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Purdue Global Leadership
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 classroomSara Sander Link
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 UniversityMiranda Brand Link
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
Bridget Rivera is a department chair and teaches various undergraduate courses in psychology and is the course lead for a number of courses. She also currently enjoys serving as the Psychology Club's faculty advisor. Before joining Purdue Global as a full-time faculty member, she worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. Her experience included community mental health, inpatient work, and college counseling. Rivera holds the Master Addcition Credential (MAC).
Education: PsyD, California School of Professional Psychology
Publications: Several published works
Honors and Achievements: 2010 Martin Mayman Award (Society for Personality Assessment), several conference presentations
Research Interests: Psychological assessment, diversity trainingBridget Rivera Link
Kimberly Jurowski is the assistant department chair for the graduate and undergraduate psychology programs. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and previously worked in the field of behavior analysis for over 16 years with varied roles including autism therapist, program supervisor, clinical director, and behavioral consultant. Jurowski has experience working in a variety of settings including homes, schools, clinics, and inpatient residential settings. Her experience within higher education comes from her time as a doctoral academic advisor for another online university as well as over 7 years of teaching undergraduate ABA and psychology courses at Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University).
Education: MS, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; BS, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
Publications: The Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, training manuals and videos for the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and The Autism Project of Illinois
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Course Leader Honoree (Kaplan University), Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation (Southern Illinois University)
Memberships: Association for Behavior Analysis International, Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis
Research Interests: Applied behavior analysis in higher education, verbal behavior therapy, behavior analysis of anxiety and depression, preference assessment and motivationKimberly Jurowski Link
Kristy Crowley began her academic career in 2008 and has taught undergraduate psychology courses at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University), DeVry University, Ivy Tech Community College, and Argosy University. She also serves as a co-chair on the board of a not-for-profit, community-focused mental health services provider. Prior to academia, Crowley worked in a variety of professional practice areas such as community mental health, inpatient psychiatric care, and university counseling.
Education: MBA, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MA, Adler University; BA, Purdue University
Certifications: Life Coach Certificate, The Institute for Life Coach Training; Graduate Certificate in Human Resources, Kaplan University
Research Interests: Positive psychology interventions, stress and coping, holistic approach to counselingKristy Crowley Link
Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts
Tom Alexander instructs various graduate level courses in psychology. He first joined Purdue Global as a part-time adjunct faculty member. Previously, Dr. Alexander worked in multiple areas of professional practice including addictions, forensic mental health, inpatient psychiatric care, residential substance use treatment, and managed care.
Education: PhD Psychology, Capella University
Publications: Multiple publications in progress related to clinical training initiatives
Certifications: Licensed professional counselor in Texas, trained clinician in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Honors and Achievements: 2019 Outstanding PT FT Adjunct Member, Graduate Psychology Department, Purdue University Global
Research Interests: The intersection of trauma and addictionTom Alexander Link
Gabrielle Blackman teaches full time in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and serves as the course lead for various graduate courses. She has been teaching in higher education since 2004, and much of her professional experience is drawn from consulting and research-based projects aligned with her expertise in industrial and organization (I/O) psychology. She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, including the American Psychological Association and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Education: PhD, George Mason University; MA, George Mason University; BA, Christopher Newport University
Publications: Presentations at numerous national and international conferences; published work in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, and technical reports
Honors and Achievements: 2015 Outstanding Faculty Member award in the Graduate Psychology Program (Kaplan University); numerous "Up and Beyond" service awards
Memberships: The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
Research Interests: Ethical and positive leadership and organizational practices within the field of I/O psychology; prosocial and humanitarian practices, advocacy strategies, and conflict resolution within and outside of workplaces; pedagogical best practices and the use of technology in 21st century classrooms and online teaching environmentsGabrielle Blackman Link
Ashley Cauley is a full-time faculty member, teaching undergraduate psychology courses at Purdue Global. After seven years as an educator, Cauley has now transitioned to a focus of online adult learning. Cauley is a founding partner of Cohort4Care, a coaching and consulting company dedicated to caring for those who care for others.
Education: MSIOP, Eastern Kentucky University; BA, Southern Adventist University
Memberships: Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
Research Interests: Psychological safety, compassion fatigue and burnoutAshley Cauley Link
Salomé Brañas Gonzalez is a full-time adjunct faculty member in the undergraduate psychology program teaching Applied Behavior Analysis. She has been an educator since 2006, working with students with disabilities from preschool through 21 years old, and has taught psychology at the undergraduate level since 2016. She became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2012, and has since supervised several BCBA candidates; produced dozens of professional development sessions for teachers, administrators, and parents; and maintained a private practice.
Education: PhD, Grand Canyon University; MSEd, Mercy College
Publications: Exploring the Role of Community Cultural Wealth in How Minority First-Generation College Students Persevere in Graduate School
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Honors and Achievements: Educational Opportunity Fund Champion for Student Success, 2019; Presenter at numerous education conferences
Memberships: Association of Professional Behavior Analysts; The Association for Behavior Analysis International; New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis
Research Interests: First-generation college studentsSalomé Brañas Gonzalez Link
Joanne Choy teaches several courses in the undergraduate psychology department focusing on applied behavior analysis. She joined Purdue University Global as a part-time adjunct faculty member and was later promoted to a full-time faculty member. Choy has worked in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2014, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2018. She has experience in working with children and adults who have autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and other capacities in the home, community, and center-based settings.
Education: MS, The Sage Colleges; BA, University of California, Irvine
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Memberships: Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)
Research Interests: Applied behavior analysis, behavior assessments, autism, developmental disabilities, treatment in challenging and severe behaviorsJoanne Choy Link
Connie Dolecki has worked in the Psychology Department at the University for nine years. She teaches undergraduate courses, and works to help entry-level students succeed. She previously worked as a behavior specialist consultant for children diagnosed with mental health issues, and as a mobile therapist for children with mental health issues in home, community, and school environments. In addition, she has worked as a substance abuse counselor.
Dolecki is the author of psychological and educational materials, including a book published through Adams Media, and collaborations on textbooks through Pearson and McGraw Hill. Connie owns a horse farm and has begun to develop programs for at-risk populations (children, veterans, people with autism and learning disabilities, etc.).
Connie earned her MS in Psychology, and is currently working on her PhD in Psychology with emphasis on Teaching and Course Development. Her dissertation explores online student retention through phone contact by instructors.
Education: MS Psychology, Walden University
PhD Psychology, Walden University in progress
Memberships: American Psychological Association
Research Interests: Therapeutic horseback riding
Lakieshia Jones teaches various undergraduate psychology department courses focusing on addictions. She joined Purdue Global as a part-time adjunct faculty member and later was promoted to full-time. Most recently, Jones was a substance use prevention practitioner with a focus in opioid and prescription misuse for a state college system in Georgia. She also has provided substance use counseling to clients in inpatient and outpatient settings.
Education: MS, Nova Southeastern University
Certifications: CADCI-II; ICADC; DOT-SAP
Memberships: The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)
Research Interests: Addiction psychology, motivational interviewing, consciousness and society psychologyLakieshia Jones Link
Caroline Linfante teaches undergraduate courses in the applied behavior analysis program. She joined Purdue University Global first as an adjunct faculty member and later as a full-time faculty member. Dr. Linfante was a special education teacher for students with mild/moderate disabilities for 9 years before becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2018. She has experience consulting with educators in a public school setting on academic and behavioral challenges in the classroom.
Education: PhD, Columbia University; MA, Teachers College
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D)
Memberships: Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis (NJABA)
Research Interests: Reducing interfering behaviors, effective reading interventions, developmental levels of verbal behaviorCaroline Linfante Link
Tara Matthews teaches various graduate psychology courses and specializes in addiction psychology at Purdue Global. She joined the University in 2016 as an adjunct professor and transitioned to full-time teaching in 2020. Trained in telehealth platforms, brick-and-mortar teaching, and online teaching, Matthews believes that creativity and meeting people where they are is key to growth and learning. Previously, she has worked as an addiction counselor, offered health coaching to colleagues, and provided supervision to graduate students and those seeking professional licensure. She has lectured in addiction, group work, ethics, and self-care for both clinical populations and professional organizations.
Education: PhD, Capella University; MA, Central Michigan University; Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Publications: Working on a textbook for co-occurring disorders
Certifications: Licensed professional counselor (LPC); Master Addiction Counselor (MAC); Integrative Nutrition and Health Coach
Honors and Achievements: Up and Above Award, 2020 (Purdue Global); Up and Above Award, 2019 (Purdue Global); Wampler-Caudill Distinguished Faculty Award, 2011
Memberships: NAADAC; American Counseling Association; Virginia Counselors Association; International Association for Health Coaches
Research Interests: Creative teaching activities, nutrition for co-occurring disorders, self-care, making ethics fun to learn and practiceTara Matthews Link
Kristina Noriega is currently a full-time adjunct and teaches various undergraduate courses in psychology. She has worked for the federal government for over 20 years in various areas of education including liaison, policy, and education services. During her government work in adult education, Noriega supported bridging the gap between the military and civilian education sectors. She built credibility, establishing rapport and maintaining communication with all stakeholders at multiple levels, including those external to the organization.
Education: MS, Chaminade University
Publications: Army Transition Manual
Certifications: NISOD Excellence Award, Department of the Army Civilian Award, Pacific Command Outstanding Contributor award, the House of Representatives outstanding for contributions to the education community
Memberships: American Counseling Association
Research Interests: Self-leadershipKristina Noriega Link
Lisa Phillips has been a professor at Purdue Global in the graduate Applied Behavior Analysis department since 2016 and serves as the Ethics Course Leader and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Ethics and Performance Management. Phillips is a licensed behavior analyst at the doctoral level, and a clinical and inter-jurisdictional licensed psychologist who is also an EMDRIA-certified provider of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Prior to her academic career, her experience was in clinical services and leadership. Phillips was the Chief Program/Operations Officer of a large community mental health center where she developed clinical teams and services, and instituted an American Psychological Association (APA) approved doctoral internship program, and post-doctoral training for Psychology Residents. She is a telehealth practitioner, an Organizational Behavior Management, Strategic Planning, and Leadership consultant, and Board President of the Mental Health Association of Mercer County.
Education: PhD, Clinical Psychology, Duquesne University; BCBA-D, University of Massachusetts; MBA, Purdue University Global.
Publications: Authored a chapter in a handbook on diversity entitled, Privilege Through the Looking-Glass.
Certifications: Licensed clinical/inter-jurisdictional psychologist and behavior analyst; National Register of Health Service Psychologists, Telepsychology Competencies Credential, and Emdria-approved EMDR certification.
Honors and Achievements: Voted ‘Best Professor’, with nominations for the Best Course Leader and the Encouragement and Inspiration Award.
Memberships: American Psychological Association, Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Association for Behavior Analysis International, and Society for Human Resource Management
Research Interests: First-generation students, online learning excellence, ethical leadership development, and the use of EMDR related to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.Lisa Phillips Link
Julee Poole teaches in the Graduate Psychology program and she provides service to the university by recruiting community organizations. Through the Purdue University Global partnership program, these community organizations offer employment opportunities to students and alumni. Additionally, these organizations provide field experience opportunities for students. Finally, employees and their immediate family members of the community organizations qualify for tuition discounts at Purdue Global.
Education: PhD Psychology, Family Psychology concentration, Capella University; MS Mental Health Counseling, Austin Peay State University; BS Psychology/Sociology, Austin Peay State University; BS Criminal Justice, Forensic Psychology concentration, Purdue University Global
Certifications: Board-certified life coach; International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP) Compassion Fatigue Professional
Publications: The Cryin’ House: A Story for Children Who Witness Family Violence; When Hitting Hits Home; articles in Family Guidance Journal and PsycCritiques
Presented at many national and international conferences, and has published in various journals, including the Family Guidance Journal and PsycCritiques
Honors and Achievements: Psi Chi Honor Society; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society; Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society; Golden Key International Honor Society; The Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement Alpha Betta Kappa; Alpha Phi Sigma; Austin Peay State University Outstanding Student Leader; Lily Welcome Back Lifetime Achievement Nomination; Kaplan Way Award; Purdue University Global "Organization Builder" Award
Memberships: American Psychological Association Society for the Teaching of Psychology International Christian Coaching Association
Research Interests: Family violence, compassion fatigue for law enforcement officers, self-esteem and defense mechanisms, service-learning projects in the online classroom, best practices in online higher education programs, and the use of technology online classroomJulee Poole Link
Karen Savarese is a full-time adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology. She teaches several psychology courses and also upper-level child development classes. She has been teaching college psychology for twenty years. Prior to her work in higher education, Savarese supervised a foster care program for children with special needs. She has extensive experience working with children with special needs and their families. She has also worked with adults with disabilities to help them find greater independence and become more integrated in their communities.
Education: MS, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology; BS, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Research Interests: Children with special needs and their familiesKaren Savarese Link
Olivia Steenbergh began working with Purdue Global in 2020. Steenbergh began teaching Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) courses as a part time adjunct instructor. She now serves as full time faculty teaching and leading undergraduate psychology and ABA courses. Steenbergh has worked in the field of pediatric ABA since 2015, became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2018, and enjoys bringing her experience to the classroom.
Education: MEd, Wayne State University; BS, Rochester University
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Research Interests: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Trauma-Informed Care, Acceptance and Commitment TherapyOlivia Steenbergh Link
Dee Strbiak teaches various undergraduate courses in psychology and also designed two courses. She has worked in private psychiatric hospitals and with the military, active in the chemical dependency field, trauma field, and workplace violence area for over 27 years. In addition to teaching in an online environment, Strbiak does training, consulting, and has private therapy clients. She is the director of a DUI treatment agency in which clients are court-ordered to attend treatment due to a drinking and driving offense. Strbiak is also a Cool Tools reviewer.
Education: PsyD, California Southern University; MA, University of Northern Colorado; BA, Metropolitan State College of Denver
Memberships: Virtual Difference MakersDee Strbiak Link
Marjorie Vandemark teaches a variety of courses in undergraduate psychology. She works with a team within the Psychology Department on initiatives to increase the success of first-time students, improve retention rates, and encourage degree completion. Currently, she is doing post-graduate work in co-occurring disorders and addiction at Purdue Global to advance her skills in clinical treatment. Prior to coming to Purdue Global, she taught psychology and sociology at several local colleges both in person and online. Vandemark has an extensive clinical background that includes outpatient and inpatient treatment, crisis intervention, and community-based behavioral health with populations ranging from early childhood to elderly adults. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Behavior Specialist in Pennsylvania.
Education: MA, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Outstanding Professor in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; 2017 TIP Conference presentation on academic self-efficacyMarjorie Vandemark Link
Karen Watson is a full-time adjunct faculty member at Purdue Global while also teaching at Washtenaw Community College in Michigan. She has worked as a family development specialist, crisis counselor, home-based therapist, and individual and family therapist. Her experience and specializations include advocacy in the school system and juvenile/adult court programs, anger management, and substance abuse therapy.
Education: MS, California University of Pennsylvania; Graduate Certificate in Addictions, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Honors and Achievements: 2016 and 2017 Outstanding Course Leader Award; presentation at 1st Annual Virtual Health and Wellness Fair (Kaplan University)Karen Watson Link
Shannon Weiss teaches courses in the applied behavior analysis program. Prior to her teaching career, she worked for over 8 years as a behavior analyst with children as young as 3 years old and adults over 80. Her work as a behavior analyst was done in a variety of settings including schools, private homes, group homes, residential facilities, and work settings. Previously, Weiss taught undergraduate courses in psychology for 6 years at several universities and a local community college. She is currently pursuing her PhD in general psychology.
Education: MS, BS, Southern Illinois University
Publications: Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
Honors and Achievements: 2018 Outstanding Course Lead Award (Purdue Global)
Research Interests: Applied behavior analysis for severe and dangerous behavior problems, preference assessments, feeding/eating problems, online educationShannon Weiss Link
Susan Wilson has taught various courses in the applied behavior analysis and general psychology master's degree program since 2011.
Education: PhD, Walden University; MS, Rhode Island College
Publications: Mental Health Aspects of Developmental Disabilities
Certifications: Board Certified Behavior Analyst; RI license in Behavior Analysis
Honors and Achievements: 2018 John DiMarco Leadership Award, West Bay Residential Services
Memberships: Association for Behavior Analysis International; RI Association for Behavior Analysis; CPNRI Best Practices Committee
Research Interests: Applied behavior analysis and psychiatric disordersSusan Wilson Link