Esther Powell, EdD
Dr. Esther S. Powell currently serves as Assistant Dean for Support and Engagement Services, University College and Lifelong Learning, Winston-Salem State University. She has been employed with the university 30 years in various capacities. During those years Powell has worked with undergraduate, graduate, and adult students.
Dr. Powell earned her undergraduate degree in business management from Shaw University, a master’s degree in adult education from North Carolina A&T State University and her doctorate degree in higher education leadership from Northcentral University.
She is a past president of the North Carolina Adult Education Association; she is the North Carolina State Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Association of Continuing Higher Education; Vice President of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society; Chief Academic Officer for the Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education; and most recently, Dr. Powell was appointed to the University of North Carolina Military Affairs Council.
Other affiliations include, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and most importantly, she is a member of Friendship Baptist Church, Lexington, NC
Ms. Hintz is the Director of Academic Support and Retention and an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). In this role, she focuses on helping students achieve their educational goals, which includes developing tutoring services, recognition programs, and engagement activities for the university’s adult student population. She has been the chapter councilor for the Tau Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda for almost ten years, and also serves as an officer for two other honor societies at the university.
Ms. Hintz received her Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland- College Park. She has been an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Region of UPCEA, serving on the conference planning and awards committees. She also has been involved in the development of the Maryland College Learning Center Association (MDCLCA).
Dr. Elizabeth Pack
Elizabeth is a native North Carolinian with her formative years spent in the Winston-Salem area. After graduating from high school, she planned to enter the workforce, but her parents had other ideas. Still thinking she was not college material, she entered the Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC. After completing two associate’s degrees in business and marketing, she realized she would need a bachelor’s to be competitive in the workforce. Fortunately, at the community college she discovered information on a private college that would accept most of her credits. She would not have to start over, but she would have to move.
Elizabeth completed her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in two years and a master’s degree in business two years later from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. She had every intention of becoming a vice president of marketing at a Fortune 500 company. The only glitch was there were no companies or positions of that nature in the small town where she lived. Eventually, Elizabeth would find a marketing position in a small company an hour away from the town. She loved the job but not the commute.
Almost four years later, by happenstance, she was given an opportunity to work at her alma mater as an academic advisor in the program from which she graduated. The higher education bug bit her. Championing adult students to achieve a degree became her passion. After completing requirements of an Ed.D. in Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, Elizabeth achieved the position of dean of the program from which she graduated over 20 years ago. She continues to be an advocate for adult education at the university level.
Elizabeth has served as Councilor for the Gamma Beta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda at Gardner-Webb University since 2016. She has overseen the induction of more than 200 students to the honor society since 2012. She was inducted as an honorary member in 2006.
Society Vice President
Penny was born in Thomasville, Georgia, March 29,1961. After completing high school, she enrolled at Thomas County Community College, now Thomas University. Penny, left School after getting married to a Navy Seaman. She has lived in Pearl Harbor, HW., Jacksonville, FL. and Kings Bay, GA.
Highlights - Penny started her own business in the floral and catering world. She planned upscale weddings and traveled throughout three states conducting weddings and special events. Her floral designs and weddings have been featured in noted publications such as Knott’s Weddings, Southern Living, Southern Weddings, & The Thomasville Scene. She was also a featured decorator for a local city event ‘Show Case Christmas Decorations in the South.’
Education - When aging family members began to need her, she closed her business to care for her parents and uncle. Visiting the veteran’s hospitals and clinics with her father and uncle. She felt her calling to go back to school in order to make a difference in the lives of veterans. After 35 years, Penny returned to school. Penny refers to this return as “coming home. She chose to come back to Thomas University and to complete the educational goal she first set out to do. At 54 years of age she worked hard and completed her Associates degree requirements, and at this time she was inducted into the Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. That gave her the encouragement to continue on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Studies in Addictions in the Fall of 2017.
Awards and Decorations - Penny gradated with Latin Honors - Magna Cum Laude. She was inducted into Alpha Chi Honor Society Fall 2017, served as member and president of the Honor Council for 3 years, received the Gale Whitehurst Pioneer Award for work in leadership, work with the veterans and the Salute Honor Society. She received the Outstanding Graduate in the Division of Counseling and Psychology. She has recently been inducted into Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society for Counseling Graduate students.
At Thomas University she found her love for higher education, Veterans and helping those like her returning to school. She began as an admissions representative working with nontraditional students and encouraging them to return to school. “It is Never too late” was her moto.
After two years she began in her current position in the Registrar’s office. She finds this job to be very rewarding and fulfilling. She still continues to encourage nontraditional students and veterans. She was appointed
Past Society President
Matt Hlinak is the Assistant Provost for Continuing Studies & Special Initiatives at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, where he leads the School of Professional & Continuing Studies. He previously managed professional development certificate programs at Northwestern University and taught at the University of Illinois.
Matt is an ex officio member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Board of Directors and the 2014 William C. Hine Distinguished Service Award winner. In addition, he is past president of the Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business (MALSB), and is proud to have opened MALSB’s membership to faculty from continuing education units and community colleges. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education and the Governing Board of the University Center of Lake County.
Matt’s research on adult education pedagogy has appeared in The Journal of Legal Studies Education and Liberal Education. He won the 2015 Alexander Devience Jr. Distinguished Proceedings Paper Award from MALSB for his essay on flipped classrooms and online learning. He holds a JD from the University of Illinois and an MFA—as an adult learner—from Northwestern.
Maria R. Altobello, Ed.D.
Education provides upward economic mobility and I am living proof of its power. This is why I am passionate about higher education.
For the last 17 years, I have worked with first-generation college students through the development of undergraduate, graduate, and pathway programs. I aim to reduce the entry barriers by providing potential students with access to higher education opportunities. I also strive to create environments that support students through their journey. Increased access and a supportive environment have a positive impact on student retention and success.
I received an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Distance Education and an M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University, a specialization in Finance and an A.L.M. in Information Technology from Harvard University, and a B.S. in Business from Universidad Metropolitana (Venezuela).
As Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Franklin Pierce University, I oversee undergraduate and graduate programs designed with the adult student in mind. My current focus is to explore alternatives to lower the cost of education and time to degree completion.
I am committed to lifelong learning. My research interests relate to issues surrounding adult learners, including prior learning assessment, retention, and quality in distance education. I have been the recipient of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) destined to study prior learning assessment and retention in adult student populations.
Engaging in community service is an important component of my work. I served as Chapter Vice President of Sigma Beta Delta Local Chapter 2004-2018. I have also served as Chapter Councilor for Alpha Sigma Lambda since 2013. In 2017, I began my service as Member at Large of Alpha Sigma Lambda, and I am now serving as Treasurer.
Alpha Sigma Lambda recognizes academically outstanding adult students in higher education. As a member of the Board of Directors, I am able to act on my passion of assisting students as they navigate their way towards graduation by providing access to and exploring opportunities. I am looking forward to continuing my service should I be chosen.
Asset Manager/Assistant Executive Director
Guy D’Onofrio is based in Birmingham, AL, currently employed at BBVA Compass as Vice President, Business Process Strategist. Prior to joining BBVA, Mr. D’Onofrio was a senior consultant at Praxis Advisors, Fannie Mae, and BenchMark Consulting International.
Mr. D’Onofrio is a 1981 graduate of Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. While employed as a bank operations manager at Continental Bank, a predecessor to PNC Bank, Guy completed graduate studies in 1984 at the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking hosted by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.
As an undergraduate student, Guy was an active member of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society and the Cross Keys student service Honor Society.
In 1992, Mr. D’Onofrio was invited to serve on the Alpha Sigma Lambda Adult Education Foundation Board. When the Foundation was merged into the Society in 2007, he was appointed to the Alpha Sigma Lambda Board of Directors as Asset Manager.
Bob Charlebois has worked in higher education for almost ten years. He has a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Appalachian State University and started his career as an academic advisor in their Walker College of Business. After three and a half years in the advising center, he moved to the Office of Transfer Services at Appalachian State. There he directed a transfer student support and advising program for students at three regional community colleges. Jump Start Appalachian provided support and guidance to students planning to transfer to Appalachian. In 2016, he was hired to implement a similar program at University of South Alabama. Pathway USA quickly grew to serve five community colleges in three states. After four years with Pathway USA, in November 2019, he accepted the newly created director position in USA’s Office of Adult Learner Services.
Having worked with many adult Business majors and community college transfer students over the span of ten years, Bob is very familiar with the adult student population and their unique needs. They are among his favorite students to work with. On a daily basis, he assists interested, admitted and current adult and non-traditional students at South, helping them navigate the admission and financial aid process, find support resources and connect with academic departments. Soon after starting with the Office of Adult Learner Services, Bob re-activated the dormant Theta Tau chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. In spring 2020 the chapter inducted 95 new members. Previously, Bob advised Appalachian’s chapter of Tau Sigma, the transfer student honor society, for eight years.
Edward Singleton, Jr.
2021 William C. Hine Awardee
Edward Singleton, Jr. is the Director of the Bethune-Cookman University Branch Campus just outside of Hastings, the town in which he was born 79 years ago.
Mr. Singleton, a charismatic man with a quick smile and a can-do demeanor, remembers harvesting potatoes as a child, crawling behind a tractor from sunup to sundown. The black school, he recalls, was not even in session during potato season, so that local youngsters could work uninterrupted. According to him, working in the potato fields motivated him to go off to school.
Mr. Singleton attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, then served in the U.S. Air Force and U. S. Army. He completed his Business Administration degree at Bethune-Cookman College. Although he could have gone anywhere, in 1975 he came back to Hasting, where career opportunities-particularly for a young African-American with a college education –were virtually non-existent. He became St. Johns County first black mayor in 1994.
Mr. Singleton sold insurance for several years before being hired in 1979 by his alma mater to develop a Continuing Education program and open a branch campus in Spuds. For the last 41 years he has worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the Professional Studies program (formerly Continuing Education program) at Bethune-Cookman University’s, John W. Miller Center, Hastings Campus (formerly Bethune-Cookman College, Spuds Branch Campus).
Mr. Singleton was hired by Dr. Cleo S. Higgins (former Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty--now Professor Emeritus) to established the Professional Studies Program in 1979. The Bethune-Cookman University Professional Studies program at the John W. Miller Center (B-CU Hastings Campus) seeks to serve the University by providing educational services to the adult learner-matriculating student. The program provides the means by which the University enriches, expands, and extends its primary missions of teaching, research and community service. The Professional Studies program at the B-CU Miller Center purposely seeks
to provide adult learners’ career oriented degree and non-degree programs. Outreach programs have been designed to meet the educational, social and cultural needs of adult learners.
For 41 years Mr. Singleton has worked tirelessly to increase the quality of programs and services for the non-traditional adult learner. In addition to offering undergraduate degrees, this Campus has held workshops on economic development; provided space for job interviews for various employers; convened student recruitment programs, provided in-service training to pre
school service workers; offered College Credit Courses to in-service teachers and serves as a center for community activities as desired by citizens of the