Education Faculty

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Purdue Global Leadership

Sara Sander
Sara Sander, PhD
Academic Dean and Vice President

Sara Sander began her career with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 1997. She has served in a variety of positions including professor of communications and languages and program coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences, now known as the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her experience includes over 15 years of teaching adult learners, with a focus in the last 10 years in online education and administration.

Education: PhD, Capella University; MA and BA, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

Research Interests: Emotional intelligence, faculty performance and behaviors, communication in the online classroom

Sara Sander Link
Sara Sander, PhD
Academic Dean and Vice President
Miranda Brand
Miranda Brand, EdD
Associate Dean

Miranda Brand has served as associate dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences since 2011. She joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2006 as an adjunct instructor in the School of Graduate Education and subsequently led the Department of Educational Studies as academic chair from 2008 to 2011. Prior to joining Purdue Global, she served 20 years in public education in various roles including teacher, curriculum coordinator, staff development presenter, and school administrator.

Education: EdD, Nova Southeastern University

Miranda Brand Link
Miranda Brand, EdD
Associate Dean
Lynn Massenzio
Lynn Massenzio, PhD
Associate Dean

For many years, Lynn Massenzio's focus has been administrative, including strategic planning, accreditation, state approvals, and new program development. She previously served the University as an adjunct faculty member and assistant dean of faculty. Prior to entering the education field, Massenzio built on her experience as a former college athlete to start a small business as a fitness consultant and personal trainer. She earned her teaching certification through an alternative certification route at Oglethorpe University. After teaching high school science, she transitioned to higher education where she was a clinical instructor at Georgia State University and an assistant professor at LaGrange College. Both institutions, as well as Purdue Global, have enabled her to work with career changers entering the field of education through both traditional and alternative routes to certification.

Education: PhD, Georgia State University; MS, Georgia Institute of Technology; BA, Rutgers University

Lynn Massenzio Link
Lynn Massenzio, PhD
Associate Dean
Tessa Holst
Tessa Holst, MS
Assistant Dean

Tessa Holst currently serves as the assistant dean of students within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences where she oversees and generates initiatives to develop student engagement and improve student retention. She is also responsible for problem identification and resolution for second-level student complaints and conflicts. Prior to her current role, Holst served as the graduation director and event planner within the Provost Office. She was responsible for bi-annual graduation event ceremonies, celebrations, and faculty retreats. She has worked in higher education for over 25 years and recently completed her second term as school board member for her local school district, having served for 4 years as president. 

Education: MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)

Honors and Achievements: 2017 Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Non-Academic Support Team Award (Kaplan University), 2005 Hero Award (Kaplan University), 2003 Extra Mile Award (Kaplan Higher Education)

Tessa Holst Link
Tessa Holst, MS
Assistant Dean
Betsy Tomei
Betsy Tomei, MBA
Assistant Dean

Betsy Tomei oversees the scheduling team responsible for the College of Social Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, and Concord Law School and manages the Universal Scheduling process for campus and online programs. She has also served as adjunct instructor, assistant chair of the Department of Professional Studies, and scheduling manager. Tomei has been in the field of education both as an educator and administrator since 1995. She started her career with Johnson & Wales University as a financial planning counselor and financial aid officer. Tomei later joined the Chicago Public School Department, where she served as a teacher and technology coordinator, and returned to higher education when she joined Purdue Global.

Education: MBA, Johnson & Wales University; MA, Saint Xavier University

Betsy Tomei Link
Betsy Tomei, MBA
Assistant Dean

Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts

Jeffrey Bailie
Jeffrey Bailie, EdD
University Faculty

Jeffrey Bailie is a full-time faculty member with the School of Education. His areas of specialization include web-based instructional design, evaluation and assessment, and online faculty training, mentoring, and supervision. He serves as the lead faculty member for the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology. Bailie has taught in a variety of learning environments, from middle school through doctoral level, on-ground and online, domestic and international. Over the past two decades, he has taught hundreds of online courses through a variety of institutions. Fulfilling his dedication to service, Dr. Bailie serves as a consultant evaluator for The Higher Learning Commission. He also serves on the University’s Institutional Research Board.

Education: EdD, Instructional Technology and Distance Education; MEd, Curriculum and Instruction; BSEd, Secondary Education

Publications: Published in the areas of validation of online instructional competencies, the effect of instructional immediacy and engagement on online student motivation and persistence, and the influence of learner expectations in the online environment; peer reviewer for a variety of professional journals

Honors and Achievements: 2017 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member Award (Kaplan University), 2014 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member Award (Kaplan University)

Jeffrey Bailie Link
Jeffrey Bailie, EdD
University Faculty
Kelvin Beckett
Kelvin Beckett, PhD
University Faculty

A full-time faculty member in the School of Education, Kelvin Beckett currently teaches graduate theory and research courses. He is also course lead for the history and philosophy of education course, and serves on several University committees. Prior to joining Purdue Global, he taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Cincinnati. Beckett has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. His areas of expertise include philosophy of education and urban education. He also presents each year at University symposiums and at an external conference, based on continuing research in the area of online teaching and learning.

Education: PhD, University of London; MA, University of British Columbia

Honors and Achievements: 2016 College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Professor Award (Kaplan University), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship

Kelvin Beckett Link
Kelvin Beckett, PhD
University Faculty
Rhonda Figueroa
Rhonda Figueroa, MS Ed
FT Adjunct

Rhonda Figueroa is an early childhood adjunct professor, teaching a myriad of undergraduate courses for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In addition, she is a portfolio/course evaluator for Open College, a course lead, and an education facilitator for the Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney's Community Services Program. Figueroa’s professional experience includes teaching emotionally challenged/learning disabled students in the public school system, serving as school principal for a Long Island UPK program as well as owning a large Montessori Day School and EC Center. Her NYS credentials include permanent/dual certification in General Education (EC-Grade 6) and Special Education (birth-21 years). Additionally, she is certified to teach gifted and talented students, is a licensed Public School Principal, a licensed Mental Health Practitioner, and a Creative Arts Therapist (L-CAT). Figueroa is fully Montessori trained.

Education: MS, Adelphi University; BS, Dowling College; Graduate Certificate in Addictions (in progress), Purdue University Global

Rhonda Figueroa Link
Rhonda Figueroa, MS Ed
FT Adjunct
Misty LaCour
Misty LaCour, EdD
University Faculty

Misty LaCour has been an educator to every grade level from kindergarten through graduate school. At Purdue Global, she teaches various graduate courses in the School of Education and is also a course lead. In addition, she assists in accreditation efforts and the administration of the assessment management system, and serves as chair of the School of Education Assessment Committee. LaCour began her academic career as a K-6 teacher before moving to higher education where she held various positions including department chair of teacher education. LaCour maintains recency of experience by regularly substitute teaching in K-12 classrooms. Her research has been cited for her expertise in providing literacy best practices as well as meeting the needs of at-risk, diverse learners. Other leadership positions include the executive director of the Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators, member of the Audit Team for NAEYC Higher Education for CAEP Accreditation, and editor of the ArATE Electronic Journal.

Education: EdD, Liberty University

Honors and Achievements: ASCD National Emerging Leader Award, additional teaching, research, and service honors

Misty LaCour Link
Misty LaCour, EdD
University Faculty
Carol Laman
Carol Laman, MA
FT Adjunct

Carol Laman is a full-time adjunct instructor and teaches a variety of early childhood education courses including early childhood development, child nutrition, and current issues in administration. She has experience as a director of an early childhood facility, teaching in the early childhood and elementary school age environment as well as working with children and young adults with autism. Laman holds teaching certification in the state of Texas for general edcuation as well as special education. 

Education: MA, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MS, University of North Dakota

Carol Laman Link
Carol Laman, MA
FT Adjunct
Carolyn McKeon
Carolyn McKeon, PhD
FT Adjunct

Carolyn McKeon has been teaching in higher education for 11 years, at Purdue University Global she teaches Early Childhood Education classes and has been with Purdue University Global since 2007. McKeon has presented professional for KU Village as well as other educational organizations. She has also been a subject matter expert and written several courses for two different colleges. McKeon founded and ran a small, non-public school in Pennsylvania in 2009.

McKeon has served on the faculty senate and been a course lead. She is a course life-long learning course evaluator and faculty advisor. She also holds two Master's degrees, two Bachelor's degrees, and is finishing her sixth degree in Criminology.

Education:  PhD in K-12 Teaching and Learning, Capella University

Publications: "The 6 R’s of a Positive Facilitator" in the Journal of eLearning and Online Teaching.

Research Interests:  Alternative education with a strong emphasis in autodidactic learning

Carolyn McKeon Link
Carolyn McKeon, PhD
FT Adjunct
Julia Nyberg
Julia Nyberg, EdD
University Faculty

Julia Nyberg currently teaches various graduate courses in the Master of Arts in Teaching program, with a special emphasis on diversity, differentiation, and curriculum design. She collaborates on many projects associated with the curriculum, including lesson plan design, clinical practice, and key assessment analysis. Nyberg is the chair of the School of Education Diversity Committee, member of the Assessment Committee, member of the Faculty Curriculum Committee, and has served on the Faculty Senate. She is board member for the California Association for the Gifted. Nyberg was a K-6 classroom teacher and professional development expert before entering higher education. She frequently speaks at conferences and provides demonstration lessons for school districts related to her expertise on curriculum design and differentiated instruction for gifted and high-ability students.

Education: EdD, University of Southern California

Honors and Achievements: Outstanding New Faculty and Curriculum Revision Awards (Kaplan University), additional teaching, research, and service honors

Research Interests: How differentiated instructional practices for gifted and high-ability students are responsive to Common Core, NGSS, and the History-Social Science Framework

Julia Nyberg Link
Julia Nyberg, EdD
University Faculty