Please note that this is a tentative list and more conference presenters will be added before the conference. Check this web page for updates.
Alexander R. Bilus, J.D. Partner
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Alexander (Sandy) R. Bilus assists clients who are facing complex commercial litigation or who need legal advice on issues involving cybersecurity and data privacy, particularly in the higher education and financial services industries. His cybersecurity and data privacy experience includes responding to potential data breaches and providing advice on compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As vice chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice, Sandy helps clients understand the legal liabilities they face if a cyberattack or data breach occurs and their compliance obligations to help minimize these risks. He helps clients prepare for cybersecurity incidents, conducts internal investigations in response to potential breaches, and provides representation in related litigation. The International Association of Privacy Professionals recognizes Sandy as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).
Sandy’s work for institutions of higher education includes providing advice and conducting internal investigations connected to their compliance concerns, as well as responding to private lawsuits and government enforcement activity. He also counsels colleges and universities on cybersecurity and data privacy matters, and understands the unique challenges that this industry faces in planning for cyber-attacks and data breaches, to managing these crises, to proceeding after one or both occur. As a core member of the firm’s Higher Education Practice, Sandy’s experience includes helping higher education institutions address legal issues involving campus unrest and protests, sexual abuse, data privacy and cybersecurity issues, hazing, and criminal acts committed by employees.
Honors and Awards
- Named one of The Legal Intelligencer’s Lawyers on the Fast Track, 2017
- Named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” List for Civil Litigation: Defense, 2016 and 2017
Memberships and Affiliations
- Co-Chair, Privacy and Data Security Committee, Litigation Section of the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
- Legal Advisory Committee, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania
- National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
- International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Karl F. Brevitz, J.D. Consultant
Karl F. Brevitz Consulting
Karl F. Brevitz provides consulting services to institutions of higher education. From June 1999 – August 2013 he served as Director of Legal Resources for NACUA in Washington, DC where he managed the legal resources and programming of the Association and served as a staff liaison to the Annual Program, Legal Education and Web Page Legal Resources Committees, as well as to the Journal of College and University Law and NACUANOTES Editorial Boards. He serves on the Advisory Board for the annual University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference. Prior to joining NACUA he served for 12 years as Director of Education at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education at the University of Michigan Law School, and for six years as college attorney for Ferris State College, a public institution in Michigan. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Adrian College and J.D. magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School. Since 2017 he has also served as co-leader of the Research and Intellectual Property planning group for the NACUA Annual Program Committee. He organized and moderated a session on “Foreign Academic Influence and Espionage and University Research and Intellectual Property” at the 2019 NACUA Annual Conference.
Charles Carletta, J.D. Senior Associate Counsel
Albany Medical Center
Charles F. Carletta, Sr. has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Military Appeals and all local federal and New York State courts.
Upon graduation from law school in 1969, he served as a Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force. In addition to criminal prosecution and defense litigation, he became a primary civil rights officer for the Air Force and participated in the formulation of the United States Armed Forces’ first inter-active training program on civil rights.
After military service, Mr. Carletta joined a law firm in the Capital Region of New York where he practiced law for twenty-seven years, both as a litigator and a practitioner specializing in the laws regarding banking, commercial real estate, hospitals, news media, and higher education.
During this time, he served as outside general counsel to several private and public, two and four-year institutions of higher education. He also published a chapter in a book on legal issues in higher education as well as over fifty papers or articles regarding education law and practice. He currently serves on two national professional boards centered on the interrelationship of law and higher education including as a founding director for the University of Vermont’s annual conference on Legal Issues in Higher Education. He enjoys presenting regularly as an adjunct professor or guest lecturer at various colleges.
In 2000, Mr. Carletta became the first Secretary of the Institute and General Counsel for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a position he maintained for sixteen years. During this time, he served for several years as one of twelve nationally chosen attorneys to advise the General Counsel of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Upon retirement from RPI, Mr. Carletta assumed the role of Senior Associate Counsel at the Albany Medical Center which he currently holds. During a leave of absence from that position, he served as the Vice-President and Chief of Staff at Siena College.
During his career, Mr. Carletta has served as a trustee on two hospital boards and the board of a medical college. He has also served as a director on the boards of two captive insurance companies as well as several not-for-profit or charitable organizations.
Mr. Carletta is the proud father of four children and grandfather of four grandchildren.
Philip Catanzano, M.Ed., J.D. Senior Counsel
Holland & Knight, LLP
Phil Catanzano is Senior Counsel at Holland & Knight, LLP. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Phil was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for almost a decade where he was charged with investigating institutions accused of discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, or race/ethnicity, among others. Phil provides the benefit of this experience to advise institutional clients. In the disability context, this includes advising around accommodation processes, physical accessibility, and, of course, digital accessibility. A primary aspect of Phil’s practice is representing institutions involved in investigations or compliance reviews with federal regulators from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice. Phil also provides web-accessibility training and consultation to institutions implementing new technologies, implementing new policies and procedures, and/or understanding the legal requirements in this swiftly evolving area of the law. Phil also teaches higher education law at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, as well as Boston College’s Law School and its Lynch School of Education./ Using this classroom experience, Phil often shares with faculty audiences the practical challenges and benefits of creating an accessible classroom environment. To learn more: https://www.hklaw.com/en/professionals/c/catanzano-philip-j
Chantelle Cleary, J.D. Assistant Vice President for Equity and Compliance and Title IX Coordinator
University at Albany
Chantelle Cleary is the Assistant Vice President for Equity and Compliance and the Title IX Coordinator at the University at Albany. In this role, Chantelle is responsible for overseeing the university’s responses to unlawful discrimination and sexual violence. This includes coordinating sexual violence prevention and education programs as well as conducting prompt, equitable, and thorough investigations into allegations of unlawful discrimination and sexual assault occurring within the campus community.
Prior to joining the University at Albany in January of 2015, Chantelle spent a decade as an Assistant District Attorney assigned exclusively to the prosecution of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and crimes against children. In that role, Chantelle was able to develop expertise in conducting thorough and trauma informed sexual violence investigations.
Chantelle received her B.A. from Binghamton University and her J.D. from Albany Law School.
Megan Farrell, J.D., MBA Title IX Coordinator and Civil Rights Officer
Palo Alto Unified School District
Megan Farrell is a recognized expert in legal and educational compliance. She currently serves as the Title IX Coordinator and Civil Rights Officer for Palo Alto Unified School District and also provides consulting services focused on Title IX to schools, colleges, and universities across the country.
Over the course of her career, Megan has served the education community in a variety of positions. She has been the Title IX Coordinator, University Counsel, a full-time faculty member, and graduate school program director. Aside from her in-house experience, she has also served as an external advisor to educational institutions while with United Educators, Marsh Inc., and the Hirschfeld Kraemer, LLP law firm.
Megan has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Economics from Loyola University of Maryland, a JD from Delaware Law School, and an MBA from University of Maryland. She also holds graduate certificate from Cornell University in Bias and Inclusion. Megan serves on the Board of Directors for the Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference and on the Strategic Planning Task Force for the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Megan is frequent speaker on educational compliance topics throughout the country and also serves as a dispute resolution officer for Title IX matters.
Janet Elie Faulkner, J.D. Founding Attorney
Janet is an attorney with extensive experience in higher education. She has served as in-house counsel for Emerson College & Northeastern University. She previously practiced employment law in private practice & the public sector. Janet established Faulkner Legal in 2014 with a focus on the areas of employment, education & privacy law. Janet serves as an independent investigator for Title IX, employment, faculty, and athletics matters. Janet also focuses on student & employee disability issues. Faulkner Legal also provides legal advice to non-profits, education vendors, & small businesses. Janet has earned a certification in U.S. privacy law from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Janet is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont.
Marjory Fisher, J.D. Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator
Associate Vice President Marjory Fisher is Columbia University’s Title IX Coordinator, responsible for monitoring the university’s policies and procedures for resolving sexual and gender-based misconduct, harassment, and other complaints under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded educational institutions. In addition, Ms. Fisher provides guidance on investigations, oversees Deputy Title IX Coordinators at the University, and is responsible for training University staff and others on Title IX issues.
Ms. Fisher brings extensive legal and investigative experience to her post. She joined Columbia from T&M Protection Resources, where she served as Senior Managing Director of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations Division. Ms. Fisher was formerly Bureau Chief of the Special Victims Bureau in the Queens District Attorney’s Office for 22 years, and prior to that served for eight years as Assistant District Attorney in the Sex Crimes Bureau and supervising Trial Attorney in the Homicide Bureau of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office.
In her capacity at T&M, Ms. Fisher conducted sensitive investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct as well as provided Title IX trainings for investigators, adjudicators, faculty, administrators, staff and students at a wide range of colleges, universities and K-12 private and public schools. She also provided sexual harassment and investigations training for various private businesses and non-profit institutions.
Ms. Fisher has been a St. John’s University Law School Adjunct Professor, where she taught a course on Sexual Assault and Family Violence. She is the recipient of multiple awards for excellence in trial work and the pursuit of justice, including recognition from the Mt. Sinai Rape Crisis and Intervention Program and the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
She earned her juris doctor from George Washington University’s National Law Center.
Suresh Garimella, M.S., Ph.D. President
University of Vermont
University of Vermont president Suresh Garimella comes to Vermont from Purdue University, where he was Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and an administrative leader in several roles focused on engagement and global affairs. As Purdue’s inaugural Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Dr. Garimella led a $660 million per year research enterprise, achieving five consecutive years of record research funding. He also oversaw Discovery Park, a unique set of facilities and institutes where disciplines converge to solve global challenges related to health and life sciences, sustainability, food, energy and defense, and security.
An active researcher and passionate educator and mentor, Dr. Garimella has made seminal contributions to the field of thermal management and energy efficiency at nano-scale in electronics systems, and in sustainable energy systems technology and policy. Co-author of over 500 publications and 13 patents, he was inducted as a Fellow into the National Academy of Inventors. He has applied his expertise to national and international issues, having served as a science advisor at the U.S. Department of State and as Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Dr. Garimella is a member of the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and also serves as an independent body of advisers to both the President and Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering. He also serves on the seven-person research advisory board of Sandia National Laboratories.
Dr. Garimella was drawn to UVM as a land grant university in the home state of Senator Justin Morrill, creator of the land grant concept that links university and community. UVM’s new president considers the creation of the land grant university system to be one of the greatest and most successful experiments in higher education. Owing a debt of gratitude to public universities in his own life, Dr. Garimella is excited to now be leading UVM and reimagining the land grant mission for the 21st century.
Seth Gilbertson, J.D. Associate Counsel
State University of New York, Upstate Medical University
Leslie M. Gomez, J.D. Vice Chair
Institutional Response Group
Leslie focuses her practice on the institutional response to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, child abuse, and other forms of harassment, discrimination, and criminal conduct. Leslie provides consulting, counseling, and legal advice on all aspects of the institutional response to misconduct. She assists institutions in designing effective institutional responses that integrate the complex federal and state regulatory framework with the unique dynamics of trauma and the impacts of interpersonal violence on individuals and communities. Leslie regularly advises presidents, boards, senior leadership, counsel, student affairs, human resources, campus law enforcement, Title IX Coordinators, and other campus partners in implementing trauma-informed, fair, and impartial processes.
Leslie helps institutions develop comprehensive policies, procedures, systems, and training programs in compliance with Title IX, Title VII, the Clery Act, as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and state and local laws. Leslie conducts comprehensive policy audits; drafts policies, procedures, and internal operating protocols; develops and trains multi-disciplinary teams; serves as an expert adviser to campus task forces and working groups; consults and advises on Title IX investigation, adjudication and appeal proceedings; and assists educational institutions in meeting federal compliance obligations and responding to investigations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Clery Compliance Division. She served on the stalking subcommittee of the U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and has been designated as an approved equity consultant by OCR.
In addition to her work on sexual assault and intimate partner violence, Leslie is nationally recognized for her knowledge and experience related to child sexual and physical abuse, child protection and child protective services laws. She conducts training and prevention programs on the identification and prevention of child abuse; provides child protection planning related to background checks, professional boundaries, physical plant, and mandatory reporter policies; coordinates internal investigations with child protective services and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; and conducts child abuse investigations. Leslie also assists educational institutions in evaluating and responding to historical allegations of abuse in an open and transparent manner designed to promote child safety and welfare. She is a faculty member for ChildFirst Pennsylvania where she teaches forensic interviewing to multi-disciplinary teams of law enforcement and child protective services professionals.
Leslie has two decades of experience investigating sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence, and stalking, first as a career child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault prosecutor, and later as counsel to colleges, universities, K-12 schools, hospitals, summer camps, child-serving organizations, non-profits, community associations, and other institutions. Leslie directs internal investigations; coordinates communications and interactions with law enforcement and related agencies; and advises about the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings. She has led numerous highly complex investigations involving sexual and gender-based harassment and violence and child abuse at educational and religious institutions.
Prior to private practice, Leslie served as an assistant district attorney at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for 14 years. She handled complex child abuse, kidnapping, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault cases for more than 11 years. She regularly prosecuted cases involving very young and especially vulnerable children, children with special needs or disabilities, children who were long-term victims of incest or child abuse, and children who were victims of serial pedophiles and repeat sexual offenders. She served as the chief of the Juvenile Court Unit at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. She was involved in every aspect of investigation and charging decisions in cases of sexual and domestic violence against minor victims for both juvenile and adult offenders. For more than five years, Leslie oversaw charging decisions and served as a liaison with the Philadelphia Police Department Special Victims Unit, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance and local hospitals with respect to the investigation and prosecution of allegations of child abuses in Philadelphia County. She also was instrumental in obtaining grant monies and developing the protocol to allow child victims to testify outside the presence of the defendant in the Philadelphia courts.
As the senior prosecutor for child abuse and sex crimes litigation in the Juvenile Division, Leslie directly supervised and mentored more than 100 young prosecutors. She instructed them on pretrial investigation, case preparation, evaluating credibility, trial strategy, ethical issues, and the unique dynamics of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child abuse, and stalking, including the neurobiological impacts of trauma. She authored numerous training materials and template briefs that continue to be used as the core of the District Attorney’s training program. She has a firm grasp on policy and law with respect to competency, taint, prior bad acts, other crimes evidence, tender years hearsay exceptions, rape shield, physical and medical findings of abuse, forensic issues, alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, non-stranger sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking.
Leslie presents education and training programs and CLE programs at educational institutions and conferences across the country. She is a regular contributor to the Clery Center, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), College and University Police and Investigators Conference (CUPIC), Stetson University National Conference on Law and Higher Education, the Virginia Campus Safety Forum, University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Prior speaking or CLE engagements include the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools, Headmistresses Association of the East, and United Educators. Recent publications include articles in the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine and Penn State Law Review, as well as a chapter in Campus Sexual Assault Response Teams: Program Development and Operational Management.
Leslie is a volunteer child advocate attorney through the Support Center for Child Advocates and a member of the boards of the Center City Crime Victims Services and the Joseph J. Peters Institute, a nonprofit providing outpatient assessment and treatment for victims and offenders in the area of sexual abuse.
Leslie received her undergraduate degree from Brown University, magna cum laude, and her law degree from Yale Law School.
Ann C. Goodman, Ph.D. Associate Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students
New Mexico State University
Ann C. Goodman, Ph.D., currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students at New Mexico State University. In her role, Goodman maintains oversight of student conduct and community standards, campus activities and leadership engagement, fraternity & sorority life, LGBTQ+ programs, student government, student media, and the CARE/BIT team programs.
Prior to her role at NMSU, Goodman spent over 31 years at Texas A&M University in College Station serving in a variety of student life positions in the areas of student orientation, critical incident response; student conduct and investigative models; fraternity and sorority life, adult, graduate and off campus student services, risk management education, and alcohol education and prevention programs. Dr. Goodman was awarded the FIPG Outstanding Greek Professional Award in 2010 by the Fraternal Information & Programming Group, and Association of Student Conduct Administrators Distinguished Service Award in 2006. She has served as a faculty member and past director of the ASCA Donald D. Gehring Academy for Student Conduct Administration, a faculty member for the inaugural Novak Interdisciplinary Institute for Hazing Prevention, and presenter at numerous student affairs conferences.
Dr. Goodman received her Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership Education and Communications from Texas A&M University, her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration and her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Recreation from New Mexico State University.
Oren Griffin, J.D., Ph.D. Professor of Law and Associate Dean
Mercer University School of Law
Oren R. Griffin is a Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the Mercer University School of Law, and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, administrator, and legal counsel. In addition to his background as a faculty member, Professor Griffin has served as a practicing attorney with the Detroit, Michigan based law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, and the Atlanta, Georgia based law firm of Elarbee Thompson representing colleges and universities in state and federal courts in matters regarding labor and employment, and higher education law. He is a member and has been a presenter for the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and an invited participant at the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance Roundtable sponsored by the University of Houston Law Center. Likewise, Professor Griffin has been a frequent speaker at the Stetson University, National Conference on Law and Higher Education and member of the teaching faculty for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Certificate Program regarding Student Affairs Law and Policy. Moreover, Professor Griffin has served as an administrative hearing officer and program evaluator for the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which serves as the primary accreditation body for colleges and universities in the nation’s southeastern region. Professor Griffin’s teaching focuses on civil procedure, labor and employment law, and education law, and his scholarship has been widely published in law review and policy journals across the country. Most recently, he is the author of “Investigating College Student Misconduct: Understanding the Internal Investigation Process in Higher Education” which concentrates on the legal issues affecting the investigation of student misconduct in higher education published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Professor Griffin received his bachelor’s degree from Southern University in New Orleans, a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and a law degree from the Washington and Lee University, School of Law.
Steven J. Healy Chief Executive Officer
Steven J. Healy is Chief Executive Officer of Margolis Healy and is a nationally recognized expert on campus public safety, Title IX and the Clery Act. From 2003 through 2009, he was the Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at Princeton University where he led the University’s safety, security, and law enforcement programs and is credited with enhancing and expanding the department’s overall professionalism and capabilities through improved leadership, additional personnel, significant strategic investments in training, updated equipment, new computer systems and a relocation to a technologically advanced facility. Prior to Princeton, Steven was the Chief of Police at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. He also served as Director of Operations at the Department of Public Safety at Syracuse University for five years.
A past president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), Steven served as a member of the association’s Government Relations Committee for 13 years, and was the IACLEA Regional Director for the North Atlantic Region during his tenure at Wellesley. As president of IACLEA, Steven contributed significantly to the national dialogue about campus safety and security in the aftermath of the tragic rampage-shooting incident at Virginia Tech University in April 2007. As the Immediate Past President of IACLEA, Steven led an IACLEA special panel reviewing post-Virginia Tech challenges and concerns for the higher education community. He also served as IACLEA’s representative to the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) “National Campus Safety and Security Project” and to EDUCAUSE’s “The IT Role in Campus Safety” project. He was a featured speaker and panelist with Dr. Gary Margolis, co-founder of Margolis Healy, on emergency response and recovery at the NACUBO annual meeting. In 2009, he was named a Fellow at the Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention. Steven is also a past president of the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.
Steven serves as a subject-matter expert for the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. He testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the topic of “Security on America’s Campuses” and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor on the topic of “Best Practices for Keeping America’s Campuses Safe.” At the request of the U.S. Department of Education, he was asked to serve on a special working group developing emergency management planning guidelines for the higher education community.
Steven has been a featured presenter at several ACE Annual Meetings, addressing various issues related to campus safety, security, emergency management, and regulatory compliance. He served as chairperson of the National Center for Campus Public Safety Advisory Board and was responsible for leading the development of a strategic plan and framework for the National Center for Campus Public Safety. Steven is currently the Chair of the Advisory Board for the National Center for Campus Public Safety, which was funded by Congress with bipartisan support in 2013.
Steven is a frequently requested and nationally recognized consultant, presenter, and trainer who speaks on issues related to campus safety and security. He has appeared on numerous national news programs and talk shows including CNN, ABC Nightly News, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. Steven was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People in the Security Industry” by Security Magazine.
Steven is a 1984 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He spent 10 years on active duty with the United States Air Force as Security Police Officer. From 1992 to 1995, He was the Operations Officer for the 95th Security Police Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base.
Leah Heinecke-Krumhus, J.D. Senior Counsel
Adtalem Global Education
Leah Heinecke-Krumhus serves as Senior Counsel at Adtalem Global Education and supports four higher education institutions in this role: Chamberlain University, Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Prior to this role, Leah spent 2 years at Northeastern Illinois University as the Director of Equal Opportunity, Title IX Coordinator & Ethics Officer. Leah began working in the higher education sector 10 years ago within a community college system. Leah has had the opportunity to serve as an attorney, a board liaison, Title IX District Director and Director of Equal Opportunity.
Leah provides advice to her institutions on matters involving policy development, affiliation agreements, student conduct, Title IX and the Clery Act, FERPA, and ADA Accommodations.
William Hoye, LL.M., J.D. EVP, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer
William P. Hoye is executive vice president, general counsel and chief operating officer of IES Abroad, one of the nation’s largest, most experienced and reputable not-for-profit organizations providing study abroad programs to U.S. college and university students.
A leading scholar, legal mind and experienced higher education administrator and lawyer, Bill served the University of Notre Dame as associate vice president and deputy general counsel for 12 years prior to joining IES in 2007. He served as a concurrent associate professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and served as Faculty Editor of The Journal of College and University Law from 1994 until 2016. In 2016, he was named a Fellow of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Bill has taught law school courses in legal ethics, the legal environment of business, trial advocacy and dispute resolution, and he has given more than 100 invited talks, lectures and presentations on various topics.
At IES Abroad, Bill serves as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer and as its General Counsel. His responsibilities include as overseeing legal affairs, risk management and risk assessment, as well as crisis management, global real estate, student affairs, IT and human resources. Bill was a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad for 9 years, and a member of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee for 5 years. He also served as a visiting fellow at New College, Oxford University. Bill has published over a dozen scholarly law review and other articles. He has been featured in or quoted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, NPR, the BBC, and New York Times and other media outlets on a number of occasions. He is regarded as one of the nation’s leading experts on legal, risk and crisis management issues affecting international programs. He holds an LL.M Masters of Law Degree in International Human Rights Law from Notre Dame Law School, a Jurisprudence Doctorate from Drake University Law School and a B.A. from St. John’s University.
Deborah Hunter, Ph.D. Higher Education Faculty
University of Vermont
Dr. Hunter, long time Coordinator of UVM’s renown graduate program in Higher Education and Student Affairs, has also served as Associate Dean of the College of Education and Social Services and Chair of the Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences. She and her UVM graduate students are active in hosting the annual Legal Issues in Higher Education conference.
Christi Hurt, M.P.A Margolis Healy & Institutional Response Group
Christi Hurt works with both Margolis Healy and the Institutional Response Group at Cozen O’Connor. She is the former Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff for the Division of Student Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In this role, she supported pan-university efforts to foster student success, ensure campus safety, and promote equity and access for all students. Prior to serving in this role, Hurt served as the Director of the Carolina Women’s Center, where she increased the capacity of the Center to serve students, faculty, and staff who experienced interpersonal violence and abuse. Additionally, she served as the University’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator and chaired the campus-wide Task Force to revise the University’s policy on prohibited discrimination and harassment, including sexual misconduct, which was enacted across campus in 2014.
Before beginning her tenure at the University, Hurt spent more than 20 years working on local, state, and national levels to eliminate interpersonal violence and develop responsive support systems. She in a national trainer on strategic planning, organizational capacity building, and succession planning in nonprofit organizations and frequently works with organizations during periods of significant transition to help ensure their growth and success over time. She served as the Member Services Director, Associate Director, and Interim Director of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and worked with the National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project. She started her work to end violence in 1991, when she began working as a crisis line volunteer at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She earned her Master in Public Administration and her undergraduate degree at UNC, and began work on her Doctorate in Public Health at UNC in the fall of 2018.
Hurt serves as an adjunct faculty member at UNC in the Department for Women’s and Gender Studies, where she teaches a course on leadership and violence prevention, and in the School of Government, where she teaches courses on nonprofit management and nonprofit/government relationships.
Cheri Jack, M.S. Associate Dean of Students
Collin College’s Preston Ridge Campus
Cheri Jack is the Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Investigator for Collin College, which is a multi-campus community college district serving more than 55,000 students. Her role is to advocate for student success, support the teaching and learning environment, address discipline issues, investigate Title IX complaints, and serve as a member of the Strategies of Behavioral Intervention (SOBI) team.
Cheri currently serves as a board member for the University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education conference. She has worked in higher education for more than thirty years at both community colleges and four-year institutions. Her background includes professional experience in the areas of discipline, Title IX Investigation, advocacy, academic advising, student life, counseling, student unions, career services, housing, and leadership. In addition, she has taught as an adjunct faculty member for ten years, and conducts faculty and staff training and development seminars.
She has presented at regional and national conferences including: the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO), the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH), the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the Texas Higher Education Law Conference, and the University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference. Cheri earned a M.S in Counselor Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she has a B.S. with a double major in psychology and communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Kevin Jackson, Ph.D. Vice President for Student Life
Having experienced the transformational power of higher education in his own life, Dr. Kevin P. Jackson is passionate about creating learning environments that not only inform the mind, but form the heart and soul as well. His journey as a leader, teacher, and mentor in higher education spans more than 30 years and led him to Baylor University in 2009 where he serves currently as the vice president for student life. In this position, he leads a comprehensive student affairs division dedicated to enhancing students’ educational, spiritual, cultural, and physical development. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the School of Education where he teaches on leadership.
Before joining Baylor University, Dr. Jackson served Texas A&M University for 22 years in positions that included assistant vice president for student affairs and visiting assistant professor with the College of Education and Human Development, director for student activities, and senior associate director of the Memorial Student Center. Prior to A&M, he served as associate director for student union and activities at the University of Denver.
Dr. Jackson earned his doctorate in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University, his masters in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver, and his bachelors cum laude in Journalism and Business from the University of North Texas. He has been active in a number of professional associations as well as has been named an outstanding alumnus of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, is a recipient of the Stetson University College of Law, Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, Facilitator Award, and has been recognized as a distinguished member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
He and his wife, Garret, a reading specialist, are parents of three adult daughters: Taylor, Lauren, and Emily.
Adam Jussel, J.D. Dean of Students
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Nazely Kurkjian, M.S. Coordinator of Disability
Diversity & Nontraditional Student Services, SUNY
Nazely Kurkjian is the Coordinator of Disability, Diversity & Nontraditional Student Services within the Office of University Life at SUNY System Administration. Prior to her role at SUNY, Nazely was the Adaptive Technology Specialist in the Services for Students with Disabilities Office at Binghamton University. Nazely serves as the System liaison to the Campus Disability Services Offices across SUNY. She actively participates in state level and system-wide committees and outreach activities to advance accessibility and inclusion for learners with disabilities. Nazely has presented at numerous conferences including the Accessing Higher Grounds Conference, SUNY Technology Conference, SUNY Diversity Conference, Eastern New York Association of College and Research Libraries Conference, and the New York State Disability Services Council Conferences. Nazely earned her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Binghamton University and Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration at Binghamton University.
Nicholas F. Laino, M.S. Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance
Nicholas F. Laino is currently serving as the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at Herkimer County Community College in Herkimer, NY. He served as Interim President for twelve months in 2014-2015 and as Officer in Charge for four months in 2014 and six months in 2008. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority in Syracuse, NY and Chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee. He also serves as a Community Director for the Bank of Cooperstown in Cooperstown, NY, and an Advisory Board Member of HNP Capital in Pittsford/Rochester, NY and as an Adjunct Lecturer at Utica College of Syracuse University, SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, Cazenovia College and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Herkimer County Community College. Mr. Laino also served as a Former Treasurer for the Utica City School District and Former Councilman for the City of Utica – elected at age 23.
Mr. Laino received a Master of Science in Business Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business and Public Management from SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome and an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration from SUNY College of Technology at Delhi.
Mr. Laino’s Professional Affiliations include President for the New York State Community College Business Officers Association where he formerly served as the Vice President and Chairman of the Education Committee, Evaluator for Middle States Commission on Higher Education, former Member of the SUNY Shared Services Steering Committee, and former Member of the SUNY Strategic Planning “Group of 200.”
Tamla Lewis, J.D., M.Ed. Associate Dean for Administration, Compliance and Special Initiatives
University of Arkansas School of Law
Tamla J. Lewis serves as Associate Dean for Administration, Compliance and Special Initiatives for the University of Arkansas School of Law. Prior to joining the law school, Ms. Lewis served for ten years as an Associate General Counsel with the Office of General Counsel for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Ms. Lewis received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law and a M.Ed. in Workforce Development Education from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; she is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, with a B.A. in English. During law school, Ms. Lewis served for two years as a law clerk in the University of Arkansas General Counsel’s office. She returned to the University of Arkansas after serving as an Associate with the Rogers office of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, where her practice focused on civil litigation, including employment and business litigation. Prior to law school, Ms. Lewis was employed by the Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office and the Cross, Kearney & McKissic law firm in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Steven J. McDonald, J.D. General Counsel
Rhode Island School of Design
Steven J. McDonald has served as general counsel of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) since 2002. In that role, he is the college’s primary legal counsel and manages its legal affairs, providing legal services to trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, student leaders, and affiliated entities in connection with their activities on behalf of the institution.
For the decade before he came to RISD, Steve served as associate legal counsel at The Ohio State University. He began his legal career at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, where among other things he successfully represented CompuServe in Cubby v. CompuServe, the first online libel case. He also taught at Ohio State’s College of Law and at Capital University Law School.
An active participant in the higher education legal community, Steve is a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the editor of the NACUA publication The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: A Legal Compendium, one of the developers of its NACUANOTES legal information service, and a regular leader or member of its committees.
Steve also presents and writes frequently on issues of higher education law. He has spoken at ACE, AGB, CUPA-HR, EDUCAUSE, IAPP, ICPL, NACUA, NACUBO, NASAD, NASPA, NERCOMP, URMIA, and United Educators programs, among others, as well as at the Stetson, University of Vermont, and Valencia higher education legal issues conferences. In addition, his articles have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and other publications. He served on the legal advisory boards for the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. At RISD, he often lectures on intellectual property law and artistic freedom.
In 2007, NACUA named Steve a Fellow in recognition of his “extensive scholarship in higher education law over an extended period of time.” In 2016, NACUA granted him its Distinguished Service Award for “extraordinary service both to NACUA and to institutions of higher learning over an extended period of time.”
Steve received his AB in political science from Duke University and his JD from the Yale Law School. In State, ex rel. Thomas v. The Ohio State University, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that he really is a lawyer.
Thomas Mercurio, J.D. Appeal Officer
University of Vermont
Thomas Mercurio served in the General Counsel’s Office at the University of Vermont for twenty-eight years before retiring in early 2017. He now serves part-time as an appeal officer in the Division of Student Affairs at UVM. Before coming to UVM, Tom was a law clerk with the New Hampshire Supreme Court and an instructor at Vermont Law School. He was also a staff attorney with Vermont Legal Aid and legal counsel for the Vermont Department of Education. He has taught classes in education law, higher education law, and special education law. Tom has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Boston College.
Leonard M. Niehoff, J.D. Professor from Practice
University of Michigan Law School
Leonard M. (“Len”) Niehoff serves as Professor from Practice at the University of Michigan Law School, where he teaches courses in civil procedure, evidence, First Amendment, legal ethics, and media law, and seminars in law & theology and problems in media law.
He is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications, including a book on evidence, a treatise on media law, a monograph on the attorney-client privilege, several book chapters, and dozens of law review and bar journal articles.
He is currently at work on books on the First Amendment and on the Salem witch trials.
A variety of major media outlets have quoted him as an expert on legal issues, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, National Public Radio, Variety, Bloomberg, Politifact, the Intercept, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, and Crain’s.
Professor Niehoff is also a practitioner of national prominence in three fields: trial and appellate litigation, media and First Amendment law, and higher education law.
He has argued cases in state and federal trial courts throughout Michigan, in the Michigan Court of Appeals, in the Michigan Supreme Court, and in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and has briefed cases in the Supreme Court of the United States.
He has represented a wide array of print, broadcast, and online media entities in dozens of libel, invasion of privacy, freedom of information, court access, and other matters. His clients have included The Detroit News, CBS, ABC, NBC, Turner, Scripps, and WXYZ-TV. He has served as legal counsel on journalistic projects that have won major awards, including a Pulitzer Prize (The Detroit News) and a Peabody Award (Michigan Public Radio).
Over the years, he has represented every public university in the State of Michigan and a number of out-of-state schools and private universities, including Yale. He served on the team that represented the University of Michigan in its historic defense of its affirmative action policies, which led to the Supreme Court decisions in the Gratz and Grutter cases.
He is currently Of Counsel to the Honigman law firm, where he chairs or co-chairs the media & entertainment, appellate, and higher education law practice groups and works from its Ann Arbor, Michigan, office.
Jeffrey Nolan, J.D. Senior Counsel
Holland & Knight
Mr. Nolan is an education and labor and employment attorney with more than 25 years of experience representing clients in federal and state courts, as well as before federal and state administrative agencies.
Mr. Nolan advises, educates and helps clients to manage potential conflicts, enhance the safety of individuals and environments, and successfully navigate the maze of legal obligations faced by institutions of higher education and employers. Mr. Nolan works with clients throughout the United States regarding situations that implicate Title IX, the Clery Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other laws that apply in the higher education context. In addition, he conducts systemwide compliance assessments and investigations, and helps clients develop appropriate policies and training programs. Mr. Nolan also advises employers on employment law compliance and helps them create effective employment policies, and he advises and trains campus personnel and employers on investigations, threat assessment and workplace violence prevention. He also conducts investigations for colleges, universities, employers and schools regarding reported sexual harassment and sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other sensitive campus and workplace matters.
Mr. Nolan has bar admissions in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. He earned his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Vermont.
Kimberly Novak, CEO
NovakTalks & PIKE Fraternity
Kimberly Novak, CEO NovakTalks is an independent consultant for Campus Safety, Student Risk Management and Student Organization Development. Additionally she serves Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity as the Director of Health & Safety. She is recognized as a national expert in student-focused risk management, student organization conduct, hazing prevention, and involving students in campus safety efforts. She has been invited to speak /consult at national conferences and on college campuses around the country and has served as faculty for several nationally sponsored professional institutes including the Interfraternity Institute and the Interdisciplinary Institute for Hazing Prevention. Prior to embarking on her consulting career, Kim served as the Director for Student and Campus Community Development at Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix campus. Her primary responsibilities involved the oversight and development of administration and supervision of a team that led Student Conduct Programs, High Risk Behavior Education, Student Affairs Risk Management, Student Advocacy Services, Crisis Intervention and Response as well as Campus Safety for the new urban campus. She was also the Assistant Director for Student Affairs Risk Management at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus where she led the design and implementation of a comprehensive and proactive risk management model for The Division of Student Affairs. Prior to joining the ASU community, Kim worked for eight years at Texas A&M University where she served as Program Coordinator for Risk Management and Organizational Development and led the implementation of the University’s internationally recognized proactive risk management plan for student organizations.
Kim approaches her work with college students with the heart of an advocate and is committed to the advancement of communities of care on college campuses across the country.
Debbie Osgood, J.D. Partner
Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, Ltd
Debbie Osgood is a Partner in the Education Group at Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose. Debbie represents public and private colleges and universities on a wide range of educational policy and legal issues, including civil rights issues such as Title IX sexual harassment and violence, athletics, transgender students, and accommodations. Her area of specialty is advising colleges and universities on how to best position their institution to avoid claims of discrimination and how to effectively respond to any claims. Debbie is a nationally recognized expert and frequent speaker on educational civil rights issues. Prior to joining HMBR in 2016, Debbie was an attorney for 25 years with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She most recently served as National Enforcement Director in OCR Headquarters and previously as the Director and Chief Attorney of the OCR Chicago Office. Debbie’s OCR career spanned four different Presidential administrations. She began her career at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. specializing in federal administrative law. Debbie graduated from Brown University and the University of Michigan Law School. She is licensed to practice in Illinois and D.C.
Jennifer Papillo, LL.M., J.D. Associate General Counsel
University of Vermont
Jennifer L. Papillo joined the University of Vermont Office of the General Counsel in August 2010 in the position of Assistant General Counsel, and was promoted to Associate General Counsel in July 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Elon University, a Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law, as well as a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, with a focus on tax exempt organizations and estate planning. Before coming to UVM, Ms. Papillo served as a tax law clerk for the American Cancer Society, Inc.’s Office of Corporation Counsel in Washington, DC, and a research assistant to Peter F. Lake in the writing of Beyond Discipline: Managing the Modern Higher Education Environment (Hierophant Enterprises, Inc., 2009). Ms. Papillo also worked with Mr. Lake in planning and executing the National Conference on Law and Higher Education from 2008-2010, which is jointly sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law and NASPA. Ms. Papillo’s representation of UVM includes practice across a broad range of legal issues, including taxation, finance, gifts and estates, benefits administration, Clery Act, Title IX, and other regulatory compliance issues, student affairs, governmental relations, litigation, policy development and review, as well as execution of University affiliations.
Daniel R. Pascale, CPP Executive Vice President
Daniel Pascale is responsible for Margolis Healy consulting strategies, business development initiatives, and security and emergency management related services for clients. In this role, he has worked with dozens of institutions to conduct emergency plan and program reviews, and hazard, risk and vulnerability assessments. He has also conducted executive training programs, both facility and campus-wide security assessments and developed relevant emergency preparedness and security related policies and procedures.
Prior to joining Margolis Healy full time in October 2012, Dan was the Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness, Communications & Security Services for the University of Chicago (UC). He was responsible for overseeing all aspects of physical security systems including the design, procurement and implementation of security technology and contract security staff. In addition, Dan oversaw the UC Communications Center, mass notification systems and the UC Police Department Emergency Operations Plan and NIMS compliance. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he spent 10 years with Rutgers University in NJ where he held the position of Commander of Security Operations and later the Director of Emergency Management.
Dan is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and is a two-time award winner for CPP instruction. He was selected as one of America’s “Top 20 Security Professionals under 40” by Security Director News in July 2009. He has completed the Emergency Management Institutes Incident Command, Unified Command and Community Educator programs, in addition to Basic and Enhanced Risk Assessment through the Department of Homeland Security and Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). In 2015, Dan contributed the lead chapter to the book “Emerging Trends in K-12 Campus Security” from the “Inside the Minds” series from Aspatore. In addition, he has written several articles published in periodicals such as Security Management, Security Dynamics and Campus Security Report relating to event planning, risk analysis and physical security. Dan is a Past President of the NJ College & University Public Safety Association, former Chair of the ASIS International School Safety & Security Council and also served as a member of the NJ Governor’s Campus Security Task Force in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy.
Sharon Reich Paulsen, J.D. Vice President and General Counsel
University of Vermont
Sharon Reich Paulsen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, summa cum laude, from Yale University, and her Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School, where she was note editor of the Stanford Law Review and received the Board of Editors Award for her editorial contributions.
After clerking for the Honorable Harlington Wood Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Civil Division Honors Program and served as a trial attorney, primarily engaged in constitutional litigation. She later joined the Business Litigation Department of Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) in Minneapolis, where she handled a wide range of business and employment disputes, until she entered academia as Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota Law School.
As Associate Dean, Ms. Paulsen revamped the University of Minnesota Law School’s legal writing program and trial practice program, created a new moot court program, a new civil litigation concentration, a Master of Science in Patent Law program, and a summer mock trial institute. For the majority of her time at the law school, she also served as Senior Associate Dean for Administration, overseeing all aspects of the administrative operation, including admissions and career services, and she advised the dean on innovation, strategic planning, and experiential learning. Teaching responsibilities included Conflict of Laws, Trial Practice, Judicial Externship, and a variety of litigation-related courses.
Ms. Paulsen took a leave from the law school from 2004 to 2011 to serve as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff to the Provost of the University of Minnesota. As chief advisor to the provost, she was the liaison with senior campus academic and administrative leaders, ensuring effective implementation of academic initiatives, handling grievances and legal issues, preparing and implementing the annual work plan for the Office of the Provost, and supervising all professional and support staff as well as daily management and operations in the Provost’s Office.
She played a leading role in overseeing and implementing the academic side of the university’s strategic positioning effort. She returned to the position of Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota Law School in 2013.
Ms. Paulsen joined the leadership team at the University of Vermont in 2016.
Joshua W. B. Richards, J.D. Partner
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Josh Richards is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, where he is the Vice-Chair of the firm’s Higher Education Practice. Josh helps colleges and universities address legal issues through counseling, litigation, appeals and strategic responses to government enforcement. Josh provides mission-driven advice to his clients on a wide range of matters involving employment disputes, student conduct, faculty relations, Title IX and the Clery Act, disability issues, board governance, financial exigency, data security, accreditation, minors on campus, and civil tort claims, including student death and abuse matters. Josh received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. from Middlebury College. Josh serves as a member of NACUA’s Board of Directors and on the Advisory Board for the Legal Issues in Higher Education conference.
Gemma Rinefierd, Ed.D. Director
SUNY Student Conduct Institute
Gemma Rinefierd is the Founding Director of the SUNY Student Conduct Institute. Gemma has worked in higher education for over 15 years and has regularly developed trainings within higher education. Gemma has worked at small colleges, and large research universities both in New York and abroad.
Gemma received her Doctorate of Education as well as a Certificate in Program Evaluation from the Margaret Warner School of Human Development at the University of Rochester, her Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration from Syracuse University and a Bachelors Degree in English from SUNY Albany.
Working as a practitioner in the field as the Director of Student Conduct at SUNY Cortland, as well as Associate Proctor for Residents’ Conduct at the University of Essex, Gemma brings a focus to the practical application of regulatory guidance, case law and statutes to the Student Conduct Institute.
Gemma has worked in Residential Life and Student Conduct, focusing on student leadership, student development, and student behavior.
Hannah Ross, J.D. General Counsel & Chief of Staff
Hannah Ross was appointed as the first General Counsel of Middlebury College on December 1, 2016. She serves as the General Counsel to the liberal arts college in Vermont, as well as the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey, California, the Bread Loaf School of English, and Middlebury’s Language Schools and Schools Abroad. She provides legal and strategic advice to the President, the Board of Trustees, and senior administrators. As Chief of Staff, Hannah serves as an advisor and thought partner to the President and her senior leadership team, organizing, coordinating, and translating initiatives and plans into action. Ms. Ross has practiced in higher education since 2003, when she joined Princeton’s Office of the General Counsel. Ms. Ross supervises litigation and provides advice and counsel on a number of state and federal regulatory and compliance matters. At Princeton, her practice areas focused on (1) student affairs, especially safety and accessibility issues; (2) campus development and construction; (3) privacy and information security; (4) copyright, and support for the libraries; (5) disabilities and accommodations, and (6) support for health services. Ms. Ross is actively involved in the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and currently serves as one of the Vice-Chairs of the NACUANotes Editorial Board. She also serves on the Steering Committee of Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers (HEREL) and hosted the 8th HEREL conference in 2010. Prior to Princeton, Ms. Ross was in private practice as a civil litigator and employment lawyer with Hill & Barlow, P.C. and Goulston & Storrs in Boston. After law school, she clerked for Justice Denise Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court. Ms. Ross received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University.
Laura Rothstein, J.D. Professor of Law and Distinguished University Scholar
University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Laura Rothstein’s work on disability law began in 1979, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Developmental Disability Law Project, where she represented clients with disabilities while a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Since 1980, she has written sixteen books and dozens of book chapters, articles, and other works on disability discrimination, covering a broad range of issues, with an emphasis on disability discrimination in higher education and special education. She has brought her knowledge of legal issues to her leadership and service within higher education and legal education. She has applied her knowledge during her service in administrative positions, including Associate Dean for Student Services (University of Houston Law Center from 1986 to 1993) and Dean (University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law 2000 to 2005). From 1980 to 1986, she served as the Faculty Editor of the Journal of College and University Law (co-published at that time by the National Association of College & University Attorneys and West Virginia University College of Law). She currently is a member of the JCUL Editorial Advisory Board.
She received the William A. Kaplin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy Scholarship from the Stetson Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy 2011, and an award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity from the University of Louisville in 2012 and Brandeis School of Law Outstanding Teacher in 2015.
Scott Schneider, J.D. Partner
Husch Blackwell LLP
Scott Schneider is a partner in the Austin office of Husch Blackwell LLP where he assists education entities around the country with complex legal issues, including particularly sensitive matters like institutional response to sexual assault.
He’s a prominent litigator, as well as a sought-after advisor in regards to Title IX, training programs, faculty hiring, promotion and tenure, and risk management within student affairs. He also provides expert witness testimony on matters dealing with institutional response to allegations of sexual misconduct. Scott is nationally recognized for his contributions to news media including NPR, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, CBS News, and the Wall Street Journal.
He has also provided training or delivered presentations for the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of Student Conduct Administrators’ Gehring Institute, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement, Educause, and various associations of independent schools.
Additionally, Scott is an award-winning professor at Tulane University where he teaches on Higher Education and Labor and Employment law. Scott has been retained by the National Center for Campus Public Safety to serve as a faculty member for its Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication training program for campus officials.
Scott is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for preeminent skill and ethics and has been selected for Best Lawyers in America in Education Law and Labor and Employment Law.
Jody Shipper, J.D. Managing Director
Grand River Solutions, Inc.
Jody Shipper is a Managing Director of Grand River Solutions, a provider of equity, Title IX, and Clery consulting and technology solutions. She has been working in the field of higher education, Title IX, Clery/VAWA, and employment law and has conducted workplace and academic investigations for more than twenty years. Previously, she was the founder of Project IX, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with smaller or under-resourced campuses to provide support and advice regarding Title IX, VAWA, and gender-based harm. Prior to those roles, Ms. Shipper served as a Title IX Coordinator, and Systemwide Director for Title IX/VAWA/Clery and Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence for the University of California system, and as the Executive Director of Equity and Diversity for the University of Southern California. Ms. Shipper has conducted and overseen thousands of investigations, and lectures extensively at universities and conferences throughout the United States on Title IX and equity laws, institutional responsibilities, and the implementation of best practices.
Gina Maisto Smith, J.D. Chair
Institutional Response Group
Gina focuses her practice on the institutional response to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, child abuse, and other forms of harassment, discrimination, and criminal conduct. Gina provides consulting, counseling, and legal advice on all aspects of the institutional response to misconduct. She assists institutions in designing effective institutional responses that integrate the complex federal and state regulatory framework with the unique dynamics of trauma and the impacts of interpersonal violence on individuals and communities. Gina is frequently called upon to advise institutional clients including presidents, boards, senior leadership, and counsel on the complex intersections of trauma-informed, fair, and impartial processes with the intersecting legal landscape.
She regularly advises educational and child-serving institutions including public and private K-12 schools and colleges and universities about policies, changes in the law, and investigations into allegations of child abuse and sexual misconduct, including sexual violence. She regularly conducts policy audits and assists in the development of policy and the design and implementation of internal operating procedures. She conducts training for K-12 administrators and multiple university constituencies, including Title IX coordinators, sexual assault response teams, judicial hearing boards, investigators, and members of the campus community.
Gina assists clients with the development of comprehensive policies, procedures, systems, and training programs in compliance with Title IX, Title VII, the Clery Act, as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and state and local laws. Gina conducts comprehensive policy audits; drafts policies, procedures, and internal operating protocols; develops and trains multi-disciplinary teams; serves as an adviser to campus task forces and working groups; consults and advises on Title IX investigation, adjudication, and appeal proceedings; and assists educational institutions in meeting federal compliance obligations and responding to investigations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Clery Compliance Division. She served on the training subcommittee of the U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and has been designated as an approved equity consultant by OCR.
In addition to her work on sexual assault and intimate partner violence, Gina is nationally recognized for her knowledge and experience related to child sexual and physical abuse, child protection, and child protective services laws. She frequently advises clients in evaluating and responding to historical allegations of abuse in a legally informed and open and transparent manner designed to promote child safety and welfare. Her experience includes several high-profile external investigations for clients including the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, health care institutions, daycare centers, summer camps, and K-12 schools. Gina conducts training and prevention programs on the identification and prevention of child abuse; provides child protection planning related to background checks, professional boundaries, physical plant, and mandatory reporter policies; coordinates internal investigations with child protective services and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; and conducts child abuse investigations.
Before entering private practice, Gina spent nearly two decades in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she investigated numerous cases, handled more than 100 jury trials, and developed unmatched experience in the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence. She also trained prosecutors, investigators, and police handling the most difficult aspect of sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence investigations.
As the senior prosecutor for child abuse and sex crimes litigation, Gina instructed on pretrial investigation, case preparation, evaluating credibility, trial strategy, ethical issues, and the unique dynamics of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child abuse and stalking, including the neurobiological impacts of trauma. She authored numerous training materials that continue to be used as the core of the District Attorney’s training program. She has a firm grasp on policy and law with respect to competency, taint, prior bad acts, other crimes evidence, tender years hearsay exceptions, rape shield, physical and medical findings of abuse, forensic issues, alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, non-stranger sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking.
Gina currently presents education and training programs and CLE programs at educational institutions and conferences across the country. She is a regular contributor to the Clery Center, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), College and University Police and Investigators Conference (CUPIC), Stetson University National Conference on Law and Higher Education, the Virginia Campus Safety Forum, University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Prior speaking or CLE engagements include the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools, Headmistresses Association of the East, and United Educators. Recent publications include articles in the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine and Penn State Law Review, as well as a chapter in Campus Sexual Assault Response Teams: Program Development and Operational Management.
Gina served for more than a decade as an adjunct professor at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She has served as a mentor for second-year law students through the Temple Summer Professional Experience Curriculum, a domestic-violence protocol trainer at the Philadelphia Police Department, and as a guest speaker educating local high school, college, and law students about sexual assault, domestic violence, and legal career topics.
Gina is an adviser to the ALI Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus: Procedural Frameworks and Analysis. In addition to publishing several recent articles on Title IX and related issues, in June of 2016, Gina presented at the New York Times Higher Education Leaders Forum. Currently, Gina serves on The Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law on the board of directors and previously served on The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research.
Gina received her undergraduate degree from Saint Joseph’s University and her law degree from Temple University School of Law.
William Stackman, Ph.D. Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Missouri-Columbia
Bill Stackman is the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he provides leadership and vision in administering a comprehensive portfolio of programs, services, and strategic initiatives that promote the learning, academic achievement, and personal development of all students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) and enhance the campus and student life experience at Mizzou. He holds a doctoral degree in Administration, Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University and has worked at a total of nine institutions over the span of 38 years. Bill serves as a consultant and speaks nationally on topics related to legal issues in higher education, leadership, organizational development, and change management.
Nick Stanton, J.D., Director for Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity
University of Vermont
Nick Stanton serves as Director for UVM’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO) and he is the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Nick has extensive experience conducting civil rights-related investigations and has practiced law in a variety of settings. Prior to this role, Nick was an AAEO Investigator. He has represented municipal and private clients as a Staff Attorney with Disability Rights Vermont and as an Associate Attorney with Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC. Nick received his J.D. from Vermont Law School and a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Johnson State College (Northern Vermont University).
Joseph Storch, J.D. Associate Counsel
Joseph Storch is an Associate Counsel in the SUNY Office of General Counsel and Chair of the Student Affairs Practice Group. He concentrates his practice on student affairs and intellectual property, and serves as Principal Investigator on more than $9 million in grants and external funding in violence prevention and response. He has trained thousands of higher education professionals, furnished technical guidance to numerous education institutions, organizations, and associations, advised legislators and staff at the federal and state level, and testified twice to United States Senate Committees (Armed Services, 2019; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 2016). In 2014, Joe received the Commissioner’s Award from the State University Police for contributions to safety on campus. In 2015, he served as a technical adviser to the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, developing comprehensive legislation that was enacted as Education Law Article 129-B. That same year, the National Association of College & University Attorneys awarded him its First Decade Award. In 2017, the One Love Foundation recognized his work in relationship violence prevention with its Unsung Hero Award. He serves as Principal Investigator of the SUNY’s Got Your Back program, which has donated well over 75,000 comfort bags to victims and survivors of violence, the Student Conduct Institute, which provides low-cost, cutting-edge response training to higher education professionals, and the SPECTRUM conference, which addresses violence against LGBTQI+ students. Joe graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Oswego where he served as Vice President of the Student Association, from the University at Albany with a Masters of Public Policy, and from Cornell Law School where he served as Moot Court Board Chancellor. After graduating, he clerked for the New York State Appellate Division, 3rd Department. He serves as Executive Editor of the Student Affairs Compliance Report and Analysis and is the author of more than 65 articles and book chapters in law reviews, practitioner journals, and popular media.
Denzil J. Suite, Ph.D. Vice President for Student Life
University of Washington
Dr. Denzil Suite, Vice President for Student Life, joined the University of Washington in July 2013. In that capacity, he provides leadership and direction for strategic planning, assessment, and staff development for a comprehensive division of student programs and services. He leads a team of approximately 1,000 professionals in creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment through services, programs, and innovative learning experiences beyond the classroom, and through a highly collaborative relationship with other senior UW leaders.
Prior to joining UW, he served as Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Southern California where he had oversight responsibilities for over 20 departments in the division. He also served and as an Associate Professor for Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School of Education. He taught master’s level courses on Student Development, the History of Higher Education, and on Intervention Strategies.
Suite earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Vermont, and a Ph.D. in Policy and Organization from the University of Southern California. His research for his doctorate centered on factors affecting student success in college. He is especially interested in how students from differing backgrounds are affected by the college environment. He chose this topic because of his long-standing commitment to college students and their success.
Dr. Suite has worked professionally in student affairs for over 20 years and has held positions of responsibility at UC Berkeley, Cal State L.A., and UC Santa Cruz. He is the recipient of numerous awards from national, local, and student organizations.
He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for NASPA—the world’s leading association for Student Affairs professionals.
Baishakhi Taylor, M.A., Ph.D. Vice President for Student Affairs
Baishakhi Taylor joined the Middlebury administration in August 2015 as dean of students. In her current role as Vice President for Student Affairs, she oversees residential life including the Common system, judicial affairs, health and wellness education, student activities, orientation, and, Parton Center for Health & Wellness. She is an Assistant Professor in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and the institutional lead for BOLD Women’s Leadership Program.
Taylor holds a master’s degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Northern Iowa and a PhD in sociology from the University of Kentucky. A native of Calcutta, India, she did her undergraduate work in India and moved to the United States in 2000. Prior to coming to Middlebury, Taylor served as associate dean for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, where she oversaw the academic life of roughly 800 students. At Duke, she spearheaded many aspects of the creation of Duke’s strategic partnership in India and directed the civic engagement program for 8 years. Her current research focuses on issues of sexuality and gender in South Asia. Taylor has been a recipient of a Fulbright GPA Award and authored multiple articles on gender identities and higher education.
Katie L. Treadwell, Ed.D. Interim Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards
University of Kansas
Dr. Katie L. Treadwell researches and writes extensively about the aftermath of university crises and the subsequent experiences of campus first responders. She developed her professional identity in higher education through roles in Oklahoma City, Waco, Texas, and New York City, three cities deeply altered by terrorism and the aftermath of disaster. Her father was a medical first responder to the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. As a new student affairs professional, she encountered a high-profile suspected active shooter situation and served on the institution’s review team to improve emergency management and communications. Inspired by her own experience with campus and community tragedy, Dr. Treadwell primarily researches the personal experiences of higher education administrators who encounter high-profile campus disasters.
Dr. Treadwell has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education administration, including significant roles in crisis response, residential life, sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention and response, alcohol risk reduction, and mental health outreach. In 2015, she was recognized as one of Teachers College’s outstanding graduates and new alumni to watch. She leads Student Conduct and Community Standards programs for the University of Kansas.
Susan L. Wheeler, J.D. Former University Counsel
James Madison University
Susan L. Wheeler recently retired as University Counsel for James Madison University and Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where she served for over twenty years. Before that, she served for thirteen years in the legal office at the University of Houston System, as a briefing and research attorney for the First Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas, and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas. Ms. Wheeler has presented at over thirty higher education law conferences, including those sponsored by the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the Stetson University College of Law, the University of Vermont, the University of Houston’s Institute of Higher Education Law and Governance, the University of North Texas, the Texas Association of State University Attorneys (TASUA), and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office Education Section (VACUA). She has also made presentations on legal topics to numerous national, regional and state higher education professional groups, and has presented legal webinars for higher education training providers. She has served on numerous committees and as a member of the Board of Directors of NACUA, and she received the Distinguished Service Award in 2017. She also served as the President of TASUA, and on committees of the Texas Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association. She is a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, and is licensed in Texas and Virginia.
Josh Whitlock, J.D. Partner
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
Josh Whitlock focuses his practice on meeting the legal needs of higher education institutions. He has extensive experience defending colleges and universities in a broad range of litigation and investigations, as well as counseling them on a variety of issues, including campus sexual misconduct, disability accommodation, faculty tenure, and student discipline, safety, and privacy. He has a deep understanding of Title IX, ADA, Section 504, FERPA, and Clery Act compliance.
Josh frequently interacts with the U.S. Department of Education, having successfully represented schools in dozens of federal investigations and participated in multiple, invitation-only, small group listening sessions with Education Department leadership on topics such as Title IX regulatory reform and the rights of transgender students. He is a national thought leader on Title IX- and disability-related claims and compliance and frequently speaks and publishes on those matters.
He also is the former chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Education Law Section and an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Additionally, he was part of a team of attorneys that taught the Higher Education Practicum at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. Josh previously was a partner at an AmLaw 200 firm and a leader of that firm’s education industry team.
Josh is fluent in Spanish and uses his extensive experience living and working in Latin America to serve clients. He also uses his Spanish fluency to serve the community, providing pro bono services to immigrants with mental health disabilities or who need help obtaining domestic violence protection orders.
Josh served on the board of directors for Girls on the Run International and is a member of the Mindfulness in Law Society, which coordinates and promotes activities in the legal profession relating to mindfulness, meditation, and other contemplative practices. He also is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte, which serves as a pipeline for developing diverse leaders in the volunteer community.
Eugene L. Zdziarski, II, Ph.D. Vice President of Student Affairs
Dr. Zdziarski is Vice President of Student Affairs at DePaul University. He regularly makes professional presentations at national, regional and state meetings and serves as a consultant to a variety of colleges and universities on campus crisis management. Dr. Zdziarski has served as an expert panel member and consultant with the US Department of Education and the Department of Justice on campus safety and security issues. He has chaired institutional and student affairs crisis response teams, and has served on institutional emergency operations teams. While serving as Associate Director of Student Life at Texas A&M, Dr. Zdziarski was heavily involved in the response to the 1999 Bonfire collapse. He is the co-author of two books on campus crisis management: Crisis Management: Responding from the Heart and Campus crisis management: A comprehensive guide to planning, prevention, response, and recovery. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University, his Master of Science degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and his Ph.D. is from Texas A&M University.