WICHE Staff

  • Michael Abbiatti

    mabbiatti's picture
    VP for Technology-Enhanced Education
    WCET, WICHE
    Executive Director
    WCET
    303.541.0232
  • Candy Allen

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

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    Administrative Assistant III
    Administrative Services
    W-SARA
    303.541.0275
  • 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), and contributes to many of WICHE’s annual data products and other efforts focused on equitable college access, success and financing across the Western states and the nation. Prior to WICHE, Peace was a consultant, evaluation researcher and licensed adult educator in Washington, DC, working on behalf of minoritized, immigrant and adult student populations to increase their opportunities for job training and postsecondary education. Peace’s professional and volunteer interests arise from her experience as a first-generation college graduate. She has a master’s degree from American University in Washington, DC and undergraduate degree from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

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    Senior Research Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0257
  • Gina Brimmer

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    Senior Consultant
    Behavioral Health Program
    720.708.9321
  • Brittany Copithorn

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      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. 

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    Project Coordinator
    Behavioral Health Program
    720.280.7266
  • Rosa Calabrese

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    Manager, Digital and Project Support Services
    WCET
    303.541.0219
  • Dave Clark

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      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

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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 42,000 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 holds a 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 Access Programs
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0214
  • Laura DaVinci

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    Program Manager, Digital Learning Solution Network
    WCET
    970.415.3653
  • Cheryl Dowd

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    Director, State Authorization Network
    WCET
    303.541.0210
  • Lindsey Downs

    Lindsey Downs's picture
    Manager, Communications
    WCET
    303.541.0234
  • Drew Elkshoulder

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    Accounting Specialist
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0280
  • Laura Ewing

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    Administrative Manager
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0269
  • Colleen Falkenstern

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    Research Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0313
  • John Fellers

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    Web Manager
    Communications
    303.541.0289
  • Georgia Frazer

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    HR Assistant
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0276
  • Anna Galas

    Anna Galas's picture
    Program Manager, Interstate Passport
    Programs and Services
    541.543.4186
  • Sherri Artz Gilbert

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      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
    Director, Operations and Membership
    WCET
    303.541.0209
  • Elizabeth Golder

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    Executive Assistant to the President and Commission
    Office of the President
    303.541.0204
  • John Gomez

    jgomez's picture
    Director of Operations
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0288
  • Stacey VanderHeiden Guney

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      Stacey VanderHeiden Güney describes herself as an Educational Evangelist leveraging technology and innovation to increase inclusion in higher education. As Director of the Digital Learning Solution Network (DLSN), she works to strengthen an innovative and healthy digital learning eco-system through support of ongoing network activities, grantee collaborations, and fiduciary management of the network. The long-term goal of the Digital Learning Solution Network is to increase knowledge and demand for tools and practices that demonstrate improved outcomes for first generation, low income, students of color. Prior to the DLSN and WCET, Stacey launched the ACCelerator at Austin Community College and was the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Aims Community College. She earned a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a MS in Engineering & Policyfrom Washington University in St. Louis, and a BA in Physics, Math, and English from Greenville College.

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    Director, Digital Learning Solution Network
    WCET
    210-882-0814
  • Andie Hancock

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      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!

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    Budget Coordinator
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0309
  • Charles Hayward

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    Assistant Director, Digital Learning Solution Network
    WCET
    303.541.0251
  • Rebecca Helfand

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      Rebecca Helfand received her Ph.D. in psychology from Baylor University before moving to Colorado as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado's Institute for Behavioral Genetics. Prior to joining the WICHE Behavioral Health Program team, Rebecca worked for the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) in the State of Colorado Department of Human Services. In her four years with OBH, she worked on a variety of projects with other state agencies, namely the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Department of Healthcare Policy, and Financing. Rebecca served as the director of the Data and Evaluation unit within OBH where she supervised a team of twelve people, affording her the opportunity to work on projects throughout the OBH office.

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    Program Director
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0205
  • April Hendrickson

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      April Hendrickson is a Research and Technical Assistance 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.

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    Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0298
  • Kay Hulstrom

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    Manager, Institution Services
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0294
  • Joyce Holliday

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    Administrative Assistant III
    WCET
    303.541.0208
  • Alicia Jones

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    Accountant
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0281
  • Hannah Koch

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      Hannah Koch is a Research and Technical Assistance Associate with the WICHE Mental Health Program and is also a licensed psychologist. 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.

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    Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0254
  • Debra Kupfer

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    Senior Consultant
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.263.6517
  • Patrick Lane

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      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.

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    Director of Data Initiatives
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0266
  • Sarah Leibrandt

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      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.

    sleibrandt's picture
    Senior Research Analyst
    Policy Analysis and Research
    303.541.0221
  • David Longanecker

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      David A. Longanecker is interim president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in Boulder, Colo., directing the activities of WICHE’s 65-member staff as the commission searches for a new long-term president. WICHE is a regional compact that promotes higher education collaboration, resource-sharing, access, and excellence on behalf of students, states, and institutions throughout and beyond the American West. Longanecker brings a deep well of experience and context to his current role, having served as president of WICHE from 1999 through 2016.

      Prior to his WICHE tenure, Longanecker had served for six years as the assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, and had been state higher education executive officer (SHEEO) in Colorado and Minnesota. He also had been the principal analyst for higher education for the Congressional Budget Office. 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, promoting student and institutional performance, teacher education, finance, the efficient use of educational technologies, and academic collaboration throughout North America.

      He holds an Ed.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. in student personnel work from the George Washington University, a B.A. in sociology from Washington State University, and a commercial driver’s license from Aims Community College, where he matriculated after retiring from WICHE’s long-term presidency in successful pursuit of his lifetime personal ambition to be a long-haul truck driver.

    DLonganecker's picture
    Interim President
    Office of the President
    303.541.0202
  • John Lopez

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      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.

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    Special Assistant to the President
    Administrative Services
    Director, W-SARA
    W-SARA
    303.541.0277
  • 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.

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

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      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.

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    President
    Office of the President
    303.541.0223
  • Craig Milburn

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    Chief Financial Officer
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0282
  • Andy Mills

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    Systems Administrator
    Administrative Services
    303.541.0301
  • 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 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

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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. 

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

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    Coordinator, Student Access Programs and Events
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0270
  • Shelley Plutto

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    Administrative Assistant III
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0307
  • Russell Poulin

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    Senior Director of Policy, Analysis, and Strategic Alliances
    WCET
    303.541.0305
  • Megan Raymond

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      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.

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    Director, Programs and Sponsorship
    WCET
    303.541.0233
  • Bethany Rigles

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    Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0226
  • Angela Rochat

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    Data, Policy, and Evaluation Coordinator
    Programs and Services
    970.769.2669
  • Christina Sedney

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    Senior Policy Analyst
    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
  • Dan Silverman

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    Assistant Director, State Authorization Network
    WCET
    303.541.0285
  • Jeremy Simon

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      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.

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    Director of Strategic Communications & Media Spokesman
    Communications
    303.541.0237
  • Tanya Spilovoy

    Tanya Spilovoy's picture
    Director, Open Policy
    WCET
    303.541.0231
  • Kate Springsteen

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    Member and Education Services Coordinator
    Programs and Services
    303.541.0261
  • Emma Tilson

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    Administrative Coordinator
    Programs and Services
    Administrative Coordinator
    Communications
    303.541.0272
  • Liza Tupa

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      Liza Tupa is the Director of Education and Research for the WICHE Mental Health Program. A licensed clinical psychologist, her career has focused on public behavioral health service delivery. She has expertise in behavioral health service delivery systems in Colorado and other western states, program evaluation, behavioral health policy, management and leadership, and a variety of clinical issues. She has worked in a variety of public behavioral health systems, including community mental health center, Department of Corrections, and a state psychiatric institute. Prior to joining WICHE, Dr. Tupa served as Deputy Director of Colorado’s Office of Behavioral Health, providing leadership in community behavioral health programming and public services planning, procurement, and regulation. Her work there included developing budget requests and proposed legislation, performance improvement, supporting homelessness and institutional transition initiatives for individuals with behavioral health issues, and working closely with the legislative branch of Colorado’s state government as well as with a range of other state departments and agencies. Earlier in her career she served in several leadership roles at a state psychiatric inpatient hospital, including as a unit psychologist, APA-Accredited Psychology Internship Training Director, quality assurance researcher, and ultimately as Associate Director. Dr. Tupa’s graduate training had a dual focus on clinical work and research, with research specialization in program and assessment tool evaluation. She also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Psychology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, studying public mental health service delivery and mental health case law. Her professional experience includes numerous clinical trainings, teaching college level psychology, and local and national presentations in the areas of behavioral health systems, communication skills training and assessment, critical incident stress debriefings, and recovery- focused mental health service delivery.

    ltupa's picture
    Director of Education and Research
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0224
  • Darlene Williams

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      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
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0311
  • Stefanie Winfield

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    Research and Technical Assistance Associate
    Behavioral Health Program
    303.541.0225