Winter 2011-Fall 2012 SPA Executive Board



President - Sarah Pankratz


Vice President of Professional Development - Julie French


Vice President of Communication and Administration - Ali Mears


Vice President of Membership & Alumni - Natalie Hamel

Vice President of Fundraising - Unfilled


Vice President of Finance - Aris Kaleps


Vice President of Community Service and Social Development- Heather Thomas


Vice President of Technology - Danielle Oldfield


SPA Advisors

pete Faculty Advisor - Dr. Peter Mather

Peter Mather was appointed to the faculty of Counseling and Higher Education in September 2005. Before his appointment, he was director of educational programs at The Carter Center, a humanitarian organization and the headquarters of Jimmy Carter's post-presidential work. At Ohio University, Dr. Mather teaches primarily in the college student personnel program. His courses include student development theory, multicultural student development, college environments, and the college student personnel practicum seminars. In addition to his work at The Carter Center, Dr. Mather was associate dean of student development and director of research, assessment, and testing at East Carolina University. He also served as assistant dean of student development at Duke University, and as an area coordinator in residence life at Emory University. Dr. Mather received his PhD in college student affairs administration at The University of Georgia in 1996. His research interests include identity development, multiculturalism, and student spirituality. In addition to his doctorate, Dr. Mather holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Indianapolis, and a master's degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University.

judy Student Affairs Advisor - Judy Piercy

Judy Piercy earned the B.S. in Psychology at Quincy University in Illinois and has completed graduate work in the College Student Personnel program at Western Illinois University. She earned the M.A. in Counseling and Guidance the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. With almost 30 years experience in student affairs, she has held positions at Illinois Sate University, Western Illinois University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and West Virginia Tech in the areas of residence life, counseling, and admissions. Piercy has been at Ohio University since 1989 and has held the positions of assistant director of Residence Life, assistant director of University Judiciaries, and director of University Judiciaries. Presently, she serves as Assistant VP for Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life.


College Student Personnel and Higher Education Faculty

valerieDirector: Center for Higher Education and Associate Professor: Counseling and Higher Education- 
Dr. Valery Martin Conley

College of Education
McCracken Hall 105D 
hio University

Dr. Conley joined the faculty of Ohio University in 2002.  She teaches courses on institutional research and assessment, management of higher education, and policy.  She specializes in quantitative applications for educational policy and research drawing upon her experience as an institutional researcher and consultant to the National Center for Education Statistics.  Her research interests focus on faculty retirement, part-time faculty, academic labor market and management issues. 

Some of her recent publications include Exploring faculty retirement issues in public 2–year institutions, Progress for women in academe, yet inequities persist: Evidence from NSOPF:99 (with Robert K. Toutkoushian), and New ways to phase into retirement: Options for faculty and institutions (a co-edited volume of New Directions for Higher Education with David W. Leslie). 

Dr. Conley teaches in two summer institutes: The Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Foundations for the Practice of Institutional Research Institute and the AIR/NCES/NSF Summer Data Policy Institute.  Part of the curriculum for the institutes includes online applications for accessing national datasets including College Opportunities Online (COOL) , the Peer Analysis System and the Data Analysis System .

She holds a B.A. and a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia.  Dr. Conley's Ph.D. is in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Higher Education and Student Affairs fromVirginia Tech.

Dr. Conley's website can be found here:

laura Assistant Professor: Higher Education - Dr. Laura Harrison





  bob Senior Research Scientist and Professor: Higher Education-Dr. Bob Young

David2 Assistant Professor: Higher Education - Dr. David Horton Jr.


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