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Who We Are:
Leadership Team Biographies
Management Team Biographies

ACCSC Leadership Team

Michale S. McComis
Christopher Lambert
Juanita L. Gurubatham
Karen Marcinski
Corey Rosso
Anne Santalla

ACCSC Management Team

Bettina Falwell

Aillen King
Alanna Marx
Lisa Miles
Ellen Podgorski


ACCSC Leadership Team



Michale S. McComis
Executive Director 
(B.A., M.Ed., Ed.D., University of Virginia)

As the Executive Director, Dr. Michale McComis serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the accrediting commission, managing the day-to-day operation of ACCSC’s Arlington, Virginia office and staff, and overseeing the ACCSC accreditation process. Michale also coordinates the Commission’s legislative activities and is the Commission’s liaison with state and federal agencies, institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations, and higher education associations.

Michale’s tenure with ACCSC began in 1994 and during that time he has conducted hundreds of on-site evaluations to ACCSC member institutions, and is a frequent speaker at accreditation workshops and training seminars as well as at state and national conferences on accreditation and higher education. Michale  is considered by many to be amongst the leading voices on accreditation matters. He has testified before both the U.S. House of Representative Education Committee and the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Pensions, and Labor (HELP) Committee on issues related to accreditation. Additionally, Michale also served as a non-federal negotiator on two U.S. Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking panels for the establishment of federal regulations related to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as well as many other federal and non-federal panels and working groups engaged in accreditation matters. 

Michale earned his Baccalaureate of Arts (History), Master of Education, and Doctor of Education degrees from the University of Virginia where he now teaches graduate-level courses as an adjunct faculty member in education policy. Prior to joining ACCSC, Michale served in the United States Marine Corp and garnered skills in the trades as an electrician’s apprentice and HVAC Technician.



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Christopher Lambert

Associate Executive Director
(B.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania; M.Ed., University of Virginia)

Christopher Lambert joined ACCSC in 1996. In his current position as the Associate Executive Director, Christopher provides leadership for all departments within the organization and is responsible for the development and administration of the Commission’s public affairs, as well as the development of policy and research initiatives. Christopher also supports the Commission's activities with state and federal agencies; institutional, programmatic, and specialized accrediting organizations; and higher education associations.

Christopher is also a frequent speaker on accreditation matters at higher education conferences where he focuses on the role of accreditation in supporting institutional performance and enhancing the student educational experience.


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Juanita L. Gurubatham
Director of Institutional Review & Development
(Ph.D., University of Maryland - Baltimore County)


Dr. Juanita Gurubatham joined the Commission in August 2007 as the Associate Director of Institutional Development. In her current role, Juanita supports strategic planning and process enhancement activities in the area of substantive change, degree, and distance education applications. Juanita comes to ACCSC with more than 25 years of experience in higher education in the areas of curriculum development, faculty and academic administration, and distance learning.

Prior to joining ACCSC, Juanita served as the Associate Vice President for Academic Administration and Institutional Research at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland. Juanita holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy with an emphasis in higher education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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Karen Marcinski
Director of Member Services
(M.S., Ed.S., Radford University)


Karen Marcinski joined ACCSC in 2004 as the School Actions Coordinator and in 2009 was promoted to Manager of Institutional Review and Development where she was responsible for overseeing various accreditation processes related to monitoring ongoing institutional compliance of ACCSC-accredited schools.

In her current capacity as the Director of Member Services, Karen is responsible for providing consultative guidance and feedback to ACCSC-accredited institutions in respect to the Standards of Accreditation and for leading the Commission’s efforts in developing and conducting broad-based programs and publications that enhance the value of membership with ACCSC. Karen is also charged with developing and maintaining relationships with ACCSC member institutions and various organizations in the higher education community, as well as effectively communicating and reporting on membership success stories and activities.

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Corey Rosso
Director of Accreditation

(B.A., North Carolina State University; MBA, Strayer University)

Corey Rosso joined the Commission in October of 2011 as the Director of Accreditation. In this role, Corey is charged with overseeing the operations for the Accreditation Department of ACCSC. This primarily includes the management of the application for accreditation processes, the execution of on-site evaluations, and all of the reporting and responses the Commission will need as a result. Corey comes to ACCSC with more than 10 years of experience in education in the areas of operational leadership, strategic development, and process improvement.

Prior to joining ACCSC, Corey served as the Director of Operations at Strayer University for a number of campuses on the East Coast. Most recently he was the director for the Arlington, Virginia campus. Corey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from North Carolina State University, and a MBA with an emphasis in management from Strayer University.

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Anne Santalla
Director of Operations

(B.A., Marymount University)

Anne Santalla joined ACCSC in the fall of 2003. As the director of operations, Anne is responsible for the management and oversight of the administrative and fiscal operations of ACCSC. She has more than 18 years of nonprofit management experience and is a member of both the American Society of Association Executives and the Society for Human Resources Management.

Prior to joining the Commission, Anne served as the director of finance and administration for the American Association of University Professors. Anne also previously served as the director of administration and membership for the American Industrial Health Council.

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ACCSC Management Team


Bettina Falwell
Manager of Accreditation Operations

(B.S., Columbia Union College; M.S., Capella University)

Bettina Falwell joined the Commission in May 2001 and throughout her tenure with ACCSC, has held several positions within the organization. In her current position as the Manager of Accreditation Operation, Bettina is responsible for implementing the operational needs of the accrediting department and ensuring an effective and efficient process for all institutions seeking accreditation from the Commission.

Bettina has 12 years of experience in managing at-risk youth and adult education programs in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Bettina also serves as staff liaison to the ACCSC Compliance Committee.

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Aillen King
Manager for Institutional Records

2011 marked Aillen King’s 25th year with ACCSC. As the Manager for Institutional Records, Ms. King is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of ACCSC’s database, which ensures the timely flow of communication and information to respective departments at ACCSC. Additionally, Ms. King’s responsibilities include maintaining the integrity of all institutional files and archives, and institutional record management.

Ms. King is the primary staff contact for all changes to school contact information, including changes in school director position, and also serves as the primary staff contact for voluntary withdrawals and school closures.

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Alanna Marx
Manager of Institutional Development
(M.A., Wayne State University, MBA. Argosy University)


Alanna joined the Commission in 2011 as an Analyst for Institutional Review and Development. Prior to joining ACCSC, Alanna served as an educational program presenter, college instructor, and university director of admissions, where she gained experience in higher education operations. Alanna has also gained a wide range of higher education, administrative, and business knowledge and skills from her graduate education and leadership positions in higher education.

In her current role as Manager of Institutional Development, Alanna provides support for staff and schools in the area of institutional development and change, including: substantive changes, degree programs, and supporting ACCSC's degree committee.

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Lisa Miles
Manager of Accreditation
(B.S. University of Missouri)
Lisa Miles began working with ACCSC in November 1996 and has conducted nearly 300 on-site evaluations since then. Prior to her tenure with ACCSC, Lisa was a research associate with the Missouri Proprietary School Certification Program, a compliance reviewer with the Missouri Student Loan Program, a financial aid officer at Central Missouri State University, and a student loan processor at Colorado State University.

As the Manager of Accreditation, Lisa's primary responsibilities include the oversight and management of the accreditation process for both member institutions and initial applicants, as well as coordinating subsequent follow up verification activities that include degree program activities and separate facilities review. Lisa is also a member of the ACCSC presentation team.

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Ellen Podgorski
Manager of Institutional Review
(B.A., Boston College; M.P.A., University of Washington)


Ellen Podgorski joined the Commission’s Institutional Review & Development Department in April 2010 and since then has been actively involved in monitoring all areas of institutional compliance. In her current role as Manager of Institutional Review, Ellen is responsible for managing all activities related to institutional compliance in areas such as constituent complaints, agency notices, progress reports, and annual reports.

Prior to joining the Commission, Ellen worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, where she provided research, writing and editing support to principal investigators in the areas of K-12 school finance and accountability.

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