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American International College Announces Three Additions to Leadership Team

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) announced that Velmer Burton Jr., Jennifer McDonough, and Louis Izzi Jr. will join its leadership team.

Burton joins AIC on July 12 as executive vice president for Academic Affairs. As part of his responsibilities, Burton will advance the academic priorities and goals of the college in a fiscally responsible manner, balancing expenses and revenues and managing growth, with an emphasis on new and enhanced programming, student learning, and quality of instruction in a student-centered, culturally diverse, and inclusive environment. He will oversee undergraduate and graduate degree programs in AIC’s School of Business, Arts and Sciences; School of Education; and School of Health Sciences.

In his most recent executive positions at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Burton has served as senior vice chancellor of University Strategy and Performance and professor of Criminal Justice, with the goals of building external constituencies, collaborating with the institution’s communities, and enhancing offerings and outreach initiatives within the local community. As executive vice chancellor and provost at UA Little Rock, he also served as the university’s chief academic officer, overseeing 164 academic programs supported by 500 full-time faculty. He was responsible for personnel and planning across six colleges, as well as all academic issues and initiatives, operations, and programs.

As provost, coupled with providing internal and external leadership for the division of Academic Affairs, he monitored departmental and college governance document processes, co-chaired the university budget review committee, worked with the executive committee of the university’s faculty senate, expanded tenure-track and tenured faculty and full-time instructors, and implemented the ‘teacher-scholar model’ to ensure quality teaching and scholarship. In addition, he oversaw Higher Learning Commission Accreditation efforts and activities.

With a goal of building external constituencies, Burton collaborated with the institution’s University District to bridge academic programs, offerings, and outreach initiatives with the local community. An advocate for diversity and ensuring a culture of respect and opportunity, Burton is committed to work with stakeholders to foster the continuation of a diverse and inclusive AIC.

McDonough joins American International College on July 1 as vice president for Institutional Advancement. She brings nearly 40 years of experience in the advancement profession, incorporating institutional leadership positions and philanthropic consulting services focusing on campaigns and ongoing development, as well as alumni-engagement program planning, implementation, and assessment; talent development; and leader and partner involvement.

In her previous roles as a vice president for University Advancement/Development and Alumni Relations, she was responsible for comprehensive teams and programs that included annual giving, major and principal gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, prospect research, donor relations and stewardship, alumni engagement, alumni and donor records, and communications.

As a former executive associate with Bentz Whaley Flessner, a national and international fundraising consulting and services company, McDonough served an extensive number of diverse private and public higher-education institutions across the country, including AIC. Her consulting work also extended to nonprofits in the academic medicine and healthcare, social and community service, and arts and culture sectors. She has been actively engaged at both strategic and tactical levels with presidents, senior staff, trustees, volunteers, deans, faculty, and advancement staff and teams.

McDonough brings substantial and varied consulting experience, with multi-million to billion-dollar campaigns and with cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies impacting individual philanthropic commitments and overall fundraising results.

Izzi, who joins the college on July 12, will lead the Yellow Jackets as the vice president for Athletics. He joins AIC from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.), where he served as vice president for Athletics and Enrollment Management since 2019. While at Bridgeport, Izzi was responsible for the strategic planning, leadership, development, and operational and personnel management of the university’s NCAA Division II athletics program, providing management oversight and direction of all operations and strategies related to undergraduate, graduate, domestic, international, and online recruiting efforts. Additionally, he worked closely with the university’s Office of Institutional Advancement to cultivate and steward gifts for the Athletics department.

Prior to his role at the University of Bridgeport, Izzi served as director of Athletics at New England College in Henniker, N.H., a Division III institution with 18 varsity sports, club and junior varsity teams, and intramural and recreational programs. While at New England, he administered a comprehensive national recruiting plan to increase student-athlete enrollment by 38%; implemented an academic plan to improve student-athlete academic success and retention, achieving the highest department GPA in 20 years; and worked with Institutional Advancement to increase yearly giving, including procuring a major gift for a new athletics center.

Before accepting the position at New England College, Izzi was the assistant director of Athletics Administration at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. for 17 years, while also serving as head men’s ice hockey coach at Johnson & Wales and Nichols College for 15 years.

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