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Carolyn Noll Sorg

Carolyn Noll Sorg is the Director of Admission at Ursuline College. Her career experience at higher education institutions large and small, public and private, highly selective and access oriented have led to invitations to facilitate college planning workshops across northeast Ohio and professional conferences state-wide. As an Executive Board member of the Ohio Association for College Admission Counseling, Carolyn led state-wide training efforts for new admission counselors and high school counselors from colleges, universities, and schools across the state in 2011 and 2012. She holds a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace University, an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and is currently pursuing doctoral coursework in 4-Year College and University Leadership at the University of Toledo. Sorg has previously worked in enrollment management and student affairs at The University of Akron, Baldwin Wallace University, and Barnard College in New York City.


Mark Barnes
Author and Teacher

Mark Barnes is an internationally-recognized speaker and education writer.  He is the author of Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I Maximize Time for Learning in My Classroom, and Teaching the iStudent: A Quick Guide to Using Mobile Devices and Social Media in the K-12 Classroom. Barnes presents seminars worldwide and is committed to changing the way we think about teaching and learning.  Connect with Barnes on Twitter @MarkBarnes19 or on his website at www.markbarnes19.com.

William Barr
President and CEO, Universal Windows Direct

William Barr co-founded Universal Windows Direct (UWD) in 2002 in Cleveland, Ohio. Under his leadership, UWD quickly grew into one of the nation’s leading home remodeling companies with franchises across the country; it was recently named one of Cleveland’s most friendly organizations to work for.  Barr is committed to social change and has volunteered with numerous local and national organizations; he has been closely involved with A Kid Again and Big Brothers Big Sisters for more than a decade.  Barr was named 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year for the Northeast Ohio and continues to be recognized as an influential entrepreneur nationwide.

Anne Murphy Brown, J.D.
Director of Legal Studies, Ursuline College

Anne Murphy Brown, J.D. is Associate Professor and the Director of Legal Studies at Ursuline College and author of Legally Mom, Real Women’s Stories Balancing Motherhood and Law Practice.  Her research on working motherhood has been featured in Working Mother Magazine, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, and on America’s Workforce Radio. Brown has three young children, 8, 6 and 2 years old, therefore her “hobbies” are laundry, math flashcards and cutting up food into really small pieces.

Melissa Celko-Kozmon
Director of Sales & Strategy, Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise

Melissa Celko-Kozmon is the Director of Sales & Strategy for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise which combines world class research, medical expertise and behavior change to help transform the U.S. workplace into a healthy & productive environment. Celko-Kozmon has B.A. in Marketing  & an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship as well as extensive graduate work in the Humanities; she currently serves as the President of the Advisory Board for Ursuline College’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program. Celko-Kozmon brings together all of this experience and training, applying it as she travels around the country promoting wellness & resilience to corporations, organizations and institutions. Celko-Kozmon has over 25 years of experience in sales & marketing all focused on human capital & healthcare including several years working with large self-funded employers promoting disease management, coaching and wellness. She is currently at work on her first book about resilience and caretaking – a cause she embraces personally! Connect with Melissa on Twitter @mecelko or on LinkedIn.

Harlan Cohen
NYT Bestselling Author and Columnist

Harlan Cohen is a New York Times bestselling author, nationally syndicated advice columnist, and speaker who has visited over 400 college campuses.  He is the author of six books including, The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College.  The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only, Dad’s Expecting Too!, and Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober.   Harlan is a frequent guest on television and radio programs and has appeared on the Today Show.  You can follow him on Twitter @HarlanCohen and read his advice at www.HarlanCohen.com.  He is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Avery Friedman, J.D.
CNN Legal Analyst and Civil Rights Attorney

The Wall Street Journal calls Avery Friedman a “walking reference source” on civil rights law and he has been recognized in TIME and USA Today as a nationally distinguished civil rights lawyer and law professor. Avery has been CNN’s Legal Analyst each weekend for the past 13 years where he is seen by over 3,000,000 viewers coast-to-coast. He has lectured at nearly three dozen major law schools including Duke, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Tulane, Wisconsin and the University of Texas. He is presently Distinguished Visiting Professor in Constitutional Law at Ursuline College. Avery has appeared at the invitation of both House and U.S. Senate Subcommittees as an expert on civil and constitutional law. He has been called a “true freedom fighter” by the NAACP  and is recipient of the Legendary Champion of Civil Rights Award by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization founded by Dr. King. Avery is an inductee in the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

Evalyn Gates, Ph.D.
Executive Director and CEO, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Evalyn Gates is the Executive Director and CEO of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  After receiving her Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Case Western Reserve University in 1990, Gates held postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University and the University of Chicago and was a member of the theoretical astrophysics research group at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.  She spent seven years at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, initially as Director of Astronomy and then as Vice President for Science and Education.  Before coming to the Museum in May of 2010, Gates was the Assistant Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.  Gates is the author of Einstein’s Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe. Most recently, her research has focused on various aspects of dark matter, and searching for ancient stellar fossils in the form of the oldest white dwarfs. Gates also has a strong personal interest in addressing the under-representation of women and minorities in the physical sciences and has written several articles and presented talks on the topic of women in physics.

Erica Granados De La Rosa
Spoken Word Poet and Activist

Erica Granados De La Rosa also known as Erica GDLR, is a writer, spoken word poet, community activist, and scholar of diasporic indigenous descent. She holds a B.A. in social and political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from Texas Women’s University. She has been invited to share her spoken word poetry and speak on social justice issues around the country including The Dallas Museum of Art, The Prindle Institute for Ethics, Boston University School of Theology, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and National Public Radio. Erica was born in Baltimore Maryland and grew up all over the United States. She currently lives in Denton, Texas with her partner and her cat.

Katherine Jackson, Ph.D., A.T.R.
Assistant Professor of Art Therapy and Counseling, Ursuline College

Dr. Katherine Jackson has been a practicing psychotherapist and registered art therapist for over 20 years, and is currently in private practice at Beachwood Counseling Center, where she enjoys providing services for a variety of clients including children/teens, couples, and adults. Dr. Jackson practices holistic therapy utilizing the creative healing arts.  She is deeply committed to self-evolution and personal growth and values all types of learning endeavors. She has taught in the Art Therapy and Counseling Graduate Program at Ursuline College since 1993 as an adjunct faculty, and recently became a full time Assistant Professor in 2012. Dr. Jackson created the service learning program for graduate Art Therapy and Counseling students, and is currently the Thesis Coordinator.

Susan Juris, M.B.A.
President, The Ahuja Medical Center

Susan Juris’s health care career spans 30 years and includes executive level positions in the post-acute and hospital industries. She has worked in the publically-traded and non-profit sectors.  Ms. Juris’s career has been anchored in both the Philadelphia and Cleveland markets. In Philadelphia, she held has held officer level positions at Foster Medical Corporation – a division of AVON; the Forum Group, Home Health Corporation of America, and Staff Builders. She moved to Cleveland 15 years ago to join University Hospitals where she has served as president of UH Home Care Services, UH Extended Care Campus, and currently UH Ahuja Medical Center, the county’s first Greenfield hospital in over 30 years. As president of Ahuja Ms. Juris positioned the new medical center as a true community asset and grown market share each of the past 30 months serving patients from a 6 county region. Recently she has launched the “Vital Link to Save Lives Campaign” which is dedicated to assuring that our region’s EMS squads receive the latest life-saving technology and working with mayors to train residents in first response techniques. In 2013 Ms. Juris was named a “Woman of Note” by Crain's Cleveland Business.

Nick Kardaras, Ph.D.
Executive Director, the Dunes Rehab East Hampton, NY

Clinical Assistant Professor, Stony Brook Medicine

Dr. Kardaras is the  author of How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life, the Executive Director of the world-renowned rehab the Dunes, in East Hampton, NY, former Assistant Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine, and a regular contributor to Psychology Today. Having lived a colorful life (he’s an AAU National Karate champion, a recovering NYC nightclub owner and a coma survivor), he's also an internationally recognized addictions expert and lifelong seeker who has explored many of the world’s wisdom traditions and has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Fox News, NPR and has been in Esquire, The New York Times, Newsday, and New York Magazine.

Cara Lemieux
Senior Director of Digital Communications, The Shriver Report

Cara Lemieux is an award winning multi-media journalist, digital communications strategist and writer. She is the Senior Director of Digital Communications for The Shriver Report. Previously Lemieux served as producer for ABC News Digital and control room producer for Good Morning America.  She won 3 Emmy Awards for Best Morning Program.  Lemieux is the creator and founder of MeAndDucky.com, a blog about navigating single motherhood in New York City, and is a contributing writer for LifetimeMoms.com. Her pieces address and capture both the public and private issues surrounding single motherhood.

Tina Roan Lining
Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Ursuline College

Tina Roan Lining is the Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Equity and Multicultural Affairs at Ursuline College. She provides visionary leadership and fosters intergroup relations, including, but not limited to, expanding the institutional commitment to equal opportunity for students, staff and faculty success. Lining’s ultimate goal is to affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person; educate, prevent and address discrimination or harassment; collaborate and communicate with human resources and college leaders to maintain a positive work climate; and ensure a fair and equitable workplace. She serves as a member of the NAACP Education Committee, the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity.

Jenita McGowan
Chief of Sustainability, City of Cleveland

Jenita McGowan is Chief of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland. She is leading the
coordination of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, a movement that will develop new strategies to use sustainability as an innovation engine for economic growth and reducing the City’s ecological footprint. McGowan earned a B.S. in Journalism and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Kent State University. She completed her M.A. degree in Nonprofit Management from the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Ursuline College

Dr. Gina Messina-Dysert is Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College and Co-founder of Feminism and Religion.  She blogs for The Huffington Post, has authored multiple articles, the book Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence (Routledge, 2014), and is co-editor of Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2014).  Dr. Messina-Dysert is a widely sought after speaker and has presented across the US at universities, organizations, conferences, and in the national news circuit including appearances on Tavis Smiley and MSNBC.  She has also spoken at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations to discuss matters impacting the lives women around the globe.  She is active in movements to end violence against women and explores opportunities for spiritual healing for those who have encountered gender-based violence.  Dr. Messina-Dysert can be followed on Twitter @FemTheologian and her website can be accessed at http://ginamessinadysert.com.

JoAnne M. Podis, Ph.D.
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Ursuline College

Dr. JoAnne M. Podis, Professor of English at Ursuline College, is also Vice President for Academic Affairs, a post she has held since 1997. Her doctorate in British literature is from Case Western Reserve University, and, in over three decades in higher education, Dr. Podis has presented and published widely on writing pedagogy and is the co-author of three textbooks. Other research interests include women and leadership, including women in popular culture; Jane Austen’s novels and the film versions thereof; and the impact of working-class backgrounds on both  faculty and students. Off campus she supports the Cleveland International Film Festival through her work in fund raising and lectures in continuing education programs at area nursing homes.

Nema Saleem
Art Therapy and Counseling Graduate Student, Ursuline College

Nema Saleem is a creative spirit, world traveler, and novice art therapist and counselor, who is currently completing her M.A. in Counseling and Art Therapy at Ursuline College. Cultural diversity and awareness have been pivotal in Nema’s development in that she grew up inhabiting two cultures, European and East Indian. Nema has been a leader and key figure in working on Service Learning Trips at Ursuline College, where she recently completed a trip to El Salvador and Ecuador. Her desire is to live a life where diversity is celebrated each and every day. Nema’s next journey begins later this year, when she will assist in the founding of an art therapy camp for AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe, Africa.

Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ph.D.
Chair of Religious Studies, Ursuline College

Dr. Natalie Kertes Weaver is Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Ursuline College. Dr. Weaver’s academic books include: Marriage and Family: A Christian Theological Foundation (Anselm, 2009); Christian Thought and Practice: A Primer (Anselm, 2012); and The Theology of Suffering and Death: An Introduction for Caregivers (Routledge, 2013). Dr. Weaver is currently writing Made in the Image of God: Intersex and the Revisioning of Theological Anthropology (Wipf & Stock, 2014).  Dr. Weaver has also authored two art books: Interior Design: Rooms of a Half-Life and Baby’s First Latin.  Dr. Weaver’s areas of interest and expertise include: feminist theology; theology of suffering; theology of the family; religion and violence; and (inter)sex and theology.

Edna West, Ed.D.
Director of the Master Apprenticeship Program, Ursuline College

Dr. Edna West is Associate Professor of Education and serves as the Director of Graduate Teacher Education at Ursuline College.  Dr. West directs and coordinates the Master Apprenticeship Program (MAP) and the Programs for Advanced Studies in Education (PASE).  She holds her Ed.D. from Ashland College, and a Specialist in Education, Ed.S., from Cleveland State University in the areas of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development.  Dr. West holds professional licensure as a School Superintendent, High School Principal, Elementary School Principal, Guidance Counselor (K-12), Elementary School Teacher (1-8), and Education of the Handicapped (K-12).  Dr. West has taught every grade, K-12, in the public schools.  Her research is on closing the Gap in Academic Achievement.