Doctoral Students | Adult Learning and Leadership | Organization and LeadershipSkip to content Skip to main navigation
Adult Learning and Leadership
Department of Organization & Leadership
The following is a sampling of our current doctoral students.
Vigla A. Allison
Vigla Allison is Director, Ethics & Compliance Training in the Global Education and Training department at Colgate-Palmolive. She is globally responsible for leading Ethics learning strategy and implementation. Prior to this role, she was responsible for Leadership Development globally including all high potential programs, executive coaching and new leader onboarding. Before joining Colgate, Vigla worked at Pfizer, Inc in several roles including Director, Leadership Education and Development, Acting Human Resources Director for South Africa, Organizational Effectiveness Sr. Consultant, and HR Generalist. Vigla holds a BS degree in management from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, a MS degree in Organization Development from American University/National Training Laboratories Institute and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Vigla is also certified to use the MBTI assessment and is a Master Trainer for Situational Leadership. She is a returning student to Columbia University because of the school's reputation and the global nature of the student population. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. at Columbia Teachers College which has at its center, foci on Transformative, Experiential and Self-Directed Learning.
Michelle Amos has over eighteen years of experience in reading education working with learners from sixth grade through adult, specializing in meeting the needs of students with a range of learning challenges. She is currently an adjunct professor in Academic Foundations at Santa Fe College. Prior to relocating to Florida, Michelle taught with the Education and Language Acquisition Department at LaGuardia Community College. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Education in Secondary English Education Instruction and Curriculum at the University of Florida. Drawn by the prestige of Teachers College, she later studied in the Reading Specialist program, earning her Master of Arts in 2011. After completing her AEGIS coursework in summer 2013, Michelle is working on her dissertation focused on the challenges of hyperreading for adult developmental readers. She sought to join the AEGIS program because of the intensive format, the cohort structure, and the opportunity to explore meaning and create understanding in collaboration with a diverse, talented group of co-learners.
Tej Anand is a technology management executive with over 25 years of experience in transforming technology business models to be responsive to changing market and customer needs. Tej is currently the Chief Technology Officer for CareCentrix, the leading provider of home health benefits management services to the health care industry. Tej joined CareCentrix from CA Technologies where as Senior Vice President for Information, he ensured that information was used as a strategic asset to deliver profitable revenue growth, reduce complexity and improve the quality of business solutions deployed. Prior to CA Technologies, Tej was at Medco Health Solutions where he was responsible for Clinical, Consumer and Information Management Services. Tej has also served as an executive management consultant and has held senior IT management and research positions at Golden Books, NetCreations, NCR (Teradata), A. C. Nielsen and Philips Research Laboratories. He is a published author, industry speaker and holder of several patents in healthcare business processes and business intelligence. Tej holds degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Computer Science from the University of South Carolina. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University.
April H. Bang is a leadership educator, researcher, artist, and practitioner specializing in adaptive leadership, arts and transformative learning, adult development, systemic change, and collaborative capacity building. She is an advanced doctoral student in the Adult Learning and Leadership program of the Organization and Leadership Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her recent research includes an integration of her specialized interests and adult learning concentration with leadership and data analytics. Prior to her doctoral studies, she taught leadership to undergraduate students at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and conducted workshops for students and professionals in Asia. In addition, she has diverse and extensive experience as a practitioner working across the fields of human rights, criminal justice reform, international rule of law development, and economic policy, including work at the Vera Institute of Justice, International Justice Mission, Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Session on Human Rights Commissions and Criminal Justice, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As an artist in development, April loves painting, drawing, and photography, along with dance and music. With an on-going curiosity to examine and demonstrate how art could foster individual and collective transformation, she has started to exhibit her visual artwork in galleries and has co-curated a community art installation in Harlem. She is passionate about art and social impact, and her experiential and scholarly research on the restorative and transformative power of the arts in conflict resolution led to an article in the Journal of Transformative Education. She holds an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School, an Ed.M. in Adult Learning and Leadership from Columbia University, and a BA in economics from Smith College.
Kimberly J. Bohnet
Kim Bohnet is the Director of Basic Skills at Howard Community College in Maryland, where she is responsible for grants management, program design, and community outreach for the college's adult basic education programs. Kim has both international and domestic experience in human resources, training and development, and program administration. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps (Philippines 2004-2006) prior to entering the field of higher education. Kim earned a bachelor's degree in international business from Northeastern University, a master's degree in public administration from Columbia University, and a certificate in adult literacy education from the Literacy Assistance Center of New York. The accelerated, cohort design of the AEGIS program coupled with the program's foundation in lifelong learning and andragogy drew Kim to Teachers College. Her research focuses on the programmatic efforts of community colleges to address the needs of academically underprepared students.
Juan G. Colon
Juan G. Colón is a Spanish and English as a Second Language teacher for the New York City Department of Education. He has taught English to adults for the NYC Office of Adult and Continuing Education and as an adjunct lecturer for the City University of New York. He has also served as a teacher mentor and a member of various school-based teams. Upon completion of the Doctor of Education Program, he intends to leverage his experience and education to facilitate organizational learning and change in the public and private sector. Juan has a Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Leadership from Teachers College Columbia University, a Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Touro College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Sean Conley is Associate Dean for Marlboro College Graduate School in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he directs several graduate programs and teaches. For the last decade his focus has been on the intersection of technology and adult learning, examining the challenge of the digital divide, technology in the developing world, the open source software movement and the role of experiential learning and reflection in on-line and blended programs. He enjoys combiniing administrative work with teaching and has served as an administrator and on the faculties of The New School, The School for International Training and Tokyo Jogakkan College as well as doing consulting that has taken him to Algeria, Japan, Korea, Serbia, Ukraine, Kyrgystan, the Republic of Georgia and the UAE. Sean was drawn to the AEGIS program at Teacher's College because it combines his interests in leadership and adult learning at an institution with a deep history in valuing exploring experience and reflection in learning.
Lauren DeChant manages professional education programs at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI) at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. At TDI, she has been instrumental in establishing distance learning for health care professionals around topics of equitable, efficient health care delivery. She received her M.A. in Instructional Technology & Media from Teachers College, Columbia University and her undergraduate degree from New York University. Lauren started her career in adult learning and instructional design and technology in 2006 as an Educational Technologist at the University of Connecticut. Prior to working in higher education, she was the Director of Marketing at B3 Architects in Santa Barbara, CA. During her ten-year stint in CA, she also earned a certificate in Visual Communications and Web Design from the University of CA, Santa Barbara. For Lauren, the AEGIS program offers the breadth and depth of adult and team learning expertise essential for designing and implementing interdisciplinary transformative educational programs in health care.
Solymar Ferreras is currently in the Office of the General Counsel at Teachers College as an Attorney Associate doing legal research and assistance with contract review and writing. Solymar served as a Legal Advisor to the Municipality of San Juan in Puerto Rico (Office of Legal Affairs and later the Office for the Holistic Development of Women) and the Civil Rights Commission of Puerto Rico; Provided both legal and social work support to the Community Council of the Península de Cantera in Puerto Rico; Worked as an Administrative Judge at the Department of Consumer Affairs of Puerto Rico and was a Specialist in Judicial Education at the Puerto Rico Judicial Academy (Puerto Rico Judicial Branch). Solymar completed a Bachelor in Arts from Georgetown University (Cum Laude), with a major in International Relations and minor in Sociology; a Juris Doctor (Magna Cum Laude) and Masters in Social Work (concentration in Administration of Human Services) both from the University of Puerto Rico. She is currently working on her dissertation to complete her Doctorate degree in Education at Teachers College, in the Adult Learning and Leadership Program. I have always enjoyed working with adults and communities and think education is the key of achieving a better quality of life. I hope to combine by legal and social work background with adult education as a means to teach in Universities and create non traditional educational programs for marginalized communities about their legal rights and obligations and ways to enhance their interpersonal and social skills. I liked the interdisciplinary nature of the program as it mixed adult education with organizational psychology.
Rachel Fichter has over 15 years of financial services industry experience in a wide range of learning and development roles and as a business manager. She is currently the Head of Learning & Development for JPMorgan Chase's Commercial Banking line of business. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase in 2010, Rachel was in a Chief Operating Officer role at Credit Suisse in Investment Banking Operations supporting Prime Services and Collateral Operations. She joined Credit Suisse in 2006 as Head of Learning & Development for Technology. Before that, Rachel spent seven years in a range of learning and development roles at Deutsche Bank, based in Frankfurt and New York. Through her experiences, Rachel has developed a key combination of business and HR skills. These include business strategy development and management, organizational development, talent and leadership development, succession planning, employee engagement, onboarding, recruiting and internal mobility. Rachel has an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and is currently working on her doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership at Columbia University.
Fabian Freire is a multifaceted digital media producer with over thirteen years of professional experience in the sector of higher education. Fabian is currently digital media coordinator at The New School in New York City, an innovative private university comprising seven academic divisions and over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. In that capacity, Fabian manages and produces strategic digital media assets for the university's YouTube and Livestream channels, amongst other social media outlets. Fabian holds a Master's of Arts degree in Media Studies from The New School and a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Media Arts from New Jersey City University. Fabian's academic interests upon joining the AEGIS doctoral program from Teachers College focus on the impact of digital media and networked technologies on adult learning at the university level, as well as, on disruptions of conceptual, administrative, and organizational structures across higher education institutions due to technological innovations — especially, as a result of the burgeoning implementation of massive models of distributed learning.
Nyasha George has dedicated her career to supporting student learning in ways that impact organizational, community, and system-level change. Over 10 years ago, Nyasha transitioned from the media and journalism field to serve as a New York City Teaching Fellow. In this role, she offered individualized support to second and third grade students with special needs. Years later, Nyasha discovered her passion for inspiring change in adult learners as a result of her service at Global Leadership Training Center (GLTC) located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. During her service at GLTC, she used her educational training to assist with restructuring a curriculum that provided 6 months of leadership and humanitarian outreach training to leaders across the globe. Nyasha returned to the New York City Department of Education with a new focus on supporting educational leaders at all levels of the organization. In this capacity, she designs and facilitates opportunities for educators to strengthen their understanding of how to develop and implement curricula aligned to the Common Core Standards. Her work has also focused on building capacity around utilizing collaborative inquiry and various data-driven decision-making strategies to support improved student outcomes. As her work continues to evolve, she remains committed to facilitating learning that empowers groups and individuals to lead others in becoming self-directed learners and agents of change.
Ruth Gotian is a doctoral student in the Adult Learning & Leadership Program and works full time as the Administrative Director of the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, a position she's held for nearly two decades. She's worked with students in the undergraduate, graduate and post graduate levels, as well as faculty and government officials at all levels. Ruth worked on higher education issues on the local, regional, national and international levels. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Business Management from the University at Stony Brook in New York as well as certificates in Executive Leadership and Managing for Execution from Cornell University. Ruth also oversees the unique summer program for pre-MD-PhD students, Gateways to the Laboratory Program where she had the opportunity to implement a blended learning curriculum with a virtual mentoring community which she built for one of her TC classes. This is the first of its kind for any STEM summer program. She is also very active on the national MD-PhD Program scene, as she served on the National MD-PhD Steering Committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is on the National MD-PhD Communications Committee. Ruth gives presentations at multiple national meetings including the AAMC and the National Institutes of Health. She routinely uses the skills she's acquired at TC in order to make her workshops more interactive.
Mark Green is the Director of Digital Engineering at Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®. He leads efforts to leverage the potentiality of emerging design technologies in the Architecture/ Engineering/Construction (AEC) design-to-fabrication practices. He is an adjunct Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the University of Utah's College of Architecture + Planning, where he focuses his research on building information management (BIM) and parametric design, with an effort to educate affiliated trades in order to better optimize data transfer. Mark holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Utah. Mark resides in New York City.
Jessica Halgren is Managing Partner of Halgren Coaching, an Executive and Organizational Coaching firm in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Jessica's deep expertise comes work with individual clients and leadership teams from leading organizations such as Accenture, Canon, Airbus, Elsevier, Ahold, DSM, APG Investments and DeLage Landen. A fully certified Executive and Organizational Coach (Columbia University), Jessica also holds a master's degree in Social and Organizational Psychology (University of Leiden). Her passion for partnering with clients in achieving their next level of authenticity, leadership and performance brought her to Columbia to pursue a doctorate in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership (AEGIS). The program design, faculty reputation, and glowing references from previous students made her choice to commute from Amsterdam to New York an easy one. The AEGIS program is a great inspiration in her continued development as a researcher/practitioner in the field of Corporate Learning and Leadership. Jessica's clients speak of the benefits of working with a professional who facilitates an evidence-based, cutting-edge learning context and process to accelerate optimal individual and organizational growth, exactly what the AEGIS program is all about.
Andre M. Harper
André M. Harper, a Silicon Valley native began his career as a middle school Math/Science and Reading teacher. He has fundraised, orchestrated and partnered with a number of non-profit organizations including; The American Red Cross, Divas For A Cure Breast cancer foundation, Aids Project Los Angeles and The Coalition for at-risk youth to name a few. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer (C.F.O.) for the T.Y.M.E. Foundation in the city of Los Angeles. André obtained his A.A in Liberal Arts, B.A. in Journalism from Cal State University Los Angeles, M. Ed. from the University of Sarasota, Ed.D, in Higher Education Executive Leadership, attended the Annenberg Foundation Alchemy's Leadership Institute and holds a certificate from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education Urban School leaders Institute. André believes that learning and facilitating are apart of life and when given an opportunity one must run with it! He is excited to be apart of the AEGIS program and its illustrious history. His interests are to understand the concepts of adult learning and how one identifies a transformative experience.
Erin Hilgart is Principal at Hilgart, an Organizational Development and Leadership Strategy Firm. http://hilgart.co/ As an expert change consultant, certified executive coach, and thought-provoking facilitator with fifteen years of experience in over twenty countries, Erin brings a holistic approach to helping great leaders build great companies. From working with leaders to envision the future of their organizations, to coaching them to have the skills needed to embark on that visionary path, to assessing the reality of an organization's current culture and developing the training and policies that will better engage employees, Erin considers the full scope of a company and its people. She and her team forge true partnerships with clients and develop leaders to be the drivers of change, rather than doing the change for them. Erin was Deutsche Bank's former UK Head of Talent & Leadership and the People Workstream Lead for Deutsche Bank's global Finance Transformation. Her recent clients include Fortune 500 Companies across industries. Erin holds an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia, a BA from Alverno, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Adult Learning and Leadership. Erin chose the ALL program because of its capacity to help organizations and individuals to achieve their full potential.
Julia Yingnan Ji is currently an Ed.D student of Adult Learning and Leadership program. Passion in nurturing and facilitating adult development brought her to the program in 2012. She has spent her prior life in Beijing and Shaanxi province in China, including several years of managing different cultural and educational programs including Fulbright program at the Institute of International Education Beijing Office. Ms. Ji desires to foster progressive and sustainable development in such leaders: 'a person whose way of being in the world- in a family, at work, or as a citizen- amounts to the exercise of authority on behalf of facilitating the development of those around him or her, is the person who can truly be called a leader." (Kegan and Lahey, 1984) Her research interests include a) developing leaders via "whole-person learning", a way that treats experience that involves four ways of knowing arising from four modes of psyche: affective, imaginal, conceptual, and practical. (Heron, 1992)" (as cited in Yorks & Kasl, 2002). b) inter-subjectivity building through "second person knowing": "what we do to co-construct our knowledge and meaning… conversation, inquiry, feedback, feed forward to how vision and strategies guide action" (Marsick, 2013). She is developing a project that adopts peer coaching as the approach to build a learning community that develops the members' leadership capacity and capabilities. Being a people-oriented person, Ms. Ji loves meeting people from different backgrounds and connecting persons across sectors for greater collaboration. She is especially keen in creating spaces for meaningful communication among fellow human beings
Rita A. Kenahan
Rita A. (Doyle) Kenahan is a Group Manager in Professional Education at DePuy Inc., a Johnson & Johnson medical devices & diagnostics (MD&D) company. DePuy offers a wide range of educational opportunities for Health Care Providers in orthopedic and neurosurgical specialties. Rita earned a BS in Nursing at Rhode Island College and maintains nursing licenses in the states of RI and MA. She earned a Masters degree in Education at U Mass Boston. After several years in a clinical role, Rita transitioned to a career in training and education in the healthcare industry. She began her career as a Clinical Training Specialist for Haemonetics, Inc. and managed the Blood Research Center. At Davol, Inc., a C.R. Bard company, she functioned in clinical and sales training roles until her move to DePuy in 1999. The reputation of the AEGIS program at TC was a main driver in Rita's pursuit of her doctoral studies. Rita's research focuses on the continuing medical education of surgeons and OR HCPs with an emphasis on faculty development in the MD&D industry.
Neil Kernis was recently appointed to a full-time faculty position in the Developmental Skills Department of Borough of Manhattan Community College of CUNY, where he will teach Academic Reading and Critical Thinking. Prior to his appointment, he taught business communications at Year Up, an innovative workforce development organization, and held teaching posts at LaGuardia Community College of CUNY and Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey. In 2007 he received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach American Studies and Creative Writing at the Universitatea de Vest in Timisoara, Romania. He holds a BS in Social Work from Skidmore College and an MA in International Affairs from the New School. His research interest in how community colleges address the learning needs of immigrant adults has him to pursue doctoral study in Adult Learning and Leadership at TC.
Michael S. Kushner
Michael S. Kushner, is the Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer for Miami Children's Hospital and has over 25 years of Human Resources experience. He has held senior level positions with Catholic Healthcare Partners (one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in the United States) and Tupperware. Michael has also worked in the banking and consulting industries. Mr. Kushner obtained his Bachelors of Science (BS) from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida Atlantic University. In addition to his senior professional designation in Human Resources (SPHR), he has also earned several certifications. Throughout his career, he has helped develop innovative approaches to Human Resources, spoken nationally, and published several articles. Mr. Kushner has been active at an officer level in local, state, and national Human Resources professional associations as well as serving as an officer and fund-raiser for numerous charitable and community organizations. Michael chose the AEGIS program at Columbia University because of its accelerated cohort format, its excellent reputation and the opportunity to learn and apply newly acquired knowledge in adult learning and leadership.
Welton Kwong currently works in the Bay Area as the Program Administrator for English Learners in a district of five high schools. In overseeing a program that serves approximately 1100 students, he recognizes that a key component of his work is to create an organizational environment in which adult learning is valued. Welton studied literature at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard University with additional degrees in Education and Educational Leadership from Stanford University and Teachers College, Columbia University respectively. Since completing the Summer Principals Academy (SPA) at TC in 2008, he has been returning to the program every summer as an instructor to future school leaders. For his dissertation, he is examining through the learning from experience and communities of practice lenses how high school teachers learn to exercise leadership with their colleagues. Other interests include adult learning in sports and the arts. The opportunity to obtain a bi-coastal perspective is a main reason for studying at TC while living in California.
Annie Mallan is currently pursuing her doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Annie works for Saks Fifth Avenue where she spearheads the executive development program. In this role, she manages and produces events, classes, and workshops for their renowned merchant training program. Prior to joining Saks, Annie worked in the education department at Sotheby's International Realty where she helped in the evaluation and restructuring of their mentorship program. She holds a B.B.A in marketing and communications from George Washington University, and an M.A. in Business and Workplace Education from New York University. Annie chose the ALL doctorate program because it's breadth of courses, faculty reputation, and opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Sheila McDaniel has more than 23 years of non-profit management experience, the last 15 years in executive positions overseeing change management processes, operations and administrative infrastructures and strategic planning and implementation. Her expertise includes human resource management, capital and technology project management and risk management. Since August 2004 Sheila has served as the Deputy Director, Finance and Operations at the Studio Museum in Harlem. She is a member of the leadership team responsible for the implementation of the Museum's strategic plan. Prior to joining SMH, she was Associate Executive Director of Operations at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Inc. where she was part of the leadership responsible for the opening of The Harvey Milk High School. After years of working at small to mid-size non-profit organizations, with responsibility for organizational performance, she is interested in how implementing a learning culture, with little or no funding, could improve an organization's impact. What would that look like? Sheila has come to Teacher's College with the desire to explore these issues. Sheila holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College. She plans to use her Doctor of Education in Adult Learning and Leadership from Teachers College to consult with these types of non-profits to enhance their work.
Brian Mitra is a passionate and dedicated student affairs professional who is currently the Director of the Office of Career Development, Transfer/New Start and Scholarship Opportunities at Kingsborough Community College. Over his years in Student Affairs, he has held positions as Commuter Student Affairs Graduate Assistant and Student Activities Advisor at Stony Brook University and Jobs Placement Coordinator at Kingsborough. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Health Science and an Advanced Certificate in Healthcare Management at Stony Brook University, his Master of Arts in Community Health Education at Brooklyn College and is currently pursing his doctoral degree in the AEGIS program. Brian looks to continue to make an impact in adult learning and knows that the AEGIS program provides the environment to do so. Teachers College and Columbia University fosters the environment to spark and continue dialogue of lifelong learning. He looks forward to being part of the discussion and the impact that the AEGIS XXIII cohort will make.
Antija Moore is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Bethel University in McKenzie, TN where she teaches and advises undergraduates. Prior to this, she served as senior project staff, writing coach, and primary curriculum designer/developer on adult education/training teams that supported current NYS and NYC-Human Resource Administration policy initiatives at the Professional Development Program. In addition to having over 10 years of teaching experience, she also has a great deal of experience conducting research. Antija has been employed as an Assistant Research Scientist at the NYU Child Study Center and Project Coordinator at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has collected data through: psychological testing, focus groups, and ethnographic interviews. She also had the opportunity to work as an IRB Coordinator for St. John's University where she spearheaded their transition from paper to electronic submissions of research proposals. Antija earned her BA in Psychology from Neumann University and MA in Psychology from Pepperdine University. An Ed.D. Candidate and Harlem native, Antija chose the Adult Learning & Leadership program at Teachers College because of her dedication to being a better educator of adults and its reputation for having top notch faculty that deliver high quality instruction. Even though she has not yet earned her degree, Antija feels she is already reaping the benefits of being a part of the TC community.
Nicole is currently the Regional Education Services Specialist for the National Guard Bureau located in Wilmington, DE. As an experienced military educator, she has served in positions such as Education Services Officer for the Department of Homeland Security and an Education Specialist for the US Navy in Pearl Harbor, HI assisting service members with their education and career transition goals. She also has an independent consulting practice that provides transition services to former professional athletes. The AEGIS program at TC Columbia University provides a rigor academic foundation, renowned faculty support, and a diverse student population she has learned immensely from. Nicole holds an undergraduate degree in Sports Management from Delaware State University, Masters Degree in Education, and is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University in the city of New York.
Sherlin Nair is a research consultant with The Conference Board and supports projects in human capital, talent management, leadership development and employee engagement. She has co-authored research reports and articles, which include: Strategic Leadership Development Report 2013, Executive Coaching 2012, Happiness at Work. She has a total of 12 years of work and management experiences in business operations and training with global organizations like GE Capital, Dell International Services and Dale Carnegie Training India. Having spent a significant part of that time (more than 8 years) in operations driving teams for business deliverables, she understood that 'People' was at the heart of every business and wanted to explore if they could be taught to work and learn better. This curiosity not only led her to her next role as a training consultant with Dale Carnegie and eventually to launch her own training company, but also played a major role in her decision to move to New York for a post-master's degree in adult education and workplace learning from New York University in 2010. She has been on the board of ASTD (now ATD) New York chapter since 2012 serving as VP Finance/Operations and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Home H.C. Nguyen
Home is an educator, executive coach, and organizational consultant with experience working in diverse cultures and settings. He designs and facilitates learning programs and leadership retreats for corporate professionals and educators, integrating mind and body awareness practices with psychology and scholarly research.As an adjunct faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University, he teaches courses on Self- Awareness Training, Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices for educators, therapists and leaders. In addition, he also conducts Personal Leadership & Career Fitness workshops for MBA students at Columbia Business School, and teaches with the Summer Principals Academy at Teacher's College.As an executive coach, Home has worked with a wide range of leaders and their teams, from CEOs of privately owned companies to managers of large corporations, helping them develop strategic insights, social and emotional intelligence and resiliency.Home received his BA from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is a doctoral candidate in Adult Learning and Leadership at Columbia University. His research focuses on the development of wisdom and mindfulness with individuals, teams and organizations. A Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through The Coaches Training Institute, he also received a certificate in conflict resolution through the Harvard Negotiation Insight Initiative at the Harvard Law School.A dedicated meditator, Home is the co-founder and co-president of the Mindfulness and Education Working Group (MEWG) at Columbia University. In 2013, he was a featured speaker on mindfulness and leadership at TEDx Teachers College.An emigre from Vietnam, Home was co-founder and artistic director of the first Vietnamese American Theatre Troup, using the dramatic arts to help immigrants and refugees adapt to their new environment. His signature piece, Laughter from the Children of War, was performed at major theaters and college campuses across the USA.
Cindy is Assistant Vice President, Global Women's Initiative Leader on the Global Diversity & Inclusion team at MetLife where she is responsible for the design and implementation of the processes and programs targeted to the attraction, development and retention of women leaders globally. While Cindy is accountable for the execution, she also partners with business leaders, HR Business Partners and HR Centers of Excellence teams in the deployment of GWI activities. Prior to MetLife, Cindy spent 13 years at Pfizer in leadership roles in Global Clinical Research, Diversity & Inclusion, Talent/HiPo Development and Organizational Change. She earned a BS in Biology from Morris Brown College, Masters in Business Education/Workplace Learning from New York University actively works on completing her doctorate degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Young Women's Leadership School in Harlem and serves as a mentor for Levo League.
Maria Papadakis has worked in higher education for 16 years and is currently the Manager in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University. She is responsible for the academic management, staff supervision, and financial administration of the program.
Prior to joining the Princeton community, Maria worked at the Columbia University Business School and Columbia’s Teachers College, as well as Hunter College in New York City. Born in New York, Maria spent her formative years on the island of Corfu, Greece, where both her parents come from.
She received her Doctor of Education as well Master of Arts degrees from Teachers College at Columbia University and her doctoral dissertation was on the Experiences of First-Generation Students at One Ivy League Campus. In 2016, she presented her research on Developing Trust and Empathy in Diverse Cohorts at the International Transformative Learning Conference.
In 2017, she was the recipient of Princeton University’s President’s Achievement Award, the highest level of recognition for employees, for her exemplary management of the multiple priorities of students, faculty, and staff.
Dimitrios Papanagnou is an emergency medicine physician and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He is also the Assistant Dean for Faculty Development at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Papanagnou also serves as adjunct faculty at the NYC Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning (IMSAL) of the Health and Hospitals Corporation. He graduated from the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. As a Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Scholar, he received a Masters of Public Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. He went on to complete his residency in Emergency Medicine at the NYU / Bellevue Hospital Center. After residency, Dr. Papanagnou completed a fellowship in Emergency Ultrasonography at SUNY Downstate / Kings County Hospital. He subsequently completed a fellowship in Medical Simulation at IMSAL. In 2013, he was selected as a fellow for the Clinical Quality Fellowship Program, a patient-safety initiative sponsored by the United Hospital Fund (UHF) and the Greater New York Hospital Association. Previously, Dr. Papanagnou was the Director of Medical Simulation at SUNY Downstate, where he supported and developed educational simulation programs for the medical center. His interests include multidisciplinary team-based learning, simulation-integrated curriculum development, and patient safety. To build on his skills in medical education, simulation, and faculty development, Dr. Papanagnou is completing a doctorate in adult education at Teachers College.
Rachel Plews is currently working on her dissertation in the area of self-directed learning in the virtual learning environment after recently completing the AEGIS coursework this past summer. After obtaining her bachelor's degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Rachel worked in sales, marketing, and event planning for the Sofitel New York, Mandarin Oriental New York, the Montauk Yacht Club, and the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel completed her master's degree in education from Lehigh University in 2010, while working at Northampton Community College's Hospitality Career Institute and teaching in the hotel and restaurant management program. She then moved on to work at Montgomery County Community College in their hospitality program. Rachel also spent a semester teaching at Fisher College in Boston. Currently living in Chicago, she is a lecturer in the education department at Oakton Community College. Rachel applied to the AEGIS program at Columbia due to the intensive nature of the program with the ability to explore different areas of interests related to adult learning. She has enjoyed being able to work with a cohort that is diverse in background, education, and work experience.
Ashli Ree is the Batch Coordinator of Prudential Financial. She works in an imaging operations center of the Global Business and Technology Solutions group. Ashli received her undergraduate degree in Fashion Design from Fashion Institute of Technology and a master's degree in Human Resource Development with Education concentration from Drexel University. Ashli teaches Korean at a community college in Pennsylvania and works as an interpreter and translator for several organizations. When time permits, she is a freelance fashion designer. Ashli joined the AEGIS program as it allows the learner to continue to work full time and research simultaneously. It truly supports one to be a scholar practitioner. She is passionate about practicing what she learned from an academic setting in a work setting and AEGIS pushes her to consistently reflect in different settings. What brought Ashli to Teachers College Columbia University are the faculty members and the one of a kind program it offers. In the most wonderful way, they cause her to think critically and question her role as an adult educator.
Monica is the Director of Leadership & Professional Development for the Integrated Talent Management team at Pitney Bowes in Stamford, CT. She is responsible for executive education and leadership development initiatives for approximately 2,700 global leaders. She has been responsible for the design, development and execution of talent management strategies (assessment, recruitment, development and succession planning) for corporate staffs and two lines of business. Prior to joining Pitney Bowes Monica spent 14 years in Human Resources at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY. These positions included Senior Human Resources Manager for the Global Shared Services, Director of Talent Acquisition and several positions within the Kodak Education and Development Center. Her areas of practice included executive and professional recruitment, leadership development, organization development, workforce readiness and instructional design. She began her career as a Change Management Services Consultant at Accenture in Florham Park, NJ. She received her M.S. in Career & Human Resources Development from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in Political Science from LeMoyne College. She is currently pursuing a coaching certificate through the Columbia Coaching Certification Program. Monica currently serves on the Board of Directors for Career Resources Inc. in Bridgeport, CT and is actively involved with the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Connecticut. She formerly served as the chair of the Management Advisory Committee for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) in White Plains, NY.
Katherine Rondeau-Fiore is a learning and development professional at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. During her tenure at the Fed, Katherine has worked with a broad range of audiences, with a focus on Banking Supervision and Regulation. She has assisted in the design, management, and facilitation of the Examiner Commissioning Program, a multi-year professional education program. Her experiential program to enhance collaboration among bank examiners with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was presented at the national American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference. Katherine's 15 years in learning and development spans a wide range of industries, including international and local non-profits, hospitality, manufacturing, and higher education. In all of these settings she has served in multiple roles including learning facilitator, designer, business partner, and coach. Katherine earned an Ed.M. degree from Temple University with a specialization in Adult and Organizational Development, and has taught in the School of Communications and Theater. She came to Teachers College to further her learning and conduct real-world research in the area of short-term team collaboration and learning.
Mary Scholl is the founder and director of Centro Espiral Mana, a small teacher-training center and a community English program in rural Costa Rica. Over 600 participants from 20 different countries have attended programs at her institute, most with scholarships provided by the U.S. State Department. Mary has been teaching, consulting and training in both public and private settings in the U.S., Brazil, Japan, Korea, Libya, and South Sudan as well as throughout Latin America. Mary is dedicated to creating joyful, compassionate, engaged and empowering learning experiences has presented on topics including leadership within the classroom, the role of creativity and learning, the role of compassion in learning, reflective practice, observation and feedback, and learning-centered language teaching. After graduating with a degree in Public Policy Analysis from UNC-CH she did her masters in teaching at the School for International Training in Vermont and is now excited to be in the AEGIS program at Colombia University's Teachers College. Mary was drawn to the AEGIS program because it combines her interests in adult learning and leadership at an institution that has a vibrant history of innovative leadership and that values community, experience and reflection in learning.
E. Ramone Segree
E. Ramone Segree, a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), serves as vice president, development for Winthrop-University Hospital. In 2002, he formed Segree Associates, a philanthropic and strategic management firm. Ramone has served as vice president, advancement and foundation executive director for CUNY/LaGuardia Community College; senior vice president, advancement for Meharry Medical College; vice president, advancement and foundation executive director for Salem State University; and vice president, development for Pittsburgh Public Theater. A faculty member in Columbia University's M.S. in Fundraising Management Program, Ramone has served on numerous civic, cultural and professional boards including as international chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Foundation for Philanthropy and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Ramone holds a B.A. in political science and education from California University of PA, an M.Ps.Sc. in community psychology and organizational development from Pennsylvania State University, and an honorary A.S. from Community College of Allegheny County. Among his presentations and publications is "Strategic Management: Leadership in Changing Times" in AFP's Advancing Philanthropy. An Ed.D. doctoral candidate, Ramone considered the TC AEGIS program's challenging theory, practice and cohort concentrations to be a match for his academic and professional focus on learning and organizational leadership.
Ramona T. Sharpe
Ramona T. Sharpe, PHR, CCP, is an Associate in Strategy and Organization at Booz Allen Hamilton, focusing on Human Capital and Learning solutions. Ramona is a seasoned Human Resources (HR) professional with more than twelve years of experience in workforce planning, training and development, project management, staffing, performance management, HR metrics, talent management, and diversity& inclusion. Ramona has lead company-wide HR initiatives for fortune 500 companies as well as managed consulting projects for non-profit organizations and government. In addition, she has worked as an adjunct professor teaching professional development. Ramona is currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, studying adult learning and leadership in the AEGIS Program. She has a MS in Human Organization Science (focusing on HR Development), a BS in Business Administration, and a BA in Psychology from Villanova University. Ramona is also a certified Human Resources Professional (PHR) and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). Ramona came to Columbia for the opportunity to continue her education on the doctoral level focusing on Adult Learning and Leadership in an accelerated yet self-guided program and for the exceptional academic reputation of the school and world-class faculty.
Tina Stinson-DaCruz is Compliance Learning Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Tina is an accomplished learning and development professional with over 15 years of design and development experience in the subjects of ethics, compliance, and conflicts of interest as well as management and business writing in both classroom and online (asynchronous) learning environments. She is currently responsible for implementing Compliance University, a learning curriculum encompassing classroom training, online courses, and learning activities delivered via a virtual portal. Tina holds a B.B.A. in human resource management from Pace University (summa cum laude), an M.S. in Human Resources Management and Development from New York University, certifications in ethics and corporate governance, instructional design, classroom facilitation, and is a certified Myers-Briggs Type facilitator. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in the AEGIS program at Teachers College (TC), Columbia University. She came to TC because of its excellent reputation and the opportunity to learn from the leaders in the adult education field.
Aimee Tiu Wu
Aimee Tiu Wu is a doctoral student in the AEGIS program. She received her B.A. in psychology from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines. After her undergraduate work, she spent two years as a foreign language student at Beijing Normal University learning Mandarin and teaching ESL. With her passion for teaching adult learners, Aimee pursued a master's degree in TESOL from New York University while serving as a learning specialist. Aimee's higher education experience ranges from serving as director of academic and disability student services to heading TRIO programs like Student Support Services. Aimee is currently advised by Dr. Jeanne Bitterman. Her dissertation work involves inquiry into how doctoral mothers navigate graduate school, motherhood and professional work. Her primary research interests include learning and motherhood, collaborative inquiry, educational equity for women and minority, diversity and cross-cultural awareness. Motivated by the strong vision of the program and the exceptional scholarship of its faculty members, Aimee entered the AEGIS program in 2009 and has since been committed to teaching minds, touching hearts and transforming lives.
Clay is currently the Director for Business Services for the Office of Alumni and Development at Columbia University. He has served as an educational administrator for close to 15 years with the focus of ensuring the business and operational side of educational institutions work at the most efficient way possible. With rising educational costs, it is important that clients (faculty, staff, students and the community) receive the intended experiences provided by institutions. Throughout his professional journey, Clay has served as an educator, trainer, and consultant as well as has held various leadership positions which have provided tremendous insight to the day-to-day business of educational institutions. Clay holds a bachelor's degree from St. John Fisher College in Business Management, a master's degree from NYU in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education and a master's degree from New School University in Non-Profit Management. His research focuses on leadership using experiential learning towards goal achievement. The research and study performed to date has been instrumental in developing training programs for mid-level management at Columbia as well as assisted in other successful change management activities throughout the university.
Katie Treadwell is an accomplished professional with a wide range of experience in higher education administration. Katie currently serves as Associate Director for First-Year Experience at The University of Kansas and previously led Senior Experience programs at Barnard College, an affiliate of Columbia University. Katie's professional experience also includes residential life, civic engagement, mental health outreach, and student leadership programs. She has an extensive background in public relations and development for higher education. Katie earned a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and religion from Baylor University and a Master of Science in Education in student affairs administration from Baylor University. She is an active member of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Katie is currently pursuing the Doctor of Education degree in the AEGIS program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on higher education administrators' response to campus tragedies.
Mariana I. Vergara
Mariana I. Vergara is the Executive Director of BRIDGE™ She is a Global Core Member of World Dignity University (WDU) as part of a new cultural movementthat envisages contributing to a vision of a future where the people of this world are indeed capable of cooperating for a better future. She is leading the WDU Amazon Rain Forest Initiative that aims to co-create sustainability in the Amazon with theKichwa community Founder of FDC BRIDGE® also was implemented at Morris Hills high school making this high school to have in their 2010 NJ Report Card the highest scores for Latino students in NJ. She is a Doctoral Candidate at the AEGIS program. She has a Master of Arts degree in Management of not-for-profit institutions and Urban Policy Analysis from the New School University. She is drawn to the study of adult education and organizational learning because she sees these two streams of knowledge and technique informing the improvement of her professional practice as she facilitates transformational learning in adults.
Jerrold A. Walton
Jerrold A. Walton, CTP, SPHR, BSCG, CAPM, Principal for The Waterfall Group LLC, — an Organizational Development consulting firm, is a lifelong learner and passionate student of human performance (more commonly known as human "development"). Prior to forming The Waterfall Group, LLC, Jerry worked for NRG Energy, as the Manager of a companywide, $250MM return on invested capital program; Exide Technologies, as the Global Treasury Manager; Sheffield Marketing Associates, as the Director of Benefits; and Hosiery Corporation of America, as the VP of Cash Management. Jerry takes the view that at its core, learning, whether pedagogical or andragogical is about offering improvement – essentially closing a gap or recognized shortcoming. To that end, Jerry intends to build upon aggregate life and professional experiences, as well as those that Teachers College will offer, in order to promote the "3 C's of Leadership" – Competency, Compassion and Courage, and to become a more fluent and disciplined advocate for human performance. Jerry received a MBA in Accounting and Finance from LaSalle University and MS and MPhil degrees in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Jerry has earned professional certifications in Treasury Management, Human Resources, Balanced Scorecards, and Project Management.
Nicole M. Woods
Nicole Woods currently serves as the University of Chicago Diversity Educator for the Provost Office and is charged with the development and execution of a faculty diversification initiative. After completing her Bachelor of Business Administration at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her Master of Education at James Madison University, she ventured to Bard College as the first Director of Multicultural Affairs. After three years at Bard, she joined the Chicago PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting office as a Diversity Manager. In Chicago, Ms. Woods has been fortunate to serve as Director of Minority and Cultural Affairs at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Diversity Consultant at YMCA of the USA and Training and Performance Lead at eLoyalty Corporation. This triad of professional roles expanded the breadth of her teaching, instructional design, program development and data analysis experience and deepened her knowledge of the organizational impact on individual access and agency. Nicole came to Teachers College to develop as a practitioner researcher and refine her contribution to work of educational equity.
James Young has been a community educator and advocate for social justice issues for over 20 years in various not-for-profit agencies including AIDS-Related Community Services, YMCA, Rockland Family Shelter, Berks Women in Crisis, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, and CANDLE. For the past 5 years, he as been a professor at Monroe College where he teaches introductory courses in Psychology and Sociology as well as supports the Online Writing Academy. Young lives in the Bronx with his 22 year old adopted son and enjoys dancing, dining, and deep conversations.