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Meet Our Team

Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon (Executive Director, College and Career Pathways) has a diverse professional background, including prior experience in high school, non-profit and university settings. She joined NOVA’s faculty in November 2001 as a counselor for students with disabilities.

In November of 2005, Kerin was selected to lead the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program, which under her direction has become a highly successful, award-winning college access and success program. Pathway was showcased by the New America Foundation and described in a May 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report as a national example for successfully transitioning and retaining more at-risk students into higher education.

In August 2010, Kerin was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Service to the College Award by the NVCC Educational Foundation, and she received Recognition of Excellence Awards from the Virginia Community College System in 2009 and 2010.

Kerin earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Master of Science in Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University. She has also completed doctoral-level coursework at The George Washington University and George Mason University.

Gregory Bacourt (Grant Project Manager) has a multidimensional social work background, including prior experience in gerontology, substance abuse, health-care, adoption/foster care and early care and education. His professional and research opportunities primarily have been in non-profit and university settings. Gregory joined the Adult Career Pathways team in April 2014 as the project manager for the dual generation initiative.

Gregory earned a Bachelor of Social Work at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and a Master of Social Work at Florida International University. He has also completed doctoral-level coursework at Howard University and is currently drafting a dissertation proposal examining the relationship between father involvement and early childhood development.

Jennifer Pocai (Grant Project Manager) possesses numerous years of project, program, and database management. Prior to coming to NOVA’s Adult Career Pathways program in the fall of 2011, Jennifer worked for the National School Boards Association in their Information Technology Department for more than 11 years. Her primary focus at NSBA was database management.

During her time with ACP Jennifer has held various positions and is now focused on project management for the program’s Dual Generational Initiative. Jennifer holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree with a specialization in Networking from NOVA.

Additionally, she earned a Bachelor of Individualized Study with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from George Mason University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Higher Education at GMU.

Jennifer Merrill (Success Advisor: Special Focus on Early Childhood Development) came to NOVA with 15 years of experience in higher education - student activities, residential life, and adult education. 

Jennifer joined the Adult Career Pathway’s team as a success advisor in December 2013 and is utilizing her experience in meeting students where they are in the educational pursuits, walking with them to complete their goals here at NOVA, and moving on to the next phase of their educational and career goals.

Jennifer obtained her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Marketing from Clarion University and her Masters of Arts in Higher Education with a concentration in Administration from Geneva College.