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Admission Advisors

Meet Franklin’s Admissions Advisors

Franklin wants to make earning your associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate as straightforward as possible from Day One. So when you’re ready to apply, we’re ready, too. From the online application through student orientation, our dedicated team of admissions advisors will get you started on the admission process -- and keep you on track.

Our Advisors

Rachel Dunphy
Executive Director of Admissions

Education: Master of Business Administration, Master of Sports Administration, Bachelor of Science in Sport Industry

Professional Experience: I have worked in higher education for 14 years and enjoy working with my team of advisors to help students start or continue their journey toward completing their educational goals.

Advising Philosophy: Although I do not directly advise students, as the director I work closely with my team to support all applicants as they navigate the admission process and take the first important steps toward earning a degree at Franklin University. My parents instilled in me the importance of education and I work every day to help others to see how completing their educational goals will help to enrich their lives.

Hobbies: I am a sports fan and enjoy playing volleyball, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.

Sara Burris
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions

Specialties: Doctoral Admissions

Education: Master of Human Resource Management
Bachelor of Arts

Professional Experience: I have enjoyed working in higher education over the last 14 years and truly have a passion for helping people. The majority of my experience is within admissions, but I have worked cross departmentally, which has given me a holistic approach when serving our students.

Advising Philosophy: It is my mission to provide valuable program knowledge and useful tools to seamlessly assist prospective students through our admission process. I strive to align the applicant’s personal and professional goals to a well-suited educational plan. Education is invaluable and it is my pleasure to help start your journey.

Hobbies: I enjoy traveling, anything related to outdoors and photography.

Michael Uniacke
Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Undergraduate Admissions

Specialties: Undergraduate Admissions, Admissions Operations

Education: Master of Project Management
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Professional Experience: I have enjoyed working in higher education for 10 years in a variety roles across the University. My experience in admissions, advising and financial aid have helped to develop a holistic approach to serving students.

Advising Philosophy: Using a student-centered approach, it is my goal to assist my students throughout the admissions life-cycle. I strive to ensure that my prospective students’ educational plans are aligned with their personal and professional goals.

Hobbies: With two children under the age of 3, I do not have much time for hobbies. When I have a spare moment, I enjoy relaxing with my family, cooking, traveling and the occasional round of golf!

Andrea Donaldson
Graduate Admissions Advisor
614.947.6693 | Email >

Education: Bachelor of Science Public Relations

Advising Philosophy: I guide and motivate students to achieve their personal, academic and career goals.

Personal Statement: As a Franklin graduate myself, I provide a true and insightful approach to the University. I look forward to getting you started on the right foot!

Michael ‘Gia’ Giavasis
Undergraduate Admissions Advisor

Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology (Pre-Med)

Hobbies: I enjoy softball, volleyball, soccer, cooking, reading, gardening and the arts.

Personal Statement:
My ultimate goal when working with students is to cultivate trust and cooperation as we work toward academic success, personal growth and professional development together.

Ryan Guglielmi
New Student Enrollment Coordinator

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Personal Statement: As a member of the Admissions team, my mission is to help applicants through the admission process to fulfill their dream of obtaining a higher education. Completing my degree as an adult learner has allowed me to appreciate the difficulties that our students face during their journey. Therefore, it is my pleasure to be able to help applicants through their process.

Hobbies: I enjoy running, golfing, traveling and hiking.

Robert Lewis
Undergraduate Admissions Advisor

Education: Bachelor of Science Business Administration

PERSONAL AFFILIATIONS:
Ohio Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) and Sigma Beta Delta

HOBBIES:
I enjoy working out, spending time with my family and collecting coins.

PERSONAL STATEMENT:
To assist and enhance student abilities to achieve their personal and professional goals at Franklin University.

Merchel Menefield
Doctoral Admissions Advisor

Education: Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Master of Science in Educational Leadership, Bachelor of Science Psychology

Personal Statement: One of my favorite quotes is “res non verba”, which means deeds not words. Although I am very talkative, I actually put forward a greater amount of effort to help others attain their personal and professional objectives through education.

Mission Statement: My mission as an advisor is to help learners/students determine the best way to use their education as a vehicle to get where they want to go. I strive to be their accountability partner in successfully navigating the admission process by always reminding them of their original intent for seeking a degree. Overall, my mission is to set them on a smooth pathway from admission to graduation.

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my family, researching various topics, being outdoors and exploring other cultures. In addition, I am a proud native of North Carolina and travel there frequently.

Debra Palmer
Student Recruitment Operations Coordinator

Education: Graduated from Warren G Haring High School (Warren, Ohio)

Specializations: Military Student Enrollment

Personal Statement: It has been my pleasure to work at Franklin University for 13 years. Working with our active and veteran students as the admissions military expert, it gives me great pride to assist applicants in obtaining their personal, academic and professional goals. It is my job to make sure they know what they need to in order to successfully become an enrolled student.

Hobbies: I enjoy bicycle riding, reading, traveling and spending time with family.

Temika Pennyman
Graduate Admissions Advisor

Education:Bachelor of Science (Focus in Business Administration and Human Resources)
MBA in Project Management (in progress)

Professional Experience/Advising Philosophy:
I’ve worked as an admissions advisor for 2+ years and in the time spent as an advisor, I’ve grown to love what I do immensely. Knowing that I’m making a difference in helping my students achieve their goals is a joy that I would not trade for the world.
As an admissions advisor, I am committed to supporting a diverse group of students who are willing to take charge of their future and are making the decision to take the first step in completing their goals. I am a firm believer that education is the key to alleviate most challenges faced in life. As Malcolm X passionately stated, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today!”

Hobbies: I love reading, traveling, shopping and spending time with my family.

George Pomeroy
Graduate Admissions Advisor

Specialties: City of Columbus, Essen and Nationwide Partnerships

Education & Professional Experience: Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies
Master of Business Administration in Business Management
8 years’ experience in higher education environment

Advising Philosophy: The real world is complex and I like to help students navigate this complexity with a combination of conceptual, informational and relational advising philosophies. I like to provide accurate information to students in a mentoring environment, challenging them to reflect on their interest, skills and aptitudes. I want students to think critically about their goals and objectives when selecting majors and future careers.

Hobbies: I love spending time with my family and I enjoy cycling and craft beer.

Our Community College Regional Managers

Danielle Cordes
Community College Regional Manager
330.601.6817 | Email >

Specialties: Stark State College, Community College of Beaver County, Butler County Community College, Eastern Gateway Community College

About Me:
I am originally from Bolivar, Ohio. I have a greyhound/lab mix named Lady and two rescue cats named Mila and Tux. I enjoy watching all the Cleveland sports teams, but my favorite team is the Cleveland Cavaliers! I enjoy taking traveling to see family and spending time outdoors as well.

Education & Experience:
I earned my bachelor’s degree in sports administration from Kent State University and my MBA with a specialization in project management from DeVry University. I have five years of experience in higher education. In my professional roles, I have supported both undergraduate and graduate students throughout their academic careers.

My Top Success Tip:
Any goal you have will come with challenges. Stay motivated by remembering why you started and focusing on the reasons for your goals.

At Our Best For Our Students:
I am committed to your success! As I get to know you and understand your goals, I will work to provide you with the best options and support in order to help you achieve your goals!

Rebecca Donatelli
Community College Regional Manager
216.287.1848 | Email >

Specialties: Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland Community College, Owens Community College, North Central State University

About Me:
I have been in higher education for 10+ years and am a proponent of lifelong learning. I have experience in both for-profit and nonprofit education. I’m a mom to three kids, a rescue pup and too many plants! I’m a wife of five years and an adoption advocate and volunteer. In my free time, I’m overactive in the PTO and active in the real estate industry.

Education & Experience:
I graduated with my master’s degree in human resource management almost 10 years ago and since then received my real estate license. I attend a lot of seminars related to education, marketing and business, and child development.

My Top Success Tip:
Always stay relevant: Stay on top of the news, on top of current events, aware of the industry you work in, and topics you’re passionate about. Never stop learning.

At Our Best For Our Students:
I’m a solutionist. I will find the missing puzzle pieces and help you put them together to ensure you reach the outcomes you have dreamed about.

Jenny Garringer
Community College Regional Manager
937.569.8181 | Email >

Specialties: Sinclair Community College, Rhodes State College, Edison Community College

About Me:
I grew up on a farm outside of Washington C.H., Ohio, with two younger sisters. I’ve lived in the Dayton area since college. I run two small businesses, a wedding and event planning company that I started in 2009, and a home-based bakery that I added in 2015. In my free time, I love spending time with my friends and family, going on road trips and travelling. A trip to Ireland is on my vacation bucket list.

Education & Experience:
I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business (Marketing) as well as, an MBA at Wright State University. I have 17+ years of experience in higher education working in large and small, public and private institutions. I have been with Franklin University since 2012, initially serving as an academic advisor before I transitioned to my current role in 2017. I currently work with students at our many local partner organizations and community colleges to help them navigate the transfer process in order to pursue their education at Franklin University.

My Top Success Tip:
Going to school while working or having a family can be difficult. There are a lot of things in our lives to juggle, so finding a way for you to stay organized and laser-focused on your education can really help you succeed! If you hit a bump in the road, it is okay, we will help get you back on track and moving forward.

At Our Best For Our Students:
I am committed to you and your educational goals. I am here to help you every step along the way, making sure the transition toward your next degree is as smooth as possible and aligns with your personal and career aspirations. I am always willing to help you in any way that I can.

Greg Haskins
Community College Regional Manager
614.849.2997 | Email >

Specialty: Columbus State Community College

About Me:
My wife and I were married on a mountain that is part of the Appalachian Trail outside of Asheville, N.C. Shortly thereafter, we rescued a blue nose pit bull that we named, Ashe. I enjoy hiking, camping, running and finding new spots in Columbus to explore.

Education & Experience:
I completed my undergraduate degree at Wright State University, and earned my master’s in higher education administration from Tiffin University.

My Top Success Tip:
Find a routine that works best for you and stick with it! I always did my best work late at night for a few hours at a time.

At Our Best For Our Students:
I took the exact same educational path that many of the students I work with are taking. Being a transfer student was not easy, and I had no one to help me through that process. I refuse to let my students have the same experience I did with the transfer process.

Shirley Hayes
Community College Regional Manager
740.297.9738 | Email >

About Me:
This October marks my 30th wedding anniversary with my high-school sweetheart. I have one beautiful daughter that I treasure with all my heart. I have a special little cat, Milo, in my life as well. I am an animal lover and he completes my family. Family is my life and I love unwinding by spending time with my family, walking and taking vacations. I love the relaxing feeling of listening to the ocean waves crashing upon the shore and early morning seashell hunting. I love nature and enjoying as much time outside as possible. My favorite vacation spots so far have been Hawaii and Fort Myers Beach, Fla. I look forward to going to Jamaica this coming year.

Education & Experience:
I started my educational journey at Zane State College, a two-year community college, where I earned an associate degree in business. I went on to get both my bachelor’s in business administration and an MBA from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. I have been working in the educational field for over 16 years. I have experience in admissions and advising and enjoy helping others reach their educational and career goals.

My Top Success Tip:
Albert Schweitzer said it best: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Choose a career path that you love and you will never work a day in your life.

At Our Best for Our Students:
I am here to make your transition to Franklin University a great experience by providing you with the resources needed to make a sound decision on academic program and the best transfer option for you. I will be there with you through the completion of your admissions and financial aid including registration for your first term classes. I want you to feel comfortable and a part of our Franklin University family as you move forward in your educational journey.

Jennifer Mack
Community College Regional Manager
614.357.7635 | Email >

Specialties: Sinclair Community College, Clark State Community College, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

About Me:
I am originally from Lancaster, Ohio. My husband and I were married in 2016, and we just welcomed our son into the world June 2018. I enjoy running, any type of exercise and traveling. My favorite place to visit is Alaska, If I could live there I would!

Education & Experience:
I earned my bachelor’s degree in public relations with a marketing minor from Wright State University and a master’s in higher education from Ashford University. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in higher education for over 10 years. I’ve held positions in admissions, academics, student services and career services. Higher education has been my passion and I feel lucky to work with students every day to help them pursue their goals.

My Top Success Tip:
Education is the one thing no one can take from you. It takes time, hard work and dedication but in the end it always pays off. While in school it’s about developing a new mindset and creating a new normal. However, once you’re done and walking across the graduation stage there’s no looking back, only forward!

At Our Best For Our Students:
My goal is to make your transition to Franklin as seamless and efficient as possible. As I help you through the enrollment process I will provide encouragement and support when needed. Know that you matter and I am here for you!

Erika Miller
Community College Regional Manager
614.965.2272 | Email >

Specialties: Columbus State Community College and Central Ohio Technical College

About Me:
I have the cutest dog (no, really) you’ve ever seen. I consider ice cream to be a food group. I enjoy shopping, good conversation and browsing bookstores with a coffee in my hand. My life goal is to end up living on a beach, selling cheap souvenirs and coconut drinks.

Education & Experience:
I have a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. I have spent the last 15 years working in higher education in a variety of areas including teaching, financial aid and programs for nontraditional students.

My Top Success Tip:
My father gave me the best advice while I was pursuing my degree. He asked if I believed that people with degrees were smarter. I said not necessary, to which he agreed. He explained that getting a degree is not about being smarter than someone else. Obtaining a degree signals you have the perseverance to push through the inevitable obstacles. No matter who you are or what degree you are pursuing, you will face challenges that make you want to quit. You cannot quit. You must hold on and persevere. Once you do so, your degree signifies your accomplishment.

At Our Best For Our Students:
As a Franklin University employee, one of the things I am most proud of is that we really offer a pathway to an accessible and affordable bachelor’s degree. When I was an undergraduate transfer student, I found the process confusing, expensive and time-consuming. I love that I am able to help community college students transfer to Franklin with a process that is easy, cost-effective and maximizes the credits they have earned.

Joseph Smith
Assistant Director, Community College Alliance
614.947.6717 | Email >

About Me:
I am married with two teenage daughters who keep my wife and me very busy with all of their activities. My main hobby is gardening and working on our yard. Our family enjoys homemade pasta sauce, salsa, and stewed tomatoes made with our garden fresh vegetables.

Education & Experience:
I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology at John Carroll University and my master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of New Haven. I have been in higher education continuously since completing my master’s degree in 1994. I have been an adjunct or part-time professor ever since completing my master's degree and my ultimate goal is to teach as a full-time professor for a college or university. I teach currently undergraduate courses at Franklin. In the past, I have taught at Ashland University, North Central State College, Lakeland Community College and The Ohio State University.

My Top Success Tip:
Persistence is the key for completion of any activity. It is never a smooth journey from one point to another in life and the process only is completed if you just keep going.

At Our Best For Our Students:
As a current student in Franklin’s Doctor of Business Administration program, I have a unique perspective that enables me to make student success my first priority at Franklin University.