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University Administration

Grantham University Administration


Joseph McGrath, President

Joseph McGrath is president of Grantham University. Prior to joining Grantham University, he served in Switzerland as the chief financial and administrative officer of a group of private schools located throughout Europe. Additionally, Mr. McGrath worked for 25 years as a commercial and corporate banker.  His financial background and educational leadership skills have brought much value to Grantham University in the areas of financial management and the academic success of students.  Mr. McGrath holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Southern California.


Dr. Marilyn Bartels, Provost/Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Marilyn Bartels, provost and chief academic officer for Grantham University, has more than 20 years experience in higher education, with senior leadership experience in accreditation, regulatory compliance, and the development of new colleges and universities. Described by many as a master online teacher of faculty, the student experience is her focal point.  Additionally, Dr. Bartels has professional business experience in public relations, marketing and employee communications, and maintains a successful track record in forming corporate and community partnerships through strategic planning, fundraising and organizational development.  She holds a Ph.D. in Speech from Southern Illinois University.


Dr. Cheryl Hayek, EdD, Associate Provost and Vice President – Faculty and Student Experience

Dr. Cheryl Hayek, associate provost and vice president – faculty and student experience, has focused on faculty leadership and student support for the past 20 years. She created the VIP² Faculty Development and Leadership Program and the Swaddled Support Services (SSS) model for adult learners, which earned Grantham University the 2011 APSCU Innovative Best Practice/New Program Award. Dr. Hayek holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Northcentral University.


Jeff Bramblett, Chief Information Officer

Jeff Bramblett, chief information officer, has extensive experience managing and developing IT staff and infrastructures, along with creating custom data and software solutions. Mr. Bramblett’s forward-thinking, strategic perspective, talent for successfully managing people and budgets, and keen desire to stay on the cutting edge of technology are key attributes that have resulted in a successful, 20-year IT career. Prior to joining Grantham University, Mr. Bramblett served in senior-level positions for both public and private organizations, including: EmbanetCompass, ACS a Xerox Company, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership.


Lori Turec, Chief Marketing Officer

Grantham University Chief Marketing Officer Lori Turec oversees corporate and association partnerships, and is responsible for all University marketing, employer relations and communication initiatives. Prior to joining Grantham, Ms. Turec held senior leadership positions for three leading international adult learning companies, where she was responsible for all comprehensive marketing efforts. In addition, she has served on a variety of local boards and committees, including Meeting Professionals International (MPI), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts Ambassadors and others. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, Advertising from the University of Kansas.


Dr. Jeff Cropsey, EdD, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Jeff Cropsey, vice president – strategic initiatives, worked for more than 40 years in positions that ranged from Army counselor to European command director of the Air Force, director of the Navy College Program worldwide, to director of DANTES prior to his retirement from the Department of Defense (DoD). During his career, he received five armed services civilian meritorious service awards and the CCME President’s Award for his life-long contributions to military education. Dr. Cropsey holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.


Roman Yagnitinisky, Vice President of Financial Aid

Roman Yagnitinsky, vice president – financial aid, specializes in building/rebuilding university financial aid departments to handle significant increases in student volume. Previously Mr. Yagnitinsky was the director of operations for Financial Aid Services at American Public University, where he oversaw operations of the financial aid department. Roman holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from St. John Fisher College in New York.


Karan Krna, JD, Vice President of Compliance

Karan Krna, vice president – compliance, has served in higher education for more than 12 years, beginning as an adjunct faculty member then transitioning to university administration. She specializes in compliance, regulatory and accreditation matters. Prior to working in higher education, she was an attorney in private practice. Ms. Krna holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.


Ed Sammarco, Vice President – Finance

Ed Sammarco, vice president – finance, has extensive knowledge in the field of accounting and finance. Prior to joining Grantham, he spent more than 15 years in Houston, where he held numerous accounting and treasury positions, primarily with international offshore drilling contractor, Global Marine, Inc. Mr. Sammarco holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Houston.

Les Hyde, Vice President – Admissions

Les Hyde, vice president – admissions, is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and former non-traditional student. While in the Air Force, he was selected to help develop and deliver computer-based training using Instructional Systems Design and Adult Learning Theory tools to more than 50,000 aircraft maintenance technicians. In addition to his MBA, Mr. Hyde also holds several certifications: Certified Network Engineer, Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, A+ and Network+.

Lisa Wachter, Director of Student Advising

Lisa Wachter, director of student advising, came to Grantham University in 2006 with 13 years of management, customer service and leadership experience under her belt. She believes strongly in supporting adult learners as they achieve their educational goals. Ms. Wachter earned her Associate of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies at Grantham, and is currently completing her Bachelor of Business Administration.

Kip Esry, Vice President of Human Resources

Kip Esry, vice president of human resources, has 25 years of experience directing people strategies in high-performing organizations. Mr. Esry has held HR leadership roles in four Fortune 500 organizations and spent 13 years on the Board of the Kansas City Compensation and Benefits Association, serving as that organization’s president in 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from the University of Kansas.