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EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

 

ESMERALDA SILVA

President

Vice President

Strategic Alliances and Outreach Services

Trident at AIU

714.229.7043  |  esmeralda.silva@trident.edu


Esmeralda Silva is currently the Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach Services at Trident University International (TUI). Esmeralda has been with TUI for 17 + years and her career has comprised of roles revolving around building strong relationships as this is key to creating lasting and trusting partnerships with university leaders, key military leaders and partners, corporate and nonprofit organizations who have a desire and commitment to changing lives through the "Power of Education."


Over the past seventeen years, Esmeralda has spent her time focused on changing lives through her commitment, dedication and belief that education is one of the most effective ways to improve a person's life. During her tenure, she held leadership roles within Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Administrative Services, Outreach & Partnerships, Military and Veteran Relations, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, and Strategic Planning and Management, which has allowed her to create and implement integrated strategies as well as assist and collaborate with cross-departmental leaders to ensure a university-wide focus on student success. Currently in her role she oversees Military Relations, Corporate Relations, Alumni Relations and Career Planning and Workforce Strategies.


Esmeralda is actively involved in supporting and advocating for improved support and services for military members, veterans, and their families. She currently serves as President for California Advisory Council on Military Education, she is a member of LA Veteran Collaboration - Higher Education Working Group, she also serves as a member of Military Friendly Advisory Board and actively participates in national education Consortiums.


Esmeralda was born and raised in Washington state and currently resides in Long Beach, CA and has two amazing sons Jalen and Christian.

LOUIS MARTINI

Vice President - President Emeritus

Associate Vice President
Office of Military and Veteran Education
Thomas Edison State University
101 W. State St.  |  Trenton, NJ 08608-1176
609.777.5696  |  LMartini@tesu.edu


Louis F. Martini is the Associate Vice President of the Office of Military and Veteran Education at Thomas Edison State University. He came to Thomas Edison State University out of private industry and has spent his 25+ year career at the University in a variety of academic and marketing roles, all with primary responsibility for servicemembers. In his current duties, he is responsible for all aspects of the College's military and veteran populations.


Louis is currently serving on the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) Board acting as Event Manager, Historian and NAIMES Liaison. He has served on the CCME board for a number of years prior to his current CCME positions. He served as the Scholarships/Awards Committee Chairman for two years, Vice-President for Institutions, President-Elect, President and Past President. He also is the Chairperson for Operation College Promise and President-Elect of NAIMES.

KELLY WILMETH

Vice President Elect

Vice President - Stateside Military Operations
University of Maryland University College
240.723.6526  |  kelly.wilmeth@umuc.edu


Ms. Kelly Wilmeth is the vice president of UMUC's Stateside Military Operations. In this role, she is responsible for UMUC's staff and operations on military installations across the country and for overseeing UMUC's outreach to and growth among the military and veteran population. Ms. Wilmeth began her career with UMUC in 2009 while stationed in Korea with her husband, who is an active-duty Army officer. Ms. Wilmeth is a military spouse who has lived all over the world in the past 20 years. She has worked for several colleges and universities which provide educational services to the U.S. military and their families, to include City Colleges of Chicago - Programs for the Military Europe, the University of Oklahoma, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


Ms. Wilmeth holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Stanford University and a master's degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico. As a military spouse, she has experienced first-hand the many challenges that the military lifestyle presents as it relates to education and employment. She is honored that her career in higher education provides her the opportunity to assist service members, veterans and military spouses to achieve their academic goals and career aspirations.

RODNEY CLARK

Secretary

Director, Extended Campus North America -US Navy Retired
Associate Director, Extended Campus Home Office
University of Oklahoma Extended Campus
Extended Campus Home Office - North America and Europe

405.325.5396  |  rodclark@ou.edu


Rod Clark is currently the Associate Director of the University of Oklahoma Extended Campus North America / Europe and the Director of OU Extended Campus North America where he oversees the overall administration and operation of the 23 learning sites worldwide providing graduate education opportunities to active duty military personnel and other non-traditional students.


Rod is a retired US Navy Captain. During his 30 years of active service he commanded the guided missile frigate USS SIMPSON (FFG 56) and the BONHOMME RICHARD Expeditionary Strike Group. Ashore he earned an educational specialty teaching at the US Naval Academy and Surface Warfare Officers School. He also commanded Training Support Center West where he managed over 70,000 students per year at 15 training sites located in California, Washington, Hawaii, Guam and Japan. He also served as the Professor of Naval Science, Department Head and Chair at the University of Oklahoma. Rod earned his MA at the Naval War College and his BBA at the University of Oklahoma.

NATHALIA RODRIGUES

Secretary Elect

Military & VA Outreach
Fort Bliss/El Paso Area, NM, HI
915.478.8922  |  nrodrigues@nu.edu


Nathalia Rodrigues is the Military and VA Outreach Representative with National University. In this role, Nathalia works with military members, their dependents, and veterans in attaining their educational aspirations. Her goal is to also to build meaningful business relationships within the area to unite the military community with applicable resources.


Prior to joining National University, Nathalia worked for Blugold Beginnings at the UW-Eau Claire. She worked with low-income, single-family, and first-generation 5th to 12th graders to inform them about the opportunities that attaining a higher education presents. She also had the pleasure of working for Campbell University as a Biology Lab and Teacher's Assistant.


Nathalia attained her associate's degree from UW-Eau Claire in General Studies, a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences with a Chemistry minor at Campbell University, and is currently pursuing her Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Healthcare Administration at National University.


To further fulfill her passion, she currently serves as the Director of Public Relations for Hiring Our Heroes- Military Spouse Professional Network in El Paso and has been selected for the position of co-chair for the Military Spouse Empowerment Zone in El Paso as well. She also sits on the board as the Registration Day Manager and Medical Coordinator for the Travis Manion Foundation 9/11-El Paso. Nathalia also is an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) representative to help advocate for her fellow guardsmen/women’s rights. Additionally, she proudly serves in the Texas Army National Guard as a Healthcare Specialist and a Medical Readiness Specialist for the Operation Guardian Support Mission – Gunslingers Taskforce.


Nathalia was born and raised in Tanzania, she currently resides in El Paso, TX with her husband who is active duty in the 1AD.

JANICE NEAL

Immediate Past President

Director / Western Region Director
Webster University
Los Angeles AFB Campus

310.607.8005  |  Fax: 310.607.8008  |  jneal@webster.edu


Janice Neal is the Regional Director of the Western Military Campuses with Webster University and Director at the Los Angeles Air Force Base Campus. Janice has been with Webster since 1998 and in higher education for over 25 years. She received her MBA from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri and a Masters in Management & Leadership with Webster University. To maximize Webster's support to our military students, the Office of Military Affairs, under the direction of Brig Gen Mike Callan, USAF (Ret), was established in 2013 and Janice oversees the University's western military portfolio.


Her knowledge and commitment to higher education and our military stems from her youth, as a military dependent as well as family currently serving. She's affiliated with the California Advisory Council on Military Education, as well as other organizations, which provide the platform needed to propose necessary changes to enhance educational benefits.


She continues to serve the community as the founder of a non-profit organization that offer college preparatory workshops and award scholarships to underserved youth.


Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, she currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her daughters Tiffany and Jessica.

CHERMAINE M. HARRELL

Treasurer

Coastline Community College
951.383.5263  |  charrell5@coastline.edu


Chermaine Harrell is the Associate Regional Dean, Military & VA Programs at National University. She joined National University in 2013. In this role, she manages operations at National University's military campuses as well as military online programs in California. She also is responsible for military and veterans outreach activities in California.


During her 26 years in the Marine Corps, Chermaine served in numerous billets to include Quality Assurance Staff Non Commissioned Officer, Series Chief Drill Instructor, Company 1stSgt, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Air Combat Element (ACE) Sergeant Major and Marine Aviation Training Support Group Sergeant Major. She deployed in support of Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and various unit deployments. Her personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.


Chermaine graduated for Chapman University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership (Summa Cum Laude) and a Master of Science degree in Human Resources at Chapman 2013.

BETHANY TAYLOR

Assistant Symposium Manager/VIP Speaker Coordinator

Assistant Director
Military Partnerships
University of Maryland University College
3501 University Boulevard East  |  Adelphi, MD 20783
315.286.4016  |  bethany.taylor@umuc.edu

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BOARD MEMBERS

 

CARMENZA JARAMILLO

Corporate Relations Chair

Strategic Account Manager
Military and Veteran Affairs
DeVry University

1200 E. Diehl Road  |  Naperville, IL 60563
813.563.1321


Carmenza Jaramillo has been working in domestic and international higher education for 20 years. During her tenure, she has traveled over 20 countries and her roles have comprised of developing longstanding strategic partnerships that enhances student experience and opportunities. As a military spouse she is no stranger to the challenges service members, veterans and their families face during the transition from military to civilian life, and the important role higher education plays in it.


Carmenza is the Business Development Manager for Military and Veteran Affairs at DeVry University. She is actively engaging with leaders within the military, government, corporate and nonprofit community to create new opportunities and pathways for transitioning services members and their spouses.


Carmenza holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration (1994) from Universidad Central in Bogota, Colombia, a Master's of Business Administration (2009) and a Master's of Adult Education and Training (2014) from University of Phoenix.

MARK A. WEEDON

Government Relations

National Director of Strategic Alliances
Trident at AIU

979.571.6216  |  mark.weedon@trident.edu


Mark, a 29-year veteran is currently the National Director for Strategic Alliances at Trident University. He has served on several Boards of Directors including the Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation, the National Guard Association of Texas, and is currently on the National Guard Association of Texas Education Foundation Board of Directors.


Mark has been a lifelong learner and believes that it's never too late to continue the education process. His BS took a little over 20 years to complete after high school while working full time to support his family. "Higher education has opened numerous doors for me and gives me a competitive advantage in the workforce".


Mark has been married to his wife Shelli since 1988 and they have 4 children plus in-laws and 7 grandkids and counting. Mark is an avid outdoorsman and particularly loves to hunt and fly fish. He and Shelli love to travel.

NICOLE M. WINGET

Public Affairs

Director
Campbell University - Fort Bragg & Pope Campus

ftbraggoffice@campbell.edu


Nicole Winget is the Director of the Fort Bragg & Pope Campus of Campbell University and an Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice. She joined CCME in 2017 and is passionate about connecting our members, schools, sponsors, supporters, and students through social media.


She is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy (Reserves), attached to the Office of Naval Intelligence. She started as an Enlisted Information Technology Specialist and has deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan. Her awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.


Ms. Winget graduated from Ohio Northern University College of Law in 2009 and practiced law in Ohio, focusing on Criminal Defense and Trial Advocacy. She is active as a mock trial coach, coaching both high school and college level mock trial teams, and currently leads the Campbell University and the High School Unity teams.


Ms. Winget works extensively with the Veteran population both as yoga instructor, focusing on working with wounded warriors, and as active member with Operation Enduring Warrior, a Veterans and First Responder focused organization.

WENDY SICKORA

Legislative Chair

Wendy Sickora served in the Marine Corps for 21 years, retiring December of 2005. The Marine Corps provided training and experience in many fields from aircraft maintenance, engine testing, career planning, administration, recruiting, to coordinating the Toys for Tots program at her reserve unit.


Wendy has been in higher education for 11 years and involved in military and community college outreach. She currently serves as Past President for the California Advisory Council on Military Education (ACME).


Wendy received her Associate of Arts degree in Selective Studies from Miramar Community College in San Diego, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University. She is currently attending Brandman University in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program, and will graduate in December 2020.

DESIREE K. BUTTS

Awards

Executive Director, Military & VA Programs
National University-Quantico

337 Potomac Avenue  |  Quantico VA 22134
703.630.3800  |  dbutts@nu.edu


Desiree Butts is the Executive Director for Military & VA Programs at National University. In this role, she oversees admissions operations in the state of Virginia and military and veteran outreach activities for the eastern half of the United States and Puerto Rico.


Desiree joined National University in 2010 as the Administrative Manager, Military & VA Programs; Manager, Quantico Online Information Center; and Director, Military Center Operations & Outreach Activities before assuming her current role. Prior to joining National University's Military & VA Programs Division, Desiree served in various positions for Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps (HQMC) Lifelong Learning, assisting Service members and their families in their pursuit of higher education.


Desiree graduated from Park University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and a Master of Business Administration at National University in 2015.

AFSHIN AFROOKHTEH

Legal Council

Alliant International University
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer


Afshin Afrookhteh, PhD, JD, currently serves as Alliant International University General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. In his role, Dr. Afrookhteh provides legal services, including representation, advice, legal research and training, to the University, including legal guidance to the administration, faculty, staff and others acting on the University's behalf. He is also responsible for developing and implementing policies, procedures, processes and reporting necessary to ensure that the University meets federal, state, and professional accreditation requirements and is responsible for gaining and maintaining state authorization approvals and ensuring compliance with state regulations pertaining to on-site and distance learning programs.


Dr. Afrookhteh joined Alliant after serving for nearly 20 years in various capacities at Trident University International including Associate VP of Academic Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer. Dr. Afrookhteh's credentials include:
PhD in Health Sciences, TUI University
Juris Doctor, Whittier Law School
Bachelor of Science in Health Science, CSU Dominguez Hills

JIM YEONOPOLUS

Scholarship Committee

Chancellor
Central Texas College

P.O. Box 1800  |  Killeen, Texas 76540-1800
254.526.1781  |  Fax: 254.526.1750  |  jim.yeonopolus@ctcd.edu


Mr. Jim Yeonopolus has been with the Central Texas College for 39 years, currently is the Chief Executive Officer for Operations of the Central Texas College Navy, Pacific Far East, Europe and Continental Campuses. Before joining Central Texas College, Mr. Yeonopolus completed a four year tour of duty in the United States Air Force.


Mr. Yeonopolus holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Arizona; a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southwest Texas State University; and Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Temple Junior College.


Mr. Yeonopolus has been a resident of Texas since 1959 and currently resides in Harker Heights, Texas with his wife Nancy. During his tenure with Central Texas College, Mr. Yeonopolus has held or currently holds several offices in professional and civic organizations including:

President, Society of Vietnamese Airborne
Member, Killeen Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee
Member, North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents
Member, Killeen Volunteers, Inc. (Board Member since 1994; President for 4 years)
Marquis "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, 1968"
Marquis "Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1980"

DEBRA HAVENS

Co-Chair of Scholarship

Central Texas College
P.O. Box 1800  |  Killeen, Texas 76540-1800
254.526.1781  |  Fax: 254.526.1750  |  dhavens@ctcd.edu


Debra Havens has worked for Central Texas College for the last 23 years. Prior to the education field she was an Assistant Vice-President in the banking industry for 16 years.


She is the Executive Coordinator for the Chancellor and Board of Trustees. Duties include coordination and optimal scheduling of strategic meeting/events with internal and external college constituents for the Chancellor and Board of Trustees; manages various staff and committee meetings including supporting agendas, preparatory documents and meeting logistics; works with all members of the college board of trustees as the liaison to ensure quality communications between them and the Chancellor; works on behalf of the Chancellor to ensure Board policy and report documentation is complete and also serves as the Election Officer for the Board of Trustees. She also administers the scholarship program for the NAIMES organization.


Ms. Havens earned her Associate of Arts degree from Central Texas College and Bachelor of Arts & Applied Sciences in Business Administration from Texas A&M Central Texas.


Ms. Havens is a life-long Texan and currently resides in Harker Heights, Texas. She is active in her church and a member of the Ladies of Charity organization.

DR. JAMIE D. KIPFER

App Manager

Assistant Professor and Year One DEL Coordinator
School of Business & Leadership | University of Charleston

jamiekipfer@ucwv.edu


Jamie Kipfer began a career in higher education in 2002 and has served in various roles in information technology and academic support. An experienced administrator for adult learners and non-traditional programs, she helped establish online programs at Campbell University and the University of Charleston (WV).


She is currently the Associate Registrar for Operations at Campbell University. In this role, she oversees the daily operations of the department, ensures compliance for federal enrollment reporting and NCAA athletic eligibility, and facilitates and manages transfer credit processes. She also teaches undergraduate religion courses and is the online faculty advisor for Christian Studies majors.


Jamie is an ordained minister and member of First Baptist Church, Southern Pines, NC. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion & Christian Ministry and a Master of Divinity from Campbell University, as well as a Master of Theology from Union Presbyterian Seminary (formerly UTS-PSCE). She is a George Walker Fellow, pursuing a Doctor of Executive Leadership at the University of Charleston. Her dissertation focuses on helping advance women leaders in academia.

TASHA LATIMER

Assistant Symposium Coordinator

Marketing Project Manager/Events Specialist
Trident at AIU

tasha.latimer@trident.edu


Tasha Latimer is the Marketing Project Manager/Events Specialist at Trident at AIU. Tasha joined Trident in 2010. In this role, she manages the email marketing campaigns for ten different departments and coordinates all onsite and offsite university events.


During her 10 years at Trident, Tasha had the opportunity to take on different roles within Outreach & Partnerships and Center for Student Success leading to her current role in the Marketing department. She is an active member of the Trident Graduation Committee and serves as Chair for the IMPACT Committee, an onsite employee morale team. With a demonstrated history of working in the e-learning industry, Tasha is skilled in integrated marketing, WordPress, HubSpot, team building, public speaking, and project management.

MEBANE HARRISON

President Emeritus

ESO (retired), US Navy and US Army
619.435.7037  |  mebaneharrison@san.rr.com


Mebane Harrison, our current President Emeritus, was born in Dallas, Texas, but grew up in the Arkansas hills. She received her BA from the University of Arkansas, where she majored in English, Speech and Dramatic Art and continued with a Master's in Religious Education from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master's of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Her first job was with the American Red Cross, helping to build morale of Army troops stationed in South Korea. In that job, she led a team of girls to design and present programs of interest to our troops. Her first education jobs were working with children in the Army Chapel Centers in South Korea and Hawaii. She went on to become a Counselor and then an Education Director for adults stationed on Army and Navy bases through-out the world. More recently, she wrote a children's book called, "The Gazoo at the Zoo." Mebane was twice President of the CCME and received the John Brian Award for Service. While stationed in Coronado, California, she was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for her work with military students.

BORIS KUN

DoD Liaison to the Executive Board

Director Workforce, Credentialing & SkillBridge Programs
OASD(Readiness)/ODASD(Force Education & Training)

boris.kun.civ@mail.mil


Mr. Boris Kun directs the Department of Defense (DoD) Credentialing, SkillBridge, and US Military Apprenticeship Programs from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Readiness) in support of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness) and the Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defense (Force Education and Training). Mr. Kun is responsible for the oversight, development, and execution of the DoD-wide credentialing, licensure, job skills training, and apprenticeship programs. He advises the highest levels of the DoD, the Executive Office of the President of the United States, and various Federal Departments in total workforce development and management. His office is located in the Pentagon, where he arrived with over a decade of experience in management, analysis, and workforce development.


Mr. Kun was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Formerly USSR). His family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1993. He enlisted into the United States Navy in 2007 where he was deployed and served overseas. Following this, Mr. Kun was selected for the Seaman to Admiral 21 commissioning program.

SCOTT LEELING

Newcomers/Special Events

Sr. Specialist, Operations,
Military and Veteran Affairs
DeVry University

719.963.9760  |  sleeling@devry.edu


Sergeant Major (Retired) Scott A. Leeling served on Active Duty in the Army for 25 years and retired as the Command Career Counselor for United States Army Europe. He is currently employed with DeVry University and serves as the Senior Operations, Military and Veteran Affairs, in which he formulates operational plans for the military and veteran markets and conducts awareness training for all facets of DeVry University (DVU).


Scott's military education includes Sergeants Major Academy (class 56), Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, Basic Noncommissioned Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Battle Staff NCO Course, Combat Life Saver Course, Recruiting Course, and the Career Counselor Course.


Scott is a graduate from TUI University, out of Cypress, California and he holds both a Bachelors and Master's Degree in Business Administration.


Scott is a member of the Colorado Springs Military Affairs Council (MAC), a member the Colorado Advisory Council on Military Education (ACME). Scott is also a board member of Meridian Ranch DRC 2 in Falcon.

AARON HALL

ACME Liaison

Full Sail University
Military Relations Manager

alhall@fullsail.edu


Aaron is currently the Vice President of the Florida ACME, and currently serves as the Military Relations Manager at Full Sail University. He is a US Air Force veteran of the Iraq War, where he was a Security Forces and Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Craftsman. While on active duty Aaron completed his Associate degree in Criminal Justice from the Community College of the Air Force, and after separating from the Air Force he used his GI Bill to complete his Bachelor's in History from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Aaron credits his experience as an Active Duty student online, and a transitioning student veteran with his passion for helping fellow Service members and veterans pursue their education. He has been with Full Sail University for seven years and currently serves as the Military Relations Manager.

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©2020 The Council of College and Military Educators. 

The Council of College and Military Educators is not affiliated with the Department of Defense or any Military Service.