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uww instructors

In addition to our full-time UWW faculty, UWW is proud to have among its ranks a number of distinguished instructors who teach Experiential Reflections and special topics courses for UWW. UWW instructors are accomplished scholars and experienced online teachers with an unyielding commitment to adult students.

Elizabeth Brinkerhoff teaches UWW 360 Experiential Reflections of Learning and Education. Liz started off as a UWW student just like you. After earning her B.A. through UWW in 1981, Liz went on to earn her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Suffolk University and her Ed.D. in Education Policy, Research and Administration from UMass Amherst. Liz's dissertation research examined factors that contribute to adult undergraduate success at UMass Amherst. She retired in 2015 after twenty-four years of service to UWW, first as Admissions Coordinator and then as a full-time UWW faculty advisor. Liz is excited to be teaching this reflections course and to continue being involved with UWW. At the same time, she is enjoying retirement and now has more time to x-country ski, bike, hike, tend to her gardens, read and travel a little more than she did before.      
Eric Cave is a visiting professor from Arkansas State University where most of his students work at least one job while attending classes. While at UWW he will be teaching UWW 320 Experiential Reflections of Leadership and UWW 397T Moral Challenges in Business. Eric has a B.A. from Trinity University in Texas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. Eric has taught courses in ethical theory, medical and environmental ethics, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of sex and love. He claims the distinction of putting the first course in the philosophy of sex on the books in Arkansas. He is an avid runner, bicyclist, and swimmer. With the help of Rachel (a Percheron mare), he is slowly learning the discipline of dressage. As well, he is a motorcycle enthusiast and a long-time brewer of Belgian style beer.
Victoria Dowling earned a B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Stanford University. After twenty-six years of teaching and advising UWW students full time, Victoria officially retired in 2009. She now teaches one online section of UWW 320 Experiential Reflections of Leadership each semester. When not settled into the shared world of Blackboard courses, she reads fiction and history books; follows online MOOC courses about topics of interest (i.e., Scandinavian Film and Television, The Worlds of Historical Fiction, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence, The Fiction of Relationship); spends time with her young grandchildren; and researches and writes about her family history. Travel also ranks high on the list, especially river rafting trips in the Grand Canyon and other canyons of the Colorado Plateau.
Norma Freidman teaches UWW 320 Experiential Reflections of Leadership. She has immense respect for adults returning to school, and a deep and longstanding relationship with UWW, as her mother was one of the first UWW graduates. A native of Springfield, MA, Norma earned her B.A. from UMass Amherst, and then went on to earn her M.Ed. in Human/Social Services from Antioch College in Ohio, and her M.A. and Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education from Columbia University. Norma spent 32 years on the faculty of Indiana Tech and has decades of experience as a consultant focused on organizational development, strategic planning and leadership development. She currently serves on the board of directors of WGBY and enjoys the vibrant cultural arts scene of Western Massachusetts with diverse interests in theatre, jazz, and comedy performances. 
Evan Goodchild studied Audio/Radio at Emerson College and received his BA through UWW in 2015 with a focus in Creative Arts in Human Services. He co-teaches UWW 397V Documenting Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice of Digital Narrative Production. He loves being able to connect with students through shared life experience while they journey through the illuminating process of making short documentaries. Evan started making short documentaries with the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community in 2012, and in 2013 won Best Short film at the Mad in America Film Festival. He now produces music, videos and podcasts, and works as the Digital Media instructor for Educational Resources for Children, providing after-school multimedia programming for middle schoolers. Evan  balances his screen time with plenty of outdoors time in his native Western MA, alongside his wife, Dani.
Rick Hendra teaches UWW 320 Reflections on Leadership and UWW 340 Reflections on Organizations. He holds a Master of Philosophy from Columbia University and an Ed.D. in Higher Education from UMass Amherst. He has been with UWW since 1979. Though he retired officially in ’08, he continues teaching in the blended program, which he helped develop. Rick is a voracious reader and learner, who thrives on what UWW students can teach him about their works and lives. He has bookcases dedicated to history (3), philosophy (2), science fiction (3), illustrated books (4), the sciences of information and complexity (2), and leadership, business, and organization theory (2). He is a long-time pickup basketball player, avid gardener, and manages a landscaping business with his wife and sons. He is proud to have the largest private library and comic book collection in Oakham, MA.
Lawrence Hott teaches UWW 397V Documenting Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice of Digital Narrative Production. He has been producing documentary films since 1978, when he left the practice of law to join Florentine Films. His awards include an Emmy, 2 Oscar nominations, a Peabody, the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, the Erik Barnouw Award, 5 American Film Festival Blue Ribbons, 14 CINE Golden Eagles, screenings at Telluride, and 1st place awards from the San Francisco, Chicago, National Educational, and New England Film Festivals. Larry was the Fulbright Fellow in Film and Television in the UK in 1994, and was a Fulbright Specialist in Vietnam teaching documentary in 2015. He has presented his films in Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Algeria as part of the U.S. State Dept. American Documentary Showcase. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscars).
Helen Hendrickson teaches UWW 330 Experiential Reflections of Public Policy. She loves teaching for UWW. The students bring such interesting backgrounds and experiences to the class and she gets to think and talk about a subject she loves – U.S. public policy. Helen received a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration (MPA) from UMass Amherst. In addition to teaching for UWW, Helen is a project director at the E.K. Shriver Center at the UMass Medical School. She has 20 years of experience in the field of Health and Disability Policy. Her current projects include creating online learning opportunities to decreasing health and dental disparities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Helen lives in Somerville Massachusetts with her husband and two young children. She likes to garden (badly), run (slowly) and read fiction assigned by her book club.     
Tammy Lockett's professional career spans twenty years starting in graphic and interactive media design, with twelve years in online higher education as both a content developer and a lead faculty member in charge of faculty management and training. With a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC in Computer Art and Animation, Tammy has worked as a design director in the private sector and more recently her work includes MOOC design for SmithX. It is through online curriculum development that Tammy has come to focus on the UX design and implementation of creating optimal, intuitive, learning experiences in a variety of digital spaces. She has recently become an avid gamer and can attest to the fact that her 3 young sons can game circles around her. Tammy taught the first offering of Digital Presentations for Teaching & Training at UWW starting Fall '17.
Ian McDowell teaches UWW 340 Experiential Reflections of Organizations. He earned his B.A. from Arizona State University and his M.A. from Arizona State University in the Communications and Advocacy Program, where he focused on organizational communication and computer mediated communications. Since graduating, his teaching experience has primarily been with "nontraditional" students, who often come to postsecondary education with incredibly varied and unique experiences and skillsets. He appreciates the opportunity the UWW program gives him to not only assist students of varied backgrounds and experiences, but to hear some of their stories. Ian has been carving wood and stone for the last fifteen years, and is a voracious reader of the news and science fiction novels. 
Patricia Packard joined UWW in 2006 and enjoys the opportunity to support each student’s journey to find his or her strengths, talents and passions. She has taught for over 25 years at UMass Amherst and holds a M.Ed. from Lesley College and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fielding University. She teaches UWW 320 Experiential Reflections on Leadership and UWW 397M Behavior Management in the Classroom, bringing her vast experience as a clinician and psychological consultant to the online classroom. She enjoys building relationships with each student and respects the need for each student to find the balance between academic challenges, family relationships and the world of work. She loves to spend time with friends and family, ride her bike with her daughters, write and spend time at the beach.  
Greg Purcell teaches UWW 340 Experiential Reflections of Organizations. He holds a Master's degree from The University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers, and has taught writing at UMass Amherst since 2010. What he loves about teaching adult students is the experience his students bring to their essays. The role of teacher and student in this context is wonderfully fluid. It's his job to introduce keywords and frameworks; using these, it becomes his students' roles to teach him about the work they do, and have done, out in the world. In addition to writing and publishing poetry, Greg has worked as an editor and proofreader for Stop Smiling Magazine, and several ad agencies. He is also, under the name G. Carl Purcell, a science fiction author. Greg lives in Amherst, MA, with his partner Ish Klein.
Tim Scott teaches courses in social justice and counseling for UWW. He is an Asst. Professor of Social Work at Central CT State University, an Adjunct Asst. Professor at Smith College's School for Social Work, and until recently an Asst. Professor of Social Work at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. He has a PhD in Social Justice Education and an Education Specialist Degree (CAGS) from UMass Amherst, and an MSW from the University of Utah. Until 2017, Tim was program director for the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at UMass Amherst, where he also served as clinical supervisor and training director for Smith College social work interns. Prior to this he worked as a clinician in youth programs and schools in New York City and western MA. He has extensive experience in disaster and crisis mental health. Tim is a first generation college graduate from Ogden, Utah. He joined the U.S. Army at 17, serving in the Infantry. He was a community organizer for years. 
Karen Stevens teaches UWW 360 Experiential Reflections of Learning and Education. As the first member of her extended family to graduate from high school, Karen has a very personal understanding of the value of education and brought that passion to UWW where she served as a full-time faculty advisor for over 10 years before retiring in 2016. She holds a B.A in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Public Health from UMass Amherst; and her M.S. and Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education from Columbia University. She has more than 30 years experience in education and health and human services as a trainer, advocate and program director, and has consulted extensively with both non-profit and for profit organizations. Karen loves literary fiction, movies, swimming, hiking, and cross country skiing. She also loves hanging out with her husband who is a UWW grad and adult children, and walking her rescue dog in the woods.
Cynthia Suopis teaches UWW 350 Experiential Reflections on Health. She served as a full-time UWW faculty advisor for over 15 years before retiring in 2017. The first person in her family to graduate from college, she earned her BS in Journalism from Bowling Green University, her MBA from American International College in Springfield, MA, her MA in Health Communication from Emerson College and the Tufts School of Medicine, and her Ph.D. in Communication from UMass Amherst. She served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and has worked in a wide range of fields, including human resources, hospital administration, health education, organizational consulting, journalism, public relations, strategic planning, management, grant writing and business process improvement. In addition to teaching UWW 350, Cindy works with prison inmates and serves on her local Board of Health.

Marylou Sullivan teaches UWW 397NP Non-Profit Management. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 45 years and is deeply appreciative of the opportunity to share her experience with adult students. For 35 years she has served as Executive Director of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, a regional human services organization. She has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island and an M.Ed. from Springfield College. She has served as Assistant Commissioner for Mental Health for the MA Department of Mental Health, and has served on the Boards of Directors of two major human services organizations. Marylou lives in Amherst with her two sons and their dog Simba. She enjoys cooking and swimming, and has recently returned to bike riding after many decades. Her mantra is “confidence, stamina and balance.”  In bike riding and in life.  

Sherri VandenAkker teaches UWW 310 Experiential Reflections of the Technological World. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in English from UMass Amherst and her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College. She also earned a graduate certificate in Instructional Technology from UMass Boston. Sherri loves working with adult learners; she appreciates their experience, perspective, creativity, and humor. Sherri is an educator, a documentary filmmaker, and a nature photographer. Although Cape Cod is her happy place, she lives outside of Boston with her husband and two children, who claim that she makes a mean carrot cake, wicked good brownies, and a sick apple pie. Visit her website at writewhale.net.