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Michael Hansen - President MCCA

Michael Hansen

Mike Hansen is the President of the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) where he works with the State’s 28 community colleges to advance MCCA’s public policy agenda.  Prior to coming to the MCCA, Mike worked for the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency where he was a chief analyst for Capital Outlay and Community Colleges.  His professional background also includes teaching in the public schools.  Mike has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Michigan State University in Labor Relations.

Adriana Rasche Phelan, Ph.D
Vice President

Adriana Rasche Phelan is the Vice President of the Michigan Community College Association.  Adriana came to the MCCA from the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW), a national policy and consulting firm.  As a Senior Policy Associate at CSW, Adriana provided consulting services and conducted research and analysis for national projects related to higher education and workforce policy.  Adriana’s professional background also includes teaching at The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  Adriana has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration/Public Policy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Alma College.

 Erin Schor

Erin Schor
Legislative Director

Erin Schor is the Legislative Director for the Michigan Community College Association.  She has extensive experience working with Michigan’s policy making process. Erin began her career as a policy analyst with the House Democratic Policy Staff, covering primarily tax and retirement legislation. She has also served then-State Representative Paul Condino as his Legislative Director, and had the opportunity to help direct the House Judiciary Committee. In 2008, Erin joined newly-elected House Majority Floor Leader Kathy Angerer, eventually serving as her Chief of Staff. Most recently, Erin served as the Director of Public Policy for the Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University, working with a variety of education stakeholders toward the goal of ensuring that all children in Michigan have access to a high-quality public education.

Erin earned both her B.A. in Political Science and Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.  She also serves on the Board of Education for the Ingham Intermediate School District, overseeing vocational, technical, special, and general education programs for over 42,000 students in mid-Michigan.

Erica Lee Orians, Ph.D.
Executive Director - Michigan Center for Student Success

Erica joins the Michigan Community College Association from her most recent position as Senior Research Associate in the Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) at the University of Utah.  In her role at the UEPC, Erica served as the Research Coordinator for the Utah Data Alliance, Utah's statewide longitudinal data system, where she leveraged K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce data to analyze student outcomes throughout the education pipeline.  Erica has also held positions in student affairs and academic advising at The Ohio State University, Miami University, Middletown campus, and the Columbus College of Arts and Design.  Erica has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at several institutions of higher education and enjoys staying active in local, state, and national professional organizations. 

Erica earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah where her dissertation focused on benchmarking and efficiency among rural community colleges.  She earned her MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs and BA in History from The Ohio State University.  Erica is thrilled to join the staff of the MCCA where she can focus on student success at Michigan's 28 community colleges.  

Jenny Schanker, Ed.D.
Director of Research and Institutional Practice

Jenny Schanker began working with the MCCA as Associate Director for the Center for Student Success in July, 2011 as a "Faculty on Loan" from Lake Michigan College and became a permanent MCCA staff member in 2013.  At LMC, she was an instructor in the English department since 2000 and Chair of the Department of Transitional Studies since 2004 and also served as  Project Director for Achieving the Dream and Breaking Through, chaired the Student success Steering Council and co-chaired the Student Learning Assessment Committee.

Since joining MCCA, Jenny has focused most closely on issues related to successful transitions to college for both traditional-age and older students, including college readiness, developmental education, dual enrollment and alignment of non-credit and credit career education and training. She also heads the Faculty Leadership Initiative.

Jenny is a consultant-evaluator with the Higher Learning Commission and a Certification Reviewer for the National Association for Developmental Education.  She holds an M.A. in English from DePaul University and earned her Ed.D. in Community College Leadership from National-Louis University in 2011.

Ronda Edwards - Director, Academic Programs: VLC

Ronda Edwards
Executive Director of Michigan Colleges Online

As the Executive Director for the Michigan Colleges Online, Ronda provides leadership for the project, works with all 28 community colleges in support of their distance learning programs and manages the MCO services to students.

Prior to this she was the Director of Academic Programs for MCCVLC and focused specifically on assisting colleges with the development of online curriculum and facilitating professional development for faculty and staff across the state. Before her role at MCCA, Ronda was the Director of Distance Learning and Media Technologies at Northwestern Michigan College where she started their online program. She also managed the design and construction of a 250 mile fiber optic network that connected 15 school districts to the college for ITV classes from the college as well as between the school districts, and provide access to the Internet for all sites.

Her earned degrees are from Lansing Community College in Business/ Accounting (AS), Aquinas College in Human Resource Development (BS) and Michigan State University in Instructional Design/Education Technology (MA).

Ronda has presented at national, regional and statewide conferences on issues regarding distance learning, technology and the MCO. She is on the Board (and past Chair) of the Instructional Technology Council – an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Katie Giardello

Katie Giardello
Director of Veteran and Transfer Initiatives

Katie comes to the MCCA most recently from Eastern Michigan University, where she served as Assistant Director of Community College Relations. Prior to that, she spent several years working with the Ohio Board of Regents, where she was most heavily engaged in statewide articulation and credit transfer initiatives. Initiatives she took leadership on include the articulation of academic credit for military experience, credit by examination, career-technical training, and other competency-based educational structures. Katie is excited to apply her experiences in these arenas to Michigan and looks forward to engaging with the many passionate leaders in the state to move veteran and transfer initiatives forward.

Katie holds a B.S. in Human Ecology and M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership, both from The Ohio State University. She got her start in higher education in the admissions and enrollment management realm and has since built a unique set of skills that also includes expertise with various higher education technologies, research-based strategic planning and implementation, and holistic project management. She has been active in state and regional professional organizations and presented at various conferences through the years.

Carol Stax Brown
Consultant serving as the Executive Director for MCCA’s Center for Global Initiatives (CGI).
Carol is excited to tap into the expertise and leadership in Michigan to position CGI as the go-to statewide model for community college internationalization. Most recently Carol was Executive Director of Community Colleges for International Development, Inc. (CCID), a global organization dedicated to advancing internationalization among the community and technical college sector.  She is most proud of her leadership in developing a framework for comprehensive internationalization, providing a strategic pathway and metrics specific to the open access, tertiary sector worldwide. Prior to becoming president, she was the National Director for the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative program at CCID. Carol was also a Campus Dean and a faculty member in the Georgia Technical College System, and worked in marketing and public relations in the private sector.


Carol holds a B.A. from James Madison University, an M.A. in Teaching from Quinnipiac University, and an Ed.D. in Workforce Education from the University of Georgia through the Community and Technical College Leadership Initiative. She has visited over 40 countries, belongs to numerous international education and development organizations, and has presented internationally on topics related to global partnership development, internationalization, and advancement of the community college model.  Her research and publication interests include global virtual communities and the democratization of quality, relevant higher education.  


Kathy Taskey

Kathy Taskey
Business Office Manager

Prior to coming to the MCCA, Kathy worked in the banking and finance field as a Branch Operations Manager for Independent Bank and a Senior Vice President of First National Bank of Gaylord. Kathy has a B.A. from San Diego State University and most recently a B.A. in Accounting.

“Gracie” Dakota’s Amazing Grace
Public Relations Liaison

Gracie began her career as an intern at the MCCA in 2011 but quickly moved into a part-time position as the official MCCA Public Relations Liaison. She was a natural fit with her positive attitude and eagerness to learn.  Outreach is her number one mission as “Ambassador” for the Association, which she excels at. Her stellar performance and advocacy has developed strong relationships with many in the community, including winning over the most reserved of visitors, the mail carrier. Gracie also stands out as an exemplary team player as she enthusiastically provides hospitality to visitors, and at times, offers technical support at the reception desk. She looks forward to a long career at the MCCA and would love to foster many more association relationships.    



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