• Academic Affairs Staff

    George MehaffyGeorge L. Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change
    George L. Mehaffy has served as AASCU’s Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change since 1999. In this role, he is responsible for developing and managing programs for member institutions in areas such as student success, international education, teacher education, civic engagement, leadership development and technology. Before coming to AASCU, he had more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education in Texas, New Mexico and California. In addition, he served for 33 years in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, retiring as a Captain (0-6) in 2000. George received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Texas, Austin.
    Kristin LeonatoKristin Leonato, Program Manager, Academic Leadership and Change
    Kristin Leonato is a Program Manager for AASCU’s Academic Leadership and Change Division. In this role, she manages a diverse portfolio business and outreach functions, including the biannual Academic Affairs Meetings, for the Academic Leadership and Change division. Prior to joining AASCU, Kristin developed and managed the Arlington Fellows programs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.  During her seven years as a study abroad advisor for Europe and the Middle East/North Africa region at American University in Washington, D.C., she also completed an M.A. in International Training and Education. She earned her B.A. in International Studies and Economics from Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tenn.   



    Civic Engagement

    Jen Domagal GoldmanJennifer Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project
    Jennifer Domagal-Goldman directs the American Democracy Project (ADP), AASCU’s civic learning and democratic engagement campus network. Prior to joining AASCU, Jen worked in higher education and student affairs at Penn State University, Bucknell University and the University of Vermont. Jennifer holds an ex-officio position on the eJournal of Public Affairs’ editorial board and serves on the advisory boards of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the Pennsylvania State University.
    Verdis RobinsonVerdis Robinson, National Director, The Democracy Commitment
    Verdis Robinson is the National Director of The Democracy Commitment (TDC), a national civic engagement project for community colleges. Prior to joining TDC in 2016, Verdis worked for ten years as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. In addition to serving as Monroe Community College’s TDC Campus Coordinator, he served on TDC National Steering Committee and on the Advisory Council for its Economic Inequality Initiative. He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.
      

    International Education

    Arlene JacksonArlene Jackson, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives
    Arlene Jackson is AASCU’s Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of AASCU’s international programs, initiatives and partnerships. Arlene joined AASCU in 2001 with over 30 years of experience in international education and exchange, having served most recently as the Director of the Center for International Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served on numerous boards of directors and advisory committees and conducts workshops and trainings on international education both domestically and internationally. Arlene earned her B.A. and M.A. in International Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has a certificate from the Harvard School of Education Management Seminar for University Administrators (MDP). In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Troy University for her contributions to international education.
    Sufei LiSufei Li, Manager, International Programs
    Sufei Li is the Manager of International Programs in AASCU's Office of International Education. In this role, she manages AASCU’s China Initiatives and provides support to a variety of other programs. Sufei holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Nanjing University in China, a master’s degree in Comparative Education from the University of London, and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland.
    Jody DixonJody Dixon, Program Coordinator, Global Initiatives

    Jody Dixon is the Program Coordinator for Global Initiatives in AASCU’s Office of International Education. She comes to AASCU after two years as a recruiter and advisor for the International Training and Education Program in the School of Education at American University, and five years in Japan as an assistant language teacher for the Japan Exchange and Teaching program (JET Program). She earned her M.A. in International Training and Education from American University and her B.Sc. in Geography from the University of the West Indies, Mona (Jamaica).


    Student Success

    Robin EllisRobin Ellis, Senior Director of Student Success
    Robin Ellis is the Senior Director of Student Success and leads the student success team at AASCU. Prior to this role, she served as Director of AASCU's Frontier Set (FS) initiative and as the Operations Director for AASCU’s Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) initiative. Robin comes to AASCU from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where she worked as a development officer, senior grant administrator and lead project manager for more than 18 years. Robin earned her Ed.D. Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, her M.A. in Public Administration from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, and her B.A. in International Relations from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
    Jo ArneyJo Arney, Program Director, Re-Imagining the First Year of College
    Jo Arney is the Program Director for AASCU’s Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) initiative. She is also an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (on leave through 2018). In addition to her work on RFY, Jo is one of the faculty curators for the Stewardship of Public Lands course, part of AASCU’s National Blended Course Consortium. Jo earned her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver, her M.A. in Philosophy from Colorado State University, and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
    Jose CabralesJosé Cabrales, Program Director of Student Success
    José Cabrales works as a program director of student success, where he provides strategic vision, leadership, and support for developing and building a plan for the launch of a Center for Student Success. José also provides direction for developing programmatic capacity for Student Success Academies that support AASCU’s student success agenda and prioritizes institutional change toward equity and credential completion. Prior to AASCU, José worked at The Education Trust and Excelencia in Education, where he worked with networks of regional comprehensive institutions and communities across the country to improve student success and close completion gaps, particularly for first-generation students, low-income students, and students of color. As a first-generation college student and a native of Watsonville, California, José earned a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in educational leadership and policy studies, a master’s degree from Michigan State University in student affairs administration, and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Santa Clara University.
    Jacquelyn JonesJacquelyn R. Jones, Director of AASCU’s Frontier Set
    Jacquelyn Jones works as the Director of AASCU’s Frontier Set (FS), where she provides vision, leadership and manages 6 institutional portfolios focused on the development and discovery of new knowledge, models, practices and tools that have the potential to dramatically improve specific student learning and life outcomes. Jacquelyn also serves as the connection bridge for learning across the segment and up through the Frontier Set network through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, providing support to AASCU and supporting the need on a national level for moving the needle on student success. Prior to working at AASCU, Jacquelyn worked at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she served as the Director of Retention Initiatives working to increase retention and completion rates, as well as improving the student success platform on campus. Jacquelyn, originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area is a first generation college student and the first in her family to receive a Ph.D. Jacquelyn earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Toledo, her M.S. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron, and her B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Management from The University of Akron.
    Nyala WatkinsNyala Watkins, Program Manager, Student Success Initiatives
    Nyala Watkins is a Program Manager of Student Success Initiatives for AASCU’s Academic Leadership and Change Division. She works with the Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) and Frontier Set (FS) initiatives. Prior to this role, Nyala was the Senior Program Advisor for AASCU’s Grants Resource Center. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Speech Communication from Syracuse University.
     
  • CONTACT US

    • George L. Mehaffy
      Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change
      (202) 478-4672
    • Arlene Jackson
      Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives 
      (202) 478-7834
    • Robin Ellis
      Senior Director of Student Success
      (202) 478-7839

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