and literacy programs, working with both public and private agencies and educational programs to ensure that adults have access to the educational resources they need. These activities include providing information and guidance on adult literacy topics and projects to adult education programs, as well as designing and providing professional development, mentoring, coaching and training, and other related support to adult educators statewide. Elizabeth holds an M.Ed. in special education from VCU and an endorsement in Adult Education and Literacy;she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in education from VCU.