About Us

Personalized professional coaching, community of peers and a common vocabulary of evidence-based instructional practices.


Our Dream

We envision a world where post-secondary education considers teaching as important as content knowledge or research, and it is rewarded appropriately.


Who We Are

In our team’s work at Starfish Retention Solutions (now part of Hobsons) and Blackboard — leading voices in the student success movement — we have proudly seen appropriate focus put on remedial education reform, wraparound services and pathways. These game changers help students increase momentum and overcome challenges to graduate.

For years, we have wondered: “Are we doing all we can with the people who can impact our students the most — the faculty?” As the individuals with the greatest impact on student learning, how are faculty being supported? How are they engaging in the student success conversation?

Faculty Guild is focused on improving student outcomes by reinvesting in the heart and soul of higher education: faculty.

We offer personalized professional development for faculty based on the research and model developed under the leadership of Dr. Gail Mellow, CUNY college president and 2017 winner of the ACE-administered TIAA Institute’s Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education. The model is explored in the book Taking College Teaching Seriously: Pedagogy Matters!


Our Leadership Team


David Yaskin

Chief Executive Officer

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Education technology leader; 31-year software development veteran; CEO & Founder, Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., 2007-2015; VP Product Strategy, Blackboard Inc., 1999-2007; Inventor on nine education technology patents (assessment, retention, portals); Collaborator with U.S. Department of Education, White House, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation and National Academy of Education.


Emma Zone, Ed.D.

Senior Vice President of Academic Operations & Innovation

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Scholar-practitioner and higher education administrator with 20 years of academic operations, teaching and curriculum development experience; Former Vice Provost and VP of Academic Operations, Colorado Technical University; Digital learning thought leader; Former Chair, Courseware in Context (CWiC) Framework Executive Committee; Ed.D., Argosy University; M.A., DePaul University; M.Ed., University of Illinois; B.A., University of Michigan.


Meaghan Duff, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Strategy


Higher education and technology executive with 20 years experience; SVP, Strategy, Marketing and Business Development at EVERFI; Sr. Director of Professional Learning at EDUCAUSE; Executive Director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU); Executive positions at Blackboard Inc.; College faculty for more than 20 years, including 15 years teaching online. Associate Lecturer in History, University of Massachusetts-Boston; Faculty positions at Vanderbilt University and Western Kentucky University.


John Plunkett

Chief Operating Officer

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Education marketing and operations leader with 20+ years of experience; SVP Marketing and External Relations at Hobsons, Inc.; SVP of Strategy and Marketing at Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc.; Senior marketing leadership positions at Blackboard Inc. and GetWellNetwork.


Tony Pianta

Chief Technology Officer

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Highly technical and strategic software engineering and product manager; Former Director of Engineering at IT.com; Engineering Team Lead at Hobsons and Starfish Retention Solutions.


Kate Bertram

Sr. Director, Community Engagement

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Passionate communicator and client advocate; Director of Marketing, Student Success at Hobsons, Inc.; Product Marketing Manager at Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc.; Consulting and faculty training positions at Blackboard Inc.



Our Advisors

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Gail O. Mellow, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor


Gail O. Mellow has served as president of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens since 2000. A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for achieving boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. Two-thirds of LaGuardia’s over 50,000 students were not born in the United States, coming from over 150 countries and speaking over 100 languages in addition to English. She is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education, which is given to a current college or university president for commitment to higher education and society at large.

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In 2014, Dr. Mellow was featured in a series of New York Times articles on the challenges and triumphs of LaGuardia and community colleges nationwide. She is frequently sought as a commentator on the changing landscape of higher education and has been quoted in a range of publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg BusinessWeek and has appeared on national radio and television broadcasts on NPR, MSNBC and PBS. She has given invited keynote addresses for several national higher education organizations, including the American Council on Education, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and the League for Innovation in Community Colleges.

She is co-author of the books Taking College Teaching Seriously: Pedagogy Matters! (2015), which explores a groundbreaking digital model for improving college teaching through faculty professional development, and Minding the Dream: The Process and Practice of the American Community College, 2nd Ed (2015), a primer on community colleges, and over 50 scholarly articles. She has served on multiple national organizational boards, with a focus on workforce development, higher education, creating equity in education and supporting college teaching excellence.

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Terri Givens, Ph.D.


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Terri Givens is the founder and CEO at The Center for Higher Education Leadership. Previously, she served as the provost of Menlo College where she led faculty and staff in developing programs for first-generation students, updating curriculum and developing the infrastructure for new evidence-based assessment tools. She has also served as a faculty member and vice provost of the University of Texas at Austin where she was the founding director of the Center for European Studies and led the university’s efforts in Mexico and Latin America.


Julie Johnson, Ed.D.


LinkedIn | Twitter

Higher education policy expert with more than 20 years of experience; VP of Strategy, Complete College America; Deputy CEO, University of the District of Columbia Community College; Professorial Lecturer of Education, The George Washington University; Chair of the Board, Maya Angelou Public Charter School; EDUCAUSE Breakthrough Models Academy Winner; Director of Programs, U.S. Department of Education; Ed.D., The George Washington University; Ed.M., Harvard University; B.A., Azusa Pacific University.


Careers at Faculty Guild

Faculty Guild is a mission-driven organization with a dedicated team of people. We believe in the power of purposeful teaching to make a difference for students. We’re always looking for people to join our team who share our passion and get excited when talking about a faculty member who made a difference in their lives.


Are you ready to make a difference?

We are currently recruiting for the following positions:


Academic Operations


  • Coming Soon!


Don't see what you are looking for? We routinely post positions to this page as well as announce them on Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to follow us for the latest opportunities.

Faculty Guild is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and welcomes all qualified applicants. Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, religion or other legally protected statuses.


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