Centennial Symposium Speakers: Biographies


Julie Anding, Senior Director, Talent, Learning and Creative, Harley-Davidson

In her current position at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Julie Anding has responsibility for talent acquisition and management, leadership development, and creative services. In her nearly two decades with the company, she has held various roles within Human Resources and Information Services, including Director, Organization Development; Director, HR Planning and Systems; and Change Management Specialist.  Prior to joining Harley-Davidson, Anding worked in higher education as a career counselor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  She earned a BS in Psychology and an MS in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a PhD in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University.


Judith Appleton, Vice Provost, Cornell University

In addition to her role as Vice Provost, Judy Appleton is the Alfred H. Caspary Professor of Immunology in the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell, which she joined in 1982.  She became a faculty member in 1987 and also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Professor Appleton has taught and conducted research on topics related to immunology, parasitology, and disease pathogenesis. She received her BS in microbiology from Indiana University and her MS and PhD from the University of Georgia.


Jeffrey Brown, Co-Anchor and Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

In a career spanning more than twenty years at the PBS NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown has served in a variety of roles, both on and off camera. As senior correspondent, he has conducted studio discussions and reported from the field on a wide array of domestic and international stories and now regularly co-anchors the nightly news program. Prior to joining the NewsHour, Brown helped produce numerous public television series for Media & Society Seminars, an independent production company headed by Fred W. Friendly. He earned a BA from UC Berkeley and an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


Laura S. Brown, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Cornell University

Laura Brown holds the John Wendell Anderson chair in the Department of English at Cornell, where she has been a faculty member for more than 25 years. She has served as chair of the department, director of the graduate program, and director of graduate student teaching. Brown is widely recognized as an innovative scholar of eighteenth century British literature. Her six books include studies of history of the literary representation of animals, the role of women in literature, the relationship between culture and history, the emergence of imperialist thought, and the effects of ideas of racial difference. Brown earned her BA from Stanford University and her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.


Frank Bruni, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times

Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since June 2011, joined the newspaper in 1995. Over his years at The Times he has worn a wide variety of hats, including chief restaurant critic, Sunday magazine contributor and staff writer, and Rome bureau chief. Bruni came to The Times from The Detroit Free Press. He received a BA degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MS degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1988, graduating second in his class and winning a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.


Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Gallup Education

Brandon Busteed leads Gallup’s education work across K-12 and higher education. His career spans a wide range of important work in education, including as an educational entrepreneur, speaker, writer, and university trustee. He was the founder and former CEO of Outside The Classroom, a company that pioneered adaptive online education with the unique distinction of creating the only course proven to change behaviors. He is a nationally-known speaker and author on education policy and public health. Busteed is a graduate of Duke University, where he studied public policy.


Helen L. Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives and Research Scientist, Designing Education Lab, Stanford University

Helen Chen is a senior researcher in the Designing Education Lab in the Center for Design Research within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is also the Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the University Registrar. She is a co-founder and co-facilitator of EPAC, a community of practice focusing on pedagogical and technological issues related to e-portfolios. She is also the director of research for AAEEBL and a senior scholar on LaGuardia Community College’s Connect to Learning project. Chen holds a PhD from Stanford University and a BA from UCLA.


James Citrin, Leader, CEO Practice, Spencer Stuart

Jim Citrin leads Spencer Stuart’s North American CEO Practice, and sits on the firm’s Board of Directors. During his 20 years with the firm, he has completed more than 550 CEO, Board Director, CFO and other top management searches, and also works with clients on CEO succession issues. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, he spent five years at McKinsey & Company, was director of corporate planning at The Reader’s Digest Association, and was an associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He received his undergraduate degree from Vassar College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


James P. Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment, Arizona State University; member, AAC&U Board of Directors

Jim Collins began his academic career at Arizona State University in 1975 and has held a number of leadership positions there. He also served as Assistant Director for Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Ecological Society of America, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Association for Women in Science.  Collins received his undergraduate degree from Manhattan College and his doctoral degree from The University of Michigan.


Sean M. Decatur, President, Kenyon College

Before assuming the presidency of Kenyon College in 2013, Sean Decatur served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College for five years, where he was also a professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Previously, Decatur was a professor of chemistry at Mount Holyoke College.  He was also an associate dean of faculty for science from 2005-08 and served as department chair from 2001-04. Decatur was a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004-05. He earned a bachelor's degree at Swarthmore College and a doctorate in biophysical chemistry at Stanford University.


Andrew Delbanco, Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and Director of American Studies, Columbia University 

Professor Andrew Delbanco has taught at Columbia University since 1985 and was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 2011. Delbanco has written extensively on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers. He holds both a bachelor’s and a doctor degree from Harvard University.


Timothy K. Eatman, Assistant Director of Higher Education and Co-Director, Imagining America, Syracuse University

Tim Eatman serves as a member of the higher education faculty in the School of Education and co-director of Imagining America at Syracuse University. Eatman came to Syracuse in the fall of 2007 after a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan. His passion for research that explores transformational institutional policy making and culture change is buttressed by a research agenda replete with critical questions about equity issues in higher education. Eatman holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MEd from Howard University, and a BS from Pace University.


Peter Ewell, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems

Peter Ewell he has been a member of the staff of NCHEMS since 1981. His work focuses on assessing institutional effectiveness and the outcomes of college, and involves both research and direct consulting with institutions and state systems on collecting and using assessment information in planning, evaluation, and budgeting. Prior to joining NCHEMS, Dr. Ewell was Coordinator for Long-Range Planning at Governors State University. A graduate of Haverford College, he received his PhD in political science from Yale University.


Bret Eynon, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College–City University of New York

Bret Eynonis a national leader in the ePortfolio movement in higher education. Directing the FIPSE-funded Connect to Learning project, which works with twenty-five ePortfolio campuses nationwide, including Virginia Tech, San Francisco State, and Boston University, he also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of ePortfolio. Based at LaGuardia since 2000, he directs the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning and the Making Connections National Resource Center on Inquiry, Reflection, and Integrative Education. Eynon received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his doctoral degree from New York University.


Ricardo R. Fernández, President, City University of New York Herbert H. Lehman College

Before becoming the second president of Lehman College in 1990, Ricardo Fernández was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he rose to the position of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies.  He was an American Council of Education Fellow in Academic Administration in 1981-82, as well as a Research Fellow at the National Center for Effective Secondary Schools at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986-87. Fernández holds a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Spanish Literature from Marquette University and an MA and PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University.   He is a member of AAC&U’s Board of Directors.


Carly Fiorina, Former Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard, and Member, Board of Visitors, James Madison University

Carly Fiorina served as HP’s Chief Executive Officer from 2005-2005, becoming the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business. Prior to joining HP, Fiorina spent nearly 20 years at AT&T and Lucent Technologies, where she held a number of senior leadership positions and directed Lucent's initial public offering and subsequent spin-off from AT&T. Fiorina has a bachelor's degree in medieval history and philosophy from Stanford University. She holds an MBA from the University of Maryland and an MS degree from MIT's Sloan School.


Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Richard M. Freeland is Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts, appointed to this position by Governor Deval Patrick in January 2009. Working with the Board of Higher Education, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the Commonwealth and its citizens.  Previously, Freeland was President of Northeastern University for ten years. He has spent his entire academic career in urban higher education. Freeland received a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.


Paul L. Gaston, Trustees Professor, Kent State University

Paul L. Gaston serves as Kent State University's sole Trustees Professor, a role he assumed in 2007. This appointment recognizes both his service as provost (1990-2007) and the breadth of his commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research in the humanities, higher education reform, and public policy. Gaston is particularly interested in curricular design, in logistical strategies for ensuring favorable institutional consideration of general education proposals, and in the application of continuous improvement processes to general education. Gaston earned a PhD and an MA from the University of Virginia and BA from Southeastern Louisiana University.


Barbara Gellman-Danley, President, The Higher Learning Commission

Barbara Gellman-Danley assumed the presidency of the Higher Learning Commission in 2014. Prior to joining the Commission, Gellman-Danley was the president of University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College from 2009-2014. She has also served as a vice chancellor at the Ohio Board of Regents, president at Antioch University McGregor, vice president at Monroe Community College, and vice chancellor at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Gellman-Danley holds a BS from Syracuse University, an MLS from Simmons College, an MBA from Oklahoma City University, and PhD in Communication from the University of Oklahoma.


Daniel Greenstein, Director of Postsecondary Success Strategy, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Daniel Greenstein oversees work to increase the number of students that acquire a postsecondary degree or certificate. Before joining the Foundation in 2012, Greenstein was Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Programs at the University of California Office of the President. He has led, and in some cases founded, several internet-based academic information services in the US and the UK, as well as serving on boards and acting in strategic consulting roles for educational, cultural heritage, and information organizations. He holds degrees from the Universities of Oxford and Pennsylvania.


Dianne Harrison, President, California State University, Northridge; member, AAC&U Board of Directors

Diane Harrison became president of CSU Northridge in 2012 after leading CSU Monterey Bay for six years.  Previously, Harrison enjoyed a 30-year career at Florida State University in Tallahassee, serving as a faculty member, dean of social work, associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of graduate studies and vice president for academic quality and external programs. Her academic and research areas of expertise include HIV prevention among women and minority populations and higher education issues related to social work and university leadership.  She holds a BA and MSW from the University of Alabama and a PhD from Washington University in St. Louis.


Donald Harward, Director, The Bringing Theory to Practice Project; President Emeritus, Bates College

Donald Harward served as President of Bates College from 1989 through June 2002, when he was appointed President Emeritus. He is currently the Director of the independent project, Bringing Theory to Practice, a senior advisor for the ACE Fellows Program and 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. Before taking office at Bates, Harward served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of Wooster, Ohio. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Maryland.


Debra Humphreys, Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement, AAC&U

Humphreys is the Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement at the Association of American Colleges and Universities—a position she assumed in 2013 after serving for eleven years as VP for Communications and Public Affairs. Prior to 2001, she served as Director of Programs in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives. Before coming to AAC&U in 1992, she taught Women's Studies and English at Rutgers University, Towson State University, and at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. Humphreys received her BA from Williams College and her PhD in English from Rutgers University.


Alex Johnson, President, Cuyahoga Community College

Alex Johnson began his tenure as president of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in 2013, having previously served as president of Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus from 1993 to 2003.  After leaving Tri-C in 2003, he became chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans, serving during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.  In 2008, he assumed the presidency of the Community College of Allegheny County. Prior to 1993, Johnson spent six years as vice chancellor for academic affairs at Winston-Salem State University. Johnson holds a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree from Lehman College, and a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University.  He is a member of AAC&U’s Board of Directors.


Corey Keyes, Winship Distinguished Research Professor, Emory University

Corey Keyes is the Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Graduate Recruitment Chair at Emory University, where he has been teaching since 1997. His areas of expertise include social psychology and mental health. Keyes works on healthcare transformation and public mental health with governmental agencies in Canada, Northern Ireland, Australia; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Keyes holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.


Julie Thompson Klein, Professor of Humanities and Faculty Fellow for Interdisciplinary Development, Wayne State University

Julie Klein is professor of Humanities at Wayne State University, past president of the Association for Integrative Studies and former editor of Issues in Integrative Studies. She has authored or edited numerous books and monographs on interdisciplinarity. Klein consults widely throughout North America and the world. She has served as a Fulbright Lecturer and an Academic Specialist in Nepal, a Visiting Foreign Professor in Japan, and a Foundation Visitor in New Zealand.  She also created and directs the Digital Humanities Collaboratory at Wayne State and serves on the Steering Committee of Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory. Klein holds a BA and a PhD from the University of Oregon.


Mark Lindsay, Director of Health Care and Pharmaceutical Practice, The Livingston Group

Before joining The Livingston Group as a consultant in 2008, Mark Lindsay was with UnitedHealth Group, where he was President of the AARP Pharmacy Services Division and Vice President of Public Communications and Strategy.  Previously, Lindsay served as President Clinton’s Assistant to the President for the Office of Management and Administration. Prior to his appointment to the White House, Lindsay served as senior legislative aid to Congressman Louis Stokes. Lindsay holds a JD from Case Western Reserve University, an MA from Georgetown University, and a BA from Macalester College.


William Longbrake, Banking and Finance Executive in Residence at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and Center for Financial Policy, University of Maryland, and Chair, Board of Trustees, The College of Wooster

Bill Longbrake has had extensive and broad experience in finance and investments, macroeconomics and monetary policy, risk management, housing, and public policy. Longbrake is active in numerous academic, business and community service organizations, particularly those involving issues surrounding affordable housing and education. He serves on multiple advisory boards, including the UW Foster School of Business and his alma mater, the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.


Kelly Mack, Vice President, Office of Undergraduate Science Education and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope, AAC&U

In addition to serving as an AAC&U Vice President, Kelly Mack directs Project Kaleidoscope, a reform initiative focusing on undergraduate STEM education. Previously, Mack was the Senior Program Director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program while on loan from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) where, as a biology professor, she taught courses in physiology and endocrinology for 17 years. Mack has had extensive training and experience in the area of cancer research with her research efforts focusing primarily on the use of novel antitumor agents in breast tumor cells.  Mack earned her BS degree in biology from UMES and her PhD in physiology from Howard University.


Cora Marrett, Former Deputy Director, National Science Foundation

Cora B. Marrett was National Science Foundation (NSF) Deputy Director from May 2011 to August 2014. She previously held the position of senior advisor, except for six months when she served as the foundation’s acting director. She served as the senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin, where she also was a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin.  She served as provost, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, and professor of sociology and Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Marrett earned a BA from Virginia Union University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Holiday H. McKiernan, Chief of Staff & General Counsel, Lumina Foundation

Holiday “Holly” Hart McKiernan joined Lumina Foundation in 2003, where she serves as chief of staff and general counsel.  At Lumina, she directs the foundation’s legal affairs and leads their exploration of the Bologna Process and its implications on American higher education. Prior to Lumina, she was executive director and counsel for Alpha Chi Omega, advising universities on approaches to high-risk student behavior.  McKiernan received her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and her Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University.


Jamie Merisotis, President, Lumina Foundation

Jamie P. Merisotis was named Lumina Foundation President and CEO in 2008. Previously, Merisotis served as founding president of the nonpartisan Institute for Higher Education Policy. He previously served as executive director of the National Commission on Responsibilities for Financing Postsecondary Education, a bipartisan national commission on college affordability. Merisotis is a recognized expert on a wide range of domestic and international issues in education, including student financing, low-income and minority student access, and learning outcomes. He holds a BA in political science and government from Bates College.


Jean Muhammed, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Hampton University

Jean Muhammed joined Hampton University as a professor of computer science in 2006.  Previously, she served as a visiting professor of computer science at both Florida State University and Florida A&M University.  She has industry experience from AirNet Communications, where she served as a marketing liaison, as well as from AT&T Bell Laboratories (now Lucent Technologies), where she held various roles, including software developer and Intelligent Network Offer Manager. Muhammad earned her PhD from Florida State University, master’s degrees from Florida State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BS from Chicago State University.  


Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College; member, AAC&U Board of Directors

Brian Murphy became president of De Anza College in 2004. Prior to his appointment, he served as executive director of the San Francisco Urban Institute at San Francisco State University. Among other positions, he was chief consultant to the California State Legislature’s reviews of the Master Plan for Higher Education and the community college reform process in the late 1980s. He has taught at UC Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, and San Francisco State University. Murphy received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.


Azar Nafisi, Director of Cultural Conversations, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

At Johns Hopkins University, Azar Nafisi is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics. She has taught at Oxford University, the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University, and Allameh Tabatabai. Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003) and, most recently, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books (2014). She earned her PhD from the University of Oklahoma.


Elsa Núñez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University; member, AAC&U Board of Directors

Elsa Núñez became president of Eastern Connecticut State University, a public liberal arts college, in 2006. Prior to her appointment, she served as Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs in the University of Maine System, after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lesley University, University Dean for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the City University of New York, and Associate Dean of Faculty at the College of Staten Island. Nuñez received her undergraduate degree from Montclair State College, her master’s from Farleigh Dickinson University, and her doctoral degree from Rutgers.


Eduardo Padrón, President, Miami Dade College

Eduardo J. Padrón has served as the president of Miami Dade College since 1995. He is nationally respected for his advocacy for underserved populations in higher education, innovative teaching and learning strategies, and focus on support for student success. Padrón serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business/Higher Education Forum, the League for Innovation, RC-2020, the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, the White House Fellows Selection Panel, and the International Association of University Presidents. Padrón holds a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Florida and is an alumnus of Miami Dade College.


Lynn Pasquerella, President, Mount Holyoke College

Lynn Pasquerella, a celebrated philosopher and medical ethicist, assumed the presidency of Mount Holyoke College in 2010. She served as provost and chief academic officer at the University of Hartford from 2008-2010. From 1985 to 2008, Pasquerella taught philosophy at the University of Rhode Island. She has written extensively in the areas of medical ethics, theoretical and applied ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law. Pasquerella holds a BA from Mount Holyoke and a PhD from Brown University.


Eboo Patel, President and Founder, Interfaith Youth Core

Eboo Patel founded Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement, in 2002. Author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, Eboo is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and CNN. He is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.


Sally Engelhard Pingree, President, S. Engelhard Center

Sally Pingree was named president of the S. Engelhard Center in 2007. The center supports projects and initiatives that affect greater and sustained commitments by educational institutions at all levels to provide effective means of addressing the intellectual, emotional, and civic development of today’s students. She has also been a Trustee of the Charles Engelhard Foundation since 1972, a family foundation focusing on projects in higher and secondary education, cultural, medical, religious, wildlife, and conservation organizations. Pingree serves on boards at Boston College, the Carter Center, National Geographic Society, and St. Andrew's School. She is a graduate of Trinity College.


Kavita N. Ramdas, Representative—India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, The Ford Foundation

Kavita Ramdas serves as the representative for the Ford Foundation's office in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, where she oversees all grant making in the region. Before joining the Foundation in 2012, she served as executive director of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship. From 1996 to 2010, Ramdas was president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. She has broadly promoted women's human rights, social justice philanthropy, and international development through her membership and professional affiliations on the boards and advisory councils of various organizations. She has a master's degree from Princeton University and a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke.


Edward J. Ray, President, Oregon State University; Vice Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors

Edward Ray became president of Oregon State University in 2003. Prior to his appointment, he served as Executive Vice President and Provost at Ohio State University where he was a member of the economics faculty for more than 30 years. Dr. Ray’s research interests include the history of protectionism in the U.S., the role of financial reform in economic development, and foreign direct investment in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Ray received his BA in Mathematics from Queens College (CUNY) and his MA and PhD degrees in Economics from Stanford University.


Michael Roth, President, Wesleyan University; member, AAC&U Board of Directors

Michael Roth became president of Wesleyan University in 2007. Prior to his appointment, he served as president of the California College of the Arts, was the founding director of the Scripps College Humanities Institute, where he served as Hartley Burr Alexander Professor of the Humanities, and was an associate director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Dr. Roth received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and earned his doctorate in history from Princeton University.


Kenneth P. Ruscio, President, Washington and Lee University

Ken Ruscio became president of Washington and Lee in 2006. Previously, he served as the Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at University of Richmond.  Prior to his tenure at the University of Richmond, he held various positions at W&L including Professor of Politics, Associate Dean of The Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, and Dean of Freshmen. He was a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles and taught at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Kansas University. Ruscio holds a BA from Washington and Lee University and an MPA and a PhD from Syracuse University.


Carol Geary Schneider, President, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Carol Geary Schneider has been president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities since 1998. Under her leadership, AAC&U has launched several major initiatives, including Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College and Greater Expectations, a multi-faceted initiative on the aims and purposes of liberal education for the twenty-first century. Prior to her work at AAC&U, she taught at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago State University and Boston University. Dr. Schneider received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and her PhD from Harvard University.


Sheri Sheppard, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Principal Investigator, Epicenter, Stanford University

Sheri Sheppard has been a Stanford Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Design Group since 1986. Her research focuses on weld fatigue and impact failures, fracture mechanics, and applied finite element analysis. She is the Director of the Designing Education Lab and co-director of the Center for Design Research in Stanford's School of Engineering. Her industry experience includes engineering positions Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and her PhD at the University of Michigan.


Rebecca Stoltzfus, Provost’s Fellow for Public Engagement, Cornell University

Rebecca Stoltzfus joined the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 2002 as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 2005. Previously, she was assistant and then associate professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Stoltzfus’ research focuses on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in women and children in developing countries. She currently directs the Global Health Program on Cornell’s Ithaca campus and the Program in International Nutrition. Stoltzfus holds a PhD in human nutrition from Cornell University and a BA in Chemistry from Goshen College.


Candace Thille, Senior Research Fellow for Online Learning, Stanford University; member, AAC&U Board of Directors

Candice Thille serves as a redesign scholar for the National Center for Academic Transformation, a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education, on the Assessment 2020 Task Force of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and on the Global Executive Advisory Board for Hewlett Packard’s Catalyst Initiative. Thille has served on working groups for the U.S. Department of Education and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkley, a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.


Richard F. Vaz, Dean, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

As dean of Worchester Polytechnic Institute’s Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division, Richard Vaz spends much of his time working with the 70 faculty and 600 students who participate each year in WPI’s Global Perspective Program through one of 29 Project Centers worldwide. He also works to support the Interactive Qualifying Project, WPI’s interdisciplinary degree requirement. Vaz held systems and design engineering positions with the Raytheon Company, GenRad Inc., and the MITRE Corporation before joining the WPI electrical and computer engineering faculty in 1987. Vaz completed his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at WPI.


Phil Weilerstein, President and CEO, VentureWell, formerly the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)

Phil Weilerstein has served as VentureWell’s President and CEO since 1996. He has designed and currently oversees programs which encourage curricular innovation and student venture creation, provide resources for faculty and student entrepreneurs, and develop conferences and workshops for faculty and students with a focus on encouraging socially beneficial application of technological innovations and the improvement of entrepreneurship and innovation education in higher education. He began his career as an entrepreneur as a student at the University of Massachusetts. He and a team launched a start-up biotech company which ultimately went public. This experience led to his work with VentureWell.


Timothy P. White, Chancellor, The California State University

Timothy White has served as chancellor of the California State University system since 2013. Previously, he served as chancellor and professor of biology and biomedical sciences of the University of California, Riverside. White came to UC Riverside in 2008 after serving as the University of Idaho's president from 2004-2008. He attended Diablo Valley Community College, Fresno State, and California State University East Bay during his undergraduate years and earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent two years as a post-doctoral scholar in physiology at the University of Michigan.


Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York System Office

In June 2009 Nancy L. Zimpher became the twelfth Chancellor of the State University of New York.  Zimpher is active in numerous state and national education organizations, and is a recognized leader in the areas of teacher preparation, urban education, and university-community engagement. Prior to coming to SUNY, she served as president of the University of Cincinnati, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University. Zimpher holds a BA, an MA, and a PhD from The Ohio State University.