2018 Presenters

Please note that this is a tentative list and more conference presenters will be added before the conference. Check this web page for updates.

Paula Balafas, B.A., M.A. Commander
University of Colorado Police Department

Paula has 29 years of law enforcement experience in Colorado, which spans both municipal law enforcement (at the Wheat Ridge Police Department and the Cherry Hills Village Police Department) and university law enforcement. Paula holds both a B.A and an M.A in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she is now a police commander. Paula is an active member of the National Association of Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) since 2000 and served on its Executive Board from 2010-2013.


Karl F. Brevitz, J.D. Consultant
Karl F. Brevitz Consulting

Karl F. Brevitz provides consulting services to institutions of higher education in matters of policy governance and compliance, including Title IX and distance education state authorization.  He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and has recently served on the Committees on Web Page Legal Resources, Annual Program, and the NACUANOTES Editorial Board.   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 . 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.  He is a member of the Advisory Board for the University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference.


Traevena Byrd, J.D. Vice President and General Counsel
American University

Traevena Byrd is the Vice President and General Counsel at American University in Washington, DC. As the university’s chief legal officer, she manages the university’s legal affairs and serves as legal advisor to the President and university executive officers. Her career in higher education began at the University of Iowa, where she served as an assistant director of admissions, and was followed by her appointment as the director of the Commission on the Status of African-Americans for the State of Iowa Department of Human Rights. She has previously worked as associate general counsel at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where she regularly taught a civil rights seminar as an adjunct faculty member.

Traevena is a past member of the board of directors for the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and currently serves on the accreditation commission for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). She is a frequent presenter on the subject of First Amendment and student protest, and currently serves as a member of the steering committee for the American Council on Education’s Campus Inclusion and Free Expression Project and as the chair of NACUA’s 2018 conference on Free Speech and Campus Unrest. She received both her B.A. and her J.D. from the University of Iowa.


Charles Carletta, J.D. Senior Associate Counsel
Albany Medical Center

Mr. Carletta is respsible for resolving many of the legal issues confronting the faculty and staff of the Albany Medical College. Prior to this part-time appointment, he had served for sixteen years as the first Secretary of the Institute and General Counsel at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Formerly in private practice of law, Mr. Carletta represented institutions of higher education serving as outside general counsel to several private, public, two and four year institutions including community colleges. He also served as special counsel to several other higher-ed institutions, including the NCAA, as well as those from the for-profit sector. He currently serves as a founding member of the advisory board of the Stetson University College of Law, Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy as well as a founding member of the Advisory Board for Legal Issues in Higher Education at the University of Vermont.


Eva Chatterjee-Sutton, M.A. VP of Student Life & Dean of Students
Washington & Jefferson College

Eva Chatterjee-Sutton joined W&J as the Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students in July of 2013. Eva earned her BS in Sociology and Political Science at Kansas State University and her MA in College Student Development with a minor in Organization Change & Development at the University of Iowa. Upon completion of her graduate work, Eva assumed a position at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) where she held several positions within the Office of Residence Life. In the summer of 1997, Dean Eva joined Bennington College, first as the Associate Director of Student Life and later transitioned to the Dean of Students at Bennington, a role she held for 7 years.

In her tenure at Bennington College, Eva’s commitment to creating a student experience with a strong foundation in student development theory, a deep commitment to community development, and a dedication to creating support structures to provide students the opportunity to realize their full potential was realized. Eva grew the student affairs operation from having a limited focus to an operation that encompassed a broad range of supports and services for students. In addition to the work at Bennington, Eva grew the connection of Bennington College to the neighboring communities through partnerships and programs with community agencies and her own commitment to education and community development.

In 2006, Eva was elected to the School Board in North Bennington, VT and served in that capacity until 2011 when she transition to the leading the Board of Directors of The Village School of North Bennington. The Village School of North Bennington is only the second school in the nation to transition from a public school to an independent school. The process of this change was led by Eva with support from a committee of citizens from the North Bennington community. This work, 5 years in duration, encompassed a highly political and community based process which received state and national attention both during and at its successful conclusion.

Now at W&J, Eva has continued her commitment to creating a holistic and robust student experience. To date this has been marked in part by creating a team in the Division of Student Life whose work resonates with the values of student and community development. She is working to create connections and collaborations across the campus to assist in this effort. Eva has extensive experience with Title IX, division III athletics, student conduct, Greek life, student governance, community engagement, residence life, student activities, career services, student leadership, and student health and counseling. Eva serves a member of President Tori Haring-Smith’s cabinet and leads a division of over 90 dedicated staff members who are deeply committed to the mission of W&J. In addition, Eva serves on several non-profit boards. She resides in Washington, PA with her husband, two daughters and several rescued animals.


Mary Dewey,  CPCU, ARM, CIC, DRM Director of Risk Management
University of Vermont

Mary C. Dewey, CPCU, ARM, CIC, DRM, is Director of Risk Management & Safety at the University of Vermont, where she has worked since 1988. She oversees a comprehensive risk management program for occupational health and safety, fire and life safety, environmental health and safety, property protection, fleet safety, emergency preparedness, and environmental & safety compliance. Her office is also charged with management of the university’s self-insured property and casualty insurance program, administration of workers’ compensation, and claims management. Ms. Dewey is past president of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), past member of the URMIA board of directors, and past president of the Vermont Chapter of CPCU. In 2003, she received the Distinguished Risk Manager (DRM) award from URMIA. She has been a speaker at various conferences and workshops on topics such as Enterprise Risk Management, contractual risk transfer, and risk financing fundamentals. Ms. Dewey has earned the professional designations of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and earned her BA from the University of Vermont with a double major in Russian and Eastern European studies & Mass Communications.


Megan Farrell, J.D., MBA Principal
PAUSD and Project IX

Megan C. Farrell is a higher education compliance consultant for education entities focused on Title IX. She performs compliance reviews, conducts Title IX investigations, and coaches administrators in implementing Title IX requirements. Previously, Megan served as Of Counsel to Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP in their San Francisco office, where she provided advice to educational institutions across the country on legal issues involving faculty, staff, and students. Megan has been working in the higher education sector for over fifteen years and has served both private and public institutions as University Counsel, full-time Faculty, and Title IX Coordinator. She also worked with universities and K-12 schools nationally as Claims Counsel for United Educators Risk Retention Group and as an Education Practice leader for Marsh, Inc. Megan holds a law degree from Widener University, and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University. She is a member of the bars of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.


Janet Faulkner, J.D. Founding Attorney
Faulkner Legal

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.


Seth Gilbertson, J.D. Associate Counsel
State University of New York, Upstate Medical University

Seth F. Gilbertson is an Associate Counsel for the State University of New York’s Office of General Counsel.  Seth handles labor and student affairs matters for SUNY’s western campuses (Westcam) and specializes in records management and international programs issues for SUNY on a system-wide basis.  Before joining SUNY, Seth was a court attorney for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department.  In a previous life, he was the Mountain Manager of Apple Mountain Resort in Freeland, Michigan.  Seth earned his B.A., cum laude, from Saginaw Valley State University and his J.D., cum laude, from Albany Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Albany Law Review.  Seth is active in both the New York State Bar Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.


Chancellor Howard Gillman, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine

Howard Gillman was appointed by the University of California Board of Regents as the sixth chancellor of the University of California, Irvine on September 18, 2014. He is an award-winning scholar and teacher with an expertise in the American Constitution and the Supreme Court. He holds faculty appointments in the School of Law, the Department of Political Science (within the School of Social Sciences), the Department of History (within the School of Humanities), and the Department of Criminology, Law and Society (within the School of Social Ecology) and every year teaches an undergraduate seminar. He also provides administrative oversight to, and serves as co-chair of the advisory board of, the University of California’s National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.

Under Chancellor Gillman’s leadership, UCI has accelerated its ascendency among globally preeminent research universities. It has been ranked in the top 10 of all public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report; doubled its annual philanthropic fundraising to an all-time high, including receiving the largest single gift in the campus’s history; increased its annual research support by more than $100 million, also setting a new record; established the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing; furthered its national leadership in sustainable practices; demonstrated its status as a “first choice” college for undergraduates by receiving more than 100,000 freshman and transfer applications for fall 2017, including the second-highest number of applicants from California residents among all UC campuses; fostered regional economic development by establishing the premier local entrepreneurial incubator; announced Illuminations, an arts and culture initiative that enhances student exposure to the arts through enhanced regional partnerships; and developed a new strategic plan, Bright Past, Brilliant Future, that sets out a bold and ambitious road map for growth, expanding the university’s capacity to improve lives in our region and around the world.

Chancellor Gillman previously served as provost and executive vice chancellor (from June 2013) and interim chancellor (from July 2014). As provost he established a wide range of multidisciplinary research, teaching, and hiring initiatives designed to ensure campus-wide attention to important global and regional challenges, prioritized an agenda of “inclusive excellence” for faculty hiring and student support, transformed the campus’s approach to technology transfer and commercialization, expanded commitments to fundraising and community engagement, and reformed the campus budget model to prepare the university for an era of diminished state support.

Chancellor Gillman came to UCI after spending more than two decades at the University of Southern California, where he held faculty appointments in the Departments of Political Science and History, and, by courtesy, in the Gould School of Law. From 2005 to 2012 he served as dean of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the largest, oldest, and most academically diverse unit at USC. During his five years as dean he raised approximately $450 million, including playing a central role in securing a $200 million naming gift, the largest single gift in USC’s history, and was credited with promoting innovation in academic programs, securing yearly increases in external funding for research, recruiting more than 100 new faculty, making diversity an institutional priority, developing a new funding model for Ph.D. programs, and expanding undergraduate opportunities in research, overseas study, and service learning.

Prior to his service as dean, Chancellor Gillman also served as associate vice provost for research advancement, chair of the Department of Political Science, and director of graduate studies within the Department of Political Science.

Chancellor Gillman has long been recognized for teaching excellence and dedication to students. Among his teaching honors are: the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association, 2013; the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2001 – the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty for career achievement in teaching and dedication to students; the General Education Teaching Award from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2001; and an appointment as a Distinguished Faculty Fellow of the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, 2001-2013.

His academic and scholarly honors include  the Law and Courts Service Award, recognizing exceptional service to the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association; the Enlund Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Depaul University College of Law; the American Judicature Society Award for best paper on public law presented in the previous year; the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in public law published during the previous year; and the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the previous annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association.

A prolific author of academic papers, articles, and book chapters, and a frequent invited lecturer, Chancellor Gillman’s books include:

  • Free Speech on Campus, co-authored with Erwin Chemerinsky (Yale University Press, 2018);
  • The Complete American Constitutionalism, Volume One:  Introduction and the Colonial Era, co-authored with Mark A. Graber (Oxford University Press, 2015), the first volume of an eight-volume reference series on American constitutional history and politics;
  • American Constitutionalism, 2nd edition, Volume I: Structure of Government, with Mark A. Graber and Keith Whittington (Oxford University Press, 2017, 2013);
  • American Constitutionalism, 2nd edition, Volume II: Rights and Liberties, with Mark A. Graber and Keith Whittington (Oxford University Press, 2017, 2013);
  • American Constitutionalism: Powers, Rights, and Liberties, co-authored with Mark A. Graber and Keith E. Whittington (Oxford University Press, 2014);
  • The Votes that Counted:  How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election (University of Chicago Press, 2001);
  • Supreme Court Decision-Making:  New Institutionalist Approaches, edited with Cornell W. Clayton (University of Chicago Press, 1999);
  • The Supreme Court in American Politics:  New Institutionalist Interpretations, edited with Cornell W. Clayton (University Press of Kansas, 1999);
  • The Constitution Besieged:  The Rise and Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence (Duke University Press, 1993), which received the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in public law published during the previous year and was named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Book” selection for 1993.

A native of Southern California, Chancellor Gillman grew up in North Hollywood and was a first-generation college student.  He earned bachelor’s (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), master’s, and doctoral degrees in political science at UCLA. His wife, Ellen Ruskin-Gillman, earned her bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology at UCLA. They have two children.


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.


Liliana Iglesias, M.Ed. Assistant Director, Undocumented Student Program

UC Berkeley

Liliana graduated as a first generation college student from UC Berkeley and earned her Master’s degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Southern California. Liliana grew up in the Los Angeles county, comes from a mixed status family, and has always held immigration issues close to her heart. In her role as the USP Assistant Director, she provides holistic counseling to students and coordinates events and other USP services. She is also a member of the UndocuAlly Training Committee, which holds trainings for staff and faculty on how they can be allies and support undocumented students on campus.


Cheri Jack, M.S. Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Investigator
Collin College’s Preston Ridge Campus

Cheri Jack is the Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Investigator for Collin College’s Preston Ridge Campus. Her role is to advocate for student success, support the teaching and learning environment, address student discipline issues, and serve as a Title IX investigator.

Currently, Cheri serves as a board member for the University of Vermont (UVM) Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, and she has worked in higher education for more than twenty-five 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 associate faculty member for ten years, and conducts faculty training and development seminars.

Cheri 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 Legal Conference, and the UVM 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.


Adam Jussel, J.D. Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Student Conduct
Washington State University

Adam Jussel is an assistant dean of students and director of student conduct for Washington State University (WSU). He previously represented WSU as an assistant attorney general, and his clients included disability services, athletics, student affairs, and student conduct.  Jussel received his juris doctorate from Seattle University and a certification in higher education law and policy from NASPA.  Adam has spoken in several venues, including the National Conference on Law and Higher Education, University of Vermont Legal Issues Conference, and the National Conference on Campus Sexual Assault and Violence.  Outside of work, Adam enjoys bluegrass music, Olympic weightlifting, and reading historical fiction.


John Kaplan, M.A. Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety
Boise State University

Received a BA in Sociology from SUNY Potsdam in 1982
Received an MA in Criminal Justice from SUNY Albany in 1988
Currently pursuing graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution from Boise State University

26 years municipal policing experience, including service as a patrol officer, investigator, Lieutenant and Chief of Police. Charter member of the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force, Potsdam Area TRIAD (senior citizen outreach organization), long term instructor at area police academies and presenter on various topics in northern NY.

Approximately 5 years of service at SUNY Potsdam and concurrently SUNY Canton as Chief of University Police Departments.

Adjunct instructor at SUNY Canton. Also will be teaching a course at Boise State University in the Fall of 2018 in the Conflict Resolution program.

Currently Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety at Boise State University (2015-present).

Served on numerous boards and committees including: Potsdam Animal Shelter, Clarkson University Alcohol Task Force, St. Lawrence County Mental Health Sub-Committee, long term Salvation Army volunteer, Canton-Potsdam Hospital Board of Directors.

Received numerous police commendations, and SUNY Potsdam Leadership Through Service Award and Potsdam Chamber of Commerce Commitment to Community Award.

Member of International Association of Chief of Police (IACP), International Association Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP).


David Karp, Ph.D. Professor and Director of the Project on Restorative Justice

Skidmore College

David Karp is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Project on Restorative Justice at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. His current scholarship focuses on restorative justice in community and educational settings. He was the recipient of the 2010 Donald D. Gehring Award from the Association for Student Conduct Administration for his work on campus restorative justice. David has published more than 100 academic papers and six books, including The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities (2013), Wounds That Do Not Bind: Victim-Based Perspectives on the Death Penalty (2006), and The Community Justice Ideal (1999). David is on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Community and Restorative Justice. He has previously served as Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Chair of the Department of Sociology, and Director of the Program in Law and Society. David received a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington.


Nicholas F. Laino, M.S. Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance
Herkimer College

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.”


Linda Langford, Ph.D. Owner and Preventionista-in-Chief
Langford & Associates

Dr. Linda Langford is a Boston-based independent consultant who is passionate about helping higher education professionals build the knowledge and skills they need to create effective campus-based prevention efforts. From 1998 to 2012, Linda served as an Associate Center Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention. She managed the Center’s evaluation projects for four years and served as the first and only director of violence prevention initiatives for ten years. At the Center, Linda helped to develop and disseminate frameworks for prevention in higher education settings that promote collaborative and systematic data-driven program planning based on the best available prevention science. During her 14 years at the Center, she delivered in-person trainings, webinars, group and individual technical assistance, and consultation to hundreds of campuses. Since the Higher Education Center’s funding was eliminated in 2012, Linda has operated a consulting practice, Langford & Associates, through which she works regularly with campuses, communities and national organizations to address an array of health and safety issues, including violence, substance abuse, mental health, and wellness. Example projects have included conducting prevention reviews, conducting online and in-person trainings and presentations, and providing short- and long-term consultation on an array of issues related to effective prevention, including “prevention 101,” strategic planning, bystander intervention, social norms approaches, health communications and messaging, campus and community partnerships and coalitions, environmental approaches to prevention, the intersection of alcohol and sexual violence, hazing prevention, maximizing synergy across prevention efforts, and other topics. In addition, she also currently works part-time as an Evaluation and Communications Scientist at the SAMHSA-funded Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). She holds a doctorate in behavioral sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Tamla Lewis, J.D., M.Ed. Associate Dean for Administration
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 is General Counsel at Rhode Island School of Design. He previously served as Associate Legal Counsel at The Ohio State University, and he began his legal career in private practice at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. He is the editor of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: A Legal Compendium; the author of articles on FERPA for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and other publications; and a frequent speaker on FERPA. He also is a Fellow and a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. In State, ex rel. Thomas v. The Ohio State University, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Steve really is a lawyer. He received his A.B. from Duke University and his J.D. from The Yale Law School.


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.


Len Niehoff, J.D. Professor
University of Michigan Law School

Len Niehoff is Professor from a Practice at the University of Michigan Law School and is Of Counsel to Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, where he helps lead the firm’s media law, higher education law, and appellate advocacy practice groups. At Michigan, he teaches courses in First Amendment, media law, evidence, ethics, civil procedure, and law & theology. He is the author of more than 100 publications, primarily in the fields of First Amendment, higher education law, and evidence. In his practice, he has represented dozens of major media entities and public and private universities in cases involving First Amendment and other issues. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Michigan State Bar Foundation, the Litigation Council of America, and the Romney Institute for Public Policy. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.


Jeffrey Nolan, J.D. Director
Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C.

As Chair of the Education Practice Group at Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C., Jeff Nolan advises clients throughout the United States regarding situations that implicate Title IX, the Clery Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, FERPA, and other laws that apply in the higher education context. On a system-wide basis, Jeff conducts compliance assessments, and helps clients develop policies, practices and training programs to minimize risk and enhance compliance with those laws.  Jeff also advises clients on threat assessment practices, which use a proven methodology to assess and manage potential risks of targeted violence in the higher education and workplace settings, collaborate with full-time threat assessment professionals where necessary, and help clients create appropriate violence prevention policies.

In client-sponsored and in public venues, Jeff regularly educates higher education and human resources professionals throughout the country on best and promising practices in Title IX/Clery Act compliance, trauma-informed fair investigations of Title IX/Clery Act-related matters, threat assessment and management, ADA issues, and other higher education and employment law issues.  Jeff also conducts independent investigations of sensitive campus and workplace issues, such as reports of alleged sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence or stalking, and alleged sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.

In 2009-2011, Jeff participated as a subject matter expert in the development of the curriculum for a U.S. Department of Justice-funded program, “Campus Threat Assessment Training: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Institutions of Higher Education,” and co-presented that training at 10 locations throughout the United States. In 2014, Jeff worked with a team to develop a curriculum for the National Center for Campus Public Safety’s trauma-informed sexual assault investigation and adjudication training program that is mentioned in the April 2014 First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, served as pilot program faculty, and as a faculty member for the final program that was presented around the country. In 2017, Jeff co-developed a Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication curriculum for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, and has co-presented that at many locations throughout Virginia. Presentations of that curriculum are continuing in 2018.

Jeff is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Virginia and Vermont.  Jeff advises and represents clients in other jurisdictions as appropriate under applicable admissions rules. Jeff has over twenty-five years of experience in representing clients in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies.  Jeff is listed in Chambers & Partners America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Labor and Employment law, and in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Education and Labor and Employment Law, which named him the 2016 “Employment Lawyer of the Year” in Vermont. More information about Jeff’s experience and practice is available at: http://www.dinse.com/attorneys/jeffrey-j-nolan.html.


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.


Kim Pacelli, J.D.  Attorney and Consultant
Drummond Woodsum

Kim Pacelli is an Attorney and Consultant who practices with Drummond Woodsum and is based in Portland, Maine. She provides practical legal and consulting advice to assist colleges, universities, and schools to manage confidently high-risk issues on their campuses. Her practice includes services such as policy and procedure development and consultation; program review, audit, and compliance consultations; tailored on-site training programs; and investigations, among others. She has trained and advised on Title IX policy and procedures, CLERY reporting and compliance, student mental health interventions and policies, FERPA and student privacy issues, free speech issues for both public and private institutions, and student conduct issues, among others.

Kim’s solution-oriented approach to her work stems from her extensive experience as a student affairs practitioner. Kim served as Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Bowdoin College where she provided leadership, operational, budget and personnel oversight to the many central offices of the college, including the Dean’s office, Health Services, Counseling Services, Residential Life, and other student support offices. Kim also previously served as Associate Dean of Student Life at Harvard, providing key leadership for the Harvard residential life system and management within the Office of Student Life, and as the Director of Residential Life at Bowdoin.

Kim attended the University of Maine School of Law, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Bowdoin College. She is admitted in Maine and Massachusetts and is active in both legal and student affairs professional organizations.


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.


Patty Petrowski, J.D. Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
University of Michigan

Patty Petrowski currently serves as Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel at the University of Michigan. In that role, Patty helps to oversee 14 attorneys and four paralegals and provides legal support to the University on a broad range of issues including Title IX and the Clery Act. Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, Patty was a partner with a large Chicago law firm from 2000-2014, with significant experience representing major research universities and academic medical centers. She received a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.


Joshua W. B. Richards, J.D., B.A. 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 advice to his clients on matters involving employment disputes, student conduct, faculty relations, Title IX and the Clery Act, board governance, financial exigency, data security, accreditation, minors on campus, and civil tort claims, including student death and abuse matters.  Josh also regularly conducts on-site training sessions for higher education clients on a range of legal issues and on policy matters.  Josh received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. from Middlebury College.


Susan Parsons Ritter, Esq. Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer
Middlebury College

Formerly a practicing attorney in Philadelphia, Boston and Vermont, Sue Ritter currently serves as Middlebury College’s Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer where she is responsible for overseeing compliance with Clery/VAWA, the ADA, Title IX, and all other applicable anti-discrimination laws. Sue also oversees Middlebury’s Student Accessibility Services and provides compliance support for student affairs. Ms. Ritter is a 1983 graduate of Middlebury College and a 1986 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law.


Hannah S. Ross, J.D. General Counsel and Secretary to the Corporation
Middelbury College

General Counsel and Secretary to the Corporation, Middlebury College 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. 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


Lisa M. RudgersCo-Founder and Partner
Peterson Rudgers Group

Lisa M. Rudgers is co-founder and partner of Peterson Rudgers Group, and has more than 30 years experience in higher education, strategy, marketing, public affairs, issues management and leadership coaching. She has served as in-house counsel to seven university presidents. Previously, Rudgers was the University of Michigan’s vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives. She served a total of 12 years in that role, and was responsible for developing communication strategies to enhance U-M’s visibility locally, nationally and internationally.

As an executive officer at the University of Michigan, Rudgers was a member of the cabinet-level leadership team and served as senior counselor to the president and other executive officers. She directed and managed the global communications division, including marketing, public affairs, internal communications, news, social media, photography, and presidential communications as well as the university’s top-ranked public radio station, Michigan Radio.

Rudgers played a crucial role in leading the public outreach messaging and related strategies surrounding the university’s historic defense of its admissions lawsuits up to the U.S. Supreme Court. She directed communication supporting many presidential and university initiatives, including the president’s international delegations to China, Brazil and India. She was one of the creators of the University Research Corridor, aligning the three largest research-intensive universities in the state to spark greater collaboration and economic prosperity. Her communications strategies supported U-M initiatives in diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship, library digitization, sustainability and the arts.

U-M efforts under her leadership also included revamping the university’s web presence called the Gateway, now with  more than 20 million visits each year. She led the development of the Michigan Difference and Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign themes. She established the university’s first global communications initiative including the Global Michigan web portal in five languages and U-M’s Weibo presence.  She launched the university’s first social media office and spearheaded a universitywide branding initiative and visual identity program recognized as best in class by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).  She has managed several presidential transitions, including the introduction of U-M’s Mary Sue Coleman and Mark S. Schlissel.

Rudgers established her own consulting firm from 2007 – 2011, Lisa Rudgers & Associates, working with university presidents and other key leaders to develop strategic communications plans including institutional positioning, messaging and branding, assessment of in-house communications resources, media relations and issues management. She also held an appointment as special counsel for communications at Michigan Law.

Previously, Rudgers has served as assistant vice president and director of public relations at Michigan State University, marketing director and director of news and communications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and account executive at Media Logic Inc., a marketing and public relations firm in Albany, N.Y.

Rudgers is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University.

Heather Salko, J.D. Senior Risk Management Counsel

United Educators Insurance

Heather A. Salko is a Senior Risk Management Counsel at United Educators Insurance, a risk retention group that specializes in providing insurance coverage and risk management advice to educational institutions. In Heather’s capacity as risk management counsel, she advises institutions on liability topics including employment practices and discrimination, student mental health, faculty tenure matters, and student discipline including Title IX. Heather previously served for 12 years as claims counsel in UE’s Claims department where she assisted educational institutions in resolving liability allegations against them. Prior to that, she practiced law at a firm in Philadelphia. Heather is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


William Stackman, Ph.D. Associate Vice President for Student Services
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Bill Stackman, Associate Vice President for Student Services, began working at the University of Notre Dame in August, 2012 He previously served as Director of Student Activities at Texas A&M University. Dr. Stackman has been working in student affairs for almost 35 years and has held leadership positions at a number of institutions, including Dean of Student Affairs at Rhodes College, Associate and Acting Dean of Students at Oberlin College, Director of Student Activities at Tufts University, Associate Director of the Illini Union and Program Director at the University of Illinois, and Associate Director of Student Activities at Temple University. Dr. Stackman earned his doctorate at Boston University in Leadership, Administration, and Policy Studies. He also holds a master’s degree from West Virginia University in Higher Education Administration, a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Parks and Recreation Administration, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in Parks and Recreation.


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 on the Board of Directors for Front Porch Communities—a nonprofit company serving the elderly, indigent, and disabled.


Tom Sullivan, J.D. President
University of Vermont

Tom Sullivan became the 26th President of the University of Vermont in July 2012.  Prior to becoming President, he served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Minnesota, 2004-2012.

He served as the eighth dean of the University of Minnesota Law School from 1995 to 2002. Upon finishing his term as dean, he returned to full-time research and teaching. In June 2003, he received the J. William Elwin, Jr., Award from the American Bar Association Section for leadership and contributions to law school development. At the University of Minnesota Law School, he has received the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has chaired the ABA Section of Legal Education, and has chaired the Association of American Law Schools Section on Antitrust and Economic Regulation.  On several occasions, he has been a consultant to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on judicial nominations to the Supreme Court, and to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on mergers. In 2015, he received the Robert J. Kutak Award from the American Bar Association for his contributions to the legal academy, the judiciary, and the Bar.  Since 1984, he has been an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI), and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 1994.

He is a nationally recognized authority on antitrust law and complex litigation, having authored eleven books and over 50 articles. He and co-author Professor Richard Frase published Proportionality Principles in American Law: Controlling Excessive Government Actions (Oxford University Press, 2009).  He is the co-author, with Professors Herbert Hovencamp, Howard Shelanksi, and Christopher Leslie of Antitrust Law, Policy, and Procedure (7th ed., 2014) and co-author with Professor Jeffrey Harrison of Understanding Antitrust and Its Economic Implications (6th ed. , 2014). Most recently, he published Complex Litigation with Professors Richard Freer, Doug Floyd and Brad Clary (2nd ed., 2014).  He also published Private Antitrust Actions (Little, Brown & Co., 1996) with Douglas Floyd.  In 2013, he published The Arc of Due Process in American Constitutional Law with Toni Massaro by Oxford University Press.

On two occasions he has been a visiting faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He twice has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University in England. During the fall semester 2002, he was a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and in 2012 he was a visiting faculty member at New York University.  Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Sullivan served for six years as dean of the University of Arizona College of Law and as associate dean at Washington University in St. Louis. He began his career in higher education as a faculty member at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He graduated magna cum laude from law school at Indiana University in 1973, where he served as an editor on the Indiana Law Review. After law school, he clerked for a federal judge, in Miami Florida, and thereafter was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice in the Attorney General’s Honors Program.  Before entering Law School teaching in 1979, he was an antitrust litigator with the New York and Washington, D.C., firm of Donovan, Leisure, Newton, and Irvine. In 1984, he was elected a member of the American Law Institute.  Throughout his career he has continued to serve as a consultant on antitrust, complex litigation, constitutional law, and Federal Court matters.


Susan L. Wheeler, J.D. University Counsel
James Madison University

Susan L. Wheeler is University Counsel for James Madison University and Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She previously served as Policy & Legal Affairs Advisor at James Madison University, as Associate General Counsel, University Counsel, and Interim General Counsel at the University of Houston System, as a briefing attorney 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 has received the Distinguished Service Award. She 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 is a Partner in the Charlotte office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein and 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.