- Ph.D., Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. Leadership in Education with focus on cognitive neuroscience and implications for teaching and learning. Research mentors: Shirley Freed, Ph.D., James A. Tucker, Ph.D., George Akers, Ph.D.
- M.A., University of California, Berkeley. Language and Literacy with focus on how parents initiate children into literacy. Research mentors: Anne Haas Dyson, Ph.D., Helen Gillotte, Ph.D., Lily Wong Fillmore, Ph.D., Robert Ruddell, Ph.D., and Marian Diamond, Ph.D.
- B.A., Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. Speech/ Communications and Teacher Education.
Principal Research Interests
Niemann-Pick disease, the extremely rare terminal condition that took our son's life, initiated me into the study of neuroscience and then into neuroeducation--relevance of neuroscience to teaching and learning. As developer and director of the "Brain, Affect and Education" specialization in La Sierra University's School of Education, Curriculum and Instruction department, it is my privilege of mentor the strong interest of students in learning how the brain/body learns and how educators can create brain-friendly learning environments.
Social and emotional aspects of learning also remain my research focus. Since U.C. Berkeley's Marian Diamond introduced me to research on autonomic nervous system balance as measured by heart rate variability, heart-brain connections, and the significant role of the heart in emotional stability, the issues of classroom bullying, resilience in managing classroom stress, and coherent cognitive states have become increasingly more important in my research. Dr. Earl Bakken, developer of the first wearable heart pacemaker and co-founder of Medtronics, has been my mentor in heart-brain science for the past 8 years
Research AREA Highlights:
- Language and Literacy
- Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties
- The Reading, Writing and Computing Brain
- Social and Emotional Influences on Brain/Body and Learning
- Resilience in Education
- Zapara Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1993
- Outstanding Leadership and Service Award, Lysik Uniting Us with Purpose (LUSA), 2007
- Talented and Gifted Curriculum, Pacific Union Conference of SDA and North American Division of SDA, 1991 – 1992 and 2009-2011.
- Curriculum Guide, 2012. North American Division of SDA, Department of Education.
- Critical Issues in Brain Science and Pedagogy, 2007. Alfonso Nava, editor. McGraw Hill.
- Brain-relevant education, 2007. Encyclopedia for Educational Psychology, 2007.
- Educational brain research as compared with E. G. White's Counsels to Educators, 2001, University of Michigan Press.
- Literature Handbook, Pacific Union Conference, 1992 - 1993.