As an undergrad studying psychology & philosophy, I volunteered for two years as a crisis intervention counselor. The training I received there has helped me to facilitate discussion groups, help others in their own professional development, mediate disagreements and be an active listener. As a psychometrician in a hospital neuropsychology lab, I learned about the workings of cognition, brain function and memory.
Relevant Qualifications: B.A. Psychology, University of Denver; M.A. Information & Learning Technologies: Elearning, University of Colorado, 2013; TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training & Assessment; Peace Corps training & practicum program; neuropsychology training; many, many workshops & webinars
Elearning Coordinator, King Abdulaziz University, English Language Institute, ( www.kau.edu.sa ) - In this position, I trained faculty and staff about using the LMS, Blackboard, and, once the university moved online in response to COVID19, I trained faculty on techniques for teaching online. I also created tutorials which were available on demand.
King Abdulaziz University, English Language Institute, Professional Development Committee - I provided workshops, webinars and video tutorials to help faculty and trainees. Some trainings were delivered face to face and some were delivered online. I also, upon my own initiative, created a website called www.flipedu.org which became a collaborative space (edited and monitored). It’s organized by level and unit so an instructor can go directly to the week’s curriculum and find activities, games, worksheets and review quizzes created with Socrative or Kahoot.
Colorado School of English (www.EnglishAmerica.com ), Founder & Director - I have sat on both sides of the accreditation table, allowing me a clear-eyed perspective on what it takes to manage and coach teachers. I designed or co-designed curricula for many courses and programs including a teacher certification program and was an early advocate of using the internet as a resource for class and homework activities. We were careful to hire upbeat, experienced instructors, who seemed capable of delivering interesting, interactive classes, and by closely monitoring students’ progress, satisfaction and the need for changes, I was also able to implement a continuous improvement strategy. One of our requirements was that teachers strive for a 30:70 teacher talk:student talk ratio or better, and we regularly provided support training for achieving that standard. The institute had a robust professional development program that successfully aided instructors in continuously improving their craft.
Open Clinic, Crisis Intervention & Hotline Counselor, University of Denver - In college, I volunteered for two years at the on-campus crisis intervention center (Open Clinic) run by our psychology department. I was trained in basic counseling techniques which mainly involved being an active listener and thoroughly documenting our interactions with clients, most of whom called on the hotline. I also learned strategies to help those dealing with drug addiction and depression.
Peace Corps, Niger, West Africa - Teaching in Niger for three years was extremely rewarding as the students were such delightful and motivated learners, but the challenges I faced were many. I taught both at a middle school and a high school where there were four students crammed in at a desk designed for two with only 1 book among them in a class of 35 - 40. The only supplies I had were a chalkboard and chalk. So I created all of my own materials, activities and assessments. I shared these with colleagues who had to copy them by hand. My classes were popular with the students and performance reviews were excellent. In addition, I was asked to provide an in-service training with my peers and later, to design and manage a practicum training for incoming volunteers who were slated to become regional English language teaching supervisors. In both cases, I designed the training myself. We delivered the in-service training in a highly effective and unique way using a “crowd-sourcing” technique, with the training group being the “crowd.”
Psychometrician, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Neuropsychology Lab - I administered a one to two-day battery of tests to assess cognitive skills and functioning of patients with suspected brain damage or injury. Although this wasn't a counseling job, it was an intensive experience with patients, most of whom were suddenly facing new challenges. During those two years doing neuropsychology testing, I learned a lot about memory, learning and how the brain functions.