2018 Steering Committee Members

Conference Chair

Dr. Amardeep Kahlon is passionate about innovation and research in higher education. She is a highly experienced and innovative educator with experience in the complete education cycle from design to evaluation. She is keenly interested in innovative pedagogies for increasing student retention and engagement.
Dr. Kahlon is currently the director of Fast Track to Success, a competency-based education (CBE) project. As a part of this project, she holds workshops around Texas for disseminating CBE best practices. She is the co-director of a Texas Affordable Baccalaureate grant, wherein she works with South Texas College to create accelerated, competency-based pathways to a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology. In October 2017, Dr. Kahlon was profiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the top ten classroom innovators in the country.
Dr. Kahlon is also part of an NSF funded project to build a sustainable model for broadening the participation in computer science in community colleges. While she was on sabbatical in 2013-14, she served as a founding dean of academic affairs at a university in India.

Conference Co-Chair

Dr. Eric A. Roe has extensive experience in creating high-performance / high-profile programs and collaborative partnerships to make professional and workforce education relevant for employers and the economy through systemic reforms which align competencies with talent development pathways.

He is currently the Executive Director of the Texas Engineering Executive Education (TxEEE) at the University of Texas at Austin.

At UT Austin, Dr. Roe is a member of the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Leadership Team and responsible for the college’s executive engineering Master’s degree programs, engineering professional development, conferences, and customized corporate training. Prior to UT Austin, Dr. Roe was the Director of Applied Technology at Polk State College and founder of the Manufacturing Talent Development Institute. In these roles he instituted one of the first competency-based degree programs when he transformed a traditional Engineering Technology program to competency-based Open-Entry/Early-Exit, served the state through the ManufacturingTDI statewide resource center bridging industry and talent development systems, and served as Principal Investigator (PI) of an NSF ATE grant and Co-PI and director of three US DOL TAACCCT grants to strengthen Engineering Technology and Advanced Manufacturing training and education programs. These initiatives have created the toolkit for a unified educational system that provides the curriculum, educational articulation pathways, and certifications needed to deliver required workplace competencies for STEM and modern manufacturing careers.

Dr. Roe held various positions in manufacturing research, technical services, and engineering before joining the education sector to become a founding director of FLATE, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center and shifted his focus to creating a skilled and educated STEM workforce. Dr. Roe earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida, where he developed an alternative feedmill process for citrus processing. In his professional career, he has worked in 3 areas of vital importance to industry – Manufacturing, R&D, and Education. He has served as keynote speaker and technical lecturer at regional, national, and international conferences in economic and workforce development, education, and engineering.

Ann Kennedy is the multimedia developer for Fast Track to Success and faculty in the Visual Communication department. She has successfully designed and delivered online, competency-based courses. She has created and curated CBE video case studies for the Fast Track to Success project. Her areas of expertise range from being an online educator for adult learners with Austin Community College District to previously managing a well-renowned publishing concern. As a freelance graphic designer for the past 20 years, Ann has an uncanny ability to combine worlds of creativity with all things technical.


Erasmus Addae

Dr Carol Buse

Dean of STEM, Amarillo College



PhD Colorado State University</p<

Dr. Cravey is an academic leader with a blend of education, management, and administrative experience and proven success developing and executing short- and long-term strategic plans to achieve organizational vision and goals. She has demonstrated success cultivating and fostering strong working partnerships with internal and external partners to facilitate academic program growth, expansion, and viability.

With over 20 years of experience in technical education, Irene has served as an instructor, Curriculum Coordinator, Vice President of Instruction, Associate Vice Chancellor for Instructional Operations, and currently as Associate Vice Chancellor for Instructional Conversion. Dr. Cravey spearheads a team which researches, creates, implements, pilots, and formalizes the use of embedded innovation within TSTC instruction, focusing on such instructional delivery practices such as competency based education, bootcamps, block scheduling, and contextualized developmental education. Under her leadership, TSTC has developed both online and face-to-face competency based education programs of study.

Having a history of ensuring institutional compliance and establishing uniform procedures, Dr. Cravey led the Institutional Effectiveness Committee during TSTC Marshall’s successful pursuit of initial SACSCOC accreditation. Dr. Cravey holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University, an M.S. in Higher Education from The University of Texas at Tyler, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas Wesleyan University.


Brooks Doherty is AVP of Academic Innovation at Rasmussen College. He is completing a doctorate in education at St. Mary’s University, earned an MA in literature from University College London, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Political Science and English. His central areas of interest are competency-based education, developmental education, workforce preparedness, the relationship between liberal learning and professional learning, and Irish literature. Prior to his current work, Doherty taught remedial and college-level writing courses for students of varying disciplines.


Dr. Shonda Gibson is the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison at Texas A&M University-Commerce; she additionally serves the state of Texas as the Executive Director for the Institute for Competency Based Education. Following a career in corporate leadership she was recruited to work in a wide variety of university leadership positions including consulting, strategic planning, quality enhancement, and project management. She earned a PhD from Texas A&M University-Commerce and has taught courses in business, psychology, and organizational leadership. Her research and work focuses on strategic organizational initiatives related to continuous improvement, all in an effort to transform the lives of students.

Krystian Grodecki is the Southwest Regional Director at D2L, partnering with higher education institutions across the southern US to evaluate, develop and adopt new technology. His role includes working with universities and colleges to support specific initiatives including increasing student engagement, faculty adoption, implementing alternative delivery models (CBE), and adaptive learning. His focus on the steering committee is creating a valuable interaction between education technology companies and conference attendees.

Barbara Joseph has been involved in managing the development and implementation of various educational delivery models. Ms. Joseph recently transitioned from working in higher education to healthcare. As a Project Manager for Versant, Ms. Joseph will manage the development of their competency-based system for Long Term Care. For the past eight years, Barbara has held various positions responsible for piloting, designing and implementing graduate-level online courses and competency-based programs at institutions such as Boston University, Wheelock College, Jackson College, and Merrimack College.  Prior to her work in higher education , she spent over 20 years of her career in high tech, specifically software localization. She has held various positions from software engineer, director of technical services, and vice president of operations. She is a graduate of Boston College with degrees in Computer Science, French and a minor in Math. She also received an Entrepreneurial Management Certificate from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Dr. Emma L. Miller has been in higher education administration in the state of Texas for over 20 years. She has a Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Science with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change from Walden University. Currently, Dr. Miller is Assistant Dean for Bachelor programs as well as the Program Chair for the Competency-Based Education Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership program at South Texas College as well as the advisor for the National Society of Leadership and Success South Texas College Chapter. In addition, Dr. Miller has also been an Academic Dean with Brightwood College and a Director of Academic Affairs for the University of Phoenix McAllen, TX campus. As a researcher, she has focused on mentoring examining how it relates to student retention and attrition and its impact on the institution. She has written in books, international journals and presented at local and international conferences. Dr. Miller has recently co-authored a chapter “Survey Research Methods” for the book: Education Research: An African approach published by South Africa Oxford University Press as well as co-authored “Education Diplomacy in Mentoring Diverse Populations” in the International Journal of Early Childhood Education. In addition, Dr. Miller serves as Senior Advisor for the non-profit organization Blue Marble Space Institute of Science.

Dr. Myshie Pagel has worked in higher education for over 20 years as a faculty member and administrator. Her areas of interest include faculty/ student engagement, student access, and development of viable educational pathways for students.  She currently serves as the Dean of Education and CTE at the Valle Verde campus of El Paso Community College and leads the development team for CBE at EPCC.


Dr. Jennifer Nailos is a Program Director in the Division of Academic Quality and Workforce at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). At the THECB, her roles include working with colleges and universities, staff, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders, to assure quality academic programming through program review, assessment, evaluation, grant management, and policy administration. She works with several grant programs, including the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Grant Program and represents the agency on the Competency-Based Education Network. Jennifer’s professional experience includes student affairs, assessment, leadership training, and research at several universities across the US. She holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University, M.A. in Higher Education & Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, and B.A.s in History and English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Kelle Parsons is a researcher at the American Institutes for Research. Her current areas of focus include directing projects related to evaluating postsecondary student success initiatives, organizational change in postsecondary settings, postsecondary models of competency-based education, and state higher education systems. Prior to joining AIR, she served as a postsecondary policy analyst at the National Governors Association and as an institutional administrator at the University of Michigan. She holds master’s degrees in public policy and higher education from the University of Michigan.

Carlos Rivers serves as the Operations Research Analyst of the Institute for Competency Based Education at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Rivers uses advanced mathematical modeling and analytical methods to help the university investigate and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions related to Competency-Based Education (CBE). Rivers is considered a subject matter expert in competency-based data analytics and has spoken on the subject at numerous conferences at both the state and national level. He has also assisted other universities in the development and implementation of their own CBE programs. Rivers was recently selected to serve on the National Advisory Board for Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning Research by the American Institutes for Research and the Lumina Foundation. He was also selected for the Competency-Based Education Network’s Collaboratory project. He created the university’s first Competency-Based Education Dashboard and predictive modeling application. Rivers has provided baseline data to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) that has served as a starting point for grant applications to fund additional competency-based sites in the state of Texas. His publications on competency-based education and data analytics have appeared in such venues as The Journal of Competency-Based Education, EDUCAUSE Review, WCET Frontiers and The Evolllution.

Expert Table

Innovative Ideas

Networking Opportunities