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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      As senior research analyst for WICHE's Policy Analysis and Research unit, Peace leads the production and analysis of WICHE’s quadrennial projections of high school graduates (Knocking at the College Door), WICHE’s annual data products such as Tuition & Fees in the West and Benchmarks of access and success, and data analysis and products for the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange and state and institutional financing and financial aid research.  Prior to joining WICHE, Peace provided evaluation and program improvement services as a senior researcher with the Aspen Institute and as an independent consultant in the areas of workforce development, job training and postsecondary education for under-prepared, nontraditional and adult students.  Prior to that, Peace managed federal program evaluations at Westat and another private evaluation firm in Washington, DC.  Peace is a licensed adult educator, and taught at an adult charter school and community college in the Washington, DC area.  She earned her master’s degree from American University in Washington, DC and her undergraduate degree from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.  

    pbransberger's picture
    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 some 38,000 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.

    MColalancia's picture
    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
  • 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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    Junior Software Developer
    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
  • Georgia Frazer

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    HR Assistant
    Office of the President
    303.541.0276
  • Joe Garcia

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    WICHE President
    Office of the President
    303.541.0204
  • 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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    Assistant Director of Operations
    WCET
    303.541.0209
  • Andie Hancock

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    Budget Coordinator
    Mental Health Program
    303-547-0309
  • April Hendrickson

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    Program Evaluation and Research Associate
    Mental Health Program
    303-541-0298
  • Kay Hulstrom

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    Administrative Manager
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0294
  • Patrick Lane

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      Patrick Lane is the project manager for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s (WICHE’s) multistate longitudinal data exchange. This project will establish processes through which states can share education and employment data to improve their education and training programs. 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 completed a Ph.D. in public administration at the University of Colorado Denver in 2015. He can be reached at 303.541.0266 or plane@wiche.edu.

    PLane's picture
    Project Manager, Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0266
  • Kiawa Lewis

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    Junior Network Administrator
    IT Services
    303.541.0301
  • 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
    303-541-0275
  • 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 (WICHE). In this role, she manages WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research unit and oversees externally-funded projects related to adult learners, projections of high school graduates, college access and success, and the development of a multistate longitudinal data exchange. The author of numerous reports and policy briefs, she also has experience in a variety of higher education policy issues, including articulation and transfer, equity and attainment, accelerated learning options, college affordability, common academic standards, 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
  • Cali Morrison

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      Cali M.K. Morrison is assistant director, communications and anlysis at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and is a doctoral (Ed.D.) candidate in higher education administration at Montana State University. Previously Morrison was the project director of Transparency by Design at WCET, where she became interested in studying adult learners and accountability.  Current research interests include competency-based education and its practical and policy implications for higher education.  Morrison 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. Prior to joining WCET, Cali worked at Montana State University for over seven years in various positions including managing 13 federal grants for the MSU Extension Service Housing & Environmental Health unit, administering a $1.6 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to improve undergraduate biomedical education and access to research opportunities, advising students, and serving as the advisor for social Greek organizations among other appointments. Cali lives in Bozeman, MT with her husband, 2 daughters and dogs, where she is active in the community, especially with the CAP mentoring and Girls for a Change programs.

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    Assistant Director of Communications and Analysis
    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
  • 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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    Assistant Director of Programs and Sponsorships
    WCET
    303.541.0233
  • Angela Rochat

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    Data Coordinator
    Programs and Services
  • Christina Sedney

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    Project Coordinator
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0238
  • 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
  • Ana Sosa

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    Accounting Specialist
    Accounting Services
    303-541-0280
  • Kate Springsteen

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    Project Coordinator, Interstate Passport
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0261
  • Tara Torline

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      Tara Torline 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
  • Liza Tupa

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    Director of Education and Research
    Mental Health Program
    303-541-0224
  • Cathy Walker

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

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    Project Manager
    Mental Health Program
    303.906.2702
  • Ryan Young

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    Policy Analysis and Research Intern
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0318