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SEE's Board of Directors 

Beth Odahlen

Beth Odahlen
Director of Community Engagement & Solutions

1. Achiever
2. Relator
3. Maximizer
4. Input
5. Arranger 

Beth Odahlen, an original board member of Strengthen ND, worked for more than 22 years in higher education before transitioning to Strengthen ND.  Her previous experiences were specific to leadership development, internship and experiential education, student support services, and grant management.  During her time in higher education, Beth developed several successful programs which highly impacted student success. 

Beth currently coordinates the Launching Leadership Program (a high school community-first leadership program) and the Strengthen ND AmeriCorps program.  Beth brings a unique approach to program development and cultivates a passion for rural leadership and internships to youth and young adults in North Dakota.

Beth is a thirteen year member of the Society for Experiential Education (SEE) and has served on the board in a number of capacities for the last seven years. 

Edwin Blanton

President Elect
Edwin Blanton
Assistant Vice Provost for Corporate Initiatives & Business Development
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Vice President
Martha (Marti) Snyder
Professor & Director of Faculty Professional Development
Nova Southeastern University

I collaborate with people from various disciplines who are interested in using appropriate technology and effective design to improve learning and performance in formal and informal environments.  

Marti Snyder is a professor in the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and Director of Faculty Professional Development in the Learning and Educational Center at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is also a faculty member in the Farquhar Honors College and the Center for Information Protection Education and Research (CiPhER). Prior to her current appointment, she served on the faculty of the NSU’s College of Computing and Engineering.   

Prior to joining NSU in 2006, Marti spent 15 years in corporate organizational development where she was responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of innovative learning and performance solutions in the areas of executive and expatriate education, employee onboarding and compliance, privacy and information security, sales training, and client product implementation for domestic and international banks, retailers, mortgage companies, and insurance agencies.  

Marti has been teaching and learning online for over two decades. She served as chair for the 2020 National Society for Experiential Education 49th Annual Conference and served as the learning effectiveness track chair for the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) International Conference in Online Learning from 2015-2017. She also served on the leadership board for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) special interest group, Design and Technology from 2012-2017 and the Association for Information Systems’ special interest group, Organizational Systems Research Association (OSRA) from 2016-2018. 

Marti has published her research in national and international journals including Educational Technology Research and Development, The Internet and Higher Education, The Qualitative Report, International Journal of Designs for Learning, Online Learning Journal, Instruction Delivery Systems, TechTrends, Florida Journal of Educational Research and Florida Educational Florida Distance Learning Journal. She is an active member in the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), Association for Information Systems (AIS), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and the Project Management Institute (PMI).   

Marti has taught undergraduate, masters and doctoral courses in face-to-face, blended, and fully online formats in the areas of instructional design and technology, online communities, learning theory, design thinking, knowledge management, information systems project management, and computing privacy and ethics.  

Through her teaching and research, Marti collaborates with people from various disciplines who are interested in using appropriate technology and effective design to improve learning in formal and informal environments. 

Research Areas: non-technical aspects of cyber defense such as cyber awareness, education and training; knowledge management and workplace learning; design theory; project management; and learning designs for online, blended, mobile, mixed-reality, and simulations 

Kristina Phillips

Kristina Phillips
Executive Director of QEP
Jackson State University

Dr. Kristina Phillips is the Executive Director of QEP at the Jackson State University. Her research, teaching, and practice focuses on experiential education in higher education, specifically for domestic travel programs, internships and career development. Dr. Phillips coordinates institutional committees and initiatives that advance equity and access for experiential learning opportunities.  She was the 2019 winner of NSEE’s Dissertation of the Year Award and co-chaired the 50th Annual NSEE Conference in Orlando, FL in 2021. 

Elise Newkirk-Kotfila
Elise Newkirk-Kotfila
Senior Director of Advising Success Network
NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

1. Activator
2. Responsibility
3. WOO
4. Communication
5. Self-Assurance 

Elise has experience supporting institutions in their development of the following types of EE:

  • Co-op placements
  • Internships
  • Work Study
  • Clinical Placements
  • Practicum
  • Service-learning
  • Community service
  • Civic Engagement
  • Volunteerism
  • Research
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Field Study
  • Experiences Abroad
  • Creative Works
Elise joined NASPA 2018, where she currently directs of the work of an “Advising Success Network,” of national organizations mobilized to support higher education institutions understand and implement holistic and equitable advising redesign. Immediately prior, Elise worked as the Director of Applied Learning for the State University of New York, where she led SUNY’s 64 campuses through the an Applied Learning Initiative which culminated in providing at least one high-quality experiential learning opportunity to every SUNY student. Elise holds a Master’s of the Arts Degree from the University at Albany where she studied Women’s Studies and Public policy with a research concentration on community-university partnerships. She currently serves as a board members for the National Society for Experiential Education. 

Fun fact: I have an 11 year old Staffordshire Terrier name Hazel 

Marianna Savoca
Past President
Marianna Savoca
Assistant Vice President for Career Development 
& Experiential Education
Stony Brook University
1. Individualization
2. Input
3. Connectedness
4. Learner
5. Command

Marianna, in her administrative role, oversees career readiness, internships and high-impact student employment. As a faculty member, she serves as faculty sponsor for undergraduate and graduate internships. She also connects faculty with corporate partners who sponsor course-based project work.

As Assistant Vice President for Career Development & Experiential Education at Stony Brook University – State University of New York, Dr. Savoca leads campus-wide initiatives to scale career development and improve access to high-impact and career-relevant work-integrated learning experiences for all students, in all majors and degree levels. The Center oversees career development, experiential education, student employment, corporate recruitment, diversity talent-pipeline programs, and alumni career services. The Center partners with faculty on grants, securing and/or stewarding more than $1Million in funds to support student success.

Dr. Savoca is also a faculty member in Stony Brook’s Higher Education Administration program, where she teaches graduate level courses on career counseling and external relations. Her book, A Good Job: Campus Employment as a High-Impact Practice, was released in March 2018 by Stylus Publishing.

Fun Fact: I'm the "caller" at Commencement since my voice is distinctive and I can pronounce foreign names with ease!


Jennifer Dobbs-Oates
Director, Office of Experiential Education
Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Human Development &
Family Services
Purdue University

Dr. Jennifer Dobbs-Oates is a clinical associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at Purdue University. Her research and teaching interests focus on experiential education in higher education, especially internships, service-learning, and reflection. Dr. Dobbs-Oates jointly coordinates the HDFS capstone internship program and serves as the Provost’s Fellow for Experiential Education at Purdue. She was the 2019 winner of NSEE’s Experiential Education Rising Leader Award.

Ron Kovach
Executive Director
American International Accreditation Association of Schools and Colleges

Dr. Ron Kovach, currently serves as the Executive Director of the American International  Accreditation Association of Schools and Colleges. His 35+ years of higher education experience includes having served as both a chief academic affairs officer and chief student affairs officer. Internationally recognized as an expert in experiential learning, Ron has presented papers and workshops on every continent, worked with faculties worldwide, and has publications on experiential education and student retention. Dr. Kovach  has been awarded nearly $3 million in grants including $1.75 million from the Department of Education for experiential learning and has served on the NSEE Board of Directors as President, Treasurer, and Director of the EEA. In 2017 Dr. Kovach was awarded the Society’s Steuerman Award for Distinguished Service. 

Shara Lee
Director, Engaged Learning
Valencia College

1. Connectedness
2. Harmony
3. Input
4. Restorative
5. Learner

Dr. Lee works on experiential education faculty development and program design.

Dr. Shara Lee currently serves as a campus director for Faculty & Instructional Development at Valencia College focusing on experiential education faculty development. She joined Valencia in 2013 after five years with the University of Central Florida as a faculty member with the Office of Experiential Learning. Her doctoral work in experiential learning earned recognition as the National Society for Experiential Education’s (NSEE) Outstanding Education Research Award in 2013. Dr. Lee teaches for multiple institutions of higher education, and enjoys being both a board member with NSEE and an instructor with their Experiential Education Academy. She with the holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal and organizational communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MBA from Stetson University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Fun fact: I ride a Harley. 

Paul Gaszak
Dean of Student Support and Equity
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

1. Strategic
2. Achiever
3. Ideation
4. Individualization
5. Learner

Paul focuses on course-based infusion of active/experiential learning, experiential course design, experiential classroom design, and faculty development

Paul Gaszak is the Dean of Student Support and Equity at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Prior to joining IMSA, Paul was the Dean of the Robert Morris Experiential College of Roosevelt University. From 2006-2020, Paul was with Robert Morris University Illinois, where he served as English Faculty, Dean of Academic Engagement, and Provost/CAO. 

Paul holds a BA in English from Lewis University, an MA in Writing from DePaul University, and is in progress on an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from National Louis University. Paul has taught in the Experiential Education Academy since 2018, and he has served on the NSEE Board since 2019. 

Fun fact: I write humorous nonfiction and fiction.

Vivienne Felix
Associate Dean of Students
Washington & Jefferson College

Chase Lesane-Brown
Director of Experiential Learning
School of Social Sciences
Rice University

Cheri Lynch
Assistant Professor, Experiential Learning
Endicott College

Cherie Lynch is Assistant Professor of Experiential Learning/Internship Faculty in the School of Social Sciences, Communication & Humanities at Endicott College and previously served as the Director of the Endicott Internship Program, which won the 2020 NSEE Outstanding Experiential Education Program Award. Her interests include experiential learning pedagogy, quality, standards, and assessment for academic internship, and special topics related to college outcomes and work and college accessibility. 

Cherie was Co-chair for the SEE Member Engagement Committee for two years, and is a board member of CEIA/Cooperative Education and Research Association and NEACEFE/New England Association for Cooperative Education and Field Based Learning.  Cherie has completed certifications and specialized training in experiential learning and career development through the Institute for Experiential Learning- founded and led by Kay Peterson and David Kolb, the NSEE Experiential Education Academy, and NCDA. Cherie has served on numerous academic committees and has been a presenter at national and international conferences including SEE, CEIA, and WACE.

In industry, Cherie was an early employee at the award-winning enterprise software company, Virtual Access Networks, developing all initiatives related to talent, HR, and organizational strategy before it was sold to Symantec. She has also held roles in academic technology, workforce development, and college admissions. Cherie lives in the seaside community of Beverly, located on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Fun fact:  Art history buff

Why are you involved with SEE? Through my involvement with SEE, I am excited to work with colleagues from around the world to build and grow experiential programs that profoundly elevate student learning and career outcomes.

Andrew Potter
Director, Office of University Experiential Learning
Leadership Team, Innovation District
University of Georgia

As the Director of University Experiential Learning, Andrew champions experiential learning at the University of Georgia, articulating a vision to various stakeholders within the university as well as community and industry partners. Andrew also serves on the University’s Innovation District Launch Team, applying his experience supporting private equity mergers, turn-arounds, and exits to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning across the state of Georgia.  He also offers cross-disciplinary courses on business strategy/development, innovation, design thinking, and human-centered design (HCD). 

A thought leader on experiential education, workforce development, and the impact of emerging technology on society and work, Andrew spent over a decade in industry executive roles, leading the development of strategy and program design to construct experiential programming at the K12 and post-secondary levels.  Andrew is the former Chair of both the Publications Committee and the Government Relations Committee for the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS); served on the Advisory Board with the Coalition for Career Development; and is the Experiential Learning Chair on the Board of the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers (GACE). 

Fun fact: When I grow up, I will be an Alpine Ski Patroller.

Why are you involved with SEE?:  “SEE represents a vanguard movement of people, networks, institutions and ideas that are collaborating, ideating and ultimately innovating experiential education in order to empower individuals and positively impact society as whole.”

 Patrick Green Picture
Patrick Green
Executive Director, The Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS)
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education
Loyola University Chicago

Patrick M. Green, EdD is the Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS), and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago. He teaches experiential learning courses, including community-based learning, academic internships, global service-learning, and undergraduate research, and graduate courses in the Higher Education Program at Loyola University Chicago. He is coeditor of Crossing Boundaries: Tension and Transformation in International Service-Learning (Stylus Publishing, 2014), Re-conceptualizing Faculty Development in Service-Learning/Community Engagement: Exploring Intersections, Frameworks, and Models of Practice (Stylus Publishing, 2018), Guest Editor of Metropolitan Universities Journal special issue on faith and community engagement (December, 2020), and Guest Editor of Experiential Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ELTHE, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022). Examples of his engaged scholarship recently published include:

In addition to serving on the NSEE Board, Dr. Green serves as an Engaged Scholar with the NSEE, a Scholar-in-Residence with the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE), and an Engaged Scholar with National Campus Compact.
Urszula Zalewski Headshot
Urszula Zalewski
Director, Experiential Education
Stony Brook University

Urszula oversees experiential education initiatives including successful implementation of experiential learning opportunities including internships, student employment initiatives and community outreach programs. Urszula brings her expertise in career readiness, employer relations, and assessment. She expertly builds strong collaborations among on campus and off campus stakeholders, and has raised more than $1Million in grants to support capacity building in experiential education & community engagement. In addition to being a member of NSEE for the last 15 years, Zalewski is a graduate of NSEE’s Experiential Education Academy.

Urszula is a faculty teaching service-learning courses in STEM academic programs and customized graduate courses for industry partners. She earned the M.S. in Management & Policy from Stony Brook University and a B.S./MBA from the University of Economics in Krakow, Poland.

Historian: Jim E. Colbert, Jr.
Associate Provost
Lander University

Dr. James E. Colbert, Jr. holds a PhD in Chemistry with a focus on biochemistry and enzymology from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Chemistry from Wofford College.  Dr. Colbert has 30 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience.  He has served as Science Department Chair at two previous institutions, and now as EYE Program Director, and Associate Provost at Lander University.  Dr. Colbert supervises the offices of Institutional Effectiveness, Honors College, Study Abroad, and Student Support Services (TRIO Program) and works with the Provost on issues relating to curriculum, enrollment, retention, distance education, and accreditation. Throughout his career, he developed skills in assessment and evaluation of student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness.  As Director of the Experience Your Education (EYE) Program at Lander University, Dr. Colbert manages an experiential education program employing best practices in experiential education to design, deliver, and evaluate a variety of experiential learning activities across the university curriculum.  In this role, he has presented workshops on the EYE Program at Lander University and at regional and national conferences, including NSEE.  Lander University’s EYE Program was selected for the Experiential Education Program of the Year Award by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) in 2010.  Dr. Colbert served on the NSEE Board of Directors (2012-2018) including serving two years as President (2014-2016). 

ELTHE Representative
Ken O'Donnell
Vice Provost & Professor of Communication
CSU Dominguez Hills