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Campus Announcements

Committees formed for MiamiTHRIVE

Work will begin in phases, with four opportunity areas starting this spring

Miami University Oxford campus
Campus Announcements

Committees formed for MiamiTHRIVE

Committees have been formed for the next step in the MiamiTHRIVE strategic planning process. 

In March, the formation of 10 opportunity areas and nine foundational strength committees was announced for MiamiTHRIVE. The foundational strength and opportunity area working groups have been established with nominations from across the university to serve on the 19 committees. Nominations came from individuals, University Senate, deans, and the President’s Executive Cabinet.

More than 175 Miamians will be involved in these work groups during this phase of MiamiTHRIVE. There will be additional opportunities for more input from the community. During the last strategic planning process, Miami RISE, we engaged hundreds of community members, ensuring that all voices were heard. With MiamiTHRIVE, we anticipate surpassing those levels of engagement, fostering even broader involvement from the community.

Our committee chairs and co-chairs were selected at the end of March, and chairs began the work of ensuring broad representation from many constituents.

Given the scope and complexity of the committee work, MiamiTHRIVE committees will commence in phases. The nine foundational strengths committees will begin working immediately and conclude in May. The work done by these committees will be used by other MiamiTHRIVE committees to incorporate Miami’s foundational strengths as they identify ideas for the future. This approach ensures Miami’s core strengths are built upon and enhanced so that the outcomes of MiamiTHRIVE are authentic to our institution.

The 10 opportunity areas are charged with identifying ideas and developing initiatives that will strengthen Miami into the future:

  • The first four committees – building lifelong skills, expanding experiential learning, developing a partnership ecosystem and related urban bridges, and marketing and communicating our differentiated value proposition – will begin to meet this spring. 
  • Two committees – strategically leveraging the regional campuses and strengthening the student experience & supporting growing segments – will start later this summer.
  • The remaining four groups – increasing academic program flexibility & interdisciplinary pathways, growing programs in high-demand fields, developing ecosystems of excellence in research & scholarship, and resetting the cost of attendance – will launch in the Fall.

The operational areas committees are:

  • Building lifelong skills: Jennifer Benz (chair), Elizabeth Hoover (chair), Douglas Coffin, Nathan French, Megan Gerhardt, Jennie Gilbert, Tracy Haynes, Nisreen Nusair, Kimberly Vance, Fazeel Khan.
  • Expanding experiential learning: Adam Beissel (chair), James Chagdes, Erin Dunn, Jen Green, Kevin Messner, Tammy Schwartz, Steve Whayne, Cheryl Young.
  • Developing a partnership ecosystem and related urban bridges: Colleen Bush (chair), Lee Weldon (chair), Karla Guinigundo, Valarie Jacobsen, Christopher Lawson, Patrick Lindsay, Ashley Lomax, Brad Okel, Leah Wasburn-Moses, Aaron Shrimplin, John Woodard.
  • Marketing and communicating our differentiated value proposition: Jen O’Brien (chair), Jessica Rivinius (chair), Gwen Fears, Gillian Oakenfull, Katie Rottner, Crystal Walker, Julia Ward, Chauncey Winbush.
  • Strategically leveraging the regional campuses: Ande Durojaiye (chair), Bethany Perkins (chair), Michael Carrafiello, Steven Feldmann, Brooke Flinders, Cathy Heinz, Brenda Homan, Ben Kitchen, Peter Mkhatshwa, Cathy Moore, Denny Sundermeier.
  • Strengthening the student experience & supporting growing segments: Amy Begerson (chair), Jayne Brownell (chair), Jennifer Beardslee, Christa Branson, Rebecca Crews, Jason Ezell, Pete Haverkos, Molly Heidemann, Anthony James, Nelchi Prashali, BaShaun Smith, Dasha Wood, Brian Woodruff.
  • Increasing academic program flexibility & interdisciplinary pathways: Matt Moore (chair), John Weigand (chair), Adam Ares, Greg Brainard, Moira Casey, Dennis Cheatham, Todd Dupont, Ashlea Jones, Krysta Peterson, David Prytherch, Andrew Reffett, Hui Wang.
  • Growing programs in high-demand fields: Michael Crowder (chair), Stephanie Nicely (chair), Joseph Carlin, Bonnie Erwin, Greg Fisher, Nicole Hoyer, Fazeel Khan, Tom Mays, AJ Olszewski.
  • Developing ecosystems of excellence in research and scholarship: Katy Abbott (chair), Richard Page (chair), Maressa Dixon, Jonathan Grenier, Yingbin Hu, Tereza Jezkova, Michael Kumler, Anna Radke, Lindsay Regele, Darryl Rice, Matt Saxton, Anna Weisling.
  • Resetting the cost of attendance: Rachel Beech (chair), David Creamer (chair), Lindsay Carpenter, Drew Davis, Ekaterina Gay, Brad Goldie, Andrew Mascari, Amanda Means, Carla Myers, Elise Radina, Donna Scarborough.

The foundational strength committees are:

  • Teacher-scholar model: Ellen Yezierski (chair), Helaine Alessio, Erica Fernandez, Andrew Jones, Janice Kinghorn, Tory Pearman, Tom Poetter.
  • Writing: Elizabeth Wardle (chair), Jason Berberich, Jason Boock, Mark Dahlquist, Darrel Davis, Annie Dell’Aria, Joyce Fernandes, Elizabeth Hoover, Tamise Ironstrack, Janice Kinghorn, Jennifer Kinney, Mandy Olejnik, Rena Perez, Jennifer Quinn, Brad Reitz, Naaborle Sackeyfio, Scott Sander, Sherrill Sellers, Todd Stuart, John Tassoni, Anne Whitesell.
  • Critical thinking skills/liberal arts, humanities: Timothy Melley (chair), Zeb Baker, Carolyn Haynes, Tracy Haynes, Elisabeth Hodges, Cathy Wagner.
  • Campus beauty and sustainability: Olivia Herron (chair), Jeremy Davis, Kelsey Ellis, Carol Fabby, Susan Meikle.
  • Student life: Jayne Brownell (chair), Erica Campbell, Pete Haverkos, Maria Vitullo, Scott Walter, John Ward.
  • Undergraduate excellence: Susan McDowell (chair), Joyce Fernandes, Sarah Meaney, Nick Stanford.
  • Student-athletes: David Sayler (chair), Michael Crowder, John Forren, Vince Frieden, Brad Okel, Christine Pacewicz.
  • Alumni engagement: Mackenzie Rice (chair), Kirk Bogard, Ryan Elias, Bruce Guiot, Carrie Powell, Kim Tavares.
  • Inclusive excellence: Cristina Alcalde (chair), Kenya Ash, Rodney Coates, Carolyn Craig, Nate Jorgensen, Krista McDonald, Sean Poley, Hiram Ramirez, Jessica Sparks.

The MiamiTHRIVE website will contain the most up-to-date committee information about the committees and the overall MiamiTHRIVE process.

For any questions, please contact Brent Shock at or Stay up to date on MiamiTHRIVE, and offer additional feedback, through the MiamiTHRIVE website.