Administration

Dr. Cleveland with administration at his presidential table in his office

Committed management led by a pioneering president

The administration team of Cleveland University-Kansas City is led by Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, president, a fourth-generation chiropractor and the grandson of the founders. He is joined by a staunchly committed group of executives, who are at the forefront of fulfilling the university's pledge to be the difference in health care.

Use the directory below for biographical information on the university's administrative team.

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Dr. Fiorella Peñaloza

Dr. Fiorella Peñaloza

Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
B.A., Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY)
M.A., Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY)
Ph.D., Colorado Technical University


Dr. Peñaloza holds a doctorate of management in organizational development and change, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in molecular cellular and developmental biology. The National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation awarded her grants for her undergraduate and graduate research, and the New York Huntington Chamber of Commerce has recognized her contributions. Previously, she served as the director of institutional effectiveness at Park University and Briarcliffe College, where she also served as an assistant professor. She has developed curriculum, taught courses, served as an invited reviewer for publishers, and has published her own work on retention and graduation rates. Peñaloza serves as a peer reviewer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). She enjoys sharing her passion for the life and natural sciences as a mentor for high school students in the Pathways to Health and Science Education Program. She and her husband, Carlos, enjoy spending time together with their four children.

Dr. Mark Pfefer

Dr. Mark Pfefer

Director of Research
B.S., University of Kansas
R.N., Johnson County Community College
D.C., Cleveland Chiropractic College
M.S., University of Kansas


Dr. Pfefer is a 1988 graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College and practiced full-time for 11 years, and part-time for many more years in the Kansas City area. He returned to Cleveland in 1997, completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and is currently working at the University as a Professor and Director of Research. In 2000 he earned an M.S. degree in exercise science with emphasis in sports biomechanics and nutrition education from the University of Kansas. Pfefer has received research funding from the National Institute for Chiropractic Research, and is on the review board for the Journal of Chiropractic Education and Topics in Integrative Healthcare. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Chiropractic Association, and the American Public Health Association. Pfefer has received certification by the American Chiropractic Association’s Chiropractic Rehabilitation Council. He is interested in health promotion and prevention, geriatrics and physical performance enhancement, and maintains a strong interest in teaching and mentoring chiropractic students.

Amy Piersol

Amy Piersol

Vice President of Advancement
B.A., Ottawa University
M.A., Ottawa University


Amy Piersol brings more than 20 years of advancement experience to Cleveland University-Kansas City. She began her fundraising career in 1996 at Ottawa University, and later worked for the Kansas University Endowment Association and Baker University. During that time she served in a variety of capacities including: annual fund manager, alumni director, development director, executive director of development, interim vice-president and senior director of major gifts. She has been directly involved in six university campaigns, including the $500 million KU First campaign. In addition to fundraising, Piersol loves spending time with her husband and son, socializing and vacationing with family and friends, and shoe shopping. She is a lifelong patient and advocate of chiropractic care, and worked as a chiropractic assistant while pursuing her undergraduate degree.

Dr. Jason Qualls

Dr. Jason Qualls

Assistant Dean of Clinical Education
B.A., University of Kentucky
D.C., Cleveland Chiropractic College

Dr. Qualls has been with Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) since 2013. In June 2018, he accepted the role of Assistant Dean of Clinical Education in the College of Chiropractic. He was previously the director of clinical education, a clinician in the chiropractic Health Center, and the lead instructor in coursework involving clinical neurology, chiropractic functional assessment and sports chiropractic. He continues to serve as the lead instructor for select classes including CLI 785, CLI 782, and CLI 770. Qualls received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and obtained his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from CUKC’s College of Chiropractic. After graduation, he was in private practice in Ashland, KY., for several years. He is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP), earning his certification through the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians for the treatment of athletes. Additional training in his field includes SFMA, FMS, and McKenzie Method. Qualls has served as CUKC Faculty Council president, and is involved with the University’s research department. He attended the 2018 Council of Chiropractic Education meta-competency workshop in Arizona, and has been named to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) test writing committee for physiotherapy and Part IV board exams.

Sarah Shelnutt

Sarah Shelnutt

Undergraduate Coordinator
B.F.A., Missouri State University
M.Ed., Northern Arizona University


Sarah Shelnutt has been with Cleveland University-Kansas City since 2006, first with the Office of Admissions and now with Office of Undergraduate Studies. She received a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Missouri State University in 2000 and an M.S. in Education from Northern Arizona University in 2002. Shelnutt advises current and prospective students regarding Cleveland’s Bachelor of Science in Human Biology coursework and how the degree may assist those also seeking the Doctor of Chiropractic or other advanced degrees in health care. Her role as coordinator includes providing transcript evaluations, building class schedules and tracking degree progress.

Dr. Jon Wilson

Dr. Jon Wilson

Dean, College of Chiropractic
B.S., Cleveland Chiropractic College
M.S., University of Kansas
D.C., Cleveland Chiropractic College


Dr. Wilson is dean of the College of Chiropractic at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC). He has eight years of experience in private clinical practice, and has been involved in chiropractic education since 2011. Wilson has a master’s in educational technology from the University of Kansas, and many of his projects have involved technology implementation, including electronic health records, electronic assessment platforms, and the integration of use for the force lab at CUKC. Wilson is a volunteer peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the test-writing committee for the Practice section of Part II of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners testing. Wilson has provided peer review for the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Research Agenda Conference (ACC-RAC), the International Conference on Spinal Manipulation (ICSM), the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, and Jones & Bartlett Learning. He has presented original research at ACC-RAC, ICSM, and the World Conference on E-Learning. Wilson is also a contributing author in The Praeger Handbook of Chiropractic Health Care. He and his wife, Tracie, have three daughters, and their family enjoys spending time together and being outdoors.

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