News Release

CHICAGO — DePaul University has elected three leaders to its 44-member board of trustees, including health care executive Ruth W. Brinkley, opera director Sasha Gerritson and education administrator Donald Heller. Brinkley and Gerritson are graduates of DePaul.

“The expertise of these new trustees brings valuable perspective to our governing board as DePaul deepens its connections locally and nationally,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president.

Brinkley is president and CEO of KentuckyOne Health, an organization formed in 2012 from the merger of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and the Saint Joseph Health System. A native of Georgia, Brinkley has more than 37 years of health care experience working in private and public organizations. She most recently served as president and CEO of Carondelet Health Network in Arizona, a part of Ascension Health. Brinkley, a registered nurse, has undergraduate and master’s degrees in nursing from DePaul. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and was recently appointed as a member of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board.

Gerritson is a full-time instructor in Northeastern Illinois University’s Department of Music, where she directs the operas, teaches music theory, and serves as the recruitment and scholarship coordinator. She has undergraduate and master’s degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from Northeastern and a certificate in music performance from DePaul. Gerritson continues to perform both as a singer and choral conductor and currently serves as the music minister at Park Ridge Community Church. She worked for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as the assistant to Daniel Barenboim, until she left to start her own opera company, L’Opera Piccola. She serves on a number of charity boards in Chicago, including the DePaul School of Music Advisory Board. In 2005, she was honored as the Distinguished Alumna of the Year by DePaul.

Heller is dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. Previously, he was a senior scientist and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University. He also held a faculty appointment at the University of Michigan. Heller’s teaching and research interest is in the areas of educational economics, public policy and finance, with a focus on issues of college access and choice for low-income and minority students. He is the author of several books, including “The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Access, and Accountability.” Heller received a doctorate in higher education and a master’s degree from Harvard University. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Tufts University.

DePaul University’s Board of Trustees is responsible for shaping the strategies that best promote the fulfillment of the university’s mission and values. With approximately 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers about 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and two suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul University remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. More information is at


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