2020 – 2021 ACEN Board of Commissioners

2020 – 2021 ACEN Board of Commissioners

Nursing Education Representatives

Kristen Barbee, PhD, RN, CNE
(Term 2018-2021)
Program Director & Associate Professor
Wingate University
Wingate, North Carolina


Dr. Kristen Barbee has 26 years of nursing experience, with 14 of those years in nursing education. As a nurse educator, she has taught and/or directed programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s levels. Currently program director of the baccalaureate program at Wingate University, Dr. Barbee values the accreditation process and the program improvement that occurs due to ACEN accreditation. She is currently working on development of an RN-BSN completion program option for the university.

Dr. Barbee received her diploma from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN from Gardner-Webb University, her MSN in Nursing Education from East Carolina University, and her PhD in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has held the CNE certification since 2006 and was an NLN LEAD leadership program participant in 2014. She is currently involved in research examining the relationship of grit and purpose in nursing school applicants and students.

Dr. Barbee has served as a site visitor for ACEN since 2016 and has a passion and enthusiasm for conducting site visits. Networking and evaluating other programs is truly a passion. She has also been honored to serve on the Evaluation Review Panel since 2017. Her first site visit serving as a team chair will occur in spring 2018. Participating in the planning of the Inaugural ACEN Accreditation Conference has been a fun experience for Kristen, and she’s looking forward to seeing how all the planning produces an end product!

Dr. Barbee believes that one of the best ways to know more about an organization is to serve that organization in some capacity or role. She was the Public Relations Director on the N-OADN Board of Directors from 2006-2008; Secretary of the NC ADN Council from 2005-2010; Secretary for the National Association of Bariatric Nurses from 2012-2013; Director of the Qualitative Research Interest Group for the Southern Nursing Research Society from 2012-2014; and President of the Upsilon Mu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau from 2015-present.

Dr. Barbee is honored to be nominated for a seat on the ACEN Board of Commissioners and will serve it and its members to the best of her ability.

Dr. Amy HallAmy Hall, PhD, RN, CNE
Secretary, ACEN

(Term 2018-2021)
Dean, School of Nursing
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Dr. Amy Hall is a Professor of Nursing and the Dean of the School of Nursing at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She currently leads faculty, students and staff in the BSN, RN to BSN, MSN FNP, and DNP Nurse Anesthesia programs.

Dr. Hall earned her BSN and PhD in nursing from Saint Louis University and her MS in nursing from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dr. Hall has expertise in curriculum design, program evaluation and nursing leadership. She has taught international students and study abroad courses in a variety of countries including England, China, and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Hall also consults with other nursing programs in designing and implementing curricular change and designing effective program assessment and evaluation plans.

Dr. Hall has served as an ACEN site visitor since 2008, a team chair since 2011, and an ERP member since 2012. She was the chair for the 2017 ACEN Standards Revision Subcommittee for baccalaureate and higher programs. She is a member of several professional associations including Sigma Theta Tau International, the National League for Nursing, and the American Diabetes Association. A certified disaster nurse, Dr. Hall is an active volunteer with the American Red Cross, caring for people affected by disasters and providing disaster nurse certification courses for other nurses. When she is not spreading her passion for nursing and nursing education with others, Dr. Hall co-authors two nursing fundamentals textbooks and enjoys cooking, baking, and running marathons.

Shari Gholson, DNP, RN, CNE
(Term 2019-2021)
Dean of Nursing
West Kentucky Community & Technical College
Paducah, Kentucky


Dr. Shari Gholson, DNP, RN, CNE has 33 years of nursing experience, including 20 years in nursing education. She is a professor of nursing at West Kentucky Community and Technical College and is serving as Dean of the Nursing Division and program coordinator of the Associate Degree Nursing Program since 2006.

Shari earned her Doctorate in Nurse Practice from Northern Kentucky University, Master’s Degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University (clinical nurse specialist) and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Murray State University. She also holds the Certified Nurse Educators credential. She has served the college in a number of leadership roles including faculty representative to the WKCTC Board of Directors, chair of the Kentucky Community and Technical College Nursing Curriculum Committee, and has presented at local, state, national, and international conferences/workshops.

Dr. Gholson has served as an ACEN site visitor since 2013, a team chair since 2015, and an Evaluation Review Panel member since 2016. She is a member of several professional associations including Sigma Theta Tau International, American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, Kentucky Deans and Directors, Kentucky Council of Associate Degree Nursing, and Kentucky Nurses Action Coalition.

Shari considers it an honor walk beside nursing faculty of WKCTC as they chose to teach those that will follow them into the nursing profession and will value the opportunity to do the same with the ACEN organization.

Sherri Lindsey, DNP, MSNEd, RN
(Term 2020-2023)
Nursing Department Chair
College of Southern Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada


Dr. Sherri Lindsey, DNP, MSNEd, RN received her doctorate in nursing practice focused on specialty nurse executive leadership from the University of Nevada – Reno, and she is currently the Nursing Department Chair at the College of Southern Nevada. She strongly advocates for mentoring of new graduate nurses. She encourages students to be involved in a variety of community service organizations that provide them with opportunities to utilize their critical thinking skills as nurses. Her professional interests, aside from mentoring, include increasing graduate nurse retention after the first two years of nursing school. Dr. Lindsey started Nurse to Nurse Constituents, tutoring nursing students while in school and for NCLEX preparation.

Dr. Lindsey’s passion is educating nurses in becoming excellent healthcare providers. As a result of being a member of the groundbreaking National Council of State Board of Nursing simulation study in 2010, her professional interests focus on the use of simulation in nursing education. Additionally, she serves as a member of the American Nurses Association, Golden Key Honor Society, Nevada Action Committee, Nevada Alliance for Nursing Excellence, Nevada Nurses Association, Nevada Nurse Foundation, Organization of Associate Degree Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau. She was recently honored by the Nevada Nurses Foundation with the People’s Choice Chief Nursing Officer of the Year award for her contributions as a leader; for providing a positive, supportive, and collaborative work environment for colleagues; and for fostering the enhancement of the nursing profession in Nevada.

Her prior positions include Director of Education for Las Vegas Rehabilitation and Director of Quality for Encompass Rehabilitation (formerly Health South Rehabilitation). Dr. Lindsey has previously served in various nursing positions, including intensive care, outpatient surgery, and for Willis Knighton Health Systems in Shreveport, Louisiana as Case Manager. Willis Knighton Health Systems is comprised of four acute-care hospitals, five urgent care centers, 18 specialty care centers, two community health and wellness centers, three extended care centers, a senior care community, hospice, and home health.

Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, MSN, RN
(Term 2020-2023)
Academic Affairs Director for Nursing
Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque, New Mexico


Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, MSN, RN is a long-time New Mexico resident. She has worked as a bedside nurse in hospital, long-term care, orthopedics, home health, and intermediate care settings. Passionate about sustainability in nursing, she has been a nursing instructor at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) since 2001, moving into the director role in 2012 where she still serves as the Academic Affairs Director for Nursing. During her tenure, she has helped the program nearly double in capacity, accepting 96 students three times annually. In addition to the program growth, she has made the program more accessible, affordable, and ethnically diverse for the student population it serves.

Committed to rural and urban nursing education needs, Dr. Evans-Prior helped to develop and implement the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) curriculum, which is fully shared and implemented amongst 12 publicly funded colleges and universities across the state. This consortium has provided the opportunity for the prelicensure BSN to be offered at eight community college locations through a unique partnership with the state’s three universities. This groundbreaking model also allows for seamless transfer between NMNEC schools.

Dr. Evans-Prior earned her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of New Mexico in 2016, focusing her studies on the need for transition-to-practice programs in both hospital and non-hospital settings. Because of her doctoral work, she contributed to the development of the ACEN Transition-to-Practice Accreditation Standards that are in place today. She currently serves on the NMNEC Leadership Council, the executive team of the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence, and the New Mexico Action Coalition; she also volunteers as a peer evaluator, team chair, and Evaluation Review Panel member for the ACEN. She presents regularly at both national and local conferences, and she has authored many publications. In her off-hours, Dr. Evans-Prior enjoys spending time with her husband of more than 30 years and her two children.

drahn_bwDebbie J. Rahn, EdD, MSN, RN FABC
Chair, ACEN

(Term 2019-2022)
Director of Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences
Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences
Reading, Pennsylvania


Dr. Debbie Rahn, EdD, MSN, RN Director of the Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences (RHSHS), is a current member of the ACEN Board of Commissioners and is seeking reelection for a second term of service. While serving on the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the past few years, Dr. Rahn has served on the finance and substantive change committees, as well as serving as an ERP chair and a site visitor. In Dr. Rahn’s current position as Director of the School of Health Sciences, she is responsible for the leadership of multiple diploma and certificate programs including nursing (RN), medical imaging (MI), surgical technology (ST), clinical pastoral education (CPE), Medical Laboratory Science, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, phlebotomy, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced EMT, and paramedic programs. Dr. Rahn is a graduate of RHSHS (Nursing Program), Penn State University (BSN), Villanova University (MSN in Nursing Education), and Drexel University (doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Management with a focus in Higher Education). Dr. Rahn has provided leadership at the school to create dual admission programs for the Nursing, MI, and ST Programs whereby students are dually admitted to a local four year university, receive both a diploma from RHSHS and an associate degree from the university at the time of graduation, and then have the opportunity to seamlessly transition into the university’s BSN (nursing) or Bachelors of Health Sciences (MI, ST) programs. The role as Director of a School of Health Sciences requires that Dr. Rahn work with a variety of program accreditation agencies.

Dr. Rahn has held multiple roles in professional and academic settings including staff nurse, Assistant Head Nurse of an inpatient psychiatric setting, Nurse Manager of an inpatient oncology unit, nursing program faculty, curriculum coordinator, director of a nursing program, and her current role as Director of the School of Health Sciences. She was awarded two grants to increase the use of simulation pedagogy in nursing education. Dr. Rahn has held a variety of leadership roles especially in the areas of ethics, nursing education, and nursing research. Debbie Rahn is a founding member of the Berks Regional Nursing Research Alliance, a grassroots organization representing multiple academic and practice partners, and designed to engage nurses in research and evidence base practice in a geographic area void of a major academic research institution. Dr. Rahn has a long-standing interest in bio-ethics, and currently serves as the vice-chair of the Reading Health System Ethics Committee. One of Dr. Rahn’s research interests is in the role of nursing teamwork related to patient outcomes including nurse-sensitive patient outcomes. She has presented at a variety of local, regional and national conferences, and her research on Transformational Teamwork has been published in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality (JNCQ).

Dr. Rahn is a member of multiple professional organizations and has served the profession on state and national committees including Pennsylvania Coalition for the Advancement of Nursing Education (PCANE), Pennsylvania Academic Progression in Nursing (PAPIN), National Education Progression in Nursing Collaborative (NEPIN), Hospital Association of Pennsylvania task force on healthcare workforce, and was the former co-chair for the Pennsylvania Southeast II Regional Action Coalition, addressing recommendations related to nursing education from the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, (IOM, 2011).

Cheryl Shaffer, PhD, RN, PNP, ANP
(Term 2020-2023)
College Associate Dean
Suffolk County Community College School of Nursing
Sayville, New York


Cheryl Shaffer, PhD, RN, PNP, ANP is the College Associate Dean for the School of Nursing at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York. Dr. Shaffer has served as the nurse administrator for the associate, mobility, and practical nursing programs at her institution for the past six years, and she has been a member of the faculty for 17 years. She leads the faculty in the nursing programs offered on three campus locations.

Dr. Shaffer has served the ACEN since 2014 as a peer evaluator and as a team chair for focused, multiple program, and coordinated site visits; she has also served as an Evaluation Review Panel member. Additionally, she continues to serve as a peer evaluator for the New York State Education Department Office of Professions for associate and practical degree nursing programs.

Dr. Shaffer has experience in curriculum redesign, strategic planning, and expansion in program enrollment greater than 50%. She currently serves as co-chair for the State University of New York (SUNY) transfer path in nursing revision representing the lower division/associate degree transfer pathway. She spearheaded two joint-admission agreements (“2+2”) with local universities for associate degree students to be dually enrolled into an RN-to-BS completion program.

Dr. Shaffer has published in peer-reviewed journals, served as a PhD dissertation committee member, and is a frequent conference speaker. She is managing a grant from the New York State Department of Health that funds tuition, fees, and equipment for healthcare workers’ retraining to become a licensed practical nurse.

Prior to her professional career in nursing education, Dr. Shaffer worked as a nurse practitioner in a family practice.

Dr. Shaffer holds a PhD in nursing research from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, a master’s of science degree from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s of science degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.



Dr. Shellye VardamanShellye Vardaman, PhD, RN-BC, CNE
(Term 2019-2021)
ICU/Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
Troy Regional Medical Center
Troy, Alabama


Dr. Shellye Vardaman earned a baccalaureate degree in nursing from The University of Alabama, a master’s degree in adult health nursing education from Troy State University, and PhD in nursing from The University of Texas at Tyler. She has more than 20 years of nursing experience in the medical-surgical environment, holding board certification as Medical-Surgical Nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Dr. Vardaman has been employed at a rural regional medical center in southeast Alabama, Troy Regional, since 2012. She works primarily in the intensive care unit, but also assists as needed in the education department.

Additionally, Dr. Vardaman holds the Nurse Executive Advanced board certification from ANCC and Certified Nurse Educator certification from the National League for Nursing. Dr. Vardaman has experience teaching in multiple levels of nursing education to include associate, baccalaureate, master’s and clinical doctorate. In addition to her clinical position at Troy Regional Medical Center, she holds faculty rank of Professor at Troy University.

Dr. Vardaman is an active participant in many professional associations including the American Nurses Association, Alabama State Nurses Association, Alabama League for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, and Phi Kappa Phi. She served as an elected member of the International Governance Committee for Sigma Theta Tau from 2013-2017 and is currently a member of the Region 8 Awards Committee.

Dr. Shellye Vardaman has served the ACEN since 2012 as a Program Evaluator, Team Chair, member of the Evaluation Review Panel.

vyates_bwVivian M. Yates, PhD, RN
(Term 2019-2022)
Director of Nursing
Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland, Ohio


Dr. Vivian Yates has served as the Dean of Nursing at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio since 2013. She is responsible for the management of a multi-campus nursing program that includes practical and associate degree nursing programs with traditional, LPN to RN, and accelerated tracks. Over 800 students are enrolled in the programs with 42 full-time faculty.

With over 35 years in the nursing profession, Dr. Yates has a background in clinical nursing, academia, nursing administration, and nursing program accreditation. Her clinical background is medical-surgical and psychiatric nursing, serving in both clinical and managerial positions in hospital settings. She has over 25 years of teaching and administrative experience in nursing education; teaching in baccalaureate, associate degree, and practical nursing programs. Her research background includes examining the various facets of cultural diversity in nursing and health care.

Dr. Yates has extensive experience in the area of nursing education accreditation. She served as the Associate Director for Program Accreditation Support for the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) in Atlanta, Georgia from 2009 – 2011. She began serving as a site visitor in 1997, and served on several Evaluation Review Panels from 2000 – 2009. She has served as a consultant for nursing programs across the country and has presented at national forums on nursing program accreditation.

Dr. Yates is a member of several national and state nursing organizations including the American Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing, the Ohio Council of Associate Degree Nursing Education Administrators, and the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing. She has served as vice-president and president of her local chapter of the Ohio Nurses Association. She is a member of several nursing advisory boards in northeast Ohio, and serves on the Board of Directors at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

Dr. Yates earned an associate’s degree in nursing at Lorain County Community College, a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Akron, a master’s degree in nursing at Kent State University, and a PhD in education at the University of Akron.

kzajic_bwKathleen Zajic, EdD, MSN, RN
(Term 2019-2022)
Professor of Nursing
College of Saint Mary
Omaha, Nebraska


Dr. Kathleen Zajic, EdD, MSN, RN is Professor of Nursing at the College of Saint Mary (CSM) in Omaha, Nebraska. In her 28 years at CSM, Dr. Zajic has served in many administrative and appointed roles including Professor of Nursing, Director of Undergraduate Nursing, Chair of Health Professions, and the Associate Dean of Health Professions. Her career path and roles have been diverse but Dr. Zajic has a passion for nursing education and finds her true home in the classroom and clinical settings. In addition, Dr. Zajic has assumed a variety of appointed and elected roles within the nursing program, division, and college-wide committees; including being elected by her peers to serve as Chair; Faculty Assembly Council.

Dr. Zajic earned her EdD (with an emphasis in Health Professions) from the College of Saint Mary, her MSN (with an emphasis in Community Health Nursing and Nursing Leadership and Management) from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and her BSN from Creighton University. Dr. Zajic has expertise in curriculum design, program evaluation, leadership, and community health nursing. Dr. Zajic has also served as a consultant within and outside of nursing on curriculum development, design, implementation, program assessment, and an array of public health initiatives.

Dr. Zajic has served as an ACEN site visitor since 2013, ERP chair since 2018, and was a member of the ACEN Standards and Criteria for Transition to Practice Task Force from 2016-2018. Dr. Zajic was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2016, serving as the Chair of the Substantive Change committee since 2017. Dr. Zajic is a member of several professional organizations including Sigma Theta Tau International, Gamma Pi Chapter, the National League of Nursing, and the National Association of Local Boards of Health. Dr. Zajic provides extensive community service, serving as past chair for the Pottawattamie County Board of Health, Saint Albert School system Wellness Initiative Committee, and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Nurse-Family Advisory Board. When Dr. Zajic is not in the classroom or clinical area she can be found providing health care services to the underserved and vulnerable populations in the Omaha metropolitan area.

Nursing Service Representatives

Jo Ann Baker, DNP, MSN, RN, FNP-CDr. Jo Ann Baker
Vice Chair, ACEN
(Term 2018 – 2021)
Family Nurse Practitioner
Delaware Medical Care
Dover, Delaware


Dr. Jo Ann Baker earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice, master’s, and baccalaureate degree in nursing from Wilmington University, post-masters in Educational Leadership from Wesley College, and her diploma in nursing from Milford Memorial School of Nursing.

Dr. Baker has 45 years nursing experience. Her career includes working as a staff nurse and nurse manager in the hospital and outpatient settings for 16 years; program administrator for Public Health for 11 years, serving as the Director of the Office of Women’s Health. She has worked as a family practice nurse practitioner part-time since 1997 and will be expanding this role with retirement from academia. Dr. Baker served as the Department Chair/Instructional Director at Delaware Technical Community College Terry Campus since 2005, with oversight of the Practical and Associate Degree Nursing Programs. She also served as the Collegewide RN to BSN program Instructional Director since 2016, until her retirement from the College, February 1, 2021.

Dr. Baker has been a site visitor for ACEN since 2007. She has served as a team chair and ERP member and is currently serving her second term on the Board of Commissioners. She also served on the committee that revised the 2013 Standards and Criteria.

Dr. Baker has extensive leadership and grant writing experience. She is a member of the ANA, DNA, AANP, and AACN. She has held office in various local and national boards. She was the awardee of Delaware Todays Top Nurses for the Education Leadership category in 2015 and 2020.

Carolyn Jo McCormies, MS, RN, APRN, FNP-BC
(Term 2020-2023)
Family Nurse Practitioner
Mount Graham Family Medicine
Safford, Arizona


Carolyn McCormies, MS, RN, APRN, FNP-BC has been a registered nurse for 30 years and a board-certified family nurse practitioner since 2004. She is the Director of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Eastern Arizona College, which is located in beautiful Thatcher, Arizona. She has a love for rural healthcare, and she also practices as an advanced practice provider caring for patients of all ages. She has practiced in most areas of nursing, and she has had the privilege of traveling to Honduras on medical missions and caring for the people of that culture.

McCormies has participated in writing NCLEX© test questions several times and was on the standard setting panel for the 2019 NCLEX© RN examination.

McCormies serves on the Arizona State Board of Nursing. She has served on the Education Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the board for the past nine years. McCormies also currently serves as a District Board member of Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center. She graduated with an associate’s degree from Mesa Community College, then received her baccalaureate and master’s in nursing as well as her family nurse practitioner certification from Arizona State University. Her greatest accomplishment is being a wife, mother, and grandmother.

McCormies’s professional memberships include the Arizona Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing, the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau. She was name “Outstanding Nurse Champion” in Arizona by the Arizona Nurses Association in 2017.

McCormies has contributed to the ACEN as a peer evaluator. She has also served as a site visitor for the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence (NLN).

Lisa Young, DNP, APN, FNP-BC
(Term 2019-2022)
Director, Wellness/Health Center/Family Nurse Practitioner
Chicago State University
Chicago, Illinois


Dr. Lisa A. Young DNP, APN, FNP-BC received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Iowa. Dr. Young received her Bachelors of Nursing, Master’s in Nursing and nurse practitioner training with a focus on community health nursing from Saint Xavier University.

Dr. Young is a board certified family nurse practitioner with over twenty years of experience. Dr. Young is currently the Director of the Wellness/Health Center and an Associate Professor in Nursing at Chicago State University. Her early graduate nursing research on nurse practitioners in nurse managed centers as a cost effective alternative to emergency departments led her to Chicago State University. During her tenure, she conceptualized, implemented, and developed the nurse managed center which serves the campus community. She has clinical oversight and operations of the health center and the Office of Student Health Insurance to ensure students have access to preventative and affordable health care. She has continued to maintain her clinical practice working in the Wellness/Health Center and within the retail industry continuing to serve those without access to affordable health care. Dr. Young served as Interim, Chairperson for the bachelor’s and masters of nursing program and as Interim Assistant Dean for the College of Health Sciences at Chicago State University. Dr. Young’s research interests include nurse managed centers, using assessment to address targeted violence, HIV prevention, health disparities among ethnic minorities. She has an active interest in health policy and nursing political advocacy.

Dr. Young is a member of several professional organizations which includes Sigma Theta Tau International, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Nurses Association, ANA-Illinois, American College Health Association, American Public Health Association, and the Illinois Society of Advanced Practice Nurses. She has contributed professionally as a peer evaluator for the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) as one of the initial clinician peer evaluators with over nineteen years of accreditation experience. Dr. Young has served as a national delegate for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on a USAID South African Area initiative and educational presentations and US delegate in China.

Dr. Young received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Iowa, her Bachelors and Master’s in Nursing and nurse practitioner training from Saint Xavier University.

Public Representatives

Dr. Steve EckmanSteven Eckman
(Term 2020-2023)
York College
Hampton, Nebraska


Dr. Steve Eckman is chancellor of York College in York, Nebraska. His career in higher education has spanned 42 years. In his various roles he has served as Vice President for Student Development, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, Vice President for Advancement and Executive Vice President at three different institutions. During that time he has also taught as an Associate Professor in the field of Biblical Studies. He has been president of York College for eight years during which time he has also served the Higher Learning Commission as a peer reviewer, substantive change panel reviewer, financial panel reviewer and team chair. His peer review work has included on-site reviews of schools of nursing that award the bachelor’s degree. For the past several years he has also served ACEN as an appeal panel member. He has served in an administrative role at a previous institution that started a RN to BSN program which now offers the master’s degree in nursing.

Dr. John RussellJohn H. Russell, PhD
Treasurer, ACEN
(Term 2018-2021)
St. Augustine, Florida


Dr. John H. Russell served as McMurry University’s 11th President from August 1, 2002 until his retirement June 1, 2013. Dr. Russell, who previously served as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University, an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

A love of airplanes and a desire to serve his country led Russell to join the Air Force where he demonstrated his commitment to service, to teaching, and to scholarship in a successful career that spanned 33 years and led to the rank of colonel.

His Air Force career included assignments as a tactical reconnaissance aircrew member in South Carolina, Texas, and Germany; as tenured professor of aeronautics, deputy for curriculum, deputy for operations, and deputy for plans and programs at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO; as assistant to the vice commander at the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado; and finally as commander of the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1999, he was named Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, an institution located in Montgomery, WV. He assumed the McMurry presidency after three years in West Virginia.

Dr. Russell currently serves on the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and as a Director of SurveyVitals.

Susan Zlotlow, PhD
(Term 2019-2022)
QuantAid, LLC
Bluffton, South Carolina


Susan Zlotlow, Ph.D. retired after more than 18 years as the Director of the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation and an Associate Executive Director of the Education Directorate at the American Psychology Association. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Rochester and her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut. She also received an honorary doctoral degree from Palo Alto University. Dr. Zlotlow’s publication and presentation history includes articles on child development and socialization, teaching, and accreditation in psychology.

Dr. Zlotlow taught at Wheaton College (Massachusetts) and has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at the University of Maryland at College Park. She served as a consultant to the public-school system in Albuquerque, New Mexico as well as engaged in clinical practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico and inner-city Baltimore. Prior to working in accreditation, Dr. Zlotlow served as the Assistant Dean in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, College Park working on internal and external grant funding, including the institutional IRB, research review committees, as well as committees focused on campus resources for graduate students and faculty.

In her more than 18 years in accreditation, Dr. Zlotlow served as the Chair of the External Recognition Issues Committee of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, a group of programmatic and specialized accreditors that met with members of the Department of Education and Congress on issues related to accreditation. She also represented that group as a negotiator in the 2007 negotiated rulemaking hearings on accreditation issues in the US Higher Education Act. She also served for two terms as a member of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) committee of Specialized/National Accreditation. Dr. Zlotlow served on the Sullivan Commission that reviewed how accreditation standards in health professions impact diversity of those professions. She has received awards for her service from the American Psychological Association, several training councils in psychology, as well as from the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.