Immediate Past 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.

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.

Vice President: 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).

Secretary: Hilary Bateman (Washington College)

Hilary Bateman works as the Director of the Office of Academic Skills at Washington College. She began her career in learning centers as a peer tutor at Albright College working with students in History, Sociology, and Math. Hilary has her B.A. in History from Albright College, her M.Ed. in College Student Affairs from Penn State University, and is currently working on her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership.  She has been at Washington College since 2015, first as the Assistant Director and now in her current role. Hilary managed tutoring for science, social science, and humanities courses, the embedded tutor program, academic recovery, academic skills tutoring and programming, and oversees disability access services.

Treasurer: Heather Holmes (Salisbury University)

Dr. Heather Holmes has been a higher education administrator for 34 years with experience as an educator in student and campus life; progressive experience in academic advising, academic support programs, grant administration, residence life, student union management, orientation, first year experience, student activities, student conduct, Greek life, and leadership.


In 1999, Dr. Holmes earned her Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo where she served as the Director of Orientation and Student Activities.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Syracuse University (1990) and a Bachelor of Science in Education from SUNY Cortland (1986).  She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honorary Society and Phi Eta Sigma National Honorary Society.  She has been certified by International Center for Supplemental Instruction at UMKC.  She is a member of NASPA, NCLCA, MDCLCA and CRLA.  Dr. Holmes serves as the co-advisor to Relay for Life at Salisbury University.  She is the inaugural Director of the Center for Student Achievement created in 2008.


Heather lives in Salisbury, MD with her husband Steve and their two children Lucas 22 and Stephanie 18.  She enjoys traveling, hiking, golf, and riding bikes with her family.

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

Elysse Meredith is the manager of 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.

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.

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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