BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dean of eLearning, Sinclair College
Christina Amato is the Dean of eLearning at Sinclair Community College. Christi has dedicated her career at Sinclair to increasing student access, accelerating completion of college credentials, and redefining student experiences utilizing innovative practices in pedagogy and technology. Christi has implemented initiatives related to military student programming, online student case management and retention, and competency-based education, earning awards from the League for Innovation, Department of Labor, and Instructional Technology Council for her work. She is the co-chair of the Ohio CBE Network, a coalition in partnership with the Department of Higher Education, Ohio Association of Community Colleges, and the Inter-University Council. Christi has a bachelor’s degree in English literature, and a master’s degree in public administration. She currently lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband and two daughters.
Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)
Dr. Stephanie Bernoteit serves as Deputy Director for Academic Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). In this capacity, she oversees the agency’s regulatory work with approximately 400 postsecondary institutions, including public and private universities and private business and vocational schools. Dr. Bernoteit is responsible for the agency’s initiatives to promote postsecondary student success and workforce development. She serves on the Illinois P-20 Council, Illinois Early Learning Council, and the Illinois Attendance Commission and is co-chair of the state’s Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory Committee. Stephanie is currently engaged in work with the Illinois State Board of Education to connect Illinois institutions of higher education to a statewide pilot of competency-based education (CBE) among K-12 school districts. She also leads with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development and the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies a statewide effort to enact a competency-based system of educator preparation, professional development, and credentialing in the field of early childhood education in Illinois. Dr. Bernoteit is co-author of two publications about this effort (Voices from the Field: Collaborative Innovations in Early Childhood Educator Preparation and Advancing the Illinois Early Childhood Education Workforce: A Model College and Career Pathway).
Prior to joining IBHE, Stephanie Bernoteit worked at Illinois State University as executive director for alumni relations and co-director of the School of Education’s National Board Resource Center. A National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood from 1996-2016, Stephanie spent several years at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as staff liaison to higher education. She also worked as an early childhood and elementary classroom teacher in the West Des Moines Community School District. Stephanie holds a doctorate in education from Illinois State University, a graduate certificate in non-profit leadership from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in education from Drake University, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood from Northwest Missouri State University.
Assistant Vice President of Academic Innovation, Rasmussen College
Brooks Doherty is Assistant Vice President of Academic Innovation at Rasmussen College. He is completing a doctorate in education at St. Mary’s University, earned an MA in literature from University College London, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Political Science and English. His central areas of interest are competency-based education, developmental education, workforce preparedness, the relationship between liberal learning and professional learning, and Irish literature. Prior to his current work, Doherty taught remedial and college-level writing courses for students of varying disciplines.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for New Learning Models, University System of Georgia
Dr. Myk Garn is an academic innovator and strategist with over 30 years of experience developing, deploying and leading college and state system instructional, operational, organizational, policy and strategic models. He is a committed academic change agent, focusing on the development and deployment of new instructional and educational operations with an emphasis on competency-based, student-driven, advancement-by-mastery models. He emphasizes the roles of faculty and needs of students throughout his work. His experience includes strategic planning, affordability, emerging trends, disruptive innovation, quality standards, governance, accreditation as well as lessons in fast failure for innovation and accessibility of Internet-based instruction and services for learners with disabilities.
Director, Primary and Joint Accreditation, American Nurses Credentialing Center
Jennifer Graebe has a professional nursing career spanning 22 years and has a wealth of education and clinical experience. Jennifer received her master of nursing in leadership and health systems management from Drexel University, her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Villanova University; and a certificate in healthcare management, accounting and economics from Johns Hopkins University. Jennifer holds the ANCC Nurse Executive Advanced – Board Certification.
In August 2015, Jennifer joined the American Nurses Enterprise in their subsidiary the American Nurses Credentialing Center as the Senior Operations Manager of Primary and Joint Accreditation. In October of 2017, Jennifer was promoted to the role of Director of Primary and Joint Accreditation. In this role, Jennifer is responsible for the strategic and daily operations of over 450 accredited organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education and interprofessional continuing education.
Jennifer is a published column author and has presented at several conferences nationally. Jennifer is adjunct faculty at Capella University in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and is a PhD candidate in education and public health. Before her role at the ANCC, Jennifer has held positions in leadership at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital as the Clinical Educator and Clinical Manager in the Emergency Department. While at MGUH, Jennifer was recognized as Nurse Leader of the Year (2014) and Nurse of the Year in Nursing Education (2010). Jennifer also holds instructor certificates in basic and advanced cardiac life support.
Jennifer has experience as a board-certified forensic nursing. Jennifer provided interprofessional continuing education in leadership and human trafficking. Until recently, Jennifer continued to work with patients clinically in the Emergency Department and teach courses on High-Reliability Organizations and Medication Safety.
ERIC HEISER – CHAIR
Provost of Academic & Student Affairs, Central Ohio Technical College
Dr. Eric Heiser is the Provost at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC). He has worked in higher education for the past 15 years. Eric was a full-time assistant professor at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, Wyoming for six years and taught in the areas of business, management, and criminal justice. Eric also spent time as a director and workforce training coordinator during his time at Central. He spent six years at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) as an Associate Dean and Dean and built one of the nation’s largest Competency-Based Education (CBE) Programs from which the college was recognized nationally by multiple outlets. The school transitioned 20 formerly non-credit, clock-hour programs into CBE. He has led award-winning efforts and established procedures for SLCC’s non-credit to credit conversion which allows students to transfer non-credit studies towards associate degrees. In his current position, Heiser oversees the Academic, Student Affairs, and Enrollment Management areas within Central Ohio Technical College. Prior to moving into higher education, he spent time as a general manager in the hospitality industry.
He is the principal/owner of Heiser Education Consulting, LLC, an education consulting firm specializing in change management in higher education. He has advised numerous colleges in the areas of change management, competency-based education (CBE), and leading change through innovation. Eric serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Lumina Foundation-funded Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN). He is also a founding member of the National Advisory Board for Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning Research. In addition to his work in CBE, Eric also serves as Vice-President of the Board for the National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA), an affiliate council of the AACC. In 2019, Eric was appointed a content expert to the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse to advise the department on best practices in career and technical education.
Eric has been a reviewer for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) in the area of CBE. He has delivered over three dozen conference presentations and key notes and published several articles on the topic of CBE and academic innovation over the past seven years. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Colorado State University.
Director, Fast Track to Success Project, Austin Community College
Dr. Amardeep Kahlon is the director of Fast Track to Success at Austin Community College. The primary aim of the Fast Track to Success project is to expand competency-based education across Texas.
Dr. Kahlon and her team have worked with several colleges and universities in Texas by holding competency-based education workshops and providing mentoring for emergent competency-based education programs. She serves as the conference chair for annual Fast Track to Success conference, which provides a valuable forum to discuss innovation in higher education across Texas. In October 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education profiled her as one of the top ten innovators for her work in competency-based education.
In addition to Fast Track to Success, Dr. Kahlon is the director of a Texas Affordable Baccalaureate project as well as the Women in Technology program at Austin Community College. Prior to assuming her current roles, Dr. Kahlon spent a sabbatical year (2013-14) in India as the founding dean of academics at an emerging new university. Till 2010, she was an assistant program chair in the computer science/information technology area at Austin Community College. She has presented at local, state, and international conferences and has been invited to speak in different forums.
In addition to competency-based education, Dr. Kahlon is keenly interested in issues facing Asian-Americans in the US. She has served as an invited speaker at Asian-American events and is the co-editor of the 2018 book Asian/American Scholars of Education: 21st Century Pedagogies, Perspectives, and Experiences. She is also very interested in issues related to women and diversity in computing.
Dr. Kahlon’s academic background is in Computer Science and Higher Education. She taught computer science at Broome Community College in New York and Austin Community College in Texas. She has designed and developed traditional, online, and competency-based coursework. With a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and her background in computer science, she brings together the best of both worlds – technical education and higher education.
JILLIAN KLEIN – SECRETARY
Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Strategic Education, Inc.
Jillian Klein is Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Strategic Education, Inc. where she works with internal and external partners on higher education policy, postsecondary innovation and federal financial aid compliance on behalf of Capella University and Strayer University. She was part of the team that created Capella University’s FlexPath program offerings, including the first bachelor’s and master’s level programs approved to receive federal financial aid by the Department of Education.
Jillian received a B.A. in business administration from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a M.A. in systematic theology from Luther Seminary, and is an alumna of the Policy Fellows program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young girls.
EMMA L. MILLER
Assistant Dean, South Texas College
Dr. Emma L. Miller has been in higher education administration in the state of Texas for over 20 years. She has a Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Science with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change from Walden University. Currently, Dr. Miller is Assistant Dean of Bachelor programs as well as the Program Chair for the Competency-Based Education Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership program at South Texas College. As a researcher, she has focused on mentoring examining how it relates to student retention and attrition and its impact on the institution as well as Competency-Based Education.
President, Nicolet College
Richard’s academic training includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis as well as Master’s and PhD degrees from Cornell University. After graduate school, he spent over ten years in new product, process and business development in the food and beverage industry across the US and Canada. Dr. Nelson then directed a state-wide public non-profit institute for rural economic development providing technical and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the value-added agriculture sector.
After making higher education his career of choice, Richard served as Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division and as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. He became Provost at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack region of northern New York State in 2006 and served in that capacity for nine years. In the summer of 2015, he was named to his current position as President of Nicolet College in northern Wisconsin.
Richard is a strong believer in higher education as the single most important contributor to sustainable prosperity and social well-being in our rural communities. He sees competency-based design, delivery and assessment models as our best answer to the challenges of delivering the quality, flexibility, affordability, and employability so many of today’s learners cannot do without.
President, University of Maine at Presque Isle
Raymond J. Rice has served as President and Provost at the University of Maine at Presque Isle since July 2016. He has also served UMPI as its Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs as well as the Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Ray arrived in Presque Isle in August 1997 as an Assistant Professor of English; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and Professor in 2006. He has been involved in multiple campus-wide initiatives at Presque Isle towards the implementation of a proficiency based curriculum, the development of an academic learning commons, revisions to the General Education curriculum, and dual-enrollment early college partnerships with Aroostook County high schools. He has co-chaired and/or served on a number of University of Maine System committees, including the General Education Task Force, the Distance Education Task Force, and the Chief Academic Officers of the University of Maine System. Most recently, he coordinated the successful regional accreditation approval process for delivery of competency-based (CBE) degree-completion programs in Business Administration, soon to be expanded into other disciplines. Family members include wife Rachel (who has also worked at UMPI for over a decade) and his children Zachary (21), Naomi (9), and cat Fritz (who we think is 13).