April 25: Jamil Salmi, policy expert to speak at conference

Jamil Salmi is a global tertiary education expert providing policy advice and consulting services to governments, universities, professional associations, multilateral banks and bilateral cooperation agencies.  Until January 2012, he was the World Bank’s tertiary education coordinator.  He wrote the first World Bank policy paper on higher education reform in 1994 and was the principal author of the Bank’s 2002 Tertiary Education Strategy entitled “Constructing Knowledge Societies:  New Challenges for Tertiary Education”.  In the past twenty years, Dr. Salmi has provided advice on tertiary education development, financing reforms and strategic planning to governments and university leaders in about 90 countries all over the world.

Dr. Salmi is a member of the international advisory board of several universities in Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East.  He is also a member of the International Advisory Network of the UK Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and the CHEA International Quality Group Advisory Council.  Between 2008 and 2011, he represented the World Bank on the Governing Board of the International Institute for Educational Planning.  Dr. Salmi is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at the Diego Portales University in Chile.

Dr. Salmi’s 2009 book addresses the “Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities”.  His latest book, co-edited with Professor Phil Altbach, entitled “The Road to Academic Excellence: the Making of World-Class Research Universities”, was published in September 2011.


Christine A. Zuzack

Ms. Zuzack spent 39 years in active roles in student financial aid administration. She retired in 2017 from her post at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) where she served as Vice President, State Grant and Special Programs for 11 years. Previous to her years at PHEAA, Ms. Zuzack was a financial aid administrator at the Community College of Allegheny County and financial aid director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Zuzack served as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA) from 1994-1995 and as President of the Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA) from 2003-2004. Additionally, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) from 2003-2005 and served on two NASFAA Executive Committees. She also served on the federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA) Higher Education Regulatory Study (HERS) as a panelist. Most recently, Ms. Zuzack served as President of the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP). Recognized for her leadership in financial aid administration, Ms. Zuzack has received both the PASFAA and EASFAA Distinguished Service Awards, PASFAA Lifetime Membership Award, EASFAA Leadership Award, EASFAA Volunteer Award, and NASFAA Leadership Award. Ms. Zuzack holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Grove City College and two Master’s Degrees, one in Clinical/Community Psychology and one in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has completed her coursework for a doctorate in Adult Education at the Pennsylvania State University and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Areas of expertise: Student Financial Aid, Strategic Planning, Legislative Advocacy


Karen Riley

Ms. Riley has worked in equal opportunity programs for nearly 20 years.  For the past 14 years, she has worked at Wilkes University in the Act 101 Program as the Assistant Director and Counselor.  She has also served as an Undeclared Major’s Advisor and teaches a career planning course.  In 2011, Karen had the honor of being presented the Academic Support Award from The Teacher Recognition and Effectiveness Committee (TREC) at Wilkes University. While continuing to currently serve Wilkes University students as the Assistant Director and Program Counselor for the Act 101 Program, she has the opportunity to work with many first-generation college students from low-income families who face financial, social, and academic barriers to a college education.  A first generation college student herself, who depended on financial aid and a part-time job, she has the privilege to be in this advisor/counselor role that allows her to get to know the students, their fears about college as well as their talents and strengths. For the past two years, she has also had the opportunity to support students by serving as Secretary of the Act 101 Pennsylvania Association for Educational Opportunity.  She took on this additional commitment because the state was significantly decreasing funding for Pennsylvania student support programs.  In this position, she could be part of a collective voice and work with the Executive Committee to advocate retaining state funding for the support services these students need to achieve their college degrees.  Traveling to Harrisburg and throughout the state to be a strong advocate for the Act 101 Programs and student financial aid has added yet another dimension to the work Karen does to support students.

Areas of Expertise:  Academic Advising, Career Counseling, Student Counseling, Student Financial Aid, Student Development