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Lutheran College Washington Semester | An Experience of a Lifetime | Immersive Learing | Course

Our Staff

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Dr. Edward Hasecke

Dean & Executive Director

Ed Hasecke serves as the Executive Director of the Lutheran College Washington Consortium and the Dean of Washington Semester program. Previously, he served as the Director of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement at Wittenberg University, where he managed community-based internships, research, and service programs. His involvement with LCWS began when he was appointed to the LCWC Board of Directors as Wittenberg’s representative in 2006. Since then, he played an active role in the evolution and success of the LCWS program as a member of the Executive Committee and President of the Board. 


A political scientist by training, Dr. Hasecke received his BA from Wittenberg University and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He returned to Wittenberg in 2005 as a member of the faculty where he taught courses on Congress, the presidency, public policy, and social science research methods. He has been published in journals such as Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Politics, and American Politics Research. 

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Eseosasere Okundaye, MSW

Student Life and Program Coordinator

As the Student Life and Program Coordinator, Eseosasere Okundaye curates the student experience for current LCWS students. She oversees housing, registration, and student programming and events, including semester field trips and community activities. In addition, Eseosasere oversees student wellness and engagement for each cohort of students.


Eseosasere graduated from Valparaiso University May of 2020, and participated in the LCWS program Fall of 2018. During her time with LCWS, Eseosasere served as African Youth Leadership Intern with the International Research & Exchange Board (IREX) where she aided the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Since her time at Valpo, Eseosasere obtained her Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in Violence and Injury Prevention. She aspires to be Olivia Pope.


You might find Eseosasere at the Kennedy Center catching a show or exploring all the donut shops in the DMV area to find the best blueberry donut in her spare time.

Allie Zaleski

Internship and Enrollment Coordinator

As the Internship and Enrollment Coordinator, Allie not only processes student applications and helps students refine their resumes and cover letters, but also facilitates the internship placement process and recruits incoming students from member schools. She hopes to see you on your campus soon! When she's not traveling or visiting internship sites, Allie can be found in her office editing application materials and writing numerous emails. 


Allie graduated from Roanoke College in May 2019 with a degree in Literary Studies. She participated in the LCWS program during the Spring 2018 semester, and interned at the National Museum of the American Indian-- where she then worked for two years post-graduation in the Office of Special Events. She fondly recalls her semester with LCWS as her favorite college experience, and hopes to inspire the same passion for the program and the city in other students.


In her spare time, Allie enjoys reading and buying too many books from local bookstores, frequenting coffee shops in Alexandria, and exploring the many museums in the area.

Our Faculty

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Our Founder

Lutheran College Washingtn Semester | Dr. Nancy D. Joyner

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 27 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.

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