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New Center Associates

Fifteen mid-career professionals have been selected by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education as Program Associates for 2009-10. They include faculty members, administrators, legislative staff members and postsecondary education specialists. They will attend three formal meetings during the academic year and also will work with National Center staff members on a variety of projects.

The goal of the program, financially supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education, is to engage emerging leaders in the examination of critical higher education policy performance.



Jennifer Engle
Assistant Director, Higher Education
Education Trust

Warren von Eschenbach
Chief of Staff and Director, Higher Education Committee
Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini

Brock Grubb
Program Analyst, Post Secondary Success
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Anne Hickey
Associate Director, Government Relations
American Council on Education

Su Jin Jez
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration
California State University, Sacramento

Cassius Johnson
Director, National and Federal Policy
Jobs for the Future

Ioanna Kohler
Director of Policy Programs
French-American Foundation, NYC

Neil Matkin
President
San Jacinto College, Central Campus

Erik Ness
Assistant Professor, Institute of Higher Education
University of Georgia

Christopher Rasmussen
Vice President for Research and Policy Analysis
Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Zakiya Smith
Confidential Assistant
Office of the Deputy Undersecretary

Jeffrey M. Stanley
Associate Vice President
State Higher Education Executive Officers

Monty Sullivan
Executive Vice President
Louisiana Community and Technical College System

David Tandberg
Special Assistant at Pennsylvania Department of Education
Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education

Dawn Wallace
Policy Advisor for Education for the Arizona House Majority
Arizona House of Representatives


National Center’s Policy Studies Group

Effective this fall, The National Center’s policy studies is housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Research on Higher Education, which is directed by Joni Finney, vice president of the National Center and professor of practice at Penn. Laura Perna, associate professor of higher education at Penn, has been appointed the National Center’s director of policy studies. Michael Armijo, Awilda Rodriguez and Jamey Rorison have been appointed research associates. In 2009 and 2010 the policy studies group will conduct intensive studies of five states to identify factors that account for higher education performance.



Joni Finney
Vice President

Laura Perna
Director of Policy Studies




Michael Armijo
Research Associate

Awilda Rodriguez
Research Associate

Jamey Rorison
Research Associate

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National CrossTalk December, 2009

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