WICHE Staff

  • Michael Abbiatti

    mabbiatti's picture
    Vice President for Educational Technologies
    WCET, WICHE
    Executive Director
    WCET
    303.541.0232
  • Candy Allen

    callen's picture
    Senior Graphic Designer
    Communications
    303.541.0262
  • Somer  Aly

    saly's picture
    Administrative Assistant III
    Administrative Services
    W-SARA
    303.541.0275
  • Robin Berlin

    rberlin's picture
    Senior Accounting Specialist
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0281
  • Peace Bransberger

    • BIO

      [+]

      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

    • BIO

      [+]

      Brittany Copithorn has been with the WICHE Mental Health Program since July 2014. As a Project Coordinator, her primary responsibility is recruiting Behavioral Health staff for the Hawaii Department of Education. She also aids in some administrative work as needed. Prior to WICHE, she was in sales and marketing. She earned her bachelor's degree in communications at Colorado State University. Brittany is a Colorado native with two young girls and loves hiking, biking, snowboarding and rafting. 

    bcopithorn's picture
    Project Coordinator
    Mental Health Program
    720.280.7266
  • Rosa Calabrese

    rcalabrese's picture
    Manager, Digital and Project Support Services
    WCET
    303.541.0219
  • Dave Clark

    • BIO

      [+]

      Dave Clark is the Chief of Digital Services at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). In this role, he contributes to and oversees all operational, tactical, and strategic IT operations and initiatives. His work experiences include Research Associate at UC San Diego (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) where he supported various geology/geophysics departments with network design and implementation, programming interfaces to geophysical equipment, and system/network administration; Senior Network Engineer and Director of IT at CableLabs (where the cable modem specification was born), and Director of Infrastructure for two managed services/hosting service providers. Dave earned his Bachelors of Science in Geology (University Honors Program) from the University of Delaware. His hobbies include drumming (since age 7), fossil/mineral collecting, and enjoying the beautiful Colorado outdoors.

    dclark's picture
    Chief of Digital Services
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0299
  • Margo Colalancia

    • 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 some 40,500 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

    • BIO

      [+]

      Ken Cole is the Director of Operations for the WICHE Mental Health Program and provides consultation and technical assistance to WICHE member states. Mr. Cole has more than 25 years of experience in public sector fiscal and policy analysis of publicly funded programs, including acute and behavioral health programs. Prior to joining WICHE, Mr. Cole served as Deputy Director of the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) and Division Director of the OBH Mental Health Institutes. Mr. Cole managed both Colorado state psychiatric hospitals from 2007 through 2012 and led the implementation of Lean process improvement methodologies, resulting in improved outcomes for patients. In 2012, with Colorado’s Mental Health Commissioner, Mr. Cole led the development of a $30 million plan, funded by the Colorado Legislature, to strengthen Colorado’s mental health care. Mr. Cole's lengthy tenure with OBH, also included serving as Interim Director, Deputy Director, Chief Financial Officer and Compliance Officer. This OBH experience included regular and detailed involvement in the management and oversight of Colorado's behavioral health care programs and services as well as fiscal management for Colorado’s Medicaid Mental Health Capitation program. Prior to 2001, Mr. Cole was the Business Manager for the Colorado Division of State and Veterans Nursing Homes. Mr. Cole began his public sector work in 1990 at the Colorado Legislative Council and then worked for the Colorado Joint Budget Committee from 1994 to 1996.

    kcole's picture
    Director of Operations
    Mental Health Program
    303.913.7452
  • Cheryl Dowd

    CDowd's picture
    Director, State Authorization Network
    WCET
    303.541.0210
  • Lindsey Downs

    Lindsey Downs's picture
    Manager, Communications
    WCET
    303.541.0234
  • Laura Ewing

    lewing's picture
    Administrative Manager
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0269
  • Colleen Falkenstern

    cfalkenstern's picture
    Research Coordinator
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0313
  • John Fellers

    jfellers's picture
    Web Manager
    Communications
    303.541.0289
  • Georgia Frazer

    gfrazer's picture
    HR Assistant
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0276
  • Joe Garcia

    jgarcia's picture
    WICHE President
    Office of the President
    303.541.0204
  • Sherri Artz Gilbert

    • BIO

      [+]

      Sherri Artz Gilbert, assistant director, operations and member services, 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 two dogs.

    SArtz's picture
    Assistant Director, Operations and Member Services
    WCET
    303.541.0209
  • Elizabeth Golder

    egolder's picture
    Executive Assistant to the President and Commission
    Office of the President
    303.541.0204
  • Andie Hancock

    • BIO

      [+]

      Andie Hancock is a Budget Coordinator for the WICHE Mental Health Program. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas and has 35 years of experience in administration. She previously worked for the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department for 34 years and learned everything from flowers to financials!

    ahancock's picture
    Budget Coordinator
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0309
  • April Hendrickson

    • BIO

      [+]

      April Hendrickson is a Program Evaluation and Research Associate with WICHE’s Mental Health Program. Ms. Hendrickson works with states throughout the West to evaluate and improve mental health and substance use/abuse services. Her expertise includes designing and executing program evaluation plans, principles of effective prevention programs, managing and analyzing data, report writing, and providing evaluation technical assistance and training to clients. Prior to joining WICHE, Ms. Hendrickson was a Researcher at OMNI Institute, a nonprofit social science research organization in Denver, CO. While with OMNI, Ms. Hendrickson led a broad range of evaluations and collaborated with numerous non-profits, foundations, organizations, and government agencies on a variety of projects. She also led the Online Survey Committee and Data Management Committee and served on the Spanish Committee, Data Dashboard Committee, and Research Ethics Committee. Prior to OMNI, Ms. Hendrickson worked for the ISA Group, a behavioral science research company in Alexandria, VA, where she performed a range of quantitative and qualitative research activities for behavioral health, substance use prevention, and workplace health promotion projects. She received a M.A. in psychology from American University and a B.A. from Rollins College. Ms. Hendrickson is also a Colorado Certified Prevention Specialist-II and is certified in Mental Health First Aid.

    ahendrickson's picture
    Program Evaluation and Research Associate
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0298
  • Kay Hulstrom

    KHulstrom's picture
    Administrative Manager
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0294
  • Hannah Koch

    • BIO

      [+]

      Hannah Koch started as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the WICHE Mental Health Program in 2016 and became a Behavioral Health Research and Technical Assistance Associate in 2017. She earned her bachelor's degree with honors at the University of Chicago in psychology and biological sciences and her doctorate at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology with a focus area in couples therapy and systems theory. Dr. Koch's work with the WICHE Mental Health Program includes a variety of behavioral health research initiatives, including evaluating evidence based programs such as Assertive Community Treatment and campus sexual violence prevention. Dr. Koch has worked in a variety of clinical settings with varied populations, including clients with severe and persistent mental illness at a community mental health center and patients with blood cancers at the University of Colorado Hospital. Dr. Koch has extensive experience in university counseling centers. Through her work at the University of Colorado-Boulder Counseling and Psychological Services and the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center, Dr. Koch gained experience in both crisis intervention and outreach, including creating and implementing healthy relationships programming. She also served as a research project coordinator for a nation-wide study of romantic relationship development and assisted with a study investigating family stability over time. Dr. Koch is a trained victim advocate for sexual assault survivors, and her primary research interests are in healthy romantic relationship development. Dr. Koch is also adjunct faculty at the University of Denver where she teaches several graduate-level courses in clinical interventions.

    hkoch's picture
    Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0254
  • Patrick Lane

    • BIO

      [+]

      Patrick Lane is the director of data initiatives, a role that includes managing the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange, which seeks to improve linkages between state data systems to provide better information to students and their families while also improving education, workforce, and economic development policy. 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 identifying 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 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
    Director of Data Initiatives
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0266
  • John Lopez

    • BIO

      [+]

      Dr. John Lopez is special assistant to the president and chief administrative officer at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). In this role, he oversees finance and accounting, human resources, information services, and continues to serve as the director of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). His work experiences include deputy director of NC-SARA during its transition to a 501(c)(3) organization, managing research and planning, information technology, and government affairs at a large private corporation, institutional research at the University of Arizona, and staff in the Nebraska Legislature. Lopez earned his PhD in higher education specializing in management and policy from the University of Arizona. His hobbies include golf and philanthropic work in his native country of Belize.

    jlopez's picture
    Special Assistant to the President and Chief Administrative Officer
    Administrative Services
    Director, W-SARA
    W-SARA
    303.541.0277
  • Andy Mills

    amills's picture
    Systems Administrator
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0301
  • Mollie McGill

    • 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.

    mmcgill's picture
    Director, Programs and Membership
    WCET
    303.541.0306
  • Demarée Michelau

    • BIO

      [+]

      Demarée K. Michelau is the Vice President, Policy Analysis and Research, 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 held positions with the National Conference of State Legislatures and with former Colorado Congressman David Skaggs. 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.

    dmichelau's picture
    Vice President of the Office of Policy Analysis and Research
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0223
  • Craig Milburn

    cmilburn's picture
    Chief Financial Officer
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0282
  • Jere Mock

    • 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 40,500 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. 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.

    JMock's picture
    Vice President
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0222
  • Dennis Mohatt

    • 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. 

    dmohatt's picture
    Vice President for Behavioral Health
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0256
  • Kim Nawrocki

    knawrocki's picture
    Administrative Assistant III
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0270
  • Sarah Ohle Leibrandt

    • BIO

      [+]

      Sarah Ohle Leibrandt is a research analyst for the Policy Analysis and Research Unit at WICHE.  Prior to joining WICHE, she worked for the Colorado Department of Education and Red Rocks Community College.  Sarah earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy from University of Colorado Boulder and a Bachelors degree from Wellesley College.  Sarah previously interned for WICHE in 2012 and is a proud Colorado native.

    sohle's picture
    Research Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0221
  • Russell Poulin

    rpoulin's picture
    Director, Policy and Analysis
    WCET
    303.541.0305
  • Megan Raymond

    • BIO

      [+]

      Megan Raymond, Assistant Director, Programs and Sponsorship, 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.

    mraymond's picture
    Assistant Director of Programs and Sponsorships
    WCET
    303.541.0233
  • Christina Sedney

    csedney's picture
    Policy Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0238
  • Pat Shea

    • 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.

    PShea's picture
    Director, Academic Leadership Initiatives
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0302
  • Jeremy Simon

    • BIO

      [+]

      As director of strategic communications,  Jeremy Simon is responsible for strategic communications planning, branding, media relations, outreach, and social media. Simon brings to WICHE 20 years of communications experience, most recently as executive director of marketing and communications for the University of Colorado System’s Advancement Office, which raises more than $300 million a year and manages endowments of more than $1 billion.

      Prior to CU, Simon served key communications roles for the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the National Arts Journalism Program. He began his career as a newspaper journalist, reporting on the arts, features, and business desks for the Colorado Springs Gazette. His essays, reportage, features, and humor writing have been published in a wide variety of magazines, journals, and books. Originally from Scotch Plains, N.J., Simon received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

    jsimon's picture
    Director of Strategic Communications
    Communications
    303.541.0237
  • Ana Sosa

    asosa's picture
    Accounting Specialist
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0280
  • Tanya Spilovoy

    Tanya Spilovoy's picture
    Director, Open Policy
    WCET
    701.425.7608
  • Kate Springsteen

    kspringsteen's picture
    Member and Education Services Coordinator
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0261
  • Terri Taylor-Straut

    tstraut's picture
    Senior Research Analyst, State Authorization Network
    WCET
    303.541.0250
  • Tara Torline

    • BIO

      [+]

      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.

    thickey's picture
    Director of Human Resources
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0292
  • Liza Tupa

    ltupa's picture
    Director of Education and Research
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0224
  • Cathy Walker

    cwalker's picture
    Project Manager, Interstate Passport
    Programs and Services
    303.722.5635
  • Darlene Williams

    • BIO

      [+]

      Darlene Williams is an Administrative Assistant III for the WICHE Mental Health Program. She brings over 25 years of experience serving the non-profit and quasi-governmental sector. She has served in several capacities for agricultural, heritage, multicultural, arts and health service organizations as administrator, events and project manager, and corporate secretary. As an arts educator, mentor and consultant, she has extensive experience working in a variety of public and private educational settings in urban, rural and remote communities throughout Western Canada. Long active in the community, Ms. Williams has served on a number of non-profit boards, leading initiatives to increase the accessibility of arts education for everyone.

    dwilliams's picture
    Administrative Assistant III
    Mental Health Program
    303.541.0311
  • Mimi Windemuller

    • BIO

      [+]

      Mimi Windemuller is a Project Manager for the WICHE Mental Health Program. She started with the organization in January 2012 as a consultant to help promote and expand Supported Employment and Supported Education to Community Mental Health Centers in Colorado. After undergoing Supported Employment trainer training at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, she expanded her work into other evidence-based practices (EBPs) in Colorado, Arizona, and South Dakota. While working with the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, she helped facilitate the state’s acceptance into the Johnson & Johnson Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program for Supported Employment. Currently, she manages a project in Arizona focused on the training, implementation, and evaluation of four EBPs (Assertive Community Treatment, Supported Employment, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Consumer Operated Services). Prior to joining WICHE, Mimi brings more than 20 years of combined experience in marketing communications, training, and business management in both the corporate and private sector. She has utilized her background to work with stakeholders at all levels to support and promote various behavioral health programs. In addition to project management, she offers a variety of skills including developing training and informational materials, collaborating with state and behavioral health agencies on TA needs, presenting training modules, and fidelity evaluation and reporting.

    mwindemuller's picture
    Project Manager
    Mental Health Program
    303.906.2702