President’s Cabinet

Weymouth Spence, President

Weymouth Spence is the nineteenth president of Washington Adventist University, located near the nation’s capital in Takoma Park, Maryland.  Washington Adventist University (WAU) is one of the fourteen higher education institutions in North America with an affiliation to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  He began his presidency at WAU in January 2008 and during his tenure has put together a leadership team that elevated and transformed the former Columbia Union College (CUC) to university status and is continuing to build on the legacy of former presidents to elevate the University standing to one of international distinction. Read more here.

Cheryl Harris Kisunzu, Provost

Kisunzu holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI; M.S. in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Rush University, Chicago, IL and B.S. in Nursing, also from Andrews University. She has held senior-level positions of progressive academic and administrative leadership which include Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development as well as the Dean for the Life Science Human Services Division and Director of the Nursing Program at Harper College Palatine, IL.; Dean for Mountain View Arts and Sciences Department/Director of Nursing; and  Grant Administrator at Eastfield College Mesquite, Texas for its historic 1.4 million dollar Texas Workforce Commission Grant. Kisunzu also has over 14 years of teaching experience achieved through faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University/Nashville, TN; Loma Linda University/ Loma Linda, CA;St. Louis Community College/Meramec St. Louis, MO and Harper College/Palatine, IL. In addition, she is a reviewer for the Middle States Substantive Change Review Committee, a member of the Adventist Health Care Board, and certified as a performance excellence  Malcolm Baldrige Evaluator.

Patrick Farley, Executive Vice President for Finance

Patrick Farley earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland and a Communications degree from Washington Adventist University. He also holds an M.S. in Finance from the University of Baltimore.

Farley has been in this position since July 2004. From 2002 to 2004, he served as controller at WAU. Prior to joining WAU, Farley worked in the communication and government contracting industry as controller, senior accountant, and staff accountant.

Duaa Elzeney, Vice President for Enrollment Management

Duaa Elzeney has joined WAU as its first Vice President, Enrollment Management with two decades experience in edtech, higher education, and IT project management. She has spent 70% of her career in leadership roles and has led teams to convert over 10k higher ed and online students – while having led some of the best recruiting and admissions teams in the country. She’s managed total projects and had P&L responsibility for $200M and has had 60 direct reports. She’s also been responsible for an additional 300 project and team members and outcomes – globally. 

Her career has included leadership roles at Brookings, Georgetown University, George Washington University, as well as Fortune 500 and 100 companies. She holds an MA from Loyola Chicago and a BA from Calvin University, and her approach includes a focus on technological innovation, data, and perfecting the applicant journey to yield the highest possible conversion rates across the recruiting funnel – as well as create a seamless experience for each applicant. At WAU, Elzeney has oversight over the Enrollment Management Department, including Admissions, Recruiting, Financial Aid, and prospect data. Additionally, she has accountability oversight over retention, graduation rate, rankings, and marketing effectiveness.

Janette Neufville, Chief Operations and Compliance Officer

Janette Neufville earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and earned professional certification as a Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence. Neufville provides oversight and monitoring of institutional compliance for federal, state, church, and accrediting bodies, and serves as the accreditation liaison officer. Prior to her current role, she served as the Associate Vice President of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.

For twenty years before joining WAU, she served as a program and project manager, business consultant, and systems analyst at various Fortune 500 companies, including Nasdaq, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), EDS (now Hewlett Packard), and Sprint Nextel. Neufville joined the University in 2007, and now is responsible for institutional research; institutional effectiveness; institutional data integrity; and support of assessment, accreditation, and strategic planning.

Dr. Ralph E. Johnson, Vice President of the Center for Student Life

Ralph E. Johnson is a 1981 graduate of the University of Alabama, with a BS degree in Speech/Language Pathology. In 1982, he received his Master’s degree in Student Personnel Services from Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina in May of 1993.  His dissertation, titled “Factors in the Academic Success of African American College Males,” garnered him the coveted Dissertation of the Year Award, given by the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA). His role as VP will encompass the Office of Ministry to create a greater synergy across the spectrum of student life on the WAU Campus. Dr. Johnson is the recipient of numerous honors to include his induction into Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, the SACSA Melvene D. Hardee Award for Outstanding work as a student affairs professional, and the 1991 National Alumni Brother of the Year for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh-Day Adventist Church, where he serves as a deacon. He is married and the father of one son.

Everett Wiles, Integrated Marketing & Communication

Everett Wiles is a media professional with almost 30 years experience in television production, higher education and media management. His media career started in the early nineteen nineties when he was an integral contributor to the establishment of a media department at West Indies College now Northern Caribbean University (NCU). He went to New York by the mid-nineties where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors (1999) and a Master of Arts degree with distinction (2000) in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology.

While in New York Mr. Wiles worked with LI News as an electronic journalist and Stories to Remember as a research assistant. While there he produced and directed a documentary entitled “One Survivor’s Story” which took a look into the life of a Holocaust Survivor Mr. Richard Weilheimer. This documentary won him The Communicator Award for producers and directors.

In 2000 he returned to NCU and rejoined the media team to continue building the media department there. Additionally, he joined the faculty in the Department of English, Modern Languages and Communication as a part time instructor. In 2003 when the Department of English and Modern Languages was reshaped and the Department of Communication Studies was established, Mr. Wiles was asked to be the academic chair. During this time he redesigned the Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs in Mass Communication, which has produced to date some of the island’s best media professionals.

In 2009 Mr. Wiles was asked to serve as the General Manager of the NCU Media Group, a newly formed media entity set up to oversee the operations of the university’s all island radio station NCU FM, its all-island cable channel NCU TV and its media production unit. He has worked on numerous projects for local and international clients, inclusive of the production of more than 100 episodes for the Hope Channel International. In 2017 he migrated to the USA where he served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Art Communication and Design at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, overseeing the television specialization as well as supervising the television production studio.

Before joining the workforce at WAU, Mr. Wiles served as overall producer for the “3AM: Morning is Coming” production for the HOPE Channel International.

Jennifer Albury, Executive Director of Development, Advancement and Alumni Relations

Jennifer Albury, MBA, joined Washington Adventist University as Alumni Relations & Annual Fund Manager in the Department of Advancement and Alumni Relations in August 2018. She possesses an extensive background in the non-profit sector, most recently serving as Human Resource Generalist and Interim Director of Development at the Rescue Mission of Utica in New York. She holds a Master in Business Administration from Washington Adventist University and completed her undergrad in Intercultural Communications and Public Communications in 2009. Shortly after graduating with her undergrad, Jennifer began working for the US Government as an NCS Language Officer, specializing in communication affairs abroad. She has since also worked as a high school teacher and marketing coordinator. Jennifer is married to Brendon Albury and has two children.

Lydee Battle, Executive Administrative Assistant

Lydée Battle joined Washington Adventist University as the Executive Administrative Assistant in the Office of the President in August 2015 with over 30 years’ experience as an administrative professional in the non-profit and corporate sectors. She has an associate degree in commercial art and is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology right here at WAU. She looks forward to being a proud Alum. She is married to Pastor Maurice Battle and has three daughters.