Faculty Spotlight

Faculty Notes: News from our faculty and senior staff

January 18, 2019 by Brandman University


Chapman University's Delta Gamma sorority honored Margaret Moodian Ed.D., Tutorial Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences with the outstanding alumni reward. 

Margaret Moodian, Ed.D., Tutorial Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, shared her experience with competency-based education at the 2019 Association of Colleges for Tutoring and Learning Assistance Conference.

Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership cohort mentor Martinrex Kedziora, who was recently honored by the African-American Coalition of Riverside with the Outstanding African-American Educator award has been featured in theievoice.com for his contributions to the Moreno Valley school district.


Eight members of Brandman's faculty presented at the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' (WASC) conference. The WASC accreditation process aids institutions in developing and maintaining high standards of quality and effectiveness in student learning, and the conference is where Brandman showcases its leadership in best practices. The following faculty members presented:

  • Laurie Dodge, Ph.D., vice chancellor of institutional assessment and planning - Backward Design: The Secret Sauce to Building Relevant and Quality Programs
  • Marnie Elam. Ph.D., associate professor of psychology - A Simple Formula for Great Assignments and Rubric
  • Melanie Borrego, Ph.D., associate dean of undergraduate education and professor of english and Leigh Ann Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor of history and communications - Five Ideas for Creating Community with Online Adjunct Instructors
  • Helen Eckmann, Ed.D., associate professor of business administration and Laura Galloway, Ph.D., assistant professor of organizational leadership - Women, Money, and Self-Care
  • Jalin Johnson, Ed.D., associate professor of business and organizational leadership and J. Murphy, Ed.D., associate vice chancellor of instructional innovation - An Investment in Innovation Is an Investment in People: How Our Course Developer Certification Program Transformed Faculty, Their Perception of Diversity Cognizant Curriculum and Their Efforts in Course Development

Lionel M. Guillory, an adjunct psychology faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences since 2012, has been named a reader for the College Board’s annual Advanced Placement Program in June 2019. AP readers are high school and college educators who evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP exams. Guillory will be a reader for the American government test.

Sheila Steinberg, Ph.D. chair of Brandman’s GIS Committee and Faculty Personnel Committee and professor of social and environmental sciences presented a session and moderated a session at the invitation-only 2019 GIS Sustainable World Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Steinberg was selected out of more than 200 other universities that requested to present.

Ellen Belluomini, LCSW, Ph.D. assistant professor of social work presented two workshops at the Social Work Distance Education Conference 2019 in San Antonio, Texas on the future of the profession and the use of technology in teaching social work.

EBelluomini SWDE 2019

Jalin B. Johnson, Ed.D., associate professor of business and organizational leadership and J. Murphy, Ed.D., vice chancellor of instructional innovation presented as part of the WASC “Designing Professional Development: Faculty and Courses” moderated session. The presentation focused on Brandman’s Course Developer Certification (BCDC) program and Diversity Cognizant Curriculum.

JMurphy JJohnson WASC ARC 2019

Associate professor of social work Kim Bundy-Fazioli, Ph.D., LCSW volunteers her time each year as the lead counselor forWounded Heroes Family Ski Adventure Week in Breckenridge, CO.

KBundyFazioli Wounded Heroes photo credit Garrett Hacking, Photography G

She is a member of a counseling team (Peter Himmelman, Dave McDonald, Lacy Bowman, Theresa Vera, Kim Bundy-Fazioli, Robin Roche, Krys Bowman, Linda Ebrright, Maddie Bowman, and John Ebright) that works with wounded heroes, their parents, and children (ages 6-18) through reconnecting activities, enhanced communication, and rebuilding of family bonds.

KBundyFazioli Wounded Heroes Apr2019 photo credit Garrett Hacking, Photography G

Assistant professor of special education, Nicole Nicholson, Ed.D.’s most recent paper entitled, “Rank and Representation: A Quantitative Analysis of Female Representation Among Entry Level Faculty Positions at Post-Secondary Credential Granting Institutions in California” was awarded Best Paper in Session at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavior Research Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Nicole Nicholson Best Paper Award

Tobi DeLong Hamilton, Ph.D., LCSW, assistant professor of social work presented at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors Annual Meeting. 

Tobi DeLong Hamilton

Hamilton also volunteered in the exhibit hall for SWEAP - Social Work Education Assessment Project, a nonprofit organization that develop assessment instruments for social work programs across the nation which help to meet accreditation standards for data collection and outcomes. She is also the organization’s president.

U.S. Rep. Lou Correa honored Associate Dean for Corporate Pathways and Competency-Based Education in the School of Business and Professional Studies Monica Shukla-Belmontes, Ph.D. as a "Woman of the Year" for contributions to Orange County. Specifically, she won in the category of education, for working with colleagues to design and lead new innovative programs, supporting curriculum and student development.

MShukla-Belmontes & US Rep Correa


Inland Empire and High Desert-based full-time and adjunct faculty came together for their annual Professional Development Day (PDD). This was the 11th PDD representing multiple campuses and an interdisciplinary team that included 35 attendees from full-time and adjunct faculty, campus directors and representatives from Riverside (Kristin Plapis, campus director), Menifee (Miguel Aranda, campus director), Victorville (Susanne Eisenhart, campus director) and Ontario (Patrick Pierson, campus director), and teacher supervisors.

Professional Development Day attendees March2019

The planning and facilitation team included Jalin Johnson, Ed.D., Nakisha Castillo, DMFT, Lynn Larsen, Ph.D., Leticia Rojas, Ed.D., and Nicole Schneider, Ed.D.

Professional Development Day Mar2019 facilitation team

During this St. Patrick’s Day themed event, hosted by the BU Riverside campus, facilitators and speakers discussed an array of topics including:

  • Systemwide updates and campus information via our area campus directors, Kristin Plapis and Miguel Aranda
  • Technology tools and updates including Zoom and the new Brandman website, led by Nicole Schneider, Ed.D. and Lynn Larsen, Ph.D.
  • An academic integrity session led by Brandman’s Governance and Appeals Committee members, Nakisha Castillo, DMFT and Lynn Larsen, Ph.D.
  • An interactive workshop on creating more inclusive spaces in our classrooms led by Nakisha Castillo, DMFT and Leticia Rojas, Ed.D.

Professional Development Day Mar2019 Plapis Aranda


Springer Nature recognized social and environmental sciences professor Sheila Steinberg, Ph.D. as one of 50 Women in Science who have contributed towards the development of STEM research. Dr. Steinberg's personal story was part of Springer Nature's International Women's Day campaign. 

Longtime adjunct faculty member Da'Fona Jackson passed away suddenly on March 8. Jackson had been teaching at Brandman University since 2008 in the masters of psychology, marriage and family therapy, masters in teaching and the teaching credentials programs. "Da'Fona touched many lives in the community and she was such a bright star here at the Fairfield campus," said Linda Montenegro, MBA, campus director. "She will be missed dearly." Brandman University extends its sympathies to Jackson's family, friends, colleagues and students.

Adjunct instructor Da'Fona Jackson


An interdisciplinary team from faculty, administration and outreach actively participated in the Esri Partner Conference held in Palm Springs. The professors are members of the GIS Curriculum Committee at Brandman. Pictured (from left to right): Charles Bullock, executive vice chancellor of academic affairs and chief academic officer, Helen Thompson, Esri, Sheila L. Steinberg, Ph.D., Gov. Martin O'Malley, Maryland, Lindsay Yossef Chelekis, Ed.D., David Gonzalez, DPA, and David Long, J.D. Not pictured: Shelly Neal, vice chancellor and Matt Venegas, assistant vice chancellor of the outreach team also participated in hosting a booth at the event.

Esri partnership conference March 2019


School of Education associate professor Guadalupe Solis, Ed.D., who was inducted into East Bakersfield High School's Hall of Fame for academic achievement and contributions to education. Solis was also a star athlete for East Bakerfield's track and field and cross country teams, and a member of the school's marching band and orchestra, playing the saxophone.

Guadalupe Solis and Hall of Fame


The School of Extended Education recently held two workshops made possible through a grant from The Better Together CA Teacher Summit. "Integrating ELD Instruction in K-6 Math" taught by Ronald Borenswas held in Modesto and "Project Based Learning" was held in Irvine, taught by Mindy AhrensAll of the participants "strongly agree" that the instructors were engaging and the workshop provided them with key learnings that can be implemented in the classroom.

Extended Ed Project Based Learning Workshop


An interdisciplinary team from Brandman visited the Los Angeles County Fire Department to learn more about how that department uses GIS on a daily basis and to explore potential partnership opportunities. GIS is a key component of current and planned programs in the School of Business and Professional studies and the School of Arts and Sciences. The group also used it as a fact-finding mission to identify possible careers and the skill sets needed.

GIS and LA Fire

Getting a sense of the real-world uses for GIS were Glenn Worthington, Ed.D., dean of the School of Business; David Gonzalez, DPA, an assistant professor in the MPA program, who coordinated the tour; Sheila Steinberg, Ph.D., professor and chair of the GIS committee; and Melissa Reyes, campus director in Irvine. They were joined by Steve Steinberg, an adjunct faculty member at Brandman and L.A. County geographic information officer; Andrea Avila, an L.A. County fire chief and a member of the MPA Advisory Board. Others from the fire department were Alfie Blanch, GIS manager; Rob Sawyer, chief information officer; and Angie Saldivar, a GIS principal.

Professors Kimberly Greene, Ed.D., and Lynn Larsen, Ph.D., are the authors of an article “Virtual Andragogy: A New Paradigm for Serving Adult Online Learners.” The article was published in the International Journal of Digital Society and is based on a presentation they made at the London International Conference on Education held December 2017 at Cambridge University. The article looks a new ways course designers and instructors can work together to empower adult learners in both measurable and immeasurable ways. The authors drew on their experiences of teaching adult learners in the School of Education. 

An article by Associate Professor Lata Murti, Ph.D., and Professor Sheila Steinberg, Ph.D., based on a survey of students in "Globalization and Social Change" classes, has been published in the SAGE online Datasets collection. "Analyzing Students' Survey Responses on an Online Globalization Course" looks at student responses from 2016 to 2018. Both are full-time faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Brandman University and Chancellor Gary Brahm were featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal that looks at free college tuition as the latest employment perk. Now Hiring, With Attractive New Perk: Free College Degree by Kelsey Gee was published on Jan. 2 and highlights the agreements with Discover, Disney and Walmart.


Assistant Professor Catherine Pearlman, Ph.D., talked about gratitude and children with the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Pearlman is a member of the social work faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Brian McDaneil portaitAdjunct faculty member Brian McDaniel, Ed.D., is on the short list for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher of the Year 2019. He's among the finalists, chosen from 10,000 nominees. McDaniel, who was featured in 2017 when he was a California Teacher of the Year, teaches music and liberal studies courses for the School of Arts and Sciences.

Murti_LataAssociate Professor Lata Murti, Ph.D., was featured as the Scholar of Week by the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan the week of Dec. 3. Murti, who leads the bachelor's in sociology program at Brandman University and teaches courses online, is a member of the Diversity Scholars Network, an interdisciplinary multi-institutional community of scholars committed to advancing understandings of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression and inequality — as they occur and affect individuals, groups, communities and institutions. 

A quote for Murti is featured on the NCID Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.


GIS Steve SteinbergBrandman University participated in Los Angeles County’s GIS Day on Nov. 14 to provide information about the university’s GIS degree multiple courses and degree program. Steve Steinberg, Ph.D., an adjunct faculty member at Brandman and the Geographic Information officer for the county organized the event. GIS Day was first created in 1999 (2008 in L.A. County) to promote GIS awareness, education and training. It also serves as a showcase for the work the Enterprise GIS Steering committee does to eliminate duplication, reduce costs and facilitate the sharing and interchange of geographic data, methods and knowledge. 

GIS Day LAAssistant Professor David Gonzalez, DPA, leader of the master’s in public administration (MPA) program attended GIS Day because GIS plays a central role in the everyday workings of local government, including tracking the progression of fires. Rocio Romero, an account executive for Outreach at the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley campuses, hosted a booth.

Social Work faculty

Members of the School of Arts and Sciences social work faculty attended the Council on Social Work Education annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, last week. Pictured are Jessica McCallister, MSW program; Sibyl Beaulieu, field director; colleague; Zoila Gordon, BASW program director; Anita Gonzalez, BASW program & assistant field director; Amber Rameriz, MSW program and assistant field director; Justine Rangel, BASW program & assistant field director; Anthony Castro, MSW adjunct faculty member; and Tobi DeLong Hamilton, MSW program director.

Karin Storm

Karin Storm, Ed.D., assistant professor of criminal justice, was the keynote speaker at the retirement ceremony of Master-at-Arms Chief Dean Cox at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island on Nov. 1. In addition to being a longtime friend of Storm, Cox is a member of Brandman’s criminal justice advisory board. He’s also considering becoming a Brandman student, said Storm. “I was really humbled that he asked me to help celebrate his 25 years of service to the U.S. Navy.”

Alamo, Bash, Storm Whidbey IslandWhile at Whidbey Island, Storm also met with Carlos Alamo and Kathryn Bash, the academic advisor and One Stop specialist for the Whidbey Island campus. They discussed the implementation of the new course prerequisites and  various careers that criminal justice students could pursue.

Keith Larick familyKeith Larick, Ed.D., chair of Brandman’s Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership program, was honored as Professor of the Year at the annual Leadership Summit held by the Association of California School Administrators. On hand to honor him were members of the School of Education and his family, including his wife, Sharon; his daughters Lisa Dayton and Kelly VanPutten; and his granddaughter Lilly VanPutten.


Charles MuseCharles T. Muse Sr., Ed.D, a member of the online adjunct faculty since 2011, is the new first commander of the 1st Civic Support Bridge and commander of troops for the South Carolina State Guard. He reports to the deputy commander of the guard with three Ready Response Battalions under his command. Their mission is response and support for disasters in the state of South Carolina. He has received three Humanitarian Service Awards and two Individual Achievement awards. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Business, including "Operations Management," "Principles of Management," Ethics and Sustainability" and more. In addition to teaching and state guard duties, Muse serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has 31 years of reserve and active duty experience as a Marine Corps officer.

Hawani Negussie, Ed.D., an assistant professor in the School of Education Early Childhood Education Department, recently presented a Brown-Bag Lunch Webinar focusing on "Creating Spaces of Equity and Empowerment for Diverse Populations Across the Educational Pipeline: Birth to 12th Grade." She talked about the educational experiences of black and brown children and the necessary early childhood care and educational settings to ensure that all children receive a quality education. She also talked about the importance of "contextual learning" as a strategy to ensure programs are creating equitable spaces for children to learn. The webinar series is aimed at faculty and students in the education field. The next one is scheduled for February 20.

Helen Eckmann, Ed.D., associate professor in the School of Business and Professional Studies, participated in the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute's "SBP Insights: Breast Cancer" lecture on Oct. 25. Eckmann is a three-time breast cancer survivor and a Community Advisory Board member for SBP in La Jolla, California. 

Dodge Derwin
Laurie Dodge, Ph.D., and Ellen Baker Derwin, Ph.D.                   

Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost Laurie Dodge, Ph.D., from Brandman’s Institutional Assessment & Planning Office, and Ellen Baker Derwin, Ph.D., associate dean for Curriculum and Assurance of Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences, presented “Competency-Based Education: Quality Program Design and Assessments” at the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their presentation guided participants through the process for developing a competency-based program using backward design that starts goes from outcomes to assessment to educational journey.

The Assessment Institute is the nation’s oldest and largest event focused exclusively on outcomes assessment in higher education and is hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. They partner with the National Institute for Learn Outcomes Assessment, an organization providing support to institutions for assessment of college student learning outcomes. Dodge and Derwin were invited to present as part of the NILOA track and are members of an NILOA coaching team available to help colleges and universities with their assessment planning and implementation initiatives.

Nancy Salzman, vice chancellor of partnerships in Brandman’s Office for Applied Innovation, and Gary Matkin, dean of the Division of Continuing Education and vice provost of the Division of Career Pathways for UC Irvine, are featured in a joint interview for evoLLLution, an online newspaper for higher education. The article, “Managing CE Operations at Public and Private Institutions,” explored the commitment of both institutions to nontraditional students. Salzman emphasized Brandman’s mission to provide pathways to degrees and credentials aligned with workforce needs as well as working with organizations and individuals on career-focused services, training and educational opportunities. Both stressed that students care about whether the program is right for them, accessible and convenient.

Karin Storm, John Ashcroft
Assistant Professor Karin Storm met former Attorney General John Ashcroft while attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the National Law Enforcement Museum.

Karin Storm, assistant professor of criminal justice, attended the grand opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum on Oct. 13 in Washington D.C. The Police Unity Tour, for which Storm volunteers as the public information officer each May, funded the East Pavilion of the museum and the Hall of Remembrance. The hall tells the story of the annual Police Unity Tour, in which hundreds of officers bicycle several hundred miles to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during Police Week in honor of their fallen colleagues, and showcases objects of tribute brought to the wall during Police Week by family and friends of fallen officers.

Catherine Pearlman, Ph.D.,, assistant professor of social work, and her daughter were recently featured in an article in the New York Times Kids' section called "Dress-Code Drama." The article recounted the difficulty of finding dress-code-compliant clothing for a 5-foot-7 teenager. Catherine Pearlman is quoted as saying that blaming girls for boys being distracted is the wrong message. Pearlman's parenting expertise and recent book "Ignore It" are featured in a podcast called "Julie in Coversation" recorded in early October. 

CBExchangeMembers of Brandman’s senior staff participated in the CBExchange held in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month. From left are: Lee Johnston, associate vice chancellor for CBE Technology and CEO of Sagence Learning, who was a panelist on a discussion about solving the integration puzzle; Laurie Dodge, vice chancellor of Institutional Assessment and Planning and vice provost, who moderated the discussion on the “State of the Field Report” that looked at the progress made in launching quality competency-based programs; Hadassah Yang, associate vice chancellor of Institutional Research and Planning, who discussed “How to Get Started: The User’s Guide for C-BEN’s Quality Framework” and served on a panel discussion about measurement metrics; and Julie Telkamp, senior research analyst at Brandman, who served on the panel “Exploring Self-Direction in CBE.” Chancellor Gary Brahm helped lead the “Growing Demand by Engaging External Partners” discussion. Dodge and Yang also participated in a discussion of financial aid and direct assessment models.

Lata Murti, Ph.D., is quoted in the New York Times in a story on "The Effect of Intersectionality in the Workplace." Murti is an associate professor of sociology.


Marilou RyderProfessor Marilou Ryder, Ed.D., (second from left, at left) was a featured speaker at the Women in School Leadership Forum held Sept. 26-28 in Newport Beach, California. Her topic was "Executive Presence: The Make it or Break it Factor for Moving Ahead in Your Career." Also attending the conference were numerous recent graduates of the School of Education's Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program and cohort mentors from the program.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business and Professional Studies, (far right, at right) was the keynote speaker at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University's Packaging Seminar in Thailand. About 15 faculty members and 200 students attended the seminar with more watching on Facebook live.

Margaret Moodian, Ed.D., a tutorial assistant professor for Brandman MyPath , authored an article, "How Student-Centricity and Substantive Interaction Take CBE to the Next Level," for Evolllution, an online newspaper dedicated to nontraditional higher education. In the article, Moodian writes about the different ways she interacts with students in competency-based education, including commenting on their posts, working with them as they prepare for final assessments in various competencies and in the program's online meeting room. 


New faculty 2018New faculty members in the School of Education, School of Nursing and Health Professions and School of Arts and Sciences gathered at the Irvine campus to learn more about their new roles and meet key senior staff, including Chancellor Gary Brahm, far right. Those attending in person instead of virtually were Patrick Ainsworth, professor, Ed.D. program; Sonia Luckey, assistant professor, nursing; Jessica Bogunovich, assistant professor, elementary math; Jessica McCallister, assistant professor, social work; Anita Gonzalez, assistant field direct and assistant professor, social work; Jeannine Meza, assistant field direct and assistant professor, social work; Vanessa Holtgrave, assistant professor, psychology; Amber Ramirez, assistant field direct and associate professor, social work; Satara Armstrong, professor, social work; Kimberly Bundy-Fazioli, associate professor, social work. Guadalupe Solis, associate professor, M.A. educational leadership program, attended virtually. School of Business new faculty are still being finalized.


Margaret Moodian

Margaret Moodian, Ed.D., a tutorial assistant professor for the School of Arts and Sciences participated in the Clute International Conference on Education session on “Student Engagement in a Competency-Based Education Program” on Aug. 7. She talked about the innovative ways that faculty in the Brandman MyPath , competency-based degree program, engage students and help them succeed. The conference was held in San Francisco. The Clute Institute was founded in 1985 for the purpose of disseminating the latest academic research on various business and economics-related topics among other academic areas of academic knowledge.


Lata Murti, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences, is quoted extensively in a Slate Magazine article published Aug. 8. The article, “The Bamboo Glass Ceiling,” explores the challenges Asian American women face in the workplace. Murti’s research expertise includes looking at the experiences of female Indian doctors, which often includes being mistaken for nurses.


Chancellor Gary Brahm is quoted extensively in a story on nontraditional students in EducationDive, an online publication designed to give professionals a bird's-eye-view of the education industry. "Leaders zero in on helping nontraditional students succeed" highlights Brandman University's graduation success rate, recent partnerships with Walmart and Discover, and competency-based education program, Brandman MyPath .

Ellen Derwin and Sasha CrowleyEllen Baker Derwin, associate dean for the School of Arts and Sciences, and Sasha Crowley, an instructional designer with the Center for Instructional Innovation, presented two sessions at the BbWorld Conference in Orlando, Florida, on July 18.  In the first session, “Magical Partnerships: Coordinating Design and Technology the Disney Way,” they shared strategies for successful collaborations between instructional designers and faculty subject matter experts. They discussed opportunities to build rapport when working with a variety of colleague “characters” using specific Disney examples of Grumpy, the Mad Hatter, and Piglet.

The second presentation was “Where Does the Time Go?: Keeping Courses Up-to-Date in an Ever-Changing World.”  Derwin and Crowley discussed the challenges of maintaining courses over time when faced with textbook edition updates, technology innovations, student and instructor input, assessment results, and the fleeting currency of “current” events. 

BbWorld brings users of the Blackboard education platform (used by Brandman and many other schools and universities) together with leaders in education.

Kevin SmithKevin Smith, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business and Professional Studies, co-presented a paper on “Packaging and Logistics Sustainability for the 21stCentury” at the International Association of Packaging Research Institutes Conference (IAPRI) in Zhuhai, China, in June. Smith, a retired U.S. Marine with expertise in logistics, packaging and supply chain has been instrumental in shaping supply chain courses for both the Online and Brandman MyPath  programs. He teaches master’s level courses.

His presentation in China focused on the use of drones and potential environmental impacts related to packaging. His co-authors were S. Paul Singh, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Michigan State, Jay Singh, a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and researcher Nicholas Rutledge. 

Diana EcholsDiana Gilmer Echols, D.M., a tutorial assistant professor in the School of Business and Professional Studies,  is the first author on an article published in the Journal of Competency-Based Education. The article, written with Patricia Neely of Bluefield College and DIane Dusick of Walden University, is "Understanding faculty training in competency-based curriculum development." It looks at the significant positive relationship between training and motivation for both students and faculty. It also looks at how that improves retention. 


Faculty members Nakisha Castillo, DMFT; Kathleen Ringenbach, Ph.D.; Jalin Johnson, Ed.D.; Laura Galloway, Ph.D.; and Monica Shukla-Belmontes, Ph.D., participated in the 18th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations at the University of Texas in Austin held June 6-8. 

Diversity Conference
Faculty members Monica Shukla-Belmontes, Ph.D.; Laura Galloway, Ph.D; and Jalin Johnson, Ed.D., at the International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations.

Castillo and Ringenbach’s team presentation, “Creating a Pathway of Connections: Interracial Mentoring Through Instrumental Versus Relational Perspectives,” looked at ways to mentor new faculty of color in the academic environment. 

Johnson, Galloway and Shukla discussed “Diversity to Inclusion: Integrating Elements of Diversity Into Curriculum and Facilitation that Fosters an Inclusion Learning Community.” They discussed how diversity of thought, culture, background and experience need to be considered against the backdrop of diverse cultures and societies in different geographic areas. Professor Sheila Steinberg, Ph.D., contributed to the report.

Founded in 2000, the conference brings together scholars, government officials and practice-based participants with an interest in the issues of diversity and community. “Being surrounded by academics, scholars, practitioners, attorneys and researchers, most of whom lead their respective institution’s departments and divisions of diversity, inclusion and equity, was an incredible experience. We both contributed to and learned a great deal from our international peers,” said Johnson.


Karin Storm and Bobbies
Karen Storm with U.K. bobbies at the Police Unity Tour.

Karin J. Storm, Ed.D., participated in the Police Unity Tour in Washington D.C. The assistant professor of criminal justice serves as the public information officer for the Southern California chapter. She attended the National Peace Officer’s Memorial Service, held in honor of all the officers who died in the line of duty and the 30thannual Candlelight Vigil, among other activities. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both spoke at the memorial service. The tour was honored for the first time this year by the presence of the United States Honor Flag, which flew over Ground Zero in New York, said Storm. 


Philip (Chip) Heckman, MBA, a School of Business and Professional Studies adjunct faculty member, and his co-authors Alice Vestergaard and Kathleen Sole, learned that their paper, “Guiding Principles Model: A Call to Integrate the 4 P’s into a Strategic Construct” has been accepted for presentation at the American Marketing Association Summer Conference in Boston in August. The goal “has been to introduce a new way of looking at the 4-P's of marketing and begin a course development process for an introductory marketing class that has a very strong foundation of ethics and social responsibility woven into the course from day one.” Heckman has taught at Brandman for 11 years.

Ginger Silverman, a Brandman Scool of Business adjunct, founder and president of Aha! Unlimited Consulting and vice president of marketing, brands and campaigns at Behr Paint, has been appointed to Trilogy Financial’s board. 

Association Professor Lata Murti, Ph.D., and her volunteer work with Partners in Education and the Santa Maria Valley YMCA are featured on the American Sociological Association website as "Sociology in Action." Partners in Education connects business and individuals with schools and youth-servin nonprofit organizations. Murti's volunteer work includes speaking in classrooms and at Career Days in public schools, explaining the benefits of getting a higher education and introducing students to sociology in general as well as to her work teaching online at Brandman. 

Rojas_LeticiaLeticia Rojas, Ed.D., an assistant professor in the School of Education, is presenting two papers at the American Education Research Association national conference in New York City, April 13-17. The theme for the conference is "The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education." Her papers are "College for All: Chicana/o and Latina/o Empowerment Agents Working to Increase Latina/o Students' College-going Opportunities" and "The Significance of the Racial Contract in Teachers' College Expectancies for Students of Color," on which she is a co-author.

Brian McDaniel, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences and a California Teacher of the Year for 2018, earned a new honor on April 13. A street in Desert Hot Springs near Painted Hills Middle School was dedicated in his honor. McDaniel teaches band and vocal groups at the school. Read more about McDaniel here: The leader of the band is teacher of the year and so much more


Professor Lynn Larsen, Ph.D., and her husband, Paul Larsen, are featured in the April edition of “Spark,” the alumni association magazine of Calvin College, for their commitment to Odyssey of the Mind. Larsen is the volunteer state director of the program that features 700 teams competing in 10 regions across the state. Stories about the 2016 event can be found here.


Associate Professor Lata Murti, Ph.D., participated in a panel discussion “Teaching Up: Teaching about Privilege as a Traditionally Marginalized Person” at the 89thannual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association. The conference, held in Long Beach from March 28-31, centered on “Teaching Sociology: Innovations: Changes and Challenges.” Murti was one of five faculty discussing minority faculty experiences teaching students who are not minorities. “It was a well-attended panel that sparked a lot of interesting discussion,” reported Murti.

Russell Hicks, M.D., an adjunct faculty member at Brandman's McChord Air Force Base campus, isn't just an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder among 21st century military. He's also made of study of the mental health of soldiers during the Civil War. A presentation scheduled for March 18 at history Fort Stellacoom in Lakewood, Washington, looks at what would now be called PTSD during that era. His presentation is featured on the NorthwestMilitary.com website. Hicks teaches in the Master of Arts in Psychiatry with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy (MFT) program. His area of expertise is substance abuse disorders and psychopharmacology. 


Lata Murti, Kat Ringenbach
Associate Professor Lata Murti, Professor Kathleen Ringenbach

Lata Murti, Ph.D., and Kathleen Ringenbach,Ph.D., both full-time faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences, write about work-life balance and developing a personal mission statement in a peer-reviewed blog piece for The Scholarly Teacher. "Creating Work-Life Balance: Using Personal Reflection to Guide Personal and Professional Growth" draws on their own experiences and offers tips for developing a mission statement based on "SMART" goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. "As college professors, we owe it to our students, our loved ones, and ultimately, ourselves, to live our values and our dreams, and also to show others how to do the same," they write.

Faculty members Loren O'Connor, Helen Eckmann, Kimberly Greene and Patricia White were the keynote speakers at the 2018 Spring Adjunct Faculty Training. The purpose of the training was to build collegiality among core full-time faculty and the adjunct faculty. Informational discussions centered on improving academic writing and grading, leading small group discussions, using Adobe Connect breakout rooms, modeling, engaging and debriefing. Academic integrity updates and working with ADA guidelines and processes were also presented. The event was organized and hosted by Melissa Reyes, the campus director in Irvine, and her staff.


David GonzalezDavid Gonzalez, DPA, an assistant professor of public administration and organizational leadership in the School of Business and Professional Studies, will offer his support for the Whittier Community Foundation by dancing in the Dancing with the Whittier Stars event on May 3. Gonzalez leads the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program and says volunteering and supporting community efforts such as this are exactly what he tries to make sure the program emphasizes. The Whittier Community Foundation supports the Whittier Police Department by purchasing dogs and ballistic vests for the K9 program and purchasing and outfitting a community emergency response trailer.

Nicole NicholsonNicole Nicholson, Ed.D, an assistant professor of special education at the Santa Maria campus, recently presented her research on the academic functioning of females with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. Her work, "Thriving Not Just Surviving as a Female STEM Major with ADHD: A Quantitative Analysis" was presented at the London International Conference on Education at Churchill College in Cambridge, U.K. A journal article with the same name will be published in the International Journal of Information and Educational Technology and will also be presented in early March at the seventh International Conference on Educational and Informational Technology to be held at St. Anne's College at Oxford University.

Francine StewartFrancine Stewart, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education and a 1995 graduate of Brandman, recently received the 2017 California Expanded Learning Award in recognition of the role her after-school program in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District plays in motivating and engaging students. State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson said in a statement, “These awards are a way to thank the dedicated staff members who work each day to teach, challenge and encourage students to achieve their full potential.” The program serves about 750 students each day, Stewart told the Monterey Herald. Stewart also coordinates the STEAM Summer Academy, a six-week workshop for low-income students that provides hands-on activities aimed at preventing learning loss over the summer.

A case study by Lata Murti , Ph.D., and Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg ,Ph.D., based on a survey of Brandman undergraduate students who completed SOCU 436 Globalization and Social Change course in 2016, is the School of Arts and Sciences faculty members’ latest contribution to SAGE Research Methods. “SAGE Research Methods Cases is a cutting-edge, fully online collection of researchers’ experiences with social science research methods in the field.  The format and language are instructional and student-friendly so that undergraduate and graduate students can learn from the experiences,” said Murti, an associate professor of sociology. The case study is included in the Sociology of Education collection.

David Gonzalez, D.P.A., and Jalin B. Johnson, Ed.D., both faculty members in the School of Business and Professional Studies, presented two sessions during the recent School of Education doctoral immersion. “Diversity, Politics and Leadership: Why cognizant leaders know diversity counts” focused on how embracing diversity is only part of the process.  About 70 students attended the two Sunday afternoon sessions that was part of the “miniversity” program led by Marilou Ryder, Ed.D. Looking at diversity and leadership through the lenses of business, public administration, higher education and the armed services give transformational leaders important perspectives for decision-making, they said.

Adjunct faculty members Sue Singh and Laurie Wellner and full-time faculty members Patricia White, Pedro Olvera, Willian Hale and Lynn Larsen are participating in a series of though-leadership webinars with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).  The webinars cover legal issues in special education, transforming conflict, assessing English language learners, building trusting relationships in special education, critical thinking and creative problem solving. The webinars began Jan. 18 and continue into May 2018. The webinars were organized by Barbara Bartels, assistant vice chancellor for Community Relations.


Murti and Castillo
Lata Murti and Nakisha Castillo

Associate Professor Lata Murti, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Nakisha Castillo, DMFT,  were featured panelists for a Complexity Talk Radio podcast on the psychological, emotional, physical and social traumas of sexual harassment, sexual assault and molestation experienced by girls and women of color. The podcast can be heard online here. Murti's specialty is sociology and Castillo's is psychology. Murti was instrumental in organizing the panel which also included a health educator and two writers.

Menshew articleAdjunct faculty member Dave Menshew's efforts to bring CSI training to the Central Valley are highlighted in a story on innovative science programs in the December/January issue of California Educator, the magazine of the California Teachers Association (CTA). Menshew teaches future teachers at Brandman's Modesto campus and is also working toward his Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership at Brandman, in addition to his work leading the Biotech Academy at Enochs High School in Modesto, California.


Loren O'Connor
Loren O'Connor opens the World Conference on Disaibility and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Loren O'Connor was the conference chair for the Second World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference. Brandman University is a co-hosting partner of the event in Sri Lanka. The theme this year was "Inspiring Possibilities - Enhancing Opportunities for Ability." O'Connor leads the Office of Accessible Education and Counseling Services at Brandman and also serves on the school psychology and counseling faculty in the School of Education. In addition to chairing the event, which draws participants from Pakistan, Indonesia, India, Australia and the U.S., O'Connor gave the opening speech, chaired a session on age and disability management and a poster session.

Sheila Steinberg GIS DayProfessor Sheila Steinberg traveled to the University of Kansas to participate in that university's 16th annual GIS Day on Nov. 15. Steinberg is leading the way for introducing geographic information systems analysis as a data analysis tool in the B.A. in Integrated Social Science program at Brandman and other programs. At the University of Kansas, she spoke on "GIS for Community Engagement: Sociospatial Approaches to Research and Police," met with students in the university's GIS Club and served as a special judge for the GIS research posters created by undergraduates and graduate students. GIS Day was introduced in 1999 by the president of Esri, a company working closely with Brandman to design courses.


Eckmann Cancer Open HouseAssociate Professor Helen Eckmann is among those sponsoring the Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center Open House on Thursday, Nov. 9. The event takes place in the Chairman’s Hall, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, 10901 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California.  Eckmann, who is a cancer survivor, said the open houses focuses on the science behind recovery. Eckmann is from the School of Business and Professional Studies.

Social Work ConferenceAssistant Professor Tobi DeLong Hamilton, who is leading the creation of Brandman’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, recently presented at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) 15th annual European Regional Conference held at the Hague in the Netherlands. Her presentation was called “A Dirty House is Not Just a Dirty House.” It focuses on how child welfare workers experience their day-to-day interactions with children and families. Brandman’s MSW program begins taking applications this month and launches in Fall 2018.


Catherine Pearlman and Ignore It coverCatherine Pearlman, a member of the social work faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, provided an expert voice for a variety of back-to-school articles. They were based on her new book “Ignore It: How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction.” Pearlman was quoted in the Sacramento Bee, the Toronto Star and featured in a podcast.


Carol Howard, a director in the School of Extended Education, is the author of an article in evoLLLution, an online newspaper focusing on higher education. The article looks at how a successful customized training division benefits the rest of a higher education institution. Among the benefits are pathways to degree programs, advisory boards, the inclusion of contemporary corporate thought in programs, the tapping of new subject matter experts for adjunct positions and revenue generation.


Assistant Professor Karin Storm, Ed.D., attended National Police Week in Washington D.C. in May. Storm, who leads the criminal justice program and serves as vice chair of the Social Science Curriculum team, also serves as the media relations coordinator for the Southern California Chapter of the Police Unity Tour and was in Washington to serve in a support capacity before Police Week. Storm, shown with the Irvine Police Department’s Honor Guard at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on May 15, heard both President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speak at the ceremony. She also witnessed the White House being turned blue to commemorate the day.


Sheila Steinberg (center) with her award from the Irvine Prevention Coalition.

Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg, professor of social and environmental science, received an Outstanding Supporter of Prevention award from the Irvine Prevention Coalition and Irvine Community Drug Prevention for her work with the Rotary Club of Irvine in support of teens in the community on May 10. Steinberg was instrumental in connecting the city’s High School Youth Action Team (HSYAT) and Creekside Leadership Academy with speakers from various occupations and career paths. She organized six field trips for the students from the alternative high school, including bringing a group of students to Brandman to get a preview of nursing careers. According to Lisa Osmanian Weinfurter, who nominated Steinberg for the award, “She also connected with teens in the program and made a positive impact on lives. HYSAT is grateful for Sheila’s passion to teach Irvine youth to be resilient … and to always look for the silver lining in any situation that might arise.”

Lionel M. Guillory, an adjunct psychology faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences since 2012, has been named a reader for the College Board’s annual Advanced Placement Program in June 2017. AP readers are high school and college educators who evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP exams. Guillory will be a reader for the American government test. He holds graduate degrees in education, political science and psychology.


From left: Kat Ringenbach, Len Hightower, Helen Eckmann, Sheila Steinberg, Nakisha Castillo, Ellen Derwin and Charles Bullock.

Brandman University was well represented at the WASC Academic Resource Conference (ARC) in San Diego in April.  The conference theme was “Mission Possible: Honoring the Past, Ensuring the Future.” Participants included Provost Charles Bullock, Vice Chancellor Laurie Dodge and faculty members Nakisha Castillo, Ellen Derwin, Helen Eckmann, Marnie Elam, Len Hightower, Kat Ringenbach and Sheila Steinberg.

  • Bullock, Eckmann, Ringenbach and Steinberg participated in the “Fostering Shared Governance for Institutional Change and Innovation” session.
  • Hightower presented “Institutional Mission Versus Student Market Opportunity: A Need for Wisdom.”
  • Ringenbach and Castillo presented “Transformation through Bidirectional Mentorship.”
  • Derwin and Elam presented “Challenges, Collaboration, and Calibration: Strategies for High Quality Signature Assignments and Rubrics.”
  • Derwin and Dodge presented “From Start to Finish: Building a Quality Competency-based Education Program.”
  • Derwin and Sammy Elzarka from University of LaVerne presented “Interested in Participating in the Assessment Leadership Academy or Learning about the New Community of Practice?”

WASC Senior College and University Commission, the sponsor of the conference, is the accrediting body for Brandman University.


Mike Moodian

The Honorable Ignazio Ruvolo (left) swears in Brandman’s Michael Moodian for a second term on the California Commission on Judicial Performance.

Michael Moodian, an associate professor in the School of Arts and Sciences,  has begun serving his second term on the California Commission on Judicial Performance. Gov. Jerry Brown first appointed Moodian to a two-year term in 2015. His new term will be for four years. Ignazio Ruvolo, a justice on the California Court of Appeal and the new commission chair, swore Moodian in at a ceremony at the San Francisco Civic Plaza in late March. The commission investigates complaints of judicial misconduct or incapacity and determines disciplinary action for state judges. Moodian’s term will end in 2021.

Jamie Brownlee-Turgeon, assistant vice chancellor for Online Enrollment and Student Services; Sean Nemeth, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Services; and Don Scott, director of Advising and Retention Services presented “Totally Student Centered: Building a service model for the 21st Century Student” at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) annual conference on April 2-4 in Minneapolis. Their proposal centered on the evolution of academic advising, One Stop services and the role of the online campus.

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