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University Leadership

University Officers

photo of Dr. Richard Oliver

Dr. Richard Oliver is the CEO of American Sentinel University. Previously, he was a professor at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. While there, Dr. Oliver received the Outstanding Professor Award and a Dean’s Teaching Award. For several years, he served as a visiting professor of management at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. In 2016 he was named a Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 2016 Innovation Award Winner. The award recognized his vision and guidance to introduce several key technological advances geared to assisting students to successfully complete their coursework at the University.

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Oliver had a 20-year career at Nortel Networks, where he was vice president of marketing, and he also worked for DuPont Co. Dr. Oliver is the author of seven books and more than 50 book chapters and journal articles about management, technology and education, and has lectured around the world on these topics.

He served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Services Marketing and the Journal of Strategic Management Education. Dr. Oliver has served on seven corporate boards and was chairman of the board of directors of Symmetricom, a high-tech telecommunications company, from 1997 to 2004.

Dr. Oliver holds a Ph.D. in informatics from the State University of New York, a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Science in economics from Cornell University.

photo of Mary Adams

Mary Adams is the president of American Sentinel University. She has more than 25 years of experience in distance education, including serving as president of Aspen University from 1992 to 2004. Ms. Adams served as commissioner of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC (Formerly Distance Education and Training Council-DETC), and as past chair of the Research and Education Standards Committee. She has chaired more than 30 accreditation visits and received the DETC’s Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Recognition Award. In 2016 she received the DEAC’s Person of the Year award, their highest recognition for individual achievement.

Ms. Adams holds an MBA from ISIM University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from California State University, Fullerton.

photo of Dr. William Tammone

Dr. William Tammone is Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President for Strategy and Innovation of American Sentinel University. Previously, he served as the chief academic officer at Macomb Community College (Michigan’s largest community college, serving more than 40,000 students annually), the Colorado Community College System in Denver, Illinois Central College (where he also served as interim president), Montcalm Community College in Michigan and, Ivy Tech State College in Columbus, Indiana.

His experience with online education dates back to 1998, when he began playing a leading role in helping to establish the Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative (a consortium of more than 25 community colleges that still exists today as Michigan Colleges Online). He also taught online himself for many years.

Dr. Tammone has also served on several nonprofit boards, including the Board of Directors for the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria, Illinois, and he has more than 20 years of experience as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Tammone has a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Human Biology from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University – Bloomington.

Donna Prudhomme is the chief financial officer of American Sentinel University. She has over 20 years’ experience in accounting with ten years in higher education. Prior to coming to American Sentinel, Donna was the assistant southeast area director of finance for Ernst and Young. While at American Sentinel, Donna has served as the controller and institutional research analyst.

Ms. Prudhomme holds an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from the University of Alabama.


Management Team

  • Brian Carlisle, Chief Information Officer
  • Loren Ellison, Vice President, Admissions Services
  • Christine Hansen, Vice President, HLI Operations
  • Tiina Hyvonen, Vice President, Marketing Operations
  • Jay Kim, Vice President, Financial Services
  • Devon Putnam, Vice President, Student Engagement
  • Michael Rickart, Vice President, Partner Engagement
  • Kristine Zewe, Senior Vice President, University Administration, People & Culture

Healthcare Learning Innovations

Healthcare Learning Innovations provides a comprehensive digital portfolio of interactive courses, educational simulations, and innovative learning products and services for healthcare professionals as well as educators.

photo of 
 Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan is the president of Healthcare Learning Innovations at American Sentinel University. He has an extensive background in healthcare and healthcare IT, strategic business development, and online learning. Previously, Jeff was senior vice president of enrollment and retention at American Sentinel University.

Prior to American Sentinel, Mr. Caplan was the executive vice president for a specialty healthcare media company and the vice president of marketing and product management for a healthcare electronic exchange between hospitals and suppliers. Mr. Caplan spent his early career at DuPont, where he led a variety of businesses and functions.

Mr. Caplan holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Rutgers University.


Academic Leadership

photo of Dr. William Tammone

Dr. William Tammone is Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President for Strategy and Innovation of American Sentinel University. Previously, he served as the chief academic officer at Macomb Community College (Michigan’s largest community college, serving more than 40,000 students annually), the Colorado Community College System in Denver, Illinois Central College (where he also served as interim president), Montcalm Community College in Michigan and, Ivy Tech State College in Columbus, Indiana.

His experience with online education dates back to 1998, when he began playing a leading role in helping to establish the Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative (a consortium of more than 25 community colleges that still exists today as Michigan Colleges Online). He also taught online himself for many years.

Dr. Tammone has also served on several nonprofit boards, including the Board of Directors for the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria, Illinois, and he has more than 20 years of experience as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Tammone has a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Human Biology from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University – Bloomington.

photo of Dr. Elaine Foster

Dr. Elaine Foster is the Dean, Nursing and Healthcare Programs at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was the Associate Dean for the School of Nursing at Kaplan University, overseeing the nursing program and its faculty and operations, launching new programs and managing all accreditation issues. For 27 years, Dr. Foster held various leadership roles at Southwestern Michigan College, including Dean of the School of Nursing and Human Services and Dean of academic studies. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences. In 2007, she served on a nursing legislative task force for the state of Michigan to develop a plan to reduce the shortage of nurses in the state.

Dr. Foster is a member of the National League of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International. She is a Program Evaluator for Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. She is a past member of several state and national professional associations, including the Michigan Liberal Arts Deans organization, the National Organization of Associate Degree Nursing, the Northern Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives and the Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators (for which she served as president). Dr. Foster also serves on the board of trustees for the Cass County Council on Aging.

Dr. Foster holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and administration from Andrews University, a Master of Science Nursing from Andrews University and a Bachelor of Science Nursing from the University of Michigan.

photo of Dr. Karen Whitham

Dr. Karen Whitham is the associate dean of nursing and healthcare programs at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was the assistant dean of undergraduate nursing programs and before that a member of the nursing faculty at Rasmussen College. Dr. Whitham has held various roles at Kaplan University, including Director of Pre-licensure Initiatives, practical nursing professor, clinical coordinator and adjunct online nursing professor. She worked as a staff nurse on a medical/surgical/telemetry unit at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, where she also was a clinical instructor in the College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Whitham is a Certified Nurse Educator and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the National League for Nursing and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning. She is also a Program Evaluator for the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation.

Dr. Whitham holds an M.S. in higher education, teaching and learning, from Kaplan University, an MSN (leadership in healthcare systems emphasis) from Regis University, a BSN from the University of Iowa and an A.S. in nursing from Mercy College of Health Sciences. She completed a Doctor of Education in healthcare education from the College of Saint Mary.

photo of Dr. Lauren Stehling

Dr. Lauren Stehling is the Director of the Nurse Practitioner Program. She has over 16 years of experience working in nursing education in various roles. Dr. Stehling graduated from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice; holds a Masters in Nursing Education from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Stehling received a Post-Masters Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner and is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

photo of Dr. Kris Skalsky

Dr. Kris Skalsky is the chair of Scholarship and Research and Professor at American Sentinel University. She graduated from Argosy University with a Doctorate of Education in Instructional Leadership and holds a Master’s of Science in Nursing Education from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Skalsky obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Toledo and her diploma in nursing from the Community Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield, OH. She began her career as a pediatric nurse and had direct care positions in the operating room and medical surgical areas. She has held leadership positions in acute and chronic dialysis facilities. Dr. Skalsky has over 20 years of experience working in nursing education. Her research interests include quantitative studies grounded in implementation science and the study of strategies that can impact math and statistical anxiety. Dr. Skalsky is a proud member of Sigma Theta Tau.

photo of Dr. Yolanda Smith

Dr. Yolanda Smith is Chair of the DNP Program at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was the Chair/Nurse Administrator of the BSN program at Oakwood University, and before that served as nursing faculty where she taught various courses in the classroom and clinical environments. She has been in the field of education for over 19 years, eight of which has been devoted to nursing education. Dr. Smith has held direct nursing positions in various areas including long-term care, rehabilitative care, care management, pain management, and ambulatory same-day surgery. Her research interests include strategies for enhancing student success where her doctoral work focused testing a model to examine the relationship between nurse educators’ intent to use and actual use of evidence-based critical thinking strategies to promote critical thinking skills in nursing students.

Dr. Smith is a member of various professional organizations including American Nurses Association, Alabama State Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International. She is also a Program Evaluator for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Dr. Smith holds an Ed.D. specializing in Curriculum and Instruction from Andrews University, a Master of Science Nursing/Nursing Education from Andrews University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rutgers University.

photo of Dr. Brenda Helmer

Dr. Brenda Helmer is Chair of the MSN Program and an Associate Professor of Nursing at American Sentinel University. She has been a full-time faculty member since September of 2019 and an adjunct faculty member since June of 2014. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and has served as nursing chair for two on-ground Baccalaureate programs in Kansas. Her clinical background is in community nursing, and she has taught a variety of courses, including health assessment, community health nursing, research, leadership and management, and fundamentals. Her clinical experience includes pediatrics, clinic nursing, home health, and general medical/surgical nursing in addition to her community experience as a school nurse. She is certified as an Advanced Practice Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public Health (PHCNS-BC).

Dr. Helmer is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, International Nursing Honor Society, National Association of School Nurses, School Nurse Organization of Oklahoma, and International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

Dr. Helmer holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice from The University of Alabama, an MSN (Public Health CNS) from the University of Missouri, and a BSN from the University of Oklahoma.

photo of Dr. Sarah Meeks

Dr. Sarah Meeks is the Chair of the RN to BSN program and an Associate Professor in Nursing at American Sentinel University. She has been a full-time faculty member since July of 2015. Previously, she was the Director of Nursing for an on-ground pre-licensure program in Iowa for seven years. Before being DON, she was a full-time nursing faculty member for the same pre-licensure program. She taught courses, lab, and clinical for PN and ADN students in fundamentals, leadership, pediatrics, medical/surgical, and professionalism and ethics. Her experience includes working in pediatrics, general surgery and in-patient dialysis. Her experience also includes office nursing and teaching clincials for LPN and RN programs.

Dr. Meeks is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, International Nursing Honor Society, Kappa Alpha Chapter.

Dr. Meeks holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Educational Leadership from American Sentinel University, a MSN (Nursing Education) from Walden University, a BA in Psychology from Loras College, an AA in Nursing from Hawkeye Community College.

photo of Dr. Traci Dubuque

Dr. Traci Dubuque has been a nurse since 2008. Her experience includes medical-surgical nursing, quality management, nursing administration, geriatrics, and a passion for wound, ostomy, and continence nursing. Her research interests include palliative wound care, monofilament debridement, and biofilm management. She has been a key opinion leader for two wound care corporations, and enjoys speaking about appropriate management of wounds. She is an established podium presenter on bladder complications, ostomy care, palliative wound care, and matrix metalloproteinase reduction in recalcitrant wounds. She currently practices in skilled and long term care facilities. Dr. Dubuque has been a clinical preceptor for many years prior to her career in nursing education. She desires to “invest in other nurses as my mentors have invested in me”. She is married to her hero, a US Army soldier, and she has three beautiful children. She is a marathon runner and absolutely loves to travel.

EDUCATION:

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Nursing, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Leadership and Administration, Western Governors University
  • Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Tennessee Wesleyan University