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

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.


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). 


Judy Mortrude

Judy Mortrude, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success; Director, Alliance for Quality Career Pathways

Policy Expertise
Adult education, Postsecondary education

Judy Mortrude is the director of CLASP's Alliance for Quality Career Pathways and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. Judy has more than 30 years of experience in developing, delivering, and evaluating workforce education, particularly with low-literacy and high-barrier populations. Judy has been a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and state agency staff.  She now supports cross agency teams in a variety of states as they scale and sustain integrated education and training career pathway policies and practices, focus attention on racial and economic equity, and build two generational strategies.  In addition, Judy does adult and postsecondary education federal policy work and supports organizations such as the National Coalition for Literacy and the Open Door Collective.


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).