Meet the Team
INCompliance consultants have decades of experience within the education environment, navigating the issues that are critical to today’s schools, colleges and universities. Because all of our consultants are attorneys, we combine legal knowledge with a deep understanding of education operations. Offering practical advice and effective solutions to complex compliance issues, we have become trusted advisors to satisfied clients across the country.
Laura is a senior consultant who has worked with education institutions and other employers for over twenty five years. She has extensive experience investigating misconduct claims and holds a certificate in workplace investigations from the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). In addition, Laura serves as a hearing officer in employee and student conduct matters, including those arising under Title IX. She also holds a mediation certificate from Cornell University’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and provides mediation and other informal resolution support to employers and education institutions. In addition, she provides program reviews and audits of institutional procedures and training at the state and national level on conduct issues, trauma-informed practices, investigation techniques and compliance with education and disability laws.
Melissa has over 15 years of civil rights experience and frequently interfaces with the Office for Civil Rights during investigations related to Title IX, Section 504 and Title VI. She regularly trains administrators on Title IX issues, including but not limited to accommodating transgender students, equity in athletics, sex discrimination/harassment and sexual misconduct investigations. She has conducted multiple investigations and has extensive experience defending educational entities against harassment and discrimination claims raised under federal civil rights laws.
Erin began her career at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, where she helped to design and run a mediation program for public records disputes. She is a trained mediator, investigator and adjudicator, with particular expertise in matters involving allegations of employment discrimination.
Melissa has nearly 10 years of civil rights experience and regularly works with institutions of higher education on civil rights and Clery Act compliance and conducts frequent training workshops for investigators, adjudicators and other administrators involved in the conduct process. She also works with institutions on managing safety issues and addressing climate concerns during civil rights investigations. She has particular experience with Title IX and Section 504 investigations, conducting parallel investigations with law enforcement, and handling employment investigations. Melissa speaks frequently on Title IX at both the state and national level.
Kate Davis is an attorney with over 14 years of experience representing educational and other public institutions. She advises public sector clients on a variety of subjects, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504, FMLA, Title IX, Clery Act and FERPA. She also represents public clients in labor and employment matters, including collective bargaining, grievance arbitration and representing employers before the State Employment Relations Board and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Kate frequently partners with school districts and higher education institutions on a variety of issues, including administration of policies, public records issues, student affairs and constitutional issues. Additionally, she participates in employment and labor-related litigation involving Title VII, FMLA, ADEA, ADA, FLSA and R.C. Section 4112 issues. She has conducted independent investigations for public entities and assists clients with policy revision and training. In the past, Kate served as in-house counsel at a large public university in Ohio.
With years of experience as a Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator for a private university, working as a trainer and content creator for education focused learning management systems and educational support companies, and as a consultant to non-profits and educational institutions, Lorna has direct experience with all facets of institutional compliance programs and Civil Rights functions. Through her work, she has developed expertise in a variety of subject areas including but not limited to governance, regulatory and corporate compliance, campus safety and security, policy and procedure management, ADA, athletics compliance and risk management, and Title IX and equity functions from intake through resolution. She is specifically passionate about supporting institutions in designing internal structures, business processes, and innovative solutions that reduce the cost of compliance while improving the quality of the services and support administrators are able to provide to students, staff, and third parties. She works with K-12 and higher education institutions by conducting independent compliance reviews, hosting trainings and workshops, developing custom resources and policies, and supporting the resolution of allegations of misconduct through case specific guidance, investigations, and coordination. She speaks regularly at industry and national conferences and workshops.
A former assistant director and deputy Title IX coordinator for a large university, Jessica has experience with every step of the Title IX resolution process – from conducting thorough and impartial investigations, to adjudicating sexual misconduct claims, to ensuring ongoing review of university policies and procedures. She regularly advises higher education clients on a variety of legal issues, drawing from her own experience working at a public university and defending universities as a litigator in both the private and public sectors. She also conducts trainings for colleges and universities in the areas of civil rights and compliance.
For over 25 years, Warren has assisted with misconduct investigations. He is trained as a civil rights investigator and has handled complex sexual harassment and racial, age and sexual discrimination claims. Warren has also participated in the prosecution of Medicaid, workers compensation and defense industry fraud cases. He has a special interest in cases involving confidentiality rights, acceptable use policies and interactions with law enforcement.
Joe has over ten years of higher education experience, mostly related to both academic and non-academic student conduct. He is highly familiar with the policies and procedures of universities, including discipline, discrimination, Title IX and sexual misconduct. Having supported various on-campus leaders, Joe understands the urgency of sensitive student issues, as well as handling emergency situations. He is experienced in building relationships with students and their families to achieve favorable outcomes, even in difficult situations. Additionally, Joe is a certified Title IX investigator with a background in Greek Life administration.
Erin consults with educational institutions in Title IX, special education, civil rights and other student matters. As a former high school English teacher, Erin applies firsthand knowledge of the education field, as well as school administration experience, to her consultation practice.
She frequently facilitates Title IX trainings, and also serves as a Title IX investigator and decision-maker at both the K-12 and higher education levels.
Former Title IX Coordinator for a private liberal arts institution, Stephanie has experience with every step of the Title IX resolution process – from conducting thorough and impartial investigations, to adjudicating sexual misconduct claims, to ensuring ongoing review of university policies and procedures. Stephanie regularly advises K-12 and higher education clients on a variety of compliance issues, drawing from her experience working both large and small universities in student affairs and her legal background clerking for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office in the Education and Special Litigation sections. Stephanie’s experience makes her adept in interpreting and applying relevant state and federal laws, including Title IX, IDEA, Title II and the ADA and 504 Compliance. She also conducts trainings for and colleges and universities in the areas of civil rights and compliance.
Colleen started her career conducting civil rights investigations in housing, employment, and public accommodations for municipal agencies. She then transitioned to higher education where she worked as a Title IX investigator and later as Title IX Coordinator for a private research university. Colleen has experience with policy development, investigations, training facilitation, and overseeing resolution processes for Title IX and other equity-related matters.
Rob Kent has years of experience working with university leadership on the creation and enforcement of Civil Rights and Title IX programs, including in-house experience as a Title IX coordinator and leadership of a Civil Rights office. Rob has advised investigators, auditors and risk managers on statutory and regulatory compliance issues and regularly acts as an independent investigator and decision-maker in cases of student and employee misconduct, including sexual misconduct and other forms of harassment and discrimination. Rob has also served as a Clery coordinator and frequently advises clients on matters of Clery Act compliance and enforcement.
Joëlle has over 25 years of experience assisting with cases involving misconduct and civil rights concerns. She manages policy revisions on a regular basis on everything from accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to medical marijuana. Joëlle frequently conducts trainings on a variety of topics and has a special interest in cases involving employees.
Jeff is a trained investigator with over five years of experience working on civil rights matters with institutions of higher education. He has special expertise involving confidentiality and privacy concerns, as well as in matters involving service animals and assistance animals.
Rhonda is Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer with Bricker & Eckler LLP and a Senior Consultant with INCompliance Consulting. She is a former faculty member and a founding member of KCG, a highly sought after DEI consulting firm. Rhonda serves on the president’s Advisory Council on Race at Otterbein University and is a board member of Central Ohio Diversity Consortium. With a doctoral degree reinforcing the importance of DEI, she has been committed to DEI for over 20 years, working with leadership teams, schools, boards, human resources personnel, students and employees to ensure DEI strategic goals are clearly communicated and adopted.
Beverly has been assisting educational institutions in investigating civil rights matters for many years. Prior to her current career, she spent time representing individuals against those institutions, giving her a unique perspective in risk management and compliance issues. She has extensive investigative experience and has undergone specialized training in Title IX investigations and trauma-informed practices.
Kasey is a trained Title IX investigator and decision-maker, and assists colleges and universities in drafting and reviewing institutional policies to comply with federal regulations and provides guidance on various legal issues in student handbooks, including FERPA, the Clery Act and animals on campus.
Joel Nielsen is a seasoned administrator with over 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, serving as a Director of Athletics for 20 years at three institutions. At INCompliance, Joel will be advising clients needing guidance in athletic compliance, gender equity planning, revenue generation, strategic
planning and anything associated in managing an athletic department. He has literally been in the shoes of his clients, so he is intimately familiar with the challenges, obstacles, and successes of university/college athletics departments.
In his diverse Director of Athletics career, Joel worked at higher education institutions such as Kent State University (NCAA Division I), The University of South Dakota (managed the reclassification from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I), Colorado College (18 programs at NCAA Division III and 2 programs at
NCAA Division I). He has experience at both larger public institutions and smaller privates, including Wake Forest University. Needless to say, INCompliance clients find Joel’s institutional knowledge and hands-on experience to be uniquely beneficial.
With almost 20 years of experience working as a college administrator and as legal counsel representing higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations, Josh is an experienced civil rights investigator who focuses on Title IX and hazing investigations. He trains campus constituents across the country on best investigative practices, conducting student conduct hearings, complying with Title IX, and adhering to VAWA and Clery Act requirements.
Susan has spent 20 years working with educational institutions and other public sector entities on a range of civil rights matters, including race, national origin, sex, religion and disability cases. She has conducted, overseen and prepared reports on harassment and discrimination investigations, as well as other types of misconduct investigations. She is familiar with both employment and student issues in the context of educational institutions and has undergone trauma-informed investigative training specific to Title IX requirements. Susan is particularly experienced in cases involving union members.
Katy worked in public accounting for 10 years, giving her an eye for detail. Due to her legal training and experience, she is knowledgeable with regard to both employee and student misconduct. She works regularly with students and is the coach of a very successful mock trial/moot court program for high school students.
Kylie is a trained civil rights investigator with years of experience in higher education, working closely with students, staff and faculty at a large research institution. She has conducted investigations on matters relating to discrimination, harassment, relationship violence and sexual misconduct. Kylie has also worked extensively on a variety of personal injury and automobile tort claims in the state of South Carolina.
Jason began his career in the Ohio Attorney General’s office in the Civil Rights Section, where he led a team of investigators on charges of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and Title VII. He regularly works on cases involving allegations of harassment and discrimination and is specifically trained to conduct Title IX investigations in the higher education context.
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