Meet the SAIL Institute Team
Carolyn Mattiske serves as the Director of the State University of New York’s Academic & Innovative Leadership (SAIL) Institute and Organizational Development for SUNY System Administration. The SAIL Institute supports higher education professionals at SUNY and beyond, including both experienced and aspiring leaders, through a broad portfolio of programming and services. Carolyn holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technologies, is an organizational learning strategist recognized for award-winning leadership programs and is a certified trainer for DiSC and Crucial Conversations.
With over 15 years of experience designing, delivering and managing adult learning and leadership programs, Carolyn leads operations for the SAIL Institute. She joined SUNY in 2017 and quickly expanded program offerings and services to include a Mindful Leadership series, CIO Leadership Academy, Business Officers’ Leadership Academy, Department Chair Academies, Inclusive Citizen Leader series, a Winter Leadership Academy, free online webinars, student leadership programming, and much more. Carolyn plays a lead role in administering SAIL’s signature programs, including the Executive Leadership Academy and Summer Leadership Program, and consults with campuses to create custom leadership development solutions. She also led projects to improve the 360 leadership skills inventory online system and secure an organization-wide learning management system to meet compliance and professional development needs across the 64 campus system. Much of her work includes a focus on ensuring leaders see their role in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive environments where all people can bring their full selves to work and perform at their best.
Carolyn and her husband reside in upstate New York with their two young children.
Dr. Jason E. Lane
Founding Executive Director
Dr. Jason E. Lane is the founding executive director of the SUNY Academic & Innovative Leadership (SAIL) Institute. He has extensive experience leading multi-campus transformational change initiatives in higher education and is a recognized expert in system thinking and development.
An award winning author and invited speaker, Dr. Lane’s scholarly expertise focuses on the leadership and governance of higher education, particularly as it relates to the emerging relationship between higher education, policy and politics, and globalization. He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports; and published 12 books, including Academic Leadership and Governance of Higher Education, Higher Education Systems 3.0, Multi-National Colleges and Universities: Leadership and Administration of International Branch Campuses, and Building a Smarter University.
Previously, he served as Deputy Director for Research at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government as well as Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Strategic Leadership and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for the State University of New York, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of academic, economic, global, and leadership initiatives across the system.
He is a founding faculty member of Penn State’s Academic Leadership Academy as well as System Leadership Academy sponsored by the American Council on Education and the National Association of System Heads. He has served on the boards of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES); Council for International Higher Education (CIHE); the Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES); SUNY Korea; and Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3), a consortium of 23 systems working to leverage evidenced based practices to improve student success.
Leadership Development Manager
Merissa McKasty joined SUNY System Administration in May of 2016. Before heading to SUNY System, Merissa worked for the Research Foundation at Buffalo State College. Buffalo State College is also where Merissa completed her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration. Before joining the SAIL team, Merissa supported SUNY’s Applied Learning Initiative as Assistant to the Director of Applied Learning.
Her current work responsibilities involve developing and facilitating leadership trainings and workshops for all faculty, staff, and students across the SUNY System and beyond. She is interested in creating leadership programming for all faculty, staff, and students as well as advocating for all prospective and current SUNY students across the state.
SAIL Institute Fellows
Marcia Burrell is an innovative leader with more than 35 years of experience in secondary and higher education settings. She has served as the chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at SUNY Oswego and as co-director for Project SMART, a teacher professional development program, helping thousands of teachers across New York State. Her publications include topics such as comparative education, mathematics teaching techniques, and global education. She has presented internationally on topics such as investigating teaching math through technology and educational assessment. Her most recent appointment is with Goddard College as the Associate Academic Dean.
Dr. Giacomo "Jack" Oliva
Senior Leadership Fellow
Jack Oliva is currently Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, having undertaken this role in July of 2011, after serving as Professor of Music and Endowed Dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2001 to 2011. Prior to coming to Nebraska, Dr. Oliva served as Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music at the University of Florida from 1992 to 2001, and as Head of the Department of Music at Mississippi State University from 1985 to 1992. Before moving to Mississippi, Dr. Oliva worked for twelve years in the New Jersey Public Schools as a K-12 vocal and instrumental music teacher and as a district-wide music administrator. While teaching in New Jersey, Dr. Oliva also held the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education at New York University. He holds the BA cum laude in Music Education and the MA in Applied Music from Montclair State College (now University), the EdD in Music Education and Administration from New York University, and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He also holds certifications as a Curriculum Supervisor and Principal from the State of New Jersey.
Oliva’s leadership and service in professional organizations includes serving as President of the International Society for Music Education (2002-2004), as President-Elect of the Mississippi Music Educators Association (1991-1992) and as Chair of the College Music Society’s Committee on International Initiatives (2008-2011). He recently completed a six-year term as a member of the Executive Committee for the International Federation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), and has continued to serve as an accreditation reviewer for The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
In addition to his work in education, Dr. Oliva has remained active as a pianist and conductor in both the classical and popular music traditions for the past 45 years. He maintains a special interest in Ragtime and other forms of American popular music, and presents recitals and lectures on piano rags on a regular basis.
Dr. Kirk Young
Kirk Young is the Vice President of Student Affairs at Jamestown Community College, a position he has held since 2014. Prior to joining JCC, Kirk worked for ten years at Utah Valley University, a large regional university in Utah. Throughout his years working in higher education, he has worked in enrollment and marketing, as well as serving for several years as the director of the Center for the Advancement of Leadership at UVU. Prior to his career in higher education, Kirk worked in sales and management in private industry where much of his work focused on employee development and engagement.
Kirk holds a BA in psychology from Utah Valley University, an MS in sociology from Brigham Young University, and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from Gonzaga University. His master’s studies focused on the social impacts of large-scale mega events, particularly the 2002 Winter Olympics. His doctoral studies focused on the 360-degree assessment as a leadership development tool. His other areas of expertise include transformational leadership, appreciative inquiry, servant-leadership, leadership and creativity, and strengths-based leadership. Kirk is a certified strengths coach with the Gallup organization, and spends some of his time consulting with individuals and teams on strengths-based performance and leadership solutions.
Kirk served as one of a team of four to develop and implement a 360 assessment tool for the Utah Valley Senior Executive Leadership Forum (UVSELF), an annual leadership development program at the university. In this role, he was instrumental in the development of curricula as well as the production of the annual retreat and monthly programming for the program.
Kirk is the founder of 221b Performance Solutions, a leadership and organizational development firm that works closely with organizations across the country to assess performance and design solutions for a variety of challenges. In this capacity, Kirk is responsible for helping individuals, teams, and organizations identify and achieve their potential.
Dr. Ronald "Ron" A. Milon
Ron Milon has long appreciated the power of education to transform lives. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, he was the first member of his family to graduate from high school and then college. Armed with a Pell Grant and student loans, and working full-time, he attended SUNY Brockport, where he served as president of Brockport Student Government and graduated with a degree in Political Science and History. It was in college where he developed a passion for human rights and educational empowerment.
He brought this drive to his studies as a graduate student and his first teaching and administrative jobs at Boricua College, Drake Business School, and DeVry University. During his time at these institutions, he understood how he could work with students who might not normally pursue education and that he could help them to graduate and become productive and active citizens in their respective communities.
Dr. Milon has always loved engaging with students, in the classroom as an educator and in workshops as leadership trainer. He has taught American Government, American Presidency, Introduction to Politics, International Relations, and other courses since 1989. His recent training and research focus on diversity and inclusion training and civil rights allows him to create real world application for his students.
When he moved to the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, he saw a need and an opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion in the classroom. He was appointed Chief Diversity Officer, providing leadership and vision for diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the campus, ensuring that they align with the principals and goals of the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. He currently serves as co-chair of FIT’s Diversity Council and actively participated in the development of its strategic plan. In 2019, Dr. Milon journeyed to Incheon, South Korea, to facilitate a series of workshops for faculty, staff, and students on Diversity and Inclusion. Currently, Dr. Milon, was a co-facilitator for the SUNY Sail Inclusive Citizen Leadership series for 2020–2021. Before joining FIT, Milon was vice president of administrative services at Bergen Community College, and served as dean of business and technology programs at DeVry University.
Dr. Milon has a PhD in Adult Education from Capella University, an MA in Political Science from the New School for Social Research, an MA in History from the University of Buffalo, and a BS in Political Science and in History from SUNY Brockport. For three years, he was a Ralph Bunche Fellow as part of a City University Graduate School and University Center program. He earned certificates in leadership from Cornell University, Penn State and Leadership New Jersey, and Diversity certification on the professional standards provided by NADOHE and SUNY for Chief Diversity Officers.
Dr. Susan D. Phillips
Susan D. Phillips, Ph.D. is currently Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership as well as of Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, and Leadership Fellow at the SUNY SAIL Institute. Previously, she served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the University at Albany/SUNY, and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn. She holds degrees from Stanford University (BA, Human Biology), Teachers College (MA, Psychology), and Columbia University (MPhil and PhD, Counseling Psychology). She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a licensed psychologist. Her work in education, training, and research has been recognized by the State University of New York, the Psychological Association of Northeastern New York, the National School Development Council the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs, and the Society of Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association.
Active in promoting excellence in academic programs and professional practice, she is a member and past chair of the National Advisory Council for Institutional Quality and Integrity, developing recommendations to the United States Secretary of Education on matters of higher education institutional accreditation and quality assurance. Previously, she led the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation – one of the largest accrediting agencies in the nation. She has also worked with certification, accreditation, and licensing issues in her leadership of the Joint Designation Committee of the National Register/American Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, and was appointed by the New York State Board of Regents to their policy advisory group, the Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching.
Senior Leadership Fellow
Garry Sanders, MPA, PCC is a Leadership Fellow with the SAIL Institute and an executive coach serving both individual leaders and teams in all industries, with a focus in higher education. He is Principal of AssistLeadership, LLC, a leadership coaching and consulting firm, and sees his mission as a coach as being a ladder–a steady presence to help clients as they discover their strengths and courage, and to serve them as they transform themselves and their organizations.
He was trained as an executive coach at Georgetown University, and is a professionally certified coach (PCC ™) with the International Coaching Federation. Garry is a Leadership Coach for the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, a collaboration between Georgetown University and Arizona State University, and he coaches higher education leaders across the country. He is an adjunct, graduate school instructor at The Johns Hopkins University.
Garry served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Research Foundation for SUNY, leading cross functional teams and large project and program implementations for the SUNY research enterprise. He began his career as a United States Presidential Management Fellow. He has served as a faculty member for the National Council of University Research Administrators’ Executive Leadership Program and focused training for NCURA on leadership style and influence.
His coaching practice is national in scope, and includes clients at major university centers, insurance companies, law firms, state agencies, and not-for-profit agencies.
He is a product of the State University of New York, having received his baccalaureate from the University at Buffalo and his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University at Albany. He is a certified practitioner of The Leadership Circle Profile™ Certification for Individual Leaders and Teams, a 360 degree assessment tool. He is a trained facilitator of the Professional Strengths, Values and Story Survey™ designed to help people understand what is most meaningful and motivating to them in their work lives and how to leverage these strengths for the good of their institutions and teams.
SAIL Leadership Strategists
Leadership Strategist, Certified Mindfulness & Meditation Instructor
Glenn Pichardo currently serves as a Leadership Development Specialist at the SAIL Institute. At the SAIL Institute Glenn is responsible for developing and facilitating leadership development programming. Being trained in Vipassana meditation as well as earning certificates in mindfulness and meditation, Glenn specializes in developing programs around mindful leadership, mindful self-care, meditation and other contemplative practices to help people reach their full potential in both their professional and personal lives.
Glenn also serves as a Counselor at SUNY Oneonta in the Educational Opportunity Program. Previously, Glenn worked at Mercy College in Academic Advising and Opportunity Programs. Before working in higher education, he worked in government serving as a Legislative Aide and Chief of Staff in the Suffolk County Legislature. Glenn earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Stony Brook University and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University at Albany. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership at the University at Albany. Glenn’s professional interests include leadership development, mindfulness and meditation, academic program development, diversity and inclusion and increasing student success for underserved populations. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, yoga, meditation and spending time with his wife and two dogs.
With over 25 years of professional experience in higher education, business operations, and non-profit management, MaryAnn Stark, M.Ed, ODCP, is known for being an inspiring leader with dynamic skills to teach and motivate other to follow in her passionate vision. MaryAnn serves as Employee and Organization Development Specialist in the Organizational Training and Development department at Upstate Medical University.
MaryAnn’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from State University of New York at Oswego and a Masters of Education from St. Lawrence University. MaryAnn started her professional career in the field of Higher Education Administration serving at three different institutions for 12 years directing major student life, residential, and judicial programs. In 2001, MaryAnn made the move into the non-profit world where she was the President & CEO for nearly 12 years. Under her leadership, the agency experienced tremendous growth from being a local, then state-wide, and then nationally based organization, the 4th largest of its kind in the country that received two national awards for excellence.
MaryAnn’s expertise lies in the areas of organizational development, business operations and management, and human services. She has made several contributions to her professional and civic community by way of regional and national conference presentations, outside consulting and training, and service on local Boards. MaryAnn is a gifted public speaker, and creator and facilitator of a wide variety of training programs specializing in leadership development, strategic planning, teambuilding, culture and organizational change. MaryAnn is a Certified Organizational Development Professional and a Certified EQ-12 and EQ360 Emotional Intelligence Practitioner. While serving the SUNY Leadership Institute, MaryAnn received rave reviews as the facilitator of the first ever Rising Stars leadership development program at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.
Dr. Mary Toale
Dr. Mary Toale is the chair of the Department of Communication Studies at SUNY Oswego as well as the Faculty Fellow in the President’s Office. She earned her Ed.D. in instructional communication from West Virginia University (WVU), her MA degree in Communication Theory and Research from WVU, and her BA degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC).
Dr. Toale is an award-winning teacher who has been recognized for her service to the field of communication. She is the second vice president for the Eastern Communication Association, a member of the editorial review boards of regional and national communication journals, and served on the National Communication Association’s Learning Outcomes in Communication team.
Previously, Dr. Toale served as the Interim Dean of Graduate Studies at SUNY Oswego, the Graduate Coordinator of the MA in Strategic Communication program at SUNY Oswego, the interim chair of the Communication and Theatre department at Baldwin Wallace University (BWU), the Chair of the School of Humanities at BWU, and the Faculty Senate President at BWU. Prior to joining academia as a faculty member, Dr. Toale was as a collegiate soccer coach, as well as an Olympic Development Program and select travel team soccer coach
Dr. Scott Vinciguerra
Dr. Scott Vinciguerra is responsible for the development and delivery of leadership development programming for the SAIL Institute. A former educator and administrator in public and higher education, Dr. Vinciguerra brings over 20 years of experience leading people and organizations to exceed their potential.
His presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences are hallmarked by his ability to engage with others through an authentic and transparent disposition. He has twice presented research at the internationally prestigious Learning & The Brain Conference, sponsored by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, and the Harvard University Faculty Club. The author of three books on leadership, he is a consultant to a multitude of organizations and businesses, as well as Olympic athletes in areas of mental preparation and peak performance.
Chester (Chet) Warzynski is an organizational consultant specializing in developing capabilities to strengthen performance in universities, hospitals, Fortune 500 companies, and SME’s. He provides organizational consulting services in strategic planning, organization design, executive assessment, leadership and organizational development, project management, and innovation.
With more than 25 years of successful experience in leading innovation and change, Warzynski has consulted to leading companies and universities including Exxon, Dow Jones, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Arizona, and the City and State University Systems of New York.
His previous positions include Senior Adviser at Carnegie Mellon University, Executive Director of Organizational Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Policy; Director of Organizational Development, and Lecturer in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University; Director of Corporate Planning and New Venture Development for a subsidiary of Dow Jones, Inc., and Director of Education and Training for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Mercy Hospital.
He did his undergraduate and graduate studies in sociology at Southern Illinois University and the University of Western Ontario, and post-graduate studies in education at the University of Toronto, and Florida International University. He is currently studying innovation at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
He served on board of directors for the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education (NCCI), the Red Cross, and the 7th Arts Council. His publications cover a wide-range of topics including leadership, strategic planning, organization development, re-engineering, project management, and sustainability. His current research is on organizational innovation.