National Leadership Team

National Leadership Team

Members of TDC National Leadership Team are Administrators, Faculty, and Staff from our member institutions, and national partners committed to the mission and goals of TDC as well as its success.The National Leadership Team of The Democracy is composed of three bodies:

  • The Board of Directors
  • National Advisory Board
  • Campus Coordinator Advisory Council.

The National Leadership Team works closely with the National Office to ensure that every student of our member institutions receive an education in civic responsibility and democracy.

Verdis LeVar Robinson, National Director

Verdis LeVar Robinson is the first National Director of The Democracy Commitment after serving as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies having taught writing-intensive, web-enhanced, service-learning courses at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, New York, for ten years. At MCC, Verdis created the Global History survey courses as well as the online survey courses in African American history and Western Civilization.  In addition to serving as MCC’s TDC Campus Coordinator since the beginning of TDC, he served on TDC National Steering Committee and on the Advisory Council for its Economic Inequality Initiative.  Also, at MCC, he served as a co-advisor for Damon City Campus’ Black Student Union as well as the Governance Advisor for the campus’ student government.  He also created an initiative to overturn jury underrepresentation in Monroe County which he strives to emulate nationally.

Professionally, Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West, and most recently, a fellow of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies’ Summer Teachers and Scholars Institute at Columbia University exploring Black New York.

Verdis is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the Rochester Race Riots of 1964, which to date has engaged over 400 members of the community in discussion, learning, and walking the history.  He is also an avid genealogist and Public Scholar for New York Humanities.  He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.   Verdis currently serves on the Advisory Boards of All-IN Democracy Challenge and the Student Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is a decision-making body with the primary function of taking responsibility for the feasibility, business, and the achievement of outcomes of TDC.  The Board of Directors regularly monitors and reviews the initiative’s status as well as provide oversight.

Dr. John J. Theis, Chair of the Board

Executive Director, Center for Civic Engagement
Lonestar Colleges, TX

Dr. William Coppola

President, Southeast Campus
Tarrant County College, TX

Fagan R. Forhan

Assistant Dean, K-12 Partnerships & Civic Engagement
Mount Wachusett Community College, MA

Eddie Genna

Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs & Collaborative Governance
Maricopa County Community Colleges, AZ

Dr. Kurt Hoffman

Senior Vice President of Instructional and Student Affairs
Allegany College of Maryland, MD

Lisa Lawrason

Associate Professor, Political Science
Delta College, MI

Lavita McMath Turner

Director of Government and External Relations
CUNY Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, NY

Dr. Brian Murphy, Co-founder & Senior Advisor

President
DeAnza, CA

National Advisory Board

The National Advisory Board is primary responsibility for leading, advocating, and coordinating national efforts to realize the goals and objectives of the initiative.  With the Board of Directors, the National Advisory Board provides a stabilizing influence so that organizational strategies and directions are established and maintained with a visionary view.

Dr. Mary Frances Archey

Executive Director for Strategic College Initiatives
Community College of Allegheny County, PA

Amber Austin

Student, CLDE17 Intern
Tarrant County College, Southeast Campus, TX

Robert M. Brandon

President and Co-Founder
Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN)  Washington, DC

Tamarra Coleman-Hill

Assistant Professor, English
Moorpark College, CA

Zaneeta Daver

Director, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
Washington, DC

Dr. Reza Fakhari

Vice President for Continuing Education, Workforce Development, and Strategic Community Partnerships & Professor of Politics
CUNY Kingsborough Community College, NY

Dr. Robert Franco

Director, Institutional Effectiveness
Professor, Pacific Anthropology
Kapiʻolani Kula Nui Kaiāulu
Kapi’olani Community College, U. Hawai’i

Seth Howard

Assistant Director, Center for Civic Engagement
Lone Star College, TX

Dr. Carrie B. Kisker

Director, Center for the Study of Community Colleges
Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Kimberley Klein

Assistant Professor, Political Science
Delta College, MI

Dr. Caryn McTighe Musil

Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Washington, DC

Lawrence Robinson

Director, Center for Civic Participation
Maricopa Community Colleges

Ken Rolling

Executive Director, Community Learning Partnerships
Chicago, IL

Brett Rowlett

Director of Public Affairs and Interim Director of Marketing and Creative Services
Lane Community College, OR

Lisa Strahley

Chair of Teacher Education/Early Childhood Education & Civic Engagement Coordinator
SUNY Broome Community College, NY

Dr. Jolanda M. Westerhof

Associate Vice President, Academic Leadership and Change, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Washington, DC

Campus Coordinator Advisory Council

The purpose of the Campus Coordinator Advisory Council is to assist TDC’s progress by offering informal strategic advice and feedback voicing ideas, opinions, and concerns to the national office in regards to programs, initiatives, events, and strategies to realize TDC’s mission.  In additional to serves as the Campus Coordinator for their colleges, members of this council serve as regional liaisons for member institutions representing them on the council.

David Bodary

Professor of Communication
Sinclair Community College, OH

Dr. Robert Brandon

Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
Cleveland State Community College, TN

Shelley Errington Nicholson

Director, Senator Stephen M. Bower Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement
Mount Wachusett Community College, MA

Cynthia Franklin

TDC Campus Coordinator, Northwest Vista College
Alamo Colleges, TX

Aaron Hoffman

Professor of History
Community College of Allegheny County, PA

Dr. Connie Jorgensen

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Piedmont Virginia Community College, VA

Cynthia Kaufman

Director, Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action and Faculty in Philosophy
DeAnza College, CA

Dr. Diane McMahon

Service Learning and Civic Engagement Faculty Director, Associate Professor of Sociology
Allegany College of Maryland, MD

Helen Margaret Nasser

Associate Director of Honors Program
CUNY Kingsborough Community College, NY

Duane Oakes

Faculty Director, Center for Community and Civic Engagement
Mesa Community College, AZ

Dr. David Price

Professor of History and Political Science
Santa Fe College, FL

Michele Richey

Professor of Sociology
Lonestar College- Montgomery, TX

Dr. Patty Robinson

Faculty Director, Civic and Community Engagement Initiatives
College of the Canyons, CA

Dr. Joseph Scanlon

Instructor of Political Science
Monroe Community College, NY

Mary Elizabeth Tyler Boucebci

Community-Based Learning Coordinator
GSU’s Perimeter College, GA

Sharon Wettengel

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Tarrant County College- Southeast Campus, TX

Josh Young

College-Wide Director, Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy
Miami Dade College, FL

Aurora Zwick

Manager, English Language Learner Center
Moraine Valley Community College, IL