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(Washington, DC) – The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has selected 14 colleges and universities to participate in its student success grant work funded by Ascendium Educational Group.

The $1.1 million planning grant will allow NACUBO, in strategic partnership with Sova, and the participating institutions to identify and implement systemic solutions that optimize educational equity, access, and success for students as well as improve institutional financial sustainability.

We are pleased to work with the following institutions and their strategic business and finance leaders:

  • Bloomfield College (NJ), Ashton Corley, business operations analyst for Finance and Administration
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, David Gingerella, vice chancellor for administration and finance/CFO
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills, Deborah Wallace, vice president of administration and finance/CFO
  • Hampton University (VA), Doretha Spells, vice president for business affairs and treasurer
  • Wiley College (TX), George Stiell, senior vice president of business and finance/ CFO
  • Adams State University (CO), Heather Heersink, chief financial officer
  • CUNY Bronx Community College, Kay Ellis, vice president of administration and finance
  • Siena Heights University (MI), J. Lee Johnson, senior vice president for business and finance
  • Frostburg State University (MD), Leon Wyden, vice president of administration and Finance
  • CUNY Brooklyn College, Marcus Richardson, executive director of strategic initiatives
  • Chemeketa Community College (OR), Miriam Scharer, represented by vice president/CFO
  • New Mexico State University, Ruth Johnston, vice chancellor
  • La Salle University (PA), Stephanie Pricken, vice president of finance and administration
  • Bunker Hill Community College (MA), John Pitcher, vice president, administration and finance

Each institution selected enrolls a racially and socioeconomically diverse student body, including substantial proportions of students who are eligible for the Pell Grant, and all are NACUBO members.

“As more institutions seek to find ways to increase equity, success, and completion, we are excited to engage in a planning process that will explore how business officers could be better engaged in building or enhancing high-impact institutional activities,” said Jim Hundrieser, NACUBO’s vice president for consulting and business development. “We are excited to work with these exceptional leaders and hope we can leverage what we learn to create tangible actions that benefit the entire higher education sector.”

Findings and suggested practices from the grant work will be presented at the NACUBO 2021 Annual Meeting.

Founded in 1962, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO’s mission is to advance the economic vitality, business practices, and support of higher education institutions in pursuit of their missions. For more information, visit

About Ascendium Education Group
Ascendium Education Group is committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. We invest in projects designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Our work identifies, validates and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit

About Sova
Sova focuses on improving the quality and accelerating the pace of complex problem solving in the areas of higher education and workforce development. Animated by a core commitment to advancing socioeconomic mobility for more Americans, Sova pursues its mission through distinctive approaches to will-building, strategic planning, change leadership and process improvement. For more information, visit


Katy McCreary

Director, Public Relations


Contact Consulting

Jim Hundrieser

Vice President, Consulting and Business Development

(202) 861-2539

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