Meet Our Team
Amanda Propst Cuevas, PhD
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.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandapropstcuevas/
Jenny Bloom, EdD
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.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-jenny-bloom-1873487/
Summer 2021 Interns
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.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hurshbryan
Lilian Barria, PhD
Lilian A. Barria has been an Intern in the Office of Appreciative Education since Summer 2020, when she also served as a Facilitator Assistant at the LIVE! Virtual 2020 Appreciative Advising Institute. She currently manages the Certified Appreciative Adviser review process. Before deciding to return to graduate school, Lilian taught at FAU and other Universities in the USA and overseas. She holds a PhD and an MA in Political Science and is currently pursuing an MEd in Higher Education Leadership at FAU. Lilian has always enjoyed working in higher education, helping students achieve their dreams. She plans to eventually become a Certified Appreciative Adviser.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilianabarria/
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.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-brannan/
Phebe Rosier joined the the Office of Appreciative Education at Florida Atlantic University as an Intern in Summer 2021 to learn more about Appreciative Advising theory-to-practice framework. Phebe received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Florida State University. Currently, Phebe is a graduate student in the Higher Education Leadership Master’s Degree Program and also serves as a Graduate Assistant for the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) Office here at Florida Atlantic University.
Jessica Johnson joined the Office of Appreciative Education as an Intern in Summer 2021. Jessica received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education (6 - 12) from Florida Atlantic University. As an undergraduate, Jessica served as a Peer Academic Coach and was a Student Teacher Intern at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School and Eagles Landing Middle School. Currently, Jessica is a graduate student in the Higher Education Leadership Master’s Degree Program and also serves as a Graduate Assistant for the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) Office here at Florida Atlantic University.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-johnson-765aa3136/
Mikayla Christine joined the Office of Appreciative Education at Florida Atlantic University as in Intern beginning the Summer semester of 2021 after serving as a member on the Appreciative Ambassadors Organization since the Fall of 2020. Mikayla received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. As an undergraduate, she served as a member for Relay for Life and worked as a Facility Supervisor in the Campus Recreation Center here at FAU. Mikayla is committed to making deep connections framed in the foundations of Appreciative Education across various platforms and cultures. She will be receiving her Masters of Education in Higher Education Leadership this year, in December 2021.
Connect via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikayla-christine-8b561a19a/
Stephanie Thumma became a member of the Office of Appreciative Education in April 2021 through a serendipitous assignment given in her class at Penn State World Campus where she is working toward her Masters in Education in Higher Education with a concentration in Organizational Development. She is thrilled to be working with like-minded people who see the potential in each individual and wish to bring out the fullest in every one of them. Throughout the Summer of 2021, she will be working with the Appreciative Advising Institute as an assistant facilitator and providing support services to the Institute.
Connect via LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sjthumma
Steve Sanderson is a Staff Associate with the Office of Appreciative Education. 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.
Connect via LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steve-sanderson-15730511/