I come from a family of educators. Despite my determination to do something different with my career, I, too, am an educator - and proud of that. I obtained my Master's Degree in Education later in life (2010) and found that I the work I had been doing for 20 years was a perfect fit. No matter what the topic or audience, I thrive on that moment when it all makes sense to those who are learning. There's nothing like that "Ah-Ha!" moment.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
My bachelor's degree is in Dietetics. I've thoroughly enjoyed combining my interest in food, behavior, and wellness over the years. As a Dietitian, I have in worked in long term care facilitates, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilitates, acute care, intensive care, nutrition support, outpatient counseling, community education, college instructor, and more. Each role has taught me important lessons in working with people, collaboration, management, and project development.
Editing, Writing, and Publishing
A treasured part of my career is writing, publishing, and editing. As the director of the Enoch-Gelbard Foundation, I was responsible for creating the publication Disability Solutions. It was a bit of "baptism by fire" for a dietitian to become a publisher and editor. I was responsible for solicitation, research, editing, layout and design, printing and online distribution. The publication, offered for free, grew to a mailing list of over 12,000 subscribers and an unknown number of downloads off the website. The experience meant traveling to various conferences, reaching out to researchers, and asking them to give of their time to share the practicality of their work in a way that is as ready-to-implement as possible. The authors provided the content, I recommended changes to make it more understandable, follwed by research for tools and techniques families and others could use to be successful. Click here for some examples.
This experience served me well in writing books, book chapters, and creating learning materials and visual tools for people who experience disability. I am a big fan of using plain language and am involved in health literacy related projects from time to time.
Instruction and Presentations
I've been providing community-based education the moment I started work as a Dietitian out of college. These experiences have grown over the years. I've been fortunate to travel the world to provide seminars, workshops, and other learning opportunities on a variety of topics related to health and people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages and stages. Audiences range from children to a group of international researchers and from local special interest groups to international professional conferences. Though I may use similar material for presentations, I start each one from the beginning: determining the learning need, creating objectives, and planning a form of evaluation if I have the opportunity. In recent years I have been able to branch out of strictly health-related topics to include policy translation for Personal Support Workers and Homecare Workers through the Oregon Home Care Commission and now,
It's safe to say that no matter the design theory employed (I use both Dick and Carey and the ADDIE Model), I overlay the process of backward design: beginning with the end in mind. This is particularly helpful when designing for multiple target audiences and learning or communication styles.
The other two key components of looking at instruction design for me has been the process of developing learning objective and planning the evaluation. When you have an image of the desired outcome, these are much easier to create. When writing learning objectives, I rely heavily on collaboration and applying Bloom's Taxonomy. Using Bloom's Taxonomy keeps the focus on what skills and abilities we want as a result of a learning experience. In many of my projects the learners are only available through the internet. As a result, I apply the concepts of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy to activities, which incorporates apps and web-based learning. Kirkpatrick's Levels of Evaluation provide guidance related to evaluating for the skills sought through the learning objectives. It is essential to go beyond what is classified as a level one evaluation whenever possible. An example of this is introducing out of class work in the Personal Support Worker Training Program. In doing so, we are able to evaluate application, learning, and, at times, a change in work-related behavior.
Expert Witness Reports and Testimony
I have been involved in a handful of situations as an expert witness related to nutrition, food, and supporting people with Down syndrome. In these situations, I offer consultation to the attorney, expert witness reports, and testimony when requested.
To read more about my diverse career, download my Curriculum Vitae.
On the Homefront
I am a native Oregonian, though I lived elsewhere early in my marriage. I am happy to be near my extended family and enjoy all that Oregon has to offer. I enjoy cycling, walking, calligraphy, and spending time with my family. I live in Portland with my husband and our youngest son.