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Bryan Alexander
Senior Fellow
National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)

As a senior fellow at NITLE, Bryan Alexander researches, writes and speaks about emerging trends in the integration of inquiry, pedagogy and technology to their potential application to liberal arts contexts. He is author of The New Digital Storytelling: Creative Narratives with New Media, published in 2011 by Praeger. He is active online, combining research with communication across multiple venues. He runs the NITLE futures market, a crowd-sourced prediction game. He contributes to Techne, NITLE’s blog, and was lead author for eight years on its predecessor, Liberal Education Today. He earned his PhD in English from the University of Michigan in 1997. He taught English literature, writing, information literacy, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisianafrom 1997 through 2002. In 2004, Frye Leadership Institute fellow. He lives on a Vermont homestead with his family, where they raise animals and crops, combining broadband with a low-tech lifestyle.

Philip Auerswald
Associate Professor of Public Policy

Philip Auerswald is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is the co-founder and co-editor of Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, a quarterly journal from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges. He is also author and co-author of numerous books, reports, and research papers, including The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, April 2012). He was the organizer of the Presidents’ Symposium on The Future of Collegiate Education held at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities in June 2011 and formed part of the founding team for AshokaUOnline in summer 2012. He is an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative and served as a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation during the 2011-212 academic year. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Washington and a BA in political science from Yale University.

Ken Bain
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of the District of Columbia

Ken Bain has been the founding director of several major teaching and learning centers in the United States. His historical scholarship centers on the history of US foreign policy in the Middle East, but he has long taken an interest in teaching and learning issues. Internationally recognized for his insights into teaching and learning and for a fifteen-year study of what the best educators do, he has made presentations at over three hundred universities and events. His research includes a focus on deep and sustained learning and the creation of natural critical learning environments. His book What the Best College Teachers Do. (Harvard University Press, 2004) won the 2004 Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an outstanding book on education and society, and has been one of the top selling books on higher education. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert J. Beichner
Alumni Distinguished Professor of Physics
North Carolina State University

As a member of NC State’s Physics Education R & D Group, Dr. Beichner’s research focuses on increasing our understanding of student learning and the improvement of physics education. He created the popular “video-based lab” approach for introductory physics laboratories, used in more than 10,000 classrooms. His biggest current project is the creation and study of a classroom environment supporting interactive, collaborative learning called SCALE-UP: Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies. The approach has been adopted at more than 150 institutions, including MIT, Minnesota, and Clemson. Since 2007 he has been the Director of NC State’s STEM Education Initiative, with a mission to study and improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education from “K to Gray” in North Carolina and around the world.

Peter A. Blake
Executive Director, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

A former Virginia Secretary of Education, Peter A. Blake previously worked at SCHEV as an Associate Director overseeing higher education analyses in the areas of faculty and staff compensation, higher education funding policies, academic libraries, distance learning and instructional technology, and student financial aid. In January of 2012 he became SCHEV’s Executive Director.  He has also served as the Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development Services for the Virginia Community College System, where he led policy and budget development for state and federal workforce programs.  He completed the Virginia Executive Institute and LEAD Virginia programs, as well as the Associates program through the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. He has a BA in History and an MS in Communications Management from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Terri Bourdon
Senior Mathematics Instructor and Manager of the Math Emporium
Virginia Tech

Terri Bourden began incorporating technology into her own classes in the early 1990’s and expanded her efforts to coordinate coursewide use of both Mathematica and Matlab in Engineering calculus. She has also been actively involved in all academic aspects of the Math Emporium since its opening in 1998. The Emporium is a comprehensive Mathematics Learning Center with over 500 computer workstations where students can receive on-demand assistance for seven different math courses. She has served as lead instructor for four of the seven Emporium courses, and chaired the writing teams for six of the corresponding online texts. Since becoming Emporium Manager in 2009, she has presented at several conferences, and most recently coordinated a state-wide conference for representatives from Virginia institutions to learn about the Emporium model.  She received her MS in Mathematics from Bucknell University.

Ángel Cabrera
President, George Mason University

 Ángel Cabrera is the sixth president of George Mason University. Prior to joining the Mason community, Cabrera served as president of Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona from 2004 to 2012, being designated President Emeritus in April 2012. He was professor and dean of IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, between 1998 to 2004. His latest book, Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World, was published by Harvard Business Review. His views on global leadership, higher education, and corporate citizenship have been quoted by leading global media and Business Week honored him in 2004 as one of 25 “Stars of Europe.”  During the last decade, Cabrera pioneered efforts to educate women entrepreneurs in emerging markets and co-founded The Oath Project, an international initiative to establish a code of conduct for business leaders. In 2011 the Financial Times recognized him as one of the top 20 business school leaders in the world.

Kevin Clark
Professor, Learning Technologies Division
Director, Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity

Kevin Clark is a professor in the College of Education and Human Development. His research interests include the role of video games and interactive media in the education of children and adults. His recent scholarly activities focus on the use of video game design to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers, and issues of diversity in the design and development of educational media. He has almost 20 years of experience in the areas of educational game design, online and interactive media, and issues of diversity and inclusion in digital media. He also serves as an adviser to organizations that include: Public Broadcasting Service’s PBS KIDS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Ready to Learn project, and Common Sense Media. He has an MA in computer science from North Carolina State University and a PhD in Instructional Systems from Pennsylvania State University.

Dan Cohen
Associate Professor, Department of History and Art History
Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

Dan Cohen works in the area of digital humanities, researching the impact of new media and technology on all aspects of knowledge. He is the co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), co-editor of Hacking the Academy (University of Michigan Press, 2012), and author of The Ivory Tower and the Open Web (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming). He has published articles and book chapters on new media, the history of mathematics and religion, the teaching of history, scholarly communication, and the future of the humanities in a digital age in journals such as the Journal of American History. He earned his MA at Harvard and PhD from Yale.

Tyler Cowen
Professor of Economics

Tyler Cowen is Holbert C. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and also Director of the Mercatus Center. He received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1987. His book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better was a New York Times best-seller. He was recently named in an Economist poll as one of the most influential economists of the last decade and last year Bloomberg BusinessWeek dubbed him “America’s Hottest Economist.” Foreign Policy magazine named him as one of its “Top 100 Global Thinkers” of 2011. He co-writes a blog at and is currently constructing an on-line education project.

Maggie Daniels
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
Tourism and Events Management

Maggie Daniels is an Associate Professor and the Academic Program Coordinator for the Tourism and Events Management program at George Mason University.  She has taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses over the past 20 years, including areas such as finance, statistics, communication, events management, research methods and tourism planning. She has conducted extensive fieldwork-based research in the areas of tourism planning and policy, supply resource promotion and event management as pertaining to local economic development. She partners with agencies in the Washington DC metropolitan area to assist them with event and tourism implementation and evaluation. Since 2006, Dr. Daniels has been the lead investigator on a series of collaborative studies with the National Park Service regarding the National Mall and Memorial Parks.  Her tourism and event management expertise has been featured in several media outlets such as ABC Nightline News, MSNBC, NPR, and

Kimberly K. Eby
Associate Provost for Faculty Development
Director, Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence

Kim Eby joined George Mason University in 1996 as the first tenure-track faculty member in New Century College (NCC), Mason’s undergraduate Integrative Studies program; she is also a faculty member in Women and Gender Studies and affiliate of the Department of Psychology.  Her research and teaching interests focus on violence and gender. Since joining the Office of Provost in 2007, her role has been to provide programming, consultation, and professional development support to Mason faculty members and graduate students, with an emphasis on teaching and learning. She collaborates with other campus leaders on institution-wide curricular and leadership initiatives, including Mason’s Students as Scholars initiative and the Leadership Legacy Program developed by MasonLEADS. She earned her MA and PhD in Community Psychology from Michigan State University and her undergraduate degree from Indiana University.

Sally M. Johnstone
Vice President for Academic Advancement
Western Governors University

Prior to joining WGU, Sally Johnstone was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at a traditional comprehensive university, Winona State University in Minnesota.  She also spent over 15 years at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  Her experiences include work on policy issues for higher education institutions and system organizations, inter-institutional collaborations, quality assurance issues, project development and evaluation, plus institutional management issues. She has worked with UNESCO on education and open educational resource issues for over a decade, and currently serves on the U.S. UNESCO Commission. She also serves on the editorial boards for Change magazine (USA) and the Journal of Open Learning (UK).  She has authored dozens of articles, books, and reports on issues of integrating information and communication technology into academics. She earned her PhD in experimental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Anya Kamenetz
Educational Gamechanger and Senior Writer for Fast Company Magazine

Anya Kamenetz is an educational futurist and the speaker on issues facing the Millennials, who actually belongs to this generation. Her feature series on Village Voice became a highly regarded book entitled Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young. Written when she was just 24, Generation Debt (Riverhead Books, 2006), drew national media attention and passionate online debate with its argument that young people are facing unique and unprecedented economic challenges. Her latest book, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education,(Chelsea Green, 2010) tells the story of how technology is disrupting one of the most tradition-bound industries in the country. Her book, Learning, Freedom, and the Web, in collaboration with the Mozilla community, will be out in early September. The Edupunk’s Guide to a DIY Credential, which is funded by the Gates Foundation, is available for free download now.

Mills Kelly
Associate Professor, History and Art History
Director, Global Affairs Program

Mills Kelly is an associate professor in the department of History and Art History and is Director of the Global Affairs program at George Mason University. He is also an Associate Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, where he currently directs the project Global Perspectives on Digital History, part of the PressForward initiative. In 2005 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award in the category “teaching with technology” from the State Council on Higher Education, the state’s highest award for faculty excellence. He is the recipient of multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, was a Pew National Fellow with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and has won George Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award. He is the author of Teaching History in the Digital Age (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

Nance Lucas
Associate Dean and Associate Professor of New Century College
Executive Director of the Center for Consciousness & Transformation

Nance Lucas is the Associate Dean and Associate Professor of New Century College at George Mason University and Executive Director of the Center for Consciousness & Transformation.  Her teaching and scholarship interests focus on positive psychology and leadership, well-being, and character development.  She is co-author of a best-selling book, Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want To Make A Difference (1st and 2nd editions) and contributing author of Leadership Reconsidered and The Social Change Model of Leadership Development. At Mason, she is the co-founder of the Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence, the Leadership Legacy Program, and MasonLeads. She serves as a Co-Principal Investigator for a research project on Creating Communities of Authenticity in Higher Education.  She is also an affiliate faculty member with The Gallup Organization.  She received a PhD in higher education with a concentration in Leadership Studies and Ethics at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Alexander C. McCormickAlexander C. McCormick
Associate Professor, Education, Indiana University Bloomington Director, National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Alexander C. McCormick is an associate professor of education at Indiana University Bloomington, where he teaches in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. He also directs the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), housed at IU’s Center for Postsecondary Research. Since its inception in 2000, more than 1,500 bachelor’s-granting colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada have used NSSE to assess the extent to which undergraduates engage in and are exposed to effective educational practices. His research interests center around assessment, accountability, and evidence-based improvement in higher education. Before coming to Indiana, McCormick served as a senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In that role, he led a major overhaul of the Foundation’s widely-used classification of US colleges and universities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in French from Dartmouth College, and a PhD in education and sociology from Stanford University.

Goodlett McDaniel
Associate Provost, Distance Education

J. Goodlett McDaniel is the Associate Provost for Distance Education at George Mason University, focusing extensively on the creation and delivery of online programs to better serve the needs of students. He has worked in health care since 1968 and education since 1993. He has been an assistant administrator, service director, psychiatric nurse practitioner, corporate marketing director and consultant, and he worked in inpatient and outpatient settings. He is a past member of the Governor’s Task Force on Information Technology and Healthcare in Virginia. He has built and directed bachelors and masters nursing programs, distance education programs, served as an associate dean in the College of Health and Human Services, and served on and chaired many University committees. Before coming to Mason, he led the development of one of the largest fully online RN to BSN programs in the United States. He earned his EdD at NC State University.

Anne H. Moore
Associate Vice President, Learning Technologies
Virginia Tech

 As Associate VP for Learning Technologies, Anne H. Moore coordinates award winning programs in faculty and graduate student development for technology-assisted learning; in services for testing, assistive technologies, and technology-integrated learning spaces; and in e-portfolio, repository, and learning management systems design and development. She is founding chair of the Electronic Campus of Virginia, a member of the commonwealth’s Learning Technologies Advisory Committee, and has served as staff director for two commissioned reports on the future of Virginia higher education.  She sits on national advisory boards for such organizations as the Research Channel, the Redesign Alliance, and Pearson; holds three degrees from William and Mary; and has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and policy papers.

Janette Kenner Muir
Associate Provost, Undergraduate Education
Associate Professor, New Century College

As Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, Janette Muir works with programs such as general education, adult completion degrees, university-wide undergraduate initiatives and civic education. She began her tenure at Mason as the basic course director in the Communication Department, and then moved on to New Century College, serving as NCC’s Associate Dean. In addition to her work in New Century College, she is an affiliate of the Women and Gender Studies and the Higher Education Program. Her research focuses on political communication, civic engagement, and the US presidency(from campaigns to spouses). She is an editor of Readings in Political Communication, and was featured in a Harvard International Review symposium, writing about media, politics and citizen participation. She also recently completed Coming to Terms; The Collected Works of Jane Blankenship, published by Lexington Books.  Her PhD is in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Jeanne L. NarumJeanne L. Narum
Director of the Independent Colleges Office, Washington DC

Jeanne L. Narum is the founding principal of the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC), director emeritus of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), and director of the Independent Colleges Office (ICO). In each of these positions, she has had opportunity to engage with individuals and institutions at the cutting-edge in imagining and realizing 21st century learning environments. The focus of each of these efforts is on institutional leadership taking responsibility for preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. She was principal investigator for multiple NSF grants supporting PKAL. She was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), presented with the Founder’s Award from the Society of College and University Planners (SCUP), and has received several honorary degrees. She was named an AWIS fellow by the Association for Women in Science. Narum has a Bachelor of Music in Church Music and has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumna by St. Olaf College.

Eduardo M. Ochoa
President, California State University, Monterey Bay

Eduardo Ochoa worked for 19 years as a faculty member and administrator at campuses in the Cal State system, including Fresno State, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomona and Sonoma State University. At Sonoma State, he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2003-2010. In 2010, he was named assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the Obama Administration serving as a chief advisor on higher-education issues. He also headed the Office of Postsecondary Education, which administers most of the Department of Education’s higher education programs that support students and institutions. From the beginning of his presidency at Cal State, Monterey Bay, Dr. Ochoa has emphasized the need for innovation in addressing the challenge of expanding access to higher education at a time of declining public investment. He earned a BA in physics and philosophy from Reed College, an MS in nuclear science and engineering from Columbia University, and a PhD in economics from the New School for Social Research.

Jeff Offutt
Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Jeff Offutt is a professor in the Computer Science Department and visiting professor at two universities in Sweden. He leads the 25-year-old MS program in Software Engineering, and has recently helped to create PhD and BS programs in Software Engineering. He received the Best Teacher Award from the Volgenau School in 2003 and was named a GMU Outstanding Faculty member in 2008 and 2009. He is co-author of the textbook Introduction to SoftwareTesting and teaches classes in testing, usability, maintenance, web application development, and experimental software engineering. Offutt has invented numerous test strategies, published over 140 refereed research papers, and is editor-in-chief of Wiley’s Journal of Software Testing, Verification and Reliability. Offutt received his PhD in computer science in 1988 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Steven Pearlstein
Robinson Professor, Public & International Affairs

Steve Pearlstein, a Pulitzer-prize winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post, joined the Mason faculty as Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs in the fall of 2011. He was a TV reporter for public television in Boston, senior editor at Inc. magazine, and founding editor and publisher of The Boston Observer. In 1988, he became the deputy business editor for the Post and also served as the defense industry reporter, economics writer and Canadian correspondent. He became an opinion columnist in 2003, with a wide-ranging interest in business and economic topics of local, national and international interest. At Mason, he teaches basic principles of economics and economic policy, exploring new ways to improve the economic literacy of undergraduates who are not economics majors. He also teaches in the Honors College. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. in 1973 with a BA in American Studies.

Anthony M. Pellegrino
Assistant Professor of History/Social Studies Secondary Education

Anthony M. Pellegrino is assistant professor of history/social studies secondary education at George Mason University and an affiliated faculty member with the Center for History and New Media and the Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning program in the College of Education and Human Development.  After receiving his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida, he became a charter school administrator and helped launch First Coast Technical High School in St. Augustine, Florida. He has published numerous research and practitioner articles in journals including Action in Teacher Education, The History Teacher and The Clearinghouse: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas. He recently co-authored the book, Let the Music Play! Harnessing the Power of Music for the Social Studies Classroom which was released in summer 2012. He earned his PhD from Florida State University.

Michele Petochi
Director, Academic Networks, World Economic Forum

As the Director for Academic Networks in the World Economic Forum, Michele Petochi works on developing collaborations with universities, think tanks and other research-based organizations around the world. Prior to this position, he served as a World Economic Forum Fellow and Associate Director of the Global Redesign Initiative. He formerly served as Country Director in Afghanistan, Alisei; Program Officer for Agriconsulting Europe, Brussels; and Intern, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy. He has a Masters of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a BA in Humanities from Università Roma Tre.

Sharon P. Pitt
Executive Director, Division for Instructional Technology (DoIT)

As executive director of DoIT, Sharon Pitt oversees technology classrooms and learning spaces; learning management systems and tolls; instructional design and production of online courses; Mason’s virtual computing lab; and a portal for the Mason community. She currently spearheads projects that include the development of new business models for software management and licensing; the use of e-texts to forward textbook affordability; and the distribution of research and education broadcasts and video via Internet2 and the National Science Foundation’s Knowledge Network.  She has served as chair of the Electronic Campus of Virginia, chair of SCHEV’s Learning Technology Advisory Council, and as an advisory board member of the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program. She has written articles for Campus Technology, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The College Connection and EdTech Magazine. She earned her Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech and is currently seeking a graduate certificate in Mason’s Higher Education program.

Philip R. Regier
Executive Vice Provost and Dean, ASU Online and Extended Campus

Phil Regier became the dean of ASU Online in July 2009. He is responsible for guiding Arizona State University’s expansion into online learning. In three years, ASU Online has grown from 400 to 6,500 students and from six to fifty-eight degree programs. The university has recently received recognition from The New York Times and Bill Gates for its work in adaptive learning and use of data in student advising, as well as earning the top ranking by U.S. News & World Report for online student services and technology. He previously served as executive dean at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. As an accounting faculty member, he has published research in leading academic journals on postretirement benefits, corporate restructuring and market-based accounting. His undergraduate degree in philosophy and mathematics was earned from St. John’s College and his PhD in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Andrew S. Rosen
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaplan, Inc.

Andrew S. Rosen is Chairman and CEO of Kaplan, Inc., among the largest, most diverse global education organizations and the largest subsidiary of The Washington Post Company. He has helped pioneer much of Kaplan’s innovation and growth, with a focus on student success and outcomes. These include the founding of Concord Law School, the first fully online law school in the U.S.; the development of Kaplan University; and the creation of new blended online and classroom-based learning opportunities for both working adults and test preparation students. Rosen’s book Rebooting for the new talent economy details the history of American higher education and describes how to restore its pre-eminence by focusing on the goals of learning outcomes, access, affordability, and accountability. The book earned positive reviews in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune, and elsewhere. Bill Gates called it “truly important” for the debate about improving higher education; Joel Klein called it a “must-read book.”

Mark Sample
Associate Professor, Department of English

As an associate professor in the Department of English, Mark Sample is also an affiliated faculty member with Mason’s undergraduate Honors College, its Cultural Studies doctoral program, and the Center for History and New Media. His research focuses on contemporary fiction, electronic literature, and videogames. His examination of the representation of torture in videogames was recently published in Game Studies, and his collaboratively written book about creative computing and the Commodore 64 is forthcoming from MIT Press. He is an advocate of open source pedagogy and open source research. He is a regular contributor to ProfHacker, a feature at the Chronicle for Higher Education that focuses on pedagogy and scholarly productivity, and he also writes for Play the Past, a collaboratively edited scholarly blog that explores the intersection of cultural heritage and games. His PhD and MA are in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kelly Schrum
Associate Professor, Higher Education Program
Director of Educational Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

Kelly Schrum is an associate professor in the Higher Education Program and director of educational projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. She is affiliated faculty in the departments of History and Art History and Cultural Studies. She is the author of Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls’ Culture, 1920-1950 and numerous articles on teaching with technology, teacher professional development, and history education. She is co-author of U.S. History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online and World History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online. Schrum is director of and projects including the Popular Romance Project, Children and Youth in History, Making the History of 1989, World History Sources, and Women in World History. Schrum has worked extensively in the areas of twentieth-century American culture, digital humanities, and teaching with technology. She received her PhD in history from Johns Hopkins University.

Jeffrey SelingoJeffrey Selingo
Editor at Large, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jeffrey Selingo is a leading authority on higher education worldwide, and offers insights on the college of future – how families will pay, what campuses will look like, and how students will learn and prove their value in the job market. He writes a regular blog and column for The Chronicle and The Huffington Post called Next, where he explores innovation in higher education. His work has been honored with awards from the Education Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Associated Press, and he was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.  He has been a featured speaker before dozens of national higher-education groups and appears regularly on regional and national radio and television programs, including NPR, ABC, and CBS. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College and a master’s degree in government from the Johns Hopkins University.

Burck Smith
CEO and founder of StraighterLine

Ten years before launching StraighterLine in 2009, Burck Smith co-founded SMARTHINKING, the largest online tutoring provider for schools and colleges. He has written chapters for two books on education policy for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Prior to starting SMARTHINKING, he worked as an independent consultant who contracted with for-profit and non-profit educational organizations, including clients such as the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Computer Curriculum Corporation, the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, the Milken Exchange on Education and Technology, and Teaching Matters Inc. As a writer about education and technology issues, Burck has been published by Wired Magazine, Wired News, Converge Magazine, University Business and the National School Boards Association. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Williams College.

Peter N. Stearns
Provost, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs
University Professor

George Mason University’s Provost and Professor of History since January 1, 2000, Peter N. Stearns was named University Professor in January 2011.  He has taught previously at Harvard (where he was educated), the University of Chicago, Rutgers, and Carnegie Mellon.  He has authored or edited 120 books. He has published widely in modern social history, including the history of emotions, and in world history. Representative recent or forthcoming works include:  Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society; and Demilitarization in Modern History.  He has edited encyclopedias of world and social history, and since 1967 has served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History. During his tenure as Provost, George Mason has tripled its level of funded research and its number of doctoral programs.  Expanding global partnerships include dual degree programs and connections with universities in countries like China, Turkey, South Korea and Brazil.

James S. Trefil
Robinson Professor, Physics

James S. Trefil joined the faculty of George Mason University as Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics in 1987. He has written extensively about science for the general audience, including more than 40 books, and his most recent book is Science in World History. He has served as Contributing Editor for Science for USA TODAY Weekend and as a regular contributor and science consultant for Smithsonian and Astronomy Magazines. He has also served as a science commentator and member of the Science Advisory Board for National Public Radio. In 2008 he was given the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, and he is a recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science‑Westinghouse Science Journalism Award and of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. As a National Science Foundation Fellow at Stanford University, he received an MS and PhD in theoretical physics.

Suzanne WalshSuzanne Walsh
Senior Program Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Suzanne Walsh is a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she leads the Foundation’s developmental education and institutional redesign strategies. Before joining Gates, Suzanne worked at two other foundations: The Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis where she managed the Making Opportunity Affordable initiative, which was aimed at increasing college productivity by bringing about fundamental change in the way higher education does business; and, The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh where her diverse portfolio included community colleges, universities, workforce development, tech commercialization and transfer, city/county consolidation, immigration and regional economic development.  She got her start in community college work as the Coordinator of Special Projects at Cuyahoga Community College. Suzanne has her JD and MA in social work from Case Western Reserve University, a BS from Cornell University, and an AAS degree from Hudson Valley Community College.