View Text Only Version



Contact Us  


Kershner Student Service Center
25 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383


Phone: 610-436-3541
Fax: 610-436-2370

Speaker Information

May 2015 Speakers

Roger Ware ’82: Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Roger Ware, Chief Executive Officer, Genesee General

Roger Ware, Jr. is president, CEO, and majority owner of Genesee General, a specialty property and casualty insurance company based in Alpharetta, Georgia and Broomfield, Colorado. Genessee General serves independent insurance agents and is one of the nation’s premier insurance wholesalers and Managing General Agents. The company is widely respected for its focus on customer service.

After starting his career as a commercial underwriter at Fireman’s Fund in 1982, Mr. Ware worked with several insurance carriers focusing on large lines casualty products. Prior to joining Genesee, he was regional vice president of Crum & Forster's Atlanta Region. Along with significant underwriting experience, he has held several senior management positions with national property and casualty organizations.

A past recipient of the Hass and Carlton Award from the Independent Insurance Agents Association for service to the insurance industry and dedication to young agents, Mr. Ware will be installed as the 90th president of the American Association of Managing General Agents on May 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. The AAMGA is one of the largest specialty insurance associations in the country representing more than 500 corporate members and is the leader in and voice of the wholesale and excess and surplus lines insurance industry.

Mr. Ware graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1982 and earned an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1997. He also holds an Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America (1987). Mr. Ware is an active community leader volunteering with several nonprofit organizations including as a board member of the Herring Foundation of Hope, which is committed to providing current and accurate information on cancer prevention and knowledge of treatment options. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of West Chester University.

Nicole Melander, Ph.D. ’83: Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Nicole Melander

Nicole Melander, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Dr. Nicole Melander is executive vice president, digital strategy and chief customer officer for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the prestigious Boston-based publisher.

Dedicated to the transformation of the learning experience through strategic digital innovation and a superb customer experience, Dr. Melander works closely with every functional area of the company to consider the implications of technology on people, process, and product. She has in-depth knowledge of social media, educational technologies, e-business software, and large database systems.

Dr. Melander brings to this role more than 25 years experience in consulting, training, operations, innovation, and technology within multi-national software companies, small non-profits, and consulting partnerships. Prior to joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014, she served as the chief technology officer of Achieving the Dream, a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion. There, she ensured that programs and operations were informed, supported by, and integrated with cutting-edge technology.

She has also held education and technology leadership positions at Deloitte Consulting, Microsoft, and Oracle. At American University, where she served as Executive in Residence for four years, she won the “Teaching with Technology Award” for her use of technology in the classroom. Those four years of full-time teaching — in the classroom, online, and in a blended environment — keep her focused on the learning transformation that her work enables. 

Dr. Melander received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from West Chester University (1983), a Master of Science degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University (1994), and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in information technology from George Mason University (1999).  A member of the Education Division Board of Directors for the Software & Information Industry Association, she has a patent in the area of Information Retrieval.

December 2014 Speakers

Dr. James P. Capolupo: Morning Ceremony

James Capolupo

Dr. Capolupo is currently the Superintendent of the Springfield School District in Springfield, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He has been awarded the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year by the National Association of School Superintendents. He has also been named the 2015 Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Superintendents.

Prior to becoming the Superintendent, he held the position of Director of Teaching and Learning also in Springfield. Dr. Capolupo’s background in education began as an elementary, middle school, and high school band director. His first administrative post was a Coordinator of Fine Arts. He also was an Assistant Principal, Acting Principal, and Principal. In addition, he was a Director of Elementary Education. Dr. Capolupo has also taught at Cabrini College, Neumann University, Arcadia University, Chestnut Hill College, Lincoln University, and Princeton University.

His academic preparation includes a B.S. in Music Education; M.A. in Education, Certificate of Advanced Study in Education, D.M.A. in Music, and post doctoral work in Educational Leadership. He also received an Honorary D.H.L. from Cabrini College where he was recently commencement speaker for the Graduate Division.

Dr. Capolupo is on the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators where he serves as the Membership Chair. He also is on the Professional Development Committee and the Resolutions Committee.

He has presented various workshops at: Villanova University; University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Title 1 Conference in Pittsburgh; Superintendents and Principals in the 21st Century in New England; International Reading Conference in Atlanta; Pennsylvania Guidance Counselors Conference; Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference, and at the NSBA conference in Boston and New Orleans, as well at the AASA National Conference in San Diego on the Topic of Elementary Literacy and Leadership. He was a member of a delegation of Pennsylvania educators invited to the White House. He served on a national panel at the White House on Substance Abuse and Academic Success. He also served on a Task Force at the United States Department of Education in Washington D.C. on Technology. Additionally, he has presented at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington on three occasions. 

Dr. Capolupo has received the Robert Flynn Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.  He is co-author on a book being published in December of 2014 on the Superintendent Position in the United States.

In his spare time, Dr. Capolupo has served as a judge for the Miss America Parade for 10 years and as a judge for the Philadelphia Mummers Parade for 7 years. He is a judge for the Cavalcade of Bands and has judged more than 1000 high school marching band and jazz contests. He has been inducted to the Cavalcade of Bands Hall of Fame. Dr. Capolupo is a professional saxophonist and has performed along the East Coast. For the past 28 years, he has taken thousands of high school musicians on a summer concert tour of Europe.

Dr. Capolupo is a proud 1974 graduate of West Chester University.

Samuel C. Thompson, Jr.: Afternoon Ceremony

Samuel Thompson

Sam is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions at the Penn State School of Law in State College, Pa. He teaches courses on mergers and tax law. Previously, he was the Dean of the University of Miami School of Law and a professor at the UCLA School of Law, the University of Virginia School of Law, and Northwestern University School of Law.

For many years Sam was the Partner in Charge of the Tax Division of the Schiff, Hardin & Waite law firm in Chicago. He has served in the U. S. Treasury's Tax Policy Office, and he has worked in an advisory capacity with (1) the European Union’s Antitrust Merger Taskforce in Brussels, Belgium, (2) the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, and (3) the SEC’s Office of Mergers & Acquisitions. From 1999 to 2000 he served, on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department, as the Tax Policy Advisor to the South African Ministry of Finance in Pretoria, South Africa.

Sam is the author of numerous articles and books. His latest books are (1) Mergers, Acquisitions and Tender Offers, a five volume set published by the Practicing Law Institute and updated semiannually, and (2) Business Planning for Mergers and Acquisition (4th Ed, in press with Carolina Academic Press).

Sam earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and his L.L.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law in 1973. He received a Masters in Business and Applied Economics from Penn in 1969 and a B.S. from West Chester University in 1965, where he played varsity football. From 1966 to 1969, Sam served in the United States Marine Corps, rising to captain and earning the Navy Commendation Medal for service in Vietnam.

Sam and his wife Becky, have an eight year old son, Samuel C. Thompson, III (Tommy), who loves football even more than Sam.

May 2014 Speaker

Brigadier General Carol Eggert

Brigadier General Carol Eggert

Brigadier General Carol Eggert is assigned as the Assistant Adjutant General, Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard and also Deputy Commandant -Reserve Affairs, at the United States Army War College. Prior to this assignment, Brig. Gen. Eggert served as the Chief of the Joint Staff. She recently completed a two year tour in support of the United States Army War College. Prior to this assignment, she completed a 15 month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Brig. Gen. Eggert has served in a wide variety of assignments in her career, including Commander of the 3622nd Maintenance Company, Commandant of the Pennsylvania National Guard Officer Candidate School, and Commander of the 328th Brigade Support Battalion.

During her assignments, she participated in numerous overseas deployments including: Germany, Italy, Nicaragua, and to Lithuania as the Senior National Representative for Amber Hope 2001. She has served during numerous state emergencies as the military liaison at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

Brig. Gen. Eggert completed many military career courses to include the prestigious U.S. Army War College. She holds a bachelor's degree from West Chester University, an M.Ed in Instructional Design from Penn State University, an M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is a member several professional associations.

Brig. Gen. Eggert is the recipient of multiple military awards and decorations including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge and Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters.

December 2013 Speakers

Bill Jolly: Morning Ceremony

Bill Jolly is a three-time Emmy Award winning composer/arranger/musical director and keyboardist. He's been recognized twice in Keyboard Magazine and has composed music for HBO, MTV, NBC, ABC, CBS, Showtime, Columbia Tri-Star Pictures, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and numerous media outlets globally. Bill has appeared in commercials and endorsements and has performed before four U.S. Presidents. A 1982 alumnus, Mr. Jolly has received West Chester University's Distinguished Alumni Award and Drum Major for Justice Award, and was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame. Currently, Mr. Jolly is in the off-Broadway play "Lady Day" at the Little Schubert Theater in NYC which tells the Billie Holiday story.

Heidi Hamels: Afternoon Ceremony

Heidi Hamels is a 2007 graduate of West Chester University having earned a Master's Degree in Secondary Education. She is currently working to complete her Ph.D. Ms. Hamels has gained international recognition for her efforts to improve educational opportunities both in the US and Malawi.

Following Ms. Hamels marriage to Cole Hamels in 2006, the couple spent their honeymoon traveling in Africa. Their experience inspired them to do something pro-active to help the impoverished people, and most specifically the children, they encountered on their trip. The Hamels Foundation was created and co-founded by the Hamels in 2008 and is dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the power of education by giving them the tools they need to achieve their goals. The Hamels Foundation has a dual purpose to provide support for quality education in the United States and to establish a school in Malawi, Africa. The Hamels Foundation takes a community-based approach to education by providing assistance to schools as well as supporting other education-based nonprofit entities in the United States in need of support. This includes, but is not limited to, providing stimulating learning environments, high-quality educational programs, and necessary provisions to promote learning.

In a recent Philadelphia Magazine article by Richard Rys, Todd Schafer, CEO of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, which has partnered with the Hamels Foundation, described Ms. Hamels' level of involvement as rare. "Celebrities want to parachute in the money without getting their hands dirty," he said. "Heidi loves to get her hands dirty. She's bubbling over with enthusiasm and has no hesitation in declaring what she doesn't know."