Cathrael Kazin is the chief academic officer for the College for America (CFA) at Southern New Hampshire University, a competency-based online program for underserved working adults. She created the CFA academic competency-based approach and oversees all aspects of its curriculum and assessment development. CFA was the first entirely competency-based program approved by its regional accreditor and the first program approved by the U.S. Department of Education under the "direct assessment" provision of Title IV. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Cornell University, a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School, and an A.B. with highest honors in English from Smith College.
Kevin J. Kelley serves as the executive director of the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association. He has developed and led programs in marketing, workforce development and political advocacy. He is treasurer of the Committee to Promote Upstate Manufacturing, a political action committee. Further, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, an organization focused on the implementation of fair trade policies. Kelley has held senior positions in other not-for-profit business associations during his career. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree.
Augustin Melendez, president of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC), leads this nationally recognized, evidence-based program that enables at-risk students to graduate from high school and be prepared for college, career or the military. HW-SC serves over 4,000 urban students in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo and in Prince George’s County, Maryland. At Eastman Kodak Company, he served as the chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president as well as supervising director and vice president of human resources. Prior to Kodak, he served as the director of human resources at Paychex Inc. and director of human resources and deputy superintendent of operations for the Rochester City School District.
Todd M. Oldham, vice president of MCC’s Division of Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services, provides vision and direction to economic and workforce development, career technical education, college partnerships, and grants and external funding initiatives. As MCC’s chief outreach officer to business, industry and economic development sectors, he responds to local needs and has a record of building partnerships and creating career pathways. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Chapman University in California; a bachelor’s degree in socio-cultural anthropology and history from University of California, Los Angeles; and an associate degree in history from Orange Coast College in Southern California.
Jeffrey Selingo, an author, columnist and speaker, has spent his journalism career covering colleges and universities worldwide. His book, College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, explores the college of tomorrow — how families will pay, what campuses will look like, how students will learn and what skills will lead to success in the job market. He is a contributing editor to The Chronicle of Higher Education and professor of practice at Arizona State University. His work focuses on the innovative practices of colleges and universities and what they might mean for students in the future.
William Symonds is an internationally recognized education reformer, speaker and author. He helped launch the Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2008 and served as its director through June 2013. He was the primary author of the seminal report issued by the project in early 2011: Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century. He is working to create the Global Pathways Initiative to help lead a national movement aimed at preparing young Americans to lead successful lives.
Lovely A. Warren is the first female mayor in Rochester’s history. She was elected to the Northeast District seat on City Council in 2007. In 2010, she was elected to serve as council president, making her the youngest City Council president in Rochester’s history. Born and raised in the city of Rochester, Warren is a graduate of Wilson Magnet High School. She holds a J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and a bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.