The SEM Works staff has been specially assembled to share our collective expertise, talents and innovations in strategic enrollment management and marketing. The core of our team is comprised of 20 individuals, primarily current or former practitioners in the field. We also draw from the know-how of an extensive network of higher education experts from all over North America. After meeting with you to identify your current environmental context and vision for change, our President and CEO, Dr. Jim Black, will personally select a team best prepared to mitigate institutional threats and seize opportunities.

While working with our management, consulting, or creative staff, you'll have access to a team of professionals that will ensure your needs are met and convert your challenges into opportunities.

President and CEO

The president and CEO of SEM Works, Dr. Jim Black, is an internationally recognized expert in enrollment management as well as in change management. He has published a monograph titled, Navigating Change in the New Millennium: Strategies for Enrollment Leaders, and four books, The Strategic Enrollment Management Revolution, considered to be a groundbreaking publication for the enrollment management profession, Gen Xers Return to College, Essentials of Enrollment Management: Cases in the Field, and Strategic Enrollment Intelligence. Among his other published works are numerous articles and book chapters including a feature article in College & University, Creating Customer Delight; a chapter, Creating a Student-Centered Culture, for a book on best practices in student services published by SCUP and sponsored by IBM; a chapter on enrollment management in a Jossey-Bass book on student academic services; as well as a bimonthly feature in The Greentree Gazette.

Dr. Black is the founder of the National Conference on Student Retention in Small Colleges and cofounder of the National Small College Admissions Conference and the National Small College Enrollment Conference. He formerly served as the director of AACRAO's Strategic Enrollment Management Conference.

Black was honored as the recipient of the 2005 AACRAO Distinguished Service Award and in 2012, he was selected as the Alumnus of the Year for his graduate program at the University of South Carolina. He has been interviewed by publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Converge Magazine, The Enrollment Management Report, The Lawlor Review, and was interviewed for AACRAO's Data Dispenser. Black also was featured in an international teleconference on enrollment management sponsored by The Center for the Freshman Year Experience at the University of South Carolina, and a PBS broadcast on "Blending High Tech and High Touch Student Services." In 1999, Jim Black was named an IBM Best Practices Partner, one of only twenty-three in the world. He was invited by The College Board to Heidelberg, Germany, to evaluate the APIEL Exam and most recently was invited to lead conferences on enrollment management and student services in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Dr. Black has served on the boards of several technology companies and has consulted with companies such as Microsoft, Blackboard, and the SAS Institute. Higher education clients have included over 400 two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions.

Jim earned a B.A. in English education and M.A. in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Ph.D. in higher education curriculum and teaching from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His doctoral experience provides our clients with unique perspectives into innovative pedagogical, curricular, and program opportunities that impact enrollment outcomes. Leveraging his educational background along with his many years as an associate provost, dean, and faculty member in a higher education environment, Dr. Black will provide your institution with strategic insights that are grounded in theory and are actionable.

Consulting Team

During her career of over 35 years, Kathi Baucom has provided leadership in a variety of higher education enrollment management positions. Her areas of expertise include enrollment planning, admissions, registration and records, recruitment of adult learners, scholarship administration and personnel selection. Kathi brings extensive experience in strengthening enrollment through the application of technology and process improvement in recruitment, registration, financial aid and scholarship management. In her position as Associate Provost for Enrollment Management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she increased the size and quality of the freshman and transfer classes, implemented campus-wide communication plans and improved administrative services to the students and faculty. Kathi established the University's first student services call center, created a centralized residency review office and designed an award winning program to recruit adult learners. In addition, she played a central role in implementing a nationally competitive freshman scholarship program. Kathi is respected for her collaborative approach and her ability to build consensus across campus academic and administrative units.

In 2011, Kathi received the Apex Award for Student Success, a national award from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). This award recognizes individuals in higher education for enhancing the administration and delivery of student services. In 2009, she also received the Bilger Citation for Service for her many contribution to AACRAO. A frequent presenter and panelist, Kathi has delivered sessions at AACRAO's annual conference, the Strategic Enrollment conference and SACRAO's annual meeting on topics such as leadership, transfer admission, mentoring, employee selection, recruiting adult learners and enrollment strategies. Kathi has been a participant in the Harvard Institute for Life Long Education and the Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education. She also served as the President of the two-state Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Kathi holds a Masters in Education in Student Personnel and Counseling and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Kathy Baugher is nationally recognized as a presenter and consultant in the areas of strategic enrollment management, continuous improvement in higher education, and student services. She has over 25 years of experience in enrollment management with colleges, universities and other educational enterprises. Dr. Baugher earned a BS degree in education from Samford University, an MA degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an Ed.D. degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in educational leadership/higher education administration.

An early adopter and pioneer in many areas of student services streamlining and continuous improvement adapted for education, Dr. Baugher is most often sought after for her visionary strategic thinking and her ability to translate vision into action plans that deliver results. She has served as a consultant with institutions of every size and type. In these roles, she developed national models in integrated student services in financial aid and one-stop student service centers, as well as models of assessment for academic and administrative units based on continuous improvement.

Dr. Baugher has authored numerous articles and book chapters about her experiences with continuous improvement in education, integration of student services and the development of strategic enrollment management. She speaks frequently about the applications of continuous improvement and change management to education and other aspects of educational administration, particularly in the areas of enrollment. Dr. Baugher has been a presenter at AACRAO, TACRAO, SACRAO, SACAC, NACUBO, NCCI, and smaller focused conferences on integrated student services and strategic enrollment management.

Jay Goff has more than 25 years of experience as a higher education consultant and in leading university enrollment services, international relations, strategic planning and communication initiatives. Jay believes in building a team oriented and data-powered workplace that stresses implementation of best practices and service focused student success plans.

Most recently, Jay served as Vice President of Enrollment and Retention Management at Saint Louis University for seven years. His mission-centric approach achieved five of largest and most talented freshman classes in SLU’s 200-year history. He also helped the university reach a 91 percent student retention rate, record setting graduation and diversity levels, and a 17 percent reduction in average student loan debt loads. Jay’s work to create new international partnerships and expanded national networks resulted in growth among new target markets and on the SLU campus in Madrid, Spain.

Prior to SLU, Jay was the vice-provost and chief enrollment officer at Missouri University of Science and Technology from 2001 to 2011. At Missouri S&T his leadership efforts assisted with a 60 percent increase in enrollment—setting student diversity and graduation rate records and positioning the school as one of the five fastest-growing research universities.

Mr. Goff is an active member in the global college and university enrollment management community. He has authored articles and book chapters in addition to consulting with over 30 institutions in ten countries. Jay coordinated AACRAO’s Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) conference for eight years and has served as an advisory board member for ACT, the Educational Policy Institute and the National Student Clearinghouse. Mr. Goff and his teams have received national and regional professional service and student advocacy awards. In July 2018, his organizational system for improving student success was recognized with a national Retention Excellence Award.

Jay earned his master’s in organizational communication from the University of Kansas and B.A. from Southeast Missouri State University. His doctoral studies focus on effective change management in higher education.

As a leader, strategic thinker, coach, educator and facilitator, Pam Reeves Cash has a passion for "making positive things happen" for individuals, organizations and in her community. Pam’s strength as a maximizer enables her to cull together all of a client’s data, storytelling, activity outcomes and expressed goals into a final delivery of parallel plans that provide clients with a number of actions steps forward. Ultimately, her caring and all-in facilitation style helps individuals and organizations move from a good position to better than ever before.

With SEM Works, Pam uses a strength-based Appreciative Inquiry approach to strategic planning, team building and engagement, performance management, change management, program assessment and executive coaching. Pam is certified in Appreciative Inquiry, the Change Style Indicator and the Change Style Navigator.

For more than a decade, Pam served as the assistant dean of the Bryan School of Business and Economics at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), overseeing a host of administrative functions, including academic advising, the study abroad program, information technology, and marketing communications, as well as projects related to strategic planning and accreditation.

In the community, Pam serves as vice chairwoman of the board of the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, where she leads the Strategic Planning and Human Resources committees. She is an alumna of Leadership Greensboro and a graduate of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium's Board Development Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a master’s in business education from UNCG

Dr. Jones is the vice-president for enrollment management at Averett University in Danville, Virginia. He has a B.A. in communication studies from Purdue University, a master's in theology from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in education with a focus in higher education leadership at Northcentral University. His higher education career spans sixteen years at both large public universities and small private colleges and encompasses a wide variety of successful and impressive leadership roles in student affairs, institutional advancement, alumni affairs, and enrollment management. Known by colleagues as “the leader with the Midas touch,” each of Dr. Jones' professional endeavors has resulted in impressive outcomes and achievement of institutional goals. Under his leadership, recruitment, retention, and revenue goals have been met each year. As an effective change agent and visionary, Dr. Jones has successfully implemented institution-wide strategic, comprehensive, systematic, and data driven enrollment plans designed to identify, recruit, and retain students who are an institutional best fit. Not only have enrollment numbers consistently increased, but so has academic profile and net tuition revenue. Dr. Jones has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at numerous local, regional, and national conferences. He also has participated in and held leadership positions in professional associations such as NASPA, NACAC, IACAC, AACRAO, NACE, Midwest ACE, and CDPI. Regarded as a thought leader in his field, Dr. Jones is a high-energy and charismatic personality with a great sense of humor who enjoys consulting and helping institutions achieve enrollment success through the sharing of best practices. If you're serious about change leading to success, Dr. Jones is ready to assist.

Dr. James (Jim) K. Weeks is an academic and constant learner at heart. As a certified Appreciative Inquiry facilitator, he uses his strengths in research and inquiry-based exploration to uncover the potential that lies at an individual’s or organization’s positive core. Jim Weeks is also an achiever; clients trust Jim because they know that he is going to deliver an outstanding experience, above and beyond what they even expected.

Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of the Bryan School of Business and Economics at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Jim also is an Emeritus member of Beta Gamma Sigma Board of Governors.

During his academic career as a professor of operations management and dean, he taught students of all ages and in various stages of their careers, was recognized nationally for his published research, and received national and regional recognition from professional associations for his contributions to the profession. With SEM Works, Jim uses a strength-based Appreciative Inquiry approach to strategic planning, team building and engagement, performance management, change management, program assessment and executive coaching for a wide variety of organizations.

Jim has conducted numerous seminars and management development programs throughout the nation for a variety of universities and business organizations. He has been an active board member holding numerous leadership positions for business and economic, educational, civic, health care and religious organizations. Jim earned his undergraduate degree in business at Methodist University, an MBA from East Carolina and his PhD from the University of South Carolina.

Monique L. Snowden, Ph.D., is provost & senior vice president and faculty in the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding Graduate University. In addition to serving as chief academic officer, Dr. Snowden provides leadership and support for the university in the application of strategic planning; operational performance monitoring, assessment, and improvement; risk assessment and management; project management; and change management. She has academic oversight for program development, delivery and review. Her administrative oversight includes marketing, recruitment, admissions/enrollment operations, financial aid & scholarships, advising, registrar-supported academic and enrollment services, academic technology, library services, institutional research and analytic services.

Dr. Snowden has more than 25 years of higher education experience, with strong knowledge and expertise in advancing organizations' strategic implementation and utilization of technology and leveraging of analytics for organizational and educational effectiveness. She began her professional career as a software developer and business consultant for a global information technology services and solutions firm before shifting to higher education as an information resources and technology leader in the central computing organization within Texas A&M University's Division of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Snowden is the former assistant dean of enrollment management at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies and the founding director of enrollment research and technology for the Office of Admissions and Records at Texas A&M. In the former position, she collaborated with a team of academic and student service leaders to attain regional accreditor approval for the first online degree offered by Northwestern University. In the latter position, Dr. Snowden directed the development, implementation and support of enterprise technology solutions for university-wide admissions and registrar initiatives. During her tenure at Texas A&M, she served an approximate two-year appointment as the managing director of admissions processing, a subsequent one-year appointment as interim director of admissions, and held numerous leadership positions in the university's Computing & Information Services division.

Dr. Snowden is an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, Commissioner on the WASC Senior College and University (WSCUC) Commission. She recently served as vice president for access and equity on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law. She has authored several SEM publications, is a frequent presenter on learner-centered enrollment management and the enrollment logics that guide higher education SEM practice, and is a founding member of the Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly (SEMQ) Journal editorial board.

Dr. Snowden holds a BBA in Business Analysis, MS in Management Information Systems, and PhD in Communication (with an emphasis in organizational communication) from Texas A&M University—main campus. She is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and certified Project Management professional (PMP).

Research Team

Dr. Carrigan has been providing SEM Works' clients with insightful analysis for more than seven years. During this time, she has conducted enrollment opportunity analyses, developed enrollment projection models, and performed financial aid analyses for numerous colleges and universities.

Carrigan's tenure in higher education administration spans some 27 years, with roles and responsibilities in institutional research, planning, assessment, institutional effectiveness, and student affairs. She has served as the Director of Institutional Research at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Other professional experience includes institutional research at Auburn University-Montgomery and Auburn University main campus (AL), academic assessment for a private college consortium housed at the University of Kentucky, and residence life director at Midway College (KY).

Sarah's areas of knowledge and expertise include enrollment planning and projections, program review, academic assessment, retention, and institutional effectiveness and institutional research. She has publications in New Directions for Institutional Research and regularly gives presents research findings at state, regional, and national professional forums. Sarah is a trained Institutional Effectiveness Evaluator for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and is currently serving on the AIR Forum Publications Editorial Advisory Committee and the SCUP Professional Development Committee.

Sarah Carrigan earned her Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Kentucky, M.S. in college student personnel from Indiana State University, and B.A. in psychology from DePauw University.

John's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in business administration from Duquesne University and a master of international management from Thunderbird (a.k.a. American Graduate School of International Management).

Shannon obtained her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Manitoba in 2002. She has worked as a researcher in cooperation with several faculty members at the University of Manitoba, which involved designing research strategies and collecting and analyzing data for numerous research projects. Prior to her current position at CCI Research, Shannon acquired her unique set of research skills and experience, in part, through the following positions:

  • Social, Developmental, and Cross-Cultural Psychology Researcher, University of Manitoba
  • Research Consultant, Canadian Paraplegic Association
  • Lecturer, Inter-Universities North, Brandon University
  • Test Bank Editor, Prentice Hall Canada
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba

Dr. Howell possesses expertise in research methodology, data analysis, and report writing. Academic and working experience in these areas has provided a strong background in organizational, written, and analytical proficiency. Her research responsibilities include: consulting with clients on research methodology and sampling, developing and refining quantitative and qualitative research instruments, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, facilitating focus groups, and preparing custom reports which include detailed statistical and conceptual analyses.

Shannon is involved in a large number of higher education projects, providing direction from the development and implementation stages through to reporting and analysis. In particular, Shannon has worked to analyze postsecondary education KPI data and design reports that contribute meaningfully to positive change through program and institutional review at individual institutions.

Liz began her career in higher education over 20 years ago working the front lines of a financial aid office and has since held a variety of roles in enrollment management and institutional research. She has worked with public and private institutions, both large and small, across the United States aiding them in crafting data-driven goals and strategies. Liz has expertise in financial aid leveraging and in developing financial aid programs and policies to support institutional enrollment goals. She worked at the Utah System of Higher Education, providing data to educate, create conversation, and inform policies and legislation.

Liz also has expertise in conducting process audits on campuses. She has helped institutions to employ technology, streamline processes, and improve the student experience within service offices.

Liz holds an MBA from The College of Saint Rose where she learned the power of MS Excel and first realized her love of data. Most recently she has worked in institutional research at the University of Utah where she combined strategic and analytical skills with a passion for storytelling with data.

With a background as an engineer, data scientist, and educator Kent Merdes is passionate about leveraging data to aid strategy, innovation, and decision-making in the higher education space.

Kent received a bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and a Master of Education from University of Notre Dame. Following the completion of a Master’s in Data Science from Northwestern University in 2015, Kent has focused his time building enrollment-related advanced analytics products for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Kent is a self-described “data nerd” who recognizes that getting advanced analytics products off the ground and into production often requires navigating messy and challenging data.

Kent’s areas of expertise include:

  • Data cleaning and data preparation
  • Automation of data processes
  • Data Mining
  • Data visualizations and dashboard design and implementation
  • Predictive modeling
  • Machine learning

Communication Team

Amanda King has over twenty-three years of experience with integrated campaigns focusing on strategic design for higher education, private schools, nonprofits, healthcare, and foundations.

She is an award-winning designer capable of working on all aspects of a design and marketing project from conceptualization, implementation, project management, to art directing photo and video shoots. Her vast experience includes student recruitment materials, traditional print and digital advertising, capital campaign case statements, editorial design, marketing materials, video direction and production, social media design and marketing, e-commerce design, and website design.

Her work has been recognized nationally with eight CASE Awards (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), including two gold awards and a bronze award, three awards for the Higher Education Marketing Report Digital Marketing Awards, two awards from the InspirED School Marketers Brilliance Awards, and other recognitions including PRINT Magazine, the ADDYs, PIA (Printing Industries of Americas), over twenty-nine PICA's (Printing Industry of Carolinas), the National Council on Foundations, Communicator Awards and Aster Awards for Healthcare, and the AIGA BOOM Competition.

She served as Vice President on the board of the AIGA Triad NC Chapter for two years and as the Program and Events Chair for two years, has served on High Point University’s advisory board for the School of Art and Design, was a part of a SECCA steering committee for the Graphic Design Now in Production exhibit, and participated on the Program and Marketing Committee at her local YMCA.

Amanda graduated from N.C. State University College of Design where she received a Bachelor of Graphic Design and graduated early with honors.

Before joining SEM Works as a web developer, Mr. Rivera accumulated ten years of experience developing highly interactive Web sites. For the last three and half years David has specialized in Web site development for The University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Division of Continual Learning online courses, which will soon become the University's online hub. David's creative work on the Web site and collaboration with the marketing team has resulted in a silver award for the Division's iSchool. Prior to working with online courses, David was UNCG's Web Manager with responsibility for ensuring that the University's Web site code and design were up to date and compliant with government requirements.

Unlike traditional Web designers and coders who specialize in one field or the other, David possesses both talents and is an advocate for open source technology and clean and simple designs. Currently, David focuses his techniques around current Web 2.0 Web standards and trends—making use of technologies like JavaScript, AJAX, CSS, XML, and XHTML.

David also possesses multimedia skills for Web and/or DVD delivery. From video editing to post production via Final Cut Studio, Motion, and Flash, David is highly skilled at incorporating multimedia into his sites for richer user experiences.

Although David's primary experience has been in higher education, he also has background in the construction, entertainment, and tourism industries. Recently, he revised and updated the award winning Our State magazine Web site and will soon implement social media components to enrich the site's ability to influence and communicate with their subscribers.

Originally from central Florida, Megan Burgess moved to North Carolina in 2011 and is proud to call it home. She earned a BA in history from North Carolina State University and began content writing in 2017. Although she now works in marketing, she has previously worked in elementary education and museum education.

As a professional writer, she has created email marketing campaigns, blog posts, web copy, and ad copy for a variety of clients. With strong on-page SEO skills and a reader-first approach to creating content, her work appeals to both readers and search engines. When it comes to email marketing, she enjoys performing A/B tests to find the ideal messaging and approach.