Faculty

Elisa Abes, Ph.D.

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, psychological, and intellectual disabilities. Elisa is the co-editor (with Dr. Susan R. Jones and Dr. D-L Stewart) of Rethinking College Student Development Theory Using Critical Frameworks (Stylus, 2019); editor of Critical Perspectives on Student Development Theory (Jossey Bass, 2016); and co-author (with Dr. Susan R. Jones) of Identity Development of College Students: Advancing Frameworks for Multiple Dimensions of Identity (Jossey Bass, 2013). 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 13 and 10, and their dog, Billie. Elisa loves to be outside as much as possible, running, dog walking, hiking, biking, gardening, and enjoying beautiful sunsets.


Jayne Brownell, Ph.D.

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.


Katherine S. Cho, Ph.D.

Katherin S. Cho

Dr. Katherine S. Cho (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University, Ohio. Grounded in her experiences as a scholar, educator, administrator, advocate, and activist, Dr. Cho's research agenda centers on institutions— in their potential to change and transform to move closer towards social justice and in their reality of maintaining systems of oppression and manifesting harm. Her work spans across student activism; institutionalized racism; retention efforts; and flipping the narrative of "why aren't students prepared for college" to "why aren't colleges prepared for our students.”Website

At Miami University, she teaches organizational theory and educational leadership; research foundations in higher education; research practicum for dissertation developments; and racial realities in higher education. Her pedagogy is grounded in (re)humanizing education, both in the teaching and learning, and challenge the ways academic socialization contributes to neoliberalism, competition, and constructed scarcity.

Prior to Miami, Dr. Cho was a research analyst at the Higher Education Research Institute, focusing on how colleges and universities increase the retention for marginalized and minoritized student populations; and in New York City, she was a higher education administrator managing several student-leadership programs and worked for an educational nonprofit centered on service-learning and civic engagement. Other experiences include being a teaching fellow, associate board member, mural artist, wedding coordinator, and calligrapher.

Dr. Cho received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles; an M.A. in Sociology & Education from Columbia University, Teachers College; and a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. She is an 2021 William T. Grant Advanced Quantitative Computational Scholar with the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computation, and Mixed Methodologies; a 2019 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow; and a 2019-2020 Faculty First-Look Scholar. In the other pockets of her life, Dr. Cho enjoys taking care of her ever-growing plant collection and reading a great book or short story.


Erik Sorensen, Ph.D.

Erik Sorensen

Erik Sorensen has worked professionally in Higher Education for 13 years, at Miami University for 8 years, and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Residence Life at Miami University. Prior to joining Miami in 2012, he served as a Complex Director at the University of Oregon. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Oregon State University, a Master’s in Counselor Education from Georgia Southern University, and a Doctorate in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Miami University. Erik’s professional passions and research interests include suicide prevention, mental health, trauma and recovery, supervision and training, and assessment. Through his professional work, Erik prioritizes supervision and development, leaning on the Learning Partnerships Model, counseling, and communication skills to build relationships and support staff as a partner in their learning.


Kimberly Moore, Ph.D.

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.


Vicka Bell-Robinson, Ph.D.

Dr. Vicka Bell-Robinson

Vicka Bell-Robinson, using pronouns, she, her, hers, has worked professionally in Higher Education for the last 18 years, and is currently the Director of Residence Life at Miami University and an Instructor in the Student Affairs and Higher Education Program. Vicka teaches EDL 660: Current Trends in Higher Education and EDL 656G: Field Experience Exploration. 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. She values developing meaningful campus partnerships and utilizing data-driven decision making in order to evolve approaches to student development and organizational management in order to be in alignment with student needs, shifting priorities, and changes in structure.