The University and College are operated by an uncompensated, dedicated, volunteer Board of Trustees that is composed of both osteopathic physicians and business leaders.



Dayne Alonso, PA-C

Ms. Alonso is a past president of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistantsí Board of Directors. She oversees the leukemia service and hospital consultations for a large hematology/oncology private practice in South Miami and is a Program Director at Miami Dade College in the Physician Assistant Program. Ms. Alonso earned a Masters in Medical Science as well as a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Nova Southeastern University. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from Florida International University.

Commander George Ceremuga, D.O. 

Vice Chair

Dr. Ceremuga received a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y and a Doctor of Osteopathy from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.  He did his internship at Warren General Hospital in Ohio and did a Family Practice Residency at The Medical Center in Beaver, Pennsylvania.   Dr. Ceremuga, who is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP), is currently the director of the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Health Service of the U.S. Public Health Service in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.   He has served previously as clinical director and clinical specialty consultant in rural medical settings.  Dr. Ceremuga has participated in numerous humanitarian missions, including service during the Hurricane Katrina   aftermath and several medical missions abroad.  Dr. Ceremuga has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota and at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.   Dr. Ceremuga is a member of the American Osteopathic Association and the South Dakota Osteopathic Association.

Lucy Chua, M.D. 

Dr. Chua received a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude (medical technology) from the University of San Agustin in the Philippines and a medical degree cum laude from West Visayas State College, School of Medicine in the Philippines.  She completed her residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.   She passed the FMGEMS, is licensed in the State of Florida, is Board certified in medical oncology and is board eligible in hematology.  Dr. Chua is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology of the University Of Miami School Of Medicine, as well as an attending physician in her field at the V.A. Medical Center in Miami.   She has co-authored numerous publications, especially in the area of cancer and cancer treatment, and has undertaken several fellowships in hematology and oncology.  Lastly, Dr. Chua has been the principal investigator and co-investigator in several protocols and studies.


Tate Garrett

Tate Garrett, Chief Financial Officer of AlvaEDU, has 30 years of business experience with success in both education and venture capital. He previously worked at Kaplan, Inc. as the Executive Director of Business Development. While in that position, he directed venture investments and M&A activities, advised educational technology company Axonify, and held a Board seat at Moodlerooms (which was bought by Blackboard). He also managed an early stage venture capital fund for Advantage Capital Partners as Senior Vice President, where he led investments in eleven private companies and was the founding CFO of Pasteuria Bioscience, a natural pesticide company that was sold for over $112 million. Mr. Garrett has also owned and operated a marine canvas manufacturing company and has been a strategy consultant to major telecommunications companies. He holds a bachelorís degree in Computer Science from Yale University and an MBA from the Wharton School.


Alison Ream Griffin

Ms. Griffin has twelve years of professional experience in higher education policy.  Currently, Ms. Griffin is an independent higher education policy and government relations consultant providing strategic and legislative guidance to non-profit and for profit education clients, organizations and associations.  Previously, Ms. Griffin served as Senior Associate with HCM Strategies in Washington, D.C., where she was federal policy liaison to the Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest higher education foundation, and was project manager for an 11 state higher education productivity agenda initiative.   Her prior experience also includes serving as Associate Director of a Washington, D.C. – based education consulting firm from 2006-2008.  In 2001 and again from 2003-2006, Ms. Griffin worked as a policy advisor on higher education issues to the Chair of the House Committee on Education and Workforce, Rep. John Boehner, who currently is the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Prior to that, Ms. Griffin was a policy associate with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in Washington, D.C.  She earned her M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia, a Bachelor in Business Administration in Organizational behavior and Business Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Southern Methodist University.


Cheryl D. Lovell, Ph.D.

President and CEO, RVU

Dr. Lovell has served as President and CEO of Rocky Vista University (RVU) since January 1, 2013.  Dr. Lovell’s background in higher education spans over 30 years. She brings to RVU vast experience in accreditation, public policy and within higher education organizations. Dr. Lovell has authored over 80 peer-review professional presentations/papers and numerous publications. She has received funding for 9 research projects pertaining to issues in higher education. A few of Dr. Lovell’s appointments include: recently serving as the Chief Academic Officer for the State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Higher Education; serving as Associate Dean, Program Chair and Program Coordinator at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver; appointed as Special Advisor to the Senator and Chair of the Colorado Long Term Fiscal Stability Commission; served as Director of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)/State Postsecondary Review Entity (SPRE) Network and also served as staff associate for research at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).

Jeffrey J. O'Neill

Jeffrey J. O’Neill is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Denver based Einstein-Noah Restaurant Group, a publicly traded restaurant corporation which includes such well known names as Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s Bagels and Manhattan Bagel, a group of Fast Casual bakery chains across the United States. Mr. O’Neill was previously the President and CEO of Priszm Income Trust, a publicly traded firm in Canada and one of the largest operators of Yum Brands Quickserve restaurants, including KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.  Mr. O’Neill’s corporate and management experience includes service as Vice President of Sales for Quaker Foods and President of Pepsi-Cola Canada.   Mr. O’Neill also has extensive experience in marketing, strategic planning and consumer research.  He has a track record in providing strong operational leadership, building consumer focus, integrating acquisitions and driving accelerated growth and profitability.  Mr. O’Neill received a B.B.A. from the University of Ottawa in Canada.  He has served as Chair of Refreshment Canada (a Beverage Industry Association), and his civic involvement includes sitting on a Board designed to provide funding to Canadian Public Schools, the Dean’s Advisory Board for the University of Ottawa Business School and service as a Director of the North York General Hospital, Foundation Board. Mr. O’Neill and his wife Joanne live in Denver and have three college age children.


Maha Y. Sallam, Ph.D.

Dr. Sallam earned her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Computer Engineering at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, where she later earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering. She also completed the Leadership and Strategy in Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Executive Education program at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. She currently serves as President of VuEssence, Inc., a development-stage company focused on creating diagnostic solutions related to stroke and head injury applications, which she established in Odessa, Florida. Previously, Dr. Sallam served as Vice President of CT Solutions for iCAD, Inc., an industry-leading provider of advanced image analysis and workflow solutions for healthcare professionals, located in Nashua, New Hampshire. As VP, she was responsible for new product initiatives in Computed Tomography (CT). She also initiated and managed a program for creating Computer Aided Detection (CAD) solutions for automated detection of polyps in CT Colonography exams - a program she managed from inception through product definition, licensing, research and development, clinical testing and FDA submission.


Vanessa Sanchez, Ph.D.

Chair and Secretary

Dr. Sanchez received a B.S. magna cum laude in medical technology as well as a Masters in Biology summa cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico and a Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology from Iowa State University.  Dr. Sanchez is presently a businesswoman engaged in agribusiness and retail.  She is president and CEO of a 1,276 acre beef cattle ranch operation and the sole proprietor of a western wear store inside her cattle ranch.  She has worked for the U.S. Defense Department as a research scientist in medical defense against diseases of military importance and as a senior analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency in the field of biological warfare, writing and briefing extensively in biotechnology and biological agents.  She worked briefly for the National Cancer Institute doing research in molecular mechanisms of leukemogenesis and as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry.  She has served as adjunct professor at Frederick Community College in Maryland and presently cooperates with the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus by opening her ranch as a classroom and laboratory and providing mentorship to students of agronomy, animal husbandry and pre-veterinary. 


Yife Tien

Mr. Tien, an educational administrator with over 25 years of experience in medical education, is the founder of Rocky Vista University and was featured in a September 6, 2008 article in Forbesmagazine (Entrepreneurs – An Uncommon Practice).  He has been intricately involved in various facets of medical education including planning and organizational leadership, operations and administration, business development, regulatory affairs and revenue growth.   From 1995 until August of 2011 he served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) located in St. Maarten.  Mr. Tien spearheaded the founding of a scholar program at that institution, as well as a comprehensive community services plan so that medical students can contribute to the local community.  As COO, Mr. Tien worked closely with the University’s Board of Trustees, implementing policy in a number of areas such as marketing, legal, financial, clinical operations and accreditation. Additionally, Mr. Tien served for years as President and Director of Medical Education Administrative Services, Inc., and is a partner in a real estate limited partnership.   


July 2014