The 2017 Hobsons Education Advances Awards are now open for nominations. Hobsons product users are encouraged to submit an application nominating their own institution (or other institutions) for awards in the categories of K-12 College and Career Readiness, College Admissions and Enrollment, and higher ed Student Success and Advising. Each award winner, selected by a panel of prestigious, independent judges, will receive $2,500 for their institution, while two finalists in each category will receive $1,000 each for their institutions.

Here’s a look at our panel of judges within the field of higher ed student success and advising.


Melinda Karp

Melinda Karp, Assistant Director, is project lead for CCRC’s Evaluation of Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Support (iPASS) project; Corridors of College Success; and the City Colleges of Chicago Pathways Analytics Project. Karp holds a BS in human development and family studies from Cornell University; an MA in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University.

In her 16 years at CCRC, Karp has developed a national reputation as an expert on smoothing students’ transitions into college and supporting them once there. She leads CCRC’s work on advising, institutional reform, and rethinking how to support community college students. Karp regularly keynotes professional meetings and events and comments in media outlets including NPR, The New York Times, and Inside Higher Ed. Her reports and articles have been published in journals such as the Teachers College Record, New Directions for Community Colleges, and Community College Review.

Karp engages with those outside academia, including foundations and policymakers, to develop research-driven strategies to improve student success in higher education. She currently serves on the selection committee for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the California Student Services Portal Steering Committee, and the Supporting Student Success: Adult Education and Remedial Education Reform in Community Colleges Taskforce. Internally, Karp focuses on building CCRC's staff, funding, and strategic capacity by overseeing the professional development of our junior staff and CCRC's engagement with the broader Teachers College community.


Ana Borray

As Director for iPASS (Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success) Implementation Services, Ana is leading and delivering support for the iPASS2 grant. Ana joined EDUCAUSE in 2015 with over 35 years of higher education experience, mostly focused on using technology to transform how institutions can positively impact student success. Ana was part of the executive team at Starfish Retention Solutions in Rosslyn, VA, she led the service division, focusing efforts on helping institutions deploy new technology with measurable outcomes directly tied to student retention and completion. She also held leadership positions at Datatel, Inc (now part of Ellucian), Barry University in Miami, FL and Columbia University, NY, NY. She earned a MA degree in Educational Administration from Teachers College - Columbia University and a BBA degree from Florida International University. As part of her work in creating and delivering impactful services that help shape and transform organizations she completed an Executive Program in Leading Professional Services at Harvard University. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.


Sally Johnstone

Before joining NCHEMS as its President, Sally M. Johnstone served as a vice president at the Western Governors University, a provost at a public comprehensive university, as the founding director of WCET at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), an assistant dean, and as a faculty member. She also serves as the executive director of the Foundation for Student Success, a commissioner on the U.S. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Commission, and on the editorial boards for Change magazine (USA) and the Journal of Open Learning (UK). She is the founding editor of the new Journal of Competency-Based Education.

Dr. Johnstone has written dozens of articles, books, and reports on issues of integrating effective new practices into academics. She has managed workshops, served on study groups, and given speeches throughout North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. She earned her baccalaureate and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech and her Ph. D. in experimental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Greg Ratliff

Greg Ratliff joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April, 2007. Greg is responsible for developing strategies to increase the engagement of low income young adults in postsecondary education. Current activities focus on restructuring financial aid to create incentives for college completion and developing better information to help students make better decisions; and building better support systems to guide, advice and mentor students along their path to college success. Greg is also on the internal PRI committee that reviews potential investments across programs and a member of the Ambassador program to help the foundation enhance staff diversity.

Prior to joining the foundation, Greg ran a consulting practice focused on strategic planning and development of scalable business models that blend financial and social returns. The findings from his research during this time were published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in Profitwise (December 2004). Prior to his consultancy, Greg spent ten years at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation where he directed and managed a $15 million grant program and a $190 million portfolio of program related investments. During his tenure, both ventures broke new ground for MacArthur in the area of creating opportunity for low income populations. Greg received a BA from UCLA and an MBA from Northeastern University, where he combined graduate work in Urban Studies at MIT.

We thank all of our judges for helping Hobsons recognize great work in preparing students for success.

To showcase your school’s efforts, submit your application here. Your complete submission must be received by 5 p.m. EST on February 10, 2017. 

Submit Nomination

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