Higher Education Advisory Council

Higher Ed Advisory Council

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About the Higher Education Advisory Council

The Higher Education Advisory Council is a community-led group of Salesforce users from 18 schools across North America and Europe. The council is supported and recognized by Salesforce.org and serves the community through volunteerism and initiatives designed to help the higher education industry in its use of Salesforce on campus.

Mission Statement

The Higher Education Advisory Council is a customer-led, volunteer body who work with Salesforce.org and the community to recognize and set common standards for the delivery of platform solutions to support education. We fulfill this mission by:

  • Leveraging our collective higher ed, IT, and Salesforce expertise to make a difference on our campuses
  • Maintaining a collaborative community that shares code, best practices, and documentation
  • Identifying needs and advocating for solutions
  • Connecting with new and prospective Salesforce.org higher ed customers
  • Participating in outreach efforts through webinars, blogs, Higher Ed Summit presentations, Force For Change Grant applications, etc.
  • Recognizing the diversity of functionalities and needs of higher ed institutions

The Nominations Process

Membership in the advisory council is via an annual nominations process. Nominations will be accepted through an online form each spring and the nomination period ends June 30th. Terms begin Oct. 1 annually. Nominees are expected to be current Salesforce customers at a higher education institution and exhibit some or all of the following attributes:

  • Senior-level higher ed subject matter expert (administration, IT, teaching) using Salesforce
  • Active in “Power of Us Hub” and/or “Success” Community
  • Frequent reference for prospective Higher Ed clients
  • Resource for best practices
  • Guest Blog contributor to Salesforce.org
  • Presenter/speaker at Salesforce.org events and webinars
  • Presenter/speaker at higher ed conferences
  • Leader of notable Salesforce initiatives on their campus
  • Willingness/motivation to actively volunteer and participate
  • Thought leader willing to give feedback on customer experience, product and roadmap
  • Volunteer participant in council initiatives

Note: Membership is person-oriented, not school-oriented. Schools can have only two members on the council during any term, one of which is the voting member unless the second member is an officer.

Follow @SalesforceOrg for news from the Higher Education Advisory Council.


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[wptabtitle]Officers and Members[/wptabtitle]

Officers – 2018-19

* Amjad Ayoubi, Tulane University

Vice Chair
Joanna Iturbe, University of Colorado-Boulder

Phillip Knutel, Babson College

Committees Chair
Carrie Otto, University of Minnesota

Immediate Past Chair
Florence Parodi, University of Miami

Members – 2018-19

Lori Dembowitz, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Dave DeMichele, Yale University
Jeff Dixon, Queens University
Debbie Duran, University of Miami
Haley Gould, Michigan State University
* Rebecca Joffrey, Cornell University
Brian Karcinski, University of Florida
Ann LaFave, Cornell University
* Kathy Lueckeman, Maryville University
Cameron McCoy, Lehigh University
Frank Montoya, Arizona State University
Michael Slade, Western Governors University
Corey Snow, Harvard University
Kalman Sweetwine, University of Colorado-Boulder
Amir P. Tejani, Lafayette College
Chris Tompkins, Indiana University
* Colleen Whelan, Providence College
Nash Zgonjanin, Algonquin Colleg

Salesforce.org Liaison

* Chris Coppa, Sr. Director, Success Engagement
Kim Egan, Success Engagement Senior Manager

* Indicates Inaugural Member of the Higher Education Advisory Council


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As higher ed leaders, the Higher Education Advisory Council leads initiatives to benefit their entire community. These include:

  • Force for Change Grant
    Unity: An initiative of the Higher Education Advisory Council, Unity is a free, open source, configuration of the out-of-the-box Salesforce Customer Community product and is intended to help higher education institutions by customizing the product for the higher education industry while cutting both the time and cost associated with implementing Communities. Unity was funded by a Salesforce.org Force for Change grant to Cornell University, which represented the Council and provided the legal standing and structure to receive the grant. The development work was informed by a subcommittee of the Council and was built by Motivis Learning, a spinoff of Southern New Hampshire University. Unity is available as a managed package and as code via a Git repository.

  • Office Hours
    The Higher Education Advisory Council hosts Higher Ed Office Hours the second Friday of every month at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT. Prospective Salesforce users, newbies and schools currently using Salesforce have a chance to interact with and ask questions of veteran users during this monthly call-in session.

  • User Group
    The higher education community has a Higher Education User Group, started as an initiative of the Higher Education Advisory Council and maintained by Salesforce, which manages all user groups.

  • Event Volunteers
  • Council members not only present at events like Dreamforce and Higher Ed Summit, they also advise on session proposals, serve as reception hosts and facilitate birds-of-a-feather meetups.

  • Salesforce.org webinar and event presentations

  • Resource for best practices and reference calls for higher education institutions


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[wptabtitle]2018-19 Term Officers’ and Members’ Bios[/wptabtitle]

Officers 2018-19 Term

Amjad AyoubiChair, Amjad Ayoubi, Tulane University
Amjad Ayoubi, Ph.D. serves as Senior Associate Dean for undergraduate education at Tulane University. He oversees Academic and Career Advising, Success Coaching, Academic Support Services such as Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction and Academic Services for Student Athletes. Amjad joined to Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina and helped rebuild Career Services operations and later helped reorganize and grow Academic Advising and develop a new Success Coaching department. Amjad is a change agent, creative thinker, effective problem solver and a futurist. He supports a team of dedicated staff who helped increase the retention rate at Tulane from 87% to 92% and the graduation rate from 78% to 83% in the past six years. Amjad used Salesforce 13 years ago in a career services function and helped increase the number of employers recruiting students from 400 to 2500.

J IturbeVice Chair, Joanna Iturbe, University of Colorado Boulder
Joanna Iturbe has worked with Salesforce and in the higher education industry for 10 years. Currently, she is the Strategic Product Manager & Sr. Business Analyst for the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her certifications include Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer, Database Management and Project Management. Before diving head first into the IT world when she started at CU in 2011, Joanna received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in public relations and business administration and worked in marketing, recruitment and admissions in the private sector and at Baylor.

Within the Salesforce ecosystem, in addition to serving as Secretary for the Salesforce Higher Education Advisory Council, she is also a member of the Girlforce Leadership Team, Leader of the Salesforce Denver User Group, and overall Salesforce Evangelist. For more information about Joanna and/or to contact her: Salesforce Power of Us Hub, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce Community, Career Girls Role Model (Video Interview).

Phillip KnutelSecretary, Phillip Knutel, Babson College
Phillip Knutel, Ph.D., is Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. He oversees the Academic Technology Innovation Center, the library, online/hybrid/blended learning, systems, networks, telecommunications, IT support services, information security, media and production services, administrative computing, application development, and project management. Salesforce has been deployed in a variety of ways at Babson, including Graduate Admissions, the Babson Connector (an online community for alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff), Executive Education, the Conference Center, Graduate Career Center, and Graduate Experiential Learning. The IT Service Center will be deploying RemedyForce in late 2017. Dr. Knutel received his Ph.D. in higher education from Michigan, an Ed.M. from Harvard, and a B.S. magna cum laude from Vanderbilt (where he also served as president of his college student association). His 1998 dissertation, “Adoption of an innovation: The process through which faculty decide whether to use instructional technology”, focused on how and why faculty begin using technology to enhance student learning. He has served as a faculty member at Bentley University (where he was also CIO), and is on the faculty of the German Graduate School of Management and Law.

Carrie OttoCommittee Chair, Carrie Otto, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Carrie Otto is currently a project manager in Academic Support Resources for the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. She has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Program Development and has worked in higher education student services for 13 years. Carrie led the business side of the One Stop Student Services implementation of Salesforce for 4 years. Her team has also on-boarded the Office of the Registrar, Office of Student Finance, Student Degree Progress team, and other members of Academic Support Resources. She is serving on a leadership team to help create the University of Minnesota’s CRM Center of Excellence. Carrie is excited to bring business process perspective to the Higher Education Advisory Council and to continue learning from the exciting and collaborative Salesforce higher education community.

Florence ParodiImmediate Past Chair, Florence Parodi, University of Miami
Florence is an IT Senior Manager at the University of Miami and has been working in higher education for 15 years. She leads the Salesforce enterprise strategy to implement a connected campus system that supports CRM and custom development applications for prospective students and employees. She works closely with technical teams, functional leaders, institutional units, and subject matter experts to architect and develop applications that translate business requirements into scalable solutions. Her team works to engage undergraduate and graduate students in more than 180 majors and programs in 11 schools and colleges. Florence and her team rolled out Lightning Experience and positioned the University to be the first to go-live on the Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA). The enterprise implementation included Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud (Exact Target), and a custom event registration solution. Florence developed and initiated her department’s Cloud Platform Internship program, which provides real-world experience through multi-level administrator and developer tracks. These interns provide production support and develop enhancements for the University’s Salesforce implementation. Prior to joining IT, she was associate director of marketing for the Division of Continuing and International Education, where she led the first deployment of Salesforce at the University of Miami in 2008. Florence is a member of the Higher Education Advisory Council since 2015 and is currently serving on the Executive Committee as the Secretary. She is a Salesforce.com certified system administrator and Force.com developer.


Lori DembowitzLori Dembowitz, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Lori Dembowitz is an Associate CIO at UMass Lowell and is responsible for strategy and leadership for a portfolio of IT functions including enterprise applications, data analytics and IT program management. Leading the university’s ‘connected campus’ strategic initiative is a core part of Lori’s role. The UMass Lowell team was excited to win the “Excellence in Student Success” award at the 2018 Salesforce Higher Ed Summit.

Lori has over 20 years of experience delivering enterprise systems, infrastructure and technology services in higher education and corporate settings. Lori received her BA and MBA from Clark University.

D DeMicheleDave DeMichele, Yale University
Dave DeMichele is Associate Director, Force.com App Services at Yale University. He has been working in various technical roles in Higher Education for the last 9 years. Dave is currently the fearless leader of the Force.com App Services Team, focused on the strategy and application development efforts for the Salesforce platform at Yale University. Prior to his current role, Dave was an Application Architect, serving as a key technologist and thought leader for SaaS/PaaS platforms in support of Yale’s Cloud 1st strategy. Dave is a 3X certified Salesforce professional and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Central Connecticut State University.

J DixonJeff Dixon, Queens University
Jeff Dixon is the Associate Director, Salesforce at Smith School of Business (Queen’s University), one of Canada’s top business schools. Since 2015, he has expanded the school’s Salesforce implementation from a graduate program recruiting tool to a comprehensive student management system encompassing the full student lifecycle from inquiry to alumni. Prior to leading Smith’s Salesforce team, he was Associate Director at the School’s Monieson Centre, leading practitioner-oriented research on the knowledge economy and healthcare policy. Jeff Dixon is a graduate of the School’s Bachelor of Commerce program, and also has a Master of Divinity and Master of Science (Epidemiology). He is now pursuing a PhD in Management Information Systems with research interests in digital strategy, technostress, and organizational uses of big data and analytics.

D DuranDebbie Duran, University of Miami
Debbie Duran is currently the Sr. System Administrator for Salesforce/Marketing Cloud for the University of Miami where she is responsible for day to day operations as well as reviewing and deploying enhancements and customizations for graduate and undergraduate programs. Previously she served as an admissions and recruitment subject matter expert in two enterprise wide deployments for Peoplesoft Campus Solutions and Salesforce. Among her favorite contribution to the Higher Ed Community is her role as Project Manager for the 2016 Salesforce.org Force for Change grant awarded to the University of Miami which provides a reusable set of code and documentation for those interested in leveraging Salesforce for student recruitment.

H GouldHaley Gould, Michigan State University
Haley Gould is the CRM Manager at Michigan State University. She is the lead of the CRM Team and the CRM Center of Excellence; her team leads all implementations for Salesforce as well as support and training. Michigan State University is striving for one enterprise instance of Salesforce for the entire constituent lifecycle, starting with recruitment and admissions. Prior to this role, Haley held multiple roles working with Salesforce at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor; most recently she was the Enterprise CRM Solution Architect at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where she was the lead for Salesforce strategy and implementation where there was not a single org strategy. Prior to this role, Haley worked on Salesforce projects at the Alumni Association and as a part of the Graduate Admissions Pilot at the School of Education. This grass roots pilot, founded in 2013, was the first collaborative implementation of Salesforce at the University, bringing together 10 federated schools and colleges across campus into one environment.

Becky JoffreyRebecca Joffrey, Cornell University
Rebecca Joffrey is IT Innovation Officer at Cornell University and is responsible for the Cornell Student Experience Initiative and other CRM-based innovations. Prior to this role, she was Director of the Career Development Office at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth where she led one of the first university implementations of Chatter for students. Of note: Becky hosted the first Chatter Summit while she was a Tuck School of Business. Becky served as the Primary Investigator on the Force for Change Grant committee that produced the open-source product, Unity, for the higher education community. She is a founding officer of the Higher Education Advisory Council.

B KarcinskiBrian Karcinski, University of Florida
Brian Karcinski is Director of Academic Support Services in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida. He also has a part time role advising on the University of Florida’s enterprise Salesforce implementation. Over the last five years he has worked to consolidate twelve siloed academic programs off of various systems and into Salesforce. He oversees the College of Pharmacy’s enrollment management unit which is the first attempt by a college at the University of Florida to run all of their academic programs (Master, Ph.D., Pharm.D.) under a cohesive unit. By leveraging the Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud the college of pharmacy is improving the student experience while also improving business processes on the back end by eliminating competing technologies.

Prior to working higher education, he worked at Fidelity Investments working on defined benefit and defined contribution plan administration. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Florida and is currently working towards is M.Ed. in educational technology. He is a Salesforce.com certified administrator and platform app builder.

A LaFaveAnn LaFave, Cornell University
Ann LaFave is the Director of Student Services for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University. She oversees all facets of advising, career services, registrar, diversity and international programs for one of Cornell’s largest colleges. She supports a team of 14 staff that work tirelessly every day to improve the campus experience for 2,800 students. Ann has encouraged new and innovative ways to support students using CRM that has flipped the service model from re-active to pro-active. Reducing and the time and automating outreach to students in personal and academic distress has significantly improved the students’ ability to make choices about their educational pathways and well-being. Ann was involved in implementing other CRM tools at Cornell such as Chatter which has created a stronger community across the college and Wave analytics to monitor academic and career outcomes of students. Ann is now involved in the Cornell Student Experience Initiative which is bringing these CRM features to other colleges and units across Cornell. Before moving to Student Services in 2010, Ann spent 14 years in CALS Admissions including several years as director.

Kathy LueckemanKathy Lueckeman, Maryville University
Kathleen Lueckeman is the chief innovation officer at Maryville University. Reporting directly to the president, she is charged with implementing the Salesforce platform across the enterprise, pivoting from manual work to automation and enhancing the student experience. Prior to joining Maryville, Kathy served as the higher education industry strategy director for Salesforce.org. Formerly, Kathy served as senior director of Customer Relationship Management at Wayne State University and oversaw an enterprise deployment that included recruitment, service, retention, human resources and economic development, among other use cases. During this time, she was named a Salesforce MVP, a designation restricted to the top 1% of Salesforce users in the world, hosted the first Higher Ed Summit and founded the Higher Education Advisory Council. She has spoken numerous times on her enterprise Salesforce work, including at Dreamforce kickoff and breakout sessions, Higher Ed Summit tracks, Salesforce webinars, and at a variety of schools as a guest speaker.

C McCoyCameron McCoy, Lehigh University
Cameron McCoy is the AVP for Economic Engagement at Lehigh University. He is responsible for developing and executing an integrated strategic plan for the Lehigh’s economic engagement functions, including Industry Engagement, Non-profit Engagement, Career & Professional Development, Federal Agency – Industry – Lehigh relations, Research Park assessment, and elements of Technology Transfer and Economic Development. His Ph.D. work focused on economics and educational administration evaluating university organizational approaches to economic engagement. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Kiss Institute of Practical Robotics, the Association of University Research Parks, the American Red Cross of the Lehigh Valley, the Accreditation Council for the Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities (ACEEU), and the University-Industry Innovation Network. McCoy is also active on numerous Higher Education and Economic Development Committees including IEDC, AURP, and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. A frequent speaker on the Triple Helix of Higher Education, he is on the editorial board for University-Industry Magazine and served as an AVP for the Association of University Technology Managers, on the Board of Directors of the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers, and on the Board of Advisors for the Greater OKC Chamber. A 2017 Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership graduate, he was also recognized in 2012 as one of Norman, Oklahoma’s 15 under 40, in 2013 as one of the IEDC 40 under forty in Economic Development internationally, and in 2014 was named to Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 under 40 list.

Frank MontoyaFrank Montoya, Arizona State University
Frank is the Salesforce Operations Manager for the University Technology Office at Arizona State University. Frank has over 11 years of experience in Education IT. He is currently responsible for managing the Enterprise Salesforce Administrator and Development teams to facilitate application support and innovative Salesforce solutions for stakeholders university wide. Frank is a member of the Arizona State University Enterprise Salesforce Governance Committee. He has previously had leadership roles over the Business Analyst and Salesforce implementation team where he contributed to establishing the CRM enterprise data models, change management policies and procedures, and data governance. Frank also contributed to the implementation of the university’s Enterprise Master Data Management which has enabled complex enterprise data integrations.

M SladeMichael Slade, Western Governors University
Mike Slade is passionate about helping people succeed and technology. He has fifteen years of experience in educational technology including eight at Western Governors University where he has seen competency-based education have a huge impact on the success of WGU’s students. He has worked with a large-scale Salesforce environment since 2011. Mike has worked directly with several aspects of technology and higher education business process both in highly technical and highly business related capacities, which gives him a well-rounded view of technology and the ability to solve business problems with software and process. As the Senior of Business Systems, he’s seen what changes in technology that are needed to allow students to learn without daily interaction with faculty and how technology and analytics can help maximize the effectiveness of educators.

C SnowCorey Snow, Harvard University
Corey Snow serves as CRM Strategist and Solution Architect at Harvard University. He partners with 40+ trailblazing Salesforce teams spanning 7 Schools to foster cross-campus collaboration and promote shared success with the Salesforce platform and ecosystem. Corey is grateful to have been immersed in technology for his entire career, acting as a technologist in diverse sectors including healthcare, marketing systems, data storage, pharmaceuticals, publishing, and non-profit. His current mission is to enable Higher Ed Institutions to thrive into an era of renewed relevancy by embracing and leveraging the power of CRM technology.

Kalman SweetwineKalman Sweetwine, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kalman is currently a Salesforce Solutions Architect for the University of Colorado. He is on the COE team that manages the Enterprise Instance of salesforce – operating out of the central OIT Department in Boulder. He has been building custom solutions for the nonprofit and higher ed verticals since 2010. Kalman founded the Denver Nonprofit User Group, he is an active member of the Power of US HUB, and a salesforce MVP. Kalman holds Sales Cloud and System Administrator salesforce certifications. He is a Detroit native, received his undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University and a masters from the University of Denver. Kalman enjoys collaborating and knowledge sharing with other higher ed professionals.

A TejaniAmir P. Tejani, Lafayette College
Amir is the Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning and Implementation at Lafayette College. Amir provides support for the ongoing implementation of the College’s strategic plan, aimed at increasing affordability and distinction through growth, as well as other special projects. Amir joined Lafayette College from the Lehigh university where he served as the director of strategy and analytics in the office of Economic Engagement. Prior to Lehigh, Amir worked at Santa Clara University’s School of Law as the director of stewardship and at American University’s Washington College of Law as the associate director of continuing legal education. As a certified Salesforce administrator and lover of all things that drive efficiency he is always willing to talk to new Salesforce community members about getting started and thinking about adoption and scaling strategies. He is currently working with other higher-ed members on group project to build a community-inspired data set built on an extended HEDA model. Amir has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Global Education from American University. Amir is married to his brilliant wife Jess Tejani and they have one young son, Tobin.

Chris TompkinsChris Tompkins, Indiana University
Chris Tompkins is the Manager of the Lifetime Engagement Initiative at Indiana University that has been responsible for Higher Ed enterprise systems for 15 years. He has been leading the University CRM efforts at IU since fall of 2013 with a focus on the Salesforce Platform for three years. Chris is responsible for managing the strategic solution design, successful implementation, and ongoing sustainability of the enterprise CRM platform and related components across the Institution’s eight campuses. The IU CRM build includes core usage of a full solution suite for Undergraduate Admissions Recruiting, Graduate Admissions Recruiting, University Human Resources for employee services, and over 150 separate departmental communications adoptions of the central platform. He has driven an enterprise vision of a global CRM infrastructure that focuses on diversification and scalability of adoption to facilitate a universal constituent experience within the multi-campus organization. Prior to his current CRM role at IU, Chris managed the enterprise Electronic Research Administration Program at Purdue University for ten years.

Colleen WhelanColleen Whelan, Providence College
Colleen Whelan is Director of Advancement Services at Providence College. She has been working in higher education for 13 years. Previously, she held several director level roles at Yale University, including Director of Client Engagement and Director of SaaS-PaaS practices. Colleen collaborated with central IT and departmental colleagues to achieve institutional goals related to community, outreach, and administration through the use of technology. She led a project to build a custom complex events management and registration app on the Force.com platform to support the Association of Yale Alumni and their signature Yale College Reunions events. Prior to working in academe, she worked at an interactive services firm and the Federal Reserve. She served on the Force for Change Grant committee that produced the open-source product, Unity, for the higher education community. Colleen is a founding officer of the Higher Education Advisory Council. Of note: Colleen hosted the first Salesforce Foundation CIO Summit at Yale University.

N ZgonjaninNash Zgonjanin, Algonquin College
Nash Zgonjanin is the Software Architect (and developer) at Algonquin College. He has been with Algonquin College since 2013 with responsibility for providing strategic technology guidance to develop solutions on the salesforce platform. Previously he worked as a consultant for a salesforce implementation partner and gained extensive experience in delivering solutions for the education vertical. An MVP alumni, leader of Ottawa salesforce user group, holding numerous salesforce certifications, have showcased many of his solutions at Dreamforce. He is passionate about using the platform and believes in its ability to support educational institutions, employees and students.


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Alumni Members

Stewart Anderson, University of Edinburgh
* Stephanie Brooks, Richard Ivey College
Jace Bryan, Texas A&M University
* Laura Campbell, Algonquin College
Cheryl Cerny, Worchester Polytechnic Institute
Ryan Clemens, Arizona State University
* Chris Coppa, University of Southern California
* Renee Fawcett, University of Minnesota
Ling Ge, Imperial College of London
* James Gilbert, George Mason University
Brian Gnatt, University of Maryland-University College
* Vadim Gorelik, University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business
* John Henry, Oregon State University
Tom Kelleher, San Francisco State University
Melissa Kwilosz, Arizona State University
* Roger Lurie, Arizona State University
Yannick Lejeune, Ionis Education Group
* Brian Peddle, College for America at Southern New Hampshire University
* Dave Perry, Western Governors University
* Amanda Rosales, Wayne State University
* Terri Shafer, Arizona State University
Reed Sheard, Westmont University
* Erin Smith, Northeastern University
* Doug Wotherspoon, Algonquin College
Samuel Vinet, ESSEC Business School
* Nicholas Zinser, Northeastern University

* Indicates Inaugural Member of the Higher Education Advisory Council