Meet Our Experts

Optimal Board Advisor

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder

Professor Emeritus at Ohio University, Author, & Higher Education Change Advocate
Athens County, OH

Vedder is an esteemed figure in the higher education sector, writing frequently for numerous notable outlets including Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Opinion, and Inside Higher Ed. He has also authored several books regarding issues within the higher education sector, including "Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much" and "Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America." Much of his writing challenges the current American higher education system and proposes solutions for economic, societal, and institutional changes.

Expert Contributors

Finance Writer
Chicago, IL

Danielle Braff is a Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Crain's Chicago Business and more.

Finance and Education Writer
Portland, OR

Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who covers personal finance, education, real estate and other topics of interest to consumers and businesses. Her work appears on websites that include U.S. News & World Report, MSN, Business Insider, Forbes, Market Watch, Fast Company, and more.

Researcher and Writer
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Jessica Martel is a professional researcher and writer specializing in the areas of personal finance, financial literacy, and the psychology of money. Her work has appeared on Investopedia, The Balance, Money Under 30, Scotiabank, and more.

Doctoral Fellow and Adjunct Professor
Mount Washington, KY

Alyssa Middleton earned her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently a PhD candidate in the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. Alyssa's work spans from community health clinics to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Louisville's Kent School of Social Work BSW and MSSW programs.

Blue Bell, PA

Heather Morgan is a freelance writer and Retired Army Veteran. She earned an online MBA from Columbia Southern University and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. She frequently writes about leadership, self-development, and veteran issues, and is passionate about causes including community building and veteran advocacy.