My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was labeled as "dumb" in Middle School, but my parents believed in me regardless.
Then, I became a super-nerd and developed my own method of learning, which caused me to graduate....
...from High School with the highest grade point average, and gave me confidence to go to college.
It was hard, but I studied for my Master's while tutoring others and subbing for teachers.
I moved from Holland to the USA, where my degree was virtually useless, so I got my Ph.D.
I discovered I am Learning Disabled and Dyslexic, which actually helps me be a better teacher!


Chairperson & Professor

I lead the Communication Department at a college and teach English.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

A great day means that I get to help students from all over the world at the most diverse community college in the nation, where those I work with are from over 160 different countries. A great day means that I contributed to the fires of hope and learning being ignited in a first generation college-goer, in a refugee from a war-torn area, or in a smart, but special student with disabilities.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Coming from another country, even a highly developed country with a great education system, I found it very hard to get a job initially. The degree certainly opens doors, but the degree is only half the story; part of my job is hiring others, and sometimes I get 300 resumes for one position. It is not the person with a degree from Harvard, but the person who has skills that match what is needed who gets the job!

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You are too dumb to finish Middle and High School. You should go to an easier school. You cannot do this."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant
Learning Issues