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Concordia's School of Education has a strong faculty of experienced educators who are faithful to the university’s mission to “empower students. . . for lives of learning, service, and leadership.” They deeply care about your whole person and are committed to supporting your success and well-being.

  • Kellie Albrecht Albrecht, Kellie L.
  • Executive Director: MAED Programs
  • Ph.D. in Education, Chapman University
  • Beta 207 B
  • (949) 214-3354
Kellie Albrecht

Executive Director: MAED Programs

Degrees Earned

  • Chapman University, Orange, CA, Ph.D. in Education: Cultural & Curricular Studies, 2013
  • National University, La Jolla, CA, M.S., Instructional Leadership: Curriculum & Instruction, 2001
  • CSU Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, B.A., Sociology, 1994

Biography

Dr. Kellie Albrecht is a Professor of Education and Executive Director of the Master of Arts in Education (MAED) program. She is responsible for MAED program development and improvement, faculty training, curriculum development and assessment, and advising graduate research projects and doctoral dissertations. Dr. Albrecht serves as the co-chair of the Educational Effectiveness Committee (EEC), and serves as a member on the Academic Council and Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Prior to teaching in higher education, Dr. Albrecht was an elementary school educator having taught in grades 1, 4, 5, and 6. Dr. Albrecht's experience teaching in urban schools sparked her passion for educating in diverse settings. Her experience working with culturally diverse and underrepresented children led to an interest in English language development and differentiated instructional practices. Additionally, Dr. Albrecht is the mother of four children, her oldest being identical twin boys. Dr. Albrecht's doctoral dissertation was an interpretive phenomenological analysis focused on identifying twins as a cultural group, which investigated individual needs for educating twins. The dissertation is titled, Beyond Bonded Voices: A Qualitative Study with Adult Monozygotic (Identical) Twins.

Dr. Albrecht's experience in higher education includes MAED program development and improvement, faculty training and professional development, advising graduate and postgraduate qualitative research projects, teaching undergraduate, graduate, and multiple and single subject credential courses, supervising student teachers in the field, assessing teaching performance assessments (TPAs), and facilitating TPA student workshops.

Areas of Expertise

  • Qualitative Research Methodologies: Action Research, Grounded Theory, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, Case Study
  • Twins’ Research
  • Differentiated Instructional Practices
  • English Language Development
  • Classroom Management
  • Curriculum Design, Assessment, and Evaluation
  • Distance Learning: Online Asynchronous & Synchronous, Blended/Hybrid
  • Program/Course Development, Design, and Improvement
  • Technological Pedagogy
  • Kara Bratton Bratton, Kara
  • Adjunct Professor, School of Education
  • Ph.D. in Special Education Leadership, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, IL
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Kellie Albrecht

Adjunct Professor, School of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, IL, Ph.D. in Special Education Leadership, 2020
  • Ball State University, Muncie, IN, Licensure in Gifted and Talented Education, 2013
  • Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN, M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2009
  • Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN, Licensure in Special Education, 2006
  • Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, B.S. in Elementary Education, 2000

Biography

Dr. Kara Bratton started her career teaching special education in K-8 Lutheran schools in Fort Wayne, IN. She developed a love for teaching students of all abilities and helping teachers understand their learning differences during this time. In addition to teaching in higher education, Dr. Bratton has worked as a special education director for Lutheran Special Education Ministries for the last eight years, developing and supervising special education programs in Christian schools worldwide. Dr. Bratton’s doctoral dissertation entitled “‘Getting it Right’: A Grounded Theory Construction of Principal’s Decision Making about Special Education Services in Christian Schools in the United States” was a grounded theory study focusing on how principals of Christian schools implement special education programs and overcome associated challenges in providing these services.

Areas of Expertise

  • Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) frameworks
  • Dyslexia and specific learning disabilities in reading
  • Inclusion
  • Early intervention
  • Special education in parochial schools
  • Twice-exceptional students
  • Coghlan, Robert Coghlan, Robert
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ph.D., Educational Urban Leadership, Claremont Graduate University
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Coghlan, Robert

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Educational Urban Leadership, Claremont Graduate University
  • M.S., Educational Administration, California State University--Fullerton
  • B.A., History, California State University--Long Beach

Biography

Dr. Rob Coghlan has served as Assistant Superintendent, Business Services of Fullerton School District since 2017. Prior to working in Fullerton School District, Dr. Coghlan served as Assistant Superintendent, Business Services from 2012-2017 in West Covina Unified School District and Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services for Anaheim City School District from 2008-2012.

In addition, since 1986 Dr. Coghlan has worked in a number of positions within K-12 education including Instructional Assistant; Substitute Teacher; Middle School Math Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Director of Business Services for Corona-Norco Unified School District. Dr. Coghlan has been an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University since 2015.

Areas of Expertise

  • Public School Finance
  • Public School Facilities, Maintenance and Construction
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods
  • Cultural Proficiency
  • Quantitative Methods
  • General Obligation Bond Elections
  • Motivational Theory
  • Deborah Collins Collins, Deborah L.
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Ed.D., K-12 Leadership in Urban Education, University of Southern California
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Deborah Collins

Adjunct Professor

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., K-12 Leadership in Urban Education, University of Southern California
  • M.A., Educational Administration, California State University, Long Beach
  • B.A., Christian Education, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon

Biography

Dr. Debby Collins has been involved in public education since 1977 when she started her teaching career in Irvine Unified School District as a kindergarten teacher. From 1977 to 1986, she taught all grade levels, from K to 6th. During those years, she served her fellow teachers as their local teachers’ association representative, executive board member and collective-bargaining participant. In 1986, she was hired in Monrovia Unified School District as an elementary school principal. Deborah Collins was appointed to the Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, position in 2000; and from 2003 to 2013, Dr. Collins was promoted from Assistant Superintendent to Associate Superintendent to Deputy Superintendent. Late in the 2012/ 2013 school year, she became Superintendent of Schools until she retired in July.

While in Monrovia Unified School District, Dr. Collins served as the administrative chair at the negotiations’ tables for all employees for 13 years. She has been credited with her ability to use Interest-Based Bargaining effectively and currently facilitates negotiations with teachers, classified employees and administrators in two school districts. She also provides collective-bargaining training to school educators through School Employers Association of California, (SEAC).

Dr. Deborah Collins is currently teaching in the EdD and MAED programs at Concordia University, and serves on dissertation committees as chair and as a supporting committee member. She is also an adjunct professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, providing instruction in the EdD program, as well as serving students on dissertation committees.

Areas of Expertise

  • Human Resources Administration
  • K-12 Instructional Leadership
  • Professional Collaboration with District Office/ Site Administrators and Teachers
  • School District Culture and Climate
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Scholarly Writing/APA Format
  • Servant Leadership
  • Mediation
  • Interest-Based Bargaining
  • Dr. Helene Cunningham Cunningham, Helene
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ph.D., Education Administration, Claremont Graduate University
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Dr. Helene Cunningham

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education Administration, Claremont Graduate University
  • M.A., Education, Claremont Graduate University
  • B.A., Literature and Writing, University of California, San Diego

Biography

Dr. Helene Cunningham served as school principal for 18 years, nine at the secondary level, nine at elementary. As the National Distinguished Principal for California in 2013, she represented over 10,000 principals in the state and was sent to Washington DC to discuss our nation’s educational challenges with other leaders across the country. Dr. Cunningham leads as keynote, panel, and session speaker on various educational topics. The author of The Art of Principation: How the Role of the Principal Has Changed (2016), Dr. Cunningham writes a motivating read for all new and veteran school administrators to learn, lead, redo, revamp, and renew. In her book, she calls for coaching and mentoring for administrators at each level. She provides support to site and district administrators as an Administrative Coach for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). Currently, Dr. Cunningham serves as Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, P-12, for 18,000 students in 32 schools. In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University, Irvine. She is a servant leader in the field of education for 30 years thus far. She lives and leads by the mantra, “Your work is your signature, so sign it with excellence.”

  • Dwight Doering Doering, Dwight R.
  • Executive Director, Doctor of Education Program
  • Ph.D., Educational Leadership, Georgia State University
  • Beta 109 D
  • (949) 214-3339
Doering, Dwight R.

Executive Director, Doctor of Education Program
Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Educational Leadership, Georgia State University
  • M.A., Educational Administration and Supervision, University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • B.A., Education, Concordia College, River Forest, IL

Biography

Dr. Dwight Doering is a professor of education and executive director of the Doctor of Education program. Prior to accepting the executive director position, Dr. Doering was the chair of the Educational Effectiveness Committee (EEC), where his responsibilities included designing the university’s framework for assessment of student learning and review of academic programs, monitoring and guiding program faculty through the program assessment and review processes, and serving as EEC representative on various university-level committees, including Academic Council. Dr. Doering has also held the position of director of graduate research for the School of Education from 2001-2013, where he oversaw the design and implementation of capstone experiences, among other responsibilities.

Before joining the faculty at Concordia University, Dr. Doering served as a research associate at the School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, where he oversaw the management and analysis of federal and state education data and reported findings to educational leaders and policymakers. Dr. Doering has nine years of teaching experience in middle school settings.

Areas of Expertise

  • Learning Organizations
  • Organizational Change
  • Education Policy
  • Assessment and Accreditation
  • Evaluation Research
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Action Research
  • Content Analysis
  • Dr. Edward Eldridge Eldridge, Edward
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University Irvine
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Dr. Edward Eldridge

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University Irvine, 2017
  • M.PA., National University, 2007
  • B.S., Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento, 1997

Biography

Dr. Edward Eldridge serves as Director of Strategy and Innovation at Sacramento City Unified School District in northern California. Dr. Eldridge has served as an external program evaluator, internal auditor, analyst, accountability coordinator, program coordinator, and educational research administrator for over 20 years, including over 16 years as a K-12 district administrator. He also holds an inactive license as a Certified Public Accountant in California. Dr. Eldridge defended his dissertation on the use of data in implementing positive behavior interventions and supports in a large elementary school setting. His expertise lies in educational leadership, data and visualizations, research and operations, technology solutions, assessment administration, and business management. Dr. Eldridge has worked in K-12 Education since 2003.

Areas of Expertise

  • Educational Leadership
  • Data and Visualizations
  • Research and Operations
  • Technology Solutions
  • Assessment Administration
  • Business Management
  • Dr. Reyes GaunaReyes, Gauna
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University, Irvine
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Dr. Reyes Gauna

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University, Irvine, 2017
  • M.S., School Counseling, National University, 2003
  • B.S., Behavioral Science, National University 1997

Biography

Dr. Reyes Gauna is an educator who has a depth of experiences working at all levels of public education. Dr. Gauna is focused on creating a collective vision that engages students, parents, employees and community members to achieve a common vision. He believes that every day is an opportunity to prepare students for tomorrow by providing relevant and engaging educational experiences.

Dr. Gauna’s professional experiences include serving as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Concordia Irvine, National, and Stanislaus, Universities as a Part-time Adjunct Professor, Director of Educational Services, 6-12 High School and K-8 Principal, Assistant Principal, Elementary, Middle, and High School Counselor, K-8 Teacher, Adult Education Teacher, Campus Safety Monitor, and Custodian.

  • barbara Howard Howard, Barbara
  • Director: Assessment and Accreditation
  • Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco
  • Beta 208 C
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Barbara Howard

Director: Assessment and Accreditation

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco, 1995
  • MBA, National University, San Diego, 1988
  • B.A. in Literature and Writing, University of California, 1985

Biography

Dr. Barbara Howard is currently the School of Education’s Director of Assessment and Accreditation. She is also the co-chair of the University's Educational Effectiveness Committee. In this capacity she works closely with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to ensure that our credential programs are always in compliance. In February 2021 she had the pleasure of shepherding our school through the CTC re-accreditation process for a full 7 year re-accreditation. She also works closely with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and is actively involved in preparations for our WSCUC re-accreditation coming in spring 2024.

Dr. Howard has had the pleasure of working with adult college students since 1986. She began her career in Adult Education at National University as an academic advisor. When she left NU six years later to pursue her doctoral studies, she was director of three Bay Area centers serving hundreds of adult students. After completing her doctorate at the University of San Francisco, she resumed her work with adult students at the College of San Mateo, developing Corporate Education programs. In 1997 she and her husband relocated to Southern California where she worked at Marymount College in Palos Verdes as the Director of the Weekend College program.

After taking a few years off to stay home with her newborn daughter, Dr. Howard’s passion to serve the adult college student community brought her to CUI in 2004 when she opened Concordia’s Temecula Regional Center and was blessed to be able to teach and advise 100+ students through the BA Degree Completion program. In 2012 she moved to the School of Education where among other things she had the pleasure of bringing MAED programs to students in the Temecula and San Diego regions.

First and foremost, Dr. Howard defines herself as a daughter of the King of Kings, saved by His mercy and grace, and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Her passions are studying His word in Greek and sharing the gospel on short-term mission trips. “God has placed a wonderful desire in my heart for mission work in Africa. I have had the pleasure of traveling to the continent of Africa 8 times in the last 10 years. My first visit was to Swaziland to plant gardens with Dream for Africa. My next two visits were to Ethiopia where I received my Amharic name Ingeda, and worked with Childrens’ Ministry workers for an organization called Kidzana. My next three trips were to Senegal where I had the privilege to work with a local young pastor and his wife in ministry in a small remote villages outside of Thies. Finally my last two visits were to the DR Congo where I have been most blessed work alongside the indomitable Esther and Camille Ntoto serving men, women and children through a variety of ministries. God is doing amazing things in Congo! I can’t wait to go back.”

Areas of Expertise

  • Adult Learning
  • Online Teaching and Learning
  • Scholarly Writing
  • Mentoring
  • WSCUC Assessment programs
  • Training Trainers in Children’s Ministry
  • Belinda Karge Karge, Belinda
  • Professor of Education, Doctoral Program
  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Quantitative Methods and Special Education University of California Riverside
  • Beta 209B
  • (949) 214-3333
Belinda Karge

Professor of Education, Doctoral Program

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Quantitative Methods and Special Education University of California Riverside
  • M. S. Education, Emphasis in Special Education and Reading, University of California, Riverside
  • B. S. Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • A. A. Long Beach City College

Biography

True to her values for all children and youth, Dr. Belinda Karge devotes her career to ensuring that all students have the best success opportunities and leaders are equipped with necessary tools to transform education environments. She is the Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction and a Professor in the doctoral program at Concordia University Irvine and is a Professor Emeritus from California State University, Fullerton. At CUI she is responsible for EDD program development and improvement, faculty professional learning, curriculum development and assessment, and advising doctoral dissertations. She teaches research courses in the doctoral program and coordinates the Special Education Specialization. Dr. Karge was an Institute of Educational Leadership (IEL) Fellow and leads the CUI Policy class trip to Washington DC every summer.

Dr. Karge received her Ph.D. in Quantitative Methods, Special Education and Educational Psychology, and her Master’s Degree in Reading from the University of California, Riverside. She taught at both the elementary and high school levels and served in various leadership roles in public education subsequent to moving to the university. Prior to joining the faculty at CUI in 2015, she worked at several research universities, both as faculty and in administrative roles. Her professional record demonstrates a consistent pattern of scholarly and creative activities including research, publications (three textbooks, five curriculum texts, four book chapters, several educational tools, over 135 articles), and numerous grants (totaling over twenty million dollars).

Dr. Karge is an expert in research based instructional strategies. She is a sought-after presenter and coach in the areas of whole school reform, higher education engagement strategies, inclusive practices, Prek-12 co-teaching, on-line and face-to-face student engagement, pedagogical strategies, effective teaching and learning in diverse classroom groups. She has received a multitude of awards for her teaching and service to the profession. She was honored with the National Council for Learning Disabilities Floyd Hudson Outstanding Service to the Field of Learning Disabilities award and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) service to the profession award. She is Past-President of the National Association for Alternative Certification. During her career, Dr. Karge has made multiple referred presentations to international, state, and local groups of school district employees and has keynoted several conferences. She travels extensively as a consultant for the U. S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools.

Dr. Karge spends most mornings hiking or walking with her husband Doug. She is Lutheran and has led many mission trips both in the USA and abroad.

Areas of Expertise

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Evaluation Research
  • Special Education
  • International Education
  • Education Reform
  • New Teacher Induction
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Eugene Kim Kim, Eugene P.
  • Associate Professor of International Studies
  • Ph.D., Comparative Education, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Beta 209 D
  • (949) 214-3367
Kim, Eugene P.

Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Social Sciences & Comparative Education, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • B.S., Psychobiology, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

Biography

Dr. Eugene P. Kim started at Concordia University Irvine in 2007 as Dean of Asia Programs responsible for the strategic planning of the university's Asia strategy and Founding Director of the MA in International Studies (MAIS) programs in International Education, International Development and International Business. From 20078-2017, Dr. Kim was deployed to Shanghai, China and represented the university's interests in China and Asia; during that time he established MOU's and partnerships with over 20 Chinese universities and schools in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Kunming and other cities; developed graduate programs with over 300 alumni and $1.5 million in annual revenues; implemented short-term immersive study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students to China; successfully fund-raised for a Asia library; designed marketing materials, promotions and university branding in China.

Currently (since 2017) Dr. Kim serves as faculty in the EDD in Leadership program, mentoring dissertation students in K-12, higher education, non-profits, and business sectors. His current research interests align with those of his doctoral students including under-represented minority access to STEM, internationalization of education, educational entrepreneurship and innovation, and gratitude interventions.

Prior to this, Dr. Kim was a tenure-track professor at Pepperdine University where he taught graduate level teacher education courses and was the founding coordinator of a professional development school in Hollywood. During his tenure at Pepperdine University, he served as chair of the Pepperdine Charter School Initiative, as advisor to doctoral students of educational leadership, and as a member on the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Committee.

Dr. Kim has served on boards of foundations and universities (Harvey Fellows, Emperor’s College), founded several non-profits and private companies (House for Kids, Foundation for Transformational Leadership, Xiamen Concordia International School, Integrated Education, Ltd., Kennedy Group, Ltd.), and is consultant to diverse industries including foreign investment, Hollywood films, and executive leadership.

Areas of Expertise

  • Private, Charter & Public Education
  • K-12 & Higher Education
  • Comparative & International Education
  • Faith-Learning-Vocation Integration
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Quantitative, Qualitative & Mixed-Methods Research
  • International Business & Development
  • Program Development/Management/Evaluation
  • Dr. Gregory MerwinMerwin, Gregory
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, California State University, Fullerton
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Dr. Gregory Merwin

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, California State University, Fullerton
  • M.S., Education/Administration, California State University, Fullerton
  • B.A., English, University of California, Irvine

Biography

Dr. Gregory Merwin is Associate Superintendent, Education and Support Services, in the Capistrano Unified School District. Prior to working as Associate Superintendent, Dr. Merwin has served in the roles of Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, and principal at George White Elementary School in Capistrano Unified. Dr. Merwin also worked in the Magnolia School District, where he was the principal of Albert Schweitzer Elementary School and Robert M. Pyles Elementary School from 2007-2012. Dr. Merwin started his career in education in the Santa Ana Unified School District, where he worked as an elementary teacher, Reading First Literacy Coach, and assistant principal.

Dr. Merwin has taught both doctoral and masters and courses for Concordia Irvine since 2014. In addition, he is also an instructor for the Orange County Department of Education and California State University, Fullerton. His research has focused on transformational leadership, school culture, effective pedagogy, and student achievement.

Areas of Expertise

  • Instructional Leadership and Strategies
  • Educational Systems
  • Educational Policy
  • Special Education
  • Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health
  • Organizational Change
  • School Culture
  • Effective Pedagogy for English Learners
  • Dr. William Nelson Nelson, William
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University Irvine
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Dr. William Nelson

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed. D., Education Leadership, Concordia University Irvine
  • M.A.Ed., Cross-Cultural Teaching, National University
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Pacific
  • California Administrative Services Credential
  • California Single-Subject Teaching Credential

Biography

Dr. Nelson has over 25-years of experience with K-12 public school education. He started as a substitute teacher and then became a seventh-grade history teacher while earning his Master's degree in cross-cultural teaching from National University. After spending three years as a high school assistant principal, Dr. Nelson went on to become a comprehensive high school principal for ten years and earned his Doctorate from Concordia University, Irvine Graduate School of Education. Dr. Nelson also has served in various District level positions, including Director of Secondary Education and Senior Director of School Leadership.

Dr. Nelson's work with college and career preparation has helped minority and lower social-economic students to qualify, attend, and graduate from four-year colleges and universities and become prepared for the workforce. Dr. Nelson also is a Fellow with the California Education Policy Fellowship Program and participated in various WASC accreditation teams.

Areas of Expertise

  • College and Career preparation
  • Education Leadership
  • K-12 public education
  • Equity
  • Education Reform
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Career Technical Education pathways
  • Dual Enrollment and Early College pathways
  • Blanca Quiroz Quiroz, Blanca
  • Associate Professor
  • Ph.D. Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Beta 209 E
  • (949) 214-3540
Quiroz, Blanca

Associate Professor

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
  • MEd. Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
  • MA. Latin American Studies, University of California Los Angeles, CA
  • B.A. Psychology, University of California Los Angeles, CA

Biography

Dr. Quiroz joined Concordia after a remarkably comprehensive experience in education. Her path started as an elementary teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). She began her research as an undergraduate and has continued publishing in peer reviewed journals in the areas of cultural psychology, early bilingualism, language and literacy acquisition, early childhood education curriculum, and professional development. Her first publications in the area of cultural psychology were adapted by WestEd Lab and are now well integrated in teacher’s training at several districts, including LAUSD.

After earning her PhD in the area of language and literacy development at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Dr. Quiroz transferred as an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development in Texas A & M University. In this capacity, she chaired and supervised many doctoral students in the Second Language Acquisition program. She developed curriculum and taught classes for the ESL doctoral and teacher training programs. Subsequently, she transitioned to the Texas Comprehensive Center and the Southeast Comprehensive Center as a program associate, serving as an expert in Early Childhood Education, Migrant Education, and Education for ESL students, and training professionals at the state level.

Dr. Quiroz redirected her theoretical expertise to applied research. As a research associate at Stanford University she developed an intervention program for Latino families in building parenting skills that foster children’s school readiness. She implemented the intervention in San Jose, CA while she was at Stanford University and later for the city of Austin, TX as the director of a non-profit organization. Her work has been highlighted in local newspapers and early family intervention reviews. She is now in the process of publishing her findings.

Dr. Quiroz’ passion for helping families and schools improve the education of students at high risk is evident throughout her career. Her comprehensive and innovative theoretical views echo through the unique accomplishments she has achieved in community-research, in areas of high need. From her personal, educational and professional trajectory, Dr. Quiroz brings to CUI an in-depth and unique understanding of education at multiple levels; family, community, school, district, and state. Dr. Quiroz supervises doctoral candidates and teaches quantitative methods and diversity courses within the Doctor of Education Program. She sees her role at Concordia as an opportunity to improve educational research from an applied perspective and values highly the extraordinary experiences of the students in our program.

Areas of Expertise

  • Language Acquisition
  • Early Literacy Development in Spanish/English Bilinguals
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Child Development
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Cultural Psychology
  • Migrants’ Education
  • ESL education
  • Parental Involvement
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Dr. Juan A. Salas Salas, Juan
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University Irvine
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Dr. Juan A. Salas

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Concordia University Irvine
  • M.A., Educational Leadership, Sacramento State University
  • B.A., Business Administration, University California Riverside

Biography

Dr. Juan Salas has been in public education since 1998. During his first eight years in education, Dr. Salas taught social science courses to middle school and high school students in Stockton Unified School District, before becoming an administrator at a continuation high school within the district. Dr. Salas has served as a district coordinator, assistant principal and principal for the past fourteen years at a 6-12 comprehensive high school, including his responsibilities to lead the International Baccalaureate program. Currently, Dr. Salas is a middle grades principal at Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento, CA.

His entire experience in education has focused on Title I schools, with an emphasis in English Language Learners and vulnerable student populations. Dr. Salas holds the following credentials: California Tier II Administrative Service, California Clear Single Subject--Social Science, and Supplemental Credential, Business Administration. He has been married to his supportive wife, Olivia, for 14 years and has one son and two daughters.

Areas of Expertise

  • Transformational Leadership
  • Educational Leadership
  • K-12 Education
  • Alternative Education
  • English Language Learners
  • Culture & Climate
  • Language Acquisition
  • International Baccalaureate Program (IB)
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
  • Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS)
  • Career Technical Education (CTE)
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC)
  • Kent Schlichtemeier Schlichtemeier, Kent
  • Dean, School of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Beta 107 A/B
  • (949) 214-3256

Dean, School of Education

Kent Schlichtemeier

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., Denver University
  • B.A., Concordia Teachers College, Seward, NE

Biography

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier is a teacher. He started his teaching career in 1978 teaching 6th-8th grades in Oxnard, CA. After completing his Master’s degree at Denver University in 1984, he continued his teaching career at the high school level in Orlando, FL. Dr. Schlichtemeier served in the School of Education at Concordia University, Irvine from 1988-2003 where he mentored future teachers. In addition to teaching at Concordia, Dr. Schlichtemeier was the women’s basketball coach until retiring in 1993 to pursue his doctorate degree. During the final two seasons of his tenure as coach, the Lady Eagle Basketball team made two consecutive appearances at the NAIA National Basketball Tournament after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships. Dr. Schlichtemeier was voted the District Three NAIA Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993 and was voted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Dr. Schlichtemeier has served as a teacher and assistant principal at Orange Lutheran High School from 2003-2007, before returning to teach at Concordia University. He enjoys frequent opportunities to speak at sports banquets, school graduations, athletic camps, teacher conferences, and leadership retreats. Currently, Dr. Schlichtemeier serves as Dean in the School of Education at Concordia University Irvine.

Areas of Expertise

  • Instructional Leadership
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Organizational Culture
  • School Climate
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Action Research
  • Dr. Kelly Skon Skon, Kelly
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ph.D., Educational, Disability Studies, Chapman University
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Dr. Kelly Skon

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education, Disability Studies – Chapman University, 2016
  • MA Ed., Education – Vanguard University, 2009
  • BS, Mathematics – Chapman University, 2006

Biography

Dr. Kelly Skon is currently an adjunct professor in the Ed.D. and MAED programs at Concordia University Irvine. While Dr. Skon has taught a range of courses in the MAED program, her favorite courses to teach are the 580/605 Research series. Dr. Skon serves as chair or reader on a number of dissertation committees within the doctoral program. She is passionate about equipping those in the field of education with the tools to become advocates for students.

In addition to her work with Concordia University, Dr. Skon serves students and other stakeholders full time in the K-12 setting. Currently she is principal of Beverly Vista Middle School in Beverly Hills. Previously, Dr. Skon was assistant principal in the Huntington Beach Union High School District and prior to this served in the Saddleback Valley Unified as the Coordinator for Secondary STEM and high school guidance. Dr. Skon began her career in 2006 as a middle school math teacher.

Areas of Expertise

  • Assessment & Data Collection
  • Curriculum Design
  • Data Analysis
  • Instructional Rounds
  • MTSS
  • Research Methods
  • STEM Literacy
  • Bonni Stachowiak Stachowiak, Bonni
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University
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Stachowiak, Bonni

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University
  • M.A., Organizational Leadership, Chapman University
  • B.A., Social Sciences, Chapman University

Biography

Dr. Bonni Stachowiak gets the privilege of speaking with exceptional educators on a weekly basis, as the host of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast. Since 2014, her podcast has provided a space to explore the art and science of being more effective at facilitating learning. The show has been downloaded over two million times. Teaching in Higher Ed also explores how to improve our productivity, so faculty can have more peace in our lives, and be even more present for our students.

Bonni is the Dean of Teaching and Learning at Vanguard University of Southern California. She’s also a Professor of Business and Management and teaches a few times a year for Concordia's Educational Leadership doctoral program. She’s been teaching in-person, blended, and online courses throughout her entire career in higher education. Bonni and her husband, Dave, are parents to two curious kids, who regularly shape their perspectives on teaching and learning.

Areas of Expertise

  • Organizational Theory, Culture and Effectiveness
  • Systems Theory and Learning Organizations
  • Educational Psychology
  • Ethics
  • Instructional Leadership and Strategies
  • Assessment
  • Human Resource Management
  • Ethics
  • Online and Information Technologies
  • Dr. Cynthia Stephens Stephens, Cynthia
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of Sarasota
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Dr. Cynthia Stephens

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed. D in Educational Leadership, University of Sarasota
  • Ed.S in Educational Administration and Supervision, University of West Georgia
  • M.Ed in K-12 School Counseling, University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • B.A. in Psychology and Social Sciences, Western Carolina University

Biography

Dr. Cyndy Stephens is an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at Concordia University Irvine. Her professional experiences include state-level, district and district private and public education as teacher and educational diagnostician in a residential/day treatment center for severely emotional disturbed children and youth ages 6-16; district-wide Student Support Team Program Coordinator in a large district; Assistant Principal in a diverse school of nearly 1500 elementary students including a substantial special education population; Principal in a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse elementary school that was named Local, State and National School of Excellence--which was selected among the first twenty-four “Charter Schools” in the Georgia League of Professional Schools and named as one of three Lighthouse Schools by the Georgia State Board of Education. Dr. Stephens led a unique partnership with a large state university and feeder schools that resulted in formation of her district’s first collaborative Elementary/Middle/High School Dialogue, Planning Cluster and Articulation Cluster.

Dr. Stephens was awarded National Distinguished Principal by the United States Department of Education. At the state level, she was named Director of the first Georgia Teaching Force Center, appointed Division Director for Educator Workforce Development, Research and Recruitment and, Program and was Director for Transition to Teaching Grants and Educator Workforce Development in the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. In the Georgia Department of Education, she was Senior Staff Specialist for School Improvement, Accountability, and Evaluation, Testing and Research divisions.

Prior to joining Concordia University Irvine, Dr. Stephens was adjunct professor of teacher and leader preparation in private and public colleges and universities. She is past Regional Director, President and Policy Director for the National Association for Alternative Certification and is a long-time member in the American Association of School Personnel Administrators, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators and Georgia Association of Educational Leaders. Dr. Stephens is a trained education mediator, continues to serve on state, regional and national education committees and panels, and is a frequent speaker, trainer and leader for ensuring leadership capacity, quality and access and practice-excellence.

Areas of Expertise

  • Organizational Leadership, Assessment and Change
  • Continuous School Improvement
  • Site-based Team Building and Shared Governance
  • Building and Sustaining Preparation, Community, Business, Policy and School/District Partnerships
  • Educator Supply and Demand Data and Planning
  • Teacher and Leader Succession Planning
  • Building the Educator Pipeline
  • Alternative Teacher and Leader Preparation and Certification
  • Educator Recruitment, Selection, Placement and Retention
  • Policy and Practice Alignment for Organizational Effectiveness
  • District and School-based Network Improvement Communities
  • Teaching and Learning in Equity-Centered Schools
  • Teacher and Leader Professional Development including Micro-Credentialing Grant Development and Management

Current Certifications

  • PHCLE - Professional Human Capital Leader in Education, American Association of School Personnel Administrators
  • K-12 Educational Leadership and School Counseling, Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC)
  • Margaret C. Thomas Thomas, Margaret C.
  • Associate Professor of Education
    Director of eLearning Programs
  • Ph.D., Education and Leadership, Barry University
  • Grimm Hall 225
  • (949) 214-3361
Thomas, Margaret C.

Associate Professor of Education
Director of eLearning Programs

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education and Leadership, Barry University
  • M.A., Counselor Education, University of Central Florida
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida

Biography

Dr. Margaret Christmas Thomas currently serves as Associate Dean of the Townsend Institute for Counseling and Leadership. Before joining the faculty at Concordia University, she provided national leadership, technical assistance, training and consultation for ResCare operations across the United States; consulted directly with the Social Ministry of Government of Bahrain to design programs for special need and at-risk students; consulted, developed and trained leadership in the United Kingdom to develop a new national model for counselors and leaders serving high needs populations. Dr. Christmas Thomas has also served as a school principal with at-risk and juvenile justice populations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Organizational Theory, Culture and Effectiveness
  • Systems Theory and Learning Organizations
  • Educational Psychology
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Assessment and Accreditation
  • Online and Information Technologies
  • Special Needs Populations
  • Scott Turner Turner, Scott
  • Adjunct Professor, School of Education
  • Ed.D., P-12 Educational Leadership, CSU Fullerton
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Scott Turner

Adjunct Professor, School of Education

Degrees Earned

  • CSU Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, Ed.D., P-12 Educational Leadership, 2018
  • CSU Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, M.S., Special Education 2009
  • CSU Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, B.A., Criminal Justice/Sociology, 2006

Biography

Dr. Scott Turner is an Adjunct Professor in the Doctor of Education in Leadership Program, with specialty knowledge in the area of special education. Dr. Turner is currently the Executive Director of the East San Gabriel Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (ESGV SELPA), which is a geographic consortium of 15 Local Education Agencies serving nearly 95,000 students. Prior to his position in ESGV SELPA, Dr. Turner held administrative positions including Director of the South Orange County SELPA, Special Education Site Specialist/Principal, and a K-12 Program Specialist in Saddleback Valley USD. Dr. Turner’s teaching experience was in Santa Ana USD as an Early Childhood Education Specialist. Dr. Turner's doctoral dissertation was a quantitative study of inclusive practices for students with disabilities, titled Preschool Inclusion: A Quantitative Study of the Relationships of Teacher-Held Mental Models and Organizational Characteristics towards Recommendations for Regular Early Childhood Programs.

Special education is an integral part of a successful educational organization and continues to become more focused on accountability and performance. Dr. Turner’s experience as an education specialist, program specialist, site administrator, and SELPA Director brings a wealth of information and knowledge for practitioners at all levels.

Areas of Expertise

  • Evidenced-based practices for students with disabilities
  • Inclusive Practices for students with disabilities
  • Continuum of placement options/Free and Appropriate Public Education
  • Special education staff observation and evaluation
  • Compliance and reporting activities/Significant Disproportionality
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
  • Due Process/Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Community Involvement and Engagement
  • Julie Vitale Vitale, Julie A.
  • Adjunct Professor of Education
  • Ph.D., Urban Educational Administration, Claremont Graduate University
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Vitale, Julie A.

Adjunct Professor of Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Urban Educational Administration, Claremont Graduate University
  • M.A., Educational Administration, California State University, San Bernardino
  • M.A., Education, Counseling, University of La Verne
  • B.A., History, University of La Verne

Biography

Julie A. Vitale, Ph.D. currently serves as the Superintendent of the Oceanside Unified School District. She previously served five years as the Superintendent in the Romoland School District in Riverside County. Dr. Vitale has held the positions of assistant superintendent, high school principal, curriculum coordinator, assistant principal, and teacher.

Dr. Vitale earned her Ph.D. in Urban Educational Administration from Claremont Graduate University. She earned a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration from California State University San Bernardino and a Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of LaVerne. She also completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of LaVerne. Dr. Vitale maintains an administrative credential and her California Teaching Credential.

Dr. Vitale has taught for Concordia University since 2007 and currently serves as a professor in the Ed.D. program. In 2015 Dr. Vitale was named as the Western Riverside County Association of School Managers, Superintendent of the Year. She proudly serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Culturally Proficient Educational Practice and the Women in Educational Leadership Network (WEL). In 2021, she was honored by the San Diego County Office of Education with their Lighthouse Award as an Equity Champion. The Equity Champion award goes to a community leader who encompasses the light necessary for people to come together and create multiple opportunities for all students and families in pursuit of equitable outcomes and opportunities. Dr. Vitale has presented at local, state, and national conferences and is published on various topics. Additionally, Dr. Vitale serves on the Executive Board for the School Superintendents Association (AASA) and on the Governing Board for the Association California School Administrators (ACSA).

Areas of Expertise

  • Instructional Leadership and Strategies
  • Diverse Educational Settings
  • Common Core Standards
  • Assessment and Accreditation
  • Organizational Change
  • School Climate
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Action Research
  • Catherine Webb Webb, Catherine
  • Professor
  • Ed.D. Instructional Leadership, Argosy University
  • Beta 107 B
  • (949) 214-3598
Webb, Catherine

Professor

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Instructional Leadership, Argosy University, 2007
  • MAEd., Supervision and Administration, University of Phoenix, 2002
  • B. A., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1995
  • B. A., Geography/Environmental Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 1995

Biography

Dr. Catherine Webb is a Professor of Education and Coordinator of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA). She serves on the Institutional Review Board at Concordia University Irvine and is the Subject Matter Expert for EDUA 516, EDUA 517, EDUA 561, EDUA562 and EDUA563 (5 of the 8 Administrative courses in the MAEd. program). Dr. Webb serves as a generalist currently teaching Education Technology, Administration, and Curriculum and Instruction courses in the MAEd program as well as Dissertation Seminars for the Doctoral Program.

Dr. Webb served as a K-8 teacher, special education teacher, site administrator, and district administrator for over 15 years in California and Arizona. She holds a Clear Administrative Services credential and Clear Teaching credential in both states. Dr. Webb defended her dissertation on the efficacy of professional learning communities and the impact school improvement initiatives have on student academic achievement. Dr. Webb’s expertise lies in curriculum, Instruction and assessment, administration, and technology. Dr. Webb served as a consultant and professional development presenter, serving school districts nationwide. Dr. Webb has worked in Higher Education since 2007.

Areas of Expertise

  • Technology
  • 21st century Teaching and Learning
  • Classroom Management
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Diverse Learners
  • School Improvement
  • Common Core Standards
  • Action Research
  • APA
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