National Spiritual Assembly Appoints New Members to Wilmette Institute Board

The National Spiritual Assembly has expanded the size of the Wilmette Institute’s Board from five to nine so that it can access more expertise in its pursuit of its goals.

The five new members are:

Jeffrey Albert is the new Director of the Office of Education and Schools. He has worked in many industries as chief operating officer and is the author of a book, The Touchstone of Sincerity (George Ronald). He has been serving as chair of the Regional Bahá’í Council for California.

Nesreen Akhtar-Khavari is a professor of Arabic Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. She is a writer and translator, has served as director of many programs and initiatives, and has extensive experience in university administration and in fund raising.

John Hicks has a Ph.D. in ealy childhood education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and has experience in university teaching, instructional technology, and grant writing. He is also a singer, dancer, and actor with experience in encouraging the arts.

Shabnam Koirala is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the School of Education and Associate Professor of International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. She is co-founder of the first degree program in human rights education in the United States.  Her published works complicate traditional notions of educational research and outcome-driven models to highlight process. Using participatory research, she offers insights on democratic practices of research where the “researched” are integral to the both the process and the outcome of inquiry.

Boyd Staszewski has over twenty years’ experience in audio and video multimedia technologies. He is a  media consultant to the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly and provides audio and video production and broadcast technology to the Wilmette Institute. He has extensive experience with internet marketing and online memberships.

In addition to the five new Board members, four members continue their service:

Nicola Daniels is a former forensic scientist and an interfaith advocate. She has experience in creating online videos and in online education; she serves as faculty in several Wilmette Institute courses. She writes and narrates many of the Institute’s publicity videos.

Cathy Higgins has a doctorate in educational leadership from Argosy University (an online university) and extensive experience in digital editing and in running online course programs, structuring online courses, and organizing websites.

Mark Rossman has a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts and helped create Cappella University, a private online institution for higher education, of which he is vice president emeritus. He has extensive experience in organizing online education.

Robert Stockman has a doctorate in religious studies from Harvard University and is the author of five books about the Bahá’í Faith. He teaches religious studies part time at Indiana University South Bend and is director of the Wilmette Institute.

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