William Collins, PhD
William (Nick) Collins provides vision, support, and guidance to a dedicated CEO staff chosen for their expertise and passion for our work. He is passionate about developing programs and opportunities that impact the lives of young people and inspire them to view continued education as the best path to social mobility. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Collins has expertise in program development, personnel selection, learning and memory effectiveness, behavioral intervention strategies, budget development and management, and general administration. His accomplishments include establishing and stewarding the Center for Educational Outreach, as well as developing and refining pre-college summer “bridge” programs at Cornell University and at the University of Michigan. Dr. Collins looks forward to extending the reach of the University of Michigan by promoting college access across the state.
Dr. Collins is a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and a PhD in Psychology.
Kim Lijana, PhD
Kim Lijana is responsible for empowering and developing staff to reach their goals and advancing CEO’s mission while building an outreach community of practice among faculty at U-M. She is passionate about providing life-changing opportunities for students and has developed a strong track record for increasing post-secondary education access and success for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. As a college counselor in Washington DC, 100% of her seniors applied to college and submitted their FAFSA, 90% enrolled immediately following high school graduation, and 65% graduated in four years in a community where only 8% of residents hold college degrees and in a school where all students were eligible for free and reduced school lunch. Dr. Lijana also built strong relationships with educators in Detroit to improve academic achievement as the managing director for school support with the Achievement Network (ANet); ANet partner schools outpaced the state by 5 percentile points and Wayne County by 10.
Dr. Lijana holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from The Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Michigan.
Outreach Program Manager
Sheri Samaha is an Outreach Program Manager who develops, implements and manages CEO outreach initiatives that include guiding and partnering with U-M students and faculty. She is passionate about being an advocate for students in under-resourced high schools and inspiring them to further their education and explore the new possibilities higher education offers. With over 20 years of experience, Sheri has developed expertise in coordinating opportunities that combine knowledge and resources to reduce barriers to higher education and ensure college access and readiness for students. Through CEO’s Wolverine Express program, Sheri has coordinated and led over 40 diverse U-M faculty and staff from 26 different units and departments to high schools across the state of Michigan, reaching over 1600 students with presentations about the importance of college, college access, and college readiness. Previously, Sheri served as the assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at U-M and actively worked to demystify the college experience for students. She is looking forward to working with all U-M communities that engage in educational outreach and providing a best-practice, service-oriented approach to promoting college access and readiness.
Sheri holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Western Michigan University and a Master of Guidance and Counseling with a focus on Higher Education from Eastern Michigan University.
Outreach Program Manager
Michael Turner manages field programs, outreach staff, consults U-M faculty, staff and department leads regarding best practices when exposing, engaging, and inspiring K-14 populations to postsecondary education. He is excited about streamlining and leveraging resources to create an equitable space for students to thrive. Over the last 12 years, Michael has developed expertise in community development, knowledge of U-M, K-12 and parent/guardian outreach and engagement, and working with at-risk youth. While at U-M and through a CEO outreach program, Michael witnessed a student transition from high school to college, supported his transferring to U-M, and stood with him when he received his U.S. citizenship. Michael has also brought parents from the communities that we serve to visit U-M and witnessed the impact of effective community outreach first hand. Michael is looking forward to consulting with past U-M partners and communities, as well as cultivating new relationships throughout the campus community to help make the university more inclusive and navigable.
Michael holds a Bachelors of Fine and Performing Arts with an emphasis on Theater from Southern Methodist University and is currently completing his Master of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University.
Outreach Program Manager
Andrea Layton is an outreach program manager who manages the design and implementation of college access and career exploration programs for underrepresented students. In addition, Andrea supervises and trains undergraduate and graduate students to deliver quality programming to several partner schools. She is passionate about teaching students about college readiness, equity, and social justice. Over the last 15 years, Andrea has developed expertise in creating opportunities for students–particularly students of color–in K-12 and beyond to attend and graduate college by implementing quality programming and supporting their academic, social, and emotional development. Andrea’s accomplishments include presenting at state and national conferences sharing best practices on topics pertaining to race relations, social justice advocacy, community schools, and college outreach. Under her leadership, 100% of students from partner schools are returning to participate in the Future U program. In addition, nearly 100% of student leader staff are returning for the 2017-2018 academic year. Andrea is looking forward to collaborating with university faculty and staff to support their work in educational outreach and program fidelity.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and African-American Studies from Rutgers University and a Master of Social Work Administration and Community Schools from the University of Chicago.
Mollie Bush is the program director for the Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC). She is responsible for creating and fostering community and university partnerships, as well as training and developing advisers, to ensure that students across the state receive effective college access resources. She is passionate about instilling in the minds and hearts of students across the state that postsecondary education, whichever form it takes, is for everyone. Over the last 4 years, Mollie has developed expertise in working with a multitude of student populations, including adult and K-12 learners with untapped educational potential, on their path to both academic and professional success. Having taught at a vocational college, she brings to CEO experience of and knowledge about vocational and technical education and the viability of these certifications for gainful employment. Mollie has researched and presented across the state on skilled-trades education, the labor market in Michigan, and various pathways to success for students interested in skilled-trades education. She has also equipped MCAC advisers with the skills necessary to assist high school students who may not be four-year bound immediately after high school to find ways to build stackable credentials for academic achievement and professional success.
Mollie is a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic & Islamic Studies and History as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Leadership.
Adam Skoczylas is responsible for the IT infrastructure, communications, programs, and events that support CEO’s and the university’s efforts to demonstrate, celebrate, and enhance the impact of our outreach. He is passionate about helping to make the university’s resources more accessible for youth and families and is excited about identifying and creating opportunities for the university to strengthen its impact in K-12 education and postsecondary achievement. Over the last 14 years, Adam has developed expertise in general administration, project management, process improvement and innovation, meeting and event planning, program development and assessment, budgeting and financial management, strategic communications, relationship management, and technology and digital media in higher education. He helped develop, oversee, and expand the U-M College of Engineering’s Michigan Engineering Zone (“The MEZ”), supporting 250+ students from the Detroit Metro Area from 15+ high schools. He also helped lead initiatives to leverage data, technology, and relationships to enhance undergraduate recruitment at the U-M College of Engineering. Adam looks forward to working with the university community to increase the university’s capacity for outreach and sharing stories about the impact of U-M’s efforts and the success of the youth we serve.
Adam holds an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Holy Cross College, a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Diversity and Social Justice from the University of Michigan.
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Rishika Ramireddy is the communications and marketing coordinator. She promotes projects that support CEO’s outreach initiatives. She is passionate about leveraging the power of digital storytelling to highlight important stories and using data to inform strategy and to improve outcomes. During her time at CEO, she has helped launch Youth Hub and revamped CEO’s website. Rishika is looking forward to furthering the engagement of youth and families with the University of Michigan and inspiring them to achieve their academic goals and sharing their stories.
Rishika is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Applied Statistics.
Awura Ampene works to strengthen U-M outreach by supporting CEO staff in ensuring that everyone has what they need in order to do their work well. She is passionate about supporting outreach from the human resources and customer service lens. Over the past 8 years, Awura has developed expertise in quality customer service, human resources, knowledge of U-M, and working with diverse populations. Her accomplishments include developing an administrative task job aid and streamlining the hiring processes for temporary employees. Awura looks forward to working with and assisting staff, students, and guests in CEO and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a whole.
Awura holds an Associate of Arts in Human Services from Washtenaw Community College.