Academic Partners University Changing its Name to Synergis Education

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New name more accurately reflects focus to synergize services with core values of partner institutions.

Academic Partners University (APU) announces today that, effective immediately, it is changing its name to Synergis Education (

In conjunction with its name change, Synergis Education is announcing that it has recently agreed to terms with Paine College in Augusta, GA ( as well as Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI (

To support these new opportunities, Synergis has added two new team members: Lysa Clemens, COO; and Joshua Pierce, CFO – each bringing extensive expertise in educational services.

“Our new name, new partners, and new team members empower us to fulfill our mission to construct vibrant, sustainable and reputable adult learning environments for our partners, and deliver superior learning outcomes for their students,” said Norm Allgood, CEO of Synergis Education. “Our ultimate purpose is to synergize our services with the core values of the partner institution to help the student achieve his or her life goals,” he said.

Following is additional information on Synergis Education’s newest executives:

Lysa Hlavinka Clemens, COO, Synergis Education

Prior to joining Synergis education, Ms. Clemens spent more than 20 years in the for-profit higher education industry, the majority of that time in two very high growth companies where she had several opportunities to create, grow and manage a range of functions, from marketing to IT, HR to real estate.

Ms. Clemens began her career in advertising at an agency in Phoenix, serving as account executive on the University of Phoenix account, among others. In 1990, she moved to the client-side and joined University of Phoenix as the first marketing employee in the company. In her 11-year career at Phoenix, she managed a variety of functions in both marketing and campus administration, developing the first corporate marketing department for the company and introducing its first national brand and advertising strategy.

In 2001, Ms. Clemens moved to the east coast and joined Strayer University as VP of Marketing, where she quickly repositioned the brand for national expansion. As SVP of Administration and ultimately Chief Administrative Officer, Ms. Clemens took on the additional responsibilities of Human Resources, Real Estate and Facilities Management, Strategic Planning and Business Development, overseeing the expansion of campuses into 15 states and the market introduction of Strayer’s online programs.

Ms. Clemens earned her bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Arizona State University and her MBA from University of Phoenix, where she also taught marketing and public relations courses.

Joshua Pierce, CFO, Synergis Education

Mr. Pierce is an education entrepreneur and advisor to businesses and non-profits working throughout the post-secondary and K-12 world. Josh has focused on exploring new business models in education as well as providing corporate finance and strategy development services to the education industry for seven years after leaving a more traditional role on Wall Street. In particular, Mr. Pierce has a depth of experience in higher education systems and data, mergers and acquisitions of colleges and universities, private and public student lending and the operational economics of online education. Over the years, he has worked with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, UniversityNow, Education Equities, TeachTown, MeasureOne, CollegePlus!, The New York City Department of Education, Latimer Education,, The Hussian School of Art and Yorktown Education.

Prior to founding Socratic Ventures, an organization that explores new business models in education and provides corporate finance and strategy development services to the education industry, Mr. Pierce worked with Edison Schools in New York City where he collaborated with charter schools and managed several R&D initiatives. He began his career in investment banking with Citigroup in New York City and later worked in lower middle-market private equity investing with The Riverside Company and Cotton Creek Capital.

Mr. Pierce graduated magna cum laude with honors from Texas A&M University and later earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Ms. Clemens’ deep experience in serving the 21st Century student and her commitment to the missions of our partner organizations will make a tremendous impact on the overall enrollment and marketing operations of Synergis Education,” said Allgood. “In addition, Mr. Pierce’s vast experience in business, finance and strategy development provides Synergis with the foundation to emerge as a world-class education services provider for institutions and students around the world.”


Synergis is a premium, full-service provider of educational services designed for college and university leaders who are not satisfied with the status quo. We assist our partner institutions in gaining regional prominence, enrollment growth, and overall sustainability through continual improvement and best practices. Synergis is unique among education services providers in that it is positioned to work with the entire adult higher education market, remaining agnostic as to the delivery method (online, face-to-face, blended, etc.).


For more information, contact Lysa Clemens at lclemens(at)synergiseducation(dot)com, or at 480.656.8307

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Synergis Education
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