Pat Shea, WICHE’s director of academic leadership initiatives, retired June 30 after a 23-year career championing innovation and improvement in higher education, including development of the pathbreaking Interstate Passport® Network that facilitates friction-free transfer of lower-division, outcomes-based general education. Shea’s many accomplishments include directing the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders and the Western Academic Leadership Forum – membership organizations representing chief academic officers from the two- and four-year postsecondary sectors. She previously served as associate director of WCET, where she managed a wide range of projects and programs serving its higher education and corporate members in 45 states and six countries.
Anna Galas, Interstate Passport program manager for the past 18 months, on July 1 succeeded Pat Shea as director of academic leadership initiatives. Affiliated with WICHE since 2014, Galas initially served as a consultant and database coordinator for the WICHE Online Course Exchange. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in program administration, project management, and team coordination in higher education at the local, county, state, and national levels.
Suzanne Benally joined WICHE on May 1 as director of its Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions initiative, a Lumina Foundation-funded effort aimed at reducing the postsecondary attainment gap for American Indians and Alaska Natives. For the past eight years, Benally has served as executive director of Cultural Survival, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the rights and cultures of indigenous communities worldwide. Previously, she held several administrative and teaching positions at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., was director of education programs at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and earlier she directed WICHE’s Institute on Ethnic Diversity.
Cherie Curtin joined the WICHE staff as an administrative assistant for the Interstate Passport initiative on June 12, following Shelley Pluto’s recent move to another administrative assistant position within WICHE, working with W-SARA and WCET staff. Jeanette Porter returned to the WICHE staff in April as senior administrative coordinator. She previously worked at WICHE for six years.