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- Dr. William Tierney
University Professor and Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education and Director, Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, University of Southern California
William G. Tierney is University Professor and Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education (formerly the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis) at the University of Southern California, and President of the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Tierney is committed to informing policies and practices related to educational equity. He is currently involved in a project to develop and evaluate an interactive web-enhanced computer game for low-income youth that will boost high school students' college aspirations and equip players with knowledge about preparing for and succeeding in college. He is also involved in projects pertaining to the problems of remediation to ensure that high school students are college-ready, and a project investigating how to improve strategic decision-making in higher education.
Dr. Tierney earned a master’s degree from Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in administration and policy analysis. He has received the Distinguished Research Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education and most recently from Division J of AERA. He has been president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and vice president of the American Educational Research Association. In 2006 he was appointed University Professor at the University of Southern California. In 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.
- Mr. Robert L. King
President, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Robert L. King became the third president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education in January 2009. Mr. King is the former Chancellor of the State University of New York, one of the largest comprehensive systems of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world. More recently, he served as president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation, a statewide charitable foundation with a strong focus on education, economic development, and scientific research.
Mr. King is very active in community service and has volunteered and served on numerous boards and organizations. He has served for nine years on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars; the Education Committee of the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); as advisor to the Middle State Commission on Higher Education regarding reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in Congress; the board of directors of the National Soccer Hall of Fame; and the boards of trustees of A.T. Still University, a specialized university dedicated to training professionals for the health care professions, in Kirksville, Missouri, and Mesa, Arizona, and Prescott College located in Prescott, Arizona.
Mr. King received a bachelor of arts degree in 1968 from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a Juris Doctor in 1971 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is married to Karen, his wife of 35 years, and they have four grown children.
- Dr. Terry Holliday
Commissioner of Education, Commonwealth of Kentucky
Terry Holliday, Ph.D., was selected as Kentucky’s fifth commissioner of education in July 2009. Holliday served as superintendent of the more than 20,000-student Iredell-Statesville school district from 2002 until 2009. Under his leadership, the Iredell-Statesville school district received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which was created by an act of Congress in 1987 to recognize companies, organizations, businesses and other entities that have shown long-term improvement in quality and productivity. Holliday’s previous experience includes serving as superintendent, associate superintendent, director of accountability, principal, assistant principal, director of instrumental music and band director in North Carolina and South Carolina.
In December 2010, Holliday was named to the board of directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) for 2010-11. CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. In September 2011, Holliday was appointed to serve a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board. The board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card. Holliday is the co-author of Running All the Red Lights: A Journey of System-Wide Educational Reform.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Furman University; a master’s degree and education specialist degree from Winthrop University; and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina. A native of Belton, South Carolina, Holliday and his wife, Denise, are the parents of two children.
- Hon. Jerry Abramson
Lieutenant Governor, Commonwealth of Kentucky
Jerry Abramson was elected Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor in November 2011. Before running for statewide office, Abramson was the longest-serving mayor in the city of Louisville’s history, having won election to five terms, two of them during a merged city and county government. Throughout his 21 years as mayor, Abramson oversaw a dramatic transformation of Louisville and was known for creating public/private partnerships to further policy goals. In 2008, the U.S. Conference of Mayors acknowledged Abramson’s impact when it named Louisville – "America's Most Livable Large City." As lieutenant governor, Abramson brings the knowledge, enthusiastic ideas and local government experience he demonstrated in Louisville to serve the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky. Whether it’s working with the private sector to create more jobs or ensuring educational opportunities are available for every citizen, Abramson supports Governor Steve Beshear’s mission to make Kentucky the best state in the nation.
He currently chairs the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform. A lifelong Kentuckian, Abramson received a B.S. in business economics from Indiana University and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969-1971, and then went on to serve two terms on Louisville’s Board of Aldermen. In addition, Abramson served in state government as general counsel to Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. from 1979-1981. He and his wife, Madeline, live in Louisville and have a son, Sidney.
- Dr. Aaron Thompson (Moderator and Panelist)
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Dr. Aaron Thompson came to the Council on Postsecondary Education from Eastern Kentucky University in 2009 to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs before being named CPE's senior vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Thompson holds a doctorate in sociology in areas of organizational behavior/race and gender relations. At EKU he was a professor of sociology and previously served as the executive director of the Student Success Institute, associate vice president of academic affairs and university programs, and associate vice president of enrollment management.
Dr. Thompson has researched, taught, or consulted in areas of educational attainment, assessment, diversity, leadership, ethics, research methodology and social statistics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, first-year students, retention, and organizational design. He is nationally recognized in the areas of educational attainment and academic success, African American fatherhood, divorce in the black family, and black and white differences in marital expectations. Dr. Thompson's research includes building culturally relevant models for student success, transition to college from high school, and persistence to graduation.
- Mr. Nathan Monell
Executive Director, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP)
Nathan Monell joined the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) as its executive director in January of 2011. From 1996-2010 he was the Chief Executive Officer of Foster Care Alumni of America, a national association of adults who experienced foster care as children. Nathan is a career-long advocate, pushing for reform in causes that are relevant to the lives of individuals who are often marginalized by multiple life factors. For twenty-three years, he has provided strategic leadership to organizations seeking to improve the educational and employment outcomes of youth and adults, providing mental health services for children and adults, offering health and substance abuse prevention services, and connecting families to housing and social supports.
Nathan is a Certified Association Executive with the American Society of Association Executives. He earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, a M.A. in Communication Studies (Organizational Communications/Behavior) from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Speech from Cornerstone University. In addition to serving on several national advisory boards such as the Education Advisory Group to the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education and the All Children/All Families National Advisory Group, Nathan was a Trustee of America's Promise Alliance. He chaired the Board of Regents for Leadership Arlington from 2007-2008 and is a member of its Board. Mr. Monell consults with and trains nonprofit executives, boards of directors and others in the advancement of the nonprofit profession and management.
- Dr. Arnold Mitchem
President and Founder, Council for Opportunity in Education (COE)
Dr. Arnold Mitchem has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities his entire career. Thanks to his work, the federally funded TRIO Programs (the largest discretionary program in the U.S. Department of Education) have expanded by nearly 400% and now serve more than 872,000 students at 1,200 colleges and universities. Dr. Mitchem graduated from the University of Southern Colorado in 1965. Before receiving his Ph.D. in Foundations of Education at Marquette University in 1981, he studied European History as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the University of Wisconsin.
He began his career on the History faculty at Marquette University in Milwaukee. In 1969 he was named Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette, serving in that role until 1986, when he relocated to Washington, D.C. to represent low-income and disabled students nationally. He holds Honorary Doctorates from ten universities and is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Access Network as well as a former Trustee of the College Board, and Past-President of the Committee for Education Funding, a Washington-based coalition of national education associations. Dr. Mitchem is the first and only President of the Council for Opportunity in Education.
- Dr. James Applegate
Vice President for Program Development, Lumina Foundation
As Vice President for Program Development at the Lumina Foundation, Dr. James Applegate leads in development of the Foundation’s funding programs supporting achievement of Lumina’s "Big Goal" to dramatically increase educational attainment in the U.S, especially for low income, first generation, minority, and adult students. That work includes strategic implementation of effective practices and policies supporting increases in the number of prepared students entering higher education, the number of students succeeding in college, and in the productivity and capacity of the system to provide many more people high quality credentials and degrees. Prior to coming to Lumina in 2008, he served as Senior Fellow and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, serving as the chief academic officer in Kentucky from 1999 through 2008.
He has served on numerous national advisory boards for organizations influencing higher education policy including the U.S Department of Education, the American Council on Education, the ACT, the Council of State Governments, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Jim was a Professor of Communication at the University of Kentucky. From 1984 until 1999 he was Chair of that Department. During that period he also served as University Senate Chair and an American Council on Education Fellow. He was elected President of the National Communication Association, the world's largest association of communication scholars, and the Southern Communication Association. As a consultant, he has conducted over 250 lectures, seminars, and workshops for private, academic and government organizations designed to improve organizations' communication policies and practices. Jim earned his B.A from Georgetown College (KY) as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Illinois.
- Dr. Daniel J. Connell (Moderator)
Assistant Vice President for Adult Education and College Access, Morehead State University.
Dan Connell’s affiliation with TRIO began in 1978 as Director of the Educational Opportunity Center at the Kentuckiana Metroversity in Louisville Kentucky. In his current position he oversees the Educational Opportunity Center, Student Support Services, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math Science Programs and state, local, and university adult education and college access programs in addition to serving as the Principal Investigator for GEAR UP KY II.
In his 34 years with TRIO, Dr. Connell has served as President of the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, National Educational Opportunity Center Association, and Kentucky Association Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, Chair of the Kentucky College Access Network, and is a former member of the Council for Opportunity in Education’s (COE) Board of Directors. He was co-chair of the COE Professional Standards Committee and assisted in the development of the CAS Standards for TRIO and Other Educational Opportunity Programs. He is currently the chair of the COE Finance Committee.
He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Connell received his Master of Arts in School Psychometry and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Ball State University.
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