PDF Print Email

EEA Faculty Members

 Marianna Savoca, PhD - Marianna Savoca directs the Career Center at Stony Brook University – State University of New York - on Long Island, NY, where she oversees career development, experiential programs, internships, co-op, student employment, diversity recruitment, corporate engagement, graduate career services, alumni career services, and a Peace Corps Recruitment Office. In that capacity she has held leadership roles in the profession and done significant consulting work for career services and experiential programs nationally and internationally. 

Dr. Savoca is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate program in Higher Education Administration, co-chairs the university’s Experiential Learning Working Group, and serves on the SUNY Applied Learning Advisory Board. She is a member of the NSEE Board of Directors and coordinates the EEA. Dr. Savoca earned her doctorate from Colorado State University, MS from Indiana University, and BS from SUNY Binghamton. Her first book, A Good Job: Campus Employment as a High-Impact Practice, is being published in 2018 by Stylus.

Maureen Drysdale, PhD - Dr. Maureen Drysdale is Professor of Psychology at St. Jerome’s University and Adjunct Professor in Applied Health Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is the Director of the Well-Link Lab where her research focuses on Mental Health and School-to-Work Transitions. She leads a large research team dedicated to examining the health, attitudes, behaviors, and skills believed to be important for successful school-to-school and school-to-work transitions. Dr. Drysdale has spent considerable time over the years researching the role of experiential education on overall well-being, career readiness, and school-to-work transitions. She developed an intensive service learning course and throughout her career has supervised numerous students engaged in multiple forms of experiential education. Finally, she has served as a consultant with professional organizations establishing and assessing learning outcomes; measuring and assessing psychological constructs and mental health; conducting needs assessments, quality assurance, and training evaluations; and setting standards and competency criteria for licensure and recertification examinations. Her expertise with the EEA is in Assessment, Reflection, and Service Learning.

Shara Lee, EdD - Dr. Shara Lee currently serves as a campus director for Faculty & Instructional Development at Valencia College focusing on experiential education faculty development. She joined Valencia in 2013 after five years with the University of Central Florida as a faculty member with the Office of Experiential Learning. Her doctoral work in experiential learning earned recognition as the National Society for Experiential Education’s Outstanding Education Research Award in 2013. Dr. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal and organizational communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MBA from Stetson University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida. 

Teri Triguba Williams, PhD - Teri Triguba Williams is the Director for the Office of Experiential Education & Learning (ExEL) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As an adjunct faculty member, Williams teaches graduate and undergraduate students. Under Teri’s direction, experiential learning became a graduation requirement for undergraduates and catalyzed an educational and cultural shift at NSU. Williams established annual Experiential Education Academies at NSU for faculty, professional staff and leadership, validating the practice of teaching with experiential education as an anchor for best practice. 

Prior to NSU, Williams was a catalyst for positive systemic change for Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) in South Florida, providing the development of critical, policy-based training for over 10, 000 educators and school leaders at 250+ public and charter schools. Williams has presented at state and national conferences in education best-practices, prevention, intervention and diversity issues in education. Williams has published in the area of teaching peace, and is the recipient of the 2011 Voice for Equality Award.  Williams has a BS in Education from Ohio University and PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University.

James E. Colbert, Jr., Ph.D. - Dr. James E. Colbert, Jr. holds a PhD in Chemistry with a focus on biochemistry and enzymology from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Chemistry from Wofford College.  Dr. Colbert has 30 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience.  He has served as Science Department Chair at two previous institutions, and now as EYE Program Director, and Associate Provost at Lander University.  Dr. Colbert supervises the offices of Institutional Effectiveness, Honors College, Study Abroad, and Student Support Services (TRIO Program) and works with the Provost on issues relating to curriculum, enrollment, retention, distance education, and accreditation. Throughout his career, he developed skills in assessment and evaluation of student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness.  As Director of the Experience Your Education (EYE) Program at Lander University, Dr. Colbert manages an experiential education program employing best practices in experiential education to design, deliver, and evaluate a variety of experiential learning activities across the university curriculum.  In this role, he has presented workshops on the EYE Program at Lander University and at regional and national conferences, including NSEE.  Lander University’s EYE Program was selected for the Experiential Education Program of the Year Award by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) in 2010.  Dr. Colbert served on the NSEE Board of Directors (2012-2018) including serving two years as President (2014-2016).

Martha (Marti) Snyder, PhD, PMP, SPHR  - Marti Snyder is a professor in the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and Director of Faculty Professional Development in the Learning and Educational Center at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is also a faculty member in the Farquhar Honors College and the Center for Information Protection Education and Research (CiPhER). Prior to her current appointment, she served on the faculty of the NSU’s College of Computing and Engineering.  

Prior to joining NSU in 2006, Marti spent 15 years in corporate organizational development where she was responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of innovative learning and performance solutions in the areas of executive and expatriate education, employee onboarding and compliance, privacy and information security, sales training, and client product implementation for domestic and international banks, retailers, mortgage companies, and insurance agencies.  

Marti has been teaching and learning online for over two decades. She served as chair for the 2020 National Society for Experiential Education 49th Annual Conference and served as the learning effectiveness track chair for the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) International Conference in Online Learning from 2015-2017. She also served on the leadership board for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) special interest group, Design and Technology from 2012-2017 and the Association for Information Systems’ special interest group, Organizational Systems Research Association (OSRA) from 2016-2018. 

Marti has published her research in national and international journals including Educational Technology Research and Development, The Internet and Higher Education, The Qualitative Report, International Journal of Designs for Learning, Online Learning Journal, Instruction Delivery Systems, TechTrends, Florida Journal of Educational Research and Florida Educational Florida Distance Learning Journal. She is an active member in the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), Association for Information Systems (AIS), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and the Project Management Institute (PMI).   

Dr. Dell Ann Janney - Dr. Dell Ann Janney is the Associate Dean of Instruction and Professor of Accounting at Culver-Stockton College (C-SC) in Canton, MO. With twenty-five years in higher education, she chairs the MBA Program, teaches two graduate accounting courses in the MBA program, Intermediate Accounting, First Year Experience, and Professional Development. Janney oversees the Experiential Learning program at C-SC including faculty training and faculty development initiatives. In 2018, Dr. Janney launched the Experiential Education Academy at Culver-Stockton College with a goal to certify 100% of the C-SC faculty. She is the past Chair of the Business Division, former Faculty Trustee to the Culver-Stockton Board of Trustees, and presently oversees both the Online Campus, Instructional Technology, classroom design and technology and the HLC Quality Initiative. Dr. Janney has received the Helsabeck Prize for Excellence in Teaching and most recently was recognized as Advisor of the Year for her work as Financial Advisor to Chi Omega Sorority. She is also founder and chair of the Lewis Street Playhouse in Canton and manages real estate property with her husband.

Dr. Beth Sheehan - Dr. Beth Sheehan (formerly Jowdy) co-authored “Integrating Experiential Education into the Curriculum,” Chapter 2 within Strengthening experiential education: A new era published by NSEE in 2014. Beth earned her EEA Certificate of Achievement in 2009 and has since served as an instructor. Most recently, Beth completed a two-year term as the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) during which time she was instrumental in bringing the EEA to the Manchester campus for a series of regional workshops. Prior to her CTL role, from 2010 to 2014 Beth was charged with designing and directing an innovative, experiential, integrative studies degree program at SNHU called College Unbound. College Unbound included individualized curriculum through which students integrated learning from three different contexts: internships, residence hall life and seminars. Additionally, Beth serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Experiential Education, the Journal of Management Education, the Management Teaching Review and the Academy of Management Learning & Education Journal. Beth currently serves as a member of Sport Management Department faculty in the School of Business at SNHU.

Paul Gaszak - Paul Gaszak currently serves as the Dean of Student Support and Equity as the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL.  Prior to joining IMSA, Paul was the Dean of the Robert Morris Experiential College of Roosevelt University. From 2006-2020, Paul was with Robert Morris University Illinois, where he served as English Faculty, Dean of Academic Engagement, and Provost/CAO. 

Paul holds a BA in English from Lewis University, an MA in Writing from DePaul University, and is in progress on an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from National Louis University. Paul has taught in the Experiential Education Academy since 2018, and he has served on the NSEE Board since 2019.

Donna M. Qualters, PhD - Donna Qualters is Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at Tufts University.  She holds a BA from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Lesley University, where she adapted an innovative technique called Dialogue to facilitate change in faculty teaching practice. 

Donna is a founding faculty member of the World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE) Institute on Experiential Education with expertise in faculty development, learning theory, ethical inquiry and assessment. She has been involved in experiential education research at Tufts University, Northeastern University, MIT, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.    Her books: Jonas Chalk: Advice from a Legendary Teacher and Experiential Education:  Making the Most of Learning Outside the Classroom are written by teachers for teachers. Most recently she has been a visiting professor for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at the University of Newcastle in Newcastle Australia.  Donna has been honored by the Professional Organization and Development Network in Higher Education (POD) with their Innovations in Faculty Development Award, the ACE Women’s Network Women’s Leadership Award and the Tufts University Collaboration Award.

Ronald Kovach, Ed.D. - Dr. Ronald Kovach, currently serves as the Executive Director of the American International   Accreditation Association of Schools and Colleges. His 35+ years of higher education experience includes having served as both a chief academic affairs officer and chief student affairs officer. Internationally recognized as an expert in experiential learning, Ron has presented papers and workshops on every continent, worked with faculties worldwide, and has publications on experiential education and student retention. Dr. Kovach has been awarded nearly $3 million in grants including $1.75 million from the Department of Education for experiential learning and has served on the NSEE Board of Directors as President, Treasurer, and Director of the EEA. In 2017 Dr. Kovach was awarded the Society’s Steuerman Award for Distinguished Service. 

Alan Grose, PhD - Dr. Alan works with internships and the intersection of academic learning and co-curricular learning. Dr. Alan Grose is currently a J.D. candidate at the American University Washington College of Law. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Furman University, and M.A. in Philosophy and Social Policy from American University, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York. From 2011 to 2019, he was Director of Academic Affairs at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. He previously taught philosophy at Baruch College, CUNY and the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. In 2013, he was recognized with NSEE's Experiential Education Rising Leader Award.

Leslie Golden - Leslie Golden serves as Associate General Counsel for Valencia College, one of the nation’s largest community colleges serving over 70,000 students across Central Florida. Ms. Golden has supported the Office for Policy and General Counsel since 2010 by providing legal advice and counseling related to employment, litigation, discrimination, records management, contracts, privacy, intellectual property, and other matters. Ms. Golden also participates extensively in the creation and enforcement of College policy and regularly trains faculty and staff. Prior to joining Valencia, Ms. Golden worked as a commercial litigator with the firm of Baker & Hostetler and as an administrator for a graduate school. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson University’s College of Law. Ms. Golden is a member of the Florida Bar and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Melonie Sexton, PhD - Dr. Melonie Sexton is an educator, researcher, and lifelong academic. She currently works at Valencia College as a professor of psychology and coordinator of undergraduate research. Dr. Sexton earned her PhD in Psychology from Vanderbilt University with a specialty focus in Cognitive Neuroscience. After graduating with her doctorate, Dr. Sexton worked as an Academic Advisor for 2.5 years before going back to the classroom. Dr. Sexton’s teaching philosophy is that students learn best when they engage in high-impact practices and opportunities that prepare them for the workforce. Her classes are known for integrating elements of research, service-learning, and interdisciplinary collaboration. During her time at Valencia, Dr. Sexton has worked to develop curriculum that involves partnering with community organizations and providing students a hands-on approach to learning about psychology. In addition to her work in experiential education, Dr. Sexton also aims to become a more equity-minded practitioner. She has been a key player at infusing equitable practices across several areas within Valencia College (the Honors program, the Undergraduate Research program, and Professional Development courses).  When not working, Melonie enjoys spending her free time hanging out with her husband, two kids, and Corgi puppy.

Patrick Green, EdD - Patrick M. Green, EdD is the Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS), and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago. He teaches experiential learning courses, including community-based learning, academic internships, global service-learning, and undergraduate research, and graduate courses in the Higher Education Program. He is coeditor of Re-conceptualizing Faculty Development in Service-Learning/Community Engagement: Exploring Intersections, Frameworks, and Models of Practice (Stylus Publishing, 2018), Crossing Boundaries: Tension and Transformation in International Service-Learning (Stylus Publishing, 2014), Guest Editor of Metropolitan Universities Journal special issue on faith and community engagement (December, 2020), Guest Editor of Experiential Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (November 2021, June 2022), and upcoming Guest Editor for Metropolitan Universities Journal special issue on place-based pedagogy and anchor institutions (spring 2023). Dr. Green serves as a Scholar-in-Residence with the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSCLE), an Engaged Scholar with the National Society of Experiential Education (NSEE), and an Engaged Scholar with National Campus Compact.

Evan Small, PhD - Evan Small, PhD: Evan currently serves as a faculty member in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education at Elon University where he primarily teaches in the teacher education and outdoor education programs. In addition, Evan directs the outdoor experiential education programming at Elon. Evan has been a practitioner and scholar of experiential education in various forms for many years. Evan’s background includes a strong focus in service-learning, global engagement, undergraduate research, and outdoor education. Evan’s research interests include integrating experiential education with social justice and critical pedagogy, incorporating experiential education into K-12 formal education settings, and facilitator skill development. Evan holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MEd from Plymouth State University. 

Chase Lesane-Brown, PhD - 
Dr. Chase L. Lesane-Brown is a lecturer in the Psychological Sciences department and Director of Experiential Learning for the School of Social Sciences at Rice University in Houston, TX. She is also Affiliated Faculty in the Center for African and African American Studies and in the Racism and Racial Experiences Workgroup. Dr. Lesane-Brown earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside; her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino; and her Ph.D. in Personality Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Lesane-Brown’s research focuses on racial/ethnic socialization, racial identity, and health socialization. Dr. Lesane-Brown teaches courses including Health Psychology, Multicultural Psychology, and Research Methods. In those courses, she routinely deploys service-learning and active-learning teaching strategies. She serves as a faculty representative on the Committee for Undergraduate Curriculum. She sits on the Advisory Board for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, and Social Policy Analysis major. Dr. Lesane-Brown became a member of NSEE in 2018. She served on the Conference Planning Committee since 2019, co-chaired the Awards of Excellence Committee since 2020, and joined the Diversity and inclusion Committee in 2022.

Rajni Shankar-Brown, PhD - 
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education at Stetson University, as well as the recipient of Stetson’s most prestigious awards -- the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Hand Award for Distinguished Faculty Achievement. She is an internationally renowned, community-engaged Professor, the President of the National Coalition for the Homeless, author, consultant, coach, poet, artist, and a human rights and environmental justice activist. She is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Institute for Catalyzing Equity, Justice, and Social Change, Director of the Poverty and Homelessness Conference, Co-Chair of Equity and Justice for the International Society for Teacher Education and Information Technology, and the Co-Director of the Acts of Kindness and Justice Movement. Dr. Shankar-Brown has worked in a variety of human and civil rights leadership roles with communities, organizations, government agencies (federal, state, and local levels), corporations, PreK-12 schools, and institution of higher education in urban, rural, and suburban areas across the United States and around the world. As a civically engaged educational leader who is deeply committed to engaged and experiential education, Dr. Shankar-Brown actively works to confront systemic oppression and advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. She has received international, national, state, and local recognition including being selected as a Faculty-Scholar-in-Residence by the National Humanities Center, the Florida PDK International Educator of the Year, and a recipient of the Engaged Scholarship Faculty Award by the Florida Campus Compact. She has presented around the globe and published articles, book chapters, and creative works in leading academic sources. She has also published internationally celebrated book projects including Tuluminous (2020), Bending the Arc Toward Justice: Equity-Focused Practices for Educational Leaders (2021), and Re-Envisioning Education: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Justice (2022). Her collection of poetry Tuluminous received the praise by Presidential Poet Richard Blanco who notes, “Tuluminous is a marvelous and meaningful testimony of the power of language to heal and transform.” Additionally, NYU’s Founder of the Moral Courage Project and Oprah’s Chutzpah Award recipient writes, “Rajni Shankar-Brown: poet laureate of the just society.” In addition to being a passionate experiential education teacher-scholar, she is a dedicated Amma (Mom), artist, and activist. Dr. Shankar-Brown resides in Central Florida with her family and their two English Lop Rabbits, Hazel Basil and Maple Sage.


Last Updated on Monday, May 06, 2024 10:02 AM