2022 Board of Directors

Linda Townsend


Linda Townsend is Director of Assessment for the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. In her role, she provides leadership and support for Civitae Core, academic programs, and the administrative units in assessing student learning and the student experience. Through collegial planning, professional opportunities, and collaborative research, she enables faculty/staff to develop leadership in assessment. Linda also supports the campus-wide utilization of the institution’s online assessment and planning management system. Since coming to Longwood, she has served as Assessment Coordinator, Instructional Technology Design Specialist for Longwood’s K-12 outreach program, the Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP), and trained and provided support to Longwood faculty in online teaching. Linda earned a Bachelor of Science degree in both Early Childhood Education and Library Science from James Madison University. She obtained her M.S. in Education from Longwood University and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech.


Tia Minnis


Dr. Tia A. Minnis serves as the Vice Provost for Academic Success, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness at Virginia State University. In this role she oversees the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Distance Education, and the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OPIE) which includes the Planning, Assessment, Institutional Research units of the university. Dr. Minnis also directs the Accreditation, General Education, and Faculty Development initiatives. In her role as the Vice Provost, Dr. Minnis works closely with the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs to develop and implement strategic initiatives and refine operational processes at the macro and micro levels to support the University’s faculty, staff, and overall student success. With over 15 years of experience in higher education accreditation, institutional change management, organizational effectiveness, and strategic planning, assessment, and budgeting, Dr. Minnis has supported numerous institutions in the process of attaining reginal accreditation and/or enhancing the overall effectiveness of the institution.

Dr. Minnis holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Technology, both from Georgia Southern University, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management and in Computer Information Systems from Savannah State University, and an Associate of Arts degree in Computer Data Processing from the College of the Bahamas.

Denise Ridley-Johnston


Denise Ridley-Johnston is the Director for Institutional Effectiveness at the College of William & Mary.  Her current responsibilities include general education and academic departments/programs assessment, SACSCOC compliance, institutional effectiveness, and student and alumni survey research.  Before joining the Office of Institutional Accreditation & Effectiveness, Denise worked in assessment and accreditation at the College’s Mason School of Business, where she led the development and implementation of the School’s assessment program.  In addition, she led the School’s Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) maintenance of accreditation effort.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and French from Christopher Newport University and a MBA from William & Mary.  She also is Adjunct Instructor of Dance in William & Mary’s Theatre, Speech & Dance and Kinesiology & Health Sciences departments.

Jason Lyons


Jason Lyons currently serves as the Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation at Christopher Newport University.  At CNU, Jason oversees the University assessment process encompassing the assessment of academic programs, the liberal learning core, and administrative and student support service units.  As the SACSCOC liaison, he is also responsible for the Institution’s Accreditation. He also teaches the occasional psychology course.  During the course of his career, Jason has served as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Tarleton State University; as Associate Professor, Psychology Chair, and Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Virginia Intermont College; and Director of Assessment for the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. Jason earned his PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Gina Polychronopoulos


Gina B. Polychronopoulos is the Associate Director of Curricular Assessment at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She previously served as the Assistant Director of Assessment at Christopher Newport University. Prior to her work in higher education assessment, she served as an external grant program evaluator for several K-12 public school districts in southeastern Virginia, coordinated numerous clinical mental health research studies, instructed and provided clinical supervision to graduate-level counseling students, and worked as a researcher for the Athens Institute for Educational Research (ATINER) in Athens, Greece. Dr. Polychronopoulos has earned a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, M.S.Ed. in Counseling (Mental Health and School concentrations), and M.S. in Psychology, all from Old Dominion University. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, she serves on the executive board for Virginia Assessment Group, Associate Editor for Research & Practice in Assessment journal, and on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE). Her scholarly works in assessment focus on strengths-based practice, disciplinary diversity, and professional identity and competencies for higher education assessment practitioners.

Tisha M. Paredes


Dr. Tisha M. Paredes was the Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at Old Dominion University. Prior to accepting this position in 2015, she served as the office’s Research Associate, Senior Research Associate, and Director of Assessment.  Tisha helped to promote institutional effectiveness activities at all levels of the University. She has presented workshops and consulted on topics including institutional effectiveness, academic and administrative assessment, general education assessment, QEP assessment, and SACSCOC compliance. She has served on several on and off-site accreditation committees. Her book, Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead in Higher Education, was published in summer 2018. In June 2021, Tisha stepped away from ODU to focus on supporting other institutions.

Jodi Fisler

Jodi Fisler

SCHEV Representative

Jodi Fisler has served as the Associate for Assessment Policy and Analysis at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) since February 2016. Prior to that, she worked for six years as the Director of Student Affairs Planning & Assessment and Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs at the College of William & Mary. Jodi received her B.A. in German Studies from Williams College and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership (Higher Education concentration) from the William & Mary School of Education.

Nick Curtis


Dr. Nick Curtis serves as the Director of Assessment at Marquette University. In this role, Dr. Curtis provides leadership and support to the Marquette community, including academic departments, the Marquette Core Curriculum, and co-curricular units, in the assessment of student learning and development outcomes for the purpose of large-scale student learning improvement efforts. Before joining Marquette, Dr. Curtis served as the Senior Learning Outcomes and Visibility Consultant for the Center for Assessment and Research Studies at James Madison University in Virginia, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Assessment and Measurement with a dissertation focused on student partnership in higher education learning outcomes assessment. His research areas include student partnership in higher education assessment, validity in higher education assessment, student learning improvement/innovation,, and novel performance assessment methods.

Joel Hanel


Joel Hanel serves as the Accreditation and Assessment Specialist for the School of Professional and Continuing Studies (SPCS) at the University of Richmond where he works across academic units to maintain and coordinate accreditation and program approval for the Virginia Department of Education (VDoE) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Joel’s work focuses on building partnerships across educator preparation programs through the Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (VACTE) and the Virginia Education Assessment Collaborative (VEAC). He is particularly proud of his work co-developing, coordinating, and building shared assessment instruments through VEAC.

In addition to traditional educator preparation assessment, Dr. Hanel works with K-12 partners to measure the effectiveness and impact of coaching on provisionally licensed teachers through a new partnership program funded by the R.E.B. Foundation.

He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ph.D and M.A.) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (BA) and teaches political science.

Keri-Beth Pettengill

Member-at-Large, Two-year Public Institution

Keri-Beth Pettengill is the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at John Tyler Community College, in Midlothian, VA. Prior to her current role, Keri-Beth served as an Associate Dean at John Tyler, and as a Program Manager and Associate Professor at Frederick Community College, in Frederick, MD. Prior to working in academia, Keri-Beth worked in regulatory affairs in Washington, DC. Keri-Beth is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park (BS, Biology), Hood College (MS, Environmental Biology), and Morgan State University (EdD, Community College Leadership).

Sheena G. Serslev


Dr. Sheena G. Serslev is the Associate Director of Institutional Assessment at George Mason University where she manages annual assessment efforts while integrating an educational development approach. Prior to joining George Mason, she co-led a center for teaching as Associate Director of Engaged Teaching at UC San Diego where she collaborated with departments and faculty to design evidence-based, student-centered, and equitable learning experiences. Sheena earned her BA Visual Arts and BA in Communications at UC San Diego and completed her Master’s in Arts Management from the Heinz College of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC San Diego and her research interests blend program assessment with creativity and learning.