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EEA Faculty

Al Cabral
Al Cabral, MS, MBA
Al Cabral is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Management Programs with Nazareth College in Rochester NY where he coordinates three graduate management programs: MS in Management, MS in HR Management and MS in HR Development. Al teaches courses in human resource management, organizational behavior and career planning at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Previously Al was Director of Internships at Nazareth where he developed and coordinated a college-wide internship program that placed students in experiential learning assignments locally, nationally and internationally. 
Al is Past President of NSEE and Past President of the New York State Cooperative and Experiential Education Association. He was a founding member of the Advisory Committee for New York Campus Compact and currently on the Board of Directors for the Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School. He rejoined the NSEE Board of Directors in 2016 as Historian. Al has published and presented at local and national levels experiential learning, service-learning, internships, and career decision making. He received the Outstanding Faculty Advisor award from the National Academic Advisement Association.  Al has an MBA from Syracuse University and MS in Career & Human Resource Development from Rochester Institute of Technology

Stephanie Thomason, PhD
Stephanie Thomason is an associate professor of management and an associate director of the TECO Energy Center for Leadership at the University of Tampa. As part of her role in the Leadership Center, she heads its MBA coaching program. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Society of Experiential Education, currently as president. She has published or presented more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, and national and regional conferences. Her publications can be accessed from journals such as Human Resource ManagementInternational Journal of Selection and Assessment , the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology , the Journal of Global Information Management , the International Journal of Innovation Management , the Case Journal  and the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship . She has presented seven papers at the Academy of Management Annual Conferences, along with a variety of other international and regional conferences. Prior to entering academia, she owned and operated several family-run businesses with multiple storefronts in South Florida. She additionally worked in the real estate, media and educational publishing industries.

Rena Varghese, Esq.
Rena Varghese is the Executive Director of the Nexus Center for Applied Learning & Career Development at SUNY Farmingdale State College. The Nexus Center connects employers and community organizations to students and alumni for career and experiential learning opportunities. Rena received her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School, is an attorney admitted in New York, and practiced corporate law. She has also served at St. John’s University School of Law as a professor for law school courses, such as Legal Writing and the Externship Seminar corresponding to experiential learning. As an instructor for the Experiential Education Academy (EEA), Rena has led seminars on Legal Issues in Experiential Education, including at the SUNY Applied Learning Conference.

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.

Todd Petersen, PhD
Todd Robert Petersen lives in Cedar City, Utah, with his wife and three children. A graduate of the University of Oregon, Northern Arizona University, and Oklahoma State, Petersen is now a professor of English and the director of Southern Utah University’s project-based learning program. Before pursuing a career in academics, Todd Petersen was an Assistant Program Director for the YMCA of Greater Seattle, where he was in charge of curriculum and he internship program of an environmental education field center located in the Puget Sound. After hours, Todd is a fiction writer, and his next book, It Needs to Look Like We Tried, will be released in May 2018 by Counterpoint Press. A second novel, Picnic in the Ruins, which is about Native American antiquities theft, will follow in 2019.

John "Jeb" Branin, MA
Jeb Branin began his career in higher education as a theatre instructor, director, and costume designer. In the mid-90s he spent two years teaching in the ETTI (English through the Internet) program as domestic co-instructor with Dr. Elaine Hoter from Talpiot Teachers College in Tel-Aviv, Israel; the first ever course of its kind.  He also taught college theatre courses in the Utah State Prison system.  In addition to the theatre, he has dedicated his career to working with students in transition through academic advising, orientation, and experiential education. He is currently the Associate Dean and Executive Director of Experiential Education in Southern Utah University’s School of Integrative and Engaged Learning. He was part of the team who created SUU’s award-winning experiential education “EDGE Program.” He also designed and serves as the director of SUU’s “Theatre in London” program taking students and community members to London to study theatre.

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 29 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 and designed to fulfill requirements for a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the 2007 decennial reaffirmation of SACSCOC accreditation. 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) and teaches the Assessment 101 workshop in the Experiential Education Academy (EEA) of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).

Martha (Marti) Snyder, Ph.D.
Marti Snyder is a Professor in the Department of Computing in the College of Computing and Engineering (CCE) and the faculty coordinator for NSU’s Experiential Education and Learning (ExEL) program.

Marti has been teaching and learning online for over 20 years. She served as the learning effectiveness track chair for the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) International Conference in Online Learning from 2015-2017 and the conference steering committee from 2010-2017. She also served on the leadership board for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) special interest group, Design and Technology from 2012-2017.

She’s published articles in national and international journals including Educational Technology Research and DevelopmentInternet and Higher EducationTechTrendsInternational Journal of Designs for LearningOnline Learning JournalInstruction Delivery SystemsThe Qualitative Report (TQR) and Florida Distance Learning Journal.

Marti teaches masters and doctoral courses in face-to-face, blended, and fully online formats in the areas of knowledge management, information systems project management, and computing privacy and ethics. She is also a faculty member of the Honors College where she teaches undergraduates in design thinking and has facilitated an interdisciplinary seminar on water and sustainability.

Her research interests include non-technical aspects of cyber defense such as cyber awareness, education, and training; privacy and technology use among older adults; and workplace learning. Her most recent research and publications focus on family caregivers’ perceptions and use of remote monitoring technologies to care for persons with cognitive decline and who choose to age in place.

Dell Ann Janney
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.

Beth Sheehan
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 
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 Qualters
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.

Ron Kovach
Ronald Kovach, Ed.D.
Dr. Ronald Kovach has served as both a chief academic affair and as a chief student affairs officers throughout his 35-year career. He has conducted numerous presentations on experiential learning at international and national conferences, taught in a variety of academic disciplines, and has publications on experiential education and student retention. While in the Purdue system, Dr. Kovach was awarded a $1.75 million grant from the United States Department of Education for experiential learning. For eight years Ron served on the Board of Directors of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) as President, Treasurer, Past President and Director of the Experiential Education Academy. In 2017 he was awarded the Society’s Steuerman Award for Distinguished Service.