The Alliance 2014 Annual Meeting | Speakers


Innovative Thinking Inside the Nested Boxes:
The Academic Leaders’ Challenge

MARCH 12-14, 2014




Photo of Geri AndersonGeri Anderson, currently serves as External Affairs Special Assistant to the President at Aims Community College.   In this role, she monitors all legislative and policy matters which may have implications for the College at the state and federal level. Prior to beginning her tenure at Aims Community College, Dr. Anderson served as Interim President for the Community College of Aurora and the Vice President for academic and student affairs and Provost for the Colorado Community College System. In her 35 years experience as a higher education administrator and faculty member she has worked at large public research institutions, private liberal arts colleges and public community colleges.  She began her career as a middle school science teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Photo of Connie BroughtonConnie Broughton, director of eLearning and open resources, joined the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) in August of 2001. SBCTC eLearning provides a suite of elearning tools and support for the 34 community and technical colleges in the state of Washington. Broughton has been developing and managing collaborative elearning projects since 1997. These projects include WashingtonOnline, the Western eTutoring Consortium, and the Open Course Library. She has also taught at Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane Community College, Eastern Washington University and Washington State University.

Photo of Sandra ElmanSandra Elman has been the president of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1996. She is responsible for overseeing the quality assurance regional accreditation process for 165 plus member and candidate institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and British Columbia, Canada. Elman has held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Massachusetts Boston; University of Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley. Elman received her B.A. degree from Hunter College in New York and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has published extensively in the fields of higher education and public policy and lectures nationally and internationally on governance; quality assurance and international peace.

Photo of Scott EvenbeckScott Evenbeck joined the City University of New York in 2011 as Guttman Community College’s founding president. Prior to that, he served as professor of psychology and founding dean of University College at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Evenbeck has long been involved in designing, implementing, and assessing programs for students in their first years of university study. He played a major role in various initiatives to support student achievement in Indiana, including efforts to keep students in college. He was a task force advisor for the Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year and a board member of the American Conference of Academic deans. Evenbeck completed his master’s and doctorate in social psychology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Indiana University at Bloomington.

Photo of Lee GardnerLee Gardner, a senior editor at the The Chronicle, oversees the Finance & Policy section, which includes coverage of state and federal governments, accreditation, for-profit education, fund raising, college facilities and sustainability practices, and other aspects of the business of higher education. Before joining The Chronicle in May 2012, he spent nine years as editor-in-chief of Baltimore City Paper. Under his stewardship, the newspaper won numerous awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. In addition to prior stints as arts editor and music editor at the City Paper, he also worked as a staff writer at the alternative weekly Metro Pulse and an assistant editor at Whittle Communications. His writing has appeared in a variety of other publications as well, including Nylon, Cooking Light, The Wire, and alt-weeklies. Gardner earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Towson University.

Photo of Paul GolischPaul Golisch has served in IT leadership positions for more than 20 years, with the last seven as the dean of information technology at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix. He has presented at local, regional, and national educational conferences and has had leadership roles on several districtwide committees. Prior to joining the Maricopa Community College District, Golisch was a math teacher and director of educational technology in the largest high school district in Illinois. He received his BS in mathematics from Valparaiso University and an MEd in instructional technology from National-Louis University in Evanston, IL.

Photo of Christopher JohnsonChristopher Johnson has over 18 years of higher education experience in state, private, and for-profit institutions, serving as a department chair, academic dean, curriculum developer, and faculty member. Johnson has developed undergraduate and graduate curriculum and taught courses at the two-year and four-year levels in traditional, online, and blended/hybrid formats. In addition to his instructional roles, Johnson is currently an American Council on Education faculty reviewer, a national coordinator leading review teams for the corporate and military programs, and a regional liaison in the College and University Partnerships Department. Johnson received his B.S. in history and political science from Western Carolina University and has a master’s in education from Temple University. His doctoral degree, earned at Capella University, is in education with a concentration in higher education leadership.

Photo of Valerie KisielValerie Kisiel is currently a co-owner of Innovative Educators and focuses on curriculum design, product development, and strategic partnerships. She has over 15 years experience as a teacher, advisor, recruiter and web administrator at the high school and community college levels. Prior to this, she worked in online learning, advising, and online student services at Front Range Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado College and a master’s degree in information and learning technologies from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Photo of Rebecca Klein-CollinsRebecca Klein-Collins is the senior director of research and policy development for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), overseeing research in topics related to higher education innovations, prior learning assessment, competency-based education, non-traditional learners, and workforce development. She assists in developing new approaches for state and federal policy change, she speaks regularly to national audiences on various topics related to adult learners, and she authors numerous articles and policy papers for CAEL. Klein-Collins has a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and master’s degrees from Indiana University and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Photo of James LanichJames Lanich brings decades of education experience to his position as executive director of Cal-PASS Plus, the California Partnership for Achieving Student Success. A former middle school science teacher, Lanich joined the Los Angeles County Office of Education to lead the largest research and development unit of any educational agency in the nation and assumed leadership of core curriculum services for the Los Angeles County superintendent of schools. He served as director for the Inaugural Broad Prize for Urban Education and was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to the National Assessment Governing Board. Lanich cofounded Educational Results Partnership, the largest longitudinally linked student achievement database in the country. He received his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from USC.

Photo of David LonganeckerDavid Longanecker has served as the president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education in Boulder since 1999. Previously, Longanecker served for six years as the assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that he was the state higher education executive officer in Colorado and Minnesota. He was also the principal analyst for higher education for the Congressional Budget Office. Longanecker has served on numerous boards and commissions. He has written extensively on a range of higher education issues. His primary interests in higher education are: expanding access to successful completion for students within all sectors of higher education, promoting student and institutional performance, assuring efficient and effective finance and financial aid strategies, and fostering effective use of educational technologies, all for the purpose of sustaining the nation’s strength in the world and increasing the quality of life for all Americans, particularly those who have traditionally been left out in the past. He holds an Ed.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. in student personnel work from George Washington University, and a B.A. in sociology from Washington State University.

Photo of Michael McFarlane

Michael McFarlane is vice president for academic affairs at Nevada's Great Basin College, a position held since 2004. GBC is a comprehensive community college offering select baccalaureate degrees to complement a mission to deliver higher education to rural Nevada. McFarlane has been highly engaged in the development of this mission. Before entering college administration, he taught for 22 years in geology and other physical sciences, and worked previously in the mining industry as a geologist. McFarlane received his B.A. from Humboldt State University (California), and M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno, all in geology.

Photo of Heather McKay

Heather A. McKay is the Education and Employment Research Center at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University. In this capacity, McKay conducts research and evaluations on community college programs, state and federal workforce development systems and education and workforce policies. She directs a Lumina Foundation for Education grant to incorporate education towards degree completion in the workforce development system. She is also evaluating three consortium Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants across five states. Additionally, McKay runs the Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative grant at Rutgers, looking at community colleges and workforce training in India.

Photo of Mark Mitsui

Mark Mitsui is the deputy assistant secretary for community colleges in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). Previously, he served as the president of North Seattle Community College (NSCC). At NSCC he increased international student enrollment by over 50 percent and hosted several international delegations researching the American community college system, as well as taking part in the statewide task force to review and redesign the performance funding system in Washington's Community and Technical Colleges, including the student success metrics. Prior to his term at NSCC, Mitsui served as vice president of student services for South Seattle Community College; assistant dean at Green River Community College; director of student success and retention services at NSCC; and as a tenured faculty at Renton Technical College.

Photo of Tracy Noldner

Tracy Noldner is the Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Research at Southeast Technical Institute (STI) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and has been with the institute for nearly 20 years.  He oversees STI's Student Success Center (Success Advisors, Registrar, Library, Counseling, Tutoring, Disability Services, Adult Learning Center, Child Care, Student Housing, Career Services, and Student Government and Activities) and provides Institutional Research services for the institute.  He also serves as the institute's Higher Learning Commission liaison and is currently an HLC peer reviewer.  Prior to his work at STI, Noldner was the Total Quality Manager and Statistician for Raven Industries, a manufacturing firm in Sioux Falls.  He has also taught at the elementary, middle school, high school and college levels.  Noldner received his master's degree in Mathematics with an Emphasis in Statistics and undergraduate degrees in English, Mathematics and Journalism from South Dakota State University.

Photo of Eloy Ortiz Oakley

Eloy Ortiz Oakley serves as the superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College (LBCC) District. Since his appointment he has led the implementation of innovative programs and policies that help students succeed in college, including the Long Beach College Promise and Promise Pathways – both of which have gained national attention. Prior to his appointment, he served as vice president of administrative services at LBCC and as vice president of college services at Oxnard College. He received his bachelor of arts in environmental analysis and design and master of business administration from UC Irvine, after studying at Golden West College.

Photo of Terry O'Banion

Terry O’Banion served as president of the League for Innovation in the Community College for 23 years and currently serves as chair of the graduate faculty at National American University. He has authored 15 books and over 200 articles, chapters, and monographs on the community college and has consulted in over 800 community colleges. O’Banion received his B.A. in English and master’s in counseling psychology from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Florida State University.

Photo of Peter QuigleyPeter Quigley is the University of Hawai‘i System Community Colleges’ associate vice president for academic affairs. He is responsible for academic program planning, evaluation and assessment; course and program articulation; regional accreditation; federal higher education and workforce development issues, and collaboration with external agencies. He also has served as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and chancellor at Leeward Community College. Prior to coming to Hawai‘i, Quigley served as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Minnesota State University and as dean of academics/chief academic officer at Embry Riddle University.

Photo of Jeffrey RosenJeffrey Rosen is the vice president for accreditation relations and director of Open Pathway at the Higher Learning Commission. Rosen was dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and associate professor of art history at Loyola University Chicago, where he created programs in allied healthcare and also ran the University’s summer session, its pre-collegiate program, and its noncredit programs for adults. Previously, he was associate dean for the humanities, arts and sciences and the summer session at the University of Chicago, and associate dean for graduate programs at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he created programs in public policy and sport administration. He currently serves as chair of the Leadership and Strategy Network of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).

Photo of Julie StiakJulie Stiak has served as associate dean for instruction and community partnerships at Rio Salado College since March 2013, a community college within Maricopa Community College District (MCCCD).  She was a program director and residential faculty member at Phoenix College for Medical Laboratory Science related programs from 2002-early 2013. She had a 22-year health care career at Sun Health in progressive leadership positions including 14 years at administrative director of Laboratory Services and Radiologic Services.  Stiak received her B.S. in Medical Technology and M.Ed. in Education in Learning and Instructional Design from Arizona State University.

Photo of Ken SoreyKen Sorey is project director for Cal-PASS Plus, the California Partnership for Achieving Student Success, a collaborative initiative in which California schools, colleges, and universities share student data to track and analyze student performance to improve success. Sorey has 20 years of experience helping public schools, colleges, and universities improve student outcomes and workforce preparation. Prior to his work in education, Sorey was a marketing consultant to corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations and served on education advisory boards including the San Francisco School Alliance. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from University of California, Berkeley.

Photo of Jan YoshiwaraJan Yoshiwara is the deputy executive director for the education division at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Her primary responsibilities are education policy and strategic planning for the community and technical college system, and management of the education division, including instruction, student services, eLearning, policy research and performance accountability. Yoshiwara works with senior staff at colleges, universities, higher education and K-12 agencies, governor’s office, legislators and state business and labor partners on education goals and policies. She joined the SBCTC in 1984, previously serving as associate director of planning and information services and assistant director for student services and minority affairs. Yoshiwara earned her B.S. in zoology from the University of California, Davis and M.Ed. in student personnel administration for higher education from Western Washington University.