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University Leadership

Lourdes University is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis. Guided by a strong Board of Trustees and led by President William J. Bisset, the University has critical areas represented in the President’s Cabinet.

William J. Bisset, PhD, President

William J. Bisset, Ph.D.

Education: PhD, Seton Hall University; M.Ed., University of Massachusetts-Lowell; B.A., Saint Anselm College


William J. Bisset, PhD, assumed the role as the 12th president of Lourdes University on June 6, 2023.

Dr. William J. Bisset has 35 years of experience in Catholic higher education administration, including key leadership roles at Marymount and Manhattan College.

Under his leadership, Manhattan College and Marymount University experienced record growth in their undergraduate and graduate applicant pools while remaining faithful to their mission-centric commitments of serving diverse students and families of modest financial means.

His innovative initiatives helped make Manhattan one of the most ethnically diverse Catholic colleges in the United States and Marymount the only federally designated Hispanic-serving institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“My tenures at Marymount and Manhattan have afforded me opportunities to gain the experience needed to address challenges that Lourdes and other mission-based, tuition-dependent institutions will face in the coming years,” says Dr. Bisset, whose roles have also included positions at Assumption and Saint Anselm Colleges.

“My diverse professional experiences and personal qualities closely match those needed to lead Lourdes University during these challenging times in American higher education. I appreciate the value of working closely with a University’s deans and faculty to successfully grow graduate and continuing education programs and have done so both at Manhattan College and Marymount University. As Lourdes University’s next president, I will bring a unique depth of administrative experience in higher education, a collaborative, energetic leadership style, and an unwavering commitment to integrity and excellence.”

In addition to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University, Dr. Bisset received a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration, Policy, and Planning from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Anselm College.

In 2016, Bisset was awarded the prestigious Lasallian Medal by the Board of Trustees at LaSalle Academy in New York City. The Lasallian Medal represents the school’s highest honor and recognizes Bisset for his dedication and commitment to Catholic education in New York City and for providing opportunities to countless first-generation college students during his many years of work in Catholic higher education.

Dr. Bisset holds Board positions with the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, the Regional Growth Partnership of Northwest Ohio/Jobs Ohio, and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. He is also an active member of the Genesis Chapter of Legatus as well as the Rotary Club of Toledo.

Dr. Bisset is married to Kathleen Bisset. The couple has two adult sons, Brendan, an alumnus of Manhattan College (2018) and Belmont University (2021), who is currently an Associate Director of Athletics at Dartmouth College, and Charlie, an alumnus of the University of Miami (2021) and the Elliot School of International Affairs at The George Washington University (2023).

Terry M. Keller, PhD, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Terry Keller

Office: Lourdes Hall 132

Education: PhD, Michigan State University, MSW, St. Louis University, MBA, Webster University, BA, Aquinas College

Terry M. Keller, PhD, serves as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of Lourdes University. Dr. Keller first came to Lourdes as Assistant Professor of Social Work and has served in increasing leadership roles including Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost, and Interim President (October 2022 – June 2023).

In his Cabinet level roles, Dr. Keller has been responsible for leading the overall direction of the University and management of academic programs. His accomplishments include designing, implementing and successfully managing the university’s Ireland study abroad program. He was also instrumental in establishing the Bachelor of Science in Craft Beverages program, the first of its kind in the U.S. In addition to his Lourdes duties, Dr. Keller was recently elected University Director of the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs for a 3-year term (October 2022 – October 2025).

Prior to joining the Lourdes community, Dr. Keller taught classes at Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Aquinas College. He earned a Ph.D. in Social Work from Michigan State University, a Master in Business Administration degree from Webster University, a Master in Social Work from Saint Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communication from Aquinas College.

A Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) in the State of Ohio and a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW) in the State of Michigan, Dr. Keller has worked as a behavioral health case manager, clinical supervisor, and outpatient therapist. His clinical experience focused on community mental health involving individual, family and group work. He also holds the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) certification.

A respected professional and academic, Dr. Keller has conducted several research projects and penned multiple articles, manuscripts and peer-reviewed journal articles. He has also presented in three countries and across the U.S. Currently, he has four manuscripts in development.

Bryan F. Barshel, CPA, Vice President for Finance & Administration; Chief Financial Officer

Bryan Barshel


Education: BBA, Specialization in Accounting, The University of Toledo; CPA, Accountancy Board of Ohio

Bryan F. Barshel, CPA, has served as Lourdes University’s Vice President for Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer since September 2022. His responsibilities include managing ongoing financial operations; developing strategies for the University’s overall health and vision; and overseeing finance, information technology, human resources, and facilities and grounds.

Prior to Lourdes, Mr. Barshel spent two decades at the administrative level in corporate positions throughout the northwest Ohio region. He served as Vice President of Accounting, Human Resource & Environmental Health and Safety with Kamco Industries in West Unity where his responsibilities included overseeing the operation of current and future plants in Ohio, Alabama, Canada and Mexico. In this position, his financial acumen and skills resulted in the company achieving nearly a half million in cost savings.

In addition to his accounting, finance and HR expertise, Mr. Barshel excels at strategic business plan facilitation, and ensuring operation results meet and achieve strategic initiatives.

The respected professional earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Specialization in Accounting from The University of Toledo and Certified Public Accountant status with the Accountancy Board of Ohio. Mr. Barshel holds board memberships with Financial Executives International and Williams County Economic Development Corporation.

Valuing the importance of service to the community, Mr. Barshel previously served on the St. Rose School Finance Council, as Coach of the Perrysburg Youth Soccer Association’s Junior Jackets Basketball Team, and as a Scout Master for Boy Scouts of America.

Ashley C. Benson, PhD, Vice President for Student Affairs

Ashley Benson

Education: PhD, Antioch University; M.Ed., Bowling Green State University; B.S., Bowling Green State University


Dr. Ashley C. Benson serves as Vice President for Student Affairs at Lourdes University. With an unwavering dedication to student success and fostering inclusive excellence, Dr. Benson oversees a diverse range of critical Student Affairs departments. Her strategic direction encompasses pivotal areas such as retention initiatives, crisis management protocols, and comprehensive student engagement strategies.

Before Lourdes University, Dr. Benson carved a distinguished path of impactful leadership across various institutions. As Dean of Student Engagement at Luther College, she spearheaded groundbreaking collaborations, notably establishing a transformative partnership with WinnMed to enhance student medical support services. At the College of Wooster, her tenure as Associate Dean of Students was marked by a steadfast commitment to fostering a culture of support and empowerment. Dr. Benson’s earlier career highlights include pioneering the TRIO Student Support Services program at North Central State College and providing invaluable guidance as a Program Advisor at Bowling Green State University.

Dr. Benson’s influence transcends campus boundaries, as evidenced by her leadership roles within professional associations such as the Educational Opportunity Association (EOA) and Ohio TRIO, where she served as president. She has further honed her leadership acumen through prestigious programs such as the HERS Leadership Institute and NASPA’s Ujima Institute.

Committed to the ethos of servant leadership, Dr. Benson’s impact extends beyond her professional endeavors. She established the Gray Benson Scholarship through the Toledo Public Schools Foundation, a testament to her dedication to empowering first-generation college students in their pursuit of higher education.
Academically, Dr. Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Social Studies and a Master’s in Education Administration and Supervision, both earned at Bowling Green State University. She furthered her scholarly pursuits by obtaining a doctorate in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.

Fueled by a profound passion for equity and diversity, Dr. Benson’s research and advocacy efforts are centered on creating inclusive environments within higher education. Her tireless commitment to facilitating access and success for underrepresented students, particularly first-generation college students, epitomizes her professional journey. Dr. Benson’s steadfast dedication to fostering inclusive, accessible, and thriving educational communities serves as an enduring source of inspiration and transformation.

Ashley Concord, B.A., Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Ashley Concord

Office: SCH 146

Education: BA

Currently serving as the Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio, Ashley Concord plays a pivotal role in advancing the university’s brand through audience-focused marketing communications. Her responsibilities encompass various aspects of marketing, including brand messaging, publications, digital initiatives, social media, and special events.

Before joining Lourdes University, Ashley had served in the nonprofit sector for over 13 years. She served in the Communication Department for the Adrian Dominican Sisters, worked as a fundraiser for United Way and March of Dimes, and coordinated events for Downtown Perrysburg, Ohio. During her role as the Campaign and Volunteer Engagement Manager for Lenawee United Way, Ashley graduated from the Lenawee County Emerging Leaders Program and was also invited to serve as a facilitator for the program.

Ashley earned her B.A. in Communications from Bowling Green State University and holds certificates from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Tech for Good in digital marketing and fundraising. In 2019, Ashley received the Young Professional Leadership Award from ATHENA Lenawee. Her work has also been recognized by the Catholic Press Association, National Catholic Development Conference, and the Catholic Media Awards over the years.

Outside of Lourdes, Ashley sharers her life with a loving husband, a daughter, and two cherished dogs.

JoEllen Lindner, M.A., Interim Vice President for Enrollment

JoEllen Lindner

Office: Lourdes Hall 125

Education: MA

JoEllen Lindner is a member of The Registry for College and University Presidents and, as a member, is currently Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management at Lourdes University. She has served as interim Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and interim Vice President for Enrollment Management at Cottey College, Nevada, Missouri.

JoEllen was previously Senior Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA; Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota and served as President of the Aberdeen Catholic School System. She spent 10 years at Presentation College in Aberdeen, first as Dean of Advancement and then as Vice President for Enrollment. JoEllen began her career in higher education at Mount Marty College (now University) in Yankton, South Dakota recruiting adult learners.

JoEllen has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from South Dakota State University, a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, a Certificate in Non-profit Management from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and graduate hours toward her Educational Specialist Degree from the University of South Dakota.

JoEllen is also a frequent presenter and facilitator on leadership development, customer service, preparing for college and marketing for non-profits.

She is a native of Watertown, South Dakota. JoEllen and her husband, Eugene Friedrichsen, have four grown children and two daughters-in-law.

Sister Barbara Vano, OSF, M.A. Vice President for Mission and Ministry; Director of Service Learning

Sister Barbara Vano

Office: St. Clare Hall 140

Education: M.A., Wayne State University; M.A., St. Bonaventure University

Sister Barbara Vano is dedicated to the University mission. As Vice President for Mission and Ministry, she oversees the Campus Ministry and Service Learning departments.

Mission and Ministry strengthens awareness of our Catholic and Franciscan traditions and ensures they are integrated throughout the University Community. Sister Barb previously served as the Director of Campus Ministry and is pleased to continue her role as Director of Service Learning.

A Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs staff member, she has led several pilgrimages in Assisi and Rome, Italy. Sister Barb also serves on the Advisory Council of St. Leonard, a senior residential community in Centerville, Ohio, and is active with the Manahan in Toledo. A Sister of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, she volunteers as a member of the Chapel ministry team and serves as a member of the Sisters’ Charism Committee and Vocation Awareness Team.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Sister Barb’s previous ministry experiences have included teaching math at the high school and college level, serving as director of Helping Hands of St. Louis (a Toledo area soup kitchen), and digging around in computer data with the department of Information Systems at Lourdes.

Enjoying every opportunity to share the spirit of Francis and Clare, her favorite topics include Franciscan spirituality, leadership from a Franciscan perspective, and the history of the Third Order Regular.

Sister Barb holds an M.A. degree in Mathematics from Wayne State University and an M.A. degree in Franciscan Studies from the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University.

Board of Trustees

William J. Carroll, Chair
Retired Chief Operating Officer, Dana Corporation

Thomas J. Winston, Treasurer
President and CEO, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

William J. Bisset, Ph.D.
President, Lourdes University

Susan L. Conda
Community Advocate

Carrie A. Haddix, ‘09
Chief Administrative Officer, Metroparks Toledo

Maureen M. Kenney
General Partner, Retired, CareLink Nursing Services

Elaine LaValley Lewandowski
Community Advocate

Sr. Laureen M. Painter, OSF
Mission Integration/Spiritual Care, The Commons of Providence

Sr. Rebecca A. Rutkowski, OSF, Ex Officio
Treasurer/Councilor, Sisters of St. Francis

Richard S. Sweeney
Regional President, Toledo Edison, a FirstEnergy Corp electric operating company

Pariss M. Coleman II, Vice Chair
Senior Attorney, The Andersons, Inc.

Chrys Peterson, ‘11, Secretary
Owner, Chrys Peterson Consulting, LLC

George A. Brymer, ‘10, ‘08
President and Chief Creative Officer, The Creative Block

Thomas P. Dillon
Toledo Managing Partner and Firmwide Management Committee Chair, Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, LLP

James R. Gant, Esq.
Deputy Superintendent, Toledo Public Schools

Jay R. Jindal
Physician, ProMedica Physicians ENT

Michael S. Koralewski
Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer, First Solar, Inc.

Sr. Rachel M. Nijakowski, OSF
Executive Director, Sophia Center

Bradley J. Rieger
Chief Operating Officer, Cooper-Smith Advertising

Sean E. Savage
Financial Advisor, Savage & Associates, Inc.

Martha E. Vetter
Retired Chairman Emeritus/Founder, R/P Marketing Public Relations

Alan Sattler
Community Advocate

David Enstone
Northwest Ohio Third Frontier Commissioner

Kaye Aldridge
Community Advocate

Patrick Trompeter
Chairman, Erie Home

Trustee Emeriti

Dolly Flasck, R.N.
Community Advocate

Kevin J. Kenney, B.A., J.D.
Attorney-at-Law, Kevin J. Kenney & Associates

Joseph T. Nachtrab, B.A., C.P.A.
President, Northaven Development Group

Thomas B. Geiger Jr., B.A.
President, Capital Tire Group, Inc.

Martha Mewhort, A.B., M.A.
Retired History Professor, Lourdes University

Larry D. Ulrich, B.B.A.
President, LDU Enterprises, LLC

Administrative Departments

Academic Affairs and Provost

As Lourdes’ chief academic officer, it is the Provost’s responsibility to support and extend the University’s mission.

Institutional Advancement

In addition to securing scholarships and annual funds to benefit students, the office is also responsible for the university’s branding and identity.

Finance & Administration

The Office of Finance and Administration oversees the institution’s financial responsibilities and operation of the physical plant.

Marketing & Communications

The Office of Marketing & Communications represents Lourdes University to internal and external communities through a variety of platforms.

Mission & Ministry

The office of Mission and Ministry supports the mission and vision of Lourdes by strengthening its Catholic Franciscan identity.

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