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MAED: Learning, Design, and Technology
Dr. Kellie Albrecht is the Assistant Dean for the School of Education, Senior Director of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership program, and a Professor of Education. She is responsible for Ed.D. program operations, program development and improvement, faculty training, curriculum development and assessment, and advising doctoral students with their dissertation research. Dr. Albrecht served as the Chair of the Educational Effectiveness Committee (EEC), a member of 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.
My career in education began at the high school level and I enjoyed years of teaching English and theology classes. My posts as ASB advisor and basketball coach provided additional ways to connect with my students. A couple years as the school's communications director came at the same time I began teaching for Concordia University, Irvine, in 2002. At that time, I taught in the CUAccelerate program which is a hybrid on-campus and online program. A move to Arizona led to five years of instruction for University of Phoenix where I taught a range of writing courses to include expository, research, and technical writing. While I enjoyed that post, I decided to pursue courses in the field of education and started teaching for Grand Canyon University in both their graduate and undergraduate programs. In 2012, I was thrilled to join the CUI ranks again as a Professor of Education for the MAED Curriculum & Instruction program. I also serve as the Subject Matter Expert for the following MAEd courses: Curriculum Design and Assessment (EDU/EDUT 520), Coping with Stress and Violence in Today's Classrooms (EDU 524), and Educational Discourse: Change and Reform (EDU 550). My role as Program Director for Curriculum & Instruction provides opportunities to work with other instructors and stay current with all the courses offered. I'm currently working on a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. I have a true love for the online classroom and truly look forward to the start of each new term.
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.”
Professor Sandy Mercier has been a full-time faculty member in the School of Education since 2014. Sandy attended Concordia University, Irvine both as an undergraduate and graduate student. She currently teaches MAED online courses for both the Curriculum & Instruction and Learning, Design, and Technology programs. She is also the Director of CUI's Learning, Design, and Technology program. Prior to moving into higher education, she taught various grade levels including Kindergarten, 6th, 7th-8th Literature, and K-8 Computers. Sandra's passion is sharing her love of teaching, implementing fun technology, and creating engaging lessons with her MAED students. Sandy and her husband, Nathan, have been blessed with three children. Their family is very involved with St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Orange, CA.
Prior to his full time faculty appointment, Charlie Rodrigues most recently served Concordia University Irvine as Assistant Registrar in addition to his adjunct faculty role in the M.A. Education program. His doctoral research is investigating the effectiveness of the onboarding process for incoming full and part time university faculty. As a proud alum of Concordia for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, he also spent 10 years as an educator in public and Lutheran schools. His breadth of experience will serve him well as he will be teaching in the M.A. Education and teacher credential programs. Charlie and his wife Melissa – also an educator – are raising two active boys (ages 6 and 2) and attend Bethany Lutheran Church in Long Beach. They enjoy spending time with extended family, reading, and traveling.
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.
Prof. Michael Schulteis has been at Concordia University since 2003 teaching in the School of Education specializing in Science and Mathematics education as well as classroom management. His most recent interest is in taking students and teachers abroad to learn about educational opportunities in Asia having led trips to Australia, China, Hong Kong (SAR), and Vietnam. He currently serves as the Director of the Masters In Education (MEd) and Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs. Prior to arriving at Concordia University, he taught at the Junior High School level as a 7th-grade homeroom teacher teaching multiple subjects and as a science specialist for grades 6-8. At the High School level, Michael taught chemistry, biology, and honors biology as well as being a coach and the taxidermy club advisor. Most recently he taught Grade 8 Science for a year at Concordia International School in Shanghai, China along with his wife who taught Grade 5. Dr. Schulteis earned his Bachelor of Arts degree (Biology) in 1995, California Teaching Credential in 1996 and his Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction in 1998 all from Concordia University, Irvine. In 2005 he earned his Doctor of Science Education degree from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. His dissertation thesis was "The Condition and Effects of Evolutionary Education in the Parochial School." Beyond his teaching duties, Prof. Schulteis serves as a Faculty Marshal at the University. Dr. Schulteis is a mentor for the American Meteorological Society Datastreme program. He is also a sought after seminar presenter and has made presentations to teachers across the United States, as well as from around the world including teachers from Korea, Japan, China, South Africa, and Australia.
Dr. Schulteis is married and his wife also teaches at Concordia and is in the Mathematics Department. They have 2 boys. He enjoys travel, gardening, Disney, and fishing. He has the distinction of having visited every Disney Park in the world.
Dr. MaryAnn Seng is a professor of education in the area of school counseling. Prior to her arrival at Concordia University, Seng was a counselor briefly and a school psychologist for 20 years in the Long Beach Unified School District. Her roles in the district included being a bilingual consultant (for the Khmer language), crisis team member, and the coordinator of the school psychology internship program. She also served as a faculty coordinator/counselor at Webster University's Irvine campus. Her knowledge of the Khmer language/culture allowed her to be a community member advisor to the Long Beach Police Department and the Department of Mental Health's Asian Unit for several years. She is currently a board member of the Pediatric Arthritis and Lupus Foundation. Her current research interest involves the educational needs of children with medical conditions.
Dr. Jill Swisher serves as Program Director for School Counseling in the School of Education. She has served in the M.A.Ed department for 15 years, most recently as director of advising and previously assistant director of M.A.Ed programs. Prior experience includes marketing operations for several nonprofit organizations. Jill offers additional expertise in educational telework, with doctoral research on the importance of organizational support in remote worker satisfaction and performance. She enjoys volunteering at her church and children's school, as well as on various local committees.
Dr. Tanya Tarbutton serves as an Assistant Professor of Education and Program Director for MAED, School Administration emphasis. Prior to joining Concordia University, Dr. Tarbutton worked as a supervisor and instructor at several higher education institutions in Southern California, mentoring and supporting new administrators and teachers. In this capacity she evaluated and prepared administrative candidates as well as teacher candidates for teaching and learning in the 21st Century. Dr. Tarbutton has also participated on Academic Advisory Boards focused on transformational change and presented at international conferences. Before entering higher education, Dr. Tarbutton worked as a site based school administrator, resource teacher and general education teacher. As an immigrant, she brings a unique perspective grounded in more than 20 years of career experience.
Professor Heather Vezner enjoyed being a classroom teacher for 17 years. Her experiences in the classroom included serving as an elementary education teacher, early childhood program administrator, and parent educator for a grant-funded early education program. She first came to Concordia University in 2009 in the role of Field Experience Coordinator and TPA Assistant Coordinator. She has also served as Director of Student Teaching, Director of Preliminary Teacher Credential Programs and Assistant Dean. Her areas of research and expertise include: early childhood education, literacy development, mentoring, teacher preparation, and leadership development.
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.