Webinar Presenter Biographies

Eric Appleton

Eric Appleton is a math and science professional developer for CUNY’s Adult Literacy/HSE Program. Before coming to CUNY, Eric worked in an education program for formerly incarcerated people. He has taught all subjects in adult basic education and high school equivalency, and has been working in adult education since 1999. Eric is a founding member of the NYC Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI).


Melissa Braaten

Melissa Braaten has been teaching adult numeracy for the past seven years in Dorchester, MA to women with all levels of math ability and confidence.  She is also a consultant for the SABES (System of Adult Basic Education Support) PD Center for Mathematics and Adult Numeracy.  As part of the SABES team she has worked on developing and facilitating online and in-person trainings for ABE and ESOL teachers.


Cynthia Macleay Campbell

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Cynthia Macleay Campbell EdD has worked for over 25 years in education including teaching adults in ESOL and ABE classes, directing an urban adult literacy program, developing curricula, and providing professional development. Dr. Campbell has presented workshops at both regional and national conferences. Locally, she serves on the board of the Maryland Association for Adult, Continuing and Community Education (MAACCE) and chairs MAACCE’s Advocacy and Communications Committee. Dr. Campbell’s credentials include a Bachelor of Education in elementary education, a Master of Arts in Religion, and a Doctorate of Education, where her dissertation focused on teacher development. As principal consultant for Gold Apple Services LLC, she specializes in educational program design and development, editorial support, professional development for teachers and leaders. She is also a Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant. She is the writer for the WorkWise series for New Readers Press.


Rebecca DeJesus

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Rebecca DeJesus has over 9 years of experience as an Adult Basic Education and GED instructor. Her diverse educational experience includes a strong background in Math instruction with the addition of Reading, Writing, Language, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). She has over a decade of experience tutoring students of varying ages, elementary through adult learners, in test preparation. In addition to experience in the classroom, Rebecca has served as a training coordinator, presenter, and curriculum specialist and her experience has spanned the sales process from curriculum writing to marketing and securing a bid and delivering training. Rebecca is a self-proclaimed “technology junkie” who has spent years integrating technology-based teaching strategies into her classroom. She loves to provide tech-based professional development sessions and frequently provides software training to her adult students and co-workers.


Solange Farina

Solange Farina is a lead teacher/instructional coordinator in the Adult Basic Education Program at the Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development for the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY. Solange has been teaching in the adult basic education field for over 25 years. She has taught and offered professional development in all subject areas of the high school equivalency exam, along with ESOL. She was a founding member of the NYC Math Exchange Group (MEG) and is now a member of the NYC Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI). 


Lori Howard

Lori Howard is an ESOL consultant, teacher educator and author of reading textbooks for adult ESOL learners including the Read All About It and Read and Reflect Series. She is also AEFLA/WIOA II Program Specialist Coordinator for CASAS and a frequent presenter at state and international conferences. Her many years of experience in the field includes teaching ESOL and Vocational ESOL, administering ESOL programs, being a TV/Video Teacher on the Los Angeles Unified School Districts’ Learning English Series and a Video Teacher on the Teacher Training Through Video Series.


Judy Mortrude

Judy Mortrude has over 30 years of experience developing, delivering, and managing secondary and postsecondary education projects for workforce development, particularly with low literacy and high barrier populations. Ms. Mortrude was the lead administrator for Minnesota's largest Adult Basic Education (ABE) consortium before moving to the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development in 2009 to staff the Minnesota FastTRAC Adult Career Pathway cross-system initiative. Currently, she facilitates a network of practitioners in the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). This Alliance of education, workforce development, and human service providers from across the country has developed quality standards for career pathway system partners to use as they develop and evaluate their aligned efforts. As a senior policy analyst for CLASP, Judy focuses on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Perkins Career & Technical Education, and other education/workforce development policy.


Kathleen O'Connell

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Kathleen O’Connell is the Workplace Education Coordinator at World Education, Inc. She comes to World Education with more than twenty years’ experience planning for, delivering, coordinating, and teaching in workplace education projects in Massachusetts. In addition to leading the needs analysis process for our workplace programs, she is responsible for overseeing the development of curriculum that is contextualized for each workplace. Kathleen is also an ESOL Pre-Lean trainer in partnership with English for New Bostonians and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership (Mass MEP). She currently teaches a beginning level class in the Seaport Hotel workplace education program.


Carrie Colladay Stell

Carrie Colladay Stell began her teaching career with her three younger sisters playing school in their garage. In the public school system in New Jersey, she taught 8th grade U.S history and reading for seven years. She then homeschooled (K-12th) her three now grown children, all of whom have (or are getting) graduate degrees. For the past six years, she has been teaching in ABE/ASE/GED classrooms for Grayson College in Denison, Texas. She is grateful to have grown into her current calling: raising adults, including herself, because in the adult education classroom, we are all learners.


Luanne Teller

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Luanne Teller is the Director of Workplace Education at World Education, Inc. in Boston, MA. She also currently serves as the Director of the MA Adult Literacy Hotline and as the Coordinator for SABES, the MA professional development system for adult educators. Luanne has worked with adult learners in a variety of capacities for 30 years, having created and directed office skills training and job placement, ESOL, transitions to college, and workplace education programs. In addition to creating effective structures that generate strong performance outcomes; her work has included professional development, curriculum development, teaching, advising, and developing partnerships with employers and community organizations. She is a LINCS trainer in the areas of program management, postsecondary completion, and adult English language learners. 
 


Mark Trushkowsky

Mark Trushkowsky is the math professional development coordinator for CUNY’s Adult Literacy/HSE Program. Mark's career in adult education began in 2001 in a basement classroom at a community college in Queens, NY. After 9 years of teaching ABE classes in all subjects and high school equivalency math, Mark joined the CUNY Adult Literacy Professional Development Team where he does professional development for Adult Learning Center teachers across the CUNY system. Mark is a founding member of the NYC Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI).


Lauren Walizer

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Lauren Walizer is a senior policy analyst at CLASP's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, where she works to expand access to postsecondary opportunities and advocates for financial aid policies that serve low-income students. Prior to joining CLASP, Ms. Walizer was with the U.S. Department of Education, where she addressed policy, management, and operational challenges related to federal postsecondary student financial aid programs. Ms. Walizer holds an MSEd in Education Policy and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University.