Our first goal is to enhance the value of the Alma student experience. We believe that in general this is achieved by strengthening the community of faculty and staff who support our students’ growth. While we will make difficult choices and take appropriate risks, in all cases we will act with integrity and deep respect for the college community.
Reid-Knox Administration Building
Jeff Abernathy is Alma College’s 13th president. An English professor by training, he has a long-term commitment to the core values of a liberal arts education. Recognizing the rapidly changing higher education landscape, he has championed the use of data analysis and strategic planning to engage the campus in preparing for a future. Prior to coming to Alma, Dr. Abernathy served as vice president and dean of Augustana College from 2004-2010, where he helped to found the Midwest Alliance for Learning in the Liberal Arts, a consortium of seven liberal arts colleges committed to collecting, sharing and analyzing data on student learning for the purpose of improving student outcomes. Dr. Abernathy’s primary area of study is African -American literature. He is author of “To Hell and Back: Race and Betrayal in the Southern Novel.” A native of Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Abernathy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Longwood College. He earned a master’s degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Florida.
Reid-Knox Administration Building
Todd Friesner, vice president for finance and administration, is the chief financial officer of the college and strategic advisor to the president in the areas of the budget, business affairs and management services. He has oversight of the accounting, campus safety, dining services, facilities management, financial services, information technology, human resource and mailing and printing functions and is also responsible for the operational budget and capital projects. He joined Alma’s leadership team in January 2015 after 35 years in business and finance positions, including 18 years as a senior financial services executive. He is a 1979 Alma College alumnus whose academic experience included double majors in business and history. As a student-athlete, Friesner was the recipient of the Dr. Leroy Block Scholar Athlete award and an NCAA post-graduate scholarship. He has an MBA from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Executive MBA Program.
Reid-Knox Administration Building
Bob Garcia was appointed vice president for enrollment in August 2012 after serving two years as director of admissions at Alma College. He leads the college’s student recruitment efforts and provides administrative oversight of the admissions and financial aid offices as well as joint administrative leadership over athletics. Garcia came to Alma after serving as an admissions administrator, including senior assistant director of admissions, at Central Michigan University from 2004 until 2010. Prior to joining the CMU admissions staff, Garcia was the video coordinator for the CMU’s men’s basketball program, following a stint as producer, writer, editor and photojournalist for WWTV-WWUP-TV in Cadillac. He has a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting with a minor in general business administration.
Communication and Marketing Building, Grant Street
Ann Hall was named vice president of communication and marketing in July 2012. She oversees efforts to promote and market the college to both internal and external audiences using multimedia approaches that incorporate the Web, print, video and social media; develop communication resources that support the college’s strategic goals; and improve national reputation. Prior to her appointment as vice president, Hall served as assistant provost at Alma College and vice president of human resources for MMI in Mount Pleasant. She has both a bachelor of science degree in sociology and a master of science in administration degree from Central Michigan University.
Tyler-VanDusen Campus Center
Nick Piccolo has served as vice president for student life at Alma College since 2003. Student life at Alma encompasses a broad administrative portfolio that includes housing, residence life, counseling and wellness, health services, chaplain’s office, student activities, student organizations, discipline, diversity, intramural sports and the recreation center. He also serves as the campus’ Title IX Coordinator and joint administrator over athletics. He is a 1972 graduate of Mansfield University and holds a master’s degree from Shippensburg University (1975), both in Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1981.
Steven Rackley was named athletic director in July 2015. He is responsible for the overall development and general management of Alma’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, which encompasses 25 varsity sports — 12 for men, 12 for women, plus competitive cheer/STUNT. He joined Alma with 28 years of experience in athletic department leadership, including 16 years as the head of the highly successful Division II program at the University of Findlay. Prior to Findley, Rackley was associate athletic director for operations at Marshall University, associate athletic director for internal operations at Weber State University and athletic business manager at Salt Lake Community College. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah and a Master of Sports Administration and Facility Management degree from Ohio University.
Swanson Academic Center
Michael Selmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, is the senior academic administrator at Alma College with oversight of all academic programs. He leads efforts to ensure the quality of the faculty and student body by providing leadership in matters related to instruction, faculty support and recognition, library, academic support services, the registrar’s office and Presidential Honors Program. Selmon received a bachelor of arts degree in religion and mathematics and a master of science degree in mathematics from Miami University before going on to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English literature from the University of Maryland. His research centers in modern drama, including publications on playwrights like Caryl Churchill and Eugene O’Neill.
Matthew vandenBerg, vice president for advancement, heads a 14-member advancement staff charged with leading efforts to raise resources and increase constituent involvement for the continued enhancement of Alma College programs and facilities. A 2002 graduate of Alma College, he returned to his alma mater in June 2015 after acquiring more than a decade of fund-raising and advancement managerial experience, including positions of responsibility in higher education, with a national consulting and management firm, and as a Congressional legislative assistant. Alma’s advancement function includes responsibility for alumni and parent engagement, the Alma Fund, foundation relations, major gifts and gift planning, endowment and campaign initiatives, donor stewardship, and prospect research. He has a master’s degree in public affairs from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.