Dr. Gabriele Strohschen, Ed.D. (President)

Dr. Gabriele Strohschen, Ed.D. (President) is Associate Professor and Faculty Mentor at DePaul University’s School for New Learning (SNL), where she also served as Director for the Graduate Programs. She designed and implemented SNL’s first transnational graduate program in Thailand, and co-developed several of the school’s graduate program options. Her international work focuses on action research and program development and evaluation in Kenya, Germany, Thailand, China, and Mexico, within an emancipatory/popular adult education praxis. In 2013, Dr. Strohschen initiated the Community Connexxions project to expand local opportunities for university students for civic engagement and community- based participatory action research with learning activities in the West Side and Lower West Side neighborhoods of Chicago. Community Connexxions has grown to a cooperative of educators, activists, and artists who work on education, economic development, and cultural events within a social justice value system. Dr. Strohschen is President of the Adult and Higher Education Alliance and President of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society – Delta Theta Chapter at DePaul University. She has published nationally and internationally, with all royalty proceeds of the publications going to three orphanages.

Dr. Thomas D. Cox (President-Elect)

Dr. Thomas D. Cox (President-Elect) is an assistant professor of Higher Education and Policy Studies at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, USA. Previously, he founded the master’s degree program in adult and higher education at the University of Houston-Victoria, and is very active in researching the topics of adult learners within higher education contexts. He earned an Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education in 2004 from the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA. He is currently the President –Elect of the Adult Higher Education Alliance which is a US organization with the mission of advancing adults within higher education institutions.

Tessa McDonnell, M.Ed. (Past President)

Tessa McDonnell, M.Ed. (Past President), retired in January 2014 from her position as Dean of Students and External Engagement at Granite State College (GSC) in New Hampshire. After ten years as a Head Start pre-school and elementary school teacher, she began teaching at the college level as an adjunct in early childhood education. In 1976 she began working in the Head Start Child Development Associate teacher education program. Mentoring in this competency based program lead her to developing a course based prior learning assessment program for the college which create a pathway for adults to be recognized what they learned through their life and work experience thus accelerating their degree completion. In addition over the years she initiated a federal financial aid office, a statewide academic calendar and marketing schedule, academic advising tools, a coordinated Admissions, FA, Student Accounts, SIS and Registrar’s Team, tutoring programs, career planning and an alumni board and fundraising program. The week she retired Tessa started a part time job working for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at GSC – classes for folks over 50 – “Learning for the Fun of it!” She serves as past-president and chair of the Nominations and Scholarship Committees for AHEA.

Tennille J. Lasker-Scott (Secretary)

Tennille J. Lasker-Scott (Secretary) received a masters in adult education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is currently attending The University of Georgia’s Adult Education, Leadership and Organizational Development doctoral program, where her research includes educating the disenfranchised, the participation of minority groups in adult educational opportunities, and issues of race class and gender in education and workforce development. Ms. Lasker-Scott is a recipient of The Irene and Curtis Ulmer Scholarship for Adult Education, a Southern Regional Education Board fellow, and also served as a fellow in Texas State University- San Marcos’ Predoctoral Fellowship Program.


Fred Prasuhn, Ph.D. (Treasurer)

Fred Prasuhn, Ph.D. (Treasurer) considers himself a lifelong educator and learner with an eclectic mix of education, professional experiences, and life experiences. He earned his Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. Prior degree work includes instructional technologies, Christian Education, Christian Ministries, and Church Music. His passions and research include accreditation, online education, credit hour policy, and adult higher education. Currently, Fred is an instructional designer for Western Governors University. He serves AHEA as treasurer and technology coordinator. Fred was named as the inaugural Technology Chair for the Commission of Distance Learning and Technologies.

Doreath Lomax (Director)

Doreath Lomax (Director), brings experience to the Board from her years in higher education. Her degrees focus on adult education, parenting education, and family support. Doreath volunteers much time and energy with several local agencies serving adults.

Scarlette Studdard, Ph.D. (Director of Membership)

Scarlette Studdard, Ph.D. (Director of Membership) is a highly energetic and lively person. She focuses her energy being active in her children’s school and activities. In her off time, Scarlette leads the General Education Course Development Team in creating courses designed for the students of Western Governors University. Scarlette earned her Ph.D. in Adult Education at the University of Georgia. Her other studies include Educational Leadership and Administration. Scarlette currently serves as the AHEA’s Membership Director.

Carrie J. Boden-McGill, Ph.D. (Director: AHEA Book Series)

Carrie J. Boden-McGill, Ph.D. (Director: AHEA Book Series), is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Adult Education and Research from Kansas State University, M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wichita State University, and B.A. in English Language and Literature from Bethel College. Dr. Boden-McGill’s research is primarily focused in the areas of teaching and learning strategies, mentoring, transformative learning, and personal epistemological beliefs. She has presented papers in over 25 states and foreign countries and published articles in journals such as Adult Learning Quarterly, The International Journal of Learning, and National Teacher Education Journal. Her latest books are Pathways to Transformation: Learning in Relationship, co-edited with Dr. Sola Kippers, Conversations about Adult Learning in Our Complex World, and Developing and Sustaining Adult Learners co-edited with Dr. Kathleen P. King. Dr. Boden-McGill has designed and taught courses in traditional, hybrid, and online formats, and she has developed and overseen the implementation of several online program initiatives. Dr. Boden-McGill is a Director on the Board of the Adult Higher Education Alliance.

Carla R. Payne (Director)

Carla R. Payne (Director) retired as Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at Union Institute & University (Vermont College). Prior to that she was on the faculty at Goddard College and Norwich University, in learner- centered BA and MA programs. Carla holds the BA from Barnard College, and MA and PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, all in philosophy. Her scholarly work has focused on the philosophy of education, and the application of Deweyean and constructivist ideas in adult higher education, particularly in technologically-mediated contexts. In 2009, she edited the volume Information Technology and Constructivism in Higher Education: Progressive Learning Frameworks. Carla has been an AHEA member for many years, and previously served as the organization’s secretary. At present she serves as an adjunct for the Community College of Vermont, teaching online courses in philosophy and ethics.

Ron Fite (Director)

Ron Fite (Director) currently serves as the President of the United Quality Management Institute. This is an international organization that serves to standardize and certify individuals in several quality disciplines such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Problem Solving and others.
Ron holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Quality Engineering and Master of Science in Quality Management. He is also the creator of the 3-P Training Matrix: A Balanced Approach for Continuous Improvement Training.

In addition, he also serves as a regional instructor for the North Carolina Community College system. Here, he delivers continuous improvement courses within the Customized Training Program for Business & Industry to companies that are served by all 58 community colleges within North Carolina.

He brings over 30 years experience in the field of quality and process improvement in manufacturing operations and 11 years of experience as an instructor for the community college. He is the former President of the International Lean Association and the Lean Manufacturing Consortium.

Certifications include:

  • Six Sigma Master Black Belt (3)
  • Certified DDI Instructor (leadership)
  • Certified Achieve Global Instructor (leadership & service)
  • DiSC Personality Behavior Instructor
  • Certified Lean Master
  • Certified Facilitator Instructor
  • Certified SPC Instructor
  • Microsoft Master & Microsoft Certified Trainer
  • Certified Expert OJT Instructor