Board of Directors

Omicron Delta Kappa is successful in large part because of the dedication of its board of directors—men and women who are leaders in their own communities and remain unfailingly committed to the development of tomorrow’s leaders today.

Matthew Clifford : National President and Foundation Trustee

Matthew Clifford

National President and Foundation Trustee


(336) 758-5226 | president@odk.org

Biography

National President Matthew W. Clifford is Associate Dean of Students and Director of Campus Life Projects at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. In his role at Wake Forest, Matthew handles student conduct, crisis management, and community response. Additionally, Matthew leads assessment efforts for the Division of Campus Life at Wake Forest.

Previously, Matthew served as director of residence life at Wake Forest and director of residential life at Jacksonville University in Fla. He has also worked in residence life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Matthew’s involvement in O∆K started at Davidson College, where he was inducted as a student member. He has previously served on the Society Board of Directors as Member-at-large. Additionally, he has served as a faculty officer for circles at Jacksonville University and Wake Forest University.

In addition to his involvement in O∆K, Matthew is very involved with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), where he is immediate past co-chair of the Student Leadership Programs Knowledge Community. Additionally, he currently serves as the vice president for marketing and communication for the Southern Association of College Student Affairs. Having presented at numerous national and regional conferences, Matthew has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of College and University Student Housing and the College Student Affairs Journal.

Outside of O∆K, Matthew is very involved in his community. In 2015, he was selected to receive a Winston<40 Leadership Award, recognizing 20 leaders under 40 years old in the Winston-Salem community. He is President of Friends of Sherwood Forest, a nonprofit foundation that provides support for neighborhood schools. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Davidson College, a Master of Education in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina, and his Doctor of Education in higher education from the University of North Florida.

Linda Hooks : National Vice President

Linda Hooks

National Vice President


(540) 458-8621 | hooksl@wlu.edu

Biography

Linda M. Hooks was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa as an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, where she was student government vice president and Panhellenic president.  She has served as the faculty advisor to the Alpha Circle of O∆K at Washington and Lee University since 2010.  She is the member-at-large representing academe for the 2016-18 Society Board of Directors.

Linda is professor of economics at Washington and Lee University. She teaches money and banking, principles of macroeconomics, and a senior research seminar.  She has also led a travel-based seminar on the European monetary union. Her research has been published in the Journal of Economic History, Journal of Financial Services Research, Review of Financial Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, The Group of Thirty monograph series, and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas publications. Linda is a past recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowship for sabbatical support.

She previously worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

For O∆K, Linda has served as a member of the Centennial Celebration committee and as the liaison to W&L for the Centennial Convention held in Lexington, Va.  She served on an ad hoc committee to discuss the terminology used for faculty officers and on the national nominating committee.  As a faculty officer, she has attended faculty-officer training sessions, drive-in meetings, and two national conventions.

At Washington and Lee, Linda has served on numerous university-wide committees including the President’s Advisory Committee for tenure and promotion and on search committees for the university president, provost, and vice president for advancement.  She is faculty advisor to Panhellenic and chaired a committee on student academic support. Linda is president of the Virginia Association of Economists. In the local community, she is a member of the Endowment Board of Directors for Manly Memorial Baptist Church, volunteers at the local elementary and middle schools, and is president of the Storm swim team booster club.

 

 

 

Andrew Brown : National Student Vice President

Andrew Brown

National Student Vice President


| studentvp@odk.org

Biography

Andrew Brown is a 2012 initiate of the Grand Valley State University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. During his time there, he was able to serve as circle [resident for two years after taking a fifth-year before graduating. Andrew previously served ODK as a member of the first Student Advisory Board and a member of the national Membership Committee. Currently, he is a Student Member-at-Large on the Society Board of Directors, a member of the National Advisory Council, and a member of the Student Advisory Board.

Andrew earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University in 2014 with a double major in psychology and philosophy. As an undergraduate, he worked as a peer educator, leading outreach programs and conducting surveys to raise awareness of mental health issues on campus and promote the University Counseling Center. He also worked as a lead writing consultant in the Writing Center, collaborating with students to improve their skills as writers, while also mentoring other consultants and leading professional development workshops. He also completed a one-year internship as a leadership and service intern, where he worked with Office of Student Life staff to plan, provide, and improve leadership and community service programs. Additionally, Andrew presented more than 15 conference sessions, professional development workshops, and outreach programs at local, state, regional, and national conferences.

Currently, Andrew is a full-time graduate student in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Purdue University. As a recipient of the Frederick N. Andrews Fellowship, he works as a teaching and research assistant, teaching two different classes and collaborating on several research projects related to grief and loss. His personal research focuses on understanding the college student experience of romantic breakup, and how guided writing interventions can be used to reduce the risk of negative outcomes like increased risk of depression or decreased academic performance. Additionally, Andrew is a member of the Counseling and Development Graduate Student Organization, is the vice president of the Graduate Organization for Educational Studies, and is the Purdue representative on the Student Committee of the Indiana Psychological Association. In the spring of 2016, he worked with Foundation Board of Trustees member Terry Kungel to re-charter the Century Circle at Purdue. He serves the Century Circle in an advisory role, giving guidance to the students of the Executive Board as well as the faculty advisor and circle coordinator. Before graduating from his program, Andrew hopes to choose between a potential career in academia as a professor, working as a licensed counselor, or becoming involved in using psychological research to influence and lobby public policy.

Michael Christakis : Past National President

Michael Christakis

Past National President


| mchristakis@albany.edu

Biography

Dr. Michael Christakis is an initiate of the Alfred University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, where he served as the circle’s chartering president. Christakis was elected Province I student director in 1999, ODK’s first-ever national student vice president in 2000, and later national vice president for Circle Standards in 2002 until his election as national president in 2012. Christakis currently serves as immediate past national president.

 

Christakis is the vice president for Student Affairs and a Public Service professor at the University at Albany where he serves as the university’s chief student affairs officer and provides leadership and vision in administering a comprehensive student affairs program which promotes the academic achievement and personal development of all students and fosters collaborative relationships among students, faculty, staff, and the community.

 

Since his arrival to the University at Albany in 1999, Christakis has served as associate and assistant vice president for Student Affairs, assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs, assistant director of Residential Life, and as a residence hall director.

 

Christakis serves on the NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education - Region II Advisory Board, co-leads the NASPA Region II Mid-Managers Institute, serves as national co-chair of NASPA’s Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community, and is president of the Board of Directors of the University Auxiliary Services at Albany, Inc.

 

Christakis has previously served as a trustee of his undergraduate alma mater, Alfred University, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the State Academy for Public Administration, to which he was elected a fellow in 2010, president of the Alfred University Alumni Association, NASPA Region II conference chair, and chapter president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA).

 

Christakis received his Ph.D. in public administration and policy and his Master of Public Policy from the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs. He received his Bachelor of Arts in history and political science (with honors) from Alfred University. He resides in East Greenbush, N.Y. with his wife, Christa, and their three daughters, Katerina, Victoria, and Anastasia.
Darwin Jones : National Treasurer and Foundation Trustee

Darwin Jones

National Treasurer and Foundation Trustee


(585) 820-9499 | djones.cpa@gmail.com

Biography

Darwin C. Jones is a manager in EY’s Transaction Advisory Service Tax practice, based in N.Y. He has extensive experience in tax compliance and deal execution as well as the planning and structuring of transactions for public and privately held clients. Prior to joining EY, Darwin worked with KPMG International and Advisory Services to provide strategic transaction consulting to clients at various stages of the business life cycle; specifically, assisting clients with driving revenue, increasing market efficiency from concept through realization and quantification of value to be created and execution services to maximize realized value. Darwin is a certified public accountant licensed in New York State.

In January 2013, Darwin was appointed to the Omicron Delta Kappa Society Board of Directors as national treasurer and to the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees. In his role as national treasurer, Darwin is responsible for the oversight of Omicron Delta Kappa Society’s financial management strategy and the continual development of the organization’s strategic goals. In addition to strategic planning, his responsibilities include: administration of all fiscal matters within the organization, facilitating the annual budget process with the Finance Committee and national headquarters personnel and to ensure the compliance of audit, tax and various regulatory policies and procedures.

Since 2010, Darwin has served as co-chair of the New York State Society of CPA's (NYSSCPA) COAP Program Advisory Board. COAP is a five-day summer program for high school juniors and is designed to recruit young minorities into the CPA profession. COAP provides an invaluable preview of college life, and the program encourages high school students to think beyond college and learn about a career in the business world.

Additionally, Darwin serves as a distinguished member of the Young Leadership Circle of the New York State Society of CPAs, member of KPMG’s African-American Network Advisory Board, and member of the American Institute of CPAs Student Recruitment Committee and Minority Scholarship Task Force.

A 2004 initiate of the University at Albany Circle, Darwin served as the 2005 – 2006 circle president. Darwin earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University at Albany and a Master of Science with distinction in Taxation and Finance from Long Island University – Brooklyn.  His current term on the O∆K Foundation Board of Trustees expires in 2016.

W. Jeffery Edwards : National Counsel

W. Jeffery Edwards

National Counsel


(804) 788-8721 | jedwards@hunton.com

Biography

W. Jeffery Edwards is a 1981 initiate of the Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa at Washington and Lee University. He was appointed O∆K’s National Counsel in 2016. His current term as counsel runs through June 2018.

Jeff is a partner with the law firm of Hunton and Williams based in Richmond, Va. His litigation experience includes a variety of subject matters in different forums around the country. In addition to handling proceedings addressing general complex business disputes, Jeff has significant experience handling utility-related disputes (including the gas pipeline, telecommunications, electric, and nuclear industries; and involving regulatory, operations, and condemnation issues), post-M&A disputes, product safety issues, environmental and toxic tort matters, corporate governance matters, and real estate issues. Jeff's work includes both advice and counseling as well as handling disputes when they arise.

Jeff is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and in Virginia federal and state courts. He is a regular participant in the Washington and Lee Legal Ethics Institute at Washington and Lee University and an instructor in Washington and Lee University Law School’s Third Year Practicum.

In addition to earning his undergraduate degree from W&L in 1978, Jeff also earned his law degree from Washington and Lee in 1981. As an undergraduate, he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. During law school, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and was the lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee University Law Review. He was also the recipient of the John W. Davis (highest GPA) and Ring-Tum Phi (University Service) awards.

Cynthia “Cie” Cochran : Chair, National Advisory Council

Cynthia “Cie” Cochran

Chair, National Advisory Council


(305) 284-2206 | ciechapel@yahoo.com

Biography

Cynthia “Cie” Cochran earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Miami where she also started her career in higher education.  Early in her career, Cie worked in the Department of Student Activities and Leadership Programs.  She continued her work with students and leadership development at Northwestern University in Chicago where she worked in the Center for Student Involvement.  Cie then began a career in alumni relations and currently serves the Director of Alumni Engagement for the University of Miami Alumni Association.  In her current role, she is responsible for the management of alumni weekend, reunions and affinity engagement initiatives.

Throughout her education and career, ODK has remained an important part of Cie’s life.  Over the past 14 years, her involvement has ranged from serving as a circle president, a term as the East Caucus Student Representative for the Society Board of Directors, a member of the Council of Regional Directors for Region 1 and vice chair of that group for one term.  She has also served as a faculty secretary.  She re-chartered the University of Miami’s ODK alumni circle.  Cie believes strongly in the mission of ODK and has always valued her involvement with the organization.  She is a 2004 recipient of ODK’s Eldridge W. Roark, Jr. Meritorious Service Award.

In addition to attending as many Miami Hurricane football games as possible, Cie enjoys reading, spending time with her family and volunteering in the community.

John Herbst : National Parliamentarian

John Herbst

National Parliamentarian


(859) 257-5781 | herbst@email.uky.edu

Biography

At the University of Kentucky (UK), John Herbst has been the executive director of the Student Center since 1997.  Previously, he was the Director of Student Activities at UK.  He has been recognized nationally as both the Outstanding Student Government Advisor (2000) and the Outstanding Student Activities Director (1985), and he has also served on the national Board of Directors of the National Association for Campus Activities.  In addition to his responsibilities as director of the Student Center, he also serves as the University Commencement Committee Chairman and was on the university's SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation Team.  He has also been a member of the University Student Affairs Crisis Response Team and is FEMA certified as a Campus-Community Emergency Response Team Trainer.

John has produced a number of entertainment shows for television and Lexington Gala Fundraisers, including serving as Executive Producer for "Ladies of Note," recognized by the National Educational Television Association as first place major concert performance in a major market.

John was initiated into the University of Kentucky’s Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa in 1985.  He has served as the faculty secretary of the circle since 1991.  From 2006 to 2010, he was a regional director for O∆K and he was national convention chair in 2002.  He has also been a member of the General Council and a faculty province director. John has also served as parliamentarian for the 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2014 conventions.

He is a recipient of both the Eldridge Roark Meritorious Service Award and the Cheryl M. Hogle Distinguished Service Award. He has chaired both the National Public Relations Committee and the National Awards Committee. John has been a member of the National Advisory Council since its inception in 2010.

In his free time, John is a commercial hot air balloon pilot and enjoys travelling and spending time with his son, Marshall.  He also has served as the chairman of Christian Education at his church in Lexington, and currently serves on the board of directors of a private Christian school in Lexington, Ky.

Willie Banks : Member-at-Large

Willie Banks

Member-at-Large


(812) 237-4575 | willie.banks@indstate.edu

Biography

Willie L. Banks Jr. is in initiate of the University of Georgia Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa and served as an advisor to the circle for a number of years. He is currently affiliated with the Indiana State University Circle and serves as a member-at-large for the Society Board of Directors.

Willie serves as the vice president for student affairs at Indiana State University, a position he has held since May 2015. He also holds an appointment as an assistant professor within the Bayh College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership. As the chief student affairs officer, Willie reports directly to the university president. The Division of Student Affairs provides programs and services that support the co-curricular involvement of more than 13,500 students. As part of his responsibilities, he is charged with providing oversight for the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, Office of the Dean of Students, Student Counseling Center, Student Activities and Organizations, Hulman Memorial Student Union, Campus Recreation, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Conduct and Integrity, Residential Life, Dining Services, and Multicultural Services and Programs.

Prior to joining Indiana State University, Willie worked for Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio for three and a half years in a variety of positions, including associate dean of students, interim assistant vice president for student affairs, and interim vice president for student affairs. He previously worked at the University of Georgia for more than 18 years in a variety of positions within the Division of Student Affairs including as director of the Tate Student Center and Campus Life and associate dean of students for intercultural affairs.

During his time at the University of Georgia, Willie held graduate faculty status with the College of Education and served as an instructor for a number of courses within the College Student Affairs Administration (CSAA) program, including College Student Ecology, Issues in Student Affairs Administration, and College Student Affairs Interventions.

Professionally, Willie is involved with ACPA, ACUI, and NASPA. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Wabash Valley and is a member of 100 Men Who Care of Terre Haute, Indiana. Willie received his undergraduate degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and his master’s and Ph.D. in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.

 

Mike James : Member-at-Large

Mike James

Member-at-Large


(501) 230-3189 | james@harding.edu

Biography

Michael (Mike) James is a 1995 charter member of the Harding University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. He directed and organized this new circle at the urging of Dr. James F. Carr, whose strong O∆K roots were formed at Florida State University. He has served as circle coordinator since that date, except for five years while serving the Harding in Greece. Mike has also served O∆K as national regional director and as a member of the National Advisory Council. He received the Eldridge W. Roark Meritorious Service Award in 2008. He was appointed to the Society Board of Directors in 2018.

Mike is currently serving Harding University as dean of the Honors College, directing the curriculum, faculty, and student activities. More than 1100 honors students comprise this group from among the 6,000-member student body. He actively participates in the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and the six-state regional Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC), where he currently serves as president-elect. He also directs the Fellowship Advising Office, promoting the selection of national prestigious fellowships and scholarships, and is a member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA). In the summer, Mike directs the highly-successful "Honors Symposium" of four two-week sessions for rising high school seniors.

Academically, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Harding, a Master of Science in Mass Communication from Arkansas State University, and a Ph.D. in communication from Florida State University. He has served as faculty member, department chair, program director, and dean during his tenure. He currently holds the rank of distinguished professor of communication, granted to him after receiving the Distinguished Teaching Award on three occasions. Prior to his current role as dean, Mike served as the director of the Harding University, Greece (HUG) program. With his wife, Beth, he directed all aspects of this semester-abroad program with travels (three per year) to Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and other countries in Europe from a home base in Porto Rafti, Greece. Mike is a former officer in the Army Corps of Engineers with service in Germany, England, and the U.S.

Mike is the organizer for newly formed TEDxHardingU, having received their first TED license in 2017. The successful inaugural event contained seven life-oriented presentations, and forms the basis for the 2018 event slated for November 13. In preparation and training for the event, Mike was invited to attend "TEDGlobal 2017" in Kilamanjaro, Tanzania.

Mike is a member of the Searcy Rotary club, serving as secretary and president-elect. He is a member of the President's Development Council and Provost Council at Harding. He mentors the student-led "Honors Council" and serves a men's club, Chi Sigma Alpha (XEA) as sponsor and mentor. Mike is a leader in his church, loves to travel, and is an avid photographer, having photographed more than 2,500 weddings and thousands of portraits from his private photography business. He is an FAA-licensed drone pilot and prepares many videos for publication Though not playing much currently, he loves golf. He and his wife, Beth, have four married children that supply them with eight lovely grandchildren to help nurture.

William “Razz” Waff : Member-at-Large

William “Razz” Waff

Member-at-Large


(847) 269-9066 | razzw@aol.com