Elsbernd graduated from Walters State in 1974 with an associate of science in pre-engineering. She is deputy director of the heliophysics division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA. Working out of NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., she is responsible for the management of an on going mission to understand the sun and its effects on Earth and our solar system. She has supervised the design construction and launch of 26 spacecraft and six separate science missions.
Baker graduated from Walters State in 1985 with an associate of science in general studies. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from East Tennessee State University and both a master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. He is a scholar, educator, author and community activist. He is one of the nation's leading experts on economic and social development in Appalachia.