Social and Behavioral Sciences 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
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
Dena AuCoin
Dena AuCoin, EdD
Department Chair

Dena AuCoin began at the University as an adjunct faculty member, moving to the assistant academic chair and the academic chair. She previously taught various undergraduate courses in early childhood with an emphasis in special education. Currently, she oversees numerous innovations in curriculum, oversees three departments, and participates in ongoing review of data to implement changes at course, department, and university levels. Before joining Purdue Global, AuCoin was an educator in early childhood, elementary, and special education for 15 years. She started her academic career at Grand Canyon University in 2009.

Education: EdD, Northcentral University

Publications: Chapter for a Montessori administration textbook

Research Interests: Early transition language and self-determination for students with disabilities, Montessori collaboration in special education, autism social skills, response to intervention in early childhood, support for students with disabilities in the Montessori classroom, how to make student collaboration more effective in the online environment

Dena AuCoin Link
Dena AuCoin, EdD
Department Chair
Julee Poole
Julee Poole, PhD
Department Chair

Julee Poole has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and serves as the academic chair of the graduate psychology program. Poole was a professor of psychology for 15 years before going into administration. She started her academic career at Austin Peay State University, and began teaching at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2007 in the Undergraduate Psychology Department before moving to the Graduate Psychology Department. She became the academic assistant chair before becoming the academic chair of the graduate psychology program in 2013.

Education: PhD, Capella University

Publications: The Cryin’ House: A Story for Children Who Witness Family Violence; When Hitting Hits Home; articles in Family Guidance Journal and PsycCritiques

Honors and Achievements: Presentations at national and international conferences

Research Interests: Family violence, self-esteem, defense mechanisms, service-learning projects, best practices and use of technology in the online classroom

Julee Poole Link
Julee Poole, PhD
Department Chair
Julie Riley
Julie Riley, PhD
Department Chair

Julie Riley is the academic department chair of the Human Services Department. She has worked as a college professor and in a management role in higher education for over 20 years. Riley started teaching as an adjunct professor at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2003. In addition to her work at the University, she owns her own private practice where she works as a clinical supervisor for counselors and a therapist for families and individuals. Riley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state New York, Certified Master Addictions Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist, and Certified Divorce Mediator. She is a behavioral health consultant for local hospitals and a coach for Girls on the Run.

Education: PhD, Capella University; MS, Adelphi University; MSW, Adelphi University

Julie Riley Link
Julie Riley, PhD
Department Chair
Bridget Rivera
Bridget Rivera, PsyD
Department Chair

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 training

Bridget Rivera Link
Bridget Rivera, PsyD
Department Chair
Shannon Weiss
Shannon Weiss, MS
Department Chair

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 education

Shannon Weiss Link
Shannon Weiss, MS
Department Chair
Cheryl Bradt-Hyland
Cheryl Bradt-Hyland, MS
Assistant Department Chair

Cheryl Bradt-Hyland is the assistant department chair of the undergraduate and graduate Human Services Department. She has previously worked in higher education as a site supervisor for field internship placements, consultant, trainer, curriculum developer, and as an adjunct professor at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition, she has both management and clinical experience in community mental health and the private sector, and works with individuals, families and children in her private practice. Bradt-Hyland  is a licensed therapist in the state of New York, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, a Human Services Board Certified Practitioner, and an Employee Assistance Coaching Specialist.

Education: MS, Capella University

Memberships: HS-BCPE through the Center of Credentialing and Education (committee member, campus coordinator/liaison)

Cheryl Bradt-Hyland Link
Cheryl Bradt-Hyland, MS
Assistant Department Chair
Kimberly Jurowski
Kimberly Jurowski, MS
Assistant Department Chair

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 motivation

Kimberly Jurowski Link
Kimberly Jurowski, MS
Assistant Department Chair

Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts

Melanie Beath
Melanie Beath, MA
FT Adjunct

Melanie Beath teaches various undergraduate courses in human services. She serves as the course lead for a course on human behavior and the environment. Prior to joining Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University), Beath started her academic career at Buena Vista University. She has been actively involved in the human services field for over 25 years in the areas of juvenile justice, child and family counseling, mentoring, college counseling, nonprofit management and case management, along with teaching and public speaking. She has credentials as a Human Service Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) credential and Temporary License in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT).

Education: MA, Alliant University; BA, Central College

Research Interests: Student involvement and outcomes in human behavior and the environment

Melanie Beath Link
Melanie Beath, MA
FT Adjunct
Diane Berry
Diane Berry, JD
University Faculty

Diane Berry teaches various undergraduate courses in human services with a special emphasis on social policy and ethics. She also mentors new faculty members, acts as course lead for three courses, and assists with updating and revising course materials. She joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2011 as an adjunct faculty member and was hired full time in 2014. Before joining Purdue Global, Berry worked in the Child Protective Services Unit at the Manitowoc County Human Services Department for 3 years, was employed at the Mental Health Association Clinic in Manitowoc, and from 2000 to 2012 operated Blue Waters Family Counseling, where she was director and only full-time therapist.

Education: JD, University of Wisconsin Madison; MSW, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Publications: Three books related to family counseling

Honors and Achievements: 2004 In Search of Excellence Award (Wisconsin Family Based Services Association), presentations at 2015 and 2016 NOHS National Conferences

Memberships: Faculty Senate, Human Services Club (Faculty Adviser), National Organization for Human Services (University representative, Advocacy Chair)

Diane Berry Link
Diane Berry, JD
University Faculty
Gabrielle Blackman
Gabrielle Blackman, PhD
FT Adjunct

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 environments

Gabrielle Blackman Link
Gabrielle Blackman, PhD
FT Adjunct
Juliet Bradley
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; MA, 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
Juliet Bradley, PhD
University Faculty
Jessie Budzinski
Jessie Budzinski, MSW
FT Adjunct

Jessie Budzinski is a full-time adjunct faculty member in the Human Services Department. She is the instructor for two undergraduate courses, and has been involved in multiple student retention initiatives. Prior to teaching, Budzinski was a field instructor for the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina and worked with social work students at Western Carolina Community Action, where she served as both the director of Transylvania County Head Start and Early Head Start child care centers and the Mental Health Coordinator. She also worked in a variety of early intervention programs with young children with special needs and their families.

Education: MSW, University of Michigan

Honors and Achievements: Presentations at state Head Start conferences and national Birth-to-Three Institutes

Jessie Budzinski Link
Jessie Budzinski, MSW
FT Adjunct
Tricia Chandler
Tricia Chandler, PhD
FT Adjunct

Tricia Chandler has taught core courses, general courses, and chemical dependency tracts and read comprehensive exams since 2012. She is the lead of the addictions track, and is involved with revising those courses. She has presented an APA student webinar, as well as a presentation on resiliency in healing from PTSD for veterans in Psi Club.

Education: PhD, Saybrook University; MA, Naropa University; BFA, Northern Arizona University

Publications: A Journey Back to the Sacred Heart: Reclaiming Self After Childhood Trauma (ebook), Annals of Psychotherapy & Integrative Health, Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories, An Integrated Body-Mind-Spirit Experience… or the Zen of Mountain Climbing, Spirituality, and Alternative Healing

Certifications: Master Addiction Counselor (NAADAC), Quantum Energetics Practitioner, HOMDi Homeopathy Diploma, AuraSoma Practitioner, Universal Life Minister, Reiki Master

Honors and Achievements: Young Scientist Award (ISSSEEM), Fine Art Award (NAU)

Memberships: American Psychotherapy Association, International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy & Energy Medicine, NAADAC

Research Interests: Integrative medicine; holistic and integrative practices for clinical work in trauma and co-occurring disorders

Tricia Chandler Link
Tricia Chandler, PhD
FT Adjunct
Edward Cumella
Edward Cumella, PhD
University Faculty

Edward Cumella brings together his clinical, research, and pedagogical experience with his passion for teaching emerging professionals, particularly those from first-generation college families. At Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University), he teaches graduate psychology classes, mentors students through master’s thesis research, and helps improve outcomes for non-traditional students. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Cumella taught psychology courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Grand Canyon University. He has been in the mental health field for 33 years, specializing in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders and the education of emerging mental health professionals.

Education: PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; BA, Harvard University

Publications: More than 80 peer-reviewed articles; editor of a handbook on eating disorder treatment

Honors and Achievements: 2016 Scholar of the Year Award (Kaplan University), Faculty Adviser of the Year Award (Kaplan University), many presentations and workshops at professional conferences, interviewed as mental health expert (ABC, FOX News, the Discovery Channel, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest)

Memberships: American Psychological Association, Western Psychological Association, professional certification program of International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (chair), Board of Roots & Wings

Edward Cumella Link
Edward Cumella, PhD
University Faculty
Nelly Dixon
Nelly Dixon, EdD
University Faculty

Nelly Dixon is a full-time faculty member in the Graduate Psychology Department of Purdue Global. She teaches numerous courses in graduate applied behavior analysis, contributes the development of the program's curriculum and competency assessments, and serves as course lead and mentor for fellow ABA faculty. Dixon began her career as a special education teacher, in which she built a successful program in applied behavior analysis at her school district before becoming an autism consultant and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Education: EdD, Walden University

Publications: Behavior Analysis Quarterly, Behavioral Science in the 21st Century

Honors and Achievements: Conference presentations, including Association for Behavior Analysis International; Faculty of the Year Award (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences)

Memberships: ABAI, NYSABA, Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, Behavior Analysis Certification Board (verified course sequence coordinator)

Research Interests: Behavioral approaches to increasing student engagement in online higher education, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Nelly Dixon Link
Nelly Dixon, EdD
University Faculty
Connie Dolecki
Connie Dolecki, MS
FT Adjunct

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

Connie Dolecki Link
Connie Dolecki, MS
FT Adjunct
Elizabeth Donnellan
Elizabeth Donnellan, MEd
University Faculty

Elizabeth Donnellan teaches various undergraduate courses in the addiction studies program in the undergraduate psychology program. She serves as a curriculum expert in addictions and mentors both faculty and students in the addiction program. Prior to coming to Purdue Global, Donnellan worked in the fields of school counseling, mental health, crisis/rape counseling, trauma treatment, and addiction, where she also held liscences in these areas. She also served as a federal grant reviewer for the Administration of Children and Families and Health and Human Services.

Education: MEd, Rhode Island College; BS, University of Maryland, College Park

Publications: Research articles, published textbooks

Honors and Achievements: Regular presentations at national conferences for behavioral health

Elizabeth Donnellan Link
Elizabeth Donnellan, MEd
University Faculty
Nancy Duncan
Nancy Duncan, MSW
FT Adjunct

Nancy Duncan is a full-time adjunct faculty member in the Human Services Department. She is the instructor for a variety of undergraduate courses with a special interest in children and families, trauma, neonatal abstinence syndrome infants, and intergenerational transmission of poverty and trauma. Prior to teaching, she was an ER child abuse investigator, forensic interviewer at CPS, and program director, and spent many years in the court systems and worked with foster children, adoptions, and trauma-related issues. She has also worked at a mental health in-patient facility, as a family life program director, and worked extensively with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and many other challenges in the field.

Education: MSW, California State University, Sacramento

Publications: Child Welfare journal, Diabetes, WebMD, Self, Experience Life

Research Interests: Intergenerational transmission of poverty, abuse, and substance abuse, child trafficking and child trauma

Nancy Duncan Link
Nancy Duncan, MSW
FT Adjunct
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
Michelle Fischer
Michelle Fischer, MSW
FT Adjunct

Michelle Fischer teaches various undergraduate courses in human services, with special emphasis on children and families. She also serves as a course lead and assists with course development. Previously, she has served as assistant chair of professional studies. Fischer started her academic career at Delaware County Community College before moving on to teach at Strayer University, Holy Family University, and Kaplan University (now Purdue Global) as an adjunct faculty member. She is also a Licensed Social Worker.

Education: MSW, Temple University

Honors and Achievements: Professional presentations “Positivity During Tough Economic Times” and “Helping Online Students Learn to Learn”; Best Faculty Mentor Award; Outstanding Professor Nominations

Memberships: National Association of Social Workers, Academy of Certified Social Workers

Michelle Fischer Link
Michelle Fischer, MSW
FT Adjunct
Harla Frank
Harla Frank, MS
University Faculty

Harla Frank teaches major applied behavior analysis course sequences in the Psychology Department, as well as other psychology courses. Frank has served as an expert witness for applied behavior analysis in the Colorado court system and has had the privilege of providing “ABA Strategies” training to foster care staff and foster care parents. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Education: MS, Florida State University

Publications: Columnist, Behavior Analysis Quarterly; contributing writer, Behavioral Science in the 21st Century

Honors and Achievements: 2015 Kaplan Way Award (Kaplan University)

Harla Frank Link
Harla Frank, MS
University Faculty
William Goodwin
William Goodwin, EdS
FT Adjunct

William Goodwin teaches various undergraduate courses in human services with emphases ranging from clinical practice to administration and leadership. In 2010, he joined the human services faculty at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) and became a full-time adjunct in 2015. Goodwin has over a decade of experience providing mental health and counseling services. A licensed professional counselor, he has counseled individuals struggling with addiction as well as those dealing with anxiety or depression.

Education: EdS, Oral Roberts University; MA, Liberty University; MBA, Amberton University

William Goodwin Link
William Goodwin, EdS
FT Adjunct
Lynne Hale
Lynne Hale, PhD
FT Adjunct

Lynne Hale teaches various first-term undergraduate human service courses. She joined Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a full-time adjunct faculty member in 2014. Hale also counsels in the private and public sector.

Education: PhD, University of North Texas 

Publications: Community College Journal of Research and Practice

Certifications: Licensed Professional Counselor (Supervisor, Texas)

Honors and Achievements: 2015 Outstanding Student Selected Faculty

Memberships: National Organization for Human Services, American Counseling Association

Research Interests: Retention in higher education, health and wellness

Lynne Hale Link
Lynne Hale, PhD
FT Adjunct
Antonio Harrison
Antonio Harrison, PhD
University Faculty

Antonio Harrison currently teaches in the ABA track graduate program and serves as a course lead. He has taught graduate school for the last 5 years and has taught for three different universities. Harrison has helped design courses for both the master’s and PhD level and has hosted and produced podcast interviews and motivational audio for students. He has also presented for different student and faculty webinars.

Education: PhD, MA, The Chicago School; undergraduate degree, Grinnell College

Publications: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

Honors and Achievements: Kaplan Chapter of the Golden Key Honour Society for high exceptional leadership as a professor

Antonio Harrison Link
Antonio Harrison, PhD
University Faculty
Will Hughes
Will Hughes, PhD
FT Adjunct

Will Hughes is a full-time adjunct professor, teaching several communications courses and serving as course lead. He has been teaching on the college level for 27 years. Hughes is the executive producer of BIGTV, an intependent producer of scripted content on the web. He is Apple certified in Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Motion, and audio editing.

Education: PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst; MFA, Columbia University School of Arts

Publications: Clarence: The Bully Caterpillar children’s screenplay; Bannerkill book series

Will Hughes Link
Will Hughes, PhD
FT Adjunct
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
Patricia Merck
Patricia Merck, JD
University Faculty

Patricia Merck teaches various undergraduate courses in the legal studies and legal support and services programs. Her academic career began with Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University), where she was a professor and later a department chair on the Des Moines campus. Merck has served on the Kaplan Academic Governance Committee and the Des Moines Campus Academic Board of Appeals, and she has lectured in ethics at a local medical school. Prior to practicing corporate and securities law with a firm in Denver, Colorado and serving as general counsel for a large health care system, Merck clerked at the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and researched and drafted opinions for a circuit judge. 

Education: JD, University of Denver College of Law

Honors and Achievements: 2015 Faculty Excellence Award (Des Moines campus), recognized for community service

Memberships: Kaplan Multiculturalism and Diversity Committee

Research Interests: Multiculturalism and diversity in higher education

Patricia Merck Link
Patricia Merck, JD
University Faculty
Kristina Noriega
Kristina Noriega, MSCP
FT Adjunct

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-leadership

Kristina Noriega Link
Kristina Noriega, MSCP
FT Adjunct
Denise Orpustan-Love
Denise Orpustan-Love, PhD
FT Adjunct

Denise Orpustan-Love is a full-time adjunct faculty member and course lead in the Master of Science in Human Services program. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in human services, sociology, and social work since 2007. Orpustan-Love has developed and revised multiple courses in higher education and served on several university committees. She has more than 20 years of practice experience as social worker in a variety of settings, specializing in gerontology and health.

Education: PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies; MSW, University of California, Berkeley

Publications: An Exploration into Basque Spiritualism: A Heuristic Study, The Mill House Speaks: Seven Pathways to the Ancestral Basque Homeland
Honors and Achievements: Keynote speaker, Bi-Annual Basque Cultural Day, San Francisco (2017)

Research Interests: Indigenous health and wellness

Denise Orpustan-Love Link
Denise Orpustan-Love, PhD
FT Adjunct
Karen Savarese
Karen Savarese, MA
FT Adjunct

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 families

Karen Savarese Link
Karen Savarese, MA
FT Adjunct
Linda Simon
Linda Simon, EdD
FT Adjunct

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
Linda Simon, EdD
FT Adjunct
Karen Stiles
Karen Stiles, MDiv
University Faculty

Karen Stiles teaches course in introductory psychology and child and adolescent psychology. She has been a member of the General Education Literacy (GEL) Group in Social Science and currently serves on the Ethics GEL group to discuss and review new course assignment content. She also served as the program director for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for 2 years. Stiles has continued her studies in clinical psychology and education at the Center for Humanistic Studies/Michigan School of Professional Psychology in Detroit. Additionally she completed a clinical internship at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and an internship at MLK, Jr. Elementary School in Detroit. Stiles has been published in Capstone, the University’s literary journal. She has also written book, program, and curriculum reviews for the Youth Specialties Journal.

Education: MDiv, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg; BA, Thiel College

Honors and Achievements: 2012 Educator of the Year (Kaplan University)

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Karen Stiles, MDiv
University Faculty
Dee Strbiak
Dee Strbiak, PsyD
FT Adjunct

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 Makers

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Dee Strbiak, PsyD
FT Adjunct
Angela Thompson
Angela Thompson, MHS
FT Adjunct

Angela Thompson has taught a wide of classes in the undergraduate psychology program in both the general psychology and addictions-specific areas. She has an active role in her Department, participating in and providing feedback on numerous pilot programs with a focus on student retention and best practices. Prior to teaching, Thompson worked primarily in the clinical psychology field treating adults with dual diagnosis. She has worked in addiction treatment, community outreach, and private practice. Her former positions include vocational counselor, clinical assessor, project manager, counselor II, program manager, and therapist. During this time she obtained her Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) credentials in the state of Florida.

Education: MHS, University of Florida; BS, University of Florida

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Angela Thompson, MHS
FT Adjunct
Marjorie Vandemark
Marjorie Vandemark, MA
FT Adjunct

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-efficacy

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Marjorie Vandemark, MA
FT Adjunct
Kristy Vukoder
Kristy Vukoder, MA
FT Adjunct

Kristy Vukoder teaches various undergraduate courses in human services. Her specialty is working with first-term students by helping them navigate the online environment. Vudoker started her career teaching group communication at Seton Hall University and moved on to teaching at Rutgers University. After teaching on campus for 11 years, she moved on to Purdue Global as a full-time adjunct online and teaches at her local community college part time.

Education: MA, Seton Hall University

Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Classroom Innovation Award; Professor of the Year Award Nomination

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Kristy Vukoder, MA
FT Adjunct
Karen Watson
Karen Watson, MS
FT Adjunct

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)

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Karen Watson, MS
FT Adjunct
Dorothy Williams
Dorothy Williams, PhD
FT Adjunct

Dorothy Williams has been with Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University) for more than 10 years, where she teaches a variety of communication courses and serves as course lead. She has served as a senior manager and director at the university level, and has also taught adult students at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate level for over 27 years, including over 18 years online. Williams has also served as a consultant for developing learning platforms that will best serve student learning.

Education: PhD, Walden University; MS, San Jose State University; BS, University of Colorado

Publications: “Do Graduate Students Who Set Formal Goals Really Graduate at Higher Rates?” (Building Sustainable Futures for Adult Learners), “Using Writing Admission Essays or a Basic English Course to Predict Success in Adult Undergraduate Students

Honors and Achievements: 2017 Outstanding FT Adjunct Award (Kaplan University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences), 2011 Outstanding FT Adjunct of the Year (Kaplan University), 2011 Colorado Springs Business Journal Women of Influence

Memberships: Association for Continuing Higher Education, Educating Children of Color

Research Interests: Student retention, course development, strategic development, change management

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Dorothy Williams, PhD
FT Adjunct
Susan Wilson
Susan Wilson, PhD
FT Adjunct

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 disorders

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Susan Wilson, PhD
FT Adjunct
Lisa Wright
Lisa Wright, PhD
University Faculty

Lisa Wright has worked at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) for 10 years, where she is a professor in early childhood and teaches a wide variety of undergraduate courses in early childhood, with a special emphasis on assessment and autism spectrum disorders. She has designed and revised curriculum in numerous early childhood courses. She began her academic career in the physical therapy department at the University of Missouri, where she was a full-time clinical assistant professor. Wright has experience working in early intervention, rehabilitation hospitals, public schools, and the home environment. She is a liscensed physical therapist and volunteer Guardian Ad Litem for the state of Florida, and is certified to teach K-12 children with exceptionalities.

Education: PhD, University of Missouri; MA, University of Missouri; BS, University of Missouri; Post-Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)

Publications: Research on interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders; reviews several professional organizations and journals

Honors and Achievements: Regular international conference presentations

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Lisa Wright, PhD
University Faculty