Phyllis Nissila, author of How to Learn Like a Pro!
Phyllis Nissila has taught Effective Learning and Study Skills classes in high schools and community colleges for over twenty years. She also teaches writing and college preparatory classes at Lane. Nissila has been a freelance and contracted writer for over thirty years, with credits including newspaper reportage, feature articles, and human interest/inspirational magazine articles and devotionals. She is an award-winning former humor (newspaper) columnist. She is the author of Sentence CPR, Breathing Life Into Sentences That Might As Well Be Pushing Up Daisies! (Prufrock Press/Cottonwood Press, grades 7-adult) and sells humor-based language arts lessons and worksheets through TeachersPayTeachers.com.
Thomas C. Priester, editor of Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom
A hope-inspired educator dedicated to helping others interact with the future, Thomas C. Priester holds a Doctor of Education degree in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College, a Master of Science degree in Student Personnel Administration from SUNY Buffalo State, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education from Fredonia (where he is also a member of the Alumni Board of Directors). Having worked previously in the areas of academic success, student life, student leadership development, orientation, academic advising, and residence life, Dr. Priester currently serves as the Director of Transitional Studies/Assistant Professor at SUNY Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY where he is also an advisor to the campus chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the chairperson of both the Academic Assessment and the Transitional Studies Committees, and a member of both the Institutional Effectiveness and the Academic Senate Curriculum Committees. Additionally, Dr. Priester is a faculty member in the Higher Education Student Affairs Administration graduate program at SUNY Buffalo State in Buffalo, NY, has taught conversational English at Fatec Americana in Americana, São Paulo, Brazil, and Academic Success at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, NY. Dr. Priester has served as a contributing chapter author for the books: Assessing Student Learning in the Community and Two-Year College (Stylus, 2013) and Examining the Impact of Community Colleges on the Global Workforce (IGI Global, 2015) and has most recently published the open access textbook: Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom (Open SUNY Textbooks, 2015).
Norma Cárdenas, Contributing Editor of Blueprint for Success in College and Career: Oregon Edition
Norma Cárdenas received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Amherst College and her master’s in Bicultural Studies and doctorate in Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Child, Youth, and Family Studies Program at Portland State University. She specializes in social justice education, race and ethnicity, and popular culture. Before joining PSU, she taught at Oregon State and Eastern Washington. As first-generation faculty, she helps students navigate new challenges, identify research opportunities to expand their skillset, and prepare for graduate school, internships, or jobs. She is the author of chapters and articles on identity, family, culture, and belonging. She has started to work in children’s literature, particularly picture book biography and historical fiction.
Linnea Spitzer, Contributing Editor of Blueprint for Success in College and Career: Oregon Edition
Linnea Spitzer is a long-time educator and student. She earned her a bachelor’s degree in Eastern European studies from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2000, a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Portland State University in 2008, and a doctorate in education from Portland State University in 2021 (it’s been a long journey!).
Linnea has spent much of her career teaching English and college readiness to international and multilingual students, where her work has focused on supporting student access to and success in college degree programs. She currently teaches at Portland State University in the College of Education and the Department of Applied Linguistics.