NSEE's Board of Directors 

Marianna Savoca
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!

Beth Odahlen

President Elect
Beth Odahlen
Director of Community Engagement & Solutions


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

Beth oversees career services, active learning, and is incorporating EE into the classroom setting. She is passionate about trying to implement and promote EE, starting from the first semester of university (in the FYE setting). 

Beth Odahlen serves as the Director for the Academic Support Center at Minot State University.  Under the Academic Support Center umbrella sits Academic Advising, Tutoring and SI services, Early Alert, Career Services, Access Service, First-Year Experience, Peer Mentoring, and New Student Programs.  Under her direction, Minot State implemented and experiential education component for every First-Year learning community, which is also a requirement for graduation.  She has also incorporated off-campus engagement activities within Welcome Weekend programming.  Odahlen is passionate about empowering students to lead and over the last four years has implemented leadership training for students who are employed as leaders in the programming under the Academic Support Center.  

Fun Fact: I have a cat named after my favorite Green Bay Packer, Jordy Nelson!  Everyone in my family calls him by his full name. :)

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 DevelopmentThe Internet and Higher Education, The Qualitative Report, International Journal of Designs for LearningOnline Learning JournalInstruction Delivery SystemsTechTrendsFlorida 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
Associate Director, Office of College Programs
The University of Mississippi

Dr. Kristina Phillips is the Associate Director of College Programs at the University of Mississippi Division of Outreach. 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
Director of Advising Initiatives
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 

Past President
Paul Kwant
Assistant Professor/Program Director
Music and Entertainment Business
Ferris State University  

1. Activator
2. Futuristic
3. Maximizer
4. Harmony
5. Significance

Paul works on Internships and in-class projects. Most of his time is in administration for the Music and Entertainment Business program.

Paul Kwant is an Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Ferris State University Music and Entertainment Business program. He has been involved in multiple roles at Ferris State University where he has worked in the areas of Admissions, Enrollment, Financial Aid, Internship Program Direction, and First-Year Seminar Instruction. Paul assisted the College of Business in the implementation of all first year College of Business students taking the CliftonStrengths assessment which also provides continued student development throughout the academic career. 

Fun fact: I asked my wife to marry me on stage in Las Vegas, Nevada in the middle of a Vince Gill concert. I worked with Vince in Nashville right out of College and had this arranged with his tour manager and team. We were serenaded with his song "Look at Us". 15 years and 3 children we are. 


Nuala S. Boyle
Director of Civic Engagement & Experiential Learning Outcomes
Nazareth College

1. Input
2. Strategic
3. Adaptability
4. Maximizer
5. Connectedness

Nuala works on academic service-learning, engaged scholarship, community-engaged teaching and learning, co-curricular service, social innovation, federal community service work study, and leadership development.

Nuala S. Boyle is a leader in the field of community-engaged teaching and learning and has supported the advancement of experiential learning in higher education since 1997. Over the course of her tenure in education, she has both managed multiple institutions’ civic and service-learning centers, the most recent at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY as the inaugural director of the Center for Civic Engagement, holding this role since 2010. She oversees curricular and co-curricular community engagement, the Center for Service-Learning, and co-chairs the College's Experiential Learning Steering Committee. In collaboration with the director of the core curriculum, Boyle assisted in developing, implementing, and now supports the College’s experiential learning requirement that is part of its core curriculum. Boyle's efforts have enabled Nazareth to become nationally recognized for its commitment to civic engagement and experiential education. Besides being a member of the Board of Directors for NSEE, Boyle is a graduate of NSEE’s Experiential Education Academy. Boyle is also an active member of Campus Compact of NY & PA’s Advisory Board. She earned her B.A. in English from Stonehill College in Boston, MA and her M.A. in Religious Studies from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.

Fun fact: I have an identical twin sister and have children who are fraternal twins.

Jennifer Dobbs-Oates
Clinical Associate Professor
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
Campus Director, Faculty & Instructional Development
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. 

Erica Privott
Assistant Director, Engineering, Science, and Tech Professions
Loyola Marymount University

Erica J. Privott proudly serves as the Assistant Director of Engineering, Science & Tech Professions at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. Facilitating engaging and diverse career development workshops and trainings, she encourages her students to focus on their accomplishments, get involved on and off campus, and build and utilize their network to create opportunities. Her career journey encompasses recruitment, STEM education and outreach, event and conference planning, and internship program management. A native of the D.C. Metropolitan area, she is passionate about diversity and social justice, empowering emerging leaders, and serving her community. Erica joined NSEE three years ago, and is honored to serve as the Diversity & Inclusion Chair.


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.

Edwin Blanton

Edwin Blanton
Executive Director
Mays Center for Experiential Learning & Community Engagement
Texas A&M University-San Antonio

 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 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
Mario D'Agostino
Assistant Professor, Write from the Start
Writing & Communications Center
Nova Southeastern University
College of Arts, Humanities & School of Science