New slate of officers elected to Excelsior University Alumni Leadership Council 

Led by council president Tony Spearman-Leach, the group will serve a 3-year term. 

ALBANY, N.Y.  — Excelsior University today announced the election of a new slate of officers to its Alumni Leadership Council (ALC). The group is comprised of Excelsior graduates Tony Spearman-Leach, president; Walter Were, first vice president; Steven Marciano, second vice president; and Ruth Lown Turman, secretary. In their leadership roles with the 12-member ALC, officers will help guide initiatives in alumni engagement and outreach, strengthen the network of Excelsior graduates, and act as official representatives of the University over the course of their 3-year terms. 

“It’s a privilege to work alongside this distinguished group of community leaders in the Excelsior University Alumni Leadership Council,” said Spearman-Leach. “Excelsior’s comprehensive and innovative educational opportunities and emphasis on service have helped shape my personal and professional journey. I’m thrilled to give back to the University and its alumni with the ALC.”

Spearman-Leach, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is the director of business development and philanthropy at the U.S. Congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration. He also conducts workshops and trainings for international nonprofit and nongovernmental organization leaders selected for the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange, the International Visitor Leadership Program. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Excelsior University (then University of the State of New York, Regents College) in 1992. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University. Since 1991, Spearman-Leach has mentored several fellow alumni toward attaining their degrees at Excelsior University. His extensive volunteerism and community involvement includes Board of Directors positions with the Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, the Montgomery College Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology, the U.S. Selective Service System Local Board, Leadership Montgomery (Maryland), the Josiah Henson Park and Museum, the Friends of the Library Montgomery County, and Story Tapestries Inc.

Were, of Pittsburgh, is an author, speaker, and organizational leader with more than 15 years of senior executive experience in health and human services. Were is currently the vice president of Greater Hearts Human Services, and he played prior executive leadership roles as assistant executive director of Passavant Memorial Homes, and director of business development at Passavant Development Corporation. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts at Excelsior University in 2005 and a Master of Arts in Adult and Community Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2007. His works as an author include the books “Guide To Earning College Credits Through Testing” and “Hacking College.” In addition to the ALC, he volunteers his time as a Board Member at Greater Pittsburgh YMCA, and as Vice Chair of the advisory board at Sampson Family YMCA. 

Marciano, of Palm Harbor, Florida, is the manager of business operations for St. Anthony’s Hospital within the BayCare Health System. Marciano has a vast background in business and hospital operations, clinical standards, health care policy, and project management. Marciano’s current memberships include the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Public Health Association, and the American Grant Writers’ Association. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in 2018 and a Master of Health Administration in 2021 from Excelsior University, and as of 2023 is an adjunct faculty member for Excelsior’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Marciano was the 2019 recipient of Excelsior’s Michael J. Cooley Memorial Award for high academic achievement in health sciences and the 2021 recipient of the UPCEA Outstanding Professional Continuing and/or Online Education Student Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region representing Excelsior University. 

Ruth Lown Turman, of Columbia, South Carolina, is a senior sales operations manager for Optum Serve of United Health Group. Turman earned a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems in 1996 from Excelsior University (then Regents College), and an Associate of Arts from Temple College. She has made many contributions to multiple Excelsior campaigns and is a member of the President’s Circle and the Purple and Gold Society. She has been a member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) since 2005 and is a life member as a Fellow, served on the International Board of Directors from 2013 to 2014, and served as promotions chair for the Florida Sunshine Chapter of APMP from 2015 to 2022. 

The council membership also includes Jason Copeland, Pat Geiger, Ermenita Kacani, Timothy G. Leaks, Douglas Perry, Oliver Queen Jr., Samuel T. Watkins Jr., and James Wright. Made up of Excelsior graduates representing a wide range of professions and backgrounds, the ALC reflects the diverse nature of Excelsior’s alumni population.   

Find more information on the ALC, including individual member biographies, here. 

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Media Contact Excelsior University:
Jason Bonafide,, 518-608-8446

Excelsior University is an accredited, not-for-profit online institution focused on helping adults complete their degrees and advance their careers. Excelsior contributes to the development of a diverse, educated, and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education. Founded in 1971, Excelsior meets students where they are — academically and geographically — removing obstacles to the educational goals of adults pursuing continuing education and degree completion. Our pillars include innovation, flexibility, academic excellence, and integrity.