Who We Are: 
Commissioner Biographies





Art Waller, Ph.D. 
Chair of the Commission

Dr. Art Waller is the Campus Director for the On-Line campus of Vista College, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Art brings 25 years of experience in higher education and extensive distance education experience to the Commission. Since 2011, Art has served as a Team Leader in the DECTC on-site evaluation process and has helped the Commission to evaluate and assess successful student achievement as a member of the Program Review Committee. Additionally, Art has been involved with Academy of Management, the University Continuing Education Association, and the Regional Campus and Distance Education Association. Art earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Utah State University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Philosophy from Utah State University.

Kathryn Dodge, Ph.D.* 
Vice Chair of the Commission

Dr. Kathryn Dodge is the founder of the Dodge Advisory Group, LLC, and a co-founder of Radio Higher Ed, a national podcast focused on higher education policy issues. In addition to serving as a Public Commissioner for DETC, Kathryn serves on the board for the Commission for Physical Therapy Education and on the distance education committee for Accrediting Bureau for Health Education Schools. Furthermore, by gubernatorial appointment, Kathryn represents New Hampshire as a Commissioner at Education Commission of the States and is on the founding board of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Kathryn earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Human and Organization Systems and her Master of Science in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She also earned a Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling/ Student Personnel from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, and her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature from King’s College in New York, New York.

Vickie Clements
Secretary of the Commission

Vickie Clements Vickie Clements is the Director of Education and Institutional Compliance at Great Lakes Institute of Technology and Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy located in Erie, Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, Vickie has been an active volunteer with DETC serving on the Progress Review Committee which is charged with supporting the Commission’s efforts in the review and assessment of successful student achievement at accredited institutions, as well as since 2013 serving as a Team Leader. Vickie earned Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education/Math from Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Susan Johnson
Treasurer of the Commission

Susan Johnson is the Director of Education, Accreditation, and Regulatory Affairs at Gemological Institute of America (GIA) located in Carlsbad, California. Throughout her career with GIA, Susan has volunteered with DETC as a School Commissioner from 2007 to 2013 and as a Team Leader where she has lead more than 20 on-site accreditation evaluations to institutions in the DETC accreditation process. Susan is an active advisory board member for National University and a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from National University, a Graduate Gemologist diploma, as well as several other industry certifications from GIA.







Jennifer Bergeron 
For over 15 years, Jennifer Bergeron has worked tirelessly in pursuit of providing a student-centered culture that focuses on quality education and student achievement at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, which is the exclusive educational provider for NASCAR. NASCAR Technical Institute has been accredited by DETC since 2001, and since 2010, Jennifer has served as Campus President, where she is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for the campus. In addition to volunteering as a Team Leader since 2014, a role that supports the Commission through the management of the on-site evaluation process, Jennifer serves on the North Carolina Association of Career Schools and Colleges as the Secretary and Treasurer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. 

Nathan Clark 
A graduate from a career college himself, Nathan “Nate” Clark has spent the greater part of the last 30 years working in career and technical education at (CCNN) in Sparks, Nevada, which has been accredited with DETC since 1989. Since 2012, Nate has served as President and CEO of CCNN, where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the college. Nate also serves as Vice Chair of the Nevada Commission on Post secondary Education, which is charged with ensuring private colleges in Nevada serve the needs of students in the state. Nate is a strong advocate of accreditation and believes in the importance of peer-review having volunteered for DETC as a Team Leader, a role that supports the Commission through the management of the on-site evaluation process, since 1998. 


Deborah Hepburn
For over 30 years, Deborah Hepburn has dedicated her career to providing quality training for students in Pennsylvania. Triangle Tech has been accredited by DETC since 1970, and since 2018, Deborah has served as Executive Director of Compliance and Education, a role in which she is responsible for monitoring quality assurance and compliance with all corporate policies and procedures, State and Federal Regulations, Accrediting Standards and Associate Degree regulations. Additionally, as the Chief Education Officer, Deborah oversees program revisions and curriculum development at all Triangle Tech campuses. In addition to volunteering as an DETC Team Leader since 2007, a role that supports the Commission through the management of the on-site evaluation process, Deborah serves on the Pennsylvania Board of Private Licensed Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Western Governor’s University.

Mildred Lane, Ed.D.* 
Dr. Mildred Lane is a professor emeritus from Duquesne University where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the College of Education’s Special Education Program. As a licensed counselor, Mildred has been affiliated with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, the American Psychotherapy Association, and Duquesne University’s School of Education Counseling Center. Additionally, from 1997 to 2000, Mildred served as the president for the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Development and Aging. In 1997, Mildred began volunteering with DETC as an Education Specialist, which evaluates the educational delivery of programs offered by institutions that are seeking accreditation, and since that time has participated on approximately 100 onsite evaluations. In recognition of her service to DETC , in 2012, the Commission selected Mildred as a Volunteer of the Year. Mildred earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degree in Education from Duquesne University.

Alfred Medro
Alfred Medro has served as the Vice President and School Director of Platt College in San Diego, California since 2003. Before his tenure with Platt College, Alfred taught within the Victorian Department of Education in Victoria, Australia, during which time he was not only responsible for the design and delivery of secondary and post-secondary curricula, but also the integration of multimedia tools into the delivery of the courses. Additionally, Alfred has volunteered as an DETC Team Leader since 2010 and as an DETC Nominating Committee Member since 2014. In addition to his work with the Commission and with Platt San Diego, Alfred currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Private Post-Secondary Schools (CAPPS). He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Professional Diploma of Education from the University of Hawaii, Manoa and a Graduate Diploma of Computing from Deakin University in Geelong, Australia.

Cedric Page, Ph.D.*
Dr. Cedric D. Page is a Professor Emeritus from University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, where he served as the Dean of Instruction, Professor of Geography, and Executive Director. He previously served as Dean of Faculty at DigiPen Institute of Technology and on the faculty of the University of Colorado-Denver and of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Cedric is also currently affiliated with the Regional Development Corporation (NM) Board of Directors and the Santa Fe NAACP.  Previously, he served on the board of directors for the United Way of Northern New Mexico and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico, and president of the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges. Cedric has also volunteered as an DETC Team Leader, Education Specialist, and an Appeals Panel member.  Cedric earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in Urban and Social Geography and Master of Arts in Quantitative and Urban Geography from Rutgers University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Syracuse University.  Additionally, Cedric has earned a Certificate in Management Development from Harvard University.

Carol Palacios
Carol Palacios is the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and the Executive Director of Atlantis University in Miami, Florida. For the past decade, Carol has been responsible for providing leadership and support to institutional operations at Atlantis University while ensuring compliance, institutional oversight and monitoring within the organization, as well as serving a student community with varied career needs, professional interests, and international and cultural backgrounds. Carol earned a Master in Business Administration from Adolfo Ibáñez School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Patricia Thomas  
Patricia “Pat” Thomas currently serves as the Regional Director of Operations for the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia where she oversees the operations of a six campus system. Previously, Pat served as a School Director for Centura College in Virginia Beach, Virginia, as a Regional Director of Operations for Sylvan Learning Center, and as a Director of Education for Barclay Career School. Since 2008, Pat has supported DETC and its mission by serving as a a Team Leader during the on-site evaluation process. Pat holds a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

Joanne Wenzel* 
For the last 19 years, Joanne Wenzel worked in various capacities for the California State oversight agency for private postsecondary schools in California, most recently serving as the Bureau Chief, California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Schools, a position from which she retired in 2017. Before moving into to the regulatory and compliance side of education, Joanne worked directly with students daily at the campus level with a focus on student affairs, career development, and financial aid advising. A former community college instructor, Joanne has also work with the University of California and Arizona State University in a diverse number of roles. Joanne holds a Masters of Education in Higher Education from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from California State University in Fresno, California.