Leaders in student living.

Jay Pearlman

Senior Vice President

Jay Pearlman has 20 years of experience developing and implementing advisory services for colleges and universities. At Scion, he provides overall leadership for the firm’s advisory practice, including client work and relations, research, marketing as well as product and business development.

Jay Pearlman has 20 years of experience developing and implementing advisory services for colleges and universities. At Scion, he provides overall leadership for the firm’s advisory practice, including client work and relations, research, marketing as well as product and business development.

Prior to joining Scion, Mr. Pearlman was the initial employee and shareholder at Sightlines, an advisory firm focused on facilities asset management and planning for the higher education market. During his 17 years at Sightlines, Mr. Pearlman helped the company grow from a small start-up to a leading provider of facilities data and analysis to over 450 colleges and universities annually.

As a recognized thought leader in college and university planning, Mr. Pearlman is routinely featured in national journals and trade publications. Most recently, he was cited as an expert in “The Hidden Costs of College: Rising Student Fees,” Washington Post, August 24, 2017.

In addition to his writing, Mr. Pearlman is a sought-after speaker for a number of organizations. He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Central Association of Physical Plant Officers Technology and Leadership Conference and was also a featured speaker at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Higher Ed Facilities Forum. Mr. Pearlman has also presented at numerous conferences including the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Before Sightlines, Mr. Pearlman was at the Facilities Resource Management Company (an ARAMARK Company), where he served as a facilities manager at Franklin & Marshall College and as a systems and management analyst for its Control and Budgets division, serving such institutions as the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Mr. Pearlman earned his B.A. with honors from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Linda Newman Advisory Services

Linda Newman

Vice President Emeritus

Linda Newman applies her 30 years of experience in residence life, dining services, and housing administration for the benefit of Scion’s advisory clients. Linda has applied her professional background and expertise to a wide range of projects. She has served as project executive, project lead, and project associate on master planning, strategic planning, operational reviews and market demand analyses.

Linda Newman applies her over 30 years of experience in residence life, dining services and housing administration, for the benefit of Scion’s advisory clients.  Prior to joining Scion, she served as Senior Director of Auxiliary Service and Director of University Housing at the University of Michigan, where she provided leadership in student life auxiliaries for student housing, information technology services, capital projects and marketing.  In that role, Linda developed significant experience with large-scale facility master planning, renovations and new construction; over a seven-year period, she led the planning and implementation of over $450 million of comprehensive renovations and $250 million of new construction within the University’s housing system, with a focus on updating or replacing heritage buildings to achieve state-of-the-art living and dining facilities while also creating spaces to support student learning.

Earlier, Linda served as Director of University Housing at the University of Michigan and as Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life, Greek Affairs and Dining Services at Bowling Green State University.  She has also held various roles in residence life, operations and academic program administration at the University of South Carolina and Middlesex University in England.

Throughout her career, Linda has collaborated with academic units to develop and support student learning within the campus living experience.  She has developed expertise in designing and implementing living-learning programs and other initiatives to create seamless learning environments for residential students.  Her career also reflects a life-long commitment in support of diversity and inclusion, including peer mentoring and programs that support underrepresented students.

Since joining Scion, Linda has applied her professional background and expertise to a wide range of projects. She has served as project executive, project lead, and project associate on master planning, strategic planning, operational reviews and market demand analyses. Her perspective, as a former Chief Housing Officer, has been of great value to clients seeking to understand issues such as occupancy management, residence life programs, department organizational structures and facilities management. In her role as VP Advisory Services, Linda leads the projects team staff members, while also working closely with Scion’s managed on-campus properties.

Linda earned a B.A. Honors in History from the University of Warwick in England and a M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services from the University of South Carolina.

Mike Porritt

Vice President - International

Mike Porritt has 15 years of Executive Director or Director level experience in student housing at institutions in the United States and Canada as well as purpose-built off campus student housing in Waterloo and London, Ontario. As a Scion advisor, Dr. Porritt started the full-time Canadian office of Scion and has worked with institutions in seven Canadian provinces.

As a Scion advisor, Mike Porritt started the full-time Canadian office of Scion and has worked with institutions in seven Canadian provinces and is closely following the worldwide student housing industry and building client connections around the world. His projects have included operational reviews, P3 housing procurement advising, campus housing master plans, student housing market demand analyses, occupancy management plans, marketing strategies and academic-residence integration. His work has also contributed to the decision making and planning of several private developers and operators in the off-campus student housing market, including consulting on student housing design and demand, and unit type/mix analyses.

Dr. Porritt has 15 years of Executive Director or Director level experience in student housing at institutions in the United States and Canada as well as purpose-built off campus student housing in Waterloo and London, Ontario. His work includes the development of academic integration programs now in place today within residential programs at McGill University (Quebec), Trent University (Ontario), Winona State University (Minnesota) and Appalachian State University (North Carolina). Combined with his experience in market analysis, planning for new construction and major renovations, he contributes a wealth of knowledge in the Canadian higher education and residential landscape, the US student housing sector, and is expanding Scion’s reach internationally.

His education includes a BA in Economics from Western University; a MSc in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois; an Ed.S. in Higher Education Administration (HEA) from Appalachian State University and Ed.D. in HEA from the University of Manitoba.

Chelsea Bennett

Vice President

Chelsea Bennett applies her passion for access and equity in higher education and prior on-campus housing experience to direct and execute advisory engagements and support client needs. Mrs. Bennett’s experience as a campus housing advisor includes work across institutional types and projects.

Chelsea Bennett applies her passion for access and equity in higher education and prior on-campus housing experience to direct and execute advisory engagements and support client needs.

Mrs. Bennett’s experience as a campus housing advisor includes work across institutional types and projects.  Her leadership in client engagements ranges from initial phases, as strategic planning and market research, to feasibility analyses through to campus housing master plans and programmatic reviews.  Mrs. Bennett also evaluates and supports implementation of first-time campus housing.  She provides day-to-day project leadership and strategic direction for successful project execution and client service.

Prior to joining Scion, Mrs. Bennett worked in Residence Life at Loyola University Chicago, where she managed the daily operations of residential buildings with between 300 – 500 beds.  During that time, Mrs. Bennett also co-authored departmental and programmatic learning outcomes in alignment with University strategic plans.  Before working in campus housing, Mrs. Bennett focused on equity of access to higher education, specifically for first-generation student populations.  She first promoted access through the successful management of a college transition and access program at a Washington, D.C. non-profit and later as an undergraduate admissions counselor at Georgetown University.  Mrs. Bennett’s passion for campus housing and access to higher education is rooted in her experience as a first-generation student and observation of the impact campus housing had in furthering her social and academic success during her undergraduate career.

Mrs. Bennett earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Political Science, Economics & Law (PPEL) from the University of Richmond and a Master of Education, Higher Education Student Affairs from Loyola University Chicago.

Matthew Keane

Vice President, P3 Services

Matthew Keane, with over two decades of experience, specializes in steering university campuses through project development, focusing on Public-Private Partnerships for campus housing. As a key figure at Scion’s Advisory Services, he offers clients data-driven analyses, empowering well-informed decisions in exploring alternative financing options for housing initiatives.

Matthew Keane, plays a pivotal role in Scion’s Advisory Services practice, where he offers essential support to an increasing number of colleges and universities nationwide as they delve into the complex realm of public-private partnerships (P3s) for campus housing. His wealth of experience, spanning over two decades, makes him a seasoned professional well-versed in the intricacies of development, construction, and higher education.

Matthew’s primary responsibility is to equip Scion’s clients with the data-driven insights and analytical acumen necessary to make informed and strategic decisions when it comes to exploring alternative financing options for campus housing initiatives. This is a critical role, as universities and colleges are constantly seeking innovative ways to address their growing housing needs while optimizing financial resources.

Before taking on his current role at Scion, Matthew Keane held the position of Senior Director of Higher Education within the construction management division of a prominent international infrastructure firm. In this capacity, he demonstrated his expertise in project and business development, where he played a central role in optimizing resource allocation to ensure the timely and precise execution of a wide range of projects.

Matthew’s expertise isn’t confined to a single aspect of higher education; instead, it covers a broad spectrum that includes academic facilities, athletic infrastructure, and the amenities that enhance student life. However, his standout specialty lies in the realm of P3 developments, particularly those on university and college campuses spread throughout the United States.

With this comprehensive background and a track record of successful engagements in the higher education sector, Matthew Keane is uniquely positioned to guide educational institutions as they navigate the often intricate process of exploring and implementing P3s for campus housing. His strategic insights and practical experience contribute significantly to the growth and development of colleges and universities, ensuring they can provide optimal housing solutions for their students while maintaining fiscal responsibility and sustainability. In essence, Matthew Keane’s role exemplifies the intersection of academia, construction, and finance, making him an indispensable asset in the ever-evolving landscape of campus development and housing strategies.

Jaclyn Malone

Associate Vice President

Jaclyn Malone has 12 years of experience in student housing consulting. Driven by her passion for educational access and opportunity, Jaclyn thrives on the ability to enhance the resident experience of our partner and client institutions.

Jaclyn Malone has 12 years of experience in student housing consulting. Driven by her passion for educational access and opportunity, Jaclyn thrives on the ability to enhance the resident experience of our partner and client institutions.

Prior to joining The Scion Group, Jaclyn led the student housing team at Alvarez & Marsal where she served clients ranging from small colleges to large universities, as well as nationally recognized development firms. During her tenure there, Jaclyn specialized in providing detailed institutional research and market analysis that helped her clients make optimal development and investment decisions. This included producing student housing market studies that assisted clients in capital raising efforts. Outside of student housing, Jaclyn has experience in multifamily acquisition due diligence including lease audits, in-place service contract analyses, and record-keeping assessment.

Jaclyn provides the day-to-day leadership of projects ensuring she and her team serve clients at the highest level. Jaclyn prides herself on listening to clients’ needs and implementing solutions to help them meet their goals.

Jaclyn earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate from the University of North Texas and a Master of Real Estate from Texas A&M University.

Michael Oliphant

Senior Director

Michael Oliphant has 25 years of experience providing advisory services to campuses across the US. He began with researching P3 ground leases in 1997 and since then has worked with hundreds of clients to achieve their campus housing goals.

Michael Oliphant has 25 years of experience providing advisory services to campuses across the US. He began with researching P3 ground leases in 1997 and since then has worked with hundreds of clients to achieve their campus housing goals. With an understanding of business operations, financing, and facilities considerations, Michael brings a reality-based perspective to his work, having developed financial models from single project pro formas to complex models for the redevelopment of entire housing systems. He understands that market analysis is only as good as the data upon which it relies and has developed market research methodologies and new approaches to data collection that have been used in support of master plans and new housing projects across the county.

To serve Scion’s advisory clients, Michael employs lessons learned from two decades of experience advising clients with student housing challenges. Prior to his affiliation with Scion, he managed hundreds of student housing engagements similar to those of Scion’s Advisory Services while associated with another team of student housing consultants.

He developed new and improved methodologies for analyzing results and presenting conclusions, addressing each case’s unique needs and challenges the clients faced. He developed financial models to help clients understand the impact of changes, whether with first-time housing projects or entire housing systems. Following Michael’s recommendations, clients have developed new housing that aligns with student preferences while meeting their developmental needs and remaining financially sustainable.

Earlier, Michael spent a dozen years as a project manager in Washington, DC, managing residential and institutional construction projects for a small general contractor. Then while attending business school, he conducted extensive research on some of the earliest student housing P3 projects.

Mr. Oliphant earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Tufts University and a Masters of Business Administration from Georgetown University.

Ellen Ulf

Senior Director

Ellen Ulf has 20 years of experience guiding colleges and universities through the housing planning process. Since 1999, Ellen has worked for over 100 institutions nationwide. Her expertise focuses on building consensus and analyzing data.

Ellen Ulf has over 20 years of experience guiding colleges and universities through the housing planning process. She started her housing career at Tulane University where she was responsible for opening a new residence hall, managing the operations of three student apartment complexes, and overseeing summer conference housing services.  Current and previous work includes student and faculty-staff housing market studies, feasibility analyses, and comprehensive housing plans.

Since 1999, Ellen has worked for over 100 institutions nationwide. Her expertise focuses on building consensus and analyzing data. Most importantly, she is able to listen, learn, and understand a client’s vision for its housing system, synthesize and streamline qualitative and quantitative data, and deliver financially sound solutions that are market driven, responsive to user preferences, and aligned with institutional needs.

Fatima Baqir

Senior Director

Fatima Baqir has been engaged in assisting and managing projects for post-secondary institutions all across North America. The majority of her work with Scion focuses on Market and Demand Studies, Feasibility Assessments, and Housing Master and Strategic Planning. As a Director, she directly oversees the delivery of exceptional service to Scion’s Advisory Services clients.

Fatima Baqir has been engaged in assisting and managing projects for postsecondary institutions all across North America, including several highly ranked schools such as McGill University, Texas State University, University of New Brunswick, and University of South Carolina. The majority of her work with Scion has focused on Market and Demand studies, Feasibility Assessments, and Housing Master and Strategic Planning. As a Project Director, she directly oversees the delivery of exceptional service by the Advisory Services team to clients.

Ms. Baqir has experience in consulting, project management, and operations of off-campus student housing. From incubating new business models to executing complex projects, Ms. Baqir has participated closely in the acquisition, management and day-to-day operations of student residences. She is passionate about assisting Scion clients with delivering services under a “student-first” philosophy. As a trained conflict mediator, she has also championed conflict-resolution mediation programs and has been active in training student life professionals.

In her past positions at the University of Toronto and Pathways Suites, Ms. Baqir collaborated with property management companies in the Greater Toronto Area to create strategic partnerships resulting in the housing of hundreds of university and college students in newly developed multi-family residential buildings. More than a dozen post-secondary campuses have adopted principles for off-campus housing search strategies developed by Ms. Baqir.

She has additional experience working with students from around the world and is a proponent of cross-cultural learning. She has assisted international students with transitional program development and is well-versed in Ontario housing laws such as the Residential Tenancies Act.

Ms. Baqir earned a BA from the University of Toronto Mississauga and is a member of the Project Management Institute, with a focus on International Project Management and Project Risk Assessment.

Nikole Maloy

Project Manager

Nikole Maloy applies her experience in Residence Life toward project execution, management, and analysis for Scion’s Advisory Services clients. Her research is used to explore market conditions, trends in higher education and student preferences that help determine the best housing solution for each unique institution.

Nikole Maloy applies her experience in Residence Life toward project execution, management, and analysis for Scion’s Advisory Services clients. Her research is used to explore market conditions, trends in higher education and student preferences that help determine the best housing solution for each unique institution.  In addition to various research functions, Ms. Maloy is responsible for the development of project surveys, conducting focus group and stakeholder sessions, and overall project communications for Advisory Services clients and project teams.

Prior to working with Scion, she gained three years of experience as a Resident Assistant at York University, and moved on to become a Residence Manager at a private boarding school. Being intricately involved in resident affairs, Nikole honed her skills in all aspects of residence life, from student engagement to crisis-management. Ms. Maloy has additional experience working with student services; while in University she worked as a team leader for the student security program, goSAFE, for 5 years. In conjunction with her education, this provided her with a comprehensive understanding of CPTED models and practices.

Ms. Maloy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology from York University in Toronto.

Yanzel Daskalakis

Marketing Manager

Yanzel Daskalakis brings over fifteen years of marketing and relationship management experience to Scion. She applies her passion for higher education and prior residential housing roles to build successful relationships by connecting colleges, universities, and others in student housing with the appropriate expertise at Scion.

Yanzel Daskalakis brings over fifteen years of marketing and relationship management experience to Scion. She applies her passion for higher education and prior residential housing roles to build successful relationships by connecting colleges, universities, and others in student housing with the appropriate expertise at Scion.

Yanzel ‘s work at Scion reaches across the United States and Canada to institutions of all sizes, including large public universities, community colleges, and private four-year institutions. She oversees the development of advisory engagements and facilitates engagement and communications with potential clients. In addition, Yanzel is a veteran of creating and managing social media/digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. She has a specific focus and expertise in the dissemination of thought leadership, delivering useful and thought-provoking knowledge to the industry.

Before working in campus housing, Yanzel won the ‘Best Graphic Designer of the Year ‘award from a previous employer. Her recent achievements include being published in the Multi-Housing News for a local Chicago real estate firm. Yanzel graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Marketing from Tampa, Florida.

Izaiah Villa

Financial Analyst

Izaiah Villa applies his knowledge in financial modeling and analysis to evaluate the performance of existing student housing projects and the feasibility of new ones. He assists in providing strategic direction and enhancing the mission-driven focus of Scions’ clients. Izaiah’s experience includes work across many sectors of finance, including wealth management, credit analysis, banking, and asset management.

Izaiah Villa applies his knowledge in financial modeling and analysis to evaluate the performance of existing student housing projects and the feasibility of new ones. He assists in providing strategic direction and enhancing the mission-driven focus of Scions’ clients. Izaiah’s experience includes work across many sectors of finance, including wealth management, credit analysis, banking, and asset management. At Scion, he uses data collection and analysis to develop custom strategies and recommendations for clients based on sound financial rigor.

Izaiah is a recent graduate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He gained professional experience by conducting working with local organizations to build financial models, conduct market research, and analyze various financial reports. Since coming to Scion, Izaiah has applied his skills to such institutions as the University of Rochester, Utah State University, South Orange County Community College District, Life University, and Weber State University. He looks forward to continuing to use his skills and knowledge to advise and consult clients working with Scion to advance their student housing programs.