MELISA COLLINS | DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Melisa Collins, Director of School Programs with Beyond Technology Education, has been involved in education, with both children and adults, for over 20 years. With two teaching credentials and an M.S. in Education from California State University at Fullerton, Melisa began her career as a public school teacher.
After teaching multiple grade levels, Melisa moved into the private business arena, where she became managing Director for a private learning center. In that position, she was responsible for business and marketing aspects of the center, as well as the academic success of over 100 students.
Melisa then discovered her love for teaching adults when she became a Corporate Training Manager, and Help Desk Manager, for the Information Technology department of Wyle Electronics, where she was responsible for training thousands of employees in a company roll-out of new Windows-based applications.
With an understanding of educational curriculum, technology knowledge, and teaching and communication skills, Melisa is very successful in training and developing teachers and designing integration for the classroom. She is an Authorized Google Education Trainer, and an Adjunct Professor with Point Loma Nazarene University.
Melisa lives with her husband, Lynn, in Laguna Niguel, California. They are the proud parents of a daughter who recently graduated from college and is currently living in San Diego.
MALIA HOFFMANN, Ed.D. | SENIOR EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANT
Dr. Malia Hoffmann has been a lifelong educator. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Middle School education and began teaching middle school, cross-curricular subjects, while integrating technology to keep her students motivated. While teaching middle school she earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and began adjuncting for Marian University. After a year of teaching as an adjunct she took a full time position with the university and began pursuing her doctorate degree in learning technologies from Pepperdine University. At Pepperdine University she completed her dissertation on how undergraduate students and faculty use mobile devices for learning using the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework.
Malia has also shared her expertise by presenting at national and international conferences around the globe to include SITE, ISTE, FETC, and CUE. She has also worked as a pedagogical consultant for National Financial Educators Council providing feedback and recommendation in the online learning environment.
In addition to educating she is also a servant leader. She volunteers and serves on the Orange County CUE board of directors planning and providing professional development for educators in the area. Dr. Hoffmann also volunteers tutoring homeless children at the Village of Hope in Tustin weekly. She has also co-founded and worked as the technology and grant director for a domestic abuse shelter in Waupaca County, WI. And finally, Malia serves her country as a Captain in the Air Force Reserve as a logistics readiness officer.
Malia’s experience in teaching and technology span over fifteen years. Her research experience, interests, and expertise are in the areas of TPACK, mobile learning, technology coaching, and emerging technologies. She currently an assistant professor in the Master’s in Educational Technology program at California State University at Fullerton..
CHristine Kluger | Teacher and Guest Blogger
It’s not about me, but I used to think it was!
I was raised in Indiana where I attended Heritage Christian School. Although I was brought up in a Christian environment as a child and teenager, I didn’t consider faith in God an important part of life as an adult. Religion seemed to work for some people, but I couldn’t fake something I didn’t really believe in. As an alternative, I decided to pursue success in my education, career and sport and find fulfillment in achievements, experiences and personal interests.
In 2003, I graduated summa cum laude from University of New Mexico with a double major in Economics and Sociology. I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I decided to pursue a career that was intellectually interesting with high earning potential. After all, as my late grandfather would say, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure helps!”
New York City, 2009
I settled on a career in investment management with J.P.Morgan and moved to New York City in 2008, one week before Lehman Brothers collapsed sending Wall Street into a tail-spin. In an effort to advance my career, I earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and I was nominated as a top-30 global associate with my company.
In 2011, I was promoted and relocated to San Francisco. A few years later, I was hired by Orange County Employees Retirement System to do economic and risk analytics and was awarded the 2014 GFOA Award for Excellence in Government Finance. I am grateful for the decade of experience I gained in business management, public speaking and economic analysis, but I always felt like there was something more I was supposed to be doing with my life.
San Francisco, 2012
To fill the void, I put my heart into becoming a pro-fitness competitor. I valued the virtues of self-control, discipline, perseverance and hard-work that the sport of bodybuilding demanded, and I liked the attention I got for being in top shape.
I spent my free time before and after work at the gym or studying the latest research on nutrition and kinesiology. After 11 years of dedication and pain, I earned professional status in the International Federation of Bodybuilding in 2012.
I thought this achievement would bring me great personal gratification, but all I felt was disillusionment with the self-centered aspects of who I’d become.
Living life for myself didn’t ever make me consistently happy. In fact, my lifestyle choices seemed to only make me feel more empty and unhealthy inside. I think God waits for us to get to the end of our “self” before He will be revealed.
Although I wasn’t purposely looking for God, God came and found me. On January 16, 2014 I had a personal revelation of Jesus Christ and decided to give His Way a try. Nine months later I made a trip to Israel to get baptized in the Jordan river, but my vacation turned into an adventure of a lifetime.
I decided to stay in the Middle East for 6 months, take a break from my career in finance, and devote my time to helping the needy. I’d never done any sort of community service or humanitarian work before. I’d lived a selfish life, and it was time that changed!
Baptism in Israel, 2014
After returning home to spend time with my family in May 2015, I began to get involved with the Crescent Project, an organization that instructs Christians how to communicate effectively with Muslims. In the course of volunteering in my local community, an opportunity arose to return to the Holy Land.
Starting in August 2016, I began serving as a Social Studies teacher and Physical Education Instructor at a Christian school in the West Bank region of Israel. I am excited to use the talents God has given me to help improve the lives of those in less fortunate situations.
By living a life of sacrificial love, I am inspired to encourage children to grow into educated adults who are equipped to fulfill their unique God-given purpose.
Jesus Christ has made all the difference in my life. Before Christ, although I had achieved what I wanted and bought happiness in experiences, there was always a looming sense of emptiness, aimlessness and loneliness on the horizon.
It took a lot of bravery to walk away from everything I worked so hard for, but I’d do it all over again. Today, I have an ever present sense of peace, love, purpose and contentment that can only be found by living life in obedience and surrender to God.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
SUSAN J. BROOKS-YOUNG | SENIOR EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANT
Susan is an award winning author, educator and consultant. Susan has been a keynote speaker and presenter at CUE, FETC, ISTE, NCCE, ACSA and dozens of other notable education conferences both domestic and abroad. Susan has written books for ISTE and is a regular columnist for Today’s Catholic Teacher. She is sought after around the globe and is among the luminaries in the educational technology landscape. Susan received her Multiple Subject Credential from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, her Preliminary Administrative Credential from California State University in Fullerton and her Professional Administrative Credential from California State University in San Bernardino.
Jennifer Gulledge | Technology Education Specialist
In 2003, Jennifer Gulledge received her B.A. in Cinema and Broadcast Arts from Azusa Pacific University. She soon realized education was her true passion and went straight back to school. With a teaching credential and M.A. in Education, Jennifer began her teaching career in 2005 with Beyond Technology Education. Over the years she has gained much experience teaching technology to grades K-12 in different schools as well as teaching professional development to teachers and staff to train them in technology education. She has also written hundreds of individualized technology integrated lesson plans aligned to the state and common core standards. Currently, Jennifer writes K-12 technology curriculum used in many schools across the nation for Beyond Technology. In her free time, she enjoys the comfort of spending time with her two young children and her husband.
STACY YANAGA | TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION SPECIALIST
With a teaching credential and Masters of Education from Concordia University, Stacy Yanaga began her professional career with Beyond Technology Education and has been teaching K-8th graders in the classroom for 6 years. A certified trainer for Google Apps for Education, she has led BTE professional development efforts for Chromebooks and Google Drive. Stacy collaborates closely with classroom teachers to integrate technology into Common Core instruction and trains students in critical computer skills ranging from simple word processing and spreadsheets to sophisticated publishing and programming. Stacy lives with her husband Camden in Costa Mesa, California.
VERONICA HOLBROOK | DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL PROGRAMS
After completing her degree in Electronic Engineering, Veronica began her career teaching computer skills to students in grades K-10 and training teachers in Microsoft Office applications. In 2003 when she began working for BTE she developed lesson plans, trained teachers, and wrote curriculum in the areas of word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, database, multimedia, and video editing. Additionally she has developed 100’s of technology-integrated projects which are grade and subject specific as well as being aligned to the state standards. She has mentored dozens of teachers within the BTE organization, training large groups as well as working individually with them; she has created and updated the professional development curriculum as operating systems have evolved on PC’s and Mac’s. Veronica is currently SMART Notebook certified for PC, SMART Notebook certified for Mac, SMART Response certified. She is a Google Education Trainer; she has a B.S. in Electronic Engineering, a B.A. in Mathematics, and is working towards her Masters in teaching mathematics. Veronica is a certified Google Educator