CIC Welcomes New Staff Members

Headshots of Faith Brown, Emilee Jane O'Dell, Jason Rivera, and Titi Ufomata

CIC is pleased to introduce four new staff members who work on a variety of programs and initiatives to serve member institutions.

Faith Brown joined CIC as a projects coordinator in December 2021. In this role, she supports membership engagement activities; several CIC programs, including the Executive and Senior Leadership Academies and the New Currents in Teaching Philosophy institutes; and the CIC Tuition Exchange Program. Brown graduated from Hope College (MI) in 2021 with a BA in political science and philosophy and a minor in religion. During her time at Hope, she worked as a political science research assistant and a teaching assistant for the college’s Washington Honors Semester.

When asked why she wished to join the CIC staff team, Faith remarked, “Having graduated from a CIC member institution, I was drawn to our mission of helping small liberal arts colleges like my alma mater better serve their students and fulfill their institutional missions…. I love that CIC is a highly collaborative environment and that I often get to work with team members on a variety of projects. I’m looking forward to working on CIC’s selective programs and meeting more faculty members from member institutions.”

Emilee Jane O’Dell joined the CIC staff as a projects coordinator in October 2021. In this role, she handles responsibilities for CIC’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), Presidential Vocation and Institution Mission seminar, and Visiting Fellows program. O’Dell graduated from Roanoke College (VA) in 2021 with a BA in religious studies and a minor in public health. At Roanoke, she held positions as a service fellow in the Office of Civic Engagement, president of the Student Government Association, and resident advisor.

“As a recent graduate from a CIC member institution, I know first-hand the impact CIC’s programs and resources have on students, both in jumpstarting their careers and supporting their journeys to self-discovery. I was drawn to CIC based on the knowledge that all work I do can transform the lives of students across the country, the same way my life transformed while I was at Roanoke College,” Emilee said. What does she like best about her work at CIC so far? “My favorite is the ability to work with NetVUE and fuel my interest in vocation in undergraduate education. I completed a major in religious studies, so being able to access the amazing resources NetVUE has to offer in order to pursue my interest in religious education is something I find thrilling.”

Jason Rivera joined CIC as director of strategic research in September 2021. He oversees CIC’s research and benchmarking member services, such as the Key Indicators Tool (KIT) and Financial Indicators Tool (FIT), and supports “making the case” advocacy. He also is an integral member of CIC’s strategic planning team that works to identify member engagement trends and is revising CIC’s program evaluation and assessment approach.

Prior to joining CIC, Rivera served as a leader in institutional research and effectiveness at several institutions, including Williams College, University of Bridgeport (CT), Dickinson College, and Pitzer College (CA). His work focused on identifying, addressing, and removing barriers to access and equity for historically underserved student populations. He earned a BA in psychology and organizational studies from Pitzer College and an MA in psychology and PhD in education from Claremont Graduate University.

In describing one of the main reasons he wanted to join CIC Jason said, “I had spent my career working at individual institutions always trying to create impact for the institution, specifically for the betterment of the students. CIC offered me an opportunity to magnify that impact by working for an organization that collectively serves over 2 million students. I like being able to do research that helps CIC identify better ways to serve our member institutions so they can do the work of improving outcomes and experiences for students, faculty, staff, and their broader communities.” He added, “I am also excited to help develop a roadmap of research that provides actionable and strategic information for CIC’s member campuses.”

Titi Ufomata was appointed senior vice president for academic programs in January 2022. In this role, she has lead responsibility for CIC’s annual Institute for Chief Academic Officers, annual Workshops for Department and Division Chairs, and CIC’s leadership and faculty development programs. She also supports the nurturing of foundation relations and the development of new grant-supported programs. As a member of the senior leadership team, she helps shape CIC’s strategic direction.

Ufomata’s career as a scholar, professor, and administrator spans over three decades and includes diverse academic and administrative experiences. She previously served as provost and senior vice president at Saint Mary’s College (IN). Earlier, she was the provost and dean of faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as well as associate provost and distinguished professor at Kentucky State University. Before Kentucky State, she served as assistant dean of the faculty of arts at the University of Benin, Nigeria, where she taught English and phonetics. Ufomata has received several international awards, including the Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar Award to France, an associateship of the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town, and a British Academy visiting fellowship at University College London; she also is a laureate of the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa. She earned BA and MA degrees in English from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and MA and PhD degrees in phonetics from University College London.

When asked what initially drew her to CIC, Titi replied, “Being able to participate actively in conversations that shape higher education at the national level. I also was drawn to the opportunity to have broader positive impact on the work of colleagues and on the success of students.” She added that she is eager to “work with others to broaden intelligent access to independent higher education for students from different backgrounds and support efforts to improve sustainability of our member institutions.”