Meet the Experts

Claudine McCarthy

Claudine McCarthy brings more than two decades of extensive and varied experience in journalism and publishing to Student Affairs Today.

Claudine has had frequent articles published in many national and regional publications. She’s written booklets for the International Newspaper Marketing Association and brochures for advertising agencies. She’s edited everything from e-books to graduate-level textbooks for major publishing houses and individual authors. Claudine also worked as corporate communications manager for a major home builder.


Claudine first became Editor of Student Affairs Today from 1999 to 2003, and then returned to the position in 2008. She has established a strong Advisory Board of highly respected, senior-level student affairs professionals who provide firsthand perspective on the latest trends and challenges in the field. Claudine also keeps up with the ever-changing world of student affairs by staying in close contact with experts on various hot topics and by attending professional conferences. She consistently provides readers with timely and practical advice, best practices, and proven strategies for handling such pressing issues as social media, self-injury, addictions, budget cuts, students with mental illness, student debt, suicide prevention, fundraising, staff morale and more.


As Editor of Student Affairs Today, Claudine received corporate Outstanding Achievement and Editorial Honor Roll Awards. And she received the APEX award for Best Writing Series in 2013 and 2014 and for Best Individual Profile in 2011, plus awards from The Newsletter on Newsletters’ national competition in 2010 and 2011. Claudine holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Media from Douglass College at Rutgers University.

Advisory Board

Les P. Cook
Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement
Michigan Tecnhological University

Les P. Cook serves as the vice president for student affairs and advancement at Michigan Technological University, overseeing student life, residential life and housing, enrollment services, diversity programs, judicial affairs, and the dean of students. He earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership from Brigham Young University.

Les joined Michigan Tech in July 2003 as vice provost and dean of students before assuming his current role. Prior to arriving at MTU, he was the associate vice president for student life at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.

Les is actively involved with professional and student service associations. He’s a regional vice president for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. He also serves as a lead faculty member for the LeaderShape Institute and is a lifetime member of the National Orientation Directors Association, the American College Personnel Association —College Student Educators International, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Cook volunteers locally with the Downtown Guidance Team and is on the board of directors for both Dial Help and the Keweenaw Community Foundation.

Shannon E. Ellis, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Services
University of Nevada, Reno

Shannon E. Ellis has been the vice president for student services at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1998. She’s worked in the field of higher education for more than 25 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, University of Southern California, Seattle University and The Evergreen State College.

Shannon received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in Higher Education and Law. She also received two Fulbright awards to study in Germany and Japan. Shannon formerly served as president of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and is currently active on several foundation boards. She has presented hundreds of keynotes and workshops at higher education conferences and has authored articles and chapters in several professional journals and books.

Brian L. Haynes
Vice President for Student Affairs
California State University, San Bernardino

Brian L. Haynes has worked in higher education for more than 25 years. He was appointed vice president for student affairs at California State University, San Bernardino, beginning in 2013. In this role, he leads a team of more than 250 staff representing a broad portfolio of student support programs, including admissions and student recruitment; Associated Students, Inc.; career development; children’s center; financial aid; housing and residential life; records, registration and evaluation; student union; services to students with disabilities and workability; student conduct and ethical development; student health and psychological counseling center; student leadership and development; student recreational and fitness center; Upward Bound; and Veterans Success Center.

From 2006 until his current appointment, Brian served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Clayton State University. In that role, Brian oversaw housing and residence life, student activities, career services, campus life (leadership development and a volunteer center), orientation and new student programs, parents’ association, disability resources, international student services, counseling and psychological services, recreation and wellness, student conduct, grants and special projects, student media, student affairs business office, and student government.

At Clayton State, Brian also led university wide efforts to transform the campus from strictly a commuter campus to a residential university. Also while at Clayton State, he provided leadership relating to the finance, design and construction of the university’s first on-campus housing as well as a $20 million student activities center.

Brian has attended the Institutes for Higher Education and Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. And he earned his Ph.D. in college student personnel from Ohio University.

He serves on the advisory board for the James E. Scott Leadership Academy for Leadership and Executive Effectiveness, and has served in various capacities with national professional associations. He’s written many journal articles and given numerous national, regional and local presentations on higher education topics.

Joan L. Kindle, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Education
Eastern Iowa Community College District

Joan L. Kindle is vice chancellor for education at the Eastern Iowa Community College District, which encompasses three colleges in the Quad City area.

Previously, she was associate provost at William Rainey Harper College, a two-year community college in Illinois. Joan’s higher ed career spans three decades, including posts as assistant to the president, vice president for student affairs, and director of career services.

She also served on the National Board for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Joan received Innovation Awards from the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators and the Exemplary Practices Award from the National Academic Advising Association. She has also received regional and national recognition from NASPA, including: Pillar of the Profession, Community College Outstanding Professional, the Diversity Award, and the Exemplary Program Award.

Joan was a contributing author to two New Directions for Student Services series, Dealing with Behavioral and Psychological Problems of Students: A Contemporary Update and In Search of Safer Communities: Emerging Practices for Student Affairs in Addressing Campus Violence.

She received her Ed.D. from National Louis University in Illinois.

Larry W. Lunsford, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Florida International University

Larry W. Lunsford’s first post at Florida International University was in 1989 as director of student activities. He later moved into the combined role of associate vice president for student affairs and university ombudsman before becoming vice president for student affairs in 2012.

He is also an assistant professor in FIU’s Department of Higher Education Administration and teaches as an adjunct instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Larry co-authored The First Year: Making the Most of College, which is used in a required course for all first-year undergraduate students at FIU.

He received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Larry is a member of the Board of Directors of the Order of Omega Greek Honorary and was also the major speakers chair on the planning committee for the 2012 NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Annual Conference.

Jeanne Ortiz, Ph.D.
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs
Loyola Marymount University

Jeanne Ortiz is dean of students and vice president for student affairs at Loyola Marymount University.
Prior to that, she was the vice president and dean of students at Whittier College for eight years.
She also served as the small college and university representative for Region VI of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
Jeanne began her higher education career more than 30 years ago as a faculty member at the State University College at Buffalo. Her academic interests in urban planning and housing soon led her out of the classroom and into hands-on work with residence life staff, shifting her professional focus to student life and development.

She also served as associate dean of students at Houghton College in New York, dean of student life at University of The Incarnate Word, and vice president for student development and dean of students at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
Throughout her career, Jeanne helped students engage in leadership development, particularly regarding service and change on campus and in larger communities. At the College of Notre Dame, Ortiz co-chaired the development of a certificate program in Leadership and Social Change, an academic and experiential program designed to integrate in-class and out-of-class leadership experiences.Jeanne earned her doctoral degree in Educational Administration, Organization and Policy from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her master's degree in Urban Planning and Human Environment and Design from Michigan State University.
Douglas R. Pearson
Vice President and Dean of Students
Mercer University

Douglas R. Pearson has served as vice president and dean of students at Mercer University since 2004.

Doug has nearly three decades of experience in student affairs administration, including divisional management, strategic planning, crisis management, and budgeting. He’s also skilled in the recruitment, supervision, and training of professional staff and in the development of student services that support and enhance the academic mission of the institution.

Doug has his Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University. He’s also received professional recognition for outstanding commitment to students and the profession by Florida State University, the University of West Florida, and Mercer University. And he’s co-authored several articles on the student judicial process and campus liability.

Lori Reesor, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
University of North Dakota

Lori Reesor has served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of North Dakota since February 2011. She is responsible for overseeing a comprehensive student services division which includes recruitment, financial aid, student life, housing, multicultural services and wellness areas.

Prior to UND, she served as associate vice provost at the University of Kansas. Lori also was dean of students at Wichita State University and an associate dean in the School of Education and assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Lori is actively involved in NASPA— Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and has always taught at every institution where she has worked.

Eugene L. Zdziarski, II, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
DePaul University

Eugene L. Zdziarski, II is vice president for student affairs at DePaul University.

He previously served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Roanoke College from 2008 until 2014. He led Roanoke’s campus crisis management initiatives and provided leadership to a diverse set of departments and units, including athletics, co-curricular education and programs, campus safety, counseling services, Greek life, health services, intramurals and campus recreation, judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, residence life, and student activities.

In his previous role as associate director of student life at Texas A&M, Gene coordinated and trained the Division of Student Affairs’ critical incident response team and helped lead the response to the 1999 bonfire collapse. At the University of Florida, he chaired the Division of Student Affairs crisis response team and served as a member of the university Counseling Resource Network and the university’s emergency operations team.

Gene was regional vice president for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and a member of its regional advisory board and national board of directors. He currently serves as associate editor for the Association for Student Conduct Administration Journal Board.

He formerly served on the Expert Panel on Emergency Management in Higher Education, which helped develope the Action Guide for Emergency Management at Institutions of Higher Education through the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, Gene was an invited participant in the Campus Safety Summit (U.S. Department of Justice, Feb. 2008), and a panelist on “Education News –Parents Can Use” (U.S. Department of Education, Nov 2008). 

Gene received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He co-authored the book, Campus Crisis Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Prevention, Response, and Recovery, published by Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

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  • Meet the Editor

    Claudine McCarthy

    Claudine brings two decades of extensive and varied experience in journalism and publishing to Student Affairs Today. An award-winning editor, Claudine keeps up with the ever-changing world of student affairs by staying in close contact with experts on various hot topics and by attending professional conferences
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