• Academic Innovation and Transformation Staff

    Terry Brown 2Teresa (Terry) M. Brown, Ph.D., Vice President, Academic Innovation and Transformation

    Terry brings with her more than 20 years of leadership and higher education experience, most recently as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. Over the span of her career, she has been employed at three AASCU institutions and engaged in several AASCU initiatives, most notably those related to the Division of Academic Innovation and Transformation.

    As a first-generation college student, Terry is committed to student success and spearheaded several efforts to increase college completion. She led a strategic enrollment management plan and retention strategy that was largely shaped by SUNY Fredonia’s participation in AASCU’s Re-Imagining the First Year of College project. Terry also worked with AASCU’s teacher education initiative, which supported her in rebuilding a high-quality 21st Century Program. As a University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UW-River Falls) faculty member, she led the internationalization of the curriculum, encouraging students to study abroad and faculty to participate in AASCU’s Japan Studies Institute. In addition, as an associate dean at UW-River Falls, she served as the first chair of AASCU’s American Democracy Project.

    Terry holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and a B.A. in English with a minor in biology and an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech.

    Felice NudelmanFelice Nudelman, Associate Vice President, Academic Innovation and Transformation

    In February 2021, Felice Nudelman assumed the role of associate vice president of Academic Innovation and Transformation at AASCU. Nudelman came to AASCU in January 2019, when she became the executive director of the American Democracy Project (ADP), which supports member campuses in programming to encourage students to be informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. In 2003, while working at The New York Times, Nudelman partnered with George Mehaffy and a group of AASCU provosts in creating ADP. She remained a thought partner and collaborator from the project’s inception as the program grew and developed.

    Prior to assuming her role at AASCU, Nudelman served most recently as the executive vice president of the Weiss Institute/Say Yes to Education, which brings together the best thinking, latest research, and tested strategies for the benefit of communities seeking to make it possiblefor all young people to earn a college degree or other postsecondary credential. Before her work at the Weiss Institute, Nudelman served as the chancellor of Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, from 2011 to 2016—a period in which the university built a new campus in Seattle and added an array of online programs. She subsequently served Antioch as chief global officer for innovation & partnerships.

    She has spent the majority of her career in education, both on college campuses and for 12 years with The New York Times Company. In her final role there, she served as executive director of education. One of her key roles was developing The New York Times Knowledge Network, a new business model in e-Learning that included collaboration with colleges and universities to create and deliver online courses and certificates, including courses created and taught by New York Times journalists. In 2010 she led the Times Company’s collaboration with the Texas Education Agency to launch Project Share, a statewide initiative for 400,000 teachers and four million K-12 students. Before joining The Times, Nudelman served as executive director for Pace University’s School of Education (N.Y.), where she was responsible for internal and external relations, new program development, and the design and implementation of continuing education program. Previously, Nudelman spent nearly a decade in academic affairs at Bloomfield College (N.J.), where she served in several capacities including associate dean of academic affairs.
    Faozia PioFaozia Pio, Administrative Coordinator, Academic Innovation and Transformation

    Faozia Pio is the administrative coordinator of the Academic Innovation and Transformation division. She brings more than six years of administrative support to AASCU. Prior to joining AASCU, she served as the executive administrative assistant at the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and provided organizational support to the divisions of Transfusion Medicine, Standards & Accreditation, Regulatory Affairs and Global & Consulting services. Before her work at AABB, she served as the office manager of the Sullivan Breast Oncology Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital and supervised the day-to-day operations of the practice. Faozia received her M.S. in Health Sciences from Meharry Medical College (Tenn.) and her B.S. in Psychology and Physiology & Neurobiology from the University of Maryland.

    Civic Development

    Cathy CopelandCathy Copeland, Program Coordinator, American Democracy Project

    Cathy Copeland is the program coordinator for the American Democracy Project at AASCU. Prior to AASCU, Copeland taught for more than 15 years at various institutions of higher education, including James Madison University (JMU, Va.), the University of Alabama, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Purdue Global, and Blue Ridge Community College (Va.). Most recently, as an instructor with JMU Xlabs, Copeland taught a series of transdisciplinary courses that encouraged students to use innovative research methods to tackle real-world problems such as the 2020 Census, human trafficking, the 2020 elections, and food insecurity. This work also included addressing local, state, and national diplomatic and defense issues through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S, State Department, and other government agencies. Copeland served as a 2019–2020 Civic Fellow for the Madison Center for Civic Engagement and graduated in 2018 from the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program. She earned an M.A. in English Literature from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and a B.A. in biology from Hanover College. She also completed doctoral coursework in Renaissance Literature at the University of Alabama. 

    International Education

    Sufei LiSufei Li, Manager, International Programs

    Sufei Li is the Manager of 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. Recently, she received a Fulbright Program Scholarship Award for International Education Administrators to Taiwan from the Fulbright Commission and IIE/CIES.
    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

    RobinElliesRobin Ellis, Executive Director, Student Success

    Robin Ellis is the executive 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 focused on the practice of institutional transformation and as the director for AASCU’s Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) initiative focused on institutional innovations that dramatically improve the first year experience. 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.
    JacquelynJonesJacquelyn R. Jones, Senior Director, AASCU’s Frontier Set & Student Success Strategy

    Jacquelyn R. Jones is the Senior Director of AASCU’s Frontier Set (FS) & Student Success Strategy where she provides strategic vision and leadership for developing and contributing to the student success strategy work in the Center for Student Success and the Frontier Set. Understanding and contributing knowledge on institutional transformation and accelerating progress of near-term indicators for AASCU’s Frontier Set campuses is critical to her role. 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 student success nationally. 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. She has worked in both academic and student affairs and has extensive experience establishing rapport and cultivating relationships with campus stakeholders. 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.
    Melissa WelkerMelissa A. Welker, Director, AASCU’s Frontier Set

    Melissa A. Welker is the Director of AASCU’s Frontier Set (FS), where she provides 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. She provides critical capacity support by providing the programmatic, logistical, operational, and strategic assistance needed to meet our institutions where they are at with a focus on institutional transformation and student success. Prior to working at AASCU, Melissa served as the Executive Director of Student Success Programs and Initiatives at Northern Arizona University since 2015, where she led various programs and facilitated the development of university wide initiatives intended to bolster student success across the university. Prior to her last position, Melissa has had the opportunity to develop and implement peer mentoring programs, build bridges between academic and student affairs, harness data and insights to develop initiatives, work in the academic advising realm and participate in institutional transformation. Melissa is passionate about the connection between social justice and education which grounds her work in advocating for students to have the best opportunities for learning and growth, both within higher education and in the community she lives. Melissa earned her M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Counseling and Student Affairs from Northern Arizona University, and her B.S. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Northern Colorado.
    BaoLeBao Le, Director, Data Analytics & Impact, Center for Student Success

    Prior to joining AASCU, she served as an Associate Education Research Analyst for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education. She worked on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which collects data from every college, university, and vocational and technical school that participates in Title IV financial aid programs. Bao received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas - Austin and an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
     
    CameronSmitherCameron Smither, Director, Assessment & Network Engagement, Center for Student Success

    Cameron Smither joins the AASCU Student Success team as the new Director of Assessment & Network Engagement following his role of researcher at the American Institutes for Research, serving in the Secondary Education, College, Career Readiness, and Workforce Development practice areas. His areas of focus include and designing and assessing targeted student success initiatives; understanding and communicating the “return on investment” from postsecondary credentials; postsecondary models of competency-based education; and designing improved measures of institutional performance, cost to students, and student progression to drive continuous improvement.

    Prior to joining AIR, Cameron was a Presidential Fellow at the George Washington University, providing program support and analysis for their inaugural Office of Diversity & Inclusion. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University with a concentration in program evaluation.  
     
    NyalaWatkinsNyala 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.
     
    Randy BumpersRandy Bumpers, Experience Designer, Academic Innovation and Transformation

    Randy Bumpers earned his Master of Science in Instructional Design and Development from the University of South Alabama. While in graduate school, he trained faculty in online and blended learning pedagogy as an instructional design graduate assistant at the Innovation in Learning Center. He is also a member of the 2018 Class of the Harvard National Institute of Urban School Leaders. He began advocating for educational equity after facing the challenges of a minority, first generation college student. Randy is co-founder of the Giving Access to the People (GAP) Project, an educational program that aims to enhance the quality of life for all youth. He is a member of the Association of Education, Communication and Technology, where he serves on the board for the division of Culture, Learning, and Technology. Bumpers’ philosophy of learning design is that every learner can be reached if you meet them where they are.
     
    Prateek BasavarajPrateek Basavaraj, Research Analyst, Student Success Initiatives

    Prateek Basavaraj joins the AASCU Student Success team as the Research Analyst. Prior to joining AASCU, he served as Graduate Research Assistant at the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando, Florida. He worked on the student success project as part of the Targeted Educational Attainment grant sponsored by the Florida legislature to improve the graduation rates of undergraduate computing programs at UCF. Prior to his last position, Prateek has worked as a research technician at the UCF Office of Research and Commercialization.

    His research expertise lies in academic analytics, institutional research, and program quality improvement. Prateek has worked on several projects studying the STEM program curriculum, quality enhancement of computing programs to improve student success. Prateek has published and presented at national and international level conferences. He served as a reviewer for academic journals and conferences.  Prateek earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from UCF with an emphasis in the area of higher education data analytics, his M.S. in Computer Science from UCF, and his B.S. in Computer Science from Kuvempu University, India.
     
  • CONTACT US

    • Terry Brown
      Vice President, Academic Innovation and Transformation
      (202) 478-4680
    • Robin Ellis
      Executive Director, Student Success
      202-478-7839
    • Felice Nudelman
      Associate Vice President, Academic Innovation and Transformation
      202-478-7831