2017 Institute Faculty

The twelve faculty members for the 2017 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success are nationally recognized scholars and practitioners with expertise across a wide array of subjects.  Each team is assigned a faculty liaison and is clustered with other teams working with the same liaison. Check-in and reflection sessions also occur during the Institute. In addition to attending Institute sessions, teams schedule consulting appointments with an array of Institute faculty. 

cuomo.pngMichele CuomoMontgomery County Community College

Michele Cuomo serves as Dean of Arts and Humanities at Montgomery County Community College where she is a member of the Student Success Initiative team. Previously she served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York, leading the Freshman Academies and its High Impact Practices. Previous positions included of Head of Acting at The University of Mississippi and Interim Head of Acting at the University of Georgia, where she was also a member of the  Graduate Faculty. Michele holds an MFA in Acting and is pursuing an Educational Doctorate at Benedictine University.

Areas of Expertise: project-based learning; first-year experience; innovative pedagogy through technology; guided pathways; curriculum development; community college student engagement and success

Timothy K. Eatman, Syracuse UniversityTimothy K. Eatman, Rutgers University - Newark

Tim Eatman currently serves as the Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community and Associate Professor of Urban Education at Rutgers University - Newark. He has served as a member of the higher education faculty in the School of Education and faculty co-director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA) at Syracuse University. He is co-author of Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University, a seminal research report on faculty rewards for engaged scholarship. 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. Most recently Eatman was elected to the IARSLCE board of directors.  Tim sits on the editorial board of The New Public Scholarship book series (University of Michigan Press), Diversity and Democracy (AAC&U), and Urban Education (Sage). He also reviews for several scholarly journals and publications. The recipient of the 2010 Early Career Research Award for the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, Eatman regularly consults with higher education associations and institutions for collaborative research, keynotes, and workshops. 

Areas of Expertise: educational equity; publicly engaged scholarship; faculty rewards; institutional planning, leadership and transformation; P-16; diversity; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) success

harbison.pngOmar Harbison, AAC&U

Omar Harbison joins the AAC&U family as the new Director of Student Success in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. His work will focus on leading and contributing to the intellectual domains of various externally funded projects. He will also conduct research development activities related to student success, with emphasis on underserved students.

Before joining AAC&U, Omar served as Senior Instructional Media Producer and Trainer in the Center for Faculty Professional Development at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. As a multimedia and technology strategist, he utilized a variety of instructional methods and innovative teaching techniques to train faculty in teaching effectiveness; research and scholarship; and instructional design/redesign. 

Omar started his career in higher education in 2005 at North Carolina Central University where he taught English Composition and Speech Communication.

From 2010 to 2016 he was an Assistant Professor at Morehouse College in the Journalism and Sports Program and the Cinema Television and Emerging Media Program using leading-edge new media teaching tools; social networking platforms; apps, web tools, and website design to build student ePortfolios showcasing student work and demonstrating mastery of institutional learning outcomes.  

Omar is also an award-winning media professional with more than 17 years of experience in broadcast journalism and new media technology. He has researched, written, produced, and hosted numerous programs, news stories, magazine segments, and other content for broadcast, cable outlets, and the Internet. As a Field Producer and on-air talent, he has undertaken a number of international junkets including Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and India. His documentary, HIV/AIDS: Have We Forgotten? was nominated for an Emmy award in 2009.

Omar was graduated from Morehouse College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Regent University. He continued Post Graduate Studies in Organizational Leadership at Regent.

Areas of Expertise: faculty development, student learning outcomes; access and student success; innovative pedagogy; teaching with technology; strategic planning; instructional strategies; student-centered Instruction; multi-media production; new media integration 

David Hubert, Salt Lake Community CollegeDavid HubertSalt Lake Community College

Dr. David Hubert is Assistant Provost for Learning Advancement at Salt Lake Community College. He led the development and implementation of SLCC's ePortfolio requirement in its general education program. Professor Hubert has developed one hybrid and three online political science courses. He has served as the director of SLCC's Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, led four study abroad trips to London, taught two learning communities, and led SLCC's Giving Community College Students a Roadmap initiative. His current work centers on how best to use student ePortfolios for general education assessment.

Areas of Expertise: ePortfolio implementation and pedagogy; general education; assessment with VALUE and other rubrics; faculty development; effective teaching practices; study abroad; learning communities; reflective pedagogy

Thomas F. Nelson Laird, Indiana UniversityThomas F. Nelson LairdIndiana University

Tom Nelson Laird is an associate professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program and directs the Center for Postsecondary Research within the Indiana University School of Education. Since 2003, he has worked on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and its related surveys. Currently, he is the principal investigator for the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) and studies teaching and learning issues using data from both NSSE and FSSE. Tom's research and courses focus on effective teaching practices, connections between diversity and learning, deep approaches to learning, assessing differences in collegiate environments, and curricular issues.

Areas of Expertise: effective teaching practices; student experiences with diversity; the National Survey of Student Engagement; deep approaches to learning; incorporating diversity into student experiences across the curriculum

Deanna Leone.jpg

 Deanna Leone, California State University, Fullerton

;Dr. Deanna Josephine Leone serves as Executive Director for Retention Initiatives at California State University, Fullerton.  As a member of the Executive Committee team, Dr. Leone provides leadership, vision, and strategic direction to the Assistant Dean department with direct supervision to ten Assistant Deans.  Dr. Leone serves as project leader for the Division of Student Affairs’ co-curricular HIPs program and other retention and student success initiatives.  

Dr. Leone grew up in Pennsylvania. She holds B.A. in Communication, Spanish, and International Studies from Juniata College; M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Ph. D. in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University.  

Dr. Leone has over 17 years of professional experience in student affairs across multiple functional areas including Housing & Residence Life, College Student Unions, Student Involvement, and Leadership Programs.  She also has experience building cross-divisional collaborations between student and academic affairs, integrating co-curricular experiences into curriculum design, and creating global learning opportunities through partnerships with international universities and organizations.  

Dr. Leone moved to California in January 2016 with family.  She enjoys parenting, being outdoors, and life-long learning. 

Areas of Expertise: Undergraduate student leadership development; facilitation and training (specifically in the areas of diversity and inclusion, communication styles, problem solving, conflict management, and mediation); cocurricular high-impact practices; cross-divisional collaborations; undergraduate student success and retention initiatives

mcnair.pngTia McNairAAC&U

Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC.  She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact educational practices, and student success, including AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal series of yearly working conferences.  McNair also directs AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Educational Practices and Student Success.  McNair serves at the project director for AAC&U’s “Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success,”  and a newly funded LEAP project “Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success.” She is a co-PI on another project “Advancing Underserved Student Success through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning.” McNair chaired AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that was part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represented a large-scale, systematic effort to provide “design principles” for 21st-century learning and long-term student success. She is a co-author on the publication Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. 

Areas of Expertise: underserved student success, engagement, and inclusion; assessing high-impact practices and intentionality; inquiry-based analysis; cross-divisional collaboration; equity-minded data analysis and decision making; institutional planning; project development and implementation

cnavia.jpg   Christine N. Navia, University of Wisconsin System Administration

   Dr. Christine Navia is Interim Associate Vice President for Student Success for the University of Wisconsin System Administration.  The Office of Student Success is committed to ensuring the academic success of all UW students through the creation of a strong educational pipeline from the K-12 system to college; the promotion of student-centered retention and graduation initiatives; and the development of a more seamless system of transfer for those moving between UW institutions.  In a previous role, Chris worked intensively with UW System institutions in their efforts to establish learning environments that were more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.  As a first-generation college student and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Chris possesses a deep affinity for students that higher education has yet to serve to the fullest. 

Areas of Expertise: educational equity and inclusion; pre-college programming and assessment; strategic planning and implementation; student success program development and coordination; collective impact theory



 Becky Wai-Ling Packard, Mount Holyoke College

Becky Wai-Ling Packard is professor of psychology and education at Mount Holyoke College, and she also serves as the director of the Weissman Center for Leadership. Her work focuses on the mentoring, advising, and persistence of first-generation college students, students of color, and women in science and  technical fields. Previously she served as the Associate Dean of Faculty where she worked extensively on integrative learning initiatives and the founding director of Teaching and Learning, where she supported new faculty and department chairs. She has served as a speaker, workshop leader, and resource to  numerous campuses. The PI of numerous NSF-funded research projects, Packard also was recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. 

Areas of Expertise:  Faculty development; STEM persistence and learning; facilitating difficult conversations and dialogue; mentoring and advising initiatives; success of first generation college students and students of color; integrative learning, leadership, career development; creating sustainable department and cross-division initiatives


Judith Ramaley, AAC&UJudith Ramaley, AAC&U

Dr. Judith A. Ramaley (pronounced Rah may' lee) is president emerita and distinguished professor of public service at Portland State University in the College of Urban and Public Affairs, and president emerita of Winona State University in Minnesota. She served as president of Winona State University (WSU) from 2005 to May 2012. Prior to joining WSU, she held a presidential professorship in biomedical sciences at the University of Maine and was a Fellow of the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy. She also served as a visiting senior scientist at the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. From 2001-2004, she was assistant director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate at The National Science Foundation. Dr. Ramaley was president of The University of Vermont and professor of biology from 1997 to 2001. She was president and professor of biology at Portland State University from 1990-1997.

Areas of Expertise: Higher education reform; curricular reform; the changing nature of work and the workforce; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; civic responsibility and the role of higher education in promoting good citizenship and community development; leadership of change; grant-making and fundraising; university/community collaboration and engaged research and learning

George Sanchez, University of Southern CaliforniaGeorge SanchezUniversity of Southern California

George J. Sanchez is professor of history and American studies and ethnicity at USC, where he also serves as vice dean for diversity and strategic initiatives. His academic work focuses on both historical and contemporary topics of race, gender, ethnicity, labor, and immigration. He was president of the American Studies Association from 2001-2002, and he currently serves as director of the Center for Diversity and Democracy at USC, which focuses on issues of racial and ethnic diversity in higher education, as well as on issues of civic engagement. 

Areas of Expertise: Faculty recruitment and retention; undergraduate research; diversity in the context of disciplines; Ph.D. mentorship and diversity; first generation college students; civic engagement

Dawn Michele Whitehead, AAC&U

whitehead_dawn.jpg Dr. Dawn Michele Whitehead is the Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. At AAC&U,  Whitehead focuses on advancing practices, strategies, and projects for integrative global learning across the undergraduate curriculum. In her work, she has  emphasized thematic local and international curricular and co-curricular experiences to provide students with globalized learning opportunities throughout their undergraduate education to prepare them to function and thrive in the modern world. She has also worked on projects that have integrated high-impact practices across  general education and the majors to provide students with consistent, high-quality liberal learning.  At the heart of her work is the concept of inclusive excellence to ensure all students have access to high-quality global learning experiences. She has presented nationally and internationally on issues related to civic engagement,  inclusive global learning, and strategic planning for global learning initiatives. Prior to her work at AAC&U, she also served as a faculty director for global service learning programs in Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, and the Kingdom of Swaziland, facilitated institutional partnership activities and educational opportunities in Indonesia,  Mexico, and Thailand, taught Global and International Studies courses in the United States, abroad, and through real time videoconferencing, and facilitated the development of international partnerships, internationalized curriculum, and global service learning.  

Areas of Expertise: course and curriculum internationalization, education abroad, global learning, global service learning, integration of multicultural and international perspectives, global and international studies