WICHE Staff Directory

  • Peace Bransberger

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    Senior Research Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research

  • Margo Colalancia

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    • BIO +

      Margo Colalancia (WICHE) directs WICHE’s three student exchange programs – the Professional Student Exchange Program, the Western Regional Graduate Program, and the Western Undergraduate Exchange – which provide a broad range of higher education options for more than 35,600 students. Prior to her current position she served as the associate project director for a trinational consortium of Mexican, Canadian and U.S. universities and colleges. She received her bachelor's degree in business French from the University of Colorado and the Université de Bordeaux III, and a master's degree in international policy studies with an emphasis in intercultural communication from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Prior to her graduate studies, Colalancia spent seven years in Gabon, Central Africa, teaching English as a foreign language with the Peace Corps and on private contract with the Gabonese Ministry of Education.

    Director of Student Exchange Programs
    Programs and Services

  • Kay Hulstrom

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    Administrative Manager
    Programs and Services

  • Patrick Lane

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    • BIO +

      Patrick Lane is the project manager for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s (WICHE’s) multistate longitudinal data exchange. He previously coordinated WICHE’s Adult College Completion Network and has worked extensively on a project called Non-traditional No More: Policy Solutions for Adult Learners. Both projects focus on indentifying policy and practice solutions to help adults with prior college credit return to postsecondary education to complete their degrees. He also coordinated WICHE’s College Access Regional Network, which focused on increasing the number of low-income students prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. He came to WICHE having spent several years working in education policy in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. He received a master’s degree from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 2007 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in public administration at the University of Colorado Denver. He can be reached at 303.541.0266 or plane@wiche.edu.

    Project Manager, Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange
    Policy Analysis and Research

  • Mollie McGill

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    • BIO +

      Mollie McGill serves as Deputy Director, Programs and Membership for WCET. She assists with the overall management of member services and communications that inform the e-learning community of relevant policy, practices and developments. She facilitates the advancement of several committee projects, such as those dealing with academic integrity and student identity authentication, student retention in online learning, institutional policies and practices for adjunct online faculty, and ownership of learning management systems. In 2009-2010, she has worked with the WICHE Policy Analysis unit on the Statewide Articulation and Transfer project, specifically to study state transfer web portals. Mollie spent nearly 20 years working for WICHE in the early part of her career and, among other accomplishments, was instrumental in founding WCET in 1989. Most recently she directed learning innovations and technology initiatives for the University of Colorado System and served in leadership roles for several Colorado statewide e-learning projects. She received her education degree from Emporia State University. As the parent of twin teenage boys, she has first-hand experience with the technology and study habits of today's millenials.

    Deputy Director, Programs and Membership

  • Demarée Michelau

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    • BIO +

      Demarée K. Michelau is the director of policy analysis at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. In this role, she co-manages WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research unit and directs externally-funded projects related to adult learners, articulation and transfer, and college access and success. The author of numerous reports and policy briefs, she also has experience in a variety of higher education policy issues, including the Common Core State Standards, accelerated learning options, college affordability, and K-16 reform. Previously, she worked for the National Conference of State Legislatures as a policy specialist. Michelau received her bachelor's degree in public law from Northern Illinois University and her master's degree and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Director of Policy Analysis
    Policy Analysis and Research

  • Jere Mock

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    • BIO +

      Jere J. Mock is vice president of Programs and Services at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education in Boulder, Colorado. She oversees WICHE's regional student exchange programs that expand access to higher education at some 200 institutions for more than 30,600 students and help develop the West's workforce. The programs include the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP), Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), and Internet Course Exchange (ICE). She also directs externally-funded regional initiatives that foster college and university collaborations to enhance students' educational opportunities, increase institutional effectiveness, and enable institutions to reduce their administrative costs and offer expanded services to students. In addition, she directs WICHE's electronic and print communications. Prior to joining WICHE in 1988, she was executive director of a regional telecommunications company's corporate philanthropy through the seven-state Mountain Bell Foundation, headquartered in Denver, and earlier she worked in public relations and government affairs at Mountain Bell. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder; a master's of public administration from the University of Colorado, Denver; and a master's of business administration from Regis University. She serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

    Vice President
    Programs and Services

  • Dennis Mohatt

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    • BIO +

      Dennis Mohatt is the Vice President for Behavioral Health at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). He directs the WICHE Mental Health Program and the WICHE Center for Rural Mental Health Research. Dennis has over 30 years of public mental health services. His work has included direct clinical care, clinical supervision, and CEO tenure in a rural CMHC serving Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Additionally, he led an effort in the early 1990s, funded by HRSA, to successfully integrate mental health and primary care in multiple rural family practice settings. During the late 1990s, Dennis served as the Deputy Director for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, a position where he also served as the state's commissioner of mental health. His duties included executive management of multiple state HHS divisions including: child welfare, juvenile justice, public health, mental health, developmental disabilities, substance use, services for the older adults, public assistance, Medicaid, services for the visually impaired, and public institutions. Since 2001, Dennis has led WICHE's efforts in behavioral health. He has served as a member of the National Rural Health Advisory Committee, and led many national efforts relating to rural mental health including his role as the Chief Consultant to the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. He is actively engaged in efforts focused on improving services to Veterans, Guard, and Reserve as well as their families; rural mental health policy; workforce development, and increasing adoption of integrated approaches to behavioral and primary care practice. His graduate training was supported by a NIMH Fellowship and focused on rural community-clinical psychology. 

    Vice President for Behavioral Health
    Mental Health Program

  • Cali Morrison

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    • BIO +

      Cali Morrison, Manager, Communications, has responsibility for WCET's communications strategies and keeping our members connected to the cooperative. Cali holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Western Kentucky University, a M.Ed. in Adult & Higher Education from Montana State University, an online graduate certificate in Women's Studies from Western Kentucky University, and is currently pursuing an Education Doctorate (Ed.D) in Higher Education Administration . Prior to joining WCET, Cali worked at Montana State University in various positions for over seven years. Cali lives in Bozeman, MT with her husband, daughter and dogs, where she is active in the community, especially with the CAP mentoring and Girls for a Change programs.

    Manager, Communications

  • Kim Nawrocki

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    Administrative Assistant III
    Programs and Services

  • Sarah Ohle Leibrandt

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    • BIO +

      Sarah Ohle Leibrandt is the project coordinator for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s multistate longitudinal data exchange (MLDE).  MLDE brings together states to exchange individual-level education and workforce data to better answer policy questions about human capital development and its mobility.  As WICHE expands the MLDE to additional states, Sarah assists potential and participating states in all aspects of the project.  Prior to joining WICHE, she conducted data analyses that informed the Colorado Department of Education’s High School Graduation Guidelines, coordinated data reporting for three TAA grants at Red Rocks Community College, and taught English in Madrid, Spain.  Sarah is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in education policy at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Her dissertation investigates the ways in which low-resource high schools might enact state-mandated college and career readiness policies by partnering with postsecondary institutions.  A graduate from Wellesley College, Sarah previously interned for WICHE in 2012 and is a proud Colorado native.

    Project Coordinator
    Policy Analysis and Research

  • Russell Poulin

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    • BIO +

      As Deputy Director, Research and Analysis for WCET, Russ Poulin organizes information-sharing activities among WCET's members and edits WCET's Frontiers blog.  Recently, Russ has lead national responses on new federal distance education regulations. Russ coordinates WCET's research on the management of online learning, works on elearning consortia issues, and consults on WICHE's Adult College Completion Network. Previously, Russ coordinated distance education activities for the North Dakota University System. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Colorado Denver and a Master's in Statistics and Research Methodology from the University of Northern Colorado. Contacts: @RussPoulin or rpoulin@wiche.edu

    Deputy Director, Research and Analysis

  • Megan Raymond

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      Megan Raymond, Manager, Events and Programs, has been with WCET since 2007. Her primary responsibility is the coordination of the program and logistics for WCET's Annual Conference. Prior to joining WCET, she was the Assistant Director of housing and conference services at Fort Lewis College, a small liberal arts college in Durango, CO. Megan oversaw a successful conference services program and supervised 22 student staff members and two full-time professional staff. She also adjudicated resident discipline cases and coordinated staff development programming. Megan received a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing from Fort Lewis College and a Masters in Nutrition and Health Education from Hawthorn University. Running, biking, and trail marathons help Megan burn off stress and occupy her spare time.

    Manager, Events and Programs

  • Pat Shea

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    • BIO +

      Patricia (Pat) Shea directs three membership-based academic leadership and innovation organizations for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  These are the WICHE Internet Course Exchange, the Western Academic Leadership Forum, and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders. In addition, she directs WICHE’s involvement in three regional collaborative projects: the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO), the Consortium for Healthcare Education Online (CHEO), and the Interstate Passport Initiative. Prior to serving in this position, Shea served as the assistant director of WCET, also based at WICHE, for which she conducted research in best practices in student services online. Before joining WICHE in 1996, Shea held several positions in Alexandria, VA, including Manager for Special Projects, Technology Division, the National School Boards Association; Director for Information Services, the Association of Telemessaging Services International; and Executive Director, the Alexandria Bar Association. She holds a M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from George Mason University.

    Director, Academic Leadership Initiatives
    Programs and Services