Strategic Enrollment Management Pathway Speaker Bios

Dr. Sharon Alston

Dr. Sharon Alston is Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment. This is the area within the Office of the Provost which is tasked with the recruitment, admission, and enrollment of new first year and transfer students to American University, as well as providing financial support for students attending the university. In her capacity as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment, Dr. Alston oversees the offices of Admissions, Enrollment Marketing (including the Admissions Welcome Center), Financial Aid, and Operations. 

Dr. Alston has been a member of the American University community since 2000, serving as Director of Admissions and Executive Director for Enrollment prior to being named as Vice Provost in July of 2011. In addition to her service to the university, her professional affiliations include The College Board, the Common Application, the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling.

Degrees: B.A. (Psychology) Franklin and Marshall College, M. Ed. (Urban Education) Temple University, and Ph. D. (Education Policy, Planning, and Administration) University of Maryland College Park

Dr. Jim Black

The president and CEO of SEM Works, Dr. Jim Black, is an internationally recognized expert in enrollment management as well as in change management. He has published a monograph titled, Navigating Change in the New Millennium: Strategies for Enrollment Leaders, and four books, The Strategic Enrollment Management Revolution, considered to be a groundbreaking publication for the enrollment management profession, Gen Xers Return to College, Essentials of Enrollment Management: Cases in the Field, and Strategic Enrollment Intelligence. Among his other published works are numerous articles and book chapters including a feature article in College & University, Creating Customer Delight; a chapter, Creating a Student-Centered Culture, for a book on best practices in student services published by SCUP and sponsored by IBM; a chapter on enrollment management in a Jossey-Bass book on student academic services; as well as a bimonthly feature in The Greentree Gazette.

Dr. Black is the founder of the Community College Enrollment Management and Student Marketing Symposium and the National Conference on Student Retention in Small Colleges as well as cofounder of the National Small College Admissions Conference and the National Small College Enrollment Conference. He formerly served as the director of AACRAO’s Strategic Enrollment Management Conference.

Black was honored as the recipient of the 2005 AACRAO Distinguished Service Award and in 2012; he was selected as the Alumnus of the Year for the Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program at the University of South Carolina. He has been interviewed by publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Converge Magazine, The Enrollment Management Report, The Lawlor Review, and was interviewed for AACRAO’s Data Dispenser. Black also was featured in an international teleconference on enrollment management sponsored by The Center for the Freshman Year Experience at the University of South Carolina, and a PBS broadcast on “Blending High Tech and High Touch Student Services.” In 1999, Jim Black was named an IBM Best Practices Partner, one of only twenty-three in the world. He was invited by The College Board to Heidelberg, Germany, to evaluate the APIEL Exam and most recently was invited to lead conferences on enrollment management and student services in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Dr. Black has served on the boards of several technology companies and has consulted with companies such as Microsoft, Blackboard, and the SAS Institute. Higher education consulting clients have included over 400 two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions.

Jim earned a B.A. in English education and M.A. in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Ph.D. in higher education curriculum and teaching from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His doctoral experience provides our clients with unique perspectives into innovative pedagogical, curricular, and program opportunities that impact enrollment outcomes. Leveraging his educational background along with his many years as an associate provost, dean, and faculty member in a higher education environment, Dr. Black will provide your institution with strategic insights that are grounded in theory and are actionable.

Dr. Tom Green

Dr. Tom Green brings over 30 years of SEM experience and expertise to AACRAO, where he serves as the Associate Executive Director for Consulting and SEM.  He served as dean or vice president of enrollment management at seven institutions, both public and private.   Dr. Green led admissions, financial aid, registrar, student accounts, academic advising and support, adult re-entry services and one-stop shop areas, twice serving as director of financial aid.  His expertise in SEM planning, recruitment techniques, enrollment marketing and communications, financial aid analysis and resource utilization and student success techniques resulted in enrollment increases, improvements in student profile and retention rates, as well as net revenue.

In 2006, Dr. Green joined AACRAO Consulting and since 2008 has devoted his career full-time to helping institutions reach their enrollment goals.  His work has included both private and public institutions, from small private colleges to public flagships, from rural to highly urban, and specializations such as online programs, law schools, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  His consultations have been performed in every region of the United States, in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.

As the Association’s Associate Executive Director, he oversees all SEM initiatives, including the SEM Conference, content for member professional development, and also serves as Editor-in-Chief of SEM Quarterly, AACRAO’s peer-reviewed journal of research and practice in the field.  He oversees the AACRAO-NASPA partnership on Comprehensive Student Records, a Lumina Foundation-funded initiative on the future of digital student records.

Tom Green holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, a master’s degree from the American Conservatory of Music, where he later began his academic career as a faculty member in music performance, and a Ph.D. in higher education leadership, management and policy from Seton Hall University.  He is a frequent speaker and workshop leader at national and international conferences and has published articles and book chapters on a wide variety of SEM issues.

Jessica Waters

Jessica Waters is the Dean for Undergraduate Education and a faculty member in the School of Public Affairs as well as an adjunct faculty member at the Washington College of Law. Her research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law. Her recent work has explored questions related to the legal impact of women’s medical decisions during pregnancy and childbirth, employment-based conscience protections for reproductive health care providers, and the reproductive rights of employees working for religiously affiliated employers. Her work has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Prior to joining to joining the AU faculty full-time, Professor Waters was an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law and a litigator at WilmerHale, where she specialized in criminal defense litigation, internal investigations, and reproductive rights litigation and advocacy. She also clerked for the Honorable Emmet Sullivan on the D.C. District Court. Professor Waters previously worked at a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting access to reproductive health care.

Professor Waters also previously served on the Children's Law Center Advisory Board, and as a guardian ad litem in the D.C. courts.

Publication Date: 11/30/2017

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