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 |


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.

Bruce Forbes : National Vice President

Bruce Forbes

National Vice President

(712) 274-5185 |


Bruce David Forbes is a professor of religious studies and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He is the author of Christmas: A Candid History (2007) and a co-editor of Religion and Popular Culture in America (2000, 2005) and Rapture, Revelation and the End Times: Exploring the Left Behind Series (2004), plus numerous other book chapters and articles. His academic specialties are the history of American religion and the analysis of religion in popular culture. However, his teaching in a small department has developed his competencies as a generalist, offering a wide range of courses such as Introduction to Religious Studies, Christian Ethics, Science and Religion, American Indian Religions, Religion in America, History of Christianity, Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Politics, and Religion and Popular Culture. He also has served as a national and regional officer in the American Academy of Religion, the major scholarly society for faculty and graduate students in religious studies.

He is a graduate of Morningside College where he received his undergraduate degree.  He earned his Master of Theology degree from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree was earned at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Morningside is a teaching-focused institution, and Bruce has received every teaching award Morningside College has to offer: the Lucille and Charles Wert Faculty Excellence Award in 2002 (chosen annually by a faculty committee) and the O∆K Faculty of the Year Award in 1982 and 2002 (an award normally presented only once to a faculty member, chosen by O∆K members). In addition to these awards selected by faculty and by students, in 2003 Morningside College initiated the Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Award, selected by outside evaluators and presented to three teachers annually. Bruce was one of the three recipients in the first year of the Walker awards, and in 2007 he became the first faculty member to receive it a second time.

Bruce was a charter faculty member of the Morningside O∆K Circle in 1983, when the college’s local unaffiliated upper class honor society sought membership in O∆K, and he has been an active faculty member and usually the circle’s faculty advisor since then. At Morningside, O∆K faculty members in addition to the faculty advisor and faculty secretary all work as peers alongside student members on circle committees, organizing four annual signature events and other tasks such as fundraising and membership selection. Bruce was a member of the O∆K National Advisory Council from 2012-16 and served as its chair from 2014-16.  He is currently Omicron Delta Kappa's National Vice President and chair of the Membership and Circle Standards Committee.

Allison Baier : National Student Vice President

Allison Baier

National Student Vice President



Allison Baier is a 2012 initiate of the St. Lawrence University Circle. She was her circle’s president during her senior year and, in 2014, was awarded the General Russell E. Dougherty National Leader of the Year Award. She served on the National Student Advisory Board from 2014-16, and at the 2016 convention, Ally was elected National Student Vice President.


Ally earned her Bachelor of Science degree in music and psychology from St. Lawrence University in 2014. As an undergraduate, she served as a research and teaching assistant in the environmental psychology lab and conducted a senior thesis investigating classroom environments’ influence on divergent and convergent creative thinking. She also served as a mentor through the SLU Buddies program for at-risk and under-privileged middle school children and, during the summer after her sophomore year, completed a research fellowship studying the effect of music therapy on orphaned Ghanaian children. In addition to her research interests, Ally was also heavily involved with numerous organizations on campus including serving as the assistant concertmaster of the university orchestra for four years.


She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University, focusing on studying cognitive behavioral treatments (CBTs) for anxiety and mood disorders, in particular post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her interest is in understanding the mechanisms of change across CBTs in order to identify and study moderators of treatment efficacy and predictors of treatment outcome. After receiving her doctorate, she intends to pursue a career in clinical research and practice.


Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Ally worked at Massachusetts General Hospital with Home Base, a program dedicated to providing clinical care, education and research to help heal the Invisible Wounds of War including PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and depression. There, she managed multiple research studies investigating the efficacy of professional education programs for community providers, aimed at training in evidence-based PTSD treatment and increasing awareness and understanding of the psychological challenges facing service members and their families.


Ally has presented or published more than 15 abstracts and peer-reviewed articles and, she is a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Darwin Jones : National Treasurer

Darwin Jones

National Treasurer

(585) 820-9499 |


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 |


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.

John Herbst : National Parliamentarian

John Herbst

National Parliamentarian

(859) 257-5781 |


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.

Michael Christakis : Past National President

Michael Christakis

Past National President



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.
Michelle Burke : Chair, National Advisory Council

Michelle Burke

Chair, National Advisory Council

(850) 445-4825 |


Michelle Burke has worked in higher education settings since 1985 as a classroom instructor, administrator and educator. She is a higher education consultant with Student Affairs Solutions, based in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has taught undergraduate courses at various institutions in public relations and leadership development, and graduate courses in college student affairs leadership. Michelle has consulted on more than 40 college campuses in the United States to assist students, faculty, staff and alumni with organizational development.

Michelle worked at Grand Valley State University as director of student life from 2003-2014 and was a faculty officer with the O∆K circle at that institution. From 1998-2003, Michelle served as director of student leadership and activities at Ferris State University. From 1996-98, she was the interim Greek life coordinator and graduate assistant for leadership development at the University of South Carolina-Columbia while she completed her master's degree.

Prior to working full-time in higher education, Michelle was a public relations executive with Tucker/Hall, Inc. in Tampa, Fla. Her duties encompassed crisis communications, community and government relations, event planning, marketing, media relations and speechwriting. Her clients included Fortune 500 companies, municipalities, tourism interests and professional sports organizations. She began her public relations career as an account executive with Libin & Associates in Tallahassee, Fla. Michelle is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and maintains her public relations accreditation (APR), which she first earned in 1997.

At present, Michelle is a member of American College Personnel Association, Association of Fraternity Advisors, International Association of Teamwork Facilitators, International True Colors Association, Public Relations Society of America and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. In addition to her involvement with Omicron Delta Kappa, Michelle served for ten years as a national officer with Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and is active with the alumnae chapters of Tri Sigma where she lives.

Michelle is completing her Ph.D. in higher education leadership at Western Michigan University. She has a Master of Arts in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Florida State University. Michelle is a True Colors Certified Facilitator and she facilitates programs in change management, communication, conflict management, personal success and teambuilding. She is also a StrengthsQuest educator and her top five signature themes are Strategic, Significance, Activator, Relator, and Arranger.

She has served Omicron Delta Kappa as its National Vice President from 2012-16, and she currently serves as the chair of the National Advisory Council.

Andrew Brown : Student Member-at-Large, SAB Member, and NAC Member

Andrew Brown

Student Member-at-Large, SAB Member, and NAC Member



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.

Cynthia “Cie” Cochran : Member-at-Large

Cynthia “Cie” Cochran


(305) 284-2206 |


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.

Alex DeJarnett : Member-at-Large

Alex DeJarnett


(330) 972-5814 |


Alex DeJarnett received a Bachelor of Science in political science with a minor in history at the University of North Alabama.  He received his Master of Applied Social Science, with a concentration in public administration from Florida A&M University.  Alex has had a robust career in the corporate, public and higher education arenas.

Alex believes in the empowerment of students through mentoring, reflection, advisement, scholarship, support and feedback allows for their personal advancement.

At Florida A&M University, in his previous service as the Coordinator of Greek Life and Community Involvement, Alex implemented new guidelines for members of the Greek population, supported organizations events and established two new honor societies for student recognition.  He also expanded community service projects for students and partnerships with local agencies.  He worked to established leadership training and development opportunities for the campus expanded the volunteer efforts with local community agencies. Alex has received local and national recognition from the FAMU National Pan-Hellenic Council to the National Marrow Donor Program.  He also served as the head of student services within the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida A&M University where he advised first through fourth year professional students in the Tallahassee and Crestview campuses.

Alex is presently the retention coordinator within the Office of  Academic Affairs at the University of Akron.

He holds membership in Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, 100 Black Men of America and is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Believing that scholarship is the primary mission of college, Alex has earned membership in Order of Omega Greek, Phi Eta Sigma, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science and Alpha Kappa Mu honor societies.

Alex facilitated the founding of Omicron Delta Kappa Circle at North Carolina Central University and at Florida A&M University where he also served as the faculty advisor.

Linda Hooks : Member-at-Large

Linda Hooks


(540) 458-8621 |


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.




Tambria Schroeder : Student Member-at-Large, SAB Member, and NAC Member

Tambria Schroeder

Student Member-at-Large, SAB Member, and NAC Member



Tambria Schroeder is a 2015 initiate of The College at Brockport (SUNY) Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. She previously served as the circle’s public relations coordinator and is now serving as its president. Additionally, she is currently serving as a member of both the National Advisory Council, ODK Society Board of Directors, and Student Advisory Board.

Tambria is currently in her last year of undergraduate studies at The College at Brockport. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in political science and Bachelor of Arts in international studies and women and gender studies. In addition, she works as a community ambassador for the college’s Office of Community Development.
Prior to returning for her senior year, Tambria was living in Washington, D.C. while completing an internship at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. She has also worked as a tutor at Brockport’s Student Learning Center and as a cashier at Price Chopper Supermarkets.

Tambria currently serves as the senior co-coordinator for the Honors College Peer Mentor Program and president of the Honors Club. She volunteers her time with various community service initiatives and as a student representative on the College Senate. She is also a member of Brockport’s Rotaract Club and on the Excellence Subcommittee of Brockport’s 2016-2017 Strategic Planning Committee.

Previously, Tambria served as a student ambassador for Brockport’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions and a member of her hometown’s Youth Philanthropy Council. She has also been a member of both Circle K and Habitat for Humanity.