Martin Kurzweil is the director of the Educational Transformation Program at Ithaka S+R (http://sr.ithaka.org), a not-for-profit in New York City that studies and supports the implementation of innovations that improve student postsecondary success.
Since starting the program in 2015, Martin and his team have conducted research, convened stakeholders, and advised higher education leaders on topics such as proactive advising, adaptive learning, socioeconomic diversity, strategic finance, course redesign, non-degree credentials, accreditation, big data ethics, and the process of institutional change. Martin serves on the steering committee of the American Talent Initiative (www.americantalentinitiative.org), an effort of over 100 colleges and universities to expand opportunity for talented, lower-income students, which he and his team worked with the Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies to launch in 2016.
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Martin has spent most of his career in education research and policy, including roles at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New York City Department of Education, and on the faculty of Columbia Law School. Martin has published in outlets ranging from the Washington Post to the California Law Review. He is the co-author of Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, which received the 2006 American Educational Research Association Outstanding Book Award.
Carl J. Strikwerda is professor of history and the fourteenth president of Elizabethtown College, having served previously as Dean of Arts and Sciences at the College of William and Mary and Associate Dean at the University of Kansas He received a B.A. from Calvin College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He gas regularly taught a course at Elizabethtown College on “Peace and War in a Global World.”
In addition to three books and more than 30 articles on European and global history, he has published articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, and Inside Higher Ed and a book with Anne-Marie McCartan, Deans and Development: Making the Case for Supporting the Liberal Arts.
President Strikwerda has served as an historical consultant to the National World War One Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and currently serves on the Presidents’ Trust for the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Board of Directors of the Council for European Studies.
Robyn Piggott joined the F&M team as Executive Assistant to the President in 2011. She was named Secretary of the College in 2014 and Chief of Staff in 2016. Her responsibilities are varied, focusing on the development and implementation of strategic initiatives and concepts for philanthropic investment, supporting the President’s engagement with prospective donors, advising on institutional positioning and strategic communications, and coordinating the President’s travel schedule. She was a member of F&M’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee and provided interim leadership for the Office of College Advancement in 2012 during the vice presidential transition. In July 2014, she participated in the HERS Bryn Mawr Institute for women leaders in higher education.
Prior to joining F&M, she served as Special Assistant to the President at Amherst College, where she worked closely with President Tony Marx and her fellow Senior Officers to develop and implement a series of programs that significantly broadened access for low-income and first-generation college students. She also developed, secured external funding for and helped appoint the founding director of Amherst’s Center for Community Engagement, and helped secure a number of seven-, eight- and nine-figure gifts, including the three largest gifts and the largest grant in the history of the College. She served on the College’s facilities planning committee and staffed its campus-wide budget priorities committee in the wake of the 2008 global economic downturn. Before joining the President’s Office, Robyn worked as a principal gift officer and for four years as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Amherst, during which time she led a significant expansion of the College’s annual income from foundation and government grants.
Robyn earned a B.A., summa cum laude in Latin from Mount Holyoke College, with a minor in Ancient Greek. She was a Fulbright Scholar in the UK, where she earned an M.A. with distinction in Archaeology and Prehistory and M.Phil. in Roman Archaeology.
As vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions at Allegheny College, Cornell LeSane has over 18 years of experience working in higher education. Prior to Allegheny, he served in a progression of leadership roles at Carnegie Mellon University. He has developed and overseen the implementation of numerous initiatives designed to foster the mission of the institution and assist students and families in all aspects of college selection and beyond.
LeSane has been active in numerous professional associations (including PACAC, PCHE, NACAC) and in his community, having served on the steering committee for the Pittsburgh Science and Technology School, a magnet school for 6th-12th graders; as a committee chair for College Success 101, an outreach program geared toward underrepresented youth in the Pittsburgh area; and as a current member of the Board of Directors for Meadville Medical Center. He has also participated as a faculty member for programs including the inaugural College Counseling Leadership Institute, College Exploration Experience and College for Every Student. While at Carnegie Mellon University, he received the Andy Award — named for Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon — for outstanding commitment to students.
LeSane holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hampton University and a Master of Public Management, Concentration in Leadership in Higher Education, from Carnegie Mellon University.
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