Michael Levens, Ph.D.

Michael Levens, Ph.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer


Michael Levens, Ph.D., was appointed Walsh’s eighth president and CEO in August 2020. He has been with Walsh since 2006, first as an adjunct faculty member, then full-time professor and academic chair of undergraduate business programs and later the marketing department. He has twice served as interim provost, most recently just before his appointment as president and CEO. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Levens brings a unique combination of academic leadership, corporate business experience, and a global perspective to his role.

Prior to Walsh, Dr. Levens held several senior leadership positions at General Motors, working in research, product development, and brand management for brands including OnStar and Saab, among others. He has worked in 35 countries on five continents and conducted more than 100 research projects internationally. Dr. Levens’ textbook, “Marketing: Defined, Explained, Applied,” is in its 3rd edition and has been used by more than 200 colleges and universities worldwide. Dr. Levens holds a post-doctoral diploma from Tulane University, a Ph.D. from Capella University, an MBA from Bond University in Australia, and a bachelor of science from Kettering University.

Dr. Levens also provides service to industry and the academic community as a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, pro-bono consultant to not-for-profit organizations, Fulbright peer reviewer, and member of the Scientific Committee of the annual conference “Emerging Trends in Economics, Culture and Humanities” held in Riga, Latvia. He has previously served on the boards of directors of Eisenhower Dance Detroit and the Detroit Skating Club.


Suzanne Siegle

Suzanne (Suzy) Siegle, Ed.D., J.D.

Provost, Executive Vice President


Suzy Siegle joins Walsh from Concordia University Ann Arbor, where she most recently served as the Assistant Vice President for Legal Affairs and Operations, Campus Dean for the Haab School of Business, and Professor of Business and Leadership. 

Dr. Siegle’s academic and professional background blends her passions for business, law, and higher education, specifically focusing on the value and importance of business education in today’s world. 

A licensed attorney, Dr. Siegle has experience in business law, real estate, technology transfer, intellectual property, higher education law, risk management, Title IX compliance, and corporate insurance. She has also counseled numerous startups and small businesses on a broad range of legal matters. 

Committed to leadership growth and personal development, Dr. Siegle is the founder of the research firm LOCUS Mindset, which helps leaders build a strong internal locus of control to achieve greater success in their businesses and their lives. Her research and scholarship encompass locus of control and leadership effectiveness, positive organizational psychology, and the entrepreneurial mindset. She regularly presents her research at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters and the Michigan Ross School of Business Center for Positive Organizations, where she is a member of the community of scholars. 

Dr. Siegle holds a doctorate in higher education leadership and management from Regent University, where her dissertation focused on alternative and innovative operating models for higher education in the 21st century. She earned her juris doctor from Ave Maria School of Law, an MBA from Western Governor’s University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.


Beth Barnes Walsh College

Elizabeth Barnes 

Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Administrative Officer

Secretary, Walsh College Board of Trustees

Elizabeth Barnes is responsible for human resources, career services, and institutional planning. In 1996, the Walsh College Board of Trustees appointed Barnes vice president after she had served as director of College Relations (1990-1996) and manager of Personnel and Placement (1985-1990).

Prior to joining Walsh, Barnes was an employment recruiter for Personnel Director Associates and an employment program coordinator for the South and West Washtenaw Consortium.

Barnes earned a Bachelor of Business Education degree from Eastern Michigan University and completed graduate courses in management at Walsh College.

Barnes is a member of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan.  She served on the capital campaign committee for the Troy Boys and Girls Club and is the past secretary/treasurer of the Troy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is a member of the College and University Human Resources Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the American Society of Employers, the Society for Human Resource Management, the Michigan Wellness Council, and the WorldAtWork Association.    

Helen Kieba-Tolksdorf, Walsh College

Teresa Esshaki  

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Teresa Esshaki has over 20 years of experience in financial leadership positions. Before arriving at Walsh, she served as the CEO of Glacier Advisory Partners which provides interim CFO services, turnaround consulting, budget planning, corporate financial planning, and related technology solutions for small and large firms. Prior to Glacier, Esshaki held chief financial officer and vice president of finance roles at Arrow Electronics, where she spearheaded centralization of global shared services, developed global capital planning, streamlined month-end closings, and implemented product line profitability.

As director of finance at Meritor, Esshaki significantly improved cash flow, redesigned cash forecasts, managed pricing, and launched a global customer credit and risk management financial process. Prior to Meritor, she worked in talent acquisition, attracting diverse candidates as the director of recruiting for Resources Global Professionals.

Esshaki began her financial career at FCA, where she advanced in multiple roles including treasury planning, corporate planning, and purchasing. She is fluent in Arabic and her international experience includes working with European and Asian locations to create shared services arrangements.

A proud Walsh alumna and advocate, Esshaki earned an MBA from Walsh and a BA from the University of Michigan.

Patti Swanson, Walsh

Patricia Swanson 

Vice President, Chief Marketing and Enrollment Officer

Patti Swanson is responsible for overseeing all marketing, public relations, enrollment management and related student service functions, including admissions, academic advising, financial aid, records and registration, student support services, and veteran services. She leads her team with a strong commitment to providing an outstanding student support experience from the first contact through graduation.

Prior to arriving at Walsh in 2017, Swanson served as Vice President of Marketing at LevelSet Solutions and in several senior leadership roles at YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, including executive director the North Oakland County YMCA, during her more than 20-year career in marketing and communications.

Over the course of her career, Swanson has delivered impressive results on behalf of several organizations. Consistently, she has effectively managed large teams, reduced costs, exceeded sales projections and developed comprehensive communications strategies for many of the organizations she has been part of. Swanson brings to her role vast experiences in marketing, communications, and sales including customer service, operations, public relations, and event planning. 

Swanson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management from Northwood University and a Master of Science Administration in Marketing from Central Michigan University.