Board of Advisors

Kyle Ashley, Ph.D.

Kyle Ashley, Ph.D.


Dr. Ashley is a postdoctoral fellow studying the petrology of metamorphic and magmatic systems. His work is interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on understanding the evolution of metamorphic and igneous terranes. Dr. Ashley utilizes the physical and chemical properties of minerals, thermodynamics, microstructures, and computational modeling to assess the environment under which rocks are formed, from early burial, to peak heating, to exhumation to the Earth’s surface. He aims to assess fluid, temperature, pressure and stress evolution throughout the temporal history of a rock in order to understand deformation, metamorphic and igneous processes in a variety of tectonic environments.

Dr. Ashley is currently a Jackson School of Geosciences Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech in May of 2015.


James Brown, Ph.D., M.S.

James Brown, Ph.D., M.S.Dr. James Brown is a pioneer in online course development in science. He has been dubbed the “Godfather of Online Science” and recently has been designated One of the Top 40 Innovators in Education by the Center for Digital Education. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University and an additional M.S. in Health Sciences from New Jersey City University. His is a former director of microbiology for Roche and an Assistant Commissioner of Health for New Jersey overseeing the Division of Public Health and Environmental Laboratories. He is a former dean of Science, Engineering, Health Sciences and Human Performance for Ocean County College that became an East-coast powerhouse for online science course development with over 14 unique online science courses.

He is president of James W. Brown Associates LLC which develops online science courses for colleges and universities with a special focus on the pre-nursing science courses of Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology and Chemistry which are all designed using Hands-On Labs LabPaqs and LabBridge as the foundation for the laboratory experience. He developed the Online Science Laboratory Series for the Sloan Consortium (now named the Online Learning Consortium) in the Spring of 2014 which helps train science faculty and instructional designers in how to develop online courses in science. Dr. Brown teaches science totally online at California State University at San Marcos, Colorado Christian University, American Public University, Unitek College, City University of New York and Gwynedd Mercy University.


Geralyn Caplan, Ph.D.

Geralyn Caplan, Ph.D.Dr. Geralyn M. Caplan is a professor of Biology at Owensboro Community and Technical College where she has been teaching anatomy and physiology since 2001. She holds degrees from Western Kentucky University (EdD), University of Illinois (M.S.), University of Southern Indiana (B.S. Science Education), and Northern Illinois University (B.S. Biology).  Her post-doctoral dissertation was entitled “Comparative analysis of student achievement & retention in traditional and online first-semester anatomy & physiology courses.”



Mildred V. (Midge) Hall, D.A.

Dr. Hall taught some of the first online chemistry courses in the State of Ohio, starting in 2001.  Midge is currently a chemistry lecturer at Northern Kentucky University and has created an online version of the NKU Physiological Chemistry course.   She strives to make chemistry accessible while holding students to appropriate standards and has been supported in this endeavor by her training as a Quality Matters reviewer, her many years spent serving on the Ohio Transfer Assurance Guidelines panel for General Chemistry and serving as Chair of Assessment of Student Learning at Clark State Community College.  She started her career as a lecturer at the DuBois campus of the Pennsylvania State University, then became a full-time faculty member at Clark State Community College in Springfield, OH in 1994, retiring as a Professor of Chemistry in 2016.  Dr. Hall holds a Doctor of Arts in Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.


Erica Kipp, M.S.

Erica Kipp, M.S.Professor Erica Kipp began her career at The New York Botanical Garden researching plants for novel compounds with medicinal value as part of natural product drug discovery programs.  While at the Garden she also coordinated botany education courses and organized medicinal plant seminars.   Professor Kipp served as the Director of Biology Laboratories at Pace University for over a decade and has been teaching in higher education for over 15 years, teaching environmental science, ecology, and general biology among other courses.  A pioneer in hybrid and online courses, Professor Kipp introduced the first online lab-based course at Pace University, earning grants in order to support the pedagogy studies and publish her research on ‘how students learn science online.’  Professor Kipp remains on faculty at Pace University and is currently on special appointment for Environmental Science at Norwalk Community College.  In addition to pedagogy publications, Professor Kipp has published her research in cytotoxicity of medicinal plants and plant response to climate change.


Jody Klann, M.S.

Jody Klann, M.S.Jody Klann has been teaching in the community college/university system for just over a decade now. Professor Klann holds a Masters degree in Education, Forensic Science (Serology/DNA), and Biology (Conservation) along with a B.S. in Conservation Biology. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Psychology (comparative).

Jody Klann’s love is DNA along with endangered species. She has spent some time in 2006 working with the Wolong Reserve in China artificially inseminating the Giant Pandas (these are her favorite). Klann currently owns a home on the beach in Chile and tries to spend as much time there as possible. She runs MAR which is a Marine Animal Rescue program where they take in marine animals in need, mainly penguins and sea lions.


Marc LaBella, M.S.

Marc LaBella, has been at Ocean County College (New Jersey) in the positionMarc LaBella, M.S. of Associate Professor of Biology and an eLearning Lecturer II for nine years, and has taught at the college level for at total of 33 years in the capacity of both a professor and an administrator at Felician College in Lodi, New Jersey. Marc has graduate training (Master’s Degree – Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Post-masters training as a FIPSE Fellow at Rutgers University) in Biology, Educational Psychology, and Statistics.

The face-to-face classes and distance-learning classes that Marc teaches include General Biology I, General Biology II, Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Pathophysiology (undergraduate and graduate level), Statistics & Experimental Design (undergraduate and graduate level), and Ecology. Marc has been designing and teaching distance-learning courses since 1999. He is a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer, a Certified Online Instructor, and Master Course Designer for Ocean County College.

Marc’s Biological specialty is Microbial Ecology, specifically genetically modified bacteria that break down toxic substances (biodegradation).  He has also have worked with Diamond Back Terrapins (in association with Project Terrapin of Ocean County). Marc is also a state certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).


Alan Lester, Ph.D.

Alan Lester, Ph.D.Alan Lester received a bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Oregon in 1985, and then moved to Boulder, Colorado, in order to enjoy both the intellectual adventures of graduate school and the physical ones of rock climbing.   After finishing a Ph.D. in 1993, Alan worked full-time at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as a research associate and Senior Instructor.   Alan’s research interests, often involving undergraduate students, have included studies of atomic mineral structures, rock magnetism, geochemistry, and isotopic dating; all directed at deciphering the origin and subsequent evolution of the Rocky Mountains.  Most recently, he has been working in the realm of history and philosophy of science, with a focus on the on the development of our understanding of earth’s exceptional antiquity (i.e. “Deep Time”).

A recipient of multiple university-wide teaching awards, Alan shares his enthusiasm for science via undergraduate lecture courses, online courses, lab and field courses, honors courses, K-12 education and public outreach projects, and also through numerous television appearances (including Science, Discovery, National Geographic, and History Channels).

In 2008, Alan reduced his position at CU-Boulder to part-time in order to follow a long-time passion and adventure with aviation; Alan is an airline pilot flying 50-80 seat Canadair Regional Jets, as United Express (operated by SkyWest Airlines).


Libby Prueher, Ph.D.

Libby Prueher, Ph.D.Dr. Libby Prueher teaches Earth, Environmental, and Physical Sciences at two-year and four-year colleges and universities in the Denver Area. She has worked as a bathymetric research analyst for the Defense Department as a geologist for the United States Geological Survey.  Dr. Prueher is a member of the board of the Morrison Natural History Museum Foundation and a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She carries degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Oregon, and the University of Michigan.

Dr. Prueher has experience in conducting professional development programs for teachers and outreach events for the students of all ages, educators and members of the general public.  She also conducts tours at the Morrison Museum. Her research includes the impact of volcanism on climate, the source at volcanic ash at Florissant National Monument, and informal science education. Dr. Prueher enjoys leading field trips to areas of geological interest in the Denver area. Her current passion is explaining climate change to people of all ages. In July 2015, She was accepted as a member of the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps. Dr. Prueher is the founder of Earth Upreach, an organization dedicated to science outreach.


Scott Tschaekofske, M.S.

Scott Tschaekofske, M.S.Scott Tschaekofske holds the position of Associate Professor of Chemistry at Bismarck State College (North Dakota).  He has taught the general chemistry sequence for science majors since 2006.  His students are frequently engaged by in-class demonstrations and lab activities as he feels the best way to kindle interest in the subject matter and develop the content is through a hands-on approach.  He has been the president of an area group aimed at promoting the sciences to young people, the Visiting Scientists Series, for the past six years.  Scott has earned degrees from the University of North Dakota (B.S.) and Michigan State University (M.S.).  Prior to working in education, Scott was a forensic scientist and crime scene technician in both Michigan and Minnesota.


Danny Welsch, Ph.D.

Danny Welsch, Ph.D.Danny Welsch is the assistant Dean for the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at American Public University System.  He received a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) in Environmental Analysis and Planning from Frostburg State University in 1995. In 1999, he earned a Master of Science (MS) in Environmental and Forest Engineering from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Welsch received his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia in 2003. His research focuses on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of natural and impacted systems, working in the forests of Montana, the coal fields of Western Maryland, and high elevation wetlands in West Virginia. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Frostburg, MD and enjoys riding and racing all types of bicycles, listening to music, and telemark skiing.


Kristen Miller, Ph.D.


Kristen Miller received her PhD in Astrophysical Studies from the University of Maryland in 2000.  She has taught numerous astronomy and physics classes for The Pennsylvania State University, Ocean County College, Iowa Western Community College, and Lonestar College.   Kristen currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Space Studies at The American Public University System.  Her current research focuses on detections of supernovae in nearby galaxies and photometric studies of Near Earth asteroids.

Riham Mahfouz, M.S.


Prof. Mahfouz has more than 17 years of experience in teaching at the college level. She is currently working as an associate professor of Chemistry at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) in Hampton Virginia. Prof. Mahfouz has also served at TNCC as head of the chemistry department, science program head, and interim dean of science, engineering and technology. Ms. Mahfouz has extensive training and experience in developing online courses.