Faculty Spotlight – Angelique van Vreeswijk Foster

Angelique van Vreeswijk FosterAngelique van Vreeswijk Foster is a valued member of our online adjunct faculty. She teaches a variety of Carrington College California online courses, including some health care classes, career development and business management classes.

As her unusual name suggests, Angelique was born a long way from Albuquerque, NM, her home for the last 8 years. Angelique was born in a city called The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) in the Netherlands. She immigrated to southern California with her family in 1960.

Angelique joined Carrington in November 2010. Although this is her first online teaching position, this isn’t her first experience of teaching. She has been involved in academic/clinical research throughout her career, including time at USC in Los Angeles, at UNM in Albuquerque, and at Silicon Valley College in Walnut Creek, CA, which now operates as Carrington College California and is part of the DeVry family of schools.

“I’m in a different phase in my career right now; I spent 25 years in the medical field, basically in cardiology, diagnostic imaging and research; the more clinical aspects of medicine. Recently I went back to school and earned my MBA in Health Care Management and started focusing on the managerial and administrative aspects of health care. Along with that change in my career, I decided I wanted to give back, pass on my own experiences to a future generation.”

Angelique started by teaching Health Information Technology courses at Carrington College California, and then Career Development courses were added, and now it’s broadened into Business Management classes as well.

“I have students in the Health Care Administration program, the Health Information Technology program, the Renewable Energy program, and the Business program. Currently, I am teaching an Introduction to Business and Technology course with students who all work for Rite Aid. I really enjoy the variety because I see all different types of students at different levels in their careers; I really enjoy that aspect of my job.”

Since she turned the focus of her career to teaching over two years ago, Angelique has enjoyed many satisfying moments.

“The most rewarding is when my students have that light bulb moment; the moment when they finally get the concept they’ve been working on, when they begin to understand how to put it to practical use.

I also really enjoy my career development students. Working with them as they get ready to go out into the workforce is very rewarding. I mentor them as they prepare for interviews, put together portfolios, and sometimes, for the more entrepreneurial business students, I help them put together business plans to present to potential investors.

Having had prior experience in clinical teaching, adjusting to online teaching has been a challenge that Angelique has enjoyed.

“I do strive to create a classroom atmosphere; I try to build the same relationships with my online students that I would have in a classroom. We’ve just incorporated iConnect, so we can have live online lectures and meetings to build that classroom feeling. These meetings/lectures are also recorded, because everyone’s schedule differs.

We want to create an environment that recognizes the online environment, but one where our students can still feel a connection to their instructor, and classmates, as if they were in a traditional classroom setting.”

Angelique believes that student convenience is the biggest advantage of studying online; and the fact that online students may actually have the opportunity for more one to one time with their instructor than students in a traditional classroom.

“I think that’s definitely true; I approach each student individually, and am able to discuss topics and key concepts that apply to them and their program. We keep in regular contact through phone calls, emails and of course the live lectures, meetings and discussion forums.”

She also believes that students have the opportunity to do more research and dig a little deeper into subjects than they might have the chance to in a classroom.

“I’ve noticed that in a live classroom setting, if a student is asked a direct question they have to be spontaneous with their answer. But in a discussion forum for example, an online student has the chance to dig into the question asked of them, and are able to give more detailed answers and provide research to back it up. I think that’s an advantage; it can give them the chance to gain better insight into topics.”

Angelique and her husband Stephen have moved around the country quite a lot over the years, thanks to Stephen’s job. They’ve spent time in southern and northern California, Utah, and have enjoyed a couple of spells in New Mexico including their current stay, which started in 2005. They really enjoy the outdoor lifestyle living in New Mexico gives them.

In fact, we’d like you to join us in congratulating Angelique and her husband Stephen, they recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! They have two children, who both live Albuquerque, four grandchildren, and two dogs – a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and…a rescue mutt!  Our Scruffy ‘fixer-upper’ dog as Angelique described him!

We like to share some personal insights in these faculty features, so we asked Angelique to share her ‘most interesting fact’ – something that her students and colleagues might never have guessed about her!

“I don’t think many of my students would know that I sang in the opera for over 25 years; Opera Southwest is our local opera company here. We took it pretty serious; all our performances were on a very professional level!”

As we do with all our Faculty Spotlights we ended our conversation by asking Angelique what book, movie and music she would want with her if she was stuck on a desert island, and who she would choose as a companion?

Desert Island DVD – “I certainly wouldn’t want to watch Jaws if I was stuck on a desert island! But I think I’d want a movie to make me laugh! Maybe something like Dumb & Dumber, or Blazing Saddles!”

Desert Island Book - “My daughter owns a bookstore – Bookworks, which was recently voted the best book store in the city by Albuquerque Magazine by the way, so we’re always surrounded by a lot of great books. Right now I’m reading ‘The Way of the Shepherd’ by Dr Kevin Leman – It’s about the seven ancient secrets to managing productive people! But the book I could read over and over, if I’m stuck on this island indefinitely, would be the Bible – every day it gives me new insight into life and inspiration.”

Desert Island Music - “I think I would take The Beatles albums – I love the White album, but I guess the Help album would be most appropriate!”

Desert Island Companion – “I have a very well tested friendship with my husband, so Stephen would definitely be my companion on that island. We’ve worked well together for over 40 years, so we would make a good team stranded on a desert island!”

Thanks for speaking with us Angelique; it’s been a pleasure getting to know you a little better. We appreciate your time, your dedication, and your ongoing commitment to your online students.

For comprehensive consumer information on our online programs, visit carrington.edu/online