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About Us: Leadership

Center for Academic Excellence

Executive Director: Sue Davidsen

Sue Davidsen leads the Center for Academic Excellence at Walden University as the Executive Director. An Internet pioneer who designed the first public library on the Internet, Sue coordinated the Michigan eLibrary, a statewide online library for Michigan residents. She gives presentations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom on topics ranging from web design to the future of libraries in a digital world. She was originally trained as an opera singer.


Associate Director for Budget and Operations: Tom Patterson

Tom Patterson manages the daily business operations of the Center for Academic Excellence, a position he has held since moving over from the Walden Library in October 2013.  Before joining the Walden staff in 2009, Tom managed interlibrary loan operations in the University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin library systems.  He holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Minnesota.


Director, Content Management: Lisa Raymond

Lisa Raymond supports the Center for Academic Excellence's online resources and technologies, a position she has held since moving over from the Walden Library in April of 2015.  Lisa spent 6 years in the Library as the Reference Manager and Associate Director. Before joining Walden, she worked as a system administrator.  Lisa holds a Masters of Library Science from Indiana University.

Department leadership

Director, Academic Skills Center: Melanie Brown

Melanie Brown joined the Academic Skills Center in 2015 after supporting students for 5 years in Walden’s Writing Center. In her current role, she enjoys helping students develop academic skills and organizational strategies for use in their courses and in everyday life. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Minnesota and taught composition and professional writing for 18 years at online universities, research institutions, and small liberal arts colleges.  

See the Academic Skills Center staff.


Director, Library: Michelle Hajder

Michelle Hajder Michelle earned her Master of Library and Information Science degree in sunny Seattle, Washington; however, she fled back home to Minneapolis when she realized there wasn’t nearly enough snow in Puget Sound. She joined the Walden Library in 2007 and has been nerding out about online learning and information literacy ever since. In her free time, she enjoys bird watching, distance running, road trips, and ghost stories.

See the Library staff.


Director, Writing Center: Brian Timmerman

Brian Timmerman Brian joined the writing center in 2007 and has served as director since 2011. He received his BA at the University of Minnesota, Morris and his MA in English literature at the University of St. Thomas. When he has the opportunity to work with students, he enjoys focusing on global writing issues: thesis development, paraphrasing, transitions, etc.


See the Writing Center staff.