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Carrington College Blog

Faculty Spotlight – Meet Alisa Avelar

February 24, 2012

Alisa AlevarAlisa Avelar is the Faculty Manager for Carrington College California – Online; Alisa has worked for Carrington since early 2009. She was first contracted as a Subject Matter Expert (SME), hired to write several of our online classes, before she joined us on a full-time basis in November of that year.

Early in her career, Alisa described herself as being a ‘jack of all trades’. She had worked in operations management, call center management, and prior to joining us, spent 9 years working in human resources. It was during her time in HR, training and developing employees, that she realized she had a real love for teaching. “I really enjoyed showing the adult learners that there really is something new to learn, whether in their job, through better communication, or by improving the way people worked with others. It was while delivering training in HR that I decided I wanted to work in higher education.”

Alisa is well positioned to work for an online college; she has a real connection and empathy with online students; “I’ve always had a passion for online education, because I got my entire education online. I know what it’s like to work full-time, have a family, and still pursue education goals online. I know what it’s like to struggle, and be up at 2am trying to finish an assignment. Been there, done that!”

As Faculty Manager, Alisa oversees other Subject Matter Experts, and helps put the Carrington College California – Online programs together, drawing a vision of the classes in each degree program. “I was thrilled when Carrington asked me to come onboard, to be honest it’s a dream job for me.”

Alisa also teaches a number of classes, including some that she created in her previous role as an SME; classes like Human Relations in Business, Business and Technology, Sales & Marketing, Interpersonal Communications… “I really enjoy teaching the soft skills; it’s soft skills that can advance someone faster than their technical skills…always.”

In her instructor role, Alisa teaches classes to students studying a variety of the Carrington College California – Online degree programs. With students studying majors as diverse as Criminal Justice, Health Information Technology, or Business, she tries to make discussions relevant to the student. “As an instructor I have to do my homework too; I do my own research into the different programs and professions so I can make sure that I can relate to each student and the real-world applications that they may face in their careers.”

Alisa really wants to help her students believe in themselves; in fact she thinks that’s one of the most important things she can impart. “I don’t believe in the word ‘try’; you either ‘do’ or you ‘don’t’, you make choices. And that’s a big thing for me. There is no such thing as ‘trying’. You either do something and you fail, at which point you learn why you failed and get back on the horse to do it again, or you do it and are successful and you move forward, because again, you’ve learned something.”

Born in the San Francisco Bay area, Alisa describes herself as an ‘Air Force brat’; “I was lucky enough to travel around the world, and experience different cultures when I was younger; I lived in Germany for a few years.” Alisa and her husband have been married for 21 years, have 3 children, 2 dogs, and are now settled in New Mexico. “My husband’s job took us to South America in the late 90s for a few years, and when we transferred back to the States 11 years ago, we had a choice of Virginia or New Mexico; being from California, I don’t do snow, so here we are! This is the longest that I’ve lived anywhere.”

We asked Alisa a couple of questions that would allow us to get to know her a little better… we asked…

“If you knew you were going to be stranded on a desert island, who would you choose to be stranded with, and what book, movie and music would you take?

Desert Island Companion “I’d have to take my husband. I’m not going to lie! After 21 years, who else is going to put up with me!”

Desert Island Book“Jim Rohn – The 12 Pillars of Success. I’m big into personal development; I believe that we should improve ourselves every day, and this book teaches you to think about others before yourself.”

Desert Island Movie“The Money Pit with Tom Hanks. I usually like to see a movie once and never again. But that is the one movie I can watch over and over again, and laugh till my stomach hurts! Maybe it’s because I’m a homeowner, so I can totally relate!”

Desert Island Music“My music changes from day to day depending on my mood – from Eminem to Adele. I would need a large iPod!”

Finally, we asked Alisa to share one interesting, off the wall, fact about herself; “After graduating high school, I was a roller-skating waitress! I’m pretty sure no one would guess that about me! As a cashier, I did check out Jerry Rice once! I’m also a sports freak, so that was pretty cool!”

Thanks for volunteering to be in our Faculty Spotlight Alise; now get your skates on and get back to work! 😉


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