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Visiting Team Members:

Visiting Team members are retired faculty with in-depth experience in basic skills and organizational strategies. All have national-level experience in basic skills issues and student success. They visited the colleges in rotating teams of two, observed classrooms and labs, and interviewed faculty and administrators.

Elaine Baker, Ph.D.

Elaine DeLott Baker is the Director of Workforce Initiatives for the Community College of Denver (CCD) and a nationally recognized expert in career pathways for low-skilled adults and accelerated developmental education learning communities.

In the last several years Ms. Baker's efforts have focused on increasing the success of low income and academically underprepared adults entering community college. She is Principal Investigator of the Colorado Lumina Initiative for Performance, a four year effort aimed at increasing the performance of low-skilled adults in three Metro Denver community colleges; a team member of the Colorado Community College System's Bridges to Opportunity initiative, funded by the Ford Foundation; and co-director of CCD's Breaking Through project. Breaking Through is a multi-college initiative of Jobs for the Future and the National Council on Workforce Education, funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, whose goal is to successfully transition low-skilled adults to community college. Ms. Baker also directs the Colorado Community College System's "Ready for College" project, a national research and demonstration project of the US Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE).

Ms. Baker is a frequent national speaker and consultant on both policy and practice in developmental education and workforce development, including contextualized curriculum, career pathways, accelerated developmental education, and the utilization of a cost/benefit analysis in community college strategic planning.

Ms. Baker is an alumna of Radciffe College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Janet Martinez-Bernal, Ph.D.

Janet Martinez-Bernal has a B.A. in English from The University of Arizona, an M.A. from The University of Michigan and a graduate diploma from the Université de Fribourg, Switzerland in language teaching, with a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from Georgetown University.

Her professional experience includes teaching, academic management and grant management. She has taught at The University of Arizona and Arizona State University and at Tufts University in Massachusetts (developmental courses in reading and writing, English composition, linguistics and beginning French and Spanish).

At Cochise College in southeastern Arizona, she was Division Chair in Communication, Humanities, Fine Arts and Languages while her children were growing up. She also managed a Title V grant, ConeXiones, for Cochise featuring learning community teams of classes, innovative use of technology and faculty professional development.

In 2006-2007 she was awarded a Fulbright-GarcĂ­a Robles Fellowship to research the feasibility of developing a bi-national credential for the teaching of English at the US-Mexico border.

For the past twenty years, she has served as a Consultant/Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, usually addressing the topics of general education philosophy and requirements as well as the assessment of student learning.

Wade Ellis, Jr.

Wade Ellis, Jr. has worked on ways to effectively use technology in learning and teaching mathematics since 1972. He has taught at West Valley College for the last 31 years. He has also taught at Collinwood High School in Cleveland, Ohio, The Ohio State University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the United States Military Academy. He has presented numerous talks and staff development workshops on the use of graphing calculators and computer algebra software in learning and teaching secondary school mathematics. Wade has also taught in The Ohio State University Young Scholars Program for disadvantaged high school students. He has been a coauthor in the development of successful innovative curriculum materials in algebra (Algebra 2 in the HRW Math Program), precalculus (PreCalculus and Trigonometry Using the TI Graphing Calculator), calculus (Calculus: Mathematics and Modeling), and differential equations (ODE Architect, a prize-winning multimedia package for use in modeling with differential equations).

He is a former Second Vice-President of the MAA, the recipient of the AMATYC Excellence in Mathematics Award, the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal of the United States Army, and the MAA Northern California Distinguished College or University Teaching Award. He has been a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Science Education K-12 and the Mathematical Sciences Education Board. He is a founding member of the Pathways through Algebra organization that has received over $500,000 in grants to improve the performance of community college students in beginning algebra. He is currently a member of the West Valley-Mission Community College District Board of Trustees.

Susan Obler, Ph.D.

Susan Obler holds a BA and MA in English from California State University-Fullerton and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation focused on writing across the curriculum in selected California community colleges. She was on the faculty at Rio Hondo from 1969 to 2001 where she taught composition and literature for the first ten years, and directed the Exploratory College, a learning community of students and faculty in the mid 1970's. Besides coordinating direct-writing assessment for the Communications Division she was a co-founder and state-wide president of LARC, the Learning, Assessment, and Retention Consortium, which grew to over 60 colleges. In 1987, she began work with Rio Hondo's first of three Title III projects, which included a consortium on faculty development and Classroom Assessment with Mount San Antonio, Santa Ana, and Cerritos colleges and the launching of the Teaching-Learning Center with a computer lab for student demos and faculty training.

Her work with alternate systems and leadership development included a teaching exchange at Dawson College, Montreal and co-hosting a multi-year exchange experience of women college leaders. British educators job shadowed their counterparts in California and in turn hosted the California leaders.

As Director of Grant Development, she wrote and managed the successful Title V grant for Hispanic-Serving Institutions. From Chicago, she now consultants with colleges and universities around the country on developing and funding major innovative practices, grant development, and project evaluation.


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