Jo-Ann Alessandrini brings a breadth of experience and insight to her work providing advocacy and financial support for higher education research, education and service. Her professional focus has been working with academic leaders and faculty to advance the mission of their departments and the institution they serve.
Working with faculty and academic leaders, Jo-Ann has facilitated programs and retreats that help academic leaders develop and communicate a compelling vision to prospective donors; understand the role and challenges of advisory boards; and learn the fundamentals of fostering advocacy and support necessary for successful fundraising.
This summer, she completed her tenure with the University of South Florida serving as Associate Vice President of USF Health Development and Alumni Relations, leading the fundraising campaign for the construction of the Morsani College of Medicine’s new building in downtown Tampa. Her prior appointments at USF over 23 years included serving as Assistant Dean of Development for the Muma College of Business; Interim Vice President and CEO of the USF Foundation; and Director of Development for the College of Arts & Sciences, and later, the Director of Development for the College of Engineering. In all roles, she worked closely with Deans and senior leadership to achieve alumni and fundraising goals.
Jo-Ann’s career in development and alumni relations started in New England working within the State of New Hampshire University System (Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire). She also served in public and community relations for Southern NH University and later as Associate Vice President and Campaign Director for WPI’s $248 million campaign. She holds a master’s degree in communications and public relations from USF and a bachelor’s degree in English from Notre Dame College in New Hampshire.
Reid Bishop is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Physics and also serves as Chair of the Division of Natural & Applied Sciences at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a former Councilor for the American Chemical Society, and is currently the Chair of the Mississippi Section of the ACS. Reid also serves on the advisory board of SCI‒Southwest. Reid's passion is connecting students and the public to problems and opportunities in the Lower Mississippi River and extended alluvial valley. Reid completed his undergraduate training at Mississippi College in Fine Art, Biology, and Chemistry and completed his doctoral graduate training in mechanistic Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Reid has held post-doctoral positions with Emory University, the University of Georgia, and the US Department of Agriculture. Reid has worked in Christian higher education for the past 18 years and is a former Program Director for the National Audubon Society's Mississippi River Field Institute. Reid's research is in the general areas of the bioanalytical and biophysical chemistry of natural products. He is currently involved in several landscape level projects of civic engagement and is interested in the scholarly intersection between faith, science, and stewardship. Reid is the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters and has illustrated several scientific textbooks. Reid lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his wife and collaborator Kelley M. Bishop, MD and their three children, two dogs, four cats, and six chickens.
Ellen Goldey joined the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University as Dean in 2016, where she continues her long-standing commitment to championing the liberal arts and sciences, collaborative and transparent leadership, and building a diverse and inclusive community. She spent twenty (20) years at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC; holding the William R. Kenan Jr. professorship and serving for six years as biology department chair. The recipient of college and national teaching awards, she served as Leadership Fellow in two national undergraduate science education reform initiatives, PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education) and SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities Leadership). With funding from NSF and private foundations, she guided curricular innovation projects, including interdisciplinary learning communities and reform of undergraduate biology, as well as cultural diversity assessment and programming. As a member of the national cadre of Wabash Teagle Assessment Scholars, she assisted campuses in using assessment evidence to guide improvement. Prior to her work at Wofford, Dr. Goldey was a developmental neurotoxicologist at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, NC. She earned her BS degree from the University of the South (TN) and her MS and PhD degrees from Miami University (OH).
Theo Koupelis is Dean of Academic Affairs (South Campus) and Dean of the STEM/Math Pathway at Broward College in Florida. He was previously Dean of Math and Sciences at Florida SouthWestern State College and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon. He earned a Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester and specializes in the theoretical modeling of astrophysical outflows (jets). He is the author of the astronomy textbook In Quest of the Universe and he is active in science education at all levels. He has served on a number of committees of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is a Board member of the Midwest Institute for International and Intercultural Education. Civic engagement, outreach efforts, and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching have been at the core of his work as a faculty member and administrator.
Karen Kashmanian Oates is a founding partner of Success 4 Higher Education and has served as department chair, program director, associate dean, dean, and provost during her academic career. She also served as as the Deputy for Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation. Karen received her BS in biology from Rochester Institute of Technology and her PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University. She facilitates workshops nationally and internationally on topics such as strategic planning, academic leadership, career planning and consulting, including strategies for leading change,retention and persistence, assessment and designing curriculum based on how people learn. Earlier in her career she served as a Eurasia Specialist with USAID/HED (Higher Education for Development) and participated routinely in global research and education initiatives. In recognition of her founding role in SENCER and other science related initiatives, Karen, received the 2008 Bruce Albert Award for excellence in science education, was recently inducted as a Fellow of the AAAS, and named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2016-2018).
Eliza Reilly is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. Eliza has two decades of experience in the design and implementation of programs and materials to advance curriculum, academic leadership and faculty development. She has served as the Executive Director of the American Conference of Academic Deans and as a Director of Programs at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where she was one of the original staff members for the SENCER initiative. From 2003-20013 she focused on campus-based faculty development and curricular integration through directorships of the Center for Liberal Arts and Society and the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, where she also had a faculty appointment in American Studies. Eliza holds a M.A. in the History of Art and a Ph.D. in American History from Rutgers University. She has been an ongoing participant in SENCER since 2001 and currently serves as the Executive Director for NCSCE and Research Professor in the department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University.
Amy Shachter is a founding partner of Success 4 Higher Education, senior associate provost for research and faculty affairs, and an associate professor of chemistry at Santa Clara University. Amy Shachter has served in a number of academic leadership roles ranging from center director, associate dean, summer dean to provost-level administrative appointments. She has experience in development of new programs, academic majors and minors as well as University-wide centers with special expertise in sustainability education, undergraduate research programs, multi-department major STEM strategies, and elite undergraduate scholars program development. Her work to improve undergraduate education has been supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, W.M.Keck Foundation, Fletcher Jones Foundation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.
Shachter has a depth of experience in faculty affairs as well as collaborative governance issues. Her expertise ranges from creative models for faculty policies ranging from phased retirement for tenured faculty to adjunct faculty structures. In all of her work, she values team development and sustainable resolutions. She also specializes in bridging differences and creative problem solving.
Shachter has also led inclusive excellence initiatives and has developed programs aimed at supporting women in science. As a former Clare Boothe Luce professor, she leads programs aimed at supporting women faculty and students in STEM.
Her current portfolio as Senior Associate Provost of Research and Faculty Affairs at Santa Clara University spans strategic initiatives to every-day faculty support. She received her baccalaureate at Knox College and earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Santa Clara University. In addition, Shachter served as the co-principle investigator Science Education and Civic Engagement (SENCER), the longest continually funded NSF science education reform project. Lastly, she is co-director of the SENCER Center for Innovation-West and is a Senior Fellow for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement.
Kyle Simmons is the Faculty Development Events Manager for NCSCE, SENCER and related initiatives. In this role, he plans and manages NCSCE’s signature annual events, the SENCER Summer Institute and the DC Symposium, and provides support for other regional meetings. He also works with regional organizations and initiatives to ensure communication and the sharing of best practices. Kyle brings with him experience from his work with the Junior Statesmen Foundation, where he planned and managed civic education conferences for high school students. Kyle holds a B.A. in political science from Howard University.