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Institutional Review Board (IRB): IRB Members

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Meet the IRB Members

Dr. Heather Miller, IRB Director

Heather Miller


‚ÄčDr. Heather Miller has been working with Social Behavioral and Educational IRBs since 2005. She is passionate about supporting students, faculty, and staff through the process so they best understand how the IRB applies and can help their own research. She is passionate about helping novice researchers set up feasible studies to achieve their personal goals in a timely manner. She has been mentoring students through doctoral research since 2006 and is also mentoring students in the School of Education. When Heather is not looking at IRB information or mentoring students, you’ll find her hiking with her dogs and amazing husband, imagining the possibilities of food that can be cooked in a crockpot, and hassling her teenaged kids about pretty much everything.

Jenelle M. Dembsey, IRB Coordinator

Jenelle Dembsey


Jenelle M. Dembsey has been at NCU since 2019. She has an MA in Composition and Communication from Central Michigan University, a Graduate Certificate in Online Writing Instruction from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and BAs in English and Writing/Rhetoric from Oakland University. Jenelle has researched online writing tutoring, online writing instruction, accessibility, and disability, and she worked in writing centers for 8 years before coming to NCU. Outside of NCU, she is the Founding President of the Online Writing Centers Association. She currently lives in Cincinnati, OH, with her family. She enjoys Jurassic Park just a little too much and has a wearable dinosaur head in her office.

Josh Leonard, IRB Systems Analyst

Josh Leonard


Josh Leonard obtained his BS from ASU and is set to complete his MBA in Project Management in the Spring of 2021. Josh has been with NCU since 2018 and has enjoyed working in higher education. He is passionate about helping others achieve academic success while on his own academic journey. In his spare time, Josh loves to stay up to date on the latest auto trends and news, visit out of state friends and family, gardening, and pretty much anything that involves being out in the sun.

Dr. Kristopher Lichtanski, IRB Chair

Kristopher Lichtanski


Dr. Kristopher Lichtanski holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Capella University, an MA in Clinical Psychology from New College of California, and a BA in Counseling/Clinical Psychology from San Jose State University. Kristopher has been affiliated with NCU since 2006 and is currently serving as Distinguished Core Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. His current academic interests intersect psychology, philosophy (both East and West), cultural anthropology, and the humanities, and center around the psychology of individual differences, social construction of identity, consciousness and creativity, and healing practices across history and cultures. Apart from psychology, Kristopher has studied music and theater for many years, is a professionally trained classical pianist and choral singer, and has performed in several contemporary theater productions in Europe and the US. He is originally from Poland and currently residing in Graham, WA, located in the beautiful western part of Washington State (south Puget Sound area).

Dr. Robert George, IRB Media Specialist

Robert George


Dr. Robert F. George holds a Ph.D. in Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies, an MA in Psychology from University of Northern Colorado, and a BA in Biology from Harding University. He has been affiliated with NCU since 2013 and is now Professor in the School of Education. Additional experience includes military linguist, public school teaching, education software evaluation, adult education, Program Director for Nuclear Medicine Technology program, IRB Chairperson. Robert is passionate about helping students complete their dissertations and helping faculty improve their workflow.

Dr. Brian Allen, Board Member

Brian Allen


Dr. Brian Allen has a Doctor of Business Administration in Technology Entrepreneurship, an MBA, and Master of Project Management. He is the program lead for the Doctor of Business Administration degree program and is the Director of International Partnerships for the School of Business. His research interests are in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, entrepreneurship, project management, strategic planning, international business, business Information Technology leadership, and applied research for solving real world business problems. Brian has broad experience in leadership in information technology, ecommerce, telecommunications, international sales and operations management, and international project management with work leadership in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. He and his bride are the proud parents of six children and two grandchildren.

Dr. David Benders, Board Member

David Benders


Dr. David Benders has been with NCU for nearly 3 years and serves as a full professor in the Graduate schools Dissertation Completion Pathway program.  With over 10 years serving as a faculty member at various institutions, David has mentored dissertation student to aid and guide them toward successful completion.  With a Masters in both Education and Psychology, and a Doctorate in Education, David has a passion for research and mentoring students in their dissertation process.  He maintains an active research agenda in the areas include but are not limited to Equity, Income disparity, Student Resiliency, Education challenges, and African American culture.  David currently resides in Kentucky with family.

Dr. Dale Crowe, Board Member


Dr. Dale Crowe holds a PhD in Instructional Technology/Higher Education Administration from Wayne State University, JD from Michigan State University, a Masters in Guidance & Counseling from Siena Heights University, and a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. He joined NCU in 2019 and is presently an associate professor at NCU in the School of Education. In addition to NCU, he has taught at brick and mortar institutions and for the past 14 years as an online professor. By way of professional background, he has been an instructional technology consultant and IT infrastructure project manager for K-12 schools, higher education, museums, health care, and corporations. As for hobbies, his first passion is flying. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating and has been a co-pilot on a WWII B-17G (Sentimental Journey) for the Commemorative Air Force. In addition, he is also certified PADI Dive Master.  He likes to hike and do agility with their 2 Shiba Inu dogs (Koko and Shayna) on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail which is only 20 minutes from their home in Southern Oregon. In addition to Koko and Shayna, he lives with his wife Sara and raising their 3 grandchildren.

Dr. Twyla W. Damond, Board Member

Twyla Williams-Damon


Dr. Twyla Williams-Damond’s formal education includes a dual Master’s Degree in Business Administration and in Health Administration (2012) and a doctorate in Educational Foundations and Leadership with a specialty in Higher Education Law (2014) from the University of Louisiana- Lafayette. She has over 12 years of experience in higher education with a focus on consulting for universities and colleges by assisting them with ascertaining whether specific departmental initiatives are in alignment with the overall organizational missions and visions. In higher education, Twyla has instructed traditional, hybrid, and online classes with a concentration on doctoral learners and the dissertation process. At Northcentral, Twyla is associated with the NCU Graduate School as a Dissertation Chair and Faculty member, as well as the Institutional Review Board team.

Dr. Williams-Damond is also passionate about narrowing the academic gap for minority students and develops programs that contribute to a more seamless matriculation for them into higher education. One of these endeavors includes spearheading the development of a Charter School Management Organization in Louisiana for low-income students.

Twyla’s research interests include social injustice, diversity issues, evaluation, and the doctoral student experience. Twyla and her husband, Rickey, maintain dual residency between Youngsville, LA and Beaumont, TX and enjoy cooking and traveling together. Their family includes 7 daughters with 5 of them currently being enrolled in college, one son, three grandsons, and two granddaughters.

Dr. David Fawcett, Board Member

David Fawcett


Dr. David Fawcett is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a registered play therapist supervisor. He completed a BS in psychology, an MS in cognitive neuroscience, and an MS and PhD in marriage and family therapy. He teaches primarily research methods and statistics courses as an adjunct faculty at Northcentral University. He enjoys running and riding off-road motorcycles.

Dr. Heather Hussey, Board Member

Heather Hussey


Dr. Heather D. Hussey earned her PhD in Social Psychology and MS in College Teaching from the University of New Hampshire. Heather works as the Institutional Director of Assessment at Northcentral University, and her ongoing projects and research interests include equity in assessment, co-curricular assessment, institutional educational effectiveness, and scholarship of teaching and learning. Heather loves to learn and loves to laugh, and she considers herself a change agent in NCU’s continuous improvement model as well as in her personal passions related to social justice.

Dr. Antoinette Kohlman, Board Member

Antoinette Kohlman


Dr. Antoinette Kohlman has an MA and PhD in Organizational Psychology, a Master of Human Resources and Organization Development, and a BA in Sociology-Anthropology. She is affiliated with the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her research interests include mentoring relationships, organizational change and learning, and research ethics. Antoinette lives in Westminster, MD, and is a horror and sci-fi movie buff: Aliens and Jaws are her favorites.

Dr. Linnea Rademaker, Board Member

Linnea Rademaker


Dr. Linnea Rademaker has a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is associated with the NCU Graduate School. Linnea’s research interests include action research, evaluation, doctoral education, and chair/student relationships in the dissertation sequence. Linnea lives in Fort Worth, TX. She and her husband like to hike and usually take vacations with somewhere to go hiking; they have four adult children, and four grandchildren.

Dr. Gabriele Suboch, Board Member

Gabriele Suboch


Dr. Gabriele Suboch’s formal education includes a Master's Degree from Impac University (2003) in Business Administration and Public Administration, a Master's Degree in Business Administration with specialization in Criminal Justice from Northcentral University (2007), and a PhD in Business Administration and specialization in Criminal Justice from Northcentral University in 2009. In December 2010, Gabriele retired after 18.5 years of working with the Lee County Sheriff's Office, whereof she spent 15.5 years as a Crime Scene Specialist. She has attended over 1,200 hours of forensics specialized training and over 650 hours of law enforcement/correction training. Gabriele is a certified Crime Scene Investigator and a certified Bloodstain Pattern Examiner. Her hobbies are camping and the outdoors. She loves her garden as well as cooking and baking. She lives in Florida, so she can almost all year long sit outside on her porch and read a good book. Her favorite authors are Patricia Cornwell and her forensic science mysteries.