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- Powered by Phi Theta Kappa
- Dr. Rod A. Risley
- Executive Director and CEO
- Read Rod's Biography
- Deidra Daws
- Chief of Staff
- Jennifer Blalock
- Chief Student Support Officer
- Read Jennifer's Biography
- Steve Mulhollen
- Chief Financial Officer
- Read Steve's Biography
- Dr. Nancy L. Rieves
- Phi Theta Kappa Foundation CEO
- Read Nancy's Biography
- Jennifer Stanford
- Chief Student Engagement Officer
- Read Jennifer's Biography
- Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner
- Chief Information and Research Officer
- Read Lynn's Biography
Biography of Dr. Rod A. Risley
Executive Director and CEO
Rod Risley serves as Executive Director and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, the largest honor society in higher education. Risley is a graduate of San Jacinto College in Texas, where he was elected Phi Theta Kappa National President in 1974. He joined the Phi Theta Kappa staff headquartered in Canton, Mississippi, in 1977 as Director of Alumni Affairs and in 1985 was elected the Society’s only second Executive Director since its founding in 1918. His predecessor Margaret Mosal served the Society for 50 years. When Risley took the reins, Phi Theta Kappa had 500 chapters in 48 states, and 25,000 students were inducted annually. The operating budget for the organization was $500,000, with a staff of five. Today, there are over 1,285 chapters in the United States, U.S. Territories, and eight sovereign nations inducting more than 135,000 students annually. Nearly 2.5 million students have been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, 70 percent of those during Risley’s tenure. The Society’s annual budget now exceeds $16 million with a staff of 80, operating from its International Headquarters, The Center for Excellence in Jackson, Mississippi.
Risley’s vision has led to the creation of many innovative and award-winning programs including the Leadership Development Studies Program taught in 400 colleges; CollegeFish.org, the Gates Foundation funded web-based platform to help all community college students plan for degree completion and transfer to senior colleges; and The Competitive Edge, an innovative personal and professional development program for members. He has forged notable partnerships with USA TODAY, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Under Risley’s leadership, nearly 750 senior colleges have designated $37 million in transfer scholarships exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members, including many IVY League schools.
In 2010 Risley, along with CEOs from the five leading national organizations in the community college arena – American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, National Institute for Staff and Organization Development, Center for Community College Student Engagement, and the League for Innovation, made history by collectively signing an agreement, Democracy’s Colleges: A Call to Action, committing to increase the number of community college students completing a degree or credential by five million by 2020. Risley conceived the development of C4 – The Community College Completion Corps – students helping students complete college and participated in the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges. Since then, he has presented at numerous conferences in throughout the U.S, Canada, England and the Caribbean on the importance of credential and degree completion. Risley recently served on the 21st Century National Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, which issued their landmark report Reclaiming the American Dream. He now serves on the Steering Committee for the 21st Century Initiative Implementation Team in addition to serving as Co-chair and member respectively of the “Faculty Engagement” and “Leadership Development” and “Community College Completion Commitment” Implementation Teams.
He serves on the AACC Commission for Academic and Student Development and is a recipient of AACC’s Distinguished Alumnus and National Leadership Awards. Risley served two terms as Chairman of the Mississippi Humanities Council. In 2013 he was appointed to serve a three-year term on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Community College Student Engagement. Risley earned a BBA from Sam Houston State University, MBA from Millsaps College, Ph.D. from Mississippi State University and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees.
Biography of Jennifer Blalock
Chief Student Support Officer
Jennifer Blalock joined the Phi Theta Kappa international headquarters staff in July 2011. She attended Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania where she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Literature. She earned a master’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Southern Mississippi, and she is currently working toward a Doctorate of Education at Nova Southeastern University.
Prior to joining the headquarters staff, Jennifer served as Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, Community Relations and Marketing, in addition to other Student Services and Development Leadership, in the Florida State College System. She has more than a decade of service and leadership in student services, with specializations in student and staff leadership development, advising models, student success and enrollment management.
Blalock previously served as a Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisor for Florida Keys Community College. While there, she also completed the Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Instructor Certification and received the Phi Theta Kappa Faculty of the Year Award in 2003. She received the Vice President’s Leadership Award in 2009 while at Brevard Community College; she won the Best of Alabama Presentation at the National Academic Advising Association’s Alabama Statewide Conference in 2012; and she received her Student Leadership Challenge Certification in 2013.
As Chief Student Support Officer, Blalock supervises the CollegeFish.org and College Relations Programs, as well as the International Society of Baccalaureate Scholars. Additionally, she serves on the Society’s Executive Council.
Blalock has presented at various Phi Theta Kappa regional conferences. She has also presented for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and for the National Academic Advising Association. She volunteers at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and at the Dallas Museum of Art.
She currently resides in Plano, Texas.
Biography of Steve Mulhollen
Chief Financial Officer
Steve Mulhollen joined the Financial Services Department of Phi Theta Kappa’s international headquarters staff in 2011. Mulhollen currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer overseeing the Financial Services, Recognition Services, Key Services and Conference and Convention Services for the Society.
As a former public accountant specializing in the governmental and not-for-profit industry and as a financial analyst in a Fortune 500 company, Mulhollen has more than 15 years of business and accounting experience. He was a certified trainer for a national accounting firm performing training at various firms across the southeast. Mulhollen is actively involved in the community serving on boards of local not-for-profits.
Mulhollen received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Business Administration and Certificate of Accounting from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Mississippi Society of Public Accountants.
Biography of Dr. Nancy L. Rieves
Phi Theta Kappa Foundation CEO
Dr. Nancy Rieves is the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, serving the Foundation’s 16-member Board of Trustees in planning and fundraising.
Her background has provided her with numerous skills, which she brings to this position. She taught business classes before serving as Director of Planning and Accreditation and Director of Advancement at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Arkansas. She has led fund-raising efforts for both higher education and the art community, her two greatest passions.
Rieves joined the Phi Theta Kappa international headquarters staff in 2006. She was the driving force behind the establishment of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. In her tenure, the Foundation has raised over $12 million in support of programs for advisors and members, with over $6 million accumulated in assets. More specifically, a nearly $3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, more than $2.25 million to endow the Hites Transfer Scholarship, over $1 million from affinity programs, $500, 000 to endow the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship, and $500,000 annually from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation have been received.
With its mission to secure funds to support the Society’s mission, vision and priorities, the Foundation is involved in every aspect of the Society to ensure strategic goals are met. Rieves serves on the Executive Council and leads the Scholarship Department of the Society to raise awareness of scholarship opportunities for Phi Theta Kappa members and other community college students, while meeting students’ needs and assisting with donors’ intents.
Rieves earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Marketing from the University of Arkansas and both her master’s and doctorate degree in education leadership from Arkansas State University.
Biography of Jennifer Stanford
Chief Student Engagement Officer
Jennifer Stanford joined the Phi Theta Kappa international headquarters staff in November 1992. She attended Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where she was inducted as a Phi Theta Kappa member and received her associate degree. She then attended the University of Mississippi, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. In 2012, she completed her master’s degree in Higher Education with an emphasis on College Teaching and Learning at Kaplan University.
Prior to joining headquarters staff, Stanford worked as a Public Affairs Assistant with the U.S. Department of the Interior – Bureau of Land Management, where she coordinated publicity for agency programs.
Stanford has held numerous positions since beginning her work with the Society, including Leadership Development Program Administrative Assistant, Publications Coordinator, Director of Chapter Programs, Director of Programs and Dean of Service Learning.
As the Chief Student Engagement Officer, Stanford develops, leads and coordinates programs, benefits and initiatives that promote student engagement and ultimately student success. She works closely with the Honors in Action Program, Competitive Edge, the Five Star Chapter Plan, the Hallmark Awards, and Annual Convention programs such as The Academy, Educational Forums and the International Officer Campaign. She provides leadership, supervision and strategic planning for Regional and Chapter Development, Honors Programs and the Leadership Development Studies Program.
Stanford has presented on many Society programs and initiatives on both the regional and the international level. She has also presented during conferences of the League for Innovation, the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Council on Student Development and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. She has also presented at Keep America Beautiful conferences and at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.
She currently resides in Rincon, Georgia.
Biography of Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner
Chief Information and Research Officer
Lynn Tincher-Ladner is the Chief Information and Research Officer for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Lynn leads the Society’s technology, research, and strategic planning efforts. She has over 20 years of experience working in the community college setting and is a former director of institutional research and planning, database administrator, software developer, and community college mathematics, science, and developmental education instructor.
Tincher-Ladner received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi and her Ph.D. in Education Leadership from Mississippi State University.
Tincher-Ladner serves on the Peer Review Advisory Board for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and is immediate past president of the Southeastern Association of Community College Researchers.
She presented "A New President’s Perspective on Strategic Planning: Vision 2020" at the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, 92nd annual convention. She received the 2012 Innovation of the Year award for "Demonstrating Mission-based Accountability of Economic Impact" from the League for Innovation in the Community College. Her most recent publication is "Retention of First Year Community College Students" in the May 2014 edition of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice (CCJRP). This article received the Class of 2015 Award from Routledge Education Journals as the most read article in the CCJRP journal throughout 2014.