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 seven to fulfill the strategic plan set forth by the Board and respond appropriately to other member-driven requests.

Dr. Susanna L. Baxter, President

404-233-5433 ext. 21

Susanna 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, Atlanta Rotary and the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Collegiate Ministry.  She is married to Mark R. Huffman and they, along with their two sons, live in Atlanta.



Ms. Juliet Jatcko, Administrative Assistant and Event Planner

404-233-5433 ext. 22

Juliet joined Georgia Independent College Association in January 2018. Prior to coming to GICA, Juliet worked in sales and marketing with Cenergy Marketing Group, K2 Marketing Group and Turner Broadcasting.  She earned a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice from California State University, Fullerton.  In her role at GICA, she handles office management and event coordination, making sure all meetings and conferences hosted by GICA run as smoothly as possible.  She also coordinates GICA's scholarship programs.

Juliet lives in Roswell with her husband Jeff and they stay busy volunteering in her four children’s school and extracurricular activities.







Ms. Lisa Macke, Vice President for Member Services

404-233-5433 ext. 24

Lisa 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 managing collaborative projects, organizing professional development events for the staff of member institutions, overseeing procurement contracts, 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. 






  Ms. Judith W. Spain, Compliance Collaborative Program Consultant


  Judy joined GICA in March 2018 as the Compliance Collaborative Program Consultant.  Judy
  is an attorney licensed in Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and is a Certified Compliance and Ethics
  Professional by the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics. 

  Judy is a tenured Professor at Eastern Kentucky University where she also served as General Counsel, MBA
  Director, Interim Assistant Dean of Business, and AACSB Coordinator. She conceived and implemented the
  first compliance program and served as the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.  Judy also served as General
  Counsel and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Manhattanville College where she developed the first
  compliance initiative. 

  Judy is the author of Higher Education Compliance: Blueprint for Success; the only book dedicated solely to higher
  education compliance.



  Dr. Melissa P. Tarrant, Director of Research

 404-223-5433 ext. 23

 Melissa joined GICA in June 2019 as the Director of Research.  Melissa has worked in higher education for many
 years with a particular love of the private college sector. She has worked within system and institutional offices
 of higher education in Texas, Indiana and Georgia.  Her Georgia career has included multiple roles at Shorter
 University, including as registrar, and at Berry College in the Office of Institutional Research.  Most recently,
 Melissa served as the Director of the Advising Center at the University of West Georgia.

 Melissa earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from Baylor University and her Ed.D. in Higher Education
 Administration from The University of Alabama. Her research interests focus on small private colleges, including
 her dissertation titled "A Comprehensive Analysis of Small, Independent, Four-Year Institutions in the United
 States: An Examination of 21st Century Invisible Colleges." She continues to pursue research on the private
 sector of higher education.

 She enjoys gardening, quilting, and going to the beach. Melissa is married to Fredrick Tarrant, and they have
 two grown sons.


Mr. James M. (Chip) Moore, III, Director of Operations and Data Analyst 

404-233-5433 ext. 26

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.