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University Mission

The mission of Capella University is to extend access to high quality bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs for adults who seek to maximize their personal and professional potential. This mission is fulfilled through innovative programs that are responsive to the needs of adult learners and involve active, engaging, challenging, and relevant learning experiences offered in a variety of delivery modes.

Educational Philosophy

At Capella University, we believe education transforms people’s lives and society—immediately and permanently. The innovative, intentionally designed competency-based education we offer enables adult learners to meet challenges in their careers, lead and make new contributions in their disciplines, and reach their professional and personal goals. Our educational pathways respect existing expertise and allow learners to focus on what is essential, as they gain new competencies and expand on those they already have. The credentials they earn are signs of the professional relevancy, quality, and immediate applicability of their educational experience at Capella University and help to create new opportunities in the future. As partners in their education, we proudly serve the lifelong learning ambitions that allow our learners, alumni, their many communities, and our broader society to thrive.

Diversity Mission Statement

We believe that a diverse learning community is vital to achieving our mission of supporting learner success.

As an online university serving a diverse society, we create a learning community made up of individuals representing a rich mixture of identities, experiences and beliefs, including different genders, ages, racial-ethnic backgrounds, languages, economic strata, religious beliefs and practices, sexual orientations, abilities and disabilities, national and geographical origins and locations, political beliefs and values.

Capella is committed to a set of guiding values that are employee and learner centric. Rooted in our value of human potential, we are dedicated to an inclusive culture that supports our employees and our learners in achieving their fullest potential. We believe that diversity strengthens our organization by drawing on the varied perspectives and life experiences of an array of talented people. Additionally, we strive to be a culturally competent organization (as reflected in our mission, practices and policies) in order to effectively serve our global society.

Fulfilling our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

It is our intent to achieve our mission in the following ways:

  • Creating a collaborative working and learning community that is respectful, inclusive and valuing of diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.
  • Recruiting and retaining faculty and staff members with diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds, and by utilizing creative and equitable processes to support them.
  • Recruiting and retaining learners with diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds; and by providing services which support them in successful degree completion and the attainment of their professional goals.
  • Promoting the transformative exchange of ideas in a high-quality professional curriculum infused with multicultural competencies, which prepares graduates to be effective in a multicultural society.


Capella University Leadership


Richard Senese, PhD

Interim University President and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Richard (Dick) Senese serves as the Interim University President and Vice President of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer for Capella University. Prior to returning to Capella in 2014, Dr. Senese served in leadership roles with the University of Minnesota Extension for 13 years. He most recently served as the Extension's Senior Associate Dean, where he oversaw research, program evaluation, international partnerships, and faculty development, among other responsibilities. Prior to his promotion to Senior Associate Dean, he served as the founding Associate Dean for the Center for Community Vitality. He has taught at a number of Minnesota-based institutions, including St. Olaf College, Metropolitan State University, and the College of St. Scholastica, and served previously as the Associate Dean for Capella University's Harold Abel School of Psychology.

Dr. Senese received his PhD from the University of Minnesota through the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology program with the Department of Educational Psychology. He is a licensed psychologist and active in community affairs in his native Minnesota.

Andrew Watt, BS

Vice President of Colleges and University Operations, Chief Operations Officer

Andy Watt became Vice President of Colleges and University Operations and our Chief Operations Officer in 2014. Since joining Capella in 2002, Andy has held a variety of leadership positions across the University, including roles in operations, finance, analytics and our markets & products team. Most recently, Andy was the Vice President and General Manager for the College of Business, Technology and Undergraduate Studies, where he led a team of Deans, Market Directors, and Enrollment and Advising leaders to develop and deliver high quality, highly differentiated programs for our learners. Before joining Capella, Andy worked in transaction advisory services at both Deloitte & Touche LLP and Arthur Andersen LLP. Watt graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting.

Mary Miller, MBA

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Mary Miller is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Capella, where she leads efforts to further strengthen Capella's marketing capabilities and commitment to a brand focused marketing strategy. She joined Capella in 2011 in a consulting role, and was soon named Senior Vice President of Value Proposition Development and Management, and then Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining Capella Mary held positions as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PetSmart, Inc., from 2006 to 2010, and she held executive leadership positions at Best Buy Co., Inc., from 1998 to 2006, in areas including strategic marketing and customer loyalty. She earned her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and her MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Jeff Shelstad, MBA

Vice President, College of Professional Studies

Jeff has joined Capella in February of 2014 as Vice President of the College of Professional Studies. Jeff was as Founder and CEO of Flat World Knowledge, a venture-backed start up that made a bold attempt to redefine the higher education content space by providing college textbooks and an online platform that that allows instructors and institutions to personalize content in new ways to help students succeed. He served over six (6) years in that role. Prior to that, Jeff held executive positions at both Pearson Education and McGraw Hill Education. He is a native of Minnesota and is happy to be returning home after 25 years. Jeff holds a BSB from the Carlson School of Management and an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Julie Smolich, MBA

Vice President and General Manager, College of Business, Technology & Undergraduate Studies

Julie has been with Capella for over 14 years, serving in various capacities including financial analyst, product manager, portfolio director, and senior market director. In her current role as Vice President and General Manager for the College of Business, Technology, and Undergraduate Studies, Julie is responsible for developing and executing on strategic plans that positively impact Capella’s competitive position and market value proposition; generating strong market demand for Capella’s programs; building sustainable differentiation for Capella’s target customers; improving learner success and learning outcomes through a quality learning experience; and improving operating efficiency and effectiveness.

Prior to joining Capella, Julie worked in the financial services sector at Ernst & Young and Piper Jaffray, earning her CPA certification (currently inactive) along the way. Julie earned an MBA from Capella University and a BS in Accounting from St. Cloud State University. Julie also currently serves as an officer on the board of directors for a local nonprofit organization, Headway Emotional Health Services in Richfield, MN.

Jennifer Dixson Hoff, MS

Vice President and General Manager, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Jennifer joined Capella in August 2011 as the Market Lead for the School of Public Service Leadership, and in December of 2014 assumed responsibility as the Vice President/General Manager of Capella's School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  In her current role, Jennifer leads the Dean and associated academic teams, along with the Market Director, Enrollment and Advising teams, to deliver high quality and professionally aligned degree programs within the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  Her role also includes focusing on learner success and an exceptional learner experience in order to deliver the academic outcomes aligned to the professions in which the school serves.  

Jennifer graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BA in Business Administration/Financial Management and is a graduate of Capella's MS Leadership program. 

Jennifer is a member of the Bloom Early Learning Board of Directors and was recently selected as one of 30 women executives in the healthcare sector to coach and develop high potential women leaders within the Twin Cities Healthcare Community.

Mani Ratnam, MBA

Vice President, Learner Success and Strategic Analytics

Mani Ratnam serves as vice president Learner Success , Strategic Analytics and FlexPath. Mani leads a cross-functional team that is responsible for the overall execution of the Learner Success initiatives across Capella University. The Learner Success team is focused on projects that create a series of interrelated capabilities, which collectively make a positive impact to learner persistence and outcomes. Mani also leads Capella's strategic analytics function which is focused on creating a culture of systematically applying data & analytics through our entire value chain to achieve primary business goals of new enrollment growth and improved persistence. In 2015 Mani assumed responsibility for the FlexPath program. 

Mani has over 25 years of experience in various business and technology functions including business operations, product management, software development and service delivery. Prior to Capella, Mani spent over 15 years at Carlson Companies Inc. in senior technology and operations roles. At Carlson Wagonlit Travel as vice president Global Traveler and Transaction Services, Mani was responsible for strategic initiatives aimed at improving the global operations capabilities. Prior to this, as vice president E2 Solutions, Mani launched a new line of business for Travel & Expense Management for US Federal Government agencies and led the day-to-day operations for the startup business. Mani earned his MBA from University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and a BS in Statistics from Mumbai University, India.

Tonia Teasley, JD

Vice President of Learner Services and Operations

Tonia joined Capella University as the Vice President of Learner Services and Operations in 2012. She came to Capella from Thomson Reuters, where she ran a department that was responsible for online learning for customers and for training and development of the sales team. Tonia refers to herself as a "recovering lawyer", having spent most of her career prior to Thomson Reuters in large law firms both as a practicing attorney and then as Executive Director and Managing Partner of a firm in Minneapolis. In addition to her role at Capella, she serves on the Board of The ARC Greater Twin Cities, an organization that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from St. Olaf College.


Barbara Butts Williams, PhD

Dean of Business, School of Business and Technology

Dr. Barbara Butts Williams is Executive Dean, External Relations & Partnerships and Dean Emeritus, Business at Capella University. Since joining Capella in 2002, Dr. Butts Williams has served in several leadership positions including; Dean, School of Business, Interim Dean, School of Business and Technology, Associate Dean, Director of Graduate Programs and Director of the MBA Program. Dr. Butts Williams has also served as the Dean, School of Education at Capella University.

Dr. Butts Williams' professional experience spans over four decades including the public, private and higher education sectors. She previously served as the President of Growth Partners Consulting, a firm she founded to provide strategic planning, talent assessment, change management, and organizational development to small and medium sized organizations. She also served as director of executive programs for the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and on the executive education advisory council of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Her corporate experience includes leadership positions at The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers), Control Data Corporation (now Ceridian), and Wilson Learning Corporation.

Currently, Dr. Butts Williams serves on the Board of Directors for Allina Health, Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and as a Commissioner on Minnesota's Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Board, overseeing the construction of the billion dollar multipurpose U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Butts Williams earned a Master of Arts in Business and Leadership from Hamline University, and Master of Arts in Organization Development, and Doctor of Philosophy in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University.

Genevieve Feliu, MA

Dean, Undergraduate Studies

Genevieve Feliu is the Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies. Genevieve began her foray in the higher education industry in 2002, joining the local community college faculty as a full-time sociology instructor for several years. She has since taught at a number of community colleges, in several instances as one of the first groups of instructors exploring and implementing online learning. By 2005, Genevieve identified the opportunity for rapid prototyping and platform growth in the for-profit industry and joined the faculty of 3 national, exclusively online institutions. She joined Capella in 2007 as an adjunct faculty member and has served as Faculty Chair for General Education from 2009-2014. Genevieve holds a Master of Arts in Sociology from the East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Anna Hultquist, PhD

Dean of Counseling, Social Work and Human Behavioral programs, Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Anna Hultquist was appointed dean for the counseling and social work department in the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2012. Previously, Dr. Hultquist served as associate dean for the counseling program areas since 2008.

Dr. Hultquist has over 20 years of experience as a licensed therapist, counselor educator and program director designing programs to meet state and national accreditation standards (CACREP and COAMFTE). In addition to maintaining an active private practice, Dr. Hultquist has established and served as clinical director for two community-based counseling centers that trained graduate-level clinical interns. Service to the profession has included professional licensure initiatives, appointment to the Oregon State Board for Professional Counselors and Therapists, numerous conference presentations and professional articles.

Dr. Hultquist earned a COAMFTE accredited Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island, graduate work in school counseling that included ESL certification, and a PhD in adult education from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Hultquist holds the distinction as a Certified Family Life Educator from the National Council on Family Relations, Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and holds professional memberships in the American Counseling Association, Association for Conflict Resolution and International Association of Coaches.

Beth Koenig, JD

Dean, School of Public Service Leadership

Beth Koenig serves as Dean for the School of Public Service Leadership. Beth has worked in higher education for over twenty years, and during this time she has taught, advised and mentored both undergraduate and graduate students. She has developed and supported numerous sponsored research initiatives and has successfully created several enterprise-wide, university infrastructure improvements. In addition, Beth has worked in government relations, has served as a MN Supreme Court qualified mediator and has presented best practices in building university research and sponsored programs initiatives to local, state, national, and international audiences. Beth holds a JD from Hamline University School of Law and a BA from St. Catherine University (formerly the College of St. Catherine) in the areas of speech communication and music, opera performance.

Andrea Miller, PhD

Dean of Psychology, Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Andrea Miller has worked as a member of the Capella team since 2010 and has taught online since 2005.  She began as an adjunct faculty member and later moved to lead faculty and then to the faculty chair role for the psychology department in the School of Undergraduate Studies at Capella University.  In 2015 Dr. Miller moved to the Dean of Psychology role in the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  Her professional background includes work as a psychologist in the public schools and as a psychologist and supervisor for non-profit clinics. She specializes in working with children and families as well as individuals of all ages with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.  Dr. Miller is licensed as a psychologist in three states, licensed as a specialist in school psychology, and a human services board certified practitioner.  She is active in psychological associations and served as President of the Georgia Psychological Association from 2013-2014.  Dr. Miller holds Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

F. Patrick Robinson, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Patrick Robinson is the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Prior, he served as Senior Vice President of Academics for Orbis Education, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at Chamberlain College of Nursing, Executive Assistant Dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and Chair of the Department of Health Management and Risk Reduction at the Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago.  Dr. Robinson has a distinguished record of leadership and service to the global HIV/AIDS care community. He is certified AIDS nurse specialist and a Certified Nurse Educator through the National League for Nursing.  The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care awarded him both the Frank Lamendola Memorial Award for exemplary leadership in HIV/AIDS care and its Life Time Achievement Award. Indiana University School of Nursing named him a distinguished alumnus and honored him at its centennial anniversary as one of the top 100 Alumni Legacy Leaders.  An award winner educator, Dr. Robinson has received many accolades for teaching excellence and curricular innovation.  He was the inaugural recipient of the Doing Well By Doing Good award from the DeVry Education Group for his contributions to community service. Dr. Robinson is a fellow of the American Academy of nursing.

Bill Dafnis, PhD

Interim Dean of Technology, School of Business and Technology

Bill Dafnis is the Interim Dean and faculty chair of Technology for Capella University's School of Business and Technology. Dr. Dafnis' professional background includes 20 years of leadership positions with newspaper media publishing in operations, business development, project management and information technology. In the field of higher education, Dr. Dafnis has served at various institutions as a technology faculty member, Associate Dean and Dean of Information Systems and Technology. His research interests focus on disruptive innovation, information security and business process modeling. Dr. Dafnis is a project management professional (PMP) and holds a PhD in Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University, an MSIT with an Information Security and Assurance Specialization from Carnegie Mellon University, MBA from Lake Forest College and a BA from the University of Illinois.

James Wold, PhD

Interim Dean, School of Education

Dr. Jim Wold is the currently the interim dean for the School of Education. Dr. Wold began his Capella career in 2002 as Dean in the School of Education (2002–2006). He served as Associate Dean (2007–2009) leading the NCATE Accreditation Team and served as Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (2010–2012), the Executive Director for the College of Professional Studies (2012—2014).

Dr. Wold's professional career prior to Capella includes 25 years in K–12 education holding positions as district superintendent, high school principal and high school teacher. In addition to his background in K–12 education, Dr. Wold worked 8 years in various private sector roles including educational consultant, sales and marketing manager and business owner. His professional interests include career coaching, leadership and organizational development. Dr. Wold holds a PhD in Educational Administration from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Board of Directors

Mable Hunter Aigoro, MBA

Mable H. “Sandi” Aigoro serves as the Learner Representative for the Capella University Board of Directors and is a doctorate candidate in the School of Public Service Leadership with emphasis on Multidisciplinary Practice in Human Services. She has a Master of Business Administration in International Business and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management. Sandi has 25+ years of experience in the communication and high-tech industry and worked as an IS field engineer, technology engineer, international process engineer, quality assurance manager and a management consultant in business and technology. Currently, a full-time learner at Capella University, Sandi works as an independent insurance producer and an adjunct professor instructing international business, organization management, project management and global workforce courses. Sandi worked with Fortune 500 and Big-4 consulting enterprises as a domestic and global executive. In addition, Sandi served on multiple advisory boards and consulted boards in strategic planning, and Sandi serves on the TUA Upsilon Alpha Beta Chi Honor Society’s Board of Advisors associated with the National Organization of Human Services. She is a licensed Life, Sickness and Health Insurance Producer for the State of Georgia. Her honors include member representative for the Beta Chi Honor Society and member of the International Service Performance Chapter at Capella University.

Marcia S. Ballinger, PhD

Board Chair

Dr. Marcia Ballinger is Founder and Principal at the St Paul-based executive search firm Ballinger|Leafblad, which is focused on leadership searches in the civic sector. Prior to that, she was a partner at the regional search firm, KeyStone Search. Ballinger's previous corporate positions were as director of human resources development with two international manufacturing and distribution firms, which included management of a multiyear corporate culture transformation. She started her career with IBM. Marcia has been an adjunct faculty member, teaching courses in organizational communication and leadership at Capella University and St. Mary's University. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Speech-Communication from the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University. She also earned her certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the HR Certification Institute. 

Dr. Ballinger held the role of vice chair of the board of the American Red Cross-Twin Cities Area Chapter and was an inaugural member of the United Way Women's Leadership Council. She is currently on the board of HRconnection, a business that serves human resources leaders. She was named Industry Leader by the Minneapolis-St Paul Business Journal in 2009 and one of the (Real) Power 50 by Minnesota Business in 2014. Marcia, along with Nathan A. Perez, is the author of "The 20-Minute Networking Meeting," "The 20-Minute Networking Meeting Graduate Edition," and is a frequent speaker on the topics of business networking and career transition.

Mike Buttry, BA

Mike Buttry joined Capella Education Company as Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications in July, 2010. Prior to that, Buttry served as Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel. In nine years with Senator Hagel, he worked on a wide range of issues including entitlement reform, immigration policy, foreign policy, increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and legislation to enhance the GI Bill. He also helped edit Hagel’s Washington Post best seller, America: Our Next Chapter. After Hagel’s retirement from the Senate, Buttry worked as a Managing Director at Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates, a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C., where his clients included the Government of Kenya, Google, and the American Dental Association. 

Buttry is a graduate of Creighton University, a Policy Fellows alumnus of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and has attended the executive education program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. In 2014, he was named a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 2014 40 Under 40 recipient, an honor awarded to 40 young leaders who have achieved significant accomplishments in their professional careers and demonstrated commitment to their community. Mike Buttry was named to the Capella University Board in March of 2015.

Carmen Coballes Vega, PhD

Dr. Coballes Vega has more than 35 years of experience in higher education. She holds a master's degree in Humanities Education/School of Education, New York University; and a doctorate in Reading and Linguistics from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Dr. Coballes Vega serves as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York. Dr. Coballes Vega has 17 years of administrative experience in three other institutions including Metropolitan State University (St. Paul), University of Wisconsin River Falls, and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities named Dr. Coballes Vega a Millennium Leadership Fellow. She was recently honored by ASPIRA of America in the 2011 Salute to Latina Leaders during their 50th anniversary celebration. ASPIRA is the nation's largest Latino nonprofit organization and the only one dedicated exclusively to the education of Latino youth.

Dr. Coballes Vega has provided professional service through her work as a member of the faculty for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Leadership Academy. In addition, she served on the Board of Directors of AACTE and as a member of the Unit Accreditation Board of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. She was president of the Wisconsin State Reading Association.

Dr. Coballes Vega has been active in the community and served on the board of Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES), St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has previously served on the board of directors of the Girl Scouts of St. Croix Valley and the National Board of the YWCA of the USA.

Robert Fox, JD

As one of the founding faculty members and professor emeritus at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Robert Fox has nearly 40 years of experience in higher education. He practiced law at a Twin Cities law firm specializing in non-profit organizations before leaving to help establish the university in 1972. During his tenure at Metro State, Fox served as department chair, assistant to the president, and counsel to the president. He also held numerous university committee and faculty positions, which involved significant work with multiple student centered learning strategies. He consults nationally on the assessment of experiential learning. Fox also served on the Minnesota Department of Health Committee on Chemical Dependency Counselor Credentials.

Eric Jolly, PhD

Dr. Eric J. Jolly is nationally known for his personal passion for STEM (science, technology, mathematics and engineering) education and for working to identify solutions that address our country's achievement gap. As president of the Science Museum of Minnesota, one of the nation's largest and most esteemed science museums, Dr. Jolly leads a staff that develops and presents exhibits, films and educational programs to hundreds of thousands of people in the upper Midwest and to millions more around the world through its traveling programs. Under his leadership, the museum has hosted provocative and highly-successful exhibitions like Body Worlds, RACE: Are We So Different? and Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. Widely recognized for his work with communities and policy-makers and his many contributions to mathematics and science education, Jolly is the chair of the National Research Council's Out-of-School Time STEM Learning Committee, a member of the National Academy of Engineering's Committee on Guiding the Implementation of K-12 Engineering Education in the United States, and a board member of the Bush Foundation, among many other board affiliations. He is also the author of numerous articles and curricula.

Christopher King, PhD

Dr. Christopher J. King, FACHE, is a healthcare executive, researcher, educator and strategist who is committed to health reform efforts aimed at bridging the gap between the healthcare and public health sectors.

As a health services leader, Christopher has taught in public schools, managed private and federal community health programs, and written more than $20M in award-winning grants for healthcare providers. As the assistant vice president of community health for MedStar Health, a $4.2B not-for-profit healthcare system, he provides leadership for ten hospitals' community health activities. He is also responsible for conducting community health assessments and evaluating unconventional delivery models that support population health management.

As a health services researcher, Christopher's national investigations have been documented in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the American Journal of Medical Quality. He has also presented to national audiences and conducted lectures on minority health and workforce development for the American College of Healthcare Executives. Christopher teaches Strategic Planning and Human Resources at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health and he recently completed a 3-year term as chairman of the Consumer Health Foundation, which invests more than $1.8M annually in health equity initiatives focused on the Washington, DC region.

Christopher has a PhD in Health Services Administration, a master's degree in Health Science and an undergraduate degree in Community Health. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

The Washington Business Journal has recognized Christopher as one of the top minority business leaders in the national capital area.

Todd Sorensen, JD

Board Secretary

Todd Sorensen joined Capella in January 2011 as senior corporate attorney, with a focus on litigation, internal business advice and academic policy. He came to Capella from Seattle-based law firm Williams, Kastner & Gibbs, where he served as a business litigation attorney from 2004-2010 and chaired the firm's Education Law Practice Team. Washington Law & Politics Magazine named Mr. Sorensen a "Rising Star" in 2010. Mr. Sorensen earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College and his Juris Doctor from University of Minnesota Law School.

Kathryn Van Asselt, PhD

Dr. Kathryn Watkins Van Asselt was appointed Faculty Representative of Capella University's Board in March of 2015. Since joining Capella in 2006, she has served in a variety of governance and academic positions, including the University Policy Council (UPC), Faculty Review Panel (FRP), Counselor Education Executive Council, CES Governance Board, Subject Matter Expert (SME), residency curriculum redesign, and currently the CPPS review committee.

Dr. Van Asselt has more than 19 years of educational and leadership experience, including special education teaching and school counseling at both the elementary and middle school levels. She served as the Oregon School Counselor Association Past-President and is President of the Western Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES). She has published peer-refereed articles, including the flagship Journal of Counseling and Development, has presented educational sessions at more than 20 national and international conferences and has been recognized for distinguished teaching including the Harold Abel Distinguished Faculty Award, the Stephen Shank Outstanding Faculty Member Award, and the WACES Outstanding Mentor Award. Dr. Van Asselt earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of New Mexico, her Master of Arts in School Counseling from Western Carolina University, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Northern Colorado.

Harry Williams, PhD

Dr. Harry L. Williams became the 10th President in the 123-year history of Delaware State University on January 10, 2010, after serving as the institution's provost and vice president for academic affairs. During the first eight months of his tenure, Dr. Williams held more than 200 meetings with constituencies, including White House officials, Governor Jack Markell, the Delaware Congressional delegation, state legislators, alumni groups, community organizations and others. Dr. Williams also took several trips abroad to sign new collaborative agreements with institutions of higher education in China and South Africa.

Prior to his arrival at DSU, Dr. Williams served the University of North Carolina General Administration as interim associate vice president for academic affairs beginning in September 2007. He was elevated in March 2008 to interim senior associate vice president for academic and student affairs in which he focused on access and outreach for the 17 campuses of the UNC system. In addition to his experience within institutions of higher education, from 2002 to 2008 Dr. Williams was a national marketing and recruitment associate consultant with Noel-Levitz, the top national consultation firm for enrollment and management solutions in the country. In that capacity, Dr. Williams provided consultation expertise to 14 different institutions of higher education, including Delaware State University.

Dr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Broadcasting and a Master of Arts in Educational Media, both from Appalachian State University. He earned an EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University.