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August, 2019

Some New Faces and Some Familiar Ones:
Recent Changes in Key Positions

Over the course of the last year, and especially in the last five months, Catholic University has hired or promoted 14 employees for key positions reporting to the offices of finance and administration, treasurer; the president; the provost; student life; and university development. Below are brief bios for the individuals whose names were provided by the vice presidents responsible for those offices.

Office of Finance and Administration, Treasurer


Sheri Hardison was named controller in October 2004. A certified public accountant licensed in Virginia, Hardison is responsible for the university’s financial reporting and annual audit process and oversees the student accounts, payroll, accounts payable, grants and contracts, and general accounting departments.  Prior to her CUA appointment, Hardison was a senior audit manager specializing in higher education and other non-profit organizations at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Washington, D.C., where she worked for eight years. 


Hardison, who was born in California and grew up in Oakton, Va., replaced Angie Maske. She earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce at the University of Virginia.  

Ralph O. Scherini was named associate vice president for business services in September. A former supply/logistics support expert and chief financial officer with the U.S. Navy, he served as deputy for campus auxiliary services at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., for three years prior to his CUA appointment. Scherini, who attained the rank of captain in the Navy’s Supply Corps, is the chief business manager for Catholic University, responsible for purchasing, risk management, auxiliary services and management information systems.

A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Scherini replaced Charles G. Mann. A graduate of the Naval Academy, Scherini earned a master’s degree in finance at the Naval Postgraduate School and a master’s in national security and strategic studies at the Naval War College.





Cathy R. Wood was appointed associate vice president for finance and budget in October. Her responsibilities include managing the university’s budget and treasury, which involves the oversight of banking functions and investments. Prior to her CUA appointment, Wood served as assistant vice president for finance at MedStar Health in Columbia, Md. Wood, a corporate finance and system implementation expert, has held other positions at non-profit organizations and in higher education, including the University of Maryland Medical System and Cornell University Medical College.


A native of Pennsylvania, Wood replaced Michelline Sheehy. Wood earned a master’s degree in finance administration at the University of Maryland.

Office of the President

Christine Harrison was named director of communications in the Office of Public Affairs in September. She is primarily responsible for managing the university’s external and internal communications in addition to supervising the writing, editing and media relations staff in the public affairs office. Before being promoted to director of communications, Harrison served as associate director for media relations for four years. The California native joined the CUA public affairs staff in November 1999 as senior writer/editor.


Before coming to Catholic University she worked for eight years in print and broadcast journalism in California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Bakersfield.




Donna Hobson was named director of publications in October. Hobson, who brings more than 18 years of experience in graphic design and art direction to her CUA position, previously served as creative director in the Office of Marketing and Publications at Wayne State University for two years; prior to that, she served as art director at Wayne State for three years. At Catholic University, her responsibilities include overseeing the conceptualization and production of a range of promotional materials about the university, including CUA Magazine, the Annual Report, printed brochures, newsletters and advertisements.

Hobson, who replaced Erin McCann, earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from
Spelman College in Atlanta.

Emilie L. Wittenberg was named marketing manager, a new position in the Office of Public Affairs, in September. Wittenberg, who has worked in marketing and communications since 1996, is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic marketing plan for the university, overseeing its advertising and ensuring CUA's unified brand identity. Prior to joining the CUA public affairs office, she served as associate director of communications at the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in Washington, D.C. Wittenberg, a native of Saint Marys, Pa., taught marketing, communications and professional writing in Germany where she lived from 2001 to 2004. A CUA graduate, she earned a master’s degree in business administration, marketing communications, at Temple University.


Office of the Provost



Michael J. McLane, who has more than 30 years of experience as an academic librarian and administrator, was appointed director of university libraries in August. McLane oversees CUA’s library system, which employs a staff of 111 (including part-time employees) and maintains a collection of 1.3 million volumes. Prior to his CUA appointment, McLane had served since 2000 as executive director of the Central New York Library Resources Council in Syracuse, N.Y. He also has served as director/dean of several academic libraries, including those at Salisbury University in Maryland and the State University of New York at Oswego.


McLane replaced Adele Chwalek. He earned master’s degrees in library science and higher education administration at Syracuse University. Two of McLane’s children earned bachelor’s degrees in history at Catholic University — Michael McLane Jr. and Colleen McLane.   

Harriet A. Nokuri was named director of summer sessions in July. Nokuri, who has worked in higher education since 1992, is responsible for developing and implementing credit programs for university students, continuing education for adults and non-credit programs for high school students. Prior to her CUA appointment, she had served as director of academic advising services for the School of Professional Studies at Trinity University in Washington, D.C., since 2001.


Nokuri replaced Jessica Madrigal. A native of Cameroon, Nokuri earned a master’s degree in sociology at South Dakota State University and a master’s in community planning at the University of Maryland.


Division of Student Life



Michael S. Allen, whose professional life includes several years of service with the athletics departments of two Division 1 institutions, came to CUA in August as director of athletics. He is responsible for overseeing all facets of CUA’s athletics department, campus recreation and the student fitness center. Allen, who has worked in college athletics since 1993, has focused on the development of the student athlete in his work and research. Prior to his CUA appointment, Allen had served as associate athletic director for student services and director of the Student-Athlete Center for Academic Excellence at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and before that as football program director for the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes at the University of Connecticut.


Allen replaced Robert Talbot. A native of Windham, Conn., Allen earned a Ph.D. in the sociology of sport from the University of Connecticut. (For more on Allen, see the article titled “The Man Calling the Plays for CUA Athletics” in this issue of Inside CUA.)

Monroe Rayburn was named director of the counseling center in June after serving as interim director since 2003. Rayburn is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating programs and services that address mental health, student learning and the developmental needs of undergraduate and graduate students at CUA. Rayburn, who has been with the CUA Counseling Center since 1998, also does consulting work as a staff psychologist at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md.


A native of Memphis, Tenn., Rayburn earned a Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology at the University of South Carolina.






Jonathan Sawyer, who has spent more than a decade working in the area of student life and housing, was appointed to the newly created position of associate vice president for student life and dean of students in March. Prior to his appointment, Sawyer had served as dean of students at CUA since August 2003. Sawyer, who has been at Catholic University since 1998, is responsible for guiding the overall strategic management of various components of the Division of Student Life, including Disability Support Services, International Student and Scholar Services, Housing Services, Residence Life, Judicial Affairs and Ethical Development, and Orientation. 


Born in Queens, N.Y., Sawyer grew up in Virginia. He earned a master’s degree in education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Office of University Development 

Michael Catell, who has spent his entire professional career as a development officer in the non-profit world, including academia, was named executive director of development in June. Most recently he was with the American Diabetes Association, serving as national director of America’s Walk for Diabetes, which is the organization’s largest annual fundraising event. At CUA, Catell oversees the annual fund staff, development directors for CUA’s schools, and foundation/corporate relations.


Catell replaced Paul Brooks, who had served as interim director of development. A native of Wyoming, Pa., Catell earned a bachelor’s in political science and history at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.






Michael K. Green Jr. was named director of planned giving in July. Previously Green had served as a trust officer with Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. since 1998 and before that as a trust officer for Riggs Bank for a year. His current responsibilities include the marketing, securing and administering of planned and deferred charitable gifts to Catholic University. 

Green replaced Paul Brooks, who was director of planned giving before he was appointed interim director of development. A native of Silver Spring, Md., and a graduate of Catholic University, Green earned a law degree at the University of Notre Dame.


Amy Wilson was appointed director of annual giving in September. Wilson served most recently as manager of campaign communications and publication projects for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Prior to that, she served for nearly eight years as a senior development and external relations officer at the Smithsonian Institution. At CUA, her responsibilities include raising money annually for scholarships, academic resources and schools; overseeing the annual phonathon; and working with alumni to build the annual fund.


A native of Ontario, Wilson replaced John-Peter C. Fogarty. She earned a master’s degree in American studies at the University of Notre Dame.


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Last Revised 02-Nov-05 04:40 PM.