Learning and Development

Our Presenters 2014-2015

Presenter Biographies
We are once again fortunate to have a distinguished group of professionals serving as presenters of L&D sessions.

Dr. Charlene Alexander
Dr. Charlene Alexander is the associate provost for diversity and professor of counseling psychology at Ball State University. This is her 18th year at Ball State University. Prior to becoming associate provost for diversity, Dr. Alexander was the director of the School Counseling program in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services at Ball State University. Dr. Alexander’s research interests are in the areas of multicultural counseling, school counseling, and international psychology. She is the co-editor of the Handbook of Multicultural Education, currently in its 4th edition.

Cindy Allen-Stuckey
Cindy Allen-Stuckey, founder of Making Performance Matter, collaborates with organizations to help them connect employee performance to their business results. Cindy’s experience in organizational development, training and development, and human resources is largely attributed to her extensive career in manufacturing having spent the past 11 years at Knauf Insulation where she was the Director, Human Resources & Organizational Development for North America. Prior to that, Cindy developed her skills and perspective through a variety of roles at Keihin IPT and Cummins, Inc. She also has facilitated and taught a range of classes from GED classes through college courses. Cindy earned a Master of Science degree in Management at Indiana Wesleyan University, a Master of Science degree in Education at Indiana University, and a Human Performance Improvement Certificate, American Society for Training and Development.

Michelle Baker
Michelle Baker is a learning and development manager and owner/consultant at phase(two)learning. As a corporate learning professional she has more than 13 years of experience educating new and veteran support, volunteer, management, and executive level employees. Michelle is experienced with everything from 1:1 coaching sessions to organizing and leading large-scale training events. Michelle's background includes a variety of fields, including education, finance, IT, interactive/social media marketing and retail. Founding the consulting firm phase(two)learning has allowed her to leverage her multi-industry experience to help organizations build or revise their Onboarding and Learning & Development strategies.
Byron Ballard
Byron Ballard has been an employee of the Ball State University Career Center since 1996 and currently serves as the Customer Service Assistant. He is responsible for coordinating the referral process for on-campus student employment and supervises the students in the reception area. Byron assists with providing service training for the department including its student employees. He brings over twenty years of customer service experience both on the front lines and training others at the university as well as for various hotels and conference centers.

Laura Becker
Laura Becker is the Assistant Manager of Payroll, Payroll & Employee Benefits, Ball State University.

Jennifer Blackmer
Jennifer Blackmer is Ball State University’s Director of Immersive Learning, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. During her tenure at Ball State, Jennifer has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Excellence in Teaching Award, the Outstanding Creative Endeavor Award, the Accessible Teacher Award, and four immersive learning fellowships, including two at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, which she now directs.

Thresette Briggs
Thresette Briggs is the Founder and President of Performance 3, LLC, a woman-owned management consulting firm offering custom services in Organizational Development, Facilitation & Training, and Inspirational Speaking. She is an Adjunct Faculty Member for Indiana Wesleyan University’s School of Business, and a Leadership Coach for Butler University’s MBA program. Thresette has held human resource leadership positions for over 20 years in global companies with up to 10,000 employees. She led large scale change initiatives in organizations in transition by partnering with leaders, resulting in successful business transformations and turnarounds. Thresette’s experience includes education, manufacturing, distribution, finance, customer service, and non-profit. Thresette holds numerous awards and recognition for leadership development, public speaking, operational excellence, and process improvements.

Melissa Daniels
Melissa Daniels is a graduate of Hanover College and worked in project management before beginning her Professional Organizing career in 2004. Her Cincinnati, Ohio, based organizing firm helped residential and business clients create organizing solutions with an element of fun and design. Currently, Melissa owns Organized Hive, a professional organizing services firm. She enjoys sharing her expertise in workshops as well as working alongside her clients to encourage and teach them organizing skills that apply to home, work and life. Melissa is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

Dr. Katherine J. Denker
Dr. Katherine J. Denker As the Director of the Basic Course, she is responsible for the instructional design, instructor training, assessment and instructional development for all of the 35 graduate teaching assistants who work with the Comm. 210 program each year. Dr. Denker has presented on issues related to mentoring and training at conferences for both the National Communication Association and the Central States Communication Association. Her work on instructional communication has been published in Communication Research Reports, Communication Teacher, and the Basic Communication Course Annual. Additionally, her work with the Comm. 210 program has lead to both the Ball State’s Lawhead Teaching Award in 2013 as well as the Organization for the Study of Language Communication and Gender’s Feminist Teacher-Mentor Award.

Carla Drizin
Carla Feagans is President of Ignite HR Consulting and a professional training consultant. Her strengths include exceptional leadership development, team-building, coaching, facilitation, and instructional design skills. Carla has experience working in a variety of corporate settings, instructor-led training and development, managing multiple projects to achieve corporate goals, and highest ratings in client satisfaction. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in General Students / Management, at Indiana University, Bloomington. She also holds a Master's Degree in Communications and Training Technology from the University of Northern Iowa.

Marc Drizin
Marc Drizin is Founder of Employee Hold'em of Carmel, Indiana. Marc partners with clients on strategies to recruit, retrain, and reward employees primarily through the use of research tools and follow-up coaching and consulting. He conducts 25 to 35 speeches per year on issues of employee loyalty, ethics, and customer and employee retention.

Dr. Stanley Geidel
Dr. Stanley Geidel is Program Manager for the Sponsored Projects Administration here at Ball State. Stan has given presentations on grantsmanship to national audiences in San Diego and Baltimore as an invited speaker for the Community of Science; here in Indiana he has presented at the Indiana Forum for Research Administration. Stan displays a comprehensive knowledge of grants as they pertain to researchers, scholars, and creative artists in all the various academic disciplines.

Deb Goens
Deb Goens is the International Center Immigration Foreign Student Advisor / Immigration Specialist at Ball State University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and two Master’s degrees — teaching English as a Foreign Language and Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education. Deb has been employed at The Center for International Programs since 1990. She has coordinated sending Americans overseas, accompanied a group of Americans on a study trip abroad, and worked with various aspects of foreign student advising, programming, foreign visiting scholars, foreign faculty, and more. She has traveled to Canada, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, and parts of Europe.

Daniel Griffith, J.D.
Daniel Griffith is the Manager of Training and Organization Development at Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana. He supports individual, work group, and organizational effectiveness through training programs and consultation. His specialties include workplace mediation, dialogue facilitation, coaching, conflict resolution consultation, and many other topics. He earned the juris doctor (J.D.) law degree at Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, and is a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana.

Wendy Heathcote
Wendy Heathcote is Manager of Payroll Processing, Payroll & Employee Benefits, Ball State University.

Isabel Hundt
Isabel Hundt is with Compassionate Coaching IH, LLC, which is known for challenging your worldview by questioning your own reality about yourself in a unique, refreshing and powerful way. Growing up in Germany, traveling to many different countries, learning about their cultures and now living in the USA, Isabel gained immense knowledge and compassion for the difference and uniqueness of each one of us. Isabel’s background in Sociology, Psychology, Team Building Training ( ACCT Standards) and through her coaching training, practicing principals set forth by the International Coach Federation, she challenges people to discover their patterns in how they do one relationship is how they do all their relationships.

Kelli Huth
Kelli Huth has been at Ball State as part of the Building Better Communities outreach unit since 2008. She is now the director of the Building Better Communities Fellows immersive learning program. Her role includes connecting faculty and students on campus with businesses and nonprofit organizations across Indiana and providing administrative support to immersive learning teams in all academic disciplines. Kelli received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Anderson University and a Master of Arts in Executive Development for Public Service from Ball State. She has over ten years of experience with community development programs involving institutions of higher education.

John Knox
John Knox is the Student Employment Coordinator in the Career Center at Ball State University. He is responsible for insuring that students apply and are hired for student positions within the University and Federal Work Study-Community Service programs in compliance with Federal and State rules and regulations. He serves as the liaison between student employee supervisors and administrative agencies affecting student employment. He is a graduate of Ball State University and comes to the Career Center with experience in management and public sector human resources. He is a member of the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators and proud father of a current BSU student.

Robert J. Koester
Robert J. Koester, AIA LEED AP is a Professor of Architecture at Ball State University. Mr. Koester is Founding Director of the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES) providing interdisciplinary academic support focused on issues related to energy and resource use, alternatives and conservation. He serves as Founding Chair of the university-level Council on the Environment (COTE) a clearinghouse for campus-wide sustainability.

David G. Lewis
David G. Lewis received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice then spent several years in Law Enforcement, before returning to Illinois State University and completing a Masters in Political Science. David then spent several years working as a higher education administrator at Purdue University in W. Lafayette, Indiana. David is certified by Purdue University and the University of Oklahoma in diversity facilitation and is a certified trainer for Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. He is also a certified facilitator of Emotional Intelligence through MHS. He was the 1996 recipient of the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing outstanding presenter award. He was awarded the 2006 outstanding adjunct facility award at Heartland Community College, where he teaches American Government and Politics classes.

Brandi McGlothin
Brandi McGlothin is Manager, Employee Benefits, in the Office of Payroll and Employee Benefits at Ball State University.

Jamie Nast
Jamie Nast co-founded NastGroup, Inc. in 1998 and has taught mind mapping and other learning skills to over 17,000 professionals since 1992. She was previously the only Senior Master Trainer representing the Buzan Centres. Jamie is the author of a book titled "Idea Mapping" which includes idea mapping examples from 21 business people around the globe. Her clients include Mayo Clinic, Franklin Templeton, Ford, BP, U.S. Army, ConocoPhillips, L.L.Bean, and many others.

Erica Nelson
Erica Nelson is Managing Consultant of nelson performance development, LLC, training and consulting practice. Ms. Nelson is a trainer, consultant, author, and mediator who works with professionals in a variety of industries in organization development. Erica has 25+ years of professional experience in training in management development, team collaboration, and communication and presentation skills. She is a certified facilitator for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) for the Consulting Skills for Trainers Certificate Program and Coaching Certificate Program. Ms. Nelson earned her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in Journalism and English and her M.A. from the University of Connecticut in Educational Administration and Counseling. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and formerly an adjunct faculty member in Applied Sciences at Oakton Community College teaching Psychology.

Kathie Nix
Kathie Nix has worked at Ball State University for the past five years as the Operations Coordinator in the Alumni Center. She is in her second year of graduate school studying Adult and Community Education with a minor in Communication Studies. With a background in theatre and Girl Scouting, Kathie loves presenting active training sessions and promises to keep you moving and involved in your workshop. Kathie and her husband Phil, a local optometrist, have lived in Muncie for 32 years and have two daughters who have both graduated from Ball State University.

Mike Polites
Mike Polites has helped hundreds of people overcome their fear of giving presentations. As a past-president of a local Toastmaster’s International group, Mike became the Indiana State Champion of Humorous Speaking. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Ball State University, Mike worked in sales and consulting. In addition to his educational and teaching experiences, he served as a university ambassador while visiting Asia and Europe. He has earned both a Certified Training Certificate and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on training and consulting in organizations from Ball State.

Thomas Pratt
Thomas Pratt is Assignment and Employment Coordinator in University Human Resource Services (UHRS). He is from Pleasant Grove, Utah, and graduated from Southern Utah University with an undergraduate degree. He also worked at Southern Utah University from March 2006 to August 2012 as a Payroll Specialist. In 2013 he worked for a private PEO (Professional Employer Organization) in Provo, Utah, as an Operations Specialist, primarily doing client onboarding and payroll & benefit procedures implementation. He began work at Ball State University in January, 2014, as the Assignment and Employment Coordinator. He has a variety of responsibilities that include faculty and professional contracts, Argos report writing, EPAF functions, and a number of various other roles.

Paula Presnoples
Paula Presnoples is a change professional with thirty years in human resource management. With real world experience in the public and private sectors, she has led large and small teams to outstanding results. Frequently in her career she has been tapped to create new organizations and lead them in unchartered waters. Often decorated for her contributions, Paula has proven that values based leadership is a path to achievement and authenticity. Her hands on public and private sector experience includes: Indiana State Affirmation Action Coordinator; Human Resources Director, Indiana Department of Revenue and Managing Director, Human Resources, FedEx Express, retired, At FedEx she rose from individual contributor to Managing Director in less than 10 years, proving herself to be a dynamic achiever and gifted leader.

Pamela L. Ruster, LCSW
Pam Ruster is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, receiving a Master of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Evansville in Sociology. She has experience in a wide range of practice settings including child welfare, health care/hospitals, and employee assistance programs. Currently she is the Owner/President of Supportive Systems, LLC, which provides EAP and Corporate Development services to corporations throughout Indiana.

J. Michelle Sybesma
J. Michelle Sybesma is a consultant, trainer, author, and speaker with Professional Skills Consulting, Inc. She founded the business in 1999, helping other organizations to bridge the skills gap between the educational and private sectors. A unique life-twist also made Michelle a personal expert on the topic of identity theft. As a result, she married the knowledge gained from this experience and her professional skills to bring fascinating learning experience to that of Identity Theft in the Workplace.

Sheri Watts
Sheri’s mid-western based company established in 1998, The Watts Connection, Inc., a certified Minority Business Enterprise, enables organizations and individuals achieve extraordinary business results by identifying, repairing and reconnecting impaired communications within companies, both large and small. Sheri uses her expertise and business acumen to diagnose and improve performance at every level of the organization, including senior leadership, middle-management, supervisors and front-line employees.

Kimberly Wiefling
Kimberly Wiefling is the author of Scrappy Project Management, a global business leadership consultant, and a force of nature – the good kind! She specializes in global team effectiveness – helping teams achieve what seems impossible, but is merely difficult. The founder of Wiefling Consulting, Kimberly has worked with people form over 50 different countries, and she’s determined to transform Planet Earth one inspired and engaged team at a time!

Ms. Stephanie D. (Huffman) Wilson
Ms. Stephanie D. (Huffman) Wilson is the Recruiter for the Ball State University Graduate School. She manages social media (2100+ Facebook “likes”), a student-centered website, and orients new graduate school students. Her experience includes being Director of the Ball State University Outreach Services, Project Director of an information technology training project assisting 500 dislocated workers in 25 Indiana counties, and Institute Director for the Indiana League of Municipal clerks for five years. She earned an undergraduate degree in Management and a master’s degree in Adult and Community Education from Ball State University.

Jerry Winans
Jerry Winans is the Associate Director of Human Resources, Learning and Development (L&D). Jerry is a certified Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) and a retired U.S. Air Force officer. He joined Ball State University in July 2010 with 15+ years of experience in HR/L&D management positions at BellSouth, Honda suppliers, healthcare staffing, and Taylor University. He earned a Master of Science degree from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, (Applied Behavioral Sciences, Training and Development/HR) and a Master of Arts degree at Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, (Counseling Psychology). His bachelor’s degree is from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, (Journalism and Mass Communications).

Dawn Wisher
Dawn Wisher, a Muncie-native and BSU alumna, is a Senior Lecturer in Business Communication for the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington. She has a master's degree in organizational communication and a bachelor's degree in public relations, both from Ball State. Before becoming fulltime faculty at IU, she worked in marketing and public relations. She worked for one year as an Assistant Director for Ball State Admissions.

Vivian Wright-Defrees
Vivian Wright-Defrees is the owner/President of Success Development, inc., a 20+ year old employee development company. For several years, she has provided numerous training programs for Ball State University - as contract and faculty. Previously, she was a corporate HR and Training and Development liaison in long-term care, as well as a training coordinator for a manufacturing company. She has developed and delivered numerous training programs such as management of self/others, inter/intrapersonal communications, training and development, healthy work environments, and customer service. She holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Ball State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.