Dr. Kaleb Patrick, Interim MSA Director
Department of Educational Leadership/Teacher Education and Professional Development
Kimberley Gribben, MSA Assistant Director
My brother and I attended CMU back in the 1970s and I went on to earn my MBA at CMU almost 20 years later. CMU has always had a special place in my heart with lots of great memories of my undergraduate experience here. So, many years later, I was thrilled to be hired at CMU. Prior to that I worked as a bank manager and loan officer. After working a variety of CMU positions, I came to the MSA Program in 1996 as a Coordinator. I was promoted to Assistant Director in 2006. My primary responsibilities are program plan approvals, transfer credit approvals, and research application approvals. I've conducted numerous curriculum evaluations of military educational programs including the Army's College and General Staff College, Civilian Education Systems courses (Army Management Staff College), Defense Acquisitions University acquisitions courses, National Defense University iCollege certificate programs, and Marine Corps Command and Staff College Distance Education Program. In addition, I work closely with the MSA Director on curriculum development and program assessment/review.
I can't say enough good things about the staff at CMU and all of the good things that they do for students and faculty. I am honored and humbled to have been twice selected as a recipient of the Staff Excellence Award (2005-06 and 2012-13). The Staff Excellence Award Program recognizes and rewards dedicated staff who routinely and regularly demonstrate in an outstanding way their commitment to and support of the University's Service Excellence Values: Care, Knowledge, Availability and Follow Through.
Every day I help students advance in their MSA program and graduate. Their success is my success. What can be more satisfying than that? Fire up Chips!
Anna Grajek, MSA Academic Advisor (International students)
I earned my BS from Lake Superior State University and my MA from Central Michigan University and have worked in higher education for over ten years focused on student success in a variety of roles including academic support, counseling, internships & career services and athletics. I will be working as an MSA Coordinator on campus. I am so excited to be a part of the MSA program and look forward to working with our staff, students, and alumni.
Jackie Kelly, MSA Recruitment Coordinator
I earned both my BSBA ('04) and my MSA ('08) from Central Michigan University. I have worked at CMU in various positions since 2000 from fundraising in athletics to academic advising and recruitment. I am also actively involved in many community activities and enjoy any opportunity to promote Central Michigan University to my peers. I am excited to work with new MSA students and various employers and to watch our students succeed. Fire Up Chips!
Melissa Smith, MSA Academic Advisor
I have been part of CMU's advising team since 1999. My professional background also includes positions within a small private college setting and large community college environment. I have held roles in advising, continuing education, and adjunct instruction. I hold a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies for Michigan State University and an MA in College Student Counseling and Personnel Services from Eastern Michigan University.
Christina Prout, MSA Administrative Assistant
I joined the MSA staff in 2015, but I have been a CMU Chippewa for many years. In the early 90's, I earned my BS in Education from Central Michigan University. Upon graduation, I moved back to the west side of Michigan and worked as a substitute teacher and then as a preschool teacher. Later, I switched careers to the medical field where I worked as a medical records specialist and a medical receptionist. I enjoy working with people and as the administrative secretary I have the privilege to work with a diverse group of people; from students to faculty and from visitors to CMU staff. It was my husband's career that brought us back to the Mt. Pleasant area, and I am thrilled to be back at CMU.
Dr. Michael Dillon, MSA Faculty
Dr. Michael Dillon holds a Dual Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University, a Doctorate of Education in Adult Education and Human Resource and Organizational Development from the University of Georgia, and recently completed a Project Management Certificate at Central Michigan University. He has been teaching face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses in the MSA program since 2016, and previously taught as an adjunct faculty member for a number of years.
Prior to his career in Higher Education, Dr. Dillon worked in banking, finance, the mortgage business, and has taken leadership roles in multiple non-profit organizations. His academic interests include collaborative action and power dynamics, adult learning theory, organizational learning, critical human resource and organizational development theory, leadership theory, action research methodology, hybrid and online learning, and qualitative research. He is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and currently resides in Midland, MI with his family. Dr. Dillon looks forward to creating engaging spaces in each class for students to learn and grow.
Dr. Yucel T. Thomas (Henderson), MSA Faculty
Dr. Yucel Thomas received her Doctorate degree in Organization Management with a specialty in Global Leadership from Colorado Technical University. She holds an MA degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University with a comparative analysis thesis on the American and Arab business management practices. Her Bachelor's degree is in Architecture and Design from Bilkent University in Turkey with a minor in Environmental Design.
For over a decade Dr. Thomas served in a variety of increasingly responsible positions with the Department of Defense programs in Europe and the U.S. and she spent the last few years working at executive levels with the Marine Corps. Previously, she taught as a part-time faculty member for Central Michigan University, Webster University, Southern New Hampshire University, and American College of Education. Her area of expertise include international business, organization behavior, gender and generational issues in work place, multiculturalism, and cross-cultural leadership. Dr. Thomas's research interest is in initial trust formation between socio-culturally diverse work groups and cross-cultural marketing.
Dr. Thomas emphasizes inquiry based learning in her courses. She suggests inquiry makes the difference between acquiring knowledge and memorizing information. Dr. Thomas loves traveling internationally with her children Melis & Burak as she believes one can only unravel the world's tangled complexities by being exposed to culture and value systems of the unfamiliar. Dr. Thomas is proud to be part of the MSA team at Central Michigan and takes this opportunity as the next step in her colorful career. Central Michigan University's core values - "integrity, respect, compassion, inclusiveness, social responsibility, excellence and innovation" - align with her own and they were the driving force behind her decision to join this exceptional academic community.