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2016 Election

AAfPE Institutional Members will vote to fill the following positions during the annual business meeting of the membership at the 35th Annual Conference, located at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, October 14, 2016 at 11:15 a.m.

All Institutional Members are eligible to vote. If you are an Institutional Member, and will not be attending the 2016 Conference in San Antonio, you may designate a proxy to cast your ballot. If you plan to vote by proxy, you must, in accordance with association bylaws, notify the Association Headquarters in writing of your Proxy selection using the AAfPE Proxy Form no later than September 29, 2016. 

Having been duly qualified, the Nominations Committee is pleased to present the following slate of candidates for consideration: 

 President-Elect

Kye Haymore
Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Toni Marsh
The George Washington University

 Director, Certificate Programs

Susan Atlas
Bunker Hill Community College

Dr. Kenneth Goldsmith
Chattanooga State Community College

Gayle Miller
College of Lake County

 ABA Commission - Associate Programs

Jeffrey Herron
Middlesex Community College

 ABA Commission - Certificate Programs

Jody Cooper
Madison College

Linda McDonald-Carter
Essex County College

 Director, South Central Region

Robyn Ice
Tulane University

Michael Speck
Tulsa Community College

 

Candidate Statements

PRESIDENT-ELECT
Kye Haymore
Georgia Piedmont Technical College


When I began teaching as an adjunct ten years ago at DeKalb Tech, now Georgia Piedmont Technical College, I was shocked at how willing the college was to turn me loose in my classroom without much direction at all.  Even though I felt confident in my knowledge and my experience, I was unsure if I would be able to convey all I had learned while practicing law to my students.  All I knew was I did not want to teach the law the way that I was taught.  I wanted my students to walk away from my class with some real skills.

I had a list of the state standards, but I didn’t even have a syllabus.   I felt so ill equipped.   A year later, I was hired full time, and I am not sure I was any better prepared.  In the spring of 2009, I attended my first AAfPE Southeast Regional, and I met Loretta Calvert.   Loretta was so willing to share her ideas, her failures and all of her “stuff.”  I was so in awe of her.  This was the first person in my professional life that was willing to share.  There was no competition and no judgment. I thought she was the most generous person I had ever met.   Over the next couple of years, I would email her whenever I would find myself stuck.  

In 2010, my college, like most colleges, was feeling the impact of the economic downturn, and funds were scarce for any type of professional development.   I had tried to go to the AAfPE Annual Conference the previous year but was denied funding so I applied for the AAfPE Scholarship to attend the conference in Indianapolis.   I won, and the rest is history.  

I learned at that conference that Loretta was not the exception but the rule when it came to AAfPE members.   I met so many people during that conference, and I took back so much that I am still implementing all that I learned then, even six years later.   There was no competition, only comradery.  I was so surprised and grateful to meet people who were so kind and who were willing to go out of their way to help me.   It was so different from the lawyers I had worked with in the legal profession and certainly different than my fellow law students some fifteen years earlier.  

When Loretta approached me about fulfilling her term as the Southeast Director should she be elected to the President Elect position at the 2011 conference, I jumped at the chance to serve this organization that had already given me so much.   I am now in my second term serving as the South East Director.  I have had a fabulous time representing my region and its members on the AAfPE Board of Directors.  I have enjoyed learning the history of AAfPE and helping to shape the future of AAfPE. Serving in this position has educated me on the major issues and challenges that face AAfPE and its members. I have made it a priority to promote this organization every opportunity I have been given.   

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT
Toni Marsh
The George Washington University

     

It would be my honor to serve this great organization because I support its mission to increase and improve access to justice through quality paralegal education that prepares graduates to perform significant roles in delivering legal services; I would like to further that mission in accordance with the vision of the AAfPE membership. 

As the premier professional organization for paralegal educators, AAfPE can direct the arc of paralegal education and the profession by ensuring that graduating paralegals can thrive in a legal environment where disruptive technologies and financial models emerge continuously. As President, I would ensure that the wise and experienced educators who make up AAfPE’s membership have a hand in describing that arc. 

Over the many years that my university has been an institutional member of AAfPE, it has given me education, fellowship, opportunity, creative energy, and resources. Serving as President-Elect and then President will allow me to give back to the organization that has given the profession, my students, my university, and me so much. 

If elected, I will humbly and eagerly listen to the concerns and wishes of the constituency and act as the body’s voice and advocate. My primary concerns at this time are:

  •  Advocating for the expanded use of paralegals to increase access to justice and promote the rule of law
  • Ensuring paralegal education – including online education – is of the highest quality, currency, and relevance

 Thank you for your consideration.

DIRECTOR, CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Susan Atlas
Bunker Hill Community College

 

I am the head of the Paralegal Program at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Massachusetts.  I would be honored to serve as Director of the Certificate Program for AAfPE.  At AAfPE, I have found countless colleagues and friends that share my passion for teaching and serving my community so I can think of no better way to thank all of you for your membership, commitment and camaraderie than to serve on this Board.

When I started at Bunker Hill Community College, we had a very small certificate program with low enrollment and job placement.  I came to BHCC to develop an Associate Degree program, to revamp the certificate program and to ensure that both our Certificate and AS degree graduates gained the knowledge and skills they need to successfully enter the workforce or continue their education.  Importantly, I was also asked to forge through and obtain ABA approval for our school.  I am proud to say that this past year we became an ABA approved school and our place in the Greater Boston legal community is strong.  I would like to bring that knowledge and experience to assist other certificate programs to achieve and maintain their goals and to share any concerns and suggestions for improvements to our organization. 

Like many of you, I was in private practice for over twenty years before becoming a full time faculty member.  I graduated Boston University with a BA in psychology and sociology; obtained my JD magna cum laude from Suffolk University Law School and went on to obtain my Master’s Degree in the Law of Taxation at Boston University School of Law Graduate Tax Program.  I am very proud of my accomplishments in private practice and am honored to be a nationally rated estate planner by Martindale Hubbell as an AV Preeminent Attorney; however, (other than my own children) I am most proud of my students’ accomplishments.  Their strength; their growth and their successes are inspiring not only to me but to my students who follow in their footsteps.

DIRECTOR, CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Dr. Kenneth Goldsmith
Chattanooga State Community College


I am honored to be a candidate for the AAfPE Board position of Director of Certificate Programs. Two events have framed my decision run for this AAfPE Board position:

  1. Seven years ago I attended my first regional AAfPE conference. At that conference I learned that certificate programs were critically important to the meetings the needs of students who had already earned a degree but where searching for a career. I also learned how important AAfPE was in distributing the information that Program Directors needed to improve their paralegal programs.  
  2. Two years ago I started my service on the ABA Paralegals Approval Commission as the AAfPE certificate programs representative. Over the past two years I have participated in 10 site team reviews of paralegal programs seeking their 7 year reapproval. In these reviews I learned how similar and diverse program offerings were at the various colleges and universities I visited but more importantly how many successful programs incorporated certificate programs in their degree options for students.

 When I reflect on the two events I describe above I see how valuable AAfPE membership has been for the development of my program and my professional development. This is why I want to serve as Director of Certificate Programs, I want to continue to learn from the organization and to continue to give back to the organization. 

DIRECTOR, CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Gayle Miller
College of Lake County


My name is Gayle Miller, hailing from the North Central Region (College of Lake County, IL) and I submit this statement in support of my candidacy for the AAfPE Board position of Director, Certificate Programs.

The College of Lake County is a public community college offering ABA approved paralegal studies degree and certificate programs in northern Illinois. I began my teaching career in 1993 as an adjunct professor for the paralegal program at Harper Community College while practicing law full time. In 2005, my local community college (local meaning across the street of my house) decided to offer a paralegal program, and I was hired to develop and implement. In August 2005 we enrolled our first students, and by July 2008 we were hosting our first ABA site visit. We earned the approval and have maintained this status since.

As I struggled to figure out the details of the ABA approval process, learn the culture of academia, manage a pool of adjuncts, develop curriculum, conduct assessments, and advise students-AAfPE was there for me every step of the way. I have attended and enjoyed every national conference since 2005.

While this would be my first foray into the AAfPE Board, I’ve hosted and co-hosted the North Central Regional Conference in Chicago three times. I also served on the ABA Approval Commission for three years (2010-13) and conducted over 20 site visits to paralegal programs across the country as a volunteer to that commission. I visited private and public schools, and absorbed all manner of paralegal degrees and certificates. Thus, I appreciate all of the different ways quality paralegal education can be organized and delivered. In my service to the ABA commission, I never missed a meeting. If elected, I will bring this global perception, reliability and dedication to the AAfPE board.

I further offer my significant experience in committee and board service. I’ve served on the board of the Association of Women Attorneys of Lake County for over ten years, including service as their president for two years (2012-2014); and I’ve chaired committees of the Lake County Bar Association. I also serve on my institution’s Faculty Development Advisory Committee which plans professional development activities for all faculty. With a desire to be effective in these leadership roles, I completed the ABA’s New Bar Leaders Institute in 2012. There, I learned about optimal processes, motivation of members, and production for volunteer professional associations- all directly transferrable to serving AAfPE.

I attended my first AAfPE conference in Tampa, in October, 2005. I had been on the job for less than three months (i.e., I knew nothing). Maybe it was the threat of a hurricane, but I
remember being so very warmly welcomed by the AAfPE leadership and enthusiastically embraced by my fellow paralegal educators. AAfPE instantly became my professional community, my primary resource for reliable information, guidance

ABA Commission - Associate Programs
Jeffrey Herron
Middlesex Community College


I currently serve as the Director of the Paralegal Studies Program at Middlesex County College in New Jersey.  I have experience with the ABA Approval process at multiple levels – (1) as a faculty member working with a Program Director to achieve approval of online coursework; (2) as a program director working with the ABA Guidelines to ensure compliance while also maintaining an optimal educational experience that meets with the mission of the institution; and (3) as an administrator monitoring the value of ABA Approval and ensuring that the collection of quantitative and qualitative data informs all accreditation based decisions.  I served as Director for two Associate degree granting institutions proceeding through the Reapproval process, including a process completed during the current calendar year.  I have also submitted Interim Reports for those two institutions.  Additionally, I’ve worked extensively within the Program Review process at MCC, piloting our own process by working with our faculty to develop a program review report for our Paralegal Studies program.  I have significant experience with self-study and the ABA Approval process, and I’ve looked at it through multiple lenses. 

I have also, in my position as Dean of Professional Studies at MCC, worked with numerous other programs to meet programmatic accreditation requirements, such as those for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET), the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), and the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).  I also co-chaired the Steering Committee for MCC’s recent Periodic Review Report submission to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  My experience  with programmatic and regional accreditation is extensive, and I think that knowledge of how other “accrediting” (I know the ABA uses Approval) agencies measure compliance with their guidelines is useful in understanding how institutions respond to self-study requests for information. 

These experiences helped me to develop an understanding of the demands that face the institutions undergoing external review processes, allowing me to be able to advocate for clear processes that allow programs to demonstrate compliance with the Guidelines without exceeding the limited resources that are available for our programs.  I also would advocate for an expansion of the recruitment and training of potential site visitors, which could reduce the timeframe schools must prepare for – from submission of the Reapproval report to the Site Visit itself.  I am cognizant of the overwhelming task that the Approval Commission faces, and I believe that there are things that we could do to help.  

ABA Commission - Associate Programs
Jody Cooper
Madison College


Please accept this document as my candidate statement for the position of ABA Approval Commission – Certificate Programs. I am a full-time instructor in the Paralegal Program at Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin. I have been in this position approximately 18 months. I previously ran the Legal Administrative Professional Program at Blackhawk Technical College for twelve years. I am an attorney with a general practice in Rock County Wisconsin and have been practicing since 1995.

I recently had the experience of going through an ABA site visit at Madison College. The team did an excellent job representing the ABA in reviewing our Program. Our Program Director, Norma Kropp, recently completed her term on the ABA Approval Commission and continues to be a site visitor for the ABA. Through our site visit and discussions with Norma, I have become interested in serving on the ABA Approval Commission and believe I could serve AAfPE well on the Approval Commission. I have also attended the AAfPE Annual Conference and enjoyed the wealth of information and comradery this organization provides.

Volunteers are essential to the process of ABA approvals. I have seen the work that the volunteers do, and I would like to be a part of that. Having been in higher education for the last fourteen years, I believe I have the necessary understanding of students services resources, curriculum, scheduling, facilities, and program requirements to serve the organization well as a member on this Commission. I have served on multiple committees throughout my educational and legal careers. My participation on committees includes technology services, curriculum and student success, Telepresence, equal employment opportunity representative, online learning, leadership, and I serve on the Office of Lawyer Regulation District Committee.

In my position at Madison College, I have created new curriculum, modified and improved courses, maintained contact with employers, attended advisory board meetings, assisted with the ABA site re-approval visit, and created and implemented a continuing education lunch time program for students and community members including state court electronic filing trainings which have trained over 120 participants. I participate in Madison College pro bono estate planning clinics for the public.

I have continued my education both in the legal field and teaching. I have attended trainings for a variety of continuing legal education topics in addition to trainings as an educator. Trainings attended include Blackboard Learning Management System, Microsoft Office (including certification), social media, Technology Academy, Westlaw, ABA Tech Show, Leadership Academy, and Quality Matters.

I would be honored to bring my educational and legal experiences to the American Association for Paralegal Education as its representative on the ABA Approval Commission by continuing the tradition of ensuring a high standard of education for those in ABA approved certificate programs. 

ABA Commission - Certificate Programs
Linda McDonald-Carter
Essex County College


Linda McDonald Carter currently serves as an Associate Professor and Director of the Paralegal Studies Program at Essex County College. Her humble beginnings started over five decades ago during the tumultuous 1950’s and the Civil Rights era that evolved into the Black Power Movement. Linda blossomed early as an active citizen, protesting the Vietnam War at the tender age of 12.  She vividly recalls seeing the world through the eyes of the media and TV show about attorney Perry Mason rather than the realities she witnessed daily growing up in the Scudder Housing Projects located in Newark’s Central Ward after the Newark Rebellion of 1967. She vowed then to become an attorney, not necessarily to practice law and make money, but, rather to help make a difference in her community assisting with interpreting the language of law and providing direction on how to navigate the justice system. 

Linda’s burning interest in the world in which we live intensified as she was introduced to new cultures, religions, and people. Throughout her experiences she gained an appreciation and deep respect for the History of the African Diaspora, and the political “isms.” She enrolled in Upward Bound at Bloomfield College, studied Political Science at Rutgers University, participated in the Continuing Legal Educational Opportunity Program at Howard University, and eventually completed her studies in law at Rutgers University. 

The summer of 1967 Linda at 12 years old worked 70-80 hours weekly to save money to pay for her fall school clothes. This would permit her parents to use their extra money to help buy clothes for her younger siblings; particulary four of her brothers. She served as a babysitter 60 hours a week Monday – Friday through that summer for one couple. She also served as a babysitter for several different couples on Friday and Saturday nights, and even some time on Sundays. Additionally, she served as an assistant for her cousin, who taught arts and craft at the Newark Museum on Saturday mornings.  Her first professional positions resident manager involved working tirelessly advocating for fellow tenants, living in the Scudder Home Housing Project located in Newark, New Jersey. 

She later became a Section 8 Manager at the Newark Housing Authority (NHA). While in law school, she worked for United States Senator Bill Bradley before moving to Southern California where she became heavily involved with various grassroots and political initiatives such as registering voters  - throughout Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernadine Counties, in California, participating in the creation, development and implementation of the Women for Orange County’s Great American Write-In, negotiating political struggles between opposing parties, and learning to manage media. Linda is sought after to facilitate political forums and debates throughout the State of New Jersey.  She continues to serve on panels addressing a variety, numerous challenges and obstacles directly or indirectly negatively impacting communities including People of Color and the Poor, whether domestically or globally. Additionally, she serves in a volunteer capacity as an advisor to DemocracryNow‘s (An International Global Television and Cable Program) .Director of Education Program. Linda has rightfully been called a “Citizen Extraordinaire”. 

After living in Southern California, Linda returned New Jersey. Again, working in the area of voter registration; particulary, working with the New York/New Jersey Motor Voter Project. Later In 1989, she began her current career providing instruction as an adjunct at Essex County College. Simultaneously, in 1990 she held the position of Assistant Corporation Counsel in East Orange. In 1992, she opened her own law firm, before joining with Lisa Hendricks-Richardson, Rhonda Pope Stephenson and Vanessa Williams Powell, to form one of the first and largest African American women law firms in New Jersey ( if not the U.S.) Richardson, Stephenson, Powell and Carter, LLC in 1996. During this time, Linda also served as an Assistant Public Defender for the City of Orange.

Linda is a member of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey – Vice President, the Garden State Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and New Jersey Bar Association Committee on Paralegals, American Bar Association the American Association for Paralegal Education, Essex Bar Association and Paralegal Association of New Jersey. She also serves on the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics Fee Arbitration Committee for Essex County and was recently appointed to the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Law Adventure Committee & Program Development Committee.  Additionally, Linda was recently sworn-in to practice law before the United States Supreme Court 

Linda recently completed a Fellowship through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Bridging Historias through Latino History and Culture Program, at the Graduate Center, CUNY, Presentation, titled, “The Evolution of Latino Politics in the U.S. 

Linda’s community service activities are extensive and include currently serving as an Elder in the grass roots organization VOCAL (Voices of Change and Liberation).Linda is the eldest of 6 brothers, 2 sisters; aunt of 17 nieces and nephews and also grandaunt of 17. She is also the wife of a real cool husband, Aaron.

Director, South Central Region
Robyn Ice
Tulane University


I have been a member of AAfPE and the South Central Region since 2014, when I accepted the position of Director of the Paralegal Studies Program at Tulane University’s School of Continuing Studies.  Before moving into the field of Paralegal Education, I practiced environmental and toxic tort law for nearly 23 years, including nineteen with law firms in Atlanta and New York City and the final four with an insurance company in Lower Manhattan. 

 

Law was my second career.  After earning my B.F.A. in Theatre at West Virginia University and M.F.A. in Children’s Theatre at the University of Georgia, I worked for 11 years as a puppeteer, costume designer, and adjunct public speaking instructor.  I returned to law school in 1987, entering the evening program at Georgia State University when my sons were two and seven years old.  During those years, I experienced first-hand many of the issues that confront the adult learners who study in our programs.  

 

In my practice, I worked extensively with excellent litigation and transactional paralegals and developed deep respect and admiration for the men and women who have chosen this profession.  Throughout that time, I taught CLE seminars and occasional courses as an adjunct at local colleges, but I came to Tulane with little academic experience. Thus, when I pinned on my “First-Timer” ribbon to attend the AAfPE conference in the fall of 2014, I truly was in need of assistance.  Fortunately, every person I encountered was eager to answer questions and provide genuine support.  Each member clearly shared my desire to help our paralegal studies students reach their goals and achieve success in a demanding profession.

 

My first exposure to AAfPE was so inspiring that since then, I have served as a presenter at last year’s National and this year’s Southern Super Regional conferences and have served on the organizing committee for this year’s National Conference.  These experiences have reinforced my dedication to AAfPE and our shared mission.  If I am elected to serve as Director of the South Central Region, I pledge to build upon the excellent works of Mary Lowe, the current Director, and to continue to serve AAfPE with the dedication that this organization, its members, and our students need and deserve. 

 

I am honored to be nominated and hope that you will elect me as Director of the South Central Region. I understand the institutional, technological, and ideological challenges facing the paralegal profession and am confident that AAfPE and its members can help our students surpass the barriers and earn their success. I will enjoy working with everyone, at both the Regional and National levels, to achieve our shared goals.  

 

Thank you for your consideration. 

DIRECTOR, South Central Region
Michael Speck
University of Oklahoma


I am a native of Oklahoma, and I hold a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma. My J.D. is from Southern Illinois University’s School of Law. After more than ten years of civil litigation in Oklahoma City, and nine years of adjunct instruction at Rose State College, I joined the faculty at Tulsa Community College in January of 2012 as the Program Coordinator of the Paralegal Studies Program.

Like many, almost certainly most, of my AAfPE colleagues I am an active member of the state and local bar associations, and am engaged in more committee work than is likely prudent for my well-being. Although I too participate in the time-honored tradition of lamenting committee work, I actually embrace the opportunity to help in my own, very small way, the future of higher education in an increasing anti-intellectual culture. It’s for that reason that I wish to serve as the Director of South Central Region, so that I may inform, and be informed by, the role of community colleges in the changing landscape of post-secondary education.
That’s far fewer than 500 words, most of which are taken verbatim from a prior self-nomination. However, my qualifications for and motivations to serve remain unchanged. I am not adept at self-promotion and will defer to my LinkedIn Profile for the remainder of that effort.

In closing, I will acknowledge that I’ve been known to voice an opinion from time to time. I can therefore promise my colleagues in the South Central Region of the AAfPE, that I can and will vigorously represent their interests.

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