search Quick Email Signup EPI
About Us

Our Mission

What is EPI?

What We Do?



    Board of Directors

    Board of Advisors

    GEAR UP Advisory Group

Associate Researchers

Clients and Funders

EPI GEAR UP Advisory Team & Consultants


CHRISTINA MILANO, Executive Director, Cleveland Scholarship Program (CSP), Cleveland, Ohio

AMAURY NORA, Professor and Director of the Center for Student Success at the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

LINDA SHILLER, Director, Career and Education Outreach, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Winooski, Vermont

WATSON SCOTT SWAIL, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute, Washington, DC


More About Our Advisory Team & Consultants


christinamilanoCHRISTINA MILANO is Executive Director of the Cleveland Scholarship Program (CSP) in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Milanois one of the founders of the Ohio College Access Network and served as an early executive director of that organization. She also co-founded the National College Access Network and was appointed its executive director in 2001. Since then, its membership has grown from 28 to more that 350 member organizations that serve a nearly one million college students each year. She has authored guidebooks on developing college access programs and statewide networks and has worked with community leaders from Maine to Alaska to help them create and sustain local access programs.  Christina has spoken at several international conferences on college access. Ms. Milano is a graduate of Lehman College in New York City with a degree in accounting.

amaurynoraAMAURY NORA is a Professor and Director of the Center for Student Success at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Professor Nora's research focuses on student academic achievement, pre-college and collegiate psychosocial factors impacting adjustment to college and student persistence, access to higher education for diverse student populations across different types of institutions, academic and social experiences influencing cognitive as well as non-cognitive student outcomes, and theory building and testing. His inquiries have contributed to the development of theoretical perspectives related to traditional lines of research on college persistence and have helped to focus on research related to minorities in both two- and four-year institutions. Dr. Nora has served as consultant to the American Council of Education, the Ford Foundation, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and reviewer for the National Research Council. He has published numerous book chapters and articles in refereed journals, has served on the editorial boards of various scholarly journals, and assumed the role of Editor for The Review of Higher Education in January 2004. Dr. Nora holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education from the University of Houston.

lindashillerLINDA SHILLER is the Director of Career and Education Outreach, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Ms. Shiller Linda has served 14 years as Director of Career and Education Outreach at VSAC and Counselor and Assistant Director for 13 years prior. Her responsibilties include securing funding and overseeing GEAR UP and TRiO programs statewide. In addition, she coordinates career development and college planning informational services for schools and agencies statewide, and serves on several national, regional and state boards addressing college access issues for at-risk students. These boards include the NCCEP Advisory Commission, NCHELP’s College Access Advisory Group, and COE’s Board of Directors. Ms. Shiller has a Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling from Southern Connecticut State University.


watsonswailWATSON SCOTT SWAIL is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Educational Policy Institute. Widely respected in the area of college opportunity research, Dr. Swail has published extensively in national journals and publications. Recent publications include "Latino Students and the Educational Pipeline," "The Affordability of Higher Education," and "Higher Education and the New Demographics." He has been published in Phi Delta Kappan, Change, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Swail has been involved with GEAR Up since its inception, serving on the original negotiated rulemaking committee for the US Department of Education. He served as VIce President for Research at the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), and is very familiar with TRIO programs. His expertise is in strategic planning, communications, and research and evaluation. Dr. Swail has an Ed.D. in educational policy from The George Washington University, a Master's in Science from Old Dominion University, and a Bachelor's of Education from the University of Manitoba.


Think We Can Help?

If you think EPI can help you and your GEAR UP program, please contact us at or 703-875-0701.