Board of Directors

Esther Powell, EdD

Executive Director
Esther Powell, EdD

Executive Director

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

Shelley Hintz

Society President
Shelley Hintz

Society President

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).

Penny Gaskins

Society Vice President
Penny Gaskins

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

Matt Hlinak

Past Society President
Matt Hlinak

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.

Treasurer
Maria R. Altobello, Ed.D.

Treasurer

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.

Guy D’Onofrio

Asset Manager/Assistant Executive Director
Guy D’Onofrio

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.

Karen Cordova

Secretary
Karen Cordova

Secretary

I have been at Regis University for over seventeen years teaching students in the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies as Affiliate and Lead Faculty.  I work for Jesuit Worldwide Learning, which provides Higher Education to those at the Margins, a diploma awarded by Regis University.

I had been in the role as advisor for two honor societies including Alpha Sigma Lambda where I helped our students manage and coordinate events to provide knowledge and entertainment to its members and campus community.

My varied roles demonstrate an eclectic background but all with the sole purpose of my passion for serving the student and learner.

Cheryl Hines

Member-At-Large
Cheryl Hines

Member-At-Large

Cheryl is the Coordinator of Student Outreach and Non-Traditional Student Support at the StateUniversity of New York College at Cortland’s Advisement and Transition office. Her duties include advising undecided, undergraduate students, assisting with the early alert program, teaching COR 101: The Cortland Experience, a first year semester, as well as serving as the chair of the Non-Traditional Student Support Advisory Committee. Cheryl currently serves at the Member-at-Large. She served as the Vice Present in 2016 and the Secretary from January 2013 through December 2014. She won Alpha Sigma Lambda’s William C. Hine Distinguished Service Award for the 2011-2012 academic year and served as an ex-officio member on the Alpha Sigma Lambda board during that time. She has been the councilor for the Lambda Omicron chapter since 2006. Cheryl is a member of NACADA and ANTSHE. She is also the advisor for the Non-Traditional Student Organization. She has been employed at SUNY Cortland for over 20 years and by the State of New York for over 28 years. She is married with an adult daughter.

Elizabeth Kane

2020 William C. Hine Awardee
Elizabeth Kane

2020 William C. Hine Awardee

Elizabeth Kane is a professional in the area of adult pedagogy and the delivery of courses in non-traditional formats. Upon leaving her first career, Ms.Kane served as an advisor, mentor and director ofthe School of Professional and Continuing Studies (SPCS) at Saint Peter’s University for less than one year before being promoted to Dean in 2007.

Among her many accomplishments, she was responsible for moving the school from trimesters to 8-week hybrid terms, a model which is still in effect today. Her vision was, and continues to be, to facilitate degree completion by offering the convenience of online learning with the option of attending class face to face on a limited basis to bolster the confidence of adult learners. While at SPCS, Ms. Kane was the founding councilor for Alpha Sigma Lambda, introduced evening convocation and honors ceremonies to recognize working students, started a scholarship specifically for SPCS students, and revamped the experiential learning process for the benefit of working adults. As the Associate Vice President for Adult, Graduate and Online Education at Centenary University, Ms. Kane continues to serve nontraditional students. In just over a year she has revamped the leave of absence policy, changed the definition of full-time studies and added two majors and five concentrations, all designed for the success of nontraditional learners. She continues to be an advocate for policies and procedures which may not align with traditional University model but which are created to recognize the unique needs of this vulnerable subset of undergraduate students.

Ms. Kane serves has served as consulting expert for other schools in the adult realm, has overseen the development of fully online programs at both institutions, created advisory boards of students, faculty and corporate partners to identify areas of opportunity, and oversees curricula with a focus on traditional academics partnered with practical experience.

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