PDF Print Email

NSEE's Board of Directors 

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 later...here we are. 

President Elect
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!

Vice President
Beth Odahlen
Minot State University, Academic Support Center

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. :)

Alan Grose
JD Candidate
American University Washington College of Law


1. Input
2. Context
3. Deliberative
4. Analytical
5. Intellection

Dr. Alan works with internships and the intersection of academic learning and co-curricular learning.

Dr. Alan Grose is currently a J.D. candidate at the American University Washington College of Law. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Furman University, and M.A. in Philosophy and Social Policy from American University, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York. From 2011 to 2019, he was Director of Academic Affairs at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. He previously taught philosophy at Baruch College, CUNY and the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. In 2013, he was recognized with NSEE's Experiential Education Rising Leader Award.

Fun fact: I'm working on a J.D. at American University's Washington College of Law.

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
Stephanie Thomason
Associate Director of the TECO Energy Center for Leadership &
Associate Professor of Management
The University of Tampa

1. Achiever
2. Strategic
3. Learner
4. Input
5. Belief

Stephanie works on teaching experientially, publishing articles and cases for applications in class, community engagement, and coaching and mentoring

Stephanie Thomason is a professor of management and past president of the NSEE. Her research interests include human resource selection, personality, performance management, coaching and ethical decision-making. She has consulted multiple educational institutions on QEP compliance and experiential initiatives.

Fun fact: I like riding my bike and listening to educational YouTube videos


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.

Erica Ely
Erica Ely
Program Director Internships
University of Maryland, College Park

1. Maximizer
2. Adaptability
3. Harmony
4. Positivity
5. Empathy 

Erica has experience working on internships, job shadowing, and online learning 

Erica has worked in career services for 12+ years.  At University of Maryland, she serves as the Program Director of Internships where she coaches students individually and in large classroom settings on internship search strategies, works with employers on internship best practices, oversees an internship seminar for students in internship experiences, converted an in-person internship search strategy course for 20 students to fully online now serving 200+ students, and created a job shadowing program that places 350+ students per semester with a host in an industry of interest.

Fun fact:  In college, I danced for 48 hours straight -- no sitting, no kidding -- in an effort to raise $4 million for pediatric cancer research and care.

Teri Williams
Teri Triguba Williams
Director of Experiential Education & Learning (ExEL)
Nova Southeastern University

1. Connectedness
2. Strategic
3. Activator
4. Relator
5. Input

Teri designed, and is directing a university EE program. She has established all moving parts necessary to make this program sustainable and impactful. She works collaboratively with all stakeholders, including but not limited to: students, faculty, university leadership, and parents to define, shape, and reshape the program and its parts as necessary. Teri assists/guides faculty in the design of curriculum and co-curricular events in order to qualify them EE. She teaches courses that are entrenched in the EL pedagogy. Teri acts as the Co-chair for the EEA, supporting instructors, establishing workshops nationally, providing necessary information to potential clients, and facilitate EEA workshops nationally.

Teri Triguba Williams, Ph.D. is the Director of Experiential Education and First Year Experience (ExEL) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). In her position, she oversees this program working collaboratively with faculty, staff, administrators, and community to build sustainable experiential education best practices university-wide. Williams oversees the First Year Experience (FYE) program at NSU. Further, she is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) and the Fischler College of Education. Williams has a B.S. in Education from Ohio University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Social Sciences through the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies (DCRS) at Nova Southeastern University, is on the Board of Directors of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), and is a member of the conference planning committee. Finally, Williams serves as an instructor and the Co-chair for the Experiential Education Academy (EEA).

Fun fact: I met and married my soul mate in 17 days. We will be married 39 years this October. I love being a grandma, working in my gardens, and experimenting with new recipes.
Quantella Noto

Quantella Noto
Associate Professor & Director of Hospitality Management
Southeast Missouri State University

1. Activator
2. Relator
3. Achiever
4. Positivity
5. Communication

Dr. Noto works on internship administration and experiential learning development in and out of the classroom. She also works with prospective employers to create new internship opportunities for students. I am currently working on phase I of an experiential lab in our business school for the hospitality management program.

Dr. Quantella Noto is an Associate Professor and Director of Hospitality Management in the Harrison College of Business and Computing at Southeast Missouri State University. Her career in hospitality includes several management positions in sales and operations in select service and luxury hotels in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., Co-owner of a fine-dining restaurant and positions with wineries and travel providers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prior to joining the hospitality industry, Dr. Noto was a Vice-President/Underwriter of municipal finance with investment banking firms in Minnesota and Florida. She holds a B.S. (Cum Laude) in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from East Stroudsburg University, a master’s degree from The George Washington University School of Business, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She currently serves on the board of directors with several local and national organizations and is actively involved with several experiential education initiatives on campus.

Fun Fact: I'm learning to play the bongos. Slowly.

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. 

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.

 Al Cabral

Historian: Al Cabral
Director, Graduate Management Program
Nazareth College

1. Relator
2. Individualization
3. Empathy
4. Maximizer
5. Intellection

Al works on Internships, service-learning, civic engagement and active learning in the classroom.  His current focus is flipping the classroom in his courses and coaching other faculty on similar techniques.

Al Cabral is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Management Programs with Nazareth College in Rochester NY.  He coordinates the college’s three graduate management programs: MS in Leadership & Change Management, MS in Human Resources Management and MS in Global Business & Leadership.  Al teaches courses in human resource management, organizational behavior and career planning at the undergraduate and graduate levels.   Prior to becoming Director of Graduate Management Programs, Al was Director of Internships at Nazareth.  He also has more than 15 years part and full time experience as a career counselor and career coach, working with individual and corporate clients. 

Al is Past President of the National Society for Experiential Education's Board of Directors and is currently NSEE’s Historian. He is Past President of the New York State Cooperative and Experiential Education Association.  He is also a founding member of the Advisory Committee for New York Campus Compact.  He is a recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Advisor award from the National Academic Advisement Association.  In his career prior to entering higher education, Al was Director of Human Resources for a mid-sized retail company.  Al has an MBA from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Career & Human Resource Development from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Fun fact: I’m am the proud Papa to five grandkids.  When they are all together it's pretty magical.  Also, my wife teaches wine & cheese appreciation classes and I dutifully accept the challenge of eating and drinking the leftovers!