• Academic Affairs Staff

    George MehaffyGeorge L. Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change
    George L. Mehaffy has served as AASCU’s Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change since 1999. In this role, he is responsible for developing and managing programs for member institutions in areas such as student success, international education, teacher education, civic engagement, leadership development and technology. Before coming to AASCU, he had more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education in Texas, New Mexico and California. In addition, he served for 33 years in the United States Coast Guard Reserve,

    Civic Engagement

    Felice NudelmanFelice Nudelman, Executive Director, American Democracy Project
    In January of 2019, Nudelman became the new Executive Director of the American Democracy Project at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The project involves 260 public four-year member institutions, representing more than a million undergraduate students, and supports member campuses in programming that creates informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. In 2003, while working at The New York Times, Nudelman partnered with George Mehaffy and a group of AASCU provosts in creating the American Democracy Project. She remained a thought partner and collaborator from the project’s inception as the program grew and developed.

    Prior to assuming her role at AASCU, Nudelman served most recently as the Executive Vice President of the Weiss Institute/ Say Yes to Education. The Institute brings together the best thinking, latest research and tested strategies for the benefit of communities seeking to make it possible for all young people to earn a college degree or other postsecondary credential.

    Before her work at the Weiss Institute, Nudelman served as the Chancellor of Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH, from 2011 to 2016 – a period in which the university built a new campus in Seattle and added an array of online programs. She subsequently served Antioch as chief global officer for innovation & partnerships.

    She has spent the majority of her career in education, both on college campuses and for 12 years with The New York Times Company.  In her final role there, she served as Executive Director of Education. In this capacity, Nudelman was responsible for developing and overseeing education initiatives. One of her key roles was developing The New York Times Knowledge Network, a new business model in e-Learning that included collaboration with colleges and universities to create and deliver online courses and certificates, including courses created and taught by New York Times journalists. In 2010 she led the Times Company’s collaboration with the Texas Education Agency to launch Project Share, a statewide initiative for 400,000 teachers and four million K-12 students.

    Before joining The Times, Nudelman served as executive director for Pace University’s School of Education, where she was responsible for internal and external relations, new program development, and the design and implementation of continuing education program. Previously, Nudelman spent nearly a decade in academic affairs at Bloomfield College, where she served in several capacities including associate dean of academic affairs.

    Anna KeeganAnna Keegan, Program Manager, American Democracy Project
    Anna Keegan is the Program Manager for the American Democracy Project (ADP) at AASCU where she works with ADP coordinators, partners, and AASCU colleagues to develop programming and ensure students are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to be engaged citizens. Prior to her role at AASCU, Anna served as Program Manager at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government. Anna managed programs across the Asia-Pacific region and worked closely with international partners, subject-matter experts, and staff to design, implement, and evaluate activities. Prior to NDI, she focused on gender policy and women’s political participation in her graduate coursework and fellowships, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, and worked in university advancement. Anna holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Colgate University.

    International Education

    Arlene JacksonArlene Jackson, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives
    Arlene Jackson is AASCU’s Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of AASCU’s international programs, initiatives and partnerships. Arlene joined AASCU in 2001 with over 30 years of experience in international education and exchange, having served most recently as the Director of the Center for International Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served on numerous boards of directors and advisory committees and conducts workshops and trainings on international education both domestically and internationally. Arlene earned her B.A. and M.A. in International Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has a certificate from the Harvard School of Education Management Seminar for University Administrators (MDP). In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Troy University for her contributions to international education.
    Sufei LiSufei Li, Manager, International Programs
    Sufei Li is the Manager of International Programs in AASCU's Office of International Education. In this role, she manages AASCU’s China Initiatives and provides support to a variety of other programs. Sufei holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Nanjing University in China, a master’s degree in Comparative Education from the University of London, and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland. Recently, she received a Fulbright Program Scholarship Award for International Education Administrators to Taiwan from the Fulbright Commission and IIE/CIES.
    Jody DixonJody Dixon, Program Coordinator, Global Initiatives

    Jody Dixon is the Program Coordinator for Global Initiatives in AASCU’s Office of International Education. She comes to AASCU after two years as a recruiter and advisor for the International Training and Education Program in the School of Education at American University, and five years in Japan as an assistant language teacher for the Japan Exchange and Teaching program (JET Program). She earned her M.A. in International Training and Education from American University and her B.Sc. in Geography from the University of the West Indies, Mona (Jamaica).

    Student Success

    RobinElliesRobin Ellis, Executive Director of Student Success
    Robin Ellis is the Executive Director of Student Success and leads the student success team at AASCU. Prior to this role, she served as Director of AASCU's Frontier Set (FS) initiative and as the Operations Director for AASCU’s Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) initiative. Robin comes to AASCU from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where she worked as a development officer, senior grant administrator and lead project manager for more than 18 years. Robin earned her Ed.D. Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, her M.A. in Public Administration from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, and her B.A. in International Relations from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
    JoseCabralesJosé Cabrales, Senior Director of Programs and Operations, Center for Student Success
    José Cabrales works as a senior program director of student success, where he provides strategic vision, leadership, and support for developing and building a plan for the launch of a Center for Student Success. José also provides direction for developing programmatic capacity for Student Success Academies that support AASCU’s student success agenda and prioritizes institutional change toward equity and credential completion. Prior to AASCU, José worked at The Education Trust and Excelencia in Education, where he worked with networks of regional comprehensive institutions and communities across the country to improve student success and close completion gaps, particularly for first-generation students, low-income students, and students of color. As a first-generation college student and a native of Watsonville, California, José earned a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in educational leadership and policy studies, a master’s degree from Michigan State University in student affairs administration, and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Santa Clara University.
    JacquelynJonesJacquelyn R. Jones, Senior Director of AASCU’s Frontier Set and Student Success Strategy
    Jacquelyn Jones works as the Senior Director of AASCU’s Frontier Set (FS), where she provides vision, leadership and manages 6 institutional portfolios focused on the development and discovery of new knowledge, models, practices and tools that have the potential to dramatically improve specific student learning and life outcomes. Jacquelyn also serves as the connection bridge for learning across the segment and up through the Frontier Set network through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, providing support to AASCU and supporting the need on a national level for moving the needle on student success. Prior to working at AASCU, Jacquelyn worked at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she served as the Director of Retention Initiatives working to increase retention and completion rates, as well as improving the student success platform on campus. Jacquelyn, originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area is a first generation college student and the first in her family to receive a Ph.D. Jacquelyn earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Toledo, her M.S. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron, and her B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Management from The University of Akron.
    BaoLeBao Le, Director of Data Analytics and Impact, Center for Student Success
    Prior to joining AASCU, she served as an Associate Education Research Analyst for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education. She worked on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which collects data from every college, university, and vocational and technical school that participates in Title IV financial aid programs. Bao received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas - Austin and an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
    CameronSmitherCameron Smither, Director of Assessment and Network Engagement, Center for Student Success
    Cameron Smither joins the AASCU Student Success team as the new Director of Assessment and Network Engagement following his role of researcher at the American Institutes for Research, serving in the Secondary Education, College, Career Readiness, and Workforce Development practice areas. His areas of focus include and designing and assessing targeted student success initiatives; understanding and communicating the “return on investment” from postsecondary credentials; postsecondary models of competency-based education; and designing improved measures of institutional performance, cost to students, and student progression to drive continuous improvement.
    Prior to joining AIR, Cameron was a Presidential Fellow at the George Washington University, providing program support and analysis for their inaugural Office of Diversity & Inclusion. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University with a concentration in program evaluation.  
    NyalaWatkinsNyala Watkins, Program Manager, Student Success Initiatives
    Nyala Watkins is a Program Manager of Student Success Initiatives for AASCU’s Academic Leadership and Change Division. She works with the Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) and Frontier Set (FS) initiatives. Prior to this role, Nyala was the Senior Program Advisor for AASCU’s Grants Resource Center. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Speech Communication from Syracuse University.

    • George L. Mehaffy
      Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change
      (202) 478-4672
    • Arlene Jackson
      Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives 
      (202) 478-7834
    • Felice Nudelman
      Executive Director, American Democracy Project
      (202) 478-7831
    • Robin Ellis
      Executive Director of Student Success
      (202) 478-7839