MI icon Staff

Jared Cash- President and CEO

Jared Cash brings nearly 20 years of educational experience at Maine public and private colleges and universities to the executive leadership position at the Mitchell Institute. Previously, he served on the executive leadership team at the University of Southern Maine as Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing, overseeing a broad portfolio of programs including Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, Student Financial Services, Marketing, Public Affairs, Athletics, and several student opportunity programs such as Jobs for Maine Graduates, the university’s Promise Scholar Program and the federally funded TRIO programs. Prior to his role at USM, he served the University of Maine at Farmington as Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing. While there, he co-authored and received a $1.2 million grant to support peer-to-peer financial literacy across the University of Maine System and cultivated a $3.2M private gift, the second-largest in the institution’s history, which launched a bold, incentivized scholarship program that rewards persistence and strengthened emergency interventions for students who face unforeseen adversities. Jared previously served as the Scholarship Director here at the Mitchell Institute, as well as Senior Associate Dean of Admissions at Bates College, his alma mater. He holds a bachelor’s in economics and political science, as well as a master’s degree in education with a concentration in higher education leadership from Northeastern University.  Jared has dedicated over ten years of public service on his local school board, currently serving as vice-chair to one of the largest school districts in the state. As a graduate of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Jared enjoys seeing his family live and grow up in his hometown community. He continues to reside in Norway with his wife, and is the proud father of two daughters, as well as Westie and Scottish Terriers. Jared and his family enjoy all things outdoors that the four seasons of Maine offer.  [  ]


Kayla Girardin - Project Assistant

Kayla Girardin is the 2013 Mitchell Scholar from Presque Isle, Maine, and is delighted to work with an organization that did so much for her and continues to support Maine students. She has a BS in Secondary Education and Mathematics from the University of Maine at Farmington. After graduating, Kayla stayed in Farmington for four years, teaching 7th and 8th grade math and spending summers working with the TRIO Upward Bound program. When she resigned from teaching in 2021, her passion for education and college access took her in a new direction with her role supporting development and programs at the Mitchell Institute. She loves running, hiking, dancing, reading, and cooking. [ ]

KIM GUSTAFSON- scholarship Director  

Kim Gustafson oversees the Mitchell Scholarship application and selection process, and she collaborates with colleagues to support Mitchell Scholars and Alumni wherever they are in their career and personal development. She thrives on facilitating connections between individuals and the resources that best meet their preferences and needs. Prior to joining the Mitchell Institute in 2015, Kim spent many years with the admission and career development departments at Bates College. She graduated from Middlebury College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies and was previously certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator. [ ]

Andrea Mitchell- Project Manager

Andrea Mitchell joined the Mitchell Institute in 2017 as a Project Manager.  Following a 30-year career in social services, she is honored to be involved with the Institute again and enjoys managing the Fellowship & Promise Fund Programs. Andrea is a native of Maine, graduated from Bradford College with a BA in Psychology and is a licensed social worker. [  ]

James patefield- Project Associate

James Patefield is ecstatic to contribute to the Mitchell Institute team, and support an organization that provides so many opportunities to Maine students. He works  to measure the outcomes of the Institute’s programs through performance measurement and research, while raising the profile of the Institute, its scholars, and its alumni through marketing and communications. Originally from Rhode Island, James could not be happier to call Maine his home. He has a BA in Theatre and English from Muhlenberg College, and has previously worked in a variety of communications and fundraising roles at non-profit and arts organizations throughout the Northeast. He volunteers with PortFringe Festival and is the President of the board of Speak About It. In his spare time you can find him cooking, hiking, reading, tutoring, writing, or acting around Portland. [  ]

SarahASarah Short- Development Director

Sarah Short is thrilled to be able to bring more than a decade of fundraising experience to bear on connecting friends of the Mitchell Institute with their passion for contributing to the success of our Scholars. A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Sarah spent her summers on Mount Desert Island and always dreamed of living in Maine full time. After several fundraising roles in Boston, she moved to Maine in 2013, where she volunteers with the Maine Tool Library and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from Yale University. [  ]

Lisa Sirois- Finance DirectorLisaC

Lisa Sirois joined the Mitchell Institute in December of 2006. Lisa is responsible for the financial management and accounting of the Institute. She brings over twenty years of financial, accounting and analytical experience to the Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked in a variety of accounting and analytical capacities throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Lisa grew up in Augusta and attended Cony High School. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Lisa lives in South Portland and enjoys the Maine outdoors. [  ]

AdamAAdam Thibodeau- Scholarship Associate

Adam Thibodeau assists primarily with the implementation of the scholarship programming. The 2001 Mitchell Scholar from Lawrence High School and a graduate of the University of Maine with degrees in English and Theatre, he has previously worked in performing arts venues throughout New England, from backstage to the box office. He is excited to live in Portland and to be able to help new classes of Mitchell Scholars attend college and succeed in their professional lives. When he is not at the Mitchell Institute, you are likely to find him helping out at Portland Stage. [  ]