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About the Claremont Core | Compassionate Leadership
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Claremont Core®
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About the Claremont Core | Compassionate Leadership A longer, more complete description.
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Claremont Core®
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The Claremont Core®

Engagement Skills for Creating a Sustainable Impact — In an increasingly interconnected world, leaders who want to make positive, sustainable change need to develop the critical perspectives and collaborative skills necessary to reach across traditional barriers of ideology, culture, economics and faith. At CLU, we put development of these capabilities at the center of our degree programs. The result is the Claremont Core®. Progress through the Core takes you through a process of self-awareness and steadily evolves towards engagement with others and society at large. With the Claremont Core, you will have the advanced knowledge, skills and capabilities to be a more effective change-maker in our new globalized world.

The Distinctiveness of the Core

From Inner to Outer: The Core leads you through an integrated process of personal and professional development. It begins with skills for self-development in the Mindfulness class and works steadily toward more outward engagement in the Dialogue, Collaboration and Change.

Portfolio: Along with The Core skills, you will be keeping a public portfolio outlining the progress toward your Capstone Action Project which classmates, faculty, friends, family and coworkers can follow. This will help enhance your professional persona and expand opportunities for dialogue and engagement beyond your current situation.

Contextualizing the Core: You will be expected to draw on your own background and interests in your discussions and assignments, thereby applying the knowledge and skills for your own self-improvement.

Collaboration across Degrees: You will have the opportunity to study alongside, and learn from, peers from the other degree programs who may be working in other sectors. This intentional opportunity for cross-sector interaction allows for creative possibilities for collaboration, perhaps even on the Capstone Action Project.

Claremont Core Skills

Develop your capacity to have focused awareness in the present moment and the cultivation of compassion in yourself and others. We believe that in order to effectively lead positive change in the world, we must first cultivate the practice of mindfulness in ourselves.
Effective dialogue is mindful communication that facilitates a shared understanding among diverse perspectives. This skill helps you reframe conflict and provides creative activities to increase your teams ability for effective communication.
Collaboration is the co-creative dialogue among key stakeholders to develop strategies for positive change. You will learn how to articulate contemporary understandings of cultural diversity and social privilege that exist in any collaborative effort. You will also be able to better manage interpersonal and organizational conflict and lead in a way that leverages intelligence and self-organization.
Change is effective collaboration that generates positive and sustainable impact in society. You will develop the capacity to analyze the need for change and effectively design a project that addresses the need for change. You will then learn to evaluate the impact of a project in order to improve it.

The Claremont Core Faculty

Claremont Core

Oluwunmi (Olu) Ariyo, Ed.D., Teaching Faculty

Dr. Oluwunmi Ariyo received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of Arts in Communication from Wake Forest University and a Higher Education Administration doctorate from the University of Florida. This change agent brings with her over fifteen years of post-secondary teaching, community engagement, first year experience, and mental health research experience. In her many roles, she has been the Program Head of College Success, Public Relations Coordinator for non-profits, adjunct, and currently serves as an Assistant Director, working with College Career and Promise high school students. Dr. Ariyo's research currently focuses on mental health concerns for minorities in Higher Education.

Suzanne Atkins, Teaching Faculty

Suzanne Atkin's education started on the job at organizations as diverse as the World Bank, the Department of Defense, and high-tech companies. Atkins is the owner of Workplace Harmony, a training and consulting firm. As an executive, Atkins became aware of the power of communication and how it can be less or more effective. After returning to higher education as an adult learner, Atkins earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Social Science and Communication Studies. After earning her MS in Communication Studies, Atkins now teaches in the social sciences for several universities. Atkins’s interests include the change process, identity, relationships, and communicating in the digital age.

Shanelle Benson Reid, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Shanelle Benson Reid is President and CEO of ACCESS Global Group and ACCESS Global Enterprises and is a consultant, coach, author, and professional speaker. Dr. Benson Reid’s expertise is in areas of Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Cultural Competency, Social Awareness, Equity and Community/Individual Empowerment. Dr. Benson Reid’s consulting focuses on cultural competency, social awareness, and equity in education and employment. Dr. Benson Reid earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and a Master of Arts in Education from CSUSB as well. Dr. Benson Reid earned her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. Dr. Benson Reid’s personal motto is "inspire individuals to pursue self-discovery, empower them to be innovative, progressive, and revolutionary in thought, and motivate them to be global activists.” Dr. Benson Reid’s work is changing the landscape of society by empowering individuals, families, and organizations. The ACCESS Global Family of Companies, “encourages self-assessment and self-discovery while promoting innovative and progressive designs for change and implementing strategies for sustained success.”

Erin Berman, Teaching Faculty

Erin M. Berman holds advanced degrees in both Corporate and Professional Communication (MS) and Instructional Design (MEd) and has been working in higher education for more than seventeen years as both an instructor and an instructional designer. Berman demonstrates the ability to blend research from the learning sciences with student-facing application to create an enriching and equitable learning experience, with a focus in the online space. Berman serves on the board of her local community garden and leads mindfulness and yoga events in the community. As a fun fact, Berman and her family live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and foster farm animals in support of the local ASPCA.

Dr. Elise Chatelain, Ph.D.

Elise Chatelain spent several years as a full-time university educator before branching out to develop other avenues for creative education and outreach. Now, in addition to teaching at CLU, Dr. Chatelain runs a publication and writing agency with a longtime colleague. With an MA in sociology and a doctorate in cultural studies, Dr. Chatelain is invested in exploring different ways to answer questions about important social issues. Dr. Chatelain’s teaching and professional practice are driven by a purpose: to tell creative, engaging stories about the world that are grounded in data and can generate positive social change.

Donna DiMatteo-Gibson, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Donna DiMatteo-Gibson received her Bachelor of Arts in both Speech Communications and Psychology from the University of San Diego. Dr. DiMatteo-Gibson also has two Master’s of Science degrees in the areas of psychology and industrial-organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), which is now called Alliant International University. In June of 1999, Dr. DiMatteo-Gibson graduated from CSPP with a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Dr. DiMatteo-Gibson has been teaching online graduate and undergraduate courses since 2001 and enjoys it immensely. Dr. DiMatteo-Gibson also has her own consulting practice where she works with different organizations to improve organizational effectiveness and employee satisfaction.

Dr. Cecelia Doyle, Teaching Faculty

Cecelia Doyle is currently the Early Learning Coordinator at South Washington County Schools where she coaches more than 50 Teachers in best practices to close the achievement gap. Dr. Doyle was Dean of the School of Education at Rasmussen College where she grew the program from four to 24 campuses and online nationally while innovating a workforce program that led to 3,000 graduates. While there, Dr. Doyle was selected as a Master Leader in Education in recognition of leadership in making a difference for children, families, and communities (Exchange Magazine). Dr. Doyle has served as a Professor at the University of Minnesota, Concordia University, and Metropolitan State University. Dr. Doyle earned her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Adult Learning from the University of Minnesota where she studied young immigrants’ experiences and the impact of mainstream educators for these students. Dr. Doyle leads a hiking group year-round in Minnesota to savor the beauty of the great outdoors.

Dr. Ashley Gimbal, Director of Capstone Studies

A 2018 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, Ashley Gimbal’s research focuses on media framing, terrorism, audience effects, and how these elements alter the way news is created and shared. Dr. Gimbal has served as faculty at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State and at Rutgers University-Camden.

Sean Hobdell

Sean Hobdell is an accomplished educator with over 15 years’ experience. Hobdell has taught at the secondary and higher education levels with a passion for history, culture, international relations, and philosophy. Hobdell holds a BS in Education and History from the University of Scranton in addition to his MS in Education from Wilkes University. Hobdell served and continues to serve in various leadership roles including coordinating educational committees, and is currently working toward completion of his second MS in Educational Leadership.

Christine Lustik, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Christine Lustik is the owner of Mindfulness in Organizations, LLC. Dr. Lustik trains individuals and groups within education, non-profit, healthcare, government, and corporate organizations how to practice mindfulness with the goal of increasing focus and resilience and decreasing stress and chaos. Christine thrives on creating training for each individual organization to introduce mindfulness in a way that works with their culture and goals. Previously, Dr. Lustik spent 14 years in the online education arena of higher education, as Director of Distance Education, instructional designer, and faculty member. Much of that time was spent at Western Wyoming Community College supporting the education and community needs of a very large rural area in Southwest Wyoming. Dr. Lustik earned her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Education from Capella University, with a focus on leadership and online education. Dr. Lustik has also completed two Mindfulness Teacher Training programs, with a focus on bringing the practice of mindfulness into organizations in a sustainable way and connecting mindfulness with nature whenever possible.

Dr. Rob Razzante, Ph.D.

Rob Razzante is a learning and development professional, consultant, and faculty associate. As a pracademic, Dr. Razzante seeks to weave together his community engagement, teaching, and research to co-create resilient people and communities who grow from transformative conflict. As part of his efforts, Dr. Razzante has coordinated and facilitated over 100 Civil Dialogues® for community groups and college students since 2016. Dr. Razzante also worked with Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion to design and conduct a participant-driven study for strategic planning around what pathways the organization can take for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of the Claremont Core® Faculty, Dr. Razzante teaches the research methods course and he finds great joy in witnessing students design their own studies with the intention of transforming their own communities and workplaces through research and collaborative learning.

Urmala Roopnarinesingh, Teaching Faculty

Urmala Roopnarinesingh lives in South Florida. Roopnarinesingh has over 10 years’ experience in both higher education and healthcare. Roopnarinesingh’s career includes several leadership positions in pharmaceuticals, medical practices, and higher education administration. Roopnarinesingh has a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration and she is currently completing a PhD in Leadership and Higher Education Administration. Roopnarinesingh is originally from the island of Trinidad, West Indies. Roopnarinesingh enjoys going to the beach, reading, and traveling.

Rev. Dr. Kathleen Rudoff, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Kathleen Rudoff currently serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury, Connecticut. Dr. Rudoff previously was the Executive Director for the Yale Humanist Community. Dr. Rudoff received a Doctor of Ministry in Multifaith Studies from New York Theological Seminary. Dr. Rudoff has written for the Journal of Religious Humanism and has authored a series of daily meditation journals. Dr. Rudoff teaches courses in interfaith relations, social justice, and mindfulness.

Rian Satterwhite, Ph.D., Teaching Faculty

Rian Satterwhite is an established scholar in leadership and sustainability, with more than fifteen peer reviewed and professional publications. Satterwhite is also co-editor of Innovation in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives. Satterwhite is a 20+ year member of the International Leadership Association, a member of the Committee for the Advancement of Leadership Programs, and was a founding member of the Sustainability Leadership Member Community. Additionally, Satterwhite has served in multiple leadership roles within professional organizations including chair of Leadership Education and co-chair of the Leadership Education Academy.

Rob Shah

Rob Shah has over 17 years of leadership experience with global companies. Dr. Shah has served in various leadership roles directing initiatives in accounting, finance, logistics, supply chain, strategic planning, human resources, financial planning, and corporate restructuring. Dr. Shah has developed and taught business courses for over 12 years. Dr. Shah is a licensed CPA and holds a CMA certification. Dr. Shah earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership, an MBA (with an HR concentration), and a BS degree in Accountancy. Dr. Shah was previously the founder of two start-up companies that were sold to investor groups as part of the exit strategy. Dr. Shah currently serves on two advisory boards helping entrepreneurs achieve their strategic vision.

Dr. Tisha Shipley, Ed.D.

Tisha Shipley has been in the world of education for over 19 years. Dr. Shipley's Bachelor of Arts degree is from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Early Childhood Education. Her Master’s degree is also from NWOSU in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Administration. Dr. Shipley holds her Doctorate degree from NorthCentral University in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Shipley has worn many hats including classroom teacher, principal, academic department chair, and full professor. She has worked in online education for over ten years. Dr. Shipley's students can expect to be highly engaged in their coursework and use hands-on, real-world experiences to learn in her courses.

Chris Trevett, Teaching Faculty

Professor Trevett comes to Claremont Lincoln after four years teaching public speaking and rhetoric, and assisting in communication courses at Portland State University, four and a half years teaching philosophy at Global Ministries University, and a one-year stint with Warner Pacific University teaching human development. He developed and continues to teach the graduate, online course “the Philosophical Christian Mind” for GMU, which he describes as a “critical examination of the confluence of philosophy, psychology, and theology.” He has also participated as a guest lecturer in a series at Rose Schnitzer Manor in Portland, OR, called “Let’s Talk,” on the topic of intercultural communication. In 2018, he volunteered in tutoring at Portland State’s Intensive English Language Program; also in that year he acquired a TEFL/TESOL certificate from the International TEFL Academy in Chicago. He feels that the tremendous diversity of his face-to-face classes at PSU has been a “life-altering” event that has enlivened all his subsequent teaching experiences and solidified his multi-disciplinary approach to teaching—and his own continuing education. His professional career outside of academia includes ten years as both a curriculum development associate and international sales manager for Canter & Associates, an educational publisher in Los Angeles, now known as Laureate Education. He also served in the US Navy from 1985 to 1988, aboard the USS Ranger (CV-61), as a Religious Program Specialist, a position that was described at the time as a “glorified librarian.” now teaches in the social sciences for several universities. Her interests include the change process, identity, relationships, and communicating in the digital age.

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, Ph.D, Dean of Teaching, Learning & Leadership

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes is the Dean of Teaching, Learning & Leadership, an award-winning public-school teacher and community educator, and experienced higher education administrator with experience in curriculum design, program review, assessment, and professional development for online educators. Dr. Varnon-Hughes was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, a peer reviewed journal, and its sister publication, State of Formation, an online forum for emerging ethical leaders. Dr. Varnon-Hughes holds a PhD from Claremont Lincoln University, an MA and STM from Union Theological Seminary, and her undergraduate degrees are in English and Education, from Webster University. Dr. Varnon-Hughes’s research interests include mindfulness, resilience, and equipping communities to build programs and policies that promote justice and flourishing.

Jason Waldow, Teaching Faculty

Jason Waldow has a Master’s degree in Business Leadership Communications and a Master’s of Science in Communications Education. Waldo has been teaching Communications for over fifteen years in both on-ground and online settings. Waldow’s current research centers on executive function regarding the communication process. This involves traumatic brain injuries and learning obstacles. Recently, Waldow has started to explore research involving communication and the environment, specifically focusing on young learners. Most of his studies focus on cultural and educational communications. Waldow has served as a team leadership consultant for Boeing executives which allows his research and studies to interconnect in the private sector. Waldow has also utilized his communications background to help create crisis management strategies for organizations. Waldow enjoys working with local non-profits that help “at-risk” youth and has been involved with the Big Brother Big Sister organization for many years.

Dr. Kadri Webb

Kadri Webb is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and currently serves as the Senior Pastor/Teacher of the St. John Church of Oceanside, California. Dr. Webb has served in this capacity since October 2014. Dr. Webb earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at the Virginia Union University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Prior to being called to St. John Church, Dr. Webb held an extensive career in the corporate sector, working in various federal agencies over 15 years to include: Social Security Administration, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Homeland Security, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Since his arrival to California, Dr. Webb has opened the doors of St. John to the entire community, served numerous special meals, completed two major renovations of the church facility, and invited local clergy to join together to combat homelessness, food insecurity, and other challenges that impact the local community. Dr. Webb serves in numerous civic capacities to include: Chair of the Board of Directors at Interfaith Community Services, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at the San Diego Organizing Project, and Co-Chair of the North Inland Faith Partnership. He also serves as Teaching Faculty at Claremont Lincoln University and as an Affiliate Assistant Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, teaching both graduate and doctoral students respectively. He is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Kadri Webb is a man of action who lives and believes that “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this list of faculty for the current and upcoming terms. Faculty departures, changes, and substitutions may be made without notice.