Affiliation / Program
Katy Brown has been a GED instructor with Pima Community College (PCC) ABECC in Tucson, Arizona since 1997. She has been on the Board of AALL since 2009 where she is currently a member of the professional development committee. Past roles include Professional Development Chair, and Treasurer. Her passion for education, civic engagement and the environment led her to compliment her Biology degree from Stanford University with a Masters of Science in Science Education from Montana State University. In addition to teaching, Katy likes to volunteer as a wildlife tracker and environmental restoration worker.
Laura Porfirio is an adult educator in Tucson at Pima Community College. She has spent her 25-year career fostering ways to help students take charge of their learning, break down the walls of the classroom, and promote student engagement in social justice oriented education. She earned an MA in Education focused on participatory practice in teacher and student learning. Her current “day job” is overseeing daily operations at a large urban learning center.
Donovan Wiedmann is the Senior Program Manager for the Coconino Community College Adult Education program. He has worked in adult education for the past 6 years as both an educator and administrator. Before that, he taught English in Japan for 9 years. Donovan graduated from Fairfield University in 2001 with a BA in English and Environmental Studies. In 2003, he received his Master’s of Public Administration from Northern Arizona University. He is currently serving as AALL Treasurer and is the Title II Representative on the Coconino County Workforce Development Board.
Craig Lefever is currently the Program Director for the Yavapai College Adult Basic Education Program. He has been involved with adult education in Northern Arizona for the past eighteen years as both an educator and administrator, but says that his two favorite jobs have been Professor of Classical Latin and dynamiter. He graduated with honors from NAU in 2002 with a B.A. in Humanities/Classics and again with distinction in 2004 with an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. He is currently serving on the AALL Board and is the Title II Representative on the Yavapai County Workforce Development Board. He resides in Prescott with his three children.
Kelly Stewart serves as Associate Dean for the Rio Salado College adult education program offered at community-based locations and partner locations in Maricopa County. Kelly received her master’s degree from Arizona State University in English, Rhetoric and Composition, her bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University, and is a Certified Manager of Program Improvement (CMPI). Kelly has experience teaching adult education, managing grant programs, and is an AmeriCorps VISTA Alumni.
Philip Suriano started in adult education in 2007 teaching GED classes at Rio Salado College in Phoenix Arizona. Philip has also had the opportunity to contribute to several state and national projects in support of adult education and literacy. Philip has been a part of AALL as a Board Member since 2012 and was President from 2015 to 2017. From 2018 to 2020, Philip served as president of the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association and is currently continuing his service there as the Arizona representative to the Board. True to the profession, Philip continues to be a lifelong learner and hopes to continue supporting adult education and AALL's mission.
Dr. Nicholas DelSordi has been an adult educator in Arizona for nearly twenty years and has taught sociology at eight different institutions of higher education, including in the correctional setting. He is currently a faculty member at Phoenix College in the Liberal Arts Department where he emphasizes service learning, community engagement and career readiness among his students. Nicholas previously worked at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) as an Adult Program and Workforce Development Specialist while also serving on the Nineteen Tribal Nations Workforce Development Board. At ADE, Nicholas implemented Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs in both rural and urban Arizona counties. Prior to his time with ADE, Nicholas spent over a decade as a Program Supervisor in correctional education, where he developed and oversaw academic, vocational and cognitive behavioral programs designed for adult male inmates seeking rehabilitation prior to reentry. Dr. DelSordi received a B.S. in Management, an M.A. in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Sociology---all from Arizona State University. Nicholas’ goal is to ensure that students not only develop their career potential, but that they find their passion and purpose through higher education.
Dr. Nicholas DelSordi
Lance V. Waring, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, is a 30-year veteran of the USAF. Shortly after retiring, he earned a Master of Arts Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) degree from USC. He has since served as an ELAA instructor for Pima Community College’s Adult Ed program, has taught various English courses as an adjunct for the Tucson satellite campus of Wayland Baptist University, and currently manages a teaching site for the Pima County Adult Probation’s adult Ed program.
Beverly Wilson has been the Director of Professional Learning with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) -Adult Education Services since 2005. Prior to working for ADE, she was a program administrator for an Adult Education and Family Literacy Program. Before discovering adult education, Beverly taught special education students in grades K-8, and junior high students in the areas of reading, English, and social studies. Beverly holds a Bachelor in Elementary Education, with a minor in Special Education from Arizona State University, and a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University.
Tiana Crumbley is a Lead English Language Arts (ELA) and Student Achievement in Reading (STARS) Instructor at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS). Tiana’s passion for learning has been with her since her first childhood teetering steps. Tiana began her teaching quest working with developmentally disabled children at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) which ultimately led to furthering her education in Psychology at Northern Arizona University. Tiana completed her B.S. in Psychology from Northern Arizona University in 2015. In Tiana’s free time she enjoys oil painting, crafting handmade soaps and candles and relaxing in a hammock reading . Tiana is the proud mother of three amazing children whom have taught her more than she could ever teach them.
Dr. Tasha Nelson has been educating adults and children for the past 20 years. For the past two years, she has served as the ELAA Instructor Senior at Rio Salado College - College Bridge Pathways Downtown team. In her role as ELAA Instructor Senior, Dr. Nelson has been a mentor and leader for ELAA instructors across the College Bridge Pathways program. Prior to holding her current position, she was the Curriculum Coach in which she supported both students’ and instructors’ success. Dr. Tasha has additional valuable experience in the private sector where she was a Phoenix based Training and Development Coordinator for an internationally based pharmaceutical company, and the public sector where she has been a classroom teacher, mentor teacher, academic coach, and educational leader in middle and high school settings. Dr. Tasha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Service, a Master of Arts in Education, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Higher Education Administration. The focus of her post-graduate studies was adult learning theory and freshman induction for adult learners.
Dr. Tasha Nelson
Jesse Figueroa is Program Director at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS). He opens the lines of communication between students, teachers and community partners to provide adult education services in Yuma County. With over 20 years in both private and public sectors, Jesse has experience in program improvement, team building, professional development, curriculum implementation, and partner collaboration.
His previous program manager and instructor roles with ALPS, Yuma School District I, Crane Schools, and the South Yuma County Consortium have earned him the trust, respect, and credibility of policymakers and educational leaders in the community. He represents Adult Education for Yuma County’s Local Workforce Development Board, the Educational Opportunity Center’s Charter High School Board, and Goodwill’s Business & Advisory Council.
Jesse holds a Master of Science in Human Relations degree from Northern Arizona University and a Certified Manager of Program Improvement certificate from the Arizona Department of Education’s Adult Education Services department.
Tania Hinojosa is currently a Refugee Education Program Instructor at Pima Community College and the Bilingual Learning Engineer at Make Way for Books in Tucson, Az.
Tania has been in the education field for 26 years, dedicated to the professional development of adults and committed to promote high quality education possibilities for children of all ages. Her professional experiences include Spanish immersion preschool teacher, ESL instructor, Quality First Coach, professional development design and implementation and literacy specialist. Tania is a self-identified children’s book nerd.
She earned a bachelor’s in Educational Sciences at University of Monterrey and holds a master’s in Educational Technology and Leadership from Monterrey Institute of Technology, ITESM.
Trish was inspired to pursue a master’s degree in Education & ESL while living in the Middle East. She then taught for 15 years in the Intensive English Program at Missouri Southern State University, and three years as the Project Lead for Crowder College’s Resettlement Educational Assistance Program. In 2019, Trish moved to Phoenix where she has enjoyed working full time for Friendly House as an ELAA & ELT instructor.
I have been working in Adult Education for 7 years. I first started out with Rio Salado-Avondale and now with Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County. I’m a facilitator (teacher) with both the ELAA and ABE Program. This is the first time that I will be joining the AALL board as a member. In my down time, I enjoy watching movies and spending time with my family!
Educator Nutty Hershey (aka Harshika Bhatt) is currently serving as Integrated Education and Training (IET) Department Chair and Faculty in College & Career Preparation at Northland Pioneer College (NPC). After completing an Associate of Business from NPC and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State University, she spent several years working in various industries including Banking, Hospitality & Tourism, Student Financial Aid, and Information Services.
After enhancing faculty development as an innovative Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) Coordinator, she was inspired to earn her Master of Education in Educational Technology with a certification in Secondary Mathematics from Moreland University. Passionate about empowering employees in her role of Faculty Mentoring Program Coordinator, she leveraged technology to enhance faculty collaboration and sharing of best practices. With her rising passion for professional learning, she obtained her Master Trainer Designation from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) while also achieving her Learning and Development Certification from Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR). Learner success and professional development at the forefront, she believes “It is not our abilities that show our true selves, it is our choices.”
Consider supporting lifelong learning and your state association through participation on the Board!