About the Authors

Authors from the 2021/2022 series, “The Vitality and Power of Higher Education.”

Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D.

Troy D. VanAken, the 14th president and professor of mathematics at Elmhurst University, is a first-generation college graduate from Hillsdale, Michigan.

Mark Mitsui, M. Ed.

Mark Mitsui became President of Portland Community College (PCC) in August 2016. He is the first Asian American president in the 58-year history of PCC, which educates more than 60,000 students annually and is the largest higher education institution in Oregon.

Georgia Nugent, Ph.D.

S. Georgia Nugent, Ph.D., president emerita of Kenyon College, joined Illinois Wesleyan University as interim president in August 2019 and was appointed as the institution’s 20th president on November 14, 2019. She is the University’s first woman president.

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Troy D. Paino became the tenth president of the University of Mary Washington in July 2016. 

Susan Thomas, Ph.D.

Susan L. (Sue) Thomas is the proud seventeenth President of Truman State University, Missouri’s only statewide public liberal arts and sciences university.

Devorah Lieberman, Ph.D.

Dr. Devorah Lieberman is the 18th president of the University of La Verne, a nationally ranked and Carnegie-recognized private institution for civic and community engagement. Located in Southern California, the University of La Verne was founded in 1891 and educates approximately 8,000 students. Serving as president since 2011, she demonstrates unwavering commitment to the mission and vision of the University of La Verne as well as constant dedication to its remarkable students.

Gregory Washington, Ph.D.

George Mason University President Gregory N. Washington leads the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia, a Tier 1 research university as categorized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. He became Mason’s eighth president on July 1, 2020.

Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.

Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D., became Rider University’s seventh president in 2015. Born and raised in Rumson, New Jersey, Dr. Dell’Omo returned to the Garden State after serving for 10 years as president of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D.

A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, is the 12th president of DePaul University in Chicago. He assumed the presidency July 1, 2017 as the first lay leader in DePaul’s history. He oversees a $568 million budget, more than 22,000 students on two major Chicago campuses, and about 3,450 full-time and part-time faculty and staff.

Deborah F. Stanley, J.D.

Deborah F. Stanley is the 10th President of the State University of New York at Oswego and has served in that role for over twenty-five years. Prior to becoming president, she taught and earned tenure in the School of Business and served in administration as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Marjorie Hass, Ph.D.

Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., is a transformational higher education leader. She was named president of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in 2021 after serving as president of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and Austin College in Sherman, Texas.