Executive New Hires and Promotions

JackJack Lewandowski

Orbis Education, a leader in healthcare education program management, is proud to announce the hiring of Jack Lewandowski as VP of Academic Services. In the role, Lewandowski will be responsible for student success initiatives across academic partnerships and programs and will interact with academic success coaches, healthcare faculty, and other staff and students.

Lewandowski brings to Orbis Education 13 years of experience in higher education with focus on advising, training, quality assurance, and organizational development. His resume includes roles at American InterContinental University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Colorado Technical University.

Throughout his career, Lewandowski has focused on data-driven decisions that impact student success. He has worked to scale advising units to increase student success and retention, while focusing on supporting the student experience.

Lewandowski lives with his wife and children in suburban Chicago.

MattMatt Jakircevic

Orbis Education is sharing exciting internal promotion news. The nation’s leading third-party manager of online and accelerated healthcare degree programs announced the promotion of Matt Jakircevic to P&L General Manager and the newest member of the executive team.

Jakircevic has worked at Orbis Education as a Project Manager with the Product Team since September 2013. He led numerous cross-functional teams and successfully led nursing program launches and expansions.

In his new role, he will be responsible for delivering outstanding student outcomes for client partners. Jakircevic has also been tasked with growing current program offerings and expanding to new healthcare program opportunities.

In his career, Jakircevic has maintained a high level of continuity in managing partner interactions. He lives with his wife and sons in Greenwood, IN.

Orbis Sponsors American Academy of Nursing 2015 Policy Conference

The American Academy of Nursing, which  serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice, held its annual conference on the topic of “Transforming Health, Driving Policy” from Oct. 15-17 in Washington, D.C.  Orbis was proud to be one of the major sponsors of the conference and had three attendees at the event, including company founder Dan Briggs.


The Academy’s more than 2,200 members, known as Fellows, are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education management, practice and research. Fellows include association executives; university presidents, chancellors, and deans; state and federal political appointees; hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing; nurse consultants; researchers; and entrepreneurs.  Conference sessions focused on influencing national health policy, with topics ranging from building a “culture of health” in the  U.S. to managing care transitions and new payment systems. The highlight of the event was Saturday evening’s formal gala honoring the 168 newly inducted Fellows and their impressive research.

The Academy’s new president, whose term commenced at the close of the conference, is Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA, FAAN. Dr. Berkowitz is Dean and Professor at the Columbia University School of Nursing and is also a member of the Orbis Advisory Board.

“Members of the Academy represent the very top of the nursing field,” said Briggs. “It’s an honor for us to sponsor and attend the conference, and we applaud the Academy’s efforts to drive positive change in health policy.”

Steve Hodownes Joins Orbis Education as CEO

Hodownes’ Impressive Academic Leadership Background Will Help Orbis Expand its Online Program Management Offerings

Carmel, IN, September 28, 2015 – Orbis Education, the leader in healthcare education program management, today announced that Steve Hodownes will join the company as CEO in October 2015. Dan Briggs, the Founder and current CEO of Orbis, will become Chief Growth Officer focused on new business development and strategic growth initiatives.

Hodownes joins Orbis from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), where he was CEO of the College of Online & Continuing Education. His colleague Johnson Au-Yeung, CIO at Southern New Hampshire University, will also join Orbis as CIO. Under their direction, SNHU became one of the largest and fastest growing colleges in the United States, with more than 1,200 employees, 3,000 adjunct faculty and 70,000 students. Prior to Hodownes’ tenure at SNHU, he was President of Embanet, a provider of online program management services acquired by Pearson in 2012.

Steve Hodownes, CEO
Steve Hodownes, CEO

“The talented management team at SNHU used cutting edge data analytics, student services and technology to deliver a superior online education experience, and it led to explosive growth for the university,” said Hodownes. “Orbis has similarly demonstrated its ability to be one of the highest quality providers in the online program management space with world-class outcomes for both students and its academic partners. We’re helping alleviate the largest nursing shortage in U.S. history by giving colleges and universities the resources to keep pace with demand and, together, graduating highly-skilled, job-ready practitioners. The company’s reputation for quality and focus on professions with significant employer demand are major differentiators that I’m excited to build on.”

“We are excited to have Steve join the Orbis team,” said Briggs. “Steve will bring a significant level of experience and leadership to the team, allowing Orbis to continue toward its goal of being the premier Outsourced Program Management company in the healthcare education sector.”

Orbis Education helps solve healthcare workforce shortages by creating collaborative partnerships between academic institutions and employers. The company’s expertise in hybrid learning and relationships within the academic and healthcare communities have made it the industry leader in managing clinically intensive healthcare programs such as nursing and occupational therapy.  With the addition of Hodownes, Orbis will seek to expand its online program management offerings to help more partners and students reach their academic, employment and economic goals.

“Steve is known throughout the industry as an innovative marketer who has helped reinvent online education. We are extremely fortunate to have him join the Orbis team,” said Doug Kelsall, Chairman of the Orbis Board of Directors. “His track record of building high quality, high growth businesses is unmatched and his ability to attract partnership interest from other schools can help Orbis continue to expand both within healthcare and outside the clinical space.”

Media Contact: Kristi Emerson (Kristi.Emerson@orbiseducation.com or 303-885-9896)

Orbis Education Launches Advisory Board

Indianapolis, Ind. — Orbis Education announced today the creation of an advisory board, composed of academic and healthcare thought leaders. The advisory board will provide expert counsel and advise in areas of key strategic importance to the company.

The board will help identify areas for future investment, including the development of services that further support the mission of Orbis Education and its partner institutions. It will also recommend business development strategies for growth and create alliances that assist Orbis Education in its goal to create transformative healthcare education partnerships.

”We are honored to have such a distinguished ‘brain trust’ to assist us in becoming more impactful at such a critical juncture for health professions education,” said Dan Briggs, Orbis CEO.

The advisory board currently has six internally-distinguished scholars and academic executives. They are:

  • Joan Shaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Dean of University of Arizona College of Nursing
  • Afaf Meleis, PhD, DrPS(Hon), FAAN, Professor and Dean of University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
  • Courtney Lyder, ND, ScD(Hon), FAAN, Professor and Dean of University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing
  • Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA, FAAN, Professor and Dean of Columbia University School of Nursing
  • Jean Giddens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Dean of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing
  • William Holzemer, PhD, RN, FAAN, Distinguished Professor and Dean of Rutgers University College of Nursing


Orbis will be adding healthcare leaders from other sectors to the board in the near future.