Chris Fenton is an MA candidate in the Adult Learning and Leadership Program. Currently, Chris is the Director of Talent and Leadership Development at HomeServe USA in Norwalk, CT. Prior to this role, he held positions of leadership in the OD functions at Montefiore Medical Center in NYC, Norwalk Hospital in CT, and United Healthcare based in Minneapolis. In his current role, Chris is designing the learning function from scratch, with an intense focus on leadership development, and is revamping the succession planning process. Chris came to the program at TC due to its reputation as the best master's degree in the field, and to formalize his ongoing love of learning. Chris holds a BS in Accounting from Salve Regina University, is an exercise freak, and rows crew on a regular basis. He lives in Darien, CT.
Melissa Smisko Holmes
Melissa Smisko Holmes is a senior manager of Compliance training at Pfizer Inc. In her current role, she develops and deploys e-learning modules on Compliance topics such as healthcare laws and code of ethics, which are taken by ~90,000 people in 30 languages. Melissa is responsible for managing the Compliance Learning Management System, developing the annual Compliance training strategy, and ensuring training is rolled out to the appropriate audience and completed on time. She also participates in a cross-divisional team whose goals are to connect learning professionals across the company to share best practices and resources, improve the overall learning experience for employees, and foster culture change. She has held positions as a financial auditor at KPMG, internal auditor at Marriott and Pfizer, and as a client service manager at Cvent. Melissa has a BBA in accounting from James Madison University and is a CPA. Although she started her career as an auditor, Melissa has been involved in training in all of her roles and is passionate about learning. She is pursuing an M.A in Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College to formalize her post-graduate education and is interested in re-thinking the approach highly regulated organizations take towards required learning.
Peirui Mao is a full-time M.A. candidate in Adult Learning and Leadership program. Freshly graduated from Shanghai International Studies University, she went directly to Teachers College to continue her education. Having worked part-time in Bain, L'Oreal, Golin Harris with focuses on management consulting, human resources and public relations, she found her ambition and curiosity in exploring the corporate world. While her experience in teaching English and Chinese in education institutions made her realize her way of making a difference. Peirui loves the ALL program for the focus on Adult Education and Organizational Learning offers courses that promise an exciting expedition into cutting-edge practices of curriculum and instruction, and most importantly foster social inclusion, which she believes is an essential component in any lifelong learning program. She felt so lucky to be a member in the program with such a warm and lovely cohort.
Kate Sweeney is an instructional designer and senior trainer at Exec|Comm, specializing in presentation, negotiation, writing, selling, and leadership skills. She trains global fortune 500 clients in large and small group settings, as well as privately coached sessions. Before joining Exec|Comm in 2007, Kate spent 12 years in the United States Army as a Chinese, French and Italian linguist. Having lived and worked in countries as diverse as Japan, China, India, Italy and France, she used her skills to liaise effectively with embassies and diplomats worldwide. In the United States, Kate worked for the Department of Defense, training military personnel in leadership skills. Kate is a mediator with New York City Peace Institute, specializing in community and parent-teen mediation. She is also a facilitator at Soliya, which specializes in online cross-cultural education with universities worldwide to provide students with a deeper understanding for the perspectives of others around the world on important socio-political issues. Kate holds a B.S. in International Relations and an M.S. in International Management from the University of Maryland University College. She chose Teachers College because the ALL program perfectly married her passions for both leadership and adult learning, which she hopes to use to find new ways to inspire her participants