Higher Education Administration M.S.Ed.

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Core Program Faculty

Willis A. Jones, Ph.D., Executive Ed.D. Program Director
Associate Professor
Merrick Building 312-O

Dr. Jones joined the University of Miami faculty in 2021 and leads the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership program. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Kentucky and the University of South Florida. Dr. Jones earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University; he also holds a master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas and a bachelor’s from the University of North Texas.  

Dr. Jones’s research uses quantitative data to examine the antecedents and outcomes of college/university behavior, strategy, structures, and policies. Within this broad research agenda, his primary area of interest is intercollegiate athletics, about which he has published many peer-reviewed articles exploring how intercollegiate athletics influence both organizational and student outcomes. 

Dr. Jones also explores and publishes on a wide range of issues, including college student retention, college rankings, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, student body racial diversity, the role of non-tenure track faculty, community colleges, and competency-based education. He teaches courses on the economics of higher education, higher education governance and administration, the community college, and research methods. 


Carol-Anne Phekoo, Ph.D., M.S.Ed. Program Director
Associate Professor, Professional Practice
Merrick Building 312-Y

Dr. Phekoo joined the University of Miami faculty in 2000 and directed the Higher Education Programs for 22 years. She led development of the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership in 2011, and currently administers the Master of Science program in Higher Education Administration. An educator of 30 years’ teaching and leadership experience, Dr. Phekoo earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from UM, receiving the Award for Academic Merit in 1999. She received the Provost’s Luis Glaser Mentorship Award in 2021.

In the dual role of scholar/administrator, she has focused on creating and maintaining first-rate academic offerings and advising, and hands-on professional experience opportunities. Students must demonstrate deep understanding of how theory and research underpin effective practice; Dr. Phekoo stays current in the field and connects with those developing its knowledge. She is well known for engaging and inspiring students, setting high expectations, and providing personal guidance.

Dr. Phekoo’s teaching focuses on college’s effect on student development, the practice of student affairs in higher education, and contemporary issues in higher education administration. Her research has examined college’s influence on social and occupational values.


Jenesis J. Ramirez, Ph.D., Lecturer
Merrick Building 312-W

Dr. Ramirez joined the University of Miami faculty in 2021. She holds a Ph.D. in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on Latinas’ experiences in higher education, including the effects of race, gender, family, and institutional climates on their personal, academic, and professional journeys. Broadly, her research interest is in issues of gender and race equity in higher education, particularly the experiences of the Latina/o/x population, and she approaches her scholarship from a Latina feminist standpoint.  

Previously, Dr. Ramirez served in Florida International University’s Office of Engagement, where she managed key external partnerships for FIU with an emphasis on initiatives and collaborations that contributed to socio-economic well-being.

As a professor, her mentorship style is holistic and intersectional. Pedagogically, she strives to interweave foundational texts, knowledge, and theories with current issues, practices, and critical theoretical perspectives and is committed to supporting students’ academic and professional aspirations.


Patricia Whitely, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty
Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Miami

Dr. Whitely has led the Division of Student Affairs since 1997 with oversight of residential life, leadership development, service learning, orientation, student organizations, activities and facilities, student counseling and health centers, Greek life, and the dean of students’ office. She has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for NASPA and was awarded the Scott Goodnight Award presented to professionals who have “demonstrated sustained professional achievement in student affairs work” (NASPA, 2015), among other honors. Dr. Whitely earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Theology from St. John’s University, master’s in Student Personnel Services from the University of South Carolina, and doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from UM. She has taught in the Higher Education Program at UM since 1995, and her class in Organization & Administration is well known for its dynamic insights into the complex and sometimes competing agendas of a university.


Scott Ingold, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty
Associate Director, Enrollment Technology, University of Miami

Dr. Ingold joined the University of Miami in 1990, where he now teaches enrollment management and employed its principles in daily practice as a longtime administrator, including as UM Registrar. He helped to create the first graduate program in enrollment management in the country at UM, and he has taught a range of courses in the School of Education & Human Development. Dr. Ingold earned his Ed.D. from Florida International University in Curriculum and Instruction and received the Dissertation of the Year Award from the Southern Association for College Student Affairs. He easily conveys to his students the components of synergistic thinking, planning and implementing through research, and the skills and abilities today’s practitioners need for success.


Brian Orefice, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty
Assistant Dean for Graduate Students
College of Arts & Sciences, The Ohio State University

Dr. Orefice has taught in the Executive Ed.D. at the University of Miami since 2013. He earned his B.A. in Economics and Government from Connecticut College and M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership: Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. His dissertation research was in enrollment management, exploring the impact of financial aid on student recruitment, persistence, and retention. He has held administrative positions in both academic and student affairs, including residential life, honors programs, commuter student services, and orientation and parent programs. In addition to his assistant deanship, he is a lecturer at Ohio State in the doctoral program in higher education and student affairs.


Renee Dickens Callan, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty
Executive Director, Student Life, University of Miami

Dr. Callan joined UM in 1993 and is now Executive Director of Student Life with oversight of five key departments, including Multicultural Student Affairs, the LGBTQ Student Center, and the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development. She is co-chair of UM’s Standing Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and an instructor of Intergroup Dialogue (undergraduate) and College Student Development Theory (graduate). Dr. Callan also facilitates workshops that help students develop skills and competencies related to social justice as well as sessions with faculty members on pedagogy and creating inclusive classroom environments. She earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from UM; her dissertation research focused on the college experience of Black, female, first-generation college students.


John Haller, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty
Vice President of Enrollment Management, University of Miami

Mr. Haller, a professional with more than 18 years of experience in admissions, joined the University of Miami in 2014 from Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania, where he was Associate Provost of Enrollment Management. He has held enrollment leadership positions in various areas, serving as Assistant Dean of Enrollment at Drexel University, where he also taught in the Higher Education master’s program, and as Associate Director of Admissions and Marketing at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Haller earned a doctorate in education at the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 and holds master’s degrees in Business and Higher Education as well as a certificate from the Institute for Education Management at Harvard University.


Affiliated Faculty


Soyeon Ahn, Ph.D., Professor
Chair, Department of Education & Psychological Studies, University of Miami 

Dr. Ahn holds a Ph.D. in Measurement and Quantitative Methods from Michigan State University and joined UM in 2008. Her research focuses on the application of existing data analytic techniques to resolve complicated data issues in meta-analysis (research synthesis). Other areas of interest include hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), structural equation modeling (SEM), and longitudinal data analysis for educational and psychological research. Dr. Ahn works with doctoral students in devising research methodology and plays a central role in research initiatives both inside and outside the university. Her many activities include publishing in numerous journals and reviewing grants for programs of the National Science Foundation.


Susan Mullane, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Clinical Practice
Department of Kinesiology & Sport Sciences, University of Miami

Dr. Mullane received her Ph.D. in Higher Education/Sport Administration from UM. A former student-athlete and Associate Dean of Students, she has extensive experience in leadership development and training and student development, and teaches courses in sport administration, leadership, conflicts management, and motivation. She has published and presented extensively in those areas of expertise. Dr. Mullane was a founding member of UM’s Ethics Consortium, and has coordinated “Ethics in Education” symposia with the UM law school’s Center for Ethics and Public Policy. She also chaired the Ethics Advisory Committee for the School Board of Miami Dade County Public Schools.