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President's Cabinet

Kurt Ashley
Vice President for Information Technology
Kurt Ashley oversees information and educational technology at Elmhurst, including academic and administrative computing, network planning, telecommunications and maintenance. Before joining the Elmhurst administration in July 2016, he served as vice president for technology and marketing at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania. He has a master's degree in business administration from Cleveland State University and a bachelor’s of business administration in management of information technology from Cleary University.

Desiree Chen
Interim Director of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs
Desiree Chen leads the College’s strategic communications initiatives and manages its relationships with governmental and civic institutions. She came to Elmhurst in 2009 after 18 years at the Chicago Tribune, where she was deputy editor of the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine and an editor and writer for the newspaper’s features and news sections. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Joseph R. Emmick

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Joseph R. Emmick leads the College’s initiative to build philanthropic support and strengthen ties to alumni. He joined Elmhurst in January 2012 after 14 years at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he led record-setting campaigns. During Emmick’s tenure as dean for college advancement, the college recorded its four highest annual fund totals. A comprehensive capital initiative, raised $136 million for scholarships, programs and facilities. Emmick graduated with honors from Wabash in 1992.

Heather L. Hall
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
Heather Hall leads a talented faculty that is among the College’s most impressive assets. She joined the Elmhurst College administration in 2007 as associate dean of the faculty after serving 14 years as a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Alma College, a master’s degree from Central Michigan University, and a doctoral degree from the University of Toledo.

Karen Kissel
Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer
Karen Kissel provides leadership over the College’s financial and human resources operations as well as campus maintenance and security. She came to Elmhurst in August 2015 from Governors State University, where as vice president for finance and administration she co-authored a strategic plan for the university, managed the construction of several significant campus facilities, and played a pivotal role in issuing and managing several debt-refinancing instruments. She holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame.

Timothy Ricordati
Dean of the School for Professional Studies and Interim Dean of Admission
Tim Ricordati leads the College’s educational initiatives for nontraditional students as well as admission operations for all student populations. With a long career focused on organizational development and operations for educational institutions, Dr. Ricordati has extensive experience in online education. Before joining Elmhurst in 2012, he served in senior faculty and leadership roles at DeVry University and as vice president of administration at American Quality Schools, a Chicago-based not-for-profit educational management company.

Christine Smith
Interim Dean of Students
Christine Smith works with her team in the Division of Student Affairs to foster a welcoming sense of community where students have opportunities to be involved in their communities and demonstrate ownership and responsible citizenship on campus and in the broader community. Before joining Elmhurst College in 1994, she had administrative experience in the Office of University Housing at Saint Louis University. She earned a master’s degree in education with a focus in college student personnel and a bachelor’s degree in communication with a focus in advertising at Saint Louis University.

 

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