I was born in South Bend, Indiana and raised in Michigan City where I currently reside. Most of my immediate family resides in Northwest Indiana with extended family in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
My undergraduate education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management, two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Hospitality Administration, and I have a Technical Certificate in Management. My graduate studies include Communication (M.A.) with a focus on Organizational Communication and Training, as well as Education (M.S.Ed.), with a specialization in Instructional Design and Technology.
Now that I have earned both of my master degrees, I plan to stay in the workforce for a while and am considering earning a Ph.D. or Ed.D. after establishing a solid foundation with an organization.
My Subject Matter (Disciplines)
With my passion for food, people, and problem solving, I pursued my education with the dream of moving into a management position within the Hospitality Industry. It was not until I began my bachelor's studies that I noticed something different about my path. While working as a certified trainer in one of my jobs, I found the training process to be fascinating and began to wonder how and why it was structured the way it was. From there, I began to seek out programs for graduate study.
I had sought information from the College of Education on the Instructional Design program; however, I applied for the Communication program after recommendations from professors and classmates. I knew the Communication program was a great fit because it began to help me understand the "why" of certain theories and processes within a training program. The Communication discipline helped me think quantitatively and outside the box.
After recommendations from my Education program chair and professors, as well as a recommendation from a Communication classmate, I decided to apply for the Instructional Design (ID) program. Within my first two courses, I discovered the correlation between the two disciplines and how I could merge the two together. The education (ID) discipline provided me with "how" things could be done based on specific theories or processes within training. In fact, once I found that correlation, I was able to combine all three of my disciplines together and work on course projects that later became an awesome portfolio.
Professional Vision and Goal
Professional Vision & Goals
My professional vision is to implement a distance training initiative (or improve the current initiative) in a corporation. Along the way, this will include consulting businesses and individuals in reference to their training methods and how they can incorporate technology (or e-learning) into their training. With this initiative, I plan to assist them in the development of effective instructional materials, implementing a learning management system as a method of instruction and assessment, incorporating technology into their teaching and learning, and modifying their training system to meet the needs of all learners and their learning styles.
Here are some goals I plan to fulfill/maintain:
- Secure a full-time, permanent position within the in an educational institution with a position encompassing all the skills I have available to be able to offer course development, teaching and learning, as well as training/technology suggestions.
- Continually improve my technology toolkit
- Develop or improve a training program (or their affiliated courses) involving technology within my destined company
- Network with other professionals
I'm a technologically savvy type of individual. I have a laptop that acts as my tech-hub on my desk, as well as a tablet and smartphone, so I stay connected with the world.
Riding my bike is my "fun" time—I rode 50 miles in a single day in the summer of 2015, 80 miles in July of 2017, and 100 miles in August of 2017. My plan one day is to ride my bike farther than that and ride along Lakeshore Drive in Chicago on a sunny day.
Randall Hensley (1991) noted there are four learning styles: Feeler, Intuitor, Sensor, and Thinker. Out of the four styles, I feel the "thinker" represents me the best.
Some fun facts about me.
- I have an interest in Metaphysical Studies.
- I've traced my family lineage back to the 1700s. I am of German, Irish, and Russian descent.
- My favorite subject is history or something with a relation to research.
- I've developed a recent interest in photography and plan to expand this as I further explore this newfound hobby.
Thanks for visiting!
Alex B. Criswell, M.A. & M.S. Ed.
Hensley, R. (1991). Learning Style Theory and Learning Transfer Principles During Reference Interview Instruction. Library Trends, 39(3), 203-09. Retrieved from https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/7729/librarytrendsv39i3d_opt.pdf