The Board of Visitors serves as sounding board for the Dean of the College of Education (COE) on strategic planning and college priorities. They actively promote the strategic goals of COE to the external community and to alumni and friends of the college. In addition, they serve as the primary volunteer fundraising and capital campaign planning organization of COE. 


Kevin Kruger

Kevin Kruger, M.A. ’81, Ph.D. ’92. President of NASPA. 

Dr. Kevin Kruger draws on more than 40 years of experience in higher education. Since 2012, he has served as president and CEO for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. As NASPA president, Dr. Kruger represents student affairs at a variety of national forums and is a frequent contributor to higher education news stories on the college student experience. He has published and presented nationally on trends in higher education, student success, degree-completion strategies for low-income/first-generation students, and change management and leadership in higher education.  

Dr. Kruger has deep roots at the University of Maryland having received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling and Personnel Services in the College of Education. He also worked in Orientation, Campus Activities and Admissions at Maryland during the early part of his career. Finally, he is the proud father of two children, one a college senior and the other a first-year student – both at the University of Maryland College Park.

Vice Chair

Shilpi Niyogi

Shilpi Niyogi. Senior Strategy Advisor at Analytic Measures Inc and Venture Partner, Education at RIDGE-LANE Limited Partners. 

Shilpi Niyogi knows the power of education to transform lives, families and communities. Born in London and raised in the US, Shilpi is from an Indian immigrant family with deep roots in education. Both a beneficiary of and advocate for our public schools, she has worked at the intersection of education research, policy and practice to expand opportunities for diverse learners since 1990. Shilpi has a strong track record building and leading innovative, high-performing teams, programs, partnerships and campaigns—such as the Webby and Pollie Award-winning created in collaboration with NBC News.

Most recently as Senior Vice President in the Global Strategy Office, Shilpi spent the past decade serving as an executive in North America and Global Corporate Affairs at Pearson, the world's largest learning company. Previously, she built an extensive career at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in research, communications, and public affairs. Shilpi serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors for University of Maryland’s College of Education as well as an advisor to former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher college access initiative. She holds a B.A. with honors in Comparative Literature from Brown University.

Board Member

Jeanne Branthover

Jeanne Branthover ’77. Executive Search - Managing Partner, DHR International. 

Jeanne is Executive Search - Managing Partner of DHR International and a member of DHR's North American Executive Committee. She is Head of DHR's Global Financial Services Practice as well as a leading member of the CEO & Board and Technology Practices. She specializes in senior leadership and board searches with an emphasis on ensuring representation of women and diversity on every assignment across all industries. 

Jeanne has been named one of the World’s Top 50 Most Influential Headhunters by BusinessWeek. Jeanne has served as the United Way’s first female President of The Community Fund. Jeanne is a strong supporter and mentor to young women in the financial services and technology sectors and is also a regular speaker at both universities and corporations advising on the importance of diversity in the workplace. Jeanne received her B.S. in Elementary Education and is a recipient of the 2016 College of Education Award by the University of Maryland Alumni Association.

Board Member

Ali Clarvit

Ali Clarvit ’13, M.Ed. ’14. Life Skills Teacher in Falls Church City Public Schools and Special Education Teacher at Manhattan Star Academy. 

Ali Clarvit graduated from the University of Maryland College of Education in the years ’13 and ’14, completing a B.S. M.Ed in Early Childhood Special Education. She was given the opportunity to address her fellow classmates at her graduation from her master’s program at the College. Since then, she has been a Life Skills teacher in Falls Church City Public Schools in Virginia and a special education teacher at an independent private school in New York City for students with developmental disabilities. She has served on the Board of Visitors since its inception in 2015.

    Board Member

    Richard Culatta

    Richard CulattaChief Executive Officer at International Society for Technology in Education

    Richard Culatta is an internationally recognized leader in innovation and learning. His work has centered around using technology to accelerate innovation in education, corporate, and government settings. Culatta was the first Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Rhode Island and was appointed by President Obama as the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education. Culatta is currently the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and serves as an innovation fellow for the Masie Center and as a design resident for the San Francisco-based innovation and design firm IDEO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish teaching and a master's degree in educational psychology and technology, both from Brigham Young University.

    Board Member

    Ellen Gaske

    Ellen Gaske ’75. Senior Vice President, Academics for Specialized Education Services Inc (SESI) a Catapult Learning Company

    Dr. Ellen Gaske is Senior Vice President, Academics, for Specialized Education Services Inc. (SESI), a Catapult Learning Company, where she is responsible for the coordination and implementation of academic programming in all SESI schools. In this role, Dr. Gaske coordinates the efforts of the Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction (ACI) team to oversee each academic region. 

    Dr. Gaske began her special education teaching career working for the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), where she worked as a Special Education Teacher, Resource Teacher for the Office of Special Education, and later as a Supervisor of Special Education (grades K‐12). Over the course of forty years in the field of special education, Dr. Gaske has conducted extensive training in Reading for general and special education teachers; she has also taught courses for Johns Hopkins University in the areas of Reading and Written Language Disorders. Dr. Gaske received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland with dual certification in special and general education followed by a Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders from the Johns Hopkins University as well as her Doctor of Education Degree in Special Education, with an emphasis on Learning Disabilities, in 1991, also from the Johns Hopkins University. A member of a number of professional organizations, Dr. Gaske also served as a board member for MANSEF (Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities) for four years.

    Board Member

    Nancy Jolson Leber

    Nancy Jolson Leber ’72. Freelance Writer/Educational Consultant. 

    Nancy Jolson Leber has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in Special Education from George Washington University. She was a resource room teacher (Prince Georges County, MD) before becoming an editor, first at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and then at Scholastic Inc. Nancy has written over 45 books for emergent readers and educators for Scholastic and other educational publishers. She lives in New York City, where she currently has a tutoring practice for elementary school children with learning differences, in addition to being a freelance writer.

    Board Member

    Gary Michael

    Gary W. MichaelPresident of NAIMichael. 

    Gary Michael is the President of NAI Michael. NAI Michael provides commerical real estate services to the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. For over 30 years, Mr. Michael has worked in all fields of commercial real estate, including sales, leasing, property management, and development. Gary has been a strong advocate for the College of Education for over 10 years. In 2015, he helped launch the College of Education Board of Visitors as its Chair. Gary is passionate about improving the lives of students and teachers in Prince George's County and the surrounding community. He attended the University of Maryland's Finance and Business Administration program and pursued advanced studies in real estate from American University.

    Board Member

    Beverly O'Bryant

    Beverly O’Bryant, M.A. ’74, Ph.D. ’99. Dean, Behavioral and Social Sciences at Coppin State University. 

    Dr. Beverly J. O’Bryant, M.S. in Counseling, Ph.D. in Counselor Education, University of Maryland, College of Education. Currently, full professor and Founding Dean College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Coppin State University with academic responsibility for 10 undergraduates and 4 graduate degree programs, 7 certificate programs in Psychology, Counseling and Behavioral Health, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Applied Social and Political Sciences and Social Work.  Past President American Counseling Association (ACA), American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD). Daily Records Top 100 Women in Maryland, 2014; Executive  Producer and Host, “Coppin Connection” on Dr. B Show, WOLB 1010 AM.  Published 30 refereed journal articles and 5 book chapters.

    Board Member

    Barbara Shapiro

    Barbara Shapiro ’55. M. Sigmund and Barbara K. Shapiro Philanthropic Fund. 

    Barbara Kloze Shapiro graduated from the College of Education at the University of Maryland in 1955 with a degree in early childhood education. Barbara and her late husband M. Sigmund Shapiro are the parents of three children and four grandchildren. She is a life-long resident of Baltimore City and proud advocate for the city and its future. Barbara is also a respected philanthropist who invests in projects that make a difference in the lives of individuals and families.

    Board Member

    Dan Schwab

    Daniel Schwab. Co-President of D&H Distributing Co. 

    Dan Schwab is the Co-President of D&H Distribution - a top 100 private wholesale distribution company in the United States. Dan and his wife are proud parents of their daughter Maddie '22 who is a current student in the College of Education. Dan received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and serves on the Wharton School Undergraduate Executive Board. He is a founding member of Harrisburg University and a member of the Board of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

    Board Member

    Clemmie Solomon

    Clemmie Solomon, Jr., Ph.D., ’96. College Wide Dean of Student Engagement and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Student Affairs of Montgomery College (MD)

    Dr. Clemmie Solomon is the Collegewide Dean of Student Engagement and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Student Affairs at Montgomery College (MD). He previously served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of the District of Columbia; Dean of Student Life at the Community College of Philadelphia; and Dean of Student Services and Director of Counseling and Student Development at Bowie State University.

    Dr. Solomon holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Social Foundations (specializing in International and Comparative Education) from the University of Maryland, College Park (1996);  M.S. in Counselor Education from the University of Dayton; and  B.S. in History Education from Central State University (Ohio). He is a former President of the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development and Board Chair of the American Counseling Association Foundation. Some of his other leadership roles include serving as a member of the Prince Georges County Personnel Board; University of Maryland Alumni Board; and member of Leadership Philadelphia, Leadership Greater Washington, and Leadership Montgomery. He recently served as Board Chair of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area and currently serves on the Montgomery County Sister Cities Board and Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland College of Education.

    Board Member

    Gretchen Van der Veer

    Gretchen Van der Veer, Ph.D., ’91. Chief Executive Officer at Fair Chance. 

    Gretchen Van der Veer received her Ph.D in Education, Policy, Planning and Administration with a specialization in leadership studies in 1991 from the College of Education. She has been Chief Executive Officer at Fair Chance since 2013 and has served in the higher education, government, and nonprofit sectors for over 25 years.

    Early in her career, she worked at the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Maryland College Park. She was then tapped to help launch AmeriCorps during the Clinton Administration and eventually became the Director of Leadership Development and Training for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) responsible for capacity building for thousands of CNCS nonprofit grantees. Having served on many nonprofit boards, she is a current appointee to the Federal Reserve Bank's Community Investment Council (5th District) and an adjunct faculty for George Washington University's Human Service and Social Justice program teaching Nonprofit Management and Ethical Leadership.