Meet Our Team

Amanda Propst Cuevas, PhD

Amanda Propst Cuevas, Ph.D. Amanda directs the Office of Appreciative Education in the Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. She works directly with Dr. Jennifer Bloom, co-founder of Appreciative Advising, to support and expand Appreciative Education initiatives globally. Amanda has a passion for promoting and encouraging both college student thriving and organizational excellence. She is an engaging presenter on Appreciative Education topics and values the opportunity to train faculty, professional advisors, student affairs administrators, and others about how to incorporate this theory-to-practice framework into their work. In addition, Amanda is a published author, an associate editor of a peer-reviewed academic journal, and serves on the Editorial Team of the Journal of Appreciative Education. She has also incorporated the Appreciative College Instruction (ACI) framework into courses that she has developed and taught at both the community college and university levels.

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Jenny Bloom, EdD

Jenny Bloom, Ed.D. Jennifer L. Bloom, Ed.D. joined the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at Florida Atlantic University in August 2015. She serves as a Professor and Coordinator of the Higher Education Leadership Master’s Degree Program at FAU. Dr. Bloom is a co-founder of the Appreciative Advising and Appreciative Education movements. She established the annual Appreciative Advising Summer Institute, the Appreciative Education Conference, an on-line Appreciative Advising course, the process for Certifying Appreciative Advisers, and other exciting initiatives related to Appreciative Advising and Appreciative Education.

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Summer 2022 Interns

Bryan Hursh

Bryan Hursh Bryan Hursh joined the Office of Appreciative Education at Florida Atlantic University as an Intern in January 2020 and became the Lead Intern in August 2020. Bryan received his Bachelor of arts degree from Florida Atlantic University in Criminal Justice with a minor in Communication Studies. As an undergraduate, he served students as an Orientation Leader, Peer Academic Coach, and Student Coordinator for Commuter Connections. As a graduate student pursuing a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership, Bryan is committed to fostering community among his peers that is rooted in foundations of Appreciative Education.

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Ashley Brannan

Ashley Brannan Ashley Brannan joined the Office of Appreciative Education at Florida Atlantic University as an Intern in February 2021. She is dedicated to supporting educational and professional development initiatives that utilize a positive, strengths-based, and student-centered approach to helping students realize their full potential. Ashley graduated cum laude from University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and continued her education at Towson University where she earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She is currently working toward a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership here at Florida Atlantic University.

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Mallely Rodriguez

Mallely Rodriguez Mallely Rodriguez received a bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education at Broward College. During her undergraduate studies, Mallely focused on diverse student populations and worked in many school settings such as Title 1 schools, Autism clusters, and Alternative specialized schools. She expanded her knowledge at Junior Achievement of South Florida, a non-profit experiential learning center that educates over 10,000 K-12 Broward County students a year in financial literacy and personal finance curriculum. Currently, Mallely is pursuing a Master’s degree in College Student Affairs at Nova Southeastern University. Mallely enjoys working with students and helping in any way she can; she finds purpose in guiding students to academic achievement through their own growth and potential.

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Sofi Cárdenas-Ríos

Sofi Cárdenas-Ríos Sofi Cárdenas-Ríos joined the Office of Appreciative Education at Florida Atlantic University as an intern in May 2022. Sofi graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration focused on International Business from Florida International University in 2021. Throughout her undergraduate career, she served as a student leader in various student organizations, which helped her further her desire to help students on their path to becoming the best version of themselves both on a personal and professional level. In addition, she is dedicated to helping create and be a part of a community that cares about its students and fosters a sense of inclusion and authenticity. Currently, Sofi is pursuing her Master of Science Degree in Higher Education Administration at FIU, where she also works as a graduate assistant for the Center for Student Engagement.

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Stephanie Melville

Stephanie Melville Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Leadership and HR Development. As an undergraduate, she worked as a substitute teacher for Broward County Public Schools. She enjoys working with students and is dedicated to supporting and mentoring students to grow and achieve success. Stephanie is currently pursuing her Master of Science in College Student Affairs at Nova Southeastern University where she is the Graduate Assistant for Campus Visit Experience in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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Staff Associates

Steve Sanderson

Steve Sanderson Steve Sanderson is a Staff Associate with the Office of Appreciative Education and is a veteran of the Illinois Army National Guard. Steve grew in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and received a degree in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University. He retired from Administration at the University of Illinois and later worked as a Corporate Pilot for a Vesuvius USA, a company based in Champaign. Steve also worked as a Flight Instructor and a charter pilot, both in Illinois and in South Carolina. He holds the Airline Transport Pilot rating. After moving to Florida, Steve spent five years with the Office of New Student Orientation and Family Engagement, and has served in various capacities for all of the Summer Institutes. Steve is a Certified Appreciate Advisor and works with many of the other OAE programs.

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