Immediate Past President: Mary Gallagher (USG)

Mary Gallagher works as the Manager of the Center for Academic Success (CAS), the academic support department at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). She began her career in student support in 2005 at Syracuse University, when her passion for writing and the mechanics of the English language inspired her to work as a writing consultant in the Syracuse University Writing Center and the University Athletic Department. She joined the staff of USG in 2009, and has served as CAS’s coordinator, senior coordinator and acting interim director. At both USG and Syracuse, Mary works to support diverse and non-traditional students, including language learners and transfer students, to build skills and overall approaches to strategic learning. Mary is passionate about education and continual learning: she holds an MA Degree in Bilingual Education from UMBC, is currently pursuing a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture (also from UMBC) and is an alumna of the Education Pioneers Summer Graduate Fellowship.

President: Miriam Laufer (Howard Community College)

Miriam Laufer currently works as the Academic Support Specialist in the Learning Assistance Center at Howard Community College. Previously, she worked at the Montgomery College Germantown Writing, Reading, and Language Center, including three years as the manager. Empowering community college students to enhance their literacy skills and achieve their dreams is the mission of her work, and she believes that supporting learning center staff and faculty is an important part of that work. Miriam has been involved with MDLCN since 2015 and is a founding member of MDCLCA. She holds an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in English Literature from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Vice President: Vanessa Flora-Nakoski (McDaniel College)

Vanessa Flora-Nakoski currently works as Writing Center Director at McDaniel College.  She previously served as an Instructional Associate in the Rockville Writing, Reading, & Language Center at Montgomery College. She began her career in higher education in 2005 as an Orientation Peer Advisor and admissions staffer at UMBC, where she realized her passion for supporting student success. She completed both a B.A. and an M.A. in American Studies at UMBC and the University of Iowa, respectively. She has also completed a graduate certificate in TESOL at UMBC and a graduate certificate in Strategic Management at Harvard's Extension School. Having taught and tutored at both public and private, 2-year and 4-year institutions, Vanessa has worked to support students from a wide range of linguistic and academic backgrounds, and she firmly believes that empowering students from all backgrounds to engage in academic and public discourse is the central mission of her work.

Treasurer: Shelley Hintz (UMGC)

Shelley Hintz is the Director of Academic Support and Retention at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) where she manages undergraduate tutoring, volunteer tutoring initiatives, and other learner support programs.  She has been with the University since 2001 in various roles supporting students. She first learned of the Maryland College Learning Center Association network through attending a couple of the early conferences where she enjoyed meeting others and sharing ideas.  She participated on the conference planning committee from 2015-2018. She also joined the Affiliate Committee in the 2016-17 year, working with colleagues across institutions to help develop an elections process and a financial structure for the new organization. She has a Bachelor's degree with a double major of Government and Politics and Communication and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, both from the University of Maryland.

Secretary: Kevin Knudsen (George Washington University)

Kevin Knudsen is the Director of Academic Commons in the Division of Libraries and Academic Innovation at the George Washington University. Kevin’s passion for learning assistance and student success originated when he took a job as a peer tutor as an undergraduate at Salisbury University. He holds a B.A. in History with a Secondary Education concentration and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Post-Secondary concentration. Kevin is a founding member of the Maryland College Learning Center Association (MDCLCA).

Marketing and Communications Officer: Elysse T. Meredith (Montgomery College)

Elysse Meredith is the Interim Manager in the Writing, Reading, and Language Center at Montgomery College, Germantown Campus. She has been at Montgomery College since 2015, where she works closely with students to advance their skills in English. She has been involved with MDCLCA (then MDCLN) since 2016 and is a founding member of MDCLCA. She holds a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies (English and French Literature and Art History) and a M.Sc. in Medieval Studies from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland as well as a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University in Madison, NJ. Because of her multilingual academic background, she is passionate about helping linguistically diverse students develop their own unique voice.

Student Representative: Diamond Brown (Salisbury University)

Diamond Brown is a graduate student in the Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution program at Salisbury University. She has served the university's faculty, students, and staff in numerous positions including but not limited to Student Government official, Teacher's Assistant, and her current position as an Academic Coach in Salisbury’s Center for Student Achievement. As a result, she has realized that she has a passion for working with students in higher education settings. Her current career goal is to serve in any capacity in which she can help students on their journey through life whether that is student affairs, academic affairs, admissions, or something she has yet to think of. Being the Student Representative of MDCLCA 2019-2020 will offer her another opportunity to help students get the most out of their college experience.

Past President: Cassie Hoddinott (UMBC)

Cassie Hoddinott is the Director of the Learning Resources Center (LRC) at UMBC where she leads a team of staff and student leaders responsible for eight academic support programs. She has university, community college, and public school experience. By attending Maryland Learning Center Network (MDLCN) and National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) conferences, she became interested in founding an affiliate of the national organization. After the approval of the membership in 2016 to pursue affiliate status, she worked with the affiliate committee to form MDCLCA. She continues working with the elected board of directors to ensure a framework for the longevity of our state-wide organization as a means for learning center staff and students to share knowledge, experience, and opportunities.

Past President: Ashley Babcock (Northcentral University)

Ashley Babcock is the Associate Director of the Academic Success Center at Northcentral University and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland University College’s Graduate School. She has worked in learning centers for the past decade at four-year, two-year, public, and for-profit institutions. She became involved in the Maryland College Learning Center Association (MDCLCA) in 2015 when she worked on planning the 2016 conference held at Montgomery College. Once she became involved with the group, she immediately saw how useful the group was to help Maryland learning center professionals network and develop professionally. She became one of the founding members of the Affiliate Committee, a group of professionals who worked to launch MDCLCA as a recognized affiliate of the National College Learning Center Association. As President, she continued to get MDCLCA established as an affiliate and worked to establish its bank account and finances. She is looking forward to acting in a consulting role as Past-PResident and is excited for the future of MDCLCA.

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