Faculty

Dr. Elisa Abes

Elisa AbesElisa Abes has been teaching in the SAHE program since 2005. She primarily teaches courses related to student development theory. In doing so, she uses a critical theoretical approach to re-imagine student development theory to work against systems of inequality such as racism, heterosexism, and ableism. Her research also centers on critical approaches to student development theory, including intersectionality and critical disability theory. Elisa’s current research focuses on the experiences and identities of college students with physical and intellectual disabilities. Elisa is the co-author (with Dr. Susan R. Jones) of Identity Development of College Students: Advancing Frameworks for Multiple Dimensions of Identity (Jossey Bass, 2013); editor of Critical Perspectives on Student Development Theory (Jossey Bass, 2016); and co-editor (with Dr. Susan R. Jones and Dr. D-L Stewart) of Rethinking College Student Development Theory Using Critical Frameworks (Stylus, forthcoming). Prior to teaching at Miami, Elisa taught for two years at the University of South Florida. Elisa also practiced law as a litigator in a large law firm for four years prior to starting her career as a student affairs faculty member. Student development theory explains much of Elisa’s career transition. Elisa graduated from The Ohio State University with her bachelor’s degree (1992) and doctorate (2003). She received her law degree from Harvard Law School (1995). Elisa and her partner, Amber, are the mothers of two kind children, Shoshana and Benjamin, ages 12 and 9, who like to remind her that playing with them is “more important” than always getting her work done. Indeed, Elisa loves to be outside as much as possible, running, hiking, biking, gardening, and of course, any game her children want to play with her.


Dr. Katherine S. Cho

Katherin S. ChoKatherine S. Cho (pronouns: she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University, Ohio. As an activist, scholar, practitioner, and educator, Katherine's research agenda centers on critical social justice through institutional accountability and organizational change. Her work spans across student activism, institutionalized racism, student success, retention, and flipping the narrative of "why aren't students prepared for college" to "why aren't colleges prepared for our students." At Miami University, she teaches critical research design and organizational theory. Katherine received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles; an M.A. in Sociology & Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. Prior to, Katherine was a research analyst at the Higher Education Research Institute, an administrator for a university in New York City, and worked at an education non-profit.


Dr. Jayne Brownell

Dr. Jayne Brownell

Jayne Brownell is the Vice President for Student Life at Miami University. As vice president she leads campus efforts to promote students’ individual engagement and growth, as well as the development of a strong, inclusive community, within a safe learning and living environment. She is also an active participant in all aspects of institution-wide planning and policy development. Jayne has worked in a broad range of areas across student affairs, including academic advising, residential life, leadership development, orientation, student activities and peer education. Prior to coming to Miami in March 2014, she served as assistant vice president for student affairs at Hofstra University from 2006-2014. Jayne earned her undergraduate degree at Douglass College, Rutgers University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in student affairs and higher education at Teachers College, Columbia University.


Dr. Kimberly Moore

Dr. Kimberly Moore

Kimberly Moore is Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. In addition to directing the Office of the Dean of Students, she oversees the following functional areas: Residence Life, Community Standards, Rinella Learning Center, and the Miller Center for Student Disability Services.
Prior to her current role, she served as Assistant Dean of Students at Loyola University Chicago. Moore served the Loyola community for fourteen years through advocacy, support and care for students in the positions of Coordinator for the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (2006-2008), Director of Student Activities and Greek Affairs (2008-2014), Director of Off-Campus Student Life and Assistant Dean of Students (2014-2018).
Moore has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, a Master’s in Education in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, and a Doctorate in Education and Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Her interest and research focus on student retention, persistence, and student success. Moore is dedicated to the field of student affairs and works to create opportunities for students to engage fully in campus life and ultimately thrive during their time in college.


Dr. Vicka Bell-Robinson

Dr. Vicka Bell-Robinson

Vicka Bell-Robinson, using pronouns, she, her, hers, has worked professionally in Higher Education for the last 17 years, and is currently the Director of Residence Life at Miami University. Prior to joining Miami in 2007, she held positions at North Central College and Ball State University. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois, a Master of Education in College Student Personnel from Grand Valley State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Miami University. Vicka strives to lead with intention and believes that one of the most important things she can do is work to be the best leader possible for the students we serve. She values creating powerful and effective co-curricular experiences for college students, while simultaneously providing leadership, vision, and support for staff. She does this through developing meaningful campus partnerships and utilizing data-driven decision making in order to evolve approaches to on-campus living, student development, and organizational management to be in alignment with student needs, shifting priorities, and changes in structure.