Chris Wilson splits his time between Baltimore, MD and Miami, FL. He works as a visual artist, author, film producer, and social justice advocate. Through these outlets, he investigates societal injustices, human relationships, and public policies. His book, The Master Plan, continues to inspire people from all walks of life. His artwork is collected and displayed internationally and his production company, Cuttlefish, has produced several successful films, including The Box which was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival. He is also the founder of the Chris Wilson Foundation, which supports social entrepreneurs and prison education, including re-entry and financial literacy for returning citizens, as well as art-related programs.
Adora Beard is the State Relationship & Executive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager for the GED Testing Service®. Ms. Beard leads the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in collaboration with external experts and stakeholders. Adora also manages the successful execution of state plans with GED State Administrators™ and state program leaders as a strategic advisor on all facets of the GED program.
Ahu Moser is currently employed as an Adult Education Program Specialist in the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL) at the Maryland Department of Labor.Her focus areas are English Language Learners , Refugees and Immigrants and Quality Professional Development.Ahu has taught ESL and EFL adult education learners overseas and stateside and has managed academic programming of a local non-profit recently. Ahu holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Management. She is currently pursuing her Education doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction at American College of Education. Ahu can be contacted at email@example.com or at 443-202-3554.
Coach Alisa Smedley is a correctional education subject matter expert. She taught for ten years inside a maximum-security correctional facility in Maryland; designed community corrections programming in Ohio; and worked in higher education with a Second Chance Pell Grant Experimental Site in Washington DC. She is animated, insightful, and caring. Since 2012 Coach Smedley has traveled across the country presenting at correctional and adult education conferences. Coach is uniquely positioned as a new voice in reentry. Members of Coach Smedley's family, including her father, have served over 75 years behind bars. Coach Smedley brings creative, evidence-based approaches to the correctional education field.
Alisa Takeuchi has been in adult education for over 20 years. Her broad range of experience spans from ESL instructor, technology integrator, mentor teacher, and content developer. For over 15 years she was the EL Civics Coordinator for her agency. She is dedicated to the progress of adult education. Teaching and sharing what she knows with others is her passion and remains at the forefront of her priorities.
Brittney Napolitano is the East Coast trainer for Essential Education. Previously, she played many instructional and administrative roles with adult education services in Lynchburg, VA.
Chaw Kalayar has been in the TESOL field over a decade and is currently working as the Program Coordinator for a state-funded ESOL program called English for Refugees and Asylees (ERA) at Prince George's Community College (PGCC). In this program, she oversees the program working closely with instructors regarding to their day-to-day management of students and classroom instruction. Prior to that, she worked as a Deputy Director of an English Language Program in Myanmar for the World Learning organization based in Washington D.C. She has been developing and facilitating professional development workshops since 2009. Her second Master's Degree is specialized in Curriculum and Instruction through the Fulbright Scholarship Program funded by the State Department.
Daquanna Harrison is the founder of Elevation Educational Consulting Group (www.ElevationEd.com), which ELEVATES the effectiveness of educators, workforce professionals, and organizations by bringing together talented experts to strengthen systems and ELEVATE people. EECG creates trainings and develops programs for adult education, non-profits, and governments. Recently, EECG won the XPRIZE Racial Equity Alliance Education Equity competition. Currently, EECG is developing a revolutionary online training platform for educators and service-oriented fields.
Donna Rojas has over 20 years of public administration experience, program coordination, project management, public health, case management, and training/coaching experience. For over nine years, she was actively engaged on the “frontlines,” working with pre-and-post released incarcerated individuals in Montgomery County, MD. Her extensive knowledge in the reentry field allows her to be called on nationally to speak and train others working in this space. Donna is dedicated to improving the lives of justice-involved individuals by delivering passionate and inspirational education and reentry programming. Donna received a degree in Criminal Justice, her certification as Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) and National Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). She has relentlessly worked on assisting citizens re-entering the community and workforce. She has developed partnerships with various community and faith-based organizations, showing her ability to serve this vulnerable population. Her work also involves working from the prevention side to conduct life-skill programming for gang-involved youth. In her local community, she serves as Chair of the Montgomery County Commission for women, liaison, and advisor for the commission’s Female Reentry program. She is a member of the Mid-Atlantic States Correctional Association and is on the executive committee for Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform, and she faithfully serves her church community. Donna’s mission is to serve and empower those who are justice impacted so they can live in “Our” community successfully.
Grayla Reneau has over 15 years of experience working in Adult Education. She is currently employed as an Adult Education Program Specialist in the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL), at the Maryland Department of Labor (MDLabor). Grayla is the State Subject Matter Expert for implementation of WIOA 243, Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education/ Integrated Education and Training (IELCE/IET), providing technical assistance to local adult education programs in Maryland. In addition, Grayla is a certified Wilson Reading Dyslexia Practitioner, and has taught Evidenced-Based Reading Instruction for eleven years at a local community college. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Loyola College (University). Grayla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-800-2689.
Jason Guard is the Mid-Atlantic Rep and Senior Blended Learning Specialist at Essential Education since 2012. He got his start in adult education teaching 16-18yr olds to pass the GED test in Richmond, VA before spending a decade as Virginia's GED and Distance Learning Specialist.
Jennifer Dennis is the ESL Instructional Specialist at Frederick Community College's Adult Education and ESOL program. She had previously taught English as a second language for 12 years in multiple instructional settings within the U.S. and abroad. She holds an MA TESOL from Northern Arizona University.
Dr. Kären Nelson, lead instructor/curriculum developer at PGCC, has taught 2 dozen different courses in the last 15 years, including adult ed, GED, college prep writing, and TOEFL test prep. Her textbooks include "How to Write like a Hamburger" and "Dr. Kären's Amazing All-you-can-eat TOEFL Buffet."
Lama Masri has been the ESOL Program Manager at Frederick Community College since October 2021. She advises pre-academic and credit students in the ESOL programs at the college, supports Adjuncts and Faculty working in the program, and develops curricula and professional development to meet the programs' needs. Lama also worked as an ESL Adjunct Instructor at FCC in both the academic and pre-academic programs from 2018 to 2021.
Laura Ostrowski is an Adult Education Program Specialist with the Maryland Department of Labor's Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning. Laura provides leadership and technical assistance to WIOA, Title II-funded adult education and family literacy service providers in Maryland to promote learner and program performance as measured by state and federal standards. Laura previously served as a Career Coach for 5 years with the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS). She also possesses 10 years’ experience in adult education and instruction as an Adjunct Faculty and NEDP® Advisor/Assessor at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). Her professional interests include digital literacy frameworks, adult career pathways, and community educational and workforce partnerships. Laura holds her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University, and she recently completed her Master’s degree in Adult and Continuing Education from Marshall University in December 2022.
Driven to help others, Lynn Napolitano was a Tenured-Teacher within the State of New Jersey Public School Systems. She wrote Civics Curriculum and worked the classroom for nine-years. Lynn moved into ESL print and digital publishing in marketing, sales and consulting jobs for ten years within East Coast Regions. She joined BurlingtonEnglish in 2018 and her understanding of blended learning is apparent with her customers she serves! Lynn holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts from the Pennsylvania State University. She also attended Fairleigh Dickinson University for a Masters of Teaching Degree.
With over 15 years of experience, Marie brings a systems-oriented mindset to improving people's behavior and performance through the strategic application of learning sciences, behavioral economics, and emerging technologies, including AI in education and workforce transformation. Her expertise lies in leveraging data to create engaging un/learning experiences that drive results and creatively solve problems.
Marsha Briley is a Restorative Justice Strategist and Business Consultant with over 25 years of successful experience in policy and program development and implementation. Marsha specializes in training, contract monitoring, establishing strong partnerships, program management, and implementing operational workflow processes. Marsha has extensive experience working with women and trauma-informed and gender-responsive care and the management of sexual offenders. She is a certified trainer with the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission, an Offender Workforce Development Specialist Instructor through the National Institute of Corrections, and a certified Global CareerDevelopment Facilitator with the Center for Credentialing and Education. Marsha is a certified facilitator and trainer for the evidence-based cognitive behavioral programs Moral Reconation Therapy, Thinking for a Change, Victim Impact: Listen and Learn. Marsha is a subject matter expert on reentry, former panelist, and speaker at several conferences, including the National Black Caucus Conference held in Washington, D.C. She also currently serves as a board member of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative to advocate on behalf of those serving long-term sentences. Hence, men and women have a meaningful opportunity to regain independence and freedom. She worked for the State of Maryland for over 24 years. After a six-month hiatus, the Anne Arundel County Police Department created a position for her to assist with developing and implementing the reentry strategy for the county. She now serves as the Deputy Program Director of the Office of Reentry and Community Collaboration. Governor Wes Moore recently acknowledged her for her work in reentry. Marsha holds a strong work ethic and believes that there are not just second chances but creating as many opportunities as necessary for justice-involved individuals that have the desire to change.
Mike Johnson - National Adult Education Director Mike has been with Data Recognition Corp - DRC for over 15 years and involved with Adult Education for over 25 years. As the Adult Education National Director, Mike is responsible for guiding the development of all Adult Assessments for DRC including TABE and TABE CLAS-E to meet the needs of Adult Learners in ESL, Basic Skills and High School Equivalency programs. Mike’s responsibilities include managing day to day operation of assessments target for Adult Basic Education and providing support test and program development related to industry direction and meeting the needs of the customers.
Steph Haggard is a trainer at Essential Education. She has previously worked at Frederick Community College and Frederick Family Partnership in Maryland.
Susan Leibman is the Program Administrator for the Adult Education Program at Carroll Community College in Westminster, MD. Susan fell in love with Adult Education while teaching ABE and GED® Preparation classes at a Family Literacy site and has been active in the field ever since as a teacher, Intake & Assessment Specialist, Instructional Specialist, and Program Administrator.