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Brian Allison
Brian Allison
Vice President, Application Development, QA & Product Support

Brian Allison

Vice President, Application Development, QA & Product Support

What I do here:  I direct the activities of both the software application development and quality support teams who develop, maintain and support Student Connections customer-facing products, tools and solutions.

My experience:  I’ve been in the higher education industry for nearly 28 years, with a focus on systems, product development, product support, quality assurance and application development.

I enjoy:  Hunting, motorcycle riding, hiking and many things “outdoors.”  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and seeing my three daughters when I can — one lives in central Indiana and the other two live on opposite coasts!

Why I work in higher education:  I grew up in a loving, lower economic class home. Higher Education programs/assistance greatly funded my college education. This provided me opportunities well beyond those my parents had, which resulted in exemplary benefits for my children. I wanted to work in a field where I could help impart these same types of benefits and opportunities to others.

Education:  B.A. in Religion/Theology, Summit Christian College; M.B.A. (emphasis in Management of Information Systems), Kelley School of Business – Indiana University

Craig Anderson
Craig P. Anderson
President

Craig P. Anderson

President

What I do here:  I lead the Student Connections business, setting the overall direction, goals and objectives for the organization.

My experience:  I’ve been in the higher education industry my entire career working for schools, lenders and other parties in the process.

I enjoy: The Florida Gators, superhero movies, board games and hanging out with friends and family.

Why I work in higher education:  When I was in college I aspired to many things including journalism and teaching. When looking for work to help cover my educational costs I got a part time job in the financial aid office at the University of Florida. I found helping families figure out how to pay for their child’s education was something I was good at and became increasingly passionate about it, and I’ve never looked back.

Education:  B.A. in English, The University of Florida; M.S. in Higher Education Administration, The University of Florida

Elizabeth Brandes
Elizabeth Brandes
Vice President, Marketing

Elizabeth Brandes

Vice President, Marketing

What I do here:  I manage the marketing group’s activities for Student Connections and provide support for the team that takes our message out on the road.

My experience:  I’ve been in the higher education industry for nearly 20 years, with a focus on marketing and business development in higher education finance both domestically and abroad. I also have taught German and worked overseas.

I enjoy:  Traveling and foreign languages, visiting the Arizona desert (never gets old), movies, music, reading, walks with a Yorkie named Winnie and spending time with friends and family.

Why I work in higher education:  In some countries, higher education is a right; here in the U.S., it’s a privilege. I’ve seen firsthand how a college education can reveal opportunities to students who might never have considered them before. And it feels good to give back by helping students navigate their path and avoid some of the pitfalls along the way.

Education:  B.A. in German & French, Indiana University; M.A. in Germanic Languages & Literatures, University of Illinois

Laurie Blackburn Laurie Blackburn - 2
Laurie Blackburn
Vice President, Customer Support

Laurie Blackburn

Vice President, Customer Support

What I do here:  I manage the operations team that delivers our products and services to schools and students. This includes contract signing, initial setup of services, training, analytics, reporting and day-to-day support.

My experience:  I’ve been in the higher education industry for 32 years in a variety of roles, all focused on customer service.

I enjoy: Anything outdoors (preferably in a warm climate!), reading, walking and spending time with friends.

Why I work in higher education:  I believe in education, life-long learning and helping youth succeed.  It is a noble mission.  And, as I’ve learned in the past 32 years, it is ever-changing and always presents a new challenge.  I like to define solutions and then make them happen.

Education:  B.S. in Finance, Ball State University; M.B.A., Butler University

Steve Queisser
Steve Queisser
Vice President, Strategic Accounts

Steve Queisser

Vice President, Strategic Accounts

What I do here: My title is vice president of strategic accounts; what I do here is quite different. It is my belief that every choice and decision I make everyday should lead to the furthering of a culture of support and learning. If we learn something every day, and learn it in the right atmosphere, we will develop relationships and sales that exceed our expectations.

My experience:  Before joining the Student Connections team, I was vice president of sales and marketing for a federal loan servicer and default prevention service provider based in Knoxville, TN for 12 years. Prior to that, I managed the sales and marketing teams for the Tennessee Titans Radio Network and served as director of marketing for 17 southeast based radio stations. My first job out of college was with SIMON Property Group, the nation’s largest retail developer, where I managed multiple shopping malls and served as the director of grand opening events.

I enjoy: Time with my family, golf, running and traveling. I am happiest when I’m outdoors!

Why I work in higher education: I moved from the NFL to higher education for the opportunity to change lives, individually and generationally. Education can never be taken away, and a degree changes the student’s life as well as the lives of family and friends. Helping students be more successful after school is as important as helping them while in school.

Education: B.S. in Marketing, Indiana University

Focused on helping students succeed in college and beyond.

We’d love to discuss your institution’s student success goals and share with you how we are impacting the lives of students every day.

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