WICHE Staff

  • Michael Abbiatti

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    Vice President for Educational Technologies
    WCET, WICHE
    Executive Director
    WCET
    303.541.0232
  • Candy Allen

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    Senior Graphic Designer
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0262
  • Jenny Allen

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    Administrative Assistant III
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0311
  • Erin Barber

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      Erin is the executive assistant to the president and to the WICHE Commission. She provides a wide range of support to the president and coordinates two commission meetings each year. Erin has been with WICHE since 2004. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Seattle Pacific University and a master of science in marital and family therapy from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. She is mom to two young boys and enjoys running, reading, and spending time outdoors in beautiful Colorado.

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    Executive Assistant to the President
    Office of the President
    303.541.0204
  • Robin Berlin

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    Senior Accounting Specialist
    Accounting Services
    303.541.0281
  • Peace Bransberger

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    Senior Research Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0257
  • Brittany Copithorn

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    Project Coordinator
    Mental Health Program
    720-280-7266
  • Rosa Calabrese

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    Coordinator, Digital and Project Services
    WCET
    303.541.0219
  • Margo Colalancia

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      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 36,000 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.

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    Director of Student Exchange Programs
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0214
  • Ken Cole

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    Director of Operations
    Mental Health Program
    303.913.7452
  • Alan Contreras

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    SARA Coordinator, National Council/WICHE
    NC-SARA, W-SARA
    541.510.6161
  • Nathaan  Demers

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      Nathaan Demers is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the WICHE Mental Health Program in Boulder, CO. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Denver with focus areas in Trauma and Administration. He has worked in a variety of settings including: college counseling, integrated primary care, medical ICU, and community mental health. 

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    Behavioral Health Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0298
  • Cheryl Dowd

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    Director, State Authorization Network
    WCET
    303-541-0210
  • Willie duMaine

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    Senior Software Developer
    IT Services
    303.541.0300
  • Derek Engelhorn

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    IT Intern
    IT Services, WICHE
    303.541.0304
  • Laura Ewing

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    Administrative Manager
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0269
  • John Fellers

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    Web Manager
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0289
  • Sherri Artz Gilbert

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      Sherri Artz Gilbert, Manager, Operations, has been with WCET since 1999. Her principal responsibilities include preparing and managing the budget, coordinating the membership effort, and database maintenance. Prior to joining WCET, she worked for the Reading Musical Foundation, a non-profit that promotes and facilitates music education and appreciation in order to preserve and develop musical experience and culture in Berks County, Pennsylvania. There she was responsible for donor management and administrator of the Blues in the Schools program. She received a B.S.B.A from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania with a major in Management and Marketing. Originally from Pennsylvania Dutch country, Sherri currently resides above 9200 feet in the Colorado Mountains with her husband and four dogs.

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    Manager, Operations
    WCET
    303.541.0209
  • Alyssa Gilden

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      Alyssa Gilden is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the WICHE Mental Health Program. She earned a PhD in School Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in August 2014, and she completed a clinical doctoral internship with the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District outside of Houston, TX. Her research and clinical interests include child and adolescent clinical psychology, learning disabilities and special education, and improving access to education and mental health services. Dr. Gilden will focus this year on learning more about administrative psychology, professional and program development, and mental health policy and advocacy in order to improve access to education and mental health services for underserved populations.

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    Behavioral Health Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0287
  • Tara Hickey

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      Tara Hickey is the Director of Human Resources for WICHE.  She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Communications from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas and has over fifteen years of experience in human resource management.  Tara earned her PHR certification (Professional in Human Resources) in 2011 and is also certified in Mental Health First Aid.

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    Director of Human Resources
    Office of the President
    303.541.0292
  • Marshall Hill

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    Executive Director, National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
    NC-SARA
    303.541.0237
  • Kay Hulstrom

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    Administrative Manager
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0294
  • Carl Krueger

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      Carl Krueger has an extensive background in education policy, with a focus on increasing postsecondary opportunities for all students. Prior to joining WICHE in 2008, he worked as the Research Director for Colorado Media Matters, a web-based information center that analyzed media coverage of political and public policy issues. Before that he was a policy analyst for the Education Commission of the States (ECS) where he worked with select state policymakers on their design and delivery of higher education, and also published numerous policy briefs on issues ranging from P-16, governance, teaching quality, and college access and completion. He has also helped Western states with the planning, implementation, and management of federal College Access Challenge Grants and tracked legislation and prepared policy briefs related to accelerated learning options, articulation and transfer, data and accountability, early outreach, financial aid, tuition and fees, and undocumented students through oversight and maintenance of WICHE’s State Higher Education Policy Database (SHEPD). Krueger received a master's degree in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002.

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    Project Coordinator
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0263
  • Patrick Lane

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      Patrick Lane joined the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in 2008 as a project coordinator. He coordinates the Adult College Completion Network and worked extensively on WICHE’s Non-traditional No More: Policy Solutions for Adult Learners project. 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 coordinates WICHE’s College Access Challenge Grant Network. 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. 

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    Project Manager, Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0266
  • Kiawa Lewis

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    Junior Network Administrator
    IT Services
    303.541.0289
  • David Longanecker

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      David A. Longanecker is the president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education in Boulder, Colorado.

      Previously he served for six years as the assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, developing and implementing national policy and programs that provided more than $40 billion annually in student aid and $1 billion to institutions. Prior to that he was the state higher education executive officer (SHEEO) in Colorado and Minnesota.

      He was also the principal analyst for higher education for the Congressional Budget Office. Dr. Longanecker has served on numerous boards and commissions and has written extensively on a range of higher education issues.

      His primary interests in higher education are: access and equity; promoting student and institutional performance; finance; the efficient use of educational technologies; and internationalizing American higher education. He holds an Ed.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. in student personnel work from the George Washington University, and a B.A. in sociology from Washington State University.

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    President
    Office of the President
    303.541.0201
  • John Lopez

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      Dr. John Lopez joined the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in July 2014 and serves as the director of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). In this position, he oversees state membership and institutional participation in SARA for the Western region's 16 member states and territories.  John's previous positions include Vice President of Government Affairs for Apollo Education Group, institutional research staff at the University of Arizona and staff for a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Ph.D. in higher education specializing in management and policy from the University of Arizona.  His hobbies include golf, traveling, and philanthropic work in his native country of Belize.

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    Director, W-SARA
    W-SARA
    303.541.0277
  • Holly Martinez

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    Administrative Assistant
    NC-SARA
    Administrative Assistant
    W-SARA
    303-541-0311
  • Sandra Martinez

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    Budget and Contracts Officer
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0313
  • Mollie McGill

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      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.

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    Director, Programs and Membership
    WCET
    303.541.0306
  • Demarée Michelau

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      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.

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    Director of Policy Analysis
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0223
  • Craig Milburn

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    Chief Financial Officer
    Accounting Services
    303.541.0282
  • Jere Mock

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      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.

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    Vice President
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0222
  • Dennis Mohatt

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      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. 

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    Vice President for Behavioral Health
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0256
  • Nathaniel Mohatt

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    Research Scientist
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0224
  • Cali Morrison

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      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.

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    Manager, Communications
    WCET
    303.541.0234
  • Allison Murray

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    Accounting Specialist
    Accounting Services
    303.541.0280
  • Kim Nawrocki

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    Administrative Assistant III
    Programs and Services
    303-541-0270
  • Sarah Ohle Leibrandt

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      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.

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    Project Coordinator
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0221
  • Ken Pepion

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    Director, Bridges to the Professorate
    Programs and Services
  • Russell Poulin

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    Director, Policy and Analysis
    WCET
    303.541.0305
  • Brian Prescott

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      Brian T. Prescott is the director of policy research at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). In this role, he co-manages WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research unit, with primary responsibility for obtaining and analyzing education and workforce data with public policy relevance. He is author of the two most recent editions of Knocking at the College Door, WICHE’s widely-used projections of high school graduates by state and race/ethnicity. Additionally, he manages grant- and contract-funded projects and authors occasional policy briefs, chapters, and research reports. Prescott has experience working directly with states on issues of access, success, affordability, accountability, workforce development, and data systems development. Currently, he is managing WICHE’s Gates Foundation-funded project to develop a multistate longitudinal data exchange. Prescott earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Virginia. He also holds degrees from the University of Iowa and the College of William and Mary.

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    Director of Policy Research
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0255
  • 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.

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    Manager, Events and Programs
    WCET
    303.541.0233
  • Angela Rochat

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    Data Coordinator
    Programs and Services
  • Sue Schmidt

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    NANSLO/CHEO Project Coordinator
    Programs and Services
    970.876.1937
  • Christina Sedney

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    Project Coordinator
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0238
  • Jennifer Shanika

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    Administrative Manager
    NC-SARA, W-SARA
    303-541-0283
  • Pat Shea

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      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.

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    Director, Academic Leadership Initiatives
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0302
  • Kate Springsteen

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    Administrative Assistant III, Interstate Passport Initiative
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0261
  • Peggy Stevens

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    PAR Framework Office Support Manager
    Office of the President
    303.541.0268
  • Mandi Strickland

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    Behavioral Health Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0312
  • Cathy Walker

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    Project Manager, Interstate Passport Initiative
    Programs and Services
    303.722.5635
  • Mimi Windemuller

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    Project Manager
    Mental Health Program
    303.906.2702
  • Jerry Worley

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    Chief Technology Officer
    IT Services
    303.541.0299