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WAICU Info

Our Staff

We advocate for Wisconsin’s Private Colleges, offer cost-saving collaborations for WAICU members, and advance the affordability and accessibility of private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Wisconsin. We infuse experience, education, energy, and passion into our statewide association. Meet our team.

Dr. Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D
President
608.204.5222

Eric W. Fulcomer, PhD, became president and CEO of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) in December 2022. WAICU represents the 22 private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in the state.

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Dr. Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D

 Eric W. Fulcomer, PhD, became president and CEO of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) in December 2022. WAICU represents the 22 private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in the state. Dr. Fulcomer is also president and CEO of the WAICU Benefits Consortium, the WAICU Educational Technology Consortium, the WAICU Multiple Employer Retirement Plan Collaboration, and the WAICU Retirement Readiness Church Plan Collaboration.  

 Dr. Fulcomer is a member of the Wisconsin Technology Council and sits on the Steering Committee of “Future Wisconsin,” a project of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. He is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE). He is a member of the national Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the American Council on Education (ACE). Dr. Fulcomer is a member and current vice chair of the Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB). He is also a member of the Wisconsin College Savings Program Board, a member of the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, and a member of the Governor’s Council for Workforce Investment. Dr. Fulcomer is a Gubernatorial appointee to the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board (ECB) and the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). 

 Previously, Dr. Fulcomer served for more than six years as Rockford University’s 18th president. He has thirty years of administrative work at independent colleges in Ohio and Illinois, mainly in student life and enrollment management. 

 In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Fulcomer was active in several areas of the Rockford community. He served on several boards, including the Golden Apple Foundation, Alignment Rockford Governing Board, Rockford Leaders, and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Executive Committee for the Associated Colleges of Illinois, the Executive Committee for the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference, UW Health Northern Illinois (Swedish American Health Systems), Rockford Christian Colleges, the Kobe College Corporation – Japan Education Exchange, and was a member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Presidents Council.   

Along with Dr. Fulcomer’s extensive background in higher education, he also served for eleven years as an elected official in Bluffton, Ohio, holding the positions of Village Councilmember, Village Council President, and Mayor.  

 Dr. Fulcomer received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Toledo, his master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University, and his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, cum laude, from Eastern Michigan University. 

Rebecca Larson
Executive Vice President for External Relations
608.204.5234

Rebecca Larson is the executive vice president for External Relations. In this role Rebecca works to support and advocate for student financial aid at the state and federal levels of government and tracks and participates in conversations surrounding policies that impact institutions of higher education and their students. She is responsible for working with state and federal governments as an advocate for student opportunity, high academic standards, and commonsense accountability.

Rebecca also works to coordinate cross sector collaborative partnerships with public two and four – year college and university systems to advance joint policies in higher education related to student transfer, online distance education reciprocity and issues that bridge K-12 and higher education. She oversees an external relations team consisting of research, public relations and marketing, outreach, and high school partnerships.

Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse and an Executive MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jennifer deHart
Chief Operating Officer
608.204.5226

Jennifer deHart is the chief operating officer at WAICU. With master’s degrees in both teaching and facilities management, she has more than 15 years of experience in institutional operations and association leadership. Jennifer oversees all operational aspects of the association, helping ensure that resources are aligned with the organizational mission. She promotes continuous improvement so that WAICU remains a professional and efficient workplace that attracts and develops talented people dedicated to learning and adapting to best serve member institutions and their students.

Jennifer also leads WAICU’s innovative collaborative cost-saving programs. She oversees over 45 program offerings that are organized by and for WAICU’s member institutions through a vigorous and principled vetting process. These programs save members millions of dollars every year, contributing to their efforts to manage the cost of higher education. By helping members join for better prices and services in the market and fostering the robust exchange of resources and ideas across institutions, Jennifer helps members realize a measurable return on investment.

When not in the office, her remote workstation, or a campus, Jennifer can be found swimming, running, cross-country skiing, or enjoying the spirited companionship of her goats.

Penelope Boone
Assistant External Relations & Government Affairs
608.204.5238

Penelope Boone is the assistant for External Relations and Government Affairs and is the newest addition to WAICU, having started in February of 2024. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Denison University in Ohio, where she conducted substantial undergraduate research on economic mobility and liberal arts colleges. With a background in college admissions and political activism, she is focused on assisting advocacy efforts and improving higher education accessibility and equality to all students.

Penelope supports WAICU’s External Relations functions, including government affairs, research, outreach, special projects, and marketing communications. Having navigated and transferred universities during the pandemic, Penelope understands the unique challenges faced by students at private colleges. She is using her fresh perspective to support the next generation of college graduates.

Outside of work, you can likely find Penelope at a nearby state park for camping and hiking, or at a local venue exploring the Madison music scene.

Torrie DeVoe
WAICU Benefits Consortium Coordinator
608.204.5231

Torrie Devoe is the benefits coordinator for the WAICU Benefits Consortium (WBC). She has been with WAICU since September 2003 and has been with WBC since its inception.

As the WBC plan administrator and through her years of service, Torre has built a strong knowledge of the WBC plans. This knowledge helps her advocate for all WBC members. Torre provides a high level of customer support in a prompt and timely manner for WBC members and their participants.

Torre works closely with human resources staff of the participating WBC member schools on enrollment and eligibility. She also provides a high level of customer support, which includes training of all human resources staff.

Kathy Dutter
Director of Member Services
608.204.5232

Kathy Dutter is the director of member services. She has been at WAICU since 2009 and has held several positions in the organization. Her background in business and management has provided great insight and experience for her role in member services.

Much of her work falls within the areas of human resources, information technology, Title IX, and training. She has coordinated six of WAICU’s annual Compliance Summits, helped to establish the annual Inclusion and Belonging Summit, formed a system of peer support for Title IX roles at WAICU member institutions, and launched the Mental Health Telecounseling program and the Executive Leadership Institute.

Kathy is passionate about helping others, and her position gives her the opportunity to help members access affordable training and resources so that they can be better at what they do. She fills her spare time working on her home, gardening, and pursuing a master’s degree. She also enjoys making gifts for family and friends with her quilting and woodworking.

Taylor Hooker
Director of Outreach and High School Partnerships
608.204.5237

Taylor Hooker joined WAICU in the fall of 2023 as the director of outreach and high school partnerships. Her background and expertise are in secondary education where she served as a high school life science and AVID teacher/site coordinator for many years. Taylor has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master’s of Arts in education.

Taylor’s experience in secondary education gives her a unique perspective into the needs of students, teachers, and school counselors. She enjoys working to support school counselors and offering professional development through WAICU’s School Counselor Workshops. Taylor’s passion for helping young people seize opportunities in their lives drives her work with middle and high school students, their families and school counselors while also supporting WAICU’s mission of working together for educational opportunity.

Taylor also works to provide opportunities for students currently enrolled at our member institutions through her work with our Nonprofit Internship Program and managing our grant/scholarship portfolio. Through her work at WAICU, Taylor is also a member of College Goal Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt, and the Higher Education Resource Hub.

Shane Kellar
Executive Director of the WAICU Benefits Consortium (WBC)
608.204.5228

Shane Kellar, HIA, GBDS, is the executive director of the WAICU Benefits Consortium (WBC) since October of 2018. Shane has been working in insurance for more than 25 years, working with a variety of different insurance coverages, from Health, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D, Disability, and Critical Illness. Shane’s primary area of expertise is in health insurance and specifically, self-funded health insurance, with 20 of his 25 years’ of insurance experience dedicated to self-funded health insurance.

Shane has experienced many changes in health insurance, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While serving as the executive director, the WBC, with the approval of the Board of Directors, has made several minor but necessary changes. As a result, plans offered today run more effectively and efficiently than at any point in WBC’s 20-year history!

Linh Anh Le
Researcher
608.204.5224

Linh Anh Le is an educational researcher and data analyst with a passion for using data to create transformational impacts and support underrepresented students. Linh Anh’s research during her undergraduate studies at Beloit College revolved around different aspects of education, including the impacts of higher education on income inequality and under-five child mortality.

In the summer between her junior and senior year, Linh Anh interned at Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where she applied her data analytics skills to evaluate the performance of their STEM schools. Upon graduation, Linh Anh worked as an Impact Analyst at the Morgridge Family Foundation. Linh Anh continuously strives to enhance her technical skills, automate data tasks, and explore the best practices for data visualization and storytelling.

At WAICU, Linh Anh coordinates the collection and provision of data for various mandated and voluntary surveys and conducts research and analysis in support of the association’s policies and programs.

Kathy Paul
Senior Project Administrator
608.334.7965

Kathy Paul is passionate about helping students at Wisconsin’s private colleges and universities reach their educational dreams one program at a time. A WAICU staff member since 2015, Kathy is a senior project administrator on the External Relations team and facilitates projects and initiatives that improve student enrollment and transfer, strengthen student retention and persistence, and advance legislative policies that impact WAICU-member institutions.

At WAICU, Kathy has worked on diverse administrative and academic projects ranging from professional development workshops for members to collaborative cross-sector initiatives like the WAICU-WTCS CCTA.

With a Master’s degree in Management and Arts Administration, Kathy has dedicated her career to addressing issues related to educational opportunity for all, empowering people with disabilities, and ensuring access to the visual arts. Outside of the office, Kathy finds inspiration in nature, visual art, and creative writing.

Shawn Robin
Assistant, Operations and Member Services
608.204.5221

Shawn Robin is the assistant for WAICU Operations and Member Services. She joined WAICU in 2021, bringing her passion and skills in process improvement and collaboration.

She has a leadership background in both the for profit and non-profit worlds. Shawn has experience finding ways to save WAICU colleagues and members time and money while improving resources available, such as WAICU Connect.

Shawn appreciates working with a wide range of people, including board members, vendor partners, and students seeking their academic records. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, going to concerts, and tending to plants both indoors and out.

Bill Schultz
Executive Director of WAICU Educational Technology Consortium
608.204.5236

Bill Schultz oversees the WAICU Educational Technology Consortium, a consortium among WAICU members for a common administrative system.

Pamela Seelman
Director of Marketing & Communications
608.204.5225

Pamela Seelman serves as the marketing communications director at WAICU. As such, she is responsible for all print and digital publications, social media, media relations, website management, and integrated marketing strategic planning.

Pamela started at WAICU in July of 2022, and takes great pride in streamlining marketing and communications systems to provide seamless and timely delivery of concise messages through all communications channels.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW-Madison and a Master’s degree in communications from Marquette University. Pamela enjoys backyard birding, hiking with her Choco labs, Greta and Keely, cooking, and crochet.

Sonja Umberger
Executive Assistant to the President
608.204.5222

Sonja Umberger is the executive assistant to WAICU President Eric W. Fulcomer, PhD. She is an eloquent communicator and happily serves as a resource to WAICU-member presidents and their assistants for all things WAICU-related. She joined WAICU in September of 2019.

Sonja believes that access to higher education is intrinsic to a higher quality of life. She is an independent thinker who appreciates the value of collaboration. Sonja is savvy in drafting, proofreading, and editing, and event planning—which comes in handy when coordinating logistics for the spring and fall WAICU Board of Directors and WAICU Executive Committee meetings. She is outcome-driven and a great problem solver. She is respected and trusted by her peers.

Sonja studied at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia (Italy), Madison College, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Italian language and literature. She is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer alum. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts USA and achieved her Gold Award in high school.