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Academic Advisory Committee

Role of Academic Advisory Committee

As WISR moves toward long-term sustainability, we have formed an Advisory Committee to help us critically assess and creatively formulate where we are, and where we might next head, to build on our 40+ year history as an extremely innovative and vibrant academic institution.  We have chosen people who have extensive experience as leaders in traditional academic institutions, and who also share our commitments to social justice, community involvement, multiculturalism and transformative, personalized learning. The role of the Advisory Committee is primarily one of helping us think of ways to continue to develop our strong academic programs, and further improve them—in ways that will be both true to our mission and values, and also compelling to, and valued by, many leaders in conventional academia. In part, the Advisory Committee members will serve as external reviewers to help us to evaluate our graduate programs, and their insights and wisdom will be helpful and valuable to inform our efforts in the coming months and years.

CARA JUDEA ALHADEFF, PhD.  Ph.D., summa cum laude. European Graduate School (EGS), Europäishe Universität Für Interdisziplinäre Studien, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought, 2012. MA in Media Philosophy, European Graduate School (EGS), Europäishe Universität Für Interdisziplinäre Studien, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, 2009. BA, summa cum laude, Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Philosophy degree in Corporeal Politics, 1995. Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff is a scholar/activist/artist/mother whose work engages feminist embodied theory. Since 1991, she has taught Social Ecology courses, while lecturing and collaborating on Sephardic Jewish cultural diversity. Her book, Viscous Expectations: Justice, Vulnerability, The Ob-scene (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014), demonstrates art as social practice by exploring the vulnerability of the body as a strategy for collaborative justice. In addition to Alhadeff’s cross-cultural climate justice book, Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era (Eifrig Publishing, 2017), her current Petroleum-Parenting, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Convenience-Culture: How Marketing Fear and “Fake-Science” Shape Our Cultural Norms, co-authored with Dr. Stephanie Seneff (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018), explores the intersections of environmental racism, racial hygiene, global corporatocracy, and the misogynist pharma-addictive health industry. She has published interdisciplinary essays in eco-literacy, philosophy, art, gender, and ethnic studies’ journals and anthologies, and has been interviewed throughout Europe, Asia, and the US (including Pacifica Radio and Alternative Radio). The subject of several documentaries for international public television, her performative photographs have been publicly defended by Freedom of Speech organizations (Electronic Freedom Foundation, artsave/People for the American Way, and the ACLU), and are in numerous collections including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Jewish Museum in Berlin, Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg, Austria, and Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Executive Director of Jews Of The Earth (JOTE) and former professor of Performance & Pedagogy at UC Santa Cruz and Critical Philosophy at The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS), Alhadeff lives and parents a zero-waste lifestyle. (www.carajudea.com/  www.zazudreams.com)

JOHN BEAR, PhD is widely regarded  as one of the foremost experts on nontraditional higher education and distance learning. His guidebooks on the topic, first published in 1974, have sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide. He is an actively involved critic of diploma mills. He has helped develop and market various distance and online programs, including ten years with the MBA of the Edinburgh Business School, which became the largest MBA in the United States and in the world. He received his BA in Psychology (1959) and his M.J. in  Journalism (1960) from the University of California at Berkeley; his PhD in Communications (1966) is from Michigan State.   He is the author of 35 books with major publishers (Random House, McGraw-Hill, etc.)—on higher education, computers, travel, US history, cooking, publishing and consumerism.  He is especially well known in the higher education community for his numerous guides to nontraditional higher education and distance learning. He was the Head of New Business Development for the Financial Times division of Pearson PLC, which is the world’s largest educational publisher. Years ago, he was a tenured Associate Professor  of Journalism at the University of Iowa and head of the Senior Honors Program there. He has appeared as an on-screen expert on Good Morning America (4 times), CBS 60 Minutes, The Today Show, AM Canada, and many others. Now in his 80’s, he continues to write, research, give interviews, and expert witness testimony in higher education matters.

J.HERMAN BLAKE, PhD.  BA, Sociology, New York University, 1960. MA, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1965. PhD, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1974. Dr. Blake’s current position is Inaugural Executive Director, Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. In this capacity, he serves as Principal Administrator/Officer of a Congressionally mandated cultural and linguistic heritage region along the Atlantic Coast of four states, from Wilmington, NC to St. Augustine, FL.  This 12,000 square mile area is home to one of America’s most unique cultures shaped by enslaved Africans brought to the southeastern United States.  Gullah Geechee people are their direct descendants who have created a unique culture embodied in their cuisine, music, crafts, oral traditions, language and spirituality.  He was:  1) Founding Provost, Oakes College at University of California, Santa Cruz, California. 2) President, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi. 3) Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, Indiana University Purdue University  Indianapolis. 4) Director of African American Studies,Iowa State University. 5) Inaugural Humanities Scholar in Residence , Medical University of South Carolina.  He is the author of many scholarly articles and reports, as well as the book, Revolutionary Suicide, New York:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 (with Huey P. Newton).  He has served on many academic and community boards, including the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 1979-1984.

ROBERT BREM, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor. Advanced Doctoral Work: Public Administration and Organization Theory, Arizona State University (1994 to 1998); Master of Counseling Psychology, Arizona State University, 1989; Bachelor of Science, Political Science, Arizona State University, 1985. Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor. Robert J. Brem is a futurist and organizational consultant; and he is a professor of politics, public administration, and psychology.  Robert Brem is a National Board Certified and Arizona Licensed Professional Counselor and holds a certificate in non-profit organizational management. He is a professional teacher, and consigliere (engaged in organizational consulting, community organizing, “mentoring” [life coach & clinical supervisor)], and counseling) since 1989.  Robert has taught at eight institutions of higher learning in Arizona and California. He has been on the faculty at College of Alameda since 2004 (in psychology and political science); and on the faculty at CSU-East Bay (since 2007) teaching in the Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) program (and in the department of political science).  He is also an Associate of the Center for Future Consciousness working in consulting in Alternative Futures Policy Analysis and Conscious Evolution in the public and social (non-profit) sectors. He was Chair of the College of Alameda curriculum committee and the co-chair of the Peralta District “Green” curriculum committee and on the Steering Committee for the Sustainable Peralta Initiative (from 2005 to 2016).  As well, he is the lead curriculum developer and a Co-Coordinator of the Community Change and Urban Leadership Initiative – an initiative in the areas of community development, urban leadership, and civic engagement, public service, law, and violence prevention (2005 to present).

ERNEST BROWN, PhD. Dr. Brown is a psychologist working in school-based programs at Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS) in San Francisco–specializing in adolescent substance abuse recovery, mindfulness meditation and TaiChi Ch’uan. He holds the following academic degrees: California Institute of Integral Studies (PhD, East/West Psychology 1996); University of San Francisco (MA, MFT 1989); University of Michigan (BSE, Industrial Operations and Operations Research 1971). His Board service has included: New College of California, San Francisco Zen Center, San Francisco Buddhist Church, American Go Association, San Francisco Go Club.

TORRY DICKINSON, PhD. WISR Core Faculty Emeritus. BA, Sociology, Livingston College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1975. MA, Sociology, SUNY-Binghamton, 1977. Graduate Certificate in Women and Public Policy, Rockefeller Institute for Public Affairs, SUNY-Albany, 1983. PhD, SUNY-Binghamton, Sociology 1983. Torry has recently rejoined WISR’s core faculty after having spent about 10 years as a WISR core faculty member in the 1980s and 90s. Torry is Professor Emeritus at Kansas State University (Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and Sociology/Nonviolence Studies). She has authored, co-authored, and edited a number of books, including: Transformations: Feminist Pathways to Global Change; Democracy Works;Community and the World; Fast Forward: Work, Gender and Protest in a Changing World; and CommonWealth. In the past, she has taught or done research at a number of universities in California–in addition to WISR, at the University of California at Berkeley (School of Education, National Center for Research on Vocational Education), the University of California at Santa Cruz (Sociology, cross-listed with Women’s Studies), and San Jose State University in San Jose and at the former Salinas Campus (Sociology cross-listed with Women’s Studies). Torry has been a Revson Fellow in Women and Public Policy (1983)and an American Fellow (Susan B. Anthony Award) with the American Association of University Women (1980).

STEVE FLETCHER, PhD. Dr. Fletcher is a WISR alumnus with a PhD (Higher Education and Social Change), 2012. MA, Excelsior College, New York, 2007. State of California Teacher’s Credential, 1976. BA, Sonoma State, Expressive Arts, 1975. Served at Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education, Guizhou University (Associate Professor), Lanzhou University (Associate Professor), University of South-Eastern Norway (Educational Consultant). He has lived and worked in seven countries in North America, Africa and Asia. He is the author of several software programs, has published four books, edited others, and created six CD’s and published a number of papers. He has created several educational models and programs including Nine Way English, DUEM (Deep Understanding and Emotional Memorization), HILL (Holistic Integrated Language Learning), TOE (a multiple intelligence model). Currently serving as an advisor / consultant to WISR and to the University of South-Eastern Norway and serving as the Grant County ARES Emergency Coordinator and is busy researching and writing several books. He currently lives with his wife, Liu Haiping in Eastern Oregon.

DAVID A. HOUGH, PhD. BA, Linguistics, University of Oregon, 1972. MA, Linguistics, University of Oregon, 1973. PhD, Higher Education and Social Change, Western Institute for Social Research, 2001. Dr. Hough has dedicated his academic career to research, teaching and activism in support of linguistic and cultural human rights for indigenous and minority peoples. He has worked extensively in Asia and the Pacific to develop dictionaries and learning materials based on indigenous knowledge systems.  From 2000-2003 he was Chief Scientific Researcher for the Kosrae State Department of Education in Micronesia, a project sponsored by the Japan Ministry of Education. From 2007-2008 he served as Chief Technical Advisor to the Nepal Ministry of Education and Sports, where he oversaw a multilingual education project to enable the more than 130 minority groups in that country to be educated in their mother tongues. He has also worked in Far East Russia with the indigenous Naanai and Udeghe communities, as well as in Japan on issues of Ainu and Uchinaa (Okinawan) linguistic and human rights. From 2013-2017 Dr. Hough served as Senior Advisor for Bilingual Education for the Public School System of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In 2017 he received and official commendation from the Ambassador of Japan to the Marshall Islands for helping to build goodwill and understanding between the two countries. He is author of numerous books and is currently editing a collection of his papers for publication in a book on indigenous education.

JOYCE E. KING, PhD.  (PhD, Sociology of Education, BA Sociology, Stanford University) holds the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership at Georgia State University (GSU). She has served as Provost (Spelman College), Associate Provost (Medgar Evers College, CUNY), Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Diversity Programs (University of New Orleans,) Director of Teacher Education (Santa Clara University) and Head of the Ethnic Studies Department (Mills College). She is affiliated faculty in the GSU Department of African American Studies, the Women’s and Gender Studies Institute, the Partnership for Urban Health Research and the Urban Institute. Her publications in the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Negro Education, Qualitative Studies in Education, the Journal of African American History focus on a transformative role for culture in curriculum, urban teacher effectiveness, morally engaged, community-mediated inquiry and Black education research and policy. She is an editorial board member for the Urban Education journal, co-edited the Review of Education Research and authored or edited seven books, including Heritage Knowledge in the Curriculum (with E. Swartz). She is past president of the American Educational Research Association and a recipient of the Stanford School of Education Alumni Excellence Award.

PATRICIA A. MITCHELL, PhD. PhD, Catholic University of America is emeritus professor of leadership studies at the University of San Francisco, where she taught graduate courses in leadership, ethics, management and communication. During her 42 years of service at the university, she served as chair of the Teacher Education Department; chair of the Department of Leadership Studies and program coordinator of the doctoral program in Organization and Leadership. Though retired from full-time teaching, Dr. Mitchell continues to serve as chair of students’ dissertation committees. Dr. Mitchell is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of organizational management and leadership, women’s issues, curriculum development, reading and language arts. Her most acclaimed book, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Careers, has become a best seller for the publisher.  A second edition of her book, Cracking the Wall Twenty Years Later:  Women in Higher Education Leadership was released summer 2013 by the College and University Personnel Association in Human Resources (CUPA-hr).  Another book, which she edited entitled, Collaboration and Peak Performance was released in August 2013, as well. Two books were released in 2016:  Lessons in Leadership: Tips for an Emerging P-20 Leader in the 21st Century and African American Males in Higher Education Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities. An upcoming book is due for release spring 2019, Ethical Decision Making: Cases in Organization and Leadership.

BARBARA LEITNER POMERANTZ, MA. BA, English/Minors: Psychology and Fine Arts, University of California, Davis, 1972. Standard Secondary Teaching Credential, University of California, Davis, 1973. MA, Human Resources Organization Development, University of San Francisco, 1998. Administrative Services Professional Tier II Credential, Chapman University College, 2009. She has 42 years of experience in education, comprising more than 25 years as a classroom instructor, grades 7-12; 2 years as a high school assistant principal, and 10 years as an administrator at the California Department of Education, involving programs and services for at-risk and at-promise students. She coordinated diverse educational programs for middle and high school students including English Language Development, Advancement Via Individual Determination-College Readiness Program (AVID-CRP), Peer Counseling; Program Quality Review; and U.C. Davis Early Academic Outreach Program activities. She served on a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Leadership Team for high school accreditation in the areas of school curriculum, culture, and student support services.

JACQUELINE SHINEFIELD, RN, LMFT, EdD.  Dr. Jacqueline Shinefield is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy. She has over 25 years of experience and maintains a private practice in New York City after relocating from San Francisco. Dr. Shinefield is an interactive, systemic therapist who received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. She serves as a Clinical Supervisor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Her previously held positions include Adjunct Faculty at Mercy College in the Marriage and Family Therapy program, Clinical Supervisor at Pace University and MFT Clinical Supervisor at the University of San Francisco where she specialized in school-based family therapy. Dr. Shinefield currently serves on the Board of Directors as Chair for the Western Institute of Social Research/Center for Child and Family Development, as Education and Networking Director for the Association of New York Marriage and Family Therapy, as Development Chair and Clinical Fellow for the Oxford Symposium, and Board Member for the Institute for School-Based Family Counseling.

MARCEL SORIANO, PhD. Professor Emeritus in the Division of Special Education and Counseling at California State University, Los Angeles.  Dr. Soriano received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Riverside and a Ph.D. Doctorate in Clinical Family Psychology from United States International University (now Alliant/CSPP).  Dr. Soriano is an active member and has received awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. He has over 30 years’ experience teaching, conducting research and publishing in the areas of child and family development, special needs children and their families and on school reform.  His most recent publication is School-Based Family Counseling:  Transforming Family-School Relationships (2013) co-edited with Dr. Brian Gerrard.  Dr. Soriano has extensive experience in Public Education.  He holds several licenses and has been a practicing School Counselor, School Principal, Assistant Superintendent and is now an active Licensed Psychologist in private practice.  Most recently, he has specialized in serving children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Dr. Soriano is a certified bilingual Spanish, bicultural educator (BCLAD).  Among other leadership posts, Dr. Soriano served on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Accreditation Teams.  As such, he has experience in the review and accreditation of programs in School Administration and Leadership, School Counseling and Psychology Programs, as well as school reform initiatives.

MONA VAUGHN SCOTT, PhD. BA College of Pacific. MA, Religion, University of Pacific. MA, Sociology, Stanford University, 1976. PhD, Sociology, Stanford University, 1977. During her career, Dr. Scott has taught at George Washington University and University of San Francisco, where she helped to set up their Ethnic Studies curriculum. She has been and a consultant and researcher at the UCSF Dental School, where she also served on the Minority Admissions Committee. She has researched and written on racism and urban schools and minority retention.  She has received many honors, including from the Mayor of Berkeley and Alameda County Women Hall of Fame. She is listed in Who’s Who Among African Americans. For more than 30 years she has been Director of the Berkeley Black Repertory Theater and Group. As the theater group’s executive director, Dr. Scott has mentored actors, developed after-school programs for youth, facilitated self-esteem-building workshops and used performance to reach out to people in communities affected by substance abuse and violence.

In Memoriam:

HARRY BUTLER, PhD, LCSW.  AA College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, 1963. BS, Psychology, University of Cincinnati, 1964. MSW, Social Work, University of Louisville, 1966. PhD, Social Work, Washington University (St. Louis), 1971. Dean of Social Work, San Diego State University, 1975-78. Dr. Butler was the first Dean of the newly formed College of Health and Human Services in 1978, San Diego State University. He was the author of many published articles on social science research methods, social work practice and education. He spent three decades in private practice as Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, until his retirement. Dr. Butler passed away in December 2019. His contributions to WISR went beyond his service as a member of WISR’s advisory committee. In 1971-73, he collaborated with John Bilorusky (who co-founded WISR in 1975) in developing a successful Individual Learning Program in the College of Community Services at the University of Cincinnati. In many ways that program served as a model for WISR, when WISR was founded in 1975.