Human Services Faculty

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Purdue Global Leadership

Sara Sander
Sara Sander, PhD
Sara Sander, PhD
Academic Dean and Vice President

Sara Sander began her career with Purdue Global 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
Academic Dean and Vice President
Miranda Brand
Miranda Brand, EdD
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 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
Associate Dean
Tessa Holst
Tessa Holst, MS
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 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
Assistant Dean
April Hrabar
April Hrabar, EdD
April Hrabar, EdD
Assistant Dean

April Hrabar has been with Purdue Global since 2020 as an instructor with the School of Nursing. Before joining the Purdue Global team, Hrabar was the administrator of an online undergraduate health sciences program and the senior leader of a multi-leveled nursing department. In her 15 years’ experience in higher education, she has focused on adult and non-traditional learners, online instruction, program development and expansion, and institutional and programmatic accreditation.

As part of her passion for connecting students with global initiatives, she was previously the founder and executive director of an organization providing aid and medical care for Indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest. Through this foundation, she has immersed students and faculty in life-changing cultural experiences to make a positive impact in these fragile communities. She continues to pursue community outreach in promotion of global health and wellness.

Education: EdD in Educational Leadership, Liberty University; MSN in Nursing Education, Liberty University; BS in Nursing, University of Maryland.             

Honors and Achievements: Nurse Leadership Institution Fellow (2010); Corporation for National Service National Service Award (2002)  

Research Interests: Professional behaviors, writing skills, faculty and student engagement in online environments

April Hrabar Link
Assistant Dean
Maggie Morgan
Maggie Morgan, PhD
Maggie Morgan, PhD
Department Chair

Maggie Morgan has served as the program chair for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences since February 2020. She joined Purdue Global in 2006, as an adjunct instructor and subsequently worked as an assistant chair in the School of General Education until her promotion to assistant dean. She has over 25 years of experience in human services with a specific focus on military families.

Education: PhD, Capella University; MEd, Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Research Interests: Assessment in higher education, resilience, educational outcomes in military children

Maggie Morgan Link
Department Chair
Jessie Budzinski
Jessie Budzinski , MSW
Jessie Budzinski , MSW
Assistant Department Chair

Jessie Budzinski has served as the assistant department chair for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Human Services department since March 2021. She joined Purdue Global in 2009, as an adjunct instructor. In 2011, she added course leader to her role and in 2015, she became a full-time adjunct instructor and faculty mentor.

Before teaching in higher education, Budzinski was a field instructor for the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina where she supervised and evaluated social work students in the master’s degree program. Budzinski worked with young children with special needs and their families and has presented at state Head Start conferences and national Birth-to-Three Institutes.

Education: MSW, University of Michigan

Honors and Achievements: Human Services Faculty Member of the Year, Outstanding Professor Nomination, Outstanding Course Leader, Outstanding Full-time Adjunt Faculty Member

Research Interests: Student retention and innovation in the online classroom

Jessie Budzinski Link
Assistant Department Chair

Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty

Juliet Bradley
Juliet Bradley, PhD
Juliet Bradley, PhD
University Faculty

Juliet Bradley teaches a variety of courses in the Human Services Department, and has revised and developed courses on the undergraduate and graduate level. Within the Human Services Department, she has also acted as faculty advisor for different student organizations, mentored new faculty members, and has served as a course lead for several classes. Additionally, she served on several  University-wide committees and task forces and has facilitated orientation sessions for new students. Bradley has worked in higher education since 2006, teaching courses related to human development, behavioral health, and human services in onground and online formats. Additionally, she is a Licensed Social Worker with 17 years of experience in the fields of human services and social work and has experience writing grants for a nonprofit mental health agency.

Education: PhD, University of Delaware; MSW, Boston College; BA, West Chester University

Honors and Achievements: Presentations at national and international conferences

Research Interests: Children with disabilities, adolescents with mental health issues and substance use problems

Juliet Bradley Link
University Faculty
Tuwana Evans
Tuwana Evans, PhD
Tuwana Evans, PhD
University Faculty

Tuwana Evans began her career with Purdue Global in 2021 in the Department of Human Services as a professor. Evans is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois and has over 20 years’ experience in social services as well as teaching in higher education.

Education:  PhD, Illinois State University; AM, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; BA, Purdue University

Publications:  Wingfield, T. T. & Adams, R. A. (2019). Reflections of two Black early career social work educators teaching mostly white students at PWI. Reflections, 25(1), 16-31.

Edmonds-Cady, C. & Wingfield, T. T. (2017). Social workers: Agents of change or agents of oppression. Social Work Education, 36(4), 430-442. doi10.1080/02615479.2017.1291802

Certifications: State of Illinois, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, License 149.012576           

Honors and Achievements: 2019 Recipient of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society Honorary Member

Memberships: Council on Social Work Education              

Research Interests: Black feminism, Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Feminist Theory, intersectionality, anti-coloniality, abolition, culturally responsive education, cultural humility, social work field education, educational experiences of African American women and girls, identity development, and mentoring.

Tuwana Evans Link
University Faculty
Courtney Liferidge
Courtney Liferidge, PhD
Courtney Liferidge, PhD
University Faculty

Courtney Liferidge began her career at Purdue Global in 2021 as a part-time adjunct faculty member in the Department of Human Services and was promoted to full-time faculty member in 2023. Liferidge has served as a course leader and revised several courses on the graduate level. In addition to teaching, Liferidge has worked in the social and human services field for over 10 years, working with children, adults, and the senior population, in various capacities from direct care, program administration, to community engagement.


Education: PhD, Capella University; MEd, Cambridge College; BA, Winston-Salem State University

Certifications: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace  

Research Interests: Race/culture, religion/spirituality, family dynamics, human development and sexuality

Courtney Liferidge Link
University Faculty
Rebekah Phelps
Rebekah Phelps, MS
Rebekah Phelps, MS
University Faculty

Rebekah Phelps began her career at Purdue Global in 2021 as a part-time adjunct faculty member in the Department of Human Services and is now a full-time faculty member. Phelps is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LSCW) in the state of New York and state of Pennsylvania. Phelps has 10 years of clinical experience in the field of mental health where she has worked with a variety of populations to include foster care settings, correctional settings, higher education, crisis services, hospital services, and outpatient clinical treatment. Phelps has experience working with youth, families, couples, college students, and incarcerated individuals.        

Education: MS, California University of Pennsylvania; MSW, University of Southern California; BS, University of Pittsburgh

Certifications: State of New York, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); State of Pennsylvania, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies

Memberships: National Association of Social Work (NASW)          

Research Interests: Traumatology, stress response regulation, suicidology, domestic violence, physiology, psychophysiology, neurofeedback, biofeedback, and trauma-related disorders

Rebekah Phelps Link
University Faculty
Linda Simon
Linda Simon, EdD
Linda Simon, EdD
University Faculty

Linda Simon teaches classes in the Human Services Department. She began her career as a probation officer. After working in this field for a few years, she decided to obtain her counseling degree. Simon has over 19 years of experience working with couples, families, and children/adolescents in different settings. She has served as a peer reviewer and is the faculty advisor for the Tau Upsilon Alpha honor society. Simon is currently licensed as a Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and is also a National Certified Counselor.

Education: EdD, Argosy University; MS, Jacksonville State University; BA, Shorter College

Honors and Achievements: Numerous presentations on stress, burnout, and academic success in the elementary and middle school setting

Research Interests: Stress, burnout, bullying, prevention

Linda Simon Link
University Faculty