I grew up in both Oklahoma and Vermont, and attended college in Tucson, Arizona, where I initially studied Art at the University of Arizona before changing majors to Psychology. While in Tucson, I worked at the Tucson Museum of Art, and also worked with a division of CPS, and led an art therapy program for "At Risk" and abused children/adolescents in the community.
After living in Tucson for several years, I returned to Oklahoma and earned my M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Educational Psychology & Technology with a dual emphasis in Instructional Design. My doctoral research was conducted in both Southeastern Alaska & the state of Oklahoma, and examined the motivation and school experiences of Alaska Native and American Indian students. I have always had a profound connection to nature and respect for indigenous cultures, and therefore immediately fell in love with the both state of Alaska and its people. More recently, I completed a second Master's degree in Human Relations focusing on multicultural communication and counseling.
For the past 12 years I have been designing, teaching, and evaluating educational, outreach, and training programs for a variety of institutions including universities, art & natural history museums, government institutions, and publishing companies.
My philosophy of education is based upon my experiences designing and delivering instruction. Each learner enters into the classroom or training environment with unique interests, experiences, skill levels, expectations, goals, motivational levels, learning preferences, and cultural backgrounds. As a result, no two learners are alike, and this is why I believe it is imperative educators and instructional designers carefully consider the learner population when designing educational and training programs. The increasingly multicultural nature of education and work environments makes it critical that instruction is culturally inclusive. Another reason so many courses fail to retain students is because the content is not interesting, relevant, or engaging, and thus attention is lost through lack of motivation. As both an instructional designer and educator, it is my goal to create relevant, engaging, motivating, and culturally inclusive instruction.