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Our Faculty & Staff

Experienced Faculty and Staff

UMUC's faculty and staff are ready to help position you for success in your
post-military career.

Faculty Members Who Understand Veterans

On October 2, 1949, a group of seven professors departed the United States for Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany, charged with bringing higher education to military overseas after World War II. That fall, more than 1,800 enrollments were recorded across six education centers in Germany, and University of Maryland University College had begun a dedication to our students overseas that continues today.

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Gottfried Schmalzbauer Germany Faculty

Gottfried Schmalzburger teaches German to students in Munich. Photo by Marljes Rathiens.

Over the next several decades, our professors brought college classes to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Ethiopia, Libya, Pakistan, Spain, France, England, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. They taught in places like barracks, bunkers, mess halls, and libraries. Today, UMUC has more than 150 worldwide locations, and our 4,000 professors understand the challenges you face in earning your degree, whether you attend classes on-site or online.

And these professors are highly skilled faculty-practitioners. Many not only have advanced degrees but also extensive hands-on experience in the fields they teach. This combination of knowledge and skills allows them to go beyond theory and explain practical applications of the course materials, bringing the curriculum to life. They can help give you the skills you need to transition into or move up in your civilian career.

Advisors Dedicated to Serving Our Veterans

UMUC's dedicated military and veterans advisors have significant experience handling both veteran-specific and general student issues and concerns.

They can help you choose which of our academic programs is right for you, help you navigate your military benefits, financial aid, scholarships, and other payment options give a preliminary determination of your potential transfer credits, create a degree plan, and more—all before you even submit an application. UMUC also offers additional advising for students needing accommodations for disabilities. And if you want to speak with an advisor, contact us today.

Meet Military and Veterans Advisors

Nkenge Friday Veterans Advisor

Nkenge Friday

Veterans Advisor

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Melanie Glassford Military Advisor

Melanie Glassford

Military Advisor

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Barbara Kessler Military Advisor

Barbara Kessler

On-Base Military Advisor

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Benjamin Markosky Military And Veterans Advisor

Benjamin Markosky

Military and Veterans Advisor

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Genesis Neely Military Advisor

Genesis Neely

Military Advisor

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Melinda Robinson Military Advisor

Melinda Robinson

Veterans Advisor

View Biography

Rachel Thomas Military Advisor Fort Hood

Rachel Thomas

On-Base Military Advisor

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Meet UMUC's Military Team

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Noelle Atwell

Assistant Vice President,
Veteran Certification Office

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Jim Cronin

James Cronin

Vice President,
Military Partnerships

View Biography

Christopher Palermo Director Military Portals

Christopher Palermo

Director of Military Portals,
Programs, and Partnerships

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Anna Quilter Director Eastern Region Military Partnerships

Anna Quilter

Director,
Eastern Region

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Photo Not Available

Sevgi Rochford

Assistant Vice President,
Regional Locations

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Christopher Tipton Director Of Veterans Initiatives And Outreach

Christopher Tipton

Director,
Veterans Initiatives and Outreach

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Kelly Wilmeth Associate Vice President Military Support

Kelly Wilmeth

Associate Vice President,
Military Support

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Tiffany Winston Director Western Region Military Partnerships

Tiffany Winston

Director,
Western Region

View Biography

Nkenge Friday Veterans Advisor

Nkenge Friday

Veterans Advisor

Nkenge Friday is a military spouse who understands the challenges faced by military personnel and their families when pursuing higher education. Her husband is in the U.S. Navy, and she's moved six times in eight years, all the while working as a veterans advisor at UMUC.

Friday has helped lead seminars about the military for other staff members to share her breadth of knowledge about common issues military-affiliated and veteran students face such as juggling military service and education or dedicating oneself to one’s education post-military. Her advice to military personnel, family members, and veterans considering a degree while juggling military or post-military life? "I think they best thing you can do is get an education," she says.

Melanie Glassford Military Advisor

Melanie Glassford

Military Advisor

Melanie Glassford comes from a military family. Her grandfather and grandmother served in the Navy, her father served in the Marines for 30 years, and her brother is currently serving as an officer in the Marines.

After she graduated from college, Glassford specifically sought out a position in college advising and found her home at UMUC. She enjoys guiding students step by step through the application and enrollment process and finds that, as the daughter of a Marine, she really relates to military spouses and family members.

"I can empathize with the students who call in, especially spouses and family members," Glassford says. "I understand what it’s like to have a family member serving."

Barbara Kessler Military Advisor

Barbara Kessler

On-Base Military Advisor

Barbara Kessler's husband served in the military for 20 years, so she knows military life and the challenges it can present very well. She is an on-base military advisor for UMUC and is stationed at Fort Drum, where she advises students. In her role, she stresses the necessity of balance and time management and recommends blocking off certain times of the week for schoolwork. Kessler loves assisting military-affiliated students.

"After my youngest was off to kindergarten, I started working with military students," she says. "I fell in love with helping soldiers and talking to them about their education. There’s nothing more exciting than helping students pursue their degrees."

Benjamin Markosky Military And Veterans Advisor

Benjamin Markosky

Military and Veterans Advisor

Benjamin Markosky enjoys advising military and veteran students to help them reach their goals. One way he does so is by performing unofficial evaluations of students' transfer credits before they even apply, so students can get an idea of what their degree plan will look like. Another way he does so is by explaining how online learning works at UMUC. He reassures students that they don't have to be in an online classroom at any particular time—all online learning is asynchronous.

"Advising is here to handle students' needs and questions in all stages of their education, from reaching out to them as a [new student], registering for classes, and applying for graduation," says Markosky, whose brother is in the Marines. "The questions we get at each stage are all different, but it's nice to see a student ask the question about applying for graduation knowing that they have accomplished their goal."

Genesis Neely Military Advisor

Genesis Neely

Military Advisor

Genesis Neely has always enjoyed helping people. As a military advisor at UMUC, she loves that she is able to take the time to help students sort through any issues they are facing and come up with a solution. She helps a lot of students who are just beginning their educational journeys and need guidance about a variety of things, from how to receive credit for military experience to how long it will take them to complete a degree to how to become a student and begin classes.

"Sign up for classes around your training schedules," Neely advises. With eight-week classes, you can pursue your education while working around your schedule, she says.

Melinda Robinson Military Advisor

Melinda Robinson

Veterans Advisor

Before joining UMUC as a veterans advisor, Melinda Robinson was an engineer in the U.S. Air Force and provided technical expertise and oversight on the F-35 Lightning II, a stealth multirole fighter aircraft, and the KC-135 Stratotanker, an aerial refueling and transport aircraft. Later, she served as an instructor for the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Drawing on her 10 years of military service, Robinson has helped present training sessions to her colleagues at UMUC. The sessions provided insight on military culture to help advisors better serve students.

Robinson says she enjoys giving back to the military community. "I love when the students call in and they're so grateful to get answers quickly or to hear a friendly voice, especially if they're overseas," she says. "I chose this job because I like the feeling of satisfaction I get from helping people. I'm not only assisting students achieve their academic goals, but I'm also helping my fellow veterans and active-duty servicemembers."

Rachel Thomas Military Advisor Fort Hood

Rachel Thomas

On-Base Military Advisor

Rachel Thomas loves working for a university that has made a name for itself among active-duty military, spouses and family members, and veterans. She is stationed at Fort Hood and likes sharing the wide range of programs UMUC offers with prospective students and helping students figure out how many transfer credits they have.

She advises students that communication with their professors is very important—especially if they are having issues related to life in the military or as a military spouse or veteran—so the professors understand the situation and work with them.

"Our professors will work with you if you get deployed or sent to the field," Thomas says. "Communication with your instructor is key. I'm always impressed with the flexibility of our faculty."

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Noelle Atwell

Assistant Vice President, Veteran Certification Office

Noelle Atwell is assistant vice president of the Veteran Certification Office at UMUC. She has more than 30 years of experience working with student veterans at UMUC. A native of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, she is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. She is married to a retired high school history teacher and the mother of grown twin sons who served in the Marines.

Jim Cronin

James Cronin

Vice President, Military Partnerships

James Cronin is vice president of Military Partnerships at UMUC, where he has worked since he retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 2000. In 1980, he earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from DePaul University and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry. He also earned his Master of Science in public administration in 1999 from Central Michigan University and a graduate certificate in distance education from UMUC in 2002.

During an Army career that spanned more than 20 years, Cronin served as an infantry officer in the 8th Infantry Division (M), in Mainz, Germany; the 5th Infantry (M) at Fort Polk, Louisiana; and the XVIII Airborne Corps, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He commanded two infantry companies and served as a brigade executive officer. Other assignments included that of recruiting company commander and various positions in public affairs stateside in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and overseas in Korea and Bosnia. In his final assignment, he served as director of the Public Affairs and Journalism division of the Defense Information School at Fort Meade. His military service won him the Legion of Merit and six Meritorious Service Medals from the Army.

Since 2000, Cronin has focused on expanding UMUC’s military enrollments stateside. He served for a number of years as associate vice president of program management, supervising various programs and partnerships. As program manager, he was responsible for all facets of the move into the GoArmyEd and Air Force institution portals. Cronin also developed and coordinated a number of special partnerships with military institutions, including the Army Signal Center graduate program, the Information Resource Management College, and the Army Command General Staff College. In addition, Cronin serves as associate adjunct professor at UMUC, teaching Introduction to Public Speaking.

Christopher Palermo Director Military Portals

Christopher Palermo

Director of Military Portals, Programs, and Partnerships

Christopher Palermo is the director of Military Portals, Programs, and Partnerships. He and his team work with the various military portals to ensure a smooth business process and assist students in any way possible. They work extensively with colleagues in the overseas divisions. In addition, Palermo helps facilitate a number of military and Department of Defense civilian partnership programs.

Palermo started his career at UMUC as a graduate advisor in 2007. He finds that his service in the Marines has provided him with invaluable insights into servicemembers’ perspectives on higher education and makes his work to help members of the military community achieve their educational goals especially rewarding. Before joining UMUC, Palermo earned his degree in psychology and English literature from University of Maryland, College Park, and worked as a group counselor and in crisis intervention there.

Anna Quilter Director Eastern Region Military Partnerships

Anna Quilter

Director, Eastern Region

Annastasia "Anna" Quilter is director of the eastern region and supports active-duty servicemembers and their families and veterans throughout the East, from Florida to New York. She is motivated by her memory of her father returning home from Vietnam after serving in the Air Force and having limited options. She began her career at UMUC in 2005 as a graduate advisor, coordinator of special projects, and coordinator of the National Test Center at Fort Meade.

Quilter earned her Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Advertising from UMUC and her Bachelor of Science in Sports Management/Marketing from Clemson University. In addition to her work at UMUC, she serves as president of the Carolina Council on Military Education, striving to improve education opportunities for the military community in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Photo Not Available

Sevgi Rochford

Assistant Vice President, Regional Locations

Sevgi Rochford is assistant vice president of Regional Locations for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey, and a master's degree in management from Troy University.

Rochford enjoys teaching and loves working with military students who are eager to pursue higher education. She began working for UMUC in 1993 as a field representative and adjunct assistant professor at UMUC Europe. Since moving to Maryland in 1997, she has worked as an advisor, degree auditor, and director. She was instrumental in establishing the military and veterans advising teams.

Christopher Tipton Director Of Veterans Initiatives And Outreach

Christopher Tipton

Director, Veterans Initiatives and Outreach

Christopher Tipton is director of Veterans Initiatives and Outreach. He organizes and directs all university initiatives related to student veterans to create multiple pathways to careers, help them obtain support and resources to meet their specific needs, and help facilitate their successful transition to civilian life.

Previously, Tipton was an associate director of military partnerships and worked with U.S. Department of Defense schools to promote degree opportunities for servicemembers, veterans, and defense department civilians. He joined UMUC in 2011 as an academic advisor. Tipton has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Marymount University and is finishing an MBA at UMUC. As the son of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and son-in-law of a retired U.S. Navy captain, Tipton understands the challenges faced by veterans and their spouses and dependents before, during, and after their military service.

Kelly Wilmeth Associate Vice President Military Support

Kelly Wilmeth

Associate Vice President, Military Support

Kelly Wilmeth is associate vice president of Military Support and is responsible for UMUC's staff and operations on military installations throughout the United States. Wilmeth is a military spouse and has lived all over the world in the past 18 years. She began her career at UMUC in 2009 while stationed in Korea with her husband, who is an active-duty Army officer, and has worked for several colleges and universities that provide educational services to the U.S. military and their families.

Wilmeth has a bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of New Mexico. As a military spouse, she has experienced first-hand the many challenges that the military lifestyle presents as it relates to education and employment. She is honored that her career in higher education provides her the opportunity to help servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses achieve their academic goals and career aspirations.

Tiffany Winston Director Western Region Military Partnerships

Tiffany Winston

Director, Western Region

Tiffany Winston began her career with UMUC in 2005 as a graduate academic advisor, counseling students on the importance of their academic achievement and success. In addition, she worked as an assistant director of New Student Recruitment and Advising in the Office of Enrollment Management, helping prospective students.

As director of the western region, Winston manages the field operations for staff located on military bases in the western region of the United States. She grew up in a military family and understands the level of commitment and sacrifice of our military community. Winston places a high value on the attainment of education and believes it is a key factor in personal and professional success. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College and her Master of Science in Management with a Marketing specialization from UMUC in 2010.

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Army Vet Leads UMUC Graduate School

UMUC Graduate School Dean Aric KrauseAric Krause is vice provost and dean of The Graduate School. He's one of many of UMUC's leaders who served in the armed forces.

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UMUC Graduate School Dean Aric Krause

Aric Krause

Vice Provost and Dean of The Graduate School

Aric Krause is vice provost and dean of The Graduate School at University of Maryland University College. Prior to joining UMUC in 2013, he was dean of the Division of New Learning at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Krause is a U.S. Army veteran. He served a total of 10 years in active-duty and reserve statuses.

He says he discovered his passion for the learning process in 1992 when he began teaching at a community college in Illinois. In the past 10 years, he's worked with partners in Europe, South America, and Asia to build innovative undergraduate and graduate programs for adult learners in the U.S. and international markets.

Krause earned a doctorate in economics at Colorado State University in 1998, master's degree in economics at DePaul University in 1993, and bachelor's degree at Illinois State University in 1987.