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Civitas Learning™ National Advisory Board Brings Deep Expertise in Technology, Analytics and Student Success Research

Civitas Learning™ announced today the formation of a ten-member national advisory board with deep expertise in education technology, predictive analytics and student-success research. Members of the advisory board will join Civitas Learning’s growing leadership team and Pioneer Partners as the student-success and analytics innovator continues its drive toward a Million More Mission, supporting college and university innovation aimed at helping a million more students each year succeed on their higher education journeys.

“We chose the name Civitas Learning intentionally,” said Dr. Mark Milliron, co-founder and chief learning officer. “It means a community learning together, and these national advisory board members just add more tough-minded, talented voices committed to helping more students learn well and finish strong into the mix.”

The national advisory board members are:

  • Dr. George Siemens: Dr. Siemens is the executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is an educator and researcher on learning, networks, analytics and visualization, openness, and organizational effectiveness in digital environments. He is the president of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and helped found the annual International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge.
  • Dr. Linda Baer: Dr. Baer has served more than thirty years in numerous executive level positions in higher education. She is currently a senior consultant with i4 Solutions. Previously, Dr. Baer served as a Senior Program Officer in Postsecondary Success with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs in the Minnesota State College and University System.
  • Adam Dell: Adam joined Austin Ventures in May 2010, and currently serves as a director with Civitas Learning. Most recently, Adam was Founder and Managing General Partner of Impact Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on information technology investments.
  • Dr. Gerardo de los Santos: Dr. de los Santos serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international association dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. He has been a strong advocate for the strategic use of technology and data in community colleges for years, and has published two books focused on helping bridge the digital divide in the United States.
  • Dr. Phil Ice: Dr. Ice is currently the Vice President of Research and Development at American Public University System. His research is focused on the impact of new and emerging technologies on cognition in online learning environments and on the strategic use of advanced analytics in supporting student completion.
  • Dr. Davis Jenkins: Dr. Jenkins is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center. He works with colleges and states to find ways to improve educational and employment outcomes for students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds of credentials, and to prepare students to succeed in further education and careers. Dr. Jenkins’ research and thinking have informed the development and spread of innovative approaches to improving student outcomes.
  • Phil Komarny: Phil is the CEO, USA, at Robots and Pencils. Formerly the Vice President for Computer and Information Technology/CIO at Seton Hill University, he has served as the institutional catalyst in initiatives that have positioned Seton Hill as a leader in strengthening learning through the use of mobile technology.
  • Dr. Nicole Melander: Dr. Melander is the Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). Prior to joining HMH, Dr. Melander was the CTO for Achieving the Dream, a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion. In previous roles, she has served as a senior executive for both Oracle and Microsoft in their education divisions.
  • Dr. Lisa Petrides: Dr. Petrides is the president and founder of ISKME (Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education), a global leader in research and practice around data use, open education and social learning in the education sector. Her research and writing are at the forefront of innovation in how education can be made relevant to learning through open access, social learning, information sharing, and knowledge collaboration.
  • Dr. Tristan Denley: Dr. Denley serves as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents. Prior to that, he was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Austin Peay State University. He is involved in implementing a wide variety of initiatives surrounding college completion and institutional transformation with the use of predictive analytics, including creating Degree Compass.

Civitas Learning’s Founder and CEO, Charles Thornburgh, added: “These leaders will be vital to our continuing efforts to help our college and university partners make the most of their learning data by developing predictive analytics platforms, powering engaging apps, and learning from important work in intervention science.”

About Civitas Learning, Inc.

By building a community of forward-thinking higher education institutions, Civitas Learning™ brings together the best of new technology, design thinking, and data science in its mission to help a million more college students learn well and finish strong. Using a cloud-based, predictive analytics platform and engaging applications, Civitas Learning helps partner institutions bring deep insights to decision makers, and personalized, real-time recommendations directly to the frontlines for students, faculty, and advisors to measurably improve student learning, persistence, and graduation. Civitas Learning serves more than 35 partner institutions and systems in higher education that enroll more 1.3 million students. The historical dataset from these partners currently includes more than 10 million students and 100 million enrollment records. Civitas Learning is based in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit or email [email protected].

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