Ms. Florence Tate commenced as the ABHES Executive Director, effective November 2014. Ms. Tate, former President of Potomac College, Washington, DC, has worked in postsecondary education for over 30 years. Previously, she served as Commissioner and Chair of the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and has participated in over 300 accreditation evaluation visits for three national accrediting agencies, including ABHES. Ms. Tate has served on several boards, regulatory counsels, and advisory groups, and has been a frequent presenter on issues affecting higher education.
As the Executive Director, Ms. Tate manages the operations of ABHES, including overseeing accreditation activities and staff. She serves as liaison to state and federal regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Department of Education, and works closely with other national accrediting agencies, as well as credentialing agencies in the health care disciplines. She is the primary liaison to the ABHES Commission and serves as staff liaison to a variety of committees, including the Commissioner Nominating. She also oversees and is the primary editor for ABHES’ bi-annual newsletter, The Advantage.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Education, Notre Dame College, Manchester, NH
India Y. Tips
Assistant Executive Director
Ms. Tips joined ABHES in 1995 and currently serves as the Assistant Executive Director. In her position, Ms. Tips is the primary contact for schools seeking a new or renewed grant of accreditation, providing technical guidance to assist schools progressing through the accreditation process. She manages the Self-Evaluation Report (SER) materials and conducts preliminary consultation visits to confirm applicant eligibility and readiness to undergo the evaluation process. Ms. Tips also develops and maintains the curriculum for the Accreditation Workshops, which are required trainings for schools seeking accreditation, in which she serves as the primary presenter.
Ms. Tips is the staff liaison to the following committees: 1) Standards Review Committee (SRC) charged to review all components of the Accreditation Manual and make recommendations to the Commission to ensure that the Manual is relevant, adequate, and predictive of successful qualitative outcomes through a comprehensive program of periodic systematic review; 2) Program Effectiveness Plan (PEP) Task Force which created the PEP Outline, a user-friendly guide designed to assist schools in creating an effective PEP per accreditation requirements; and 3) Conference Planning Committee.
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Manager of Training & Distance Education Development
Christina (Christy) Baily-Byers joined ABHES in 2011. As Manager of Training and Distance Education Development, she is responsible for oversight of the application and evaluation processes for distance education programs, and for the training of peer evaluators. Ms. Baily-Byers plans and coordinates on-site evaluation teams and processes visitation reports. She serves as the staff liaison to the Distance Education Committee.
Previously, Ms. Baily-Byers worked in higher education as a university administrator and faculty member for more than 20 years. She developed and taught residential and online courses in business management, human resources, journalism, public relations, and communication for Southern Methodist University, Texas Woman's University, the University of Hartford, and the University of Memphis.
Master of Business Administration, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Bachelor of Arts in Communication/Public Relations, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Ms. Blake joined ABHES in June 2014. Her primary responsibility is to coordinate and conduct on-site evaluation visits with ABHES teams. Ms. Blake’s professional experience has been in a few fields, including health-related. The four years before joining ABHES, she was a legal assistant in a law firm located in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
Mr. Kyle Boyles joined ABHES in June 2015 and serves as an Accreditation Coordinator. His primary responsibility is planning on-site evaluation visits and coordinating these visits through travel with the teams. Mr. Boyles graduated from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2008 with a BA in Economics and International Studies. Prior to joining ABHES, he worked as an ESL instructor in South Korea and as a business English trainer in Germany.
Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
Eileen M. Brennan
Director of Accreditation
Ms. Brennan joined the ABHES staff in 2007. Previously, Ms. Brennan was employed at the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) where she served as Associate Director of Quality Assurance and, in earlier years, as an Accreditation Coordinator. She also served for four years as an Education Analyst for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
As Director of Accreditation, Ms. Brennan oversees the visit process for accreditation and training of accreditation coordinators, manages the agendas for Commissioner considerations. She also oversees the approval process of change in ownership and non-main applications. Ms. Brennan serves as liaison to Preliminary Review Committee and manages the Commission’s application agenda. Ms. Brennan serves as liaison to the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Master of Science in Human Resource Development, Trinity University, Washington, DC
Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, Stonehill College, North Easton, MA
Manager of Operations
Ms. Tamara (Tammy) Bridgeman joined ABHES in November 2013. As the Manager of Operations, Ms. Bridgeman is responsible for ABHES office administration activities; Human Resources and Benefits Administration; General Accounting; Accounts Payable and Receivable; Budget; and Payroll Administration. Ms. Bridgeman assists the Finance Committee and coordinates external service contracts and facilities management activities. Prior to joining ABHES, Ms. Bridgeman holds 30 plus years in administrative activities.
Senior Accreditation Coordinator
Ms. Costello joined ABHES in June 2013 and serves as an Accreditation Coordinator. Her primary responsibility is planning on-site evaluation visits and coordinating these visits through travel with the teams. Ms. Costello graduated from University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, in 2011 with a BA in History and Psychology. Prior to joining ABHES, she was a curatorial intern at the Smithsonian and the U.S. Supreme Court. In February 2012, she continued her penchant for sharing history and has been engaged as a visitor service representative at the Newseum.
Bachelor of Arts in History and Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
Mary Margaret Coughlin
Senior Accreditation Coordinator
Ms. Coughlin joined ABHES in June 2013 and serves as an Accreditation Coordinator. Her primary responsibility is planning on-site evaluation visits and coordinating these visits through travel with the teams. She graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 2008 with a BA in Communications. Prior to joining ABHES, she served as a manager’s assistant in the financial services firm Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and for the past year has been employed at Coughlin Transportation Inc., a company that provides private bus services. She managed human resources, processed accounts payable, and planed and organized events, including site research and budget and expense management.
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg, MD
Manager of Compliance
Ms. Doering has been with ABHES since May 2010 and now serves as the Manager of Compliance. Her primary responsibilities include maintaining the ABHES database, review and processing of discontinued programs, assisting with the activities of institutional and programmatic annual reporting, and provides support with the preparation of meetings and workshops. Ms. Doering serves as co-staff liaison to the Annual Report Committee and Outcomes Reporting Committee.
Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, Strayer University, Woodbridge, VA
Ms. Wazhma Ibrahim joined ABHES in September 2015 and serves as an Administrative Assistant. Her primary responsibilities include a variety of general office duties and administrative support to staff. Ms. Ibrahim graduated from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia in 2012 with a BA in Communications with a concentration in public relations. Prior to joining ABHES, she worked as an Office Manager for a consulting group in Vienna, Virginia.
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Joyce E. Laing
Director of Programs, Curricula and Financial Assessment
Ms. Laing joined ABHES in April 2015 and serves as the Director of Programs, Curricula and Financial Assessment. Her primary responsibilities include management of the program and curricula review process, including the approval of program- related applications, reviewing updates on trends in the industry and scheduling program-related advisory committees to update program standards. In addition, she is a staff liaison to the Financial Review Committee and a member of the ABHES leadership team.
Over the past 20 years, she has worked in post-secondary education at public and private schools including Fortis Institute-Towson, Kaplan, Potomac College and Montgomery College. She has held various leadership positions including the Director of Education and interim Executive Director. She possesses a strong background in program compliance and led the application and review processes on campuses for several accreditation visits including ABHES, ACCSC, and CODA. In addition, she was a program evaluator for many years at both the US Government Accountability Office and in the Inspector General’s Office at the US Federal Trade Commission.
Master’s in Public Administration, American University, Washington, DC
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Queens College, NYC, NY
Manager of Programs
Ms. Amanda Ludwa has worked with ABHES since 2011. During her time with ABHES, Amanda worked as an Accreditation Coordinator and Program Specialist before assuming the position of Manager of Programs in 2015. Amanda’s primary responsibilities are to conduct program-related on-site evaluations, as well as to review and act on all program applications including Minor Program Revision, Substantive Program Revision, and New Program Approval. Amanda additionally leads the Programmatic Accreditation Committees for Medical Assisting (PAC-MA), Medical Laboratory Technology (PAC-MLT), and Surgical Technology (PAC-ST), and serves as staff liaison to all program-related advisory committees and task forces. Amanda represents ABHES as an active member of the Association of Surgical Technology (AST) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). Prior to coming to ABHES, Amanda worked for more than 8 years at a Continuing Education company maintaining recognition and compliance with the American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry standards.
Bachelor of Arts, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Ms. Neuenschwander joined ABHES in July 2015 and serves as an Accreditation Coordinator. Her primary responsibility is planning on-site evaluation visits and coordinating these visits through travel with the teams. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA, in 2004 with a BS in Psychology, and from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, VA, with a Master of Social Work degree. Prior to joining ABHES, she served as a Victim Advocate for the United States Marine Corps, and most recently as a School Social Worker for Fairfax County Public Schools.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
Master of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Director of Institutional Review and Development
Ms. Rowe has worked with ABHES since 2003. As Director of Institutional Review and Development, Ms. Rowe is responsible for maintenance of the ABHES website, development of the Accreditation Manual, coordination and analysis of biennial survey on standards, and oversees the activities of institutional and programmatic annual reporting. She is also responsible for conducting preliminary consultation visits to confirm applicant eligibility and readiness to undergo the evaluation process.
Ms. Rowe serves as staff liaison to the Annual Report Committee (ARC), the Outcomes Review Committee (ORC), and the Standards Review Committee (SRC).
Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV