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Bringing Theory to Practice

Advisory Board

Click on the names below to view a brief biography of the individual.

Past Members


Bernard S. Arons
Dr. Arons is Director of Medical Affairs at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. His former positions include Executive Director/CEO of The National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI), Director of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services and Chair of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Working Group Cluster of the President’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform. A graduate of Oberlin and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Arons is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine, and Howard University and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth University.

Dessa Bergen-Cico
Dessa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health & Wellness, College of Human Ecology at Syracuse University where she teaches courses in dynamics of addiction and health promotion. Dessa was previously the Associate Dean of Students; Director of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Health Enhancement Office; the University R.A.P.E. Center (dedicated to educating the Syracuse University community about rape, sexual abuse, and other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity); the Coordinator of Assessment for the Division of Student Affairs; and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology and School of Education. Dessa's expertise is in the field of population based prevention and health promotion. She is the author of several college health research articles and has conducted over 100 professional presentations and television appearances. Dessa is a member of the Bringing Theory to Practice Advisory Board and the National Advisory Board For the Program on Health and Higher Education.

Robert Wm. Blum
Robert Wm. Blum, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is the William H. Gates, Sr. Professor and Chair of the Department of Population, Family & Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has edited two books, and has written over 220 journal articles, book chapters and special reports.

Dr. Blum is a Past-President of the Society for Adolescent Medicine; has served on the American Board of Pediatrics; was a charter member of the Sub-Board of Adolescent Medicine, and is a past chair of the Alan Guttmacher Institute Board of Directors. Currently, he chairs the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Adolescent Health and Development. He is a consultant to The World Bank and UNICEF as well as the World Health Organization where he has served on the Technical Advisory Group of the Child and Adolescent Health Department as well as the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the Human Reproductive Program. He has been awarded the Society for Adolescent Medicine’s Outstanding Achievement Award (1993); and in 1998 was the recipient of the American Public Health Association’s Herbert Needleman Award “for scientific achievement and courageous advocacy” on behalf of children and youth.

Thomas H. Bornemann
Dr. Bornemann became the Director of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Programs in 2002. Prior to that, he served as Senior Advisor for Mental Health in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence of the World Health Organization. Dr. Bornemann has spent his entire career in public mental health working in all aspects including: clinical practice, research, research management, policy development and administration at the national level. At the National Institute of Mental Health, he was one of the leaders in developing a national mental health program for refugees. He held the appointment of Deputy Director of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He was responsible for providing direction of a program of support to states and communities in service delivery, and in promoting knowledge, development, and application of best practices.

Joyce Bylander
Joyce Bylander is Special Assistant to the President for Institutional & Diversity Initiatives at Dickinson College. Ms. Bylander came to Dickinson in August 1998 as Associate Dean. She assumed the position of Dean of Students in July 2000 and moved into her current position July 1, 2004.  At Dickinson, she is responsible for helping to create, monitor and maintain a campus culture supportive of diversity. She works on college-wide diversity initiatives, supports campus sustainability initiatives, and global programs. She is the on-campus coordinator for the Cameroon program and works with faculty and students on a wide variety of issues. She adjuncts in American Studies and Sociology teaching courses on social justice, sustainability and diversity.

Barry Checkoway
Barry Checkoway is Professor of Social Work and Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. His projects and publications draw on work with grassroots groups, community agencies, and government programs in the South Bronx, Detroit, Mississippi Delta, Central Appalachia; and in South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He worked with the White House in launching AmeriCorps, then as founding director of the Michigan Neighborhood AmeriCorps Program, Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, Michigan Youth and Community Program, and Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit.

Elizabeth Christensen
Elizabeth (Libby) Christensen is a December 2007 graduate of Concordia College-Moorhead Minnesota with a major in Religion and minors in Psychology and Sociology. She participated in a Bringing Theory to Practice grant as a sophomore and has continued to be involved in the Project ever since. She currently works as a Case Manager with People Incorporated, helping provide tools to people experiencing long term homelessness and mental illness, offering support and advocacy while encouraging independence.  She recently finished a research project to develop a better understanding of the activity and history of men who have been sexually exploited in the streets and environment of Minneapolis.  Her research may help shape the first organization to reach out to prostituted men and those men who are exploited by sex-work culture in the Twin Cities. She is also attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for a Master's program in Education Counseling.

Ashley Finley
Dr. Finley is the Director of Assessment and Research at AAC&U and the national evaluator for the Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) Project.  Through her work with AAC&U and BTtoP she helps colleges and universities to develop, implement, and communicate meaningful assessment strategies that facilitate depth of learning at the student, faculty and institutional levels. Before joining AAC&U, she was an assistant professor of sociology at Dickinson College.

John L. Ford
Dr. Ford is the Senior Vice-President, Dean of Campus Life, and Professor of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Prior to his appointment at Emory, Dr. Ford served as Dean of Students at Cornell University. He has held faculty appointments in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell, the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia, and at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work.

Donald W. Harward
Dr. Harward is the Director of the Bringing Theory to Practice Project. He served as President of Bates College from 1989 through June 2002, when he was appointed President Emeritus. Before taking office at Bates, Dr. Harward served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of Wooster, Ohio; preceding his tenure there, he taught and served in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delaware, and subsequently designed and led the University Honors program. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Maryland. He is currently a Senior Fellow with AAC&U. He serves as a consultant for the Center for Liberal Education and Civic Engagement, a joint project of AAC&U and Campus Compact. President Harward also serves on a variety of foundation and educational boards.

Richard H. Hersh
Richard Hersh is currently a consultant with Keeling & Associates, LLC in New York. Formerly Director of the Center for Moral Education at Harvard University and President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Trinity College (Hartford), Dr. Hersh has been actively involved in the research on alcohol and other drug abuse on campuses. As president of two colleges, Dr. Hersh was heavily engaged with faculty, staff, parents, students, community leaders, neighbors, courts, bar owners, etc. in attempts to significantly reduce abuse. His recent work on assessing the impact of college and university attendance includes development of measures of personal and social responsibility.

Rebecca Herzig
Dr. Herzig is Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Bates College. A specialist in the history of nineteenth-century science, technology, and medicine, she is the author of /Suffering for Science: Reason and Sacrifice in Modern America/ (Rutgers University Press, 2005) and, with Evelynn Hammonds, /The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race from Jefferson to Genomics/ (MIT Press, 2009). At Bates, her courses focus on the social dimensions of scientific change. A long-time advocate of engaged learning and progressive pedagogy, she has helped design and implement community-based educational programs in California, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Libby Huffman Wilkinson
Libby Wilkinson is Assistant Director of Development at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia where she also serves as a co-advisor to eight high school students and is assistant varsity lacrosse coach.  Prior to Episcopal, Libby worked as a Government Relations Advisor at Kelley Drye Collier Shannon where her work included lobbying on behalf of the University of Oklahoma.  A 2000 graduate of Dartmouth College, Libby’s studies focused on Art History and Education.  Libby is a founder of the Jai Youth Yoga Program which takes the practice of yoga to inner-city schools.  She is a Board Member of the Many Hats Institute, a non-profit dedicated to bettering the lives of less privileged children through service learning and serves on the Alumni Governing Council of The Potomac School, McLean, Va, her high school alma mater. 

Alison K. Malmon
Alison Malmon is Founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, Inc., the nation's only nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging young adults in the mental health awareness movement. Alison formed the organization in 2001, following the suicide of her only sibling, twenty-two year old brother Brian Malmon. Wanting to combat the stigma that had caused her brother to suffer in silence and ultimately take his own life, she created a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania that promoted an open, enlightened dialogue around the issues. Just two years later, Ms. Malmon formed the 501(c)(3) organization in order to develop and support chapters of the student group on campuses around the country. She currently serves as Executive Director of the non-profit organization, engaging hundreds of student leaders nationwide and promoting a unified national voice for young adults in the mental health awareness movement.

Alison was the youngest-ever recipient of the Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award from the National Mental Health Association in 2003; recipient of the inaugural Young Leadership Award from NARSAD in 2004; and was named a Woman of Distinction from the American Association of University Women and first-ever Montgomery County Public Schools (MD) Distinctive Alumnus in 2007.  She sits on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer/Recipient Subcommittee, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Leadership21 Committee, NARSAD-DC Planning Committee, and Students of AMF and NAMI Montgomery County, MD Boards of Directors.

Hara Estroff Marano
Hara Estroff Marano is Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today. She has been with Psychology Today for the past 12 years, previously as Editor-in-Chief, and has written about human behavior for many consumer publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Smithsonian, the Ladies Home Journal, among many others. She writes a regular advice column for Psychology Today called Unconventional Wisdom, which now also appears weekly in the New York Daily News under the banner Sexual Healing. She is the author of three books, the most recent on the social development of children, A Nation of Wimps: The Cost of Invasive Parenting.

Jonathan M. Metzl
Jonathan Michel Metzl is  Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. Previously he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Women's Studies and Director of the Program in Culture, Health, and Medicine at the University of Michigan, working as an attending physician in the adult psychiatric clinics and teaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels on gender, culture, and health. He has written for journals including the American Journal of Psychiatry, the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Academic Medicine, Gender and History, Social Science and Medicine, Textual Practice, Ms. Magazine, and SIGNS: The Journal of Women, Culture, and Society. Metzl authored Prozac on the Couch: Prescribing Gender in the Era of Wonder Drugs and, most recently, The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease.

Caryn McTighe Musil
Caryn McTighe Musil is currently Senior Vice President at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in charge of the office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives where she focuses on diversity, civic engagement, and women's issues in higher education. She is also co-director of AAC&U's Center on Liberal Education and Civic Engagement recently launched in partnership with Campus Compact. She has a long-time professional commitment to empowering students as critical, reflective learners who have voice and agency, which is why student-centered pedagogies, faculty development, and curriculum transformation have been special interests of hers. Dr. Musil received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University. Before moving into national level administrative work in higher education, first as Executive Director of the National Women's Studies Association, she was a faculty member for eighteen years. A frequent keynote speaker and educational consultant at numerous colleges and universities, Dr. Musil has been writing, teaching, and speaking on how to build inclusive, engaged academic learning environments throughout her career.

Jennifer O’Brien
Jennifer O’Brien is the Project Coordinator and Assistant to the Director for the Bringing Theory to Practice Project at the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  Jennifer graduated from George Washington University, where she completed her work in Psychology and Women’s Studies.  As a student in these fields, she was able to cater much of her studies/research to her specific interests, including stress and mental well-being (focus on depression), self-image, and substance abuse habits of college-age students.  Before joining AAC&U, she worked as Office Manager of a psychopharmacology practice in downtown Washington, DC, and assisted research at George Washington University on the Young Parents Study in the Psychology department under Dr. Christina Gee.

Sally E. Pingree
Ms. Pingree is a Trustee of the Charles Engelhard Foundation. A graduate of Trinity College, her areas of interest have been health, education, and environmental affairs. She has served in public relations at the American Heritage Publishing Company and the Board of Trustees of the Potomac School (Virginia), St. Andrew's School (Delaware), Boston College, the Carter Center, and the National Geographic Society. She is a member of the Advisory Council of AAC&U's/Campus Compact's Center for Liberal Education and Civic Engagement, the National Gallery of Art, and the Mental Health Task Force of the Carter Center.

Daniel Tad Roach
Mr. Roach is a graduate of Williams College (B.A.) and Middlebury College (MA, Bread Loaf School of English) and joined St. Andrew's faculty as an English teacher, dorm parent, and coach in 1979. Tad served as Dean of Students, Assistant Headmaster for Student Life, Academic Dean, and Assistant Headmaster for Academic Affairs before being appointed Headmaster of St. Andrew's in July 1997. Tad continues to teach English and Religion and advises students at St. Andrew's.

Carol Schneider
Carol Geary Schneider is president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  With 1,100 institutional members, AAC&U is the leading national organization devoted to advancing and strengthening undergraduate liberal education. Under her leadership, AAC&U launched Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), a public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what really matters in a college education for the twenty-first century.The LEAP campaign builds on AAC&U’s major effort, Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College, a multi-year initiative designed to articulate the aims of a twenty-first century liberal education and to identify comprehensive, innovative models that improve learning for all undergraduate students.

While a vice president at AAC&U in the 1990’s, Dr. Schneider headed a major initiative at AAC&U on higher education and U.S. pluralism, American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy and Liberal Learning.  Dr. Schneider has published extensively on all the major areas of her educational work and has taught at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago State University and Boston University. Dr. Schneider is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor's degree in history (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa).  She studied at the University of London's Institute for Historical Research and earned the Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.

David Scobey
David Scobey is Executive Dean of The New School for General Studies and Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy. Immediately before accepting this position Scobey was the Director of the Donald W. and Ann M. Harward Professor of Community Partnerships and the inaugural Director of the Harward Center For Community Partnerships at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.  Until 2005, he was Associate Professor of Architecture in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Director of the Arts of Citizenship Program at the University of Michigan.  Scobey holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) in English Language and Literature from Yale University, a Diploma in Social Anthropology from Oxford University, and a doctorate from Yale’s Program in American Studies.  He is the author of Empire City: The Making and Meaning of the New York City Landscape (Temple University Press, 2002) and numerous articles on 19th-century U.S. cultural and urban history.  He has been the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, a Senior Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and other fellowships.

Scobey has worked for over a decade on the national effort for academic civic engagement.  In 1997, he founded the University of Michigan Arts of Citizenship Program to foster the role of the arts, humanities, and design in civic life.  He serves on the national advisory committees for Project Pericles and chairs the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars In Public Life.

Daniel Silverman
Daniel C. Silverman, M.D., M.P.A.,  is an experienced university administrator and academic physician-psychiatrist who completed his term as Chief Medical Officer, Princeton University and Executive Director of University Health Services at Princeton University. Currently Silverman is Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. Prior to this he was a Senior Consultant at Keeling & Associates, a higher education consulting practice. In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Silverman worked closely with members of the University’s senior leadership including the Board of Trustees’ Student Health, Life and Athletics Committee, the Offices of the Vice President for Campus Life, President, Provost, General Counsel, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of the College, Deans of Undergraduate and Graduate Students and the Council of Masters of the Residential Colleges to create coalitions dealing with important university health, residential life and safety issues. Dr. Silverman has also been Associate Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston; Director, Evidence Based Medicine Consortium,Washington University School of Medicine; Vice President, Clinical Effectiveness, BJC Health System, St. Louis; and Senior Healthcare Consultant for the CSC/APM Healthcare Consulting Group. 

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, completed his medical training at Northwestern University School of Medicine, his Masters of Public Administration at Harvard University and his psychoanalytic training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. He served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for more than two decades.

Lynn Swaner
Dr. Swaner is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), educational consultant, and Assistant Professor in Mental Health Counseling at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. Her professional experience includes coordinating academic support and accommodations for students with psychiatric disabilities at Columbia University, as well as directing the undergraduate peer tutoring program as part of Columbia's learning center initiative. She received her M.S. in counseling from C.W. Post and her doctorate in higher education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where her research focused on connecting curricular and practicum-based learning in graduate education. In addition to her current work with BTtoP, Dr. Swaner recently authored a review of the literature for AAC&U's Project on Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility.