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How We Built This? Series—Drivers of Skills-Based Recruitment and Employment

AEFIS Academy Community Event


Deborah Hodge

Director of Programs

Greater Washington Partnership

Tracy Woods

Cloud Strategist US EDU


Dr. Sita Ramamurti

Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Mathematics

Trinity Washington University

Suzanne Carbonaro

Director of Academic Partnerships


August 4, 2021 @ 2:00 PM 3:00 PM EDT


How We Built This? Series provides a forum for educational leaders to share their sustainable processes and best practices in leading assessment, student success and other initiatives at their institution in a spin-off active dialogue inspired by NPR’s “How I Built This” podcast series.

In a 2021 Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) workforce analysis report, a diverse set of employers share their views on workforce preparedness and the outcomes, skills, and experiences they value most in recruiting their team members for jobs (Finley, 2021). This analysis serves as a reminder to higher education that students need to translate their learning from one setting to another in order to support specific workforce needs and responsibilities.

Student learning outcomes are the foundational data used by institutions to determine what students learn and can do as a result of a course, set of courses, and degree or certificate programs. But translating these SLOs to skills can be complex and require collaboration among different leaders, and faculty across an institution as well input from employers who represent the future success for students. Learn from “edupreneurs” who are making a difference by assembling the right stakeholders at the table to embark on the transformation of outcomes to skills and leading efforts to support students in acquiring jobs linked to their educational experiences and achievements.


Deborah Hodge, Director of Programs, Greater Washington Partnership

Deb brings almost 20 years of higher education experience to her role.  As Capital CoLAB’s Director of Programs, she works closely with post-secondary education partners as they implement the Digital Tech Credential Program.   In previous roles at Excelsior College and SUNY Empire State College, she designed and implemented degree programs with faculty that centered around non-traditional learners.   Through Deb’s higher education experience and her previous role as CIO at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, she sees improving interoperability as a necessity to better connect learner outcomes to employment opportunities.   She is passionate about the retention and persistence of learners at all stages of their educational journey and believes awarding credit for both formal and experiential learning provides a more efficient path to degree attainment and economic mobility.  Deb holds a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University at Albany.

Tracy Woods, Cloud Strategist US EDU, Microsoft

Tracy brings over 20 years of experience as a technology leader, with over 12 in higher education. Prior to joining Microsoft as a Cloud Strategist, she served as Chief Technology Officer for University of Maryland Global Campus and as Chief Information Officer at American Public University System.  At Microsoft, she works with education customers on realizing their cloud and digital transformation strategies. She also helps them connect their curriculum to relevant industry certifications. Prior to her time in higher education, she led global technology delivery for Sunrise Senior Living and prior to that she led the Internet Businesses for the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University.

Dr. Sita Ramamurti, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Mathematics, Trinity Washington University

Dr. Sita Ramamurti joined Trinity in 1997 and has held a faculty position in the Mathematics Program since then. She rose to the rank of Full Professor in 2012. She was appointed as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on June 1, 2017. Dr. Ramamurti received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from India. She came to the US in 1989 and earned her doctoral degree in mathematics in 1995 from George Washington University. With more than 25 years of professional experience in higher education, Dr. Ramamurti has been an active member of the Trinity community, both as a teacher and a scholar. Guided by her passion for teaching and a strong belief in active student-centered learning, Dr. Ramamurti pursued excellence in both the scholarship of teaching as well as the scholarship pf research. She led the college algebra reform movement at Trinity in 2003. More recently, in 2014, she successfully led the redesigning of the gateway math courses to reflect the program’s focus on quantitative literacy and quantitative reasoning. As a research scholar, Dr. Ramamurti maintains an active agenda in the disciplinary fields of mathematical modeling and dynamical systems. As Dean, Dr. Ramamurti is responsible for leading the CAS faculty in development, oversight, and assessment of all curricula and programs of the College. She works closely with the Provost and executive administration of the University in the strategic planning for the unit and management of the administrative affairs of the College.

Suzanne Carbonaro, Director of Academic Partnerships, AEFIS

Suzanne Carbonaro, M.Ed, MS, CE School Administrator, is the Director of Academic Partnerships at AEFIS. Suzanne has 27 years experience in higher education teaching, curriculum design, assessment and leadership. Most recently, Suzanne served as the Director of Assessment at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences where she designed the real-time assessment process for the newly implemented competency-driven doctor of pharmacy curriculum. She came to USciences from Rider University where she served as Director of Assessment and Strategic Partnerships at the College of Education. Here she redesigned their assessment process and managed over a million dollars in grants. Suzanne has led successful self-studies and re-accreditation efforts for the doctor of pharmacy and teacher and leader education programs. She is a proud member of the team who successfully received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) 2019 Award for Excellence in Assessment. Suzanne was invited to present her research and development of Comprehensive Learner Records (CLRs) to IMS Global at the 2018 Learning Analytics Summit, 2019 IMS Global Digital Credentials Summit and was a finalist for Learning Impact Awards at the Leadership Institute in May 2019. She received the USciences 2018 Founder’s Day Award for Innovation and has presented at AALHE (2018, 2019, 2020), Drexel Assessment Conference (2018, 2019, 2020), IUPUI (2018, 2019, 2020), AACP (2019) as well as regional assessment conferences, and the Competency-Based Education Network (2019, 2020).

Event Info & On-Demand Recording

Any pre-event information will be provided below. Any post-event information and the archived recording will be available within 48-hours following the event. This content is only available to AEFIS Academy Community Members.



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