Our Founder

Dr. Nancy D. Joyner

Dean Emerita

Dr. Nancy D. Joyner began her tenure as Dean and Executive Director of the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS) in 1991, serving as the first Dean of the program.  Over the course of 25 years, Dr. Joyner helped LCWS grow from a one semester program, conducted by a faculty member on sabbatical from one of the participating colleges, to a full program during the fall and spring semesters, and a residential internship program in the summers.


Dr. Joyner is a native of New Orleans, LA.  She earned her doctorate from Florida State University and completed post-doctoral studies at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Virginia.  Dr. Joyner previously served as Dean of Continuing Education at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  She is a former state president of the Virginia American Association of University Women (AAUW) and a national vice president of AAUW.


Dr. Joyner was married to the late Dr. Christopher C. Joyner, who taught in the LCWS program for 21 years.  A memorial award to an outstanding LCWS student has been named in his honor.  Upon Dr. Nancy D. Joyner's retirement from LCWS in March 2017, the Board of Directors renamed the Dean's Spirit Award, given to one student every semester who brings a strong spirit of positivity and enthusiasm to the semester experience, the Dr. Nancy D. Joyner Spirit Award.

Our Staff

Dr. Douglas E. Clark

Dean & Executive Director

Douglas Clark began his tenure as Dean and Executive Director of LCWS in 2016.  He has over 20 years of experience in higher education leadership, including positions at Roanoke College, Mary Baldwin College, and Ferrum College.  In addition, he has taught courses in management and government.  He is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management (IEM), the College Business Management Institute (CBMI), and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.  He also worked on Capitol Hill as a staff member for Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6th).  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation in Charlotte, North Carolina. 


Dr. Clark received his BA in Political Science from Roanoke College.  While a student at Roanoke, he participated in a state government internship in Richmond, Virginia.  His MA in Legislative Affairs is from George Washington University and his MBA is from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He completed his doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania and is a former chair of the Executive Doctorate Alumni Advisory Board at Penn.  He is author of the book, Eisenhower in Command at Columbia.

Emma Webb

Deputy Executive Director


As the Deputy Executive Director, Emma Webb manages the day-to-day student experience.  She oversees housing, registration, and student programming and events, including semester field trips, community activities, and engagement opportunities.  In addition, Emma oversees the LCWS Alumni Network, facilitating opportunities for alumni to connect with each other, and with current LCWS students.  Outside of the academic year, Emma also coordinates the LCWS Summer Residential program.

Emma graduated from Roanoke College in May of 2015, and participated in the LCWS program during the Spring 2014 semester.  While a student at LCWS, Emma held an internship in a federal agency doing congressional and public affairs work on economic issues. 


Emma earned her Master's of Public Administration from American University in 2019, concentrating in Public Management.  She hopes to one day be Leslie Knope. 

Simone Assaley

Internship and Enrollment Coordinator


As Internship and Enrollment Coordinator, Simone not only facilitates the internship placement process and oversees the professional development of current students, but she also recruits incoming students from our member schools. That's right-- she is likely headed to your campus soon! If not traveling, Simone can be found either in her llama-themed office editing application materials or out in D.C. visiting internship sites. 

Simone graduated from Roanoke College in May 2017 with a degree in Economics.  Previously, she worked for her sorority on a national level recruiting members for new chapters, facilitating workshops, and designing curriculum.  Simone participated in LCWS in the Fall of 2016, and interned at a non-profit organization that researched consumer financial health, education, and technology.  Simone considers her Washington Semester to be a pivotal point in her collegiate career, and hopes to give other students the same life-changing experiences. 

In her spare time, Simone frequents the Lincoln Memorial, Mount Vernon Trail, and any ice cream shop she can find.

Nicholas Cunningham

Internship Placement Assistant


As the Internship Placement Assistant, Nicholas Cunningham is the first staff member that fall and spring semester students will typically interact with. Nicholas processes applications to the program and helps students refine their resumes and cover letters before they apply to internship opportunities.

Nicholas graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2017 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and completed a Masters of Information degree with a concentration in Library & Information Science from Rutgers University in 2020. Nicholas hopes to continue his work in higher education and ultimately pursue a career as an academic librarian.

Our Faculty


Cedric D. Bullock

Controversy & the U.S. Supreme Court

Juris Doctor from Delaware Law School; Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from East Stroudsburg University

Mr. Bullock is an Associate General Counsel with the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C.  After graduating from law school, he spent approximately two years in private practice before joining the U.S. Department of Justice.  Mr. Bullock has held several positions with the U.S. Department of Justice serving as an Assistant United States Attorney, Trial Attorney and Agency Counsel.  Mr. Bullock has provided instruction as an adjunct faculty member to undergraduate, paralegal and graduate law students.

Dr. Laura Groth

Introduction to Public Policy Analysis

Ed.D. from George Washington University; M.S. in International Commerce and Policy and B.A. in Communication Law and Humanities from Valparaiso University

Dr. Groth is currently a content specialist and researcher supporting a national resource center under the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to this role, Dr. Groth served as the lead qualitative researcher at the National Center on Education and the Economy’s National Institute for School Leadership. Her research focuses on the policies and design of school systems to support equity and effectiveness. 

Dr. M. Elizabeth Guran

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Policies, Practices, and Politics

Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College, University of London; M.Litt in Strategic Studies from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland; B.A. in Political Science and Communications from St. Olaf College

Dr. Guran has nearly 30 years of professional experience in national security and international affairs at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she traveled extensively, including to the war zones of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Balkans, to research, develop, and execute studies and reports for the U.S. Congress.  She taught at the Elliott School of International Affairs as an adjunct professor and as a visiting assistant professor in the University of Akron’s emergency management and homeland security program. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  Dr. Guran has written and/or co-authored over 50 reports, studies, and articles on international and domestic public policy matters. Dr. Guran is also is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.


Michael David Kaiser

Global Agenda

Doctorate (ABD/ABT) from Harvard University in Administration, Planning and Social Policy; Master's in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University; Master's in Community Education Administration from the University of Minnesota; Bachelor's in Education from the University of Minnesota

Michael Kaiser has graduate degrees from Harvard University, The University of Minnesota, and The University of Alabama-Birmingham, and has worked on Foreign Affairs for more than 30 years.  He served as a Senior Fellow for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Energy, developing innovative foreign interventions for especially problematic countries.  He has consulted for the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and numerous foreign governments, Fortune 500 companies, private foundations, colleges and universities, civic organizations, and NGOs worldwide.  He is considered a leading voice on foreign aid reform, both inside and outside government.


Mondre’ H. Kornegay, Esq. 

Violence and Values

Juris Doctor from University of Maryland School of Law; B.S. Administration of Justice at Virginia Commonwealth University

Ms. Kornegay is a retired criminal justice professional with over 34 years of experience in community corrections, local jails and law enforcement and corrections administration. She is a member and past Chair of the Board of Directors for Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) of Arlington, a non-profit organization committed to second chances for individuals adjudicated through the criminal justice system.  She is also a member of the American Correctional Association, the Maryland Bar Association, and the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ), NOVA Chapter, where she serves as Chapter President.  She has been published in several professional publications, including the National Sheriff’s Association and a college-level textbook by Gary Cornelius entitled The American Jail.


Dr. Johari Rashad 

American Diversity: Issues in Race, Religion and Gender 

PhD in Intercultural Communications and Bachelor of Arts Degree in African-American Studies from Howard University
Dr. Rashad has written extensively and lectured on diversity issues and training.  She served as Director of the Center for Innovative Learning and Professional Growth in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  She has had extensive experience in diversity training and has taught with LCWS since 2005.

Elissa Ruffino

The Art of Communication in the Nation’s Capital

Master of Science in Linguistics from Georgetown University; Master of Arts in Education from The George Washington University; Bachelor of Arts in English and Education from Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI); Certificate in English Literature from Worcester College at the University of Oxford in England

Elissa Ruffino currently works as an adjunct instructor at Marymount University.  For more than 23 years, she served as Chief Brand Officer, Director of Communications and Public Relations, for The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in Washington, D.C.  She was also awarded a three-year education grant (2017-2019) by NIAF.  Ms. Ruffino recently completed a summer assignment at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.

Emily L. Schneider

The Washington Theatre Experience


Master of Arts in Arts Management from George Mason University; Bachelor of Science from Hood College

Ms. Schneider has worked extensively in the D.C. theatre and live entertainment industry for more than fourteen years.  With time spent in every aspect of theatre-making, from production to administration, she provides an insider’s viewpoint on the unique theatrical experiences available in Washington, D.C.

John A. Wagner

Conflict Management & Resolution

Master of Science in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University; Bachelor of Science in Political Science from St. Peter's College

Mr. Wagner began his career in conflict management with the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS), holding numerous positions within the organization.  In his role as Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Affairs at FMCS, he mediated private, public and federal sector collective bargaining disputes and discrimination complaints; facilitated public policy regulatory negotiations; and developed conflict resolution training for numerous agencies and private sector companies.  Since his retirement from FMCS in 2004, Mr. Wagner continues to assist public and private entities with organizational improvement and conflict management.  He participates on a number of mediation rosters for federal agencies, mediating discrimination and work place disputes, as well as facilitating public and private organizational change efforts.  He conducts training in third party conflict managing processes, as well as dispute systems design.  Mr. Wagner has served on the LCWS faculty since 2006, and has lectured at the University of Moscow, Georgetown University, George Mason University, and George Washington University.


Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS)

1025 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209

Office (703) 525-5292 | Fax (703) 525-2442


Equal Opportunity Statement

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