QM International Strategy Council

QM International Strategy Council (ISC) is charged to provide guidance on international goals, policies, and initiatives in support of QM’s strategic objectives for global outreach and expansion. The ISC members include outstanding individuals within the QM community and beyond. They are not only experienced educators, well-respected leaders in their fields, but more importantly, they understand issues, challenges, and needs of doing business internationally, and possess strategic business knowledge and/or actual experience in negotiating international academic or business relationships.

Council Members

  • Mike Abbiatti, Chair
    Mike Abbiatti

    Mike Abbiatti is the retired Vice President for Technology Enhanced Education for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)/ Executive Director for the nationwide component of WICHE, widely known as WCET. His military (retired senior officer, US Army Medical Dept.) and civilian careers have been dedicated to establishing, deploying, and evaluation of technology enhanced education policies and standards on a global scale. This includes current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence driven Mixed Media, Quantum Computing, and Data Analysis. A special area of interest is preparing senior, non-technical academic leaders to "understand" and successfully act upon current and future advances in technology enhanced education. His core focus is Digital Inclusion that does not concentrate on infrastructure, but is more interested in what learner populations actually DO with the infrastructure. The mission is to ensure that ALL learners have the opportunity to be a successful member of the Global Digital Community. Abbiatti strongly believes that Quality Matters is the "Home of Academic Quality Assurance."

  • Deb Adair
    Deb Adair

    Dr. Deb Adair is the Chief Executive Officer of Quality Matters (QM), a widely adopted, global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. QM serves over 1,500 institutions across education sectors, in more than 30 countries, with tools and training to improve digital education and to meet QM’s nationally-recognized standards. Under Dr. Adair’s leadership, Quality Matters has helped focus the education community on the practical application of quality standards to online and blended courses and programs and has worked to improve student outcomes through a focus on continuous quality improvement. Dr. Adair has more than 25 years’ experience in higher education, in faculty and administration, as well as non-profit leadership. She has served QM since 2007.

    Dr. Adair received an A.A. degree from Broward Community College, a B.S. degree from Boston University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Arizona. She is a graduate of the first class of the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Education and an alumna of the HERS Leadership Institute. Her acknowledgements include citations from state and local governments for her work on literacy and women’s issues, the Broward College Alumni Merit Award, and the Nofflet Williams Award for service to the distance learning community.

    Dr. Adair currently serves as President of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and has served on advisory bodies for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, the National University Technology Network, the Presidents' Forum, and Credential Engine. She has authored and interviewed broadly as an expert in quality assurance for online learning.

  • Missale Ayele

    Missale Ayele, J.D., MPH is the Project Coordinator for the Online Chronic Disease Program in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. In this capacity, she created a competency‐based graduate certificate curriculum supported by a workforce training needs survey and research. She managed the design, development, and delivery of quality online courses. Missale is also the Institutional Representative for Quality Matters at Georgia State University. She is interested in promoting health, workforce development, and capacity building through evidence‐based education and leveraged technology.

  • Olgun Cicek
    Olgun Cice

    Dr. Cicek is currently serving as the Executive Board Member of CEENQA, YÖDAK, IQA/AQAAIW, FIJET, as well as a member of the International Advisory Board of NAQA, Accreditation Committee Member of BAC, International Expert/Evaluator for AQAS, AAQ, FIBAA, SQAA, UK-NARIC, AIKA and many other quality assurance agencies globally.

    A life-time learner and an expert on higher education studies; mainly in internationalization, policy & development, accreditation, and quality assurance areas. International expert on review and evaluation processes also on online evaluation and virtual site visits for institutional as well as program levels. A project expert on ISO 9000 Standards, European Union and World Bank projects on Higher Education.

    With these roles and 28 years of experience in global higher education, Dr. Cicek brings extensive experience in the institutional level accreditation process as well as program level accreditation based on European Standards and Guidelines. He is also willing to contribute to maintaining international educational and quality standards in higher education, and is eager to explore new challenges based on his teaching, research, accreditation and quality assurance experiences and networking in Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Far East and in the USA.

  • Yaping Gao
    Yaping Gao

    With a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction and a concentration on instructional design and educational technology, Dr. Yaping Gao has over 25 years of experience in higher education both in China and in the USA as faculty, instructional designer, LMS administrator, and online education administrator. Dr. Gao believes quality course and program design supported by research facilitates effective instruction, promotes student engagement and active learning, and lays the foundation for student success and institutional advancement.

    Dr. Gao earned her doctoral degree from Baylor University, Texas, USA, and her Master and Bachelor degrees from Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China.

  • Oliver Grundmann
    Oliver Grundmann

    Oliver Grundmann, Ph.D., currently serves as the Director and faculty advisor for the online Master of Science and graduate certificate programs in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology at the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy. He brings over 14 years of online experience to the position, including roles as a teaching assistant, an instructor and an academic advisor. In his current position, he engages with more than 400 graduate students both across the United States and in more than 50 international locations. The breadth of professional exchanges with learners has provided Dr. Grundmann with insights into a variety of cultures and different approaches to structured learning and teaching. Along the way, he also established collaborations with three partner institutions in Australia (University of Canberra), the Netherlands (Hoogeschool in Arnhem in Nijmegen) and India (Chitkara University).

    Dr. Gundermann and his entire team of faculty, instructional designers and support personnel are entirely dedicated to the mission of student success and have been awarded the University of Florida Career Influencer Award (to Dr. Grundmann, 2019), a UF&QM Exemplary Online Award (to Lisa Cox, Justin De Leo & Oliver Grundmann, 2020, for PHA6432 Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Chemistry), several Outstanding Teaching Team Awards (to Dr. Grundmann, 2017-2020), and the ADEC Janet K. Poley Award for Innovation and Leadership in Distance Education (to Dr. Grundmann, 2015).

  • Karen Rege
    Karen Rege

    Karen Rege, Ed.D. currently serves as the Dean of Online and Media Services at the Community College of Philadelphia where she is leading a HyFlex implementation project and a stackable credentials micropathway initiative as part of the Education Design Lab's Community College Growth Engine Fund.

    Previously, Dr. Rege was the Dean for Teaching, Learning and Innovation at Harford Community College (HCC) where she served as one of the chairs for HCC's Strategic Plan development and as a co-leader in the early development of a partnership for dual enrollment between the Harford County Public Schools and HCC called North Star. Among her accomplishments are the establishment of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and one of the earliest known developments of a Learning Commons.

    Dr. Rege holds degrees from the University of Hartford, University of Michigan, Drexel University, and her doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in educational technology from the University of Delaware. She also completed the Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning, and subsequently served on the development of the Maryland Online Leadership Institute (MOLLI).  She also served as consultant in the Maryland Online's Database of Online Learning Information (DOLLI) and recently completed six years as a member of the Quality Matters board.

    Karen regularly serves as a consultant for online learning in higher education and was named a Fulbright Specialist in 2013, received a NISOD award in Excellence in Teaching and Learning in 2019, and was a finalist for the Athena women in leadership award in 2020. 

  • Albert Schram
    Albert Schram

    Albert Schram obtained his PhD in economic history from the European University Institute in Florence. He worked and taught at universities in Central America and the Caribbean (12 years), Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Italy - 10 years), and the Asia Pacific Region (Papua New Guinea, Australia - 6 years). He taught in Italian and Dutch (native languages), as well as in English and Spanish.

    His international academic career started in Costa Rica, where he became a professor at the Latin American University of Science and Technology (ULACIT). He taught history as well as management in various programs. In 2010 in the Netherlands, he was trained in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) at Maastricht University, one of the dozen or so PBL universities in the world. In 2018, he received all internal training from the University of Maryland Global Campus where he currently teaches. In 2019 and 2020, he participated in numerous professional development courses with QM.

    In 2015, he became a Fellow of the Center for Studies in Higher Education of the University of California Berkeley (USA). During his career he co-wrote 24 successful grant proposals for the European Commission framework programs (one as Project Manager), 11 for the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO - one as Principal Investigator), and 9 other grants (5 as PI).

  • Fernando Senior
    Fernando Senior

    Dr. Senior promotes QM internationally, particularly among Spanish-speaking countries in the LAC region. He has more than 35 years of experience supporting learning and quality assurance initiatives in higher education, industry, government, and non-profit sectors in North, Central and South America. As former president of the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance 6 Instruction (IBSTPI), Dr. Senior also promotes research and the adoption of standards of practice for learning professionals.

    Dr. Senior earned his doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, his master’s degree in educational technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and his Bachelor in Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.