The staff manages the program on behalf of the Passport Review Board and the members of the Interstate Passport Network, communicating with and overseeing all activities of the many committees, teams, consultants and others.
Vice President, Programs and Services
Ray Burgman began serving as the Vice President, Programs and Services in October 2021. In this role, she increases student access to high-quality postsecondary education and fosters collaborations between institutions. The Programs and Services unit has four regional student access programs, which include the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP), and the Online Course Exchange (OCE). It also manages the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, the Western Academic Leadership Forum, and Interstate Passport ®. The unit also partners with Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) to provide institutions cost savings through four programs—the Master Property Program, MHECare Student Insurance Solutions, MHECtech, and Cyber Insurance. Previously, Burgman served as director of programs and research at HERS (Higher Education Resource Services), a non-profit leadership development organization focused on women who work in postsecondary settings, for eight years. She also served as an administrator at DePauw University, located in Greencastle, IN, in Academic Affairs and the Office of the President and at New College of Florida, located in Sarasota, FL. Burgman was also a tenured professor in economics and management at DePauw University. She also taught at two other institutions in Florida, Santa Fe College and the University of South Florida-St. Peterburg. She received a B.A. in Economics from New College of Florida and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Florida, located in Gainesville, FL.
Director of Strategy, Impact, and Academic Partnerships
Sarah Leibrandt, Ph.D. is the director of strategy, impact, and academic partnerships at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. In this role, she oversees two membership networks, the Western Academic Leadership Forum (Forum) and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (Alliance), which enable provosts, vice presidents of academic affairs, and chief academic officers throughout the West to network and collaborate on initiatives supporting key higher education issues. Leibrandt also leads the Western Academic Leadership Academy for aspiring provosts and the Interstate Passport program, a nationwide network of institutions working to improve student transfer through the block transfer of lower division general education. Leibrandt has been with WICHE since 2013. Prior to joining WICHE, Leibrandt worked for the Colorado Department of Education and Red Rocks Community College. Leibrandt earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Project Coordinator, Programs & Services
Jenn Raby is the project coordinator for Interstate Passport. She primarily works with prospective member institutions who are in the early stages of implementing Interstate Passport on their campus and supports them by providing resources, connecting them with current members, and addressing their questions and concerns about the program. In addition to meeting with institutions and leading the bi-monthly information sessions, Raby also coordinates meetings with stakeholders related to Interstate Passport and serves as the first point of contact for all Passport-related inquiries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Professor of English, Director of General Education, University of Alaska Anchorage
Daniel T. Kline, Ph.D., is a professor of English and director of general education at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he specializes in medieval literature and culture, literary theory, and digital medievalism. His formal research concerns children, violence, and ethics in late-medieval England and neomedievalism and digital gaming. Recent publications include Digital Gaming Re-Imagines the Middle Ages (Routledge, 2014), and he is a co-editor of the recently launched Open Access Companion to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (https://opencanterburytales.dsl.lsu.edu/). In Fall 2018 UAA enacted an Alaska Native GenEd requirement, which requires all incoming UAA students to take an Alaska Native themed course. Kline earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University.
Assistant Registrar, Salt Lake Community College
LaDawn Miera is assistant registrar at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). She has spent fourteen years managing the incoming transfer and articulation process at SLCC. During a brief hiatus from higher education, LaDawn utilized her bachelor’s in marketing and management by dabbling in hotel management. She had the pleasure of experiencing the 2002 Winter Olympics during that time as an event planner and liaison to several corporate partners. LaDawn has served on various academic committees and boards; including UACRAO, PACRAO, Utah NASPA and has been involved in Interstate Passport since its inception.
Director of Analysis, Assessment and Accreditation (AAA), Utah State University
Michael Torrens is director of Analysis, Assessment and Accreditation (AAA) at Utah State University, a premier student-centered, land-grant and space-grant university. He leads institutional research, assessment, and accreditation efforts. The AAA office is a resource for data-driven decisions, serving USU’s students, faculty, staff, administration, and the wider community. Previously, Torrens served as director of applied research and innovation at the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C., where he managed the Local Capital Market Investment Fund and led asset-building research, program development and policy work for six years. Prior to his work in Washington, he served as executive director of New Jersey Community Capital. His international work encompasses Zimbabwe, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University.