About Us

Our Mission & Team

Our Mission

Today 1 in 5 Freshman are dropping out, and less than 60% of students graduate. There are a plethora of reasons for this, but the majority, we believe, can be remediated. We believe that getting actual insights into students’ literal everyday lives enables a different kind of response. That is, a shift from being reactive to proactive.

We believe every student has the capability to graduate. All they need is a proper environment and perhaps a few nudges along the way.

Our mission is simple: Create scalable solutions that provide students with more enriching relationships, more experiences, and a diploma.

Why We Exist

To understand my passion and our purpose, you must understand my story…

I was born in Kentucky from entrepreneurial parents, attended a private high school, had good grades, and was recruited and played lacrosse in college at Eastern University… hardly a rough life right?

By all normative accounts, there was not a reason in the world why anyone would flag me as being “at-risk.”

Our Values – The Four T’s

 

Trust.  We are a valued partner to Higher Education Institutions and the students they serve.  We maintain the highest standards for data privacy and data security and only use  student data to advance the agenda of student success.

Transparency.  We know that each student and each higher education institution is unique, with its own sets of expectations, opportunities, and challenges.  We work to make the data that drives this diversity visible and actionable to each stakeholder in the Higher Education value chain.

Truth.  We believe in evidence over intuition.  Our team is dedicated to using all available data, advanced analytics and machine learning techniques to deliver the most accurate and complete models for student success at each of our partner institutions.

Transformation.  We are committed to turning information into action.  Through the early identification of students who are at risk, we are able to empower intervention plans that drastically increase the likelihood of student success.

“The biggest crisis in Higher Ed isn’t student debt, it's students who don’t graduate”

- Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University
Aaron Benz

Aaron Benz

Founder, CEO

Aaron has been a creator all his life.  Lately, his canvas has been a linearly scalable NoSQL database (i.e. Cassandra), and his brush the mathematical models he uses to analyze data.  He has built student mobile apps, designed Big Data systems to support millions of sensors, and mentored countless young data scientists.  In his free time, Aaron enjoys yoga and fishing. He is also a member of the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame.

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Dr. David Palumbo

Dr. David Palumbo

Chairman, Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Palumbo has had a profound impact on the way students today consume digital learning.  He began his career in higher-ed as a tenured professor, an ACE Fellow, and an administrator; he has also led companies that delivered some of the most widely adopted learning technologies in the world.  In his free time, he enjoys raising and breeding champion German Shorthaired Pointers, fishing, and keeping the team well fed with homemade Texas Barbecue.

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Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson

Director of Partner Operations

Ron has an extensive background in network engineering. He holds multiple certifications in Route, Switch, Collaboration, and Network Design. Previously, he was a Systems Engineer for Cisco Systems serving K-12 and Higher Ed. His passion for solving problems in Higher Ed stems from his own struggles navigating the campus as a first-gen student. He serves as a mentor for the National Society of Black Engineers chapter at UT Dallas.

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Marc Speed

Marc Speed

VP of Partner Success

Marc has spent his career using data to drive strategic and financial decision making in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and now higher education. Marc believes every student has the capability to be successful – all they need is a little support in the right places at the right time.  In his free time, Marc is an accomplished USPSA and IDPA competitor. If you find yourself locked in a room with him and need a conversation starter, ask about his beard growth tips and tricks.

Turn your data into actionable retention insights.