Life University
Covenant College
Thomas University
Shorter University
Point Univ
Paine College
Young Harris
Wesleyan College
Point University
Toccoa Falls College
Spelman College
Thomas University
Truett-McConnell University
Shorter University
Reinhardt University
Piedmont College
Paine College
Morehouse College
Oglethorpe University
Mercer University
LaGrange College
Emmanuel College
Clark Atlanta University
Berry College
Andrew College
Agnes Scott College
Young Harris


The Georgia Independent College Association (GICA) has a staff of five to fulfill the strategic plan set forth by the Board and respond appropriately to other member-driven requests.

Dr. Susanna L. Baxter, President

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Susanna L. Baxter, Ed.D. joined GICA in August 2010.  Prior to coming to GICA, Susanna served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association for 10 years.  She worked as the Dean of Students at Barton College in North Carolina before beginning her association work.  Susanna earned her B.A. in both Religion and Christian Education from Pfeiffer University.  She went on to earn both her M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University.
While in Tennessee, Susanna worked to establish several collaborative organizations in order to better serve private colleges.  The first was the Coalition for College Cost Savings, a national group purchasing organization providing a range of contracts for small- to medium-sized private colleges in order to help reduce expenditures and improve efficiency.  The second organization she helped create was a statewide public and private college coalition to foster healthy and safe campuses with a focus on alcohol and other drug abuse prevention. 
Susanna is a member of the Georgia Professional Lobbyist Association and Atlanta Rotary.  She is married to Mark R. Huffman and they, along with their 2 sons, live in Atlanta.



Ms. Lisa Macke, Vice President for Member Services

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Lisa Macke joined GICA in October 2012. Prior to coming to GICA, Lisa served as the Dean of Students at Cumberland University in Tennessee, which was the capstone of her career in Student Affairs.  She earned a B.A. in English from Indiana University and her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Lisa’s role with GICA involves collaborative services, including organizing professional development events for the staff of member institutions, overseeing procurement contracts and scholarship programs, and writing grants. 

Lisa and her husband Bill live in Peachtree City with their children.  She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and traveling to the beach whenever possible. 




Dr. Carolyn Sloane Mata, Vice President for Research

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Carolyn Mata joined the Georgia Independent College Association in December 2010 after serving as an Assistant Professor of Sociology.  She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from The University of Central Florida, an M.Ed. in Education from Rollins College, and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Central Florida. In addition, she holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Sociology from The Florida State University. In her role as Director of Research, Dr. Mata is responsible for keeping abreast of state and national studies on higher education and providing statistical and analytical support for a variety of research projects in order to emphasize the importance and value of independent education in Georgia.  

Carrie lives in Alpharetta with her husband, son, and three beautiful stepchildren. She enjoys volunteering at their school and traveling as much as possible.     




Mr. James M. (Chip) Moore, III, Director of Research & Operations

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Chip joined GICA in March of 2012 as an employee of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement on loan to GICA to assist in the development of the GA-AWARDS State Longitudinal Database. Prior to joining GICA, Chip was employed for 23 years with BellSouth Advertising & Publishing in Atlanta and most recently with UnitedHealth Group in Hartford, CT. His background is in Systems Design and Implementation with emphasis on Quality Assurance. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  

Chip and his fiancé, Neva enjoy traveling, spending time outdoors, and home improvement projects.




Ms. Leigh M. Parker, Compliance Program Director
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Leigh joined GICA in February 2016. She holds her law degree from Stetson University College of Law where she worked at the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy under the supervision of Peter Lake and taught a legal skills course based upon Title IX. Ms. Parker also has a Master of Arts degree in higher education administration from The George Washington University where she worked in Greek Life advising and new student orientation. Ms. Parker has worked with membership associations including American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU).




Mr. Darrian Jones, Event Coordinator & Administrative Assistant

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Darrian joined GICA in January 2016. He holds a degree in studio art with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in marketing from Georgia State University. His role at GICA consists of office management, event coordination and making sure all meetings and conferences hosted by GICA run as smoothly as possible. Previously, he worked at the International Center for Public Policy in which he was their graphic designer and event coordinator. He has had the opportunity to assist in facilitating the Mandela Washington Fellowship for the Young African Leaders Initiative program, as well as meet various government officials from around the world.

In his free time, Darrian likes to practice his photography and design while exploring the different cultures and art the world has to offer.