Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors provides oversight to the work of the Life Center, manages the staff and makes sure we have everything we need to serve the families of the Cornwallis community.

Marcella Sweeney, Ph.D. – Board Chair

Marcella has over 32 years of management and leadership experience with 23 of those years in the newspaper industry. She holds a Ph.D. in Management and is President of TNCC the periodical distribution company she founded. Marcella served as a former Executive Director of the Life Center (2008-2011) and has a desire to see all LIFE center students excel in life.


Ken Huss – Vice President

In 1996, following a successful ten year enlistment in the United States Navy, Ken relocated to the RTP area of North Carolina to begin a job with MCI Communications. Twenty years ago, Ken, his wife and four children relocated to South Durham, buying their first home and setting down roots. Ken changed employers with a move to Cisco Systems in 2000, putting into practice skills he acquired through extensive certifications and self-study. He also began to expand his education and exposure; completing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Internetworking. Ten years ago Ken moved out of engineering, taking a role in management; leading the same consulting services delivery team he worked on as an engineer. Ken’s hobbies include weight lifting, hiking and all forms of continuous learning, his favorites being reading books and videos. Ken got involved with the LIFE Center six years ago, and currently serves on the board of directors. His love for the LIFE Center comes from an understanding that education, experience and exposure are incredibly transformational. The simple action of doing a homework assignment or reading with a young student generates inspiration, fostering the motivation that changes lives. Action creates inspiration, and inspiration generates the motivation to change your world.

Quintin Munn – Secretary

Photo and bio coming

Pastor Eric Syfrett – Treasurer

Eric Syfrett is the Executive Pastor of King’s Park International Church in Durham, NC. Eric volunteered as a tutor and mentor at the Life Center in 1997 as a college student and has been connected to the program since that time. He’s passionate about seeing young people connected to a greater purpose and finding alternatives to the path that life has laid out for them. Eric holds a Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management and a Masters of Accountancy from UNC-Chapel Hill. Eric and his wife, Adena, live in Durham with their two daughters.

Janelle Armstrong-Brown, Ph. D. – Director

Dr. Janelle Armstrong-Brown is a Durham resident. She moved to Durham from New York to pursue her graduate studies in public health. She received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Armstrong-Brown is committed to identifying ways, in and outside of the professional work setting, to promote equal opportunities for all to live their healthiest life possible. Dr. Armstrong-Brown works at RTI International as a Social Behavioral Scientist evaluating programs that seek to reduce health disparities. Prior to joining the board of the LIFE Center, she was on the board of the Community Nutrition Partnership, whose mission was to increase access to fresh, local, affordable food for all persons regardless of income level or background. Dr. Armstrong-Brown started her work at the LIFE Center as a tutor for the elementary and middle school students before joining the board. In addition, she enjoys travelling, exploring new and diverse cultures, and volunteering in her local community.

Ansel Brown – Director

Ansel Brown is Assistant Clinical Professor of Political Science at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), where he serves as campus advisor for the Pre-Law Program. He was named the Director of the University Honors Program (UHP) in the Fall of 2010. An alumnus of NCCU and returning as a professor in 2008, Brown specializes in pre-law studies, international law and policy. He teaches Introduction to Law and Legal Process, Legal Research and Writing, Problems of Contemporary Governments, and International Organizations. Prior to entering academia, Brown served as policy counsel at the N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development and the Center for Responsible Lending, where he advocated for consumer protection laws aimed at reducing predatory subprime lending and rising student debt. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree from NCCU and his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. While a law student, he received the Dean of Students Community Leadership Award and served on the International Law Journal. He is a member of the N.C. State Bar. Brown is also the founder of the Jackie Brown and Luddie Strickland Scholarship, which is named for his late father and maternal grandmother and awarded to well-rounded African American high school students from his family’s hometown of Jonesville, NC.