Instructor Spotlights and Insights

Instructor Spotlight: Jennifer Rohrs

Viticulture consultant Jennifer Rohrs brings her background in plant ecology to the classroom. As an instructor in the Winemaking Certificate Program, she aims to anchor students in the biology of the vine itself and introduce them to all the interactions that happen in the vineyard.

Instructor Spotlight: Erez Powell

Erez Powell is a software engineer who has worked for multinational corporations, startups and everything in between. Most of his professional experiences stem from the digital games industry, reinforced by his work in educational technology and mobile app development. He joins UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education as an instructor in the Python for Data Science, Web and Core Programming Professional Concentration.

Brewing with Jon Hughes

Jonathan Hughes, director of brewing and sensory science at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, has extensive insight on the brewing industry and the experience and training necessary to be a part of it. Here’s a summary of our conversation on brewing trends and the direction of CPE’s Brewing Program.

How A3 Thinking Makes You a Stronger Leader

Part of being a strong leader is inspiring others to be problem solvers. In this article, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and instructor of the online course Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Sonia Singh shares her insights on how A3 Thinking, a Lean methodology and tool for problem solving, can help you improve your leadership skills.

Instructor Spotlight: Todd Rutherford

Todd Rutherford has more than 10 years of experience working in computer programming and is an expert on data science, cloud computing, software development, deep learning and data visualization. As an instructor in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Python for Data Science, Web and Core Programming Professional Concentration, Rutherford is excited to help students become confident in performing fundamental Python programming skills.

Instructor Spotlight: Diane Davidson

Diane Davidson believes that leading with a service mindset, having strong communication skills and giving recognition and feedback are key attributes of a successful leader. As a leadership development consultant and an instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, Davidson has more than 25 years of experience training and coaching leaders.

Instructor Spotlight: Cathy Hoyle

Cathy Hoyle believes that understanding how our brain functions can help us better understand our triggers, reactions and behaviors. And she should know. Hoyle has led learning and organizational development programs for nearly 30 years and has more than 20 years of experience teaching management and leadership development in the corporate setting. She is currently an instructor for in our Leadership programs.

Instructor Spotlight: Tony Oliver

In his two decades of experience in a variety of roles, including project manager, business analyst and change management specialist, Tony Oliver has come to believe that listening is the most essential skill for facilitation. As an instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, he aims to instill in his students a passion for the subject matter and becoming a lifelong learner.

Instructor Spotlight: Alayna C. Myrick

Alayna C. Myrick is a data insights scientist at Verana Health and an instructor in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Python for Data Science, Web and Core Programming Professional Concentration. She has witnessed the rising popularity of the Python programming language in technical and non-technical spaces.

Instructor Spotlight: Al Pangelinan

In almost 30 years of providing programming services, Al Pangelinan has witnessed the rise of Python and the thriving community around it. In his course Introduction to Python Programming, he helps students understand the versatile language of Python and how it can prepare them for careers in almost any technical field.

Instructor Spotlight: Demond Philson

Demond Philson is an attorney in employment law. He translated his love for learning into a passion for teaching, joining UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education as an instructor in the Human Resource Management Program. In his course, he provides students with a roadmap for navigating employment law issues that often come up in the workplace.

Instructor Spotlight: Mary Campbell

Mary Campbell is an attorney and mediator in the high desert region of Southern California, and an instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Conflict Resolution program. With over a decade of experience in conflict resolution, her current focus is supporting families in transition.

3 Things You Should Know about Creating Beer Recipes

With a decade of experience in the brewing industry, Dan Weber, assistant brewing manager at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, knows a thing or two about crafting unique, quality beer. For Weber, the magic of brewing is in the process of marrying art with science to create a great recipe every time. These are skills any brewer needs to know, and it’s the focus of Weber’s new class Beer Recipe Development and Scaling: From Small to Large.

Instructor Spotlight: Bret Gwaltney

Bret Gwaltney worked for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for over 30 years, holding progressively responsible positions in health and safety. He served as a team leader, technical advisor and trainer for many investigations involving employees, third parties, fatalities and major property losses. In addition, Bret has 15 years of experience as a senior safety and health consultant specializing in companies with large unions. Now semi-retired, Bret spends his time traveling and teaching fellow health and safety professionals.

Instructor Spotlight: Joann Hillenbrand

Joann Hillenbrand, CCIFP, is the Chief Financial Officer for Airco Mechanical, Inc., overseeing all aspects of company finances, including accounting and reporting, surety, banking, risk management and human resources. Joann has over 30 years’ experience in construction accounting and finance for both specialty contractors and general contractors.

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3 Reasons Why Malt is Important to Brewing

Beer is made from four main ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. Of those four ingredients, malt is perhaps the most important. However, malt can be a somewhat overlooked ingredient in the brewing process. So, we reached out to Glen Fox, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting & Brewing Science at UC Davis, to find out just how important this ingredient really is.

Instructor Spotlight: Glen Fox

Glen Fox joined UC Davis in 2019 as the new Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting & Brewing Science. With a Ph.D. in the subject of barley genetics as it relates to barley and malt quality, Fox has conducted research with some of the world’s largest beer companies. He is an instructor in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Master Brewers Certificate Program.

Instructor Spotlight: Leslie Freeman

Leslie Freeman, MT(ASCP)SH, is a clinical laboratory scientist in hematology at UC Davis Health System with more than 25 years of experience. She is the hematology educational coordinator for the Clinical Lab Science Training Program at the UC Davis Medical Center and is the instructor of the online course Introduction to Clinical Hematology.

Instructor Spotlight: Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez

Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez is the new winemaker/winery manager for the Viticulture and Enology Department at UC Davis. With more than 20 years of wine production and management experience in the California wine industry, Chacon-Rodriguez is enchanted by the winemaking process and the science behind it. She teaches Wine Filtration Short Course.

Instructor Spotlight: Pat Greer

Pat Greer, MBA, has been working in the brewing industry for more than four decades. He recently retired from the corporate brewing world, where he traveled to more than 26 countries and managed all aspects of supply operations. “My career focused on enabling brew masters to make great beers,” says Greer.

Instructor Spotlight: Tom Witmer

Tom Witmer, M.S., is the Chief Data Officer at Medical University of South Carolina. He has been working in health care for more than 25 years, including as an executive leader of the shared services analytics infrastructure group at Kaiser Permanente. He teaches Data Mining for Analytics in the Healthcare Analytics Certificate Program.

Instructor Spotlight: Vira Danak Bhatt

Vira Danak Bhatt, M.S., is an informatics specialist and member of the Pathology Informatics team at the UC Davis Health System. She has more than six years of experience working in healthcare analytics, is a certified advanced SAS programmer and is the instructor of Introduction to Healthcare Analytics in the Healthcare Analytics Certificate Program.

Instructor Spotlight: Paul Martin

Paul Martin is a LEED-accredited professional and has over 25 years of preconstruction and estimating experience. Martin has been teaching for CPE since 2006, and during this time has witnessed a lot of changes both in the Construction Management program and the industry at large.

Instructor Spotlight: Hitesh Dewan

Hitesh Dewan is an experienced construction and technology operations manager, with over 10 years in the construction industry. Hitesh has built a reputation for developing and implementing company-wide initiatives that help departments improve their process flow and potential. With a demonstrated history of working across a variety of market sectors in the construction industry, Hitesh is often invited to be a guest speaker or lecturer for various industry organizations and technology panels, including DBIA, CFMA, SRBX and more.

Instructor Spotlight: Derek Gallanosa

Derek Gallanosa began his career in the brewing industry as a passionate homebrewer. “The fact that you can make your own beer at home blew my mind,” he said. “I took every opportunity to make a new batch of beer at home and after a couple of years, I knew I wanted to pursue brewing as a career.” Now he has more than nine years of professional brewing experience under his belt.

Instructor Spotlight: Nichola Hall

Nichola Hall is the newest instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Winemaking Certificate Program. She will be teaching the third course in the program, Quality Control and Analysis in Winemaking. Hall is currently a staff scientist for Scott Laboratories in Petaluma, Calif. and a co-winemaker for Mathew Bruno Wines in Rutherford, Calif.

Instructor Spotlight: Pat Henderson

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Winemaking Certificate Program has a new faculty member. Pat Henderson will be teaching three of the five courses in the program: Wine Production, Quality Control and Wine Stability. Henderson is the owner/proprietor of About Wine Consulting and has a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis.

Instructor Spotlight: Joe Williams

Joe Williams has been teaching for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education for three years. As the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Endowed Brewer at UC Davis, he provides practical brewing experiences for students, along with hands-on training and theoretical education. He also serves as a liaison to the brewing industry for UC Davis. 

Instructor Spotlight: Bill Mead

A Pioneer in Web Design

Bill Mead, M.Ed., started building websites in the mid-1990s…way back when the internet was just beginning to dip its toe into everyday life. “I saw the web—and web design—as an amazing field with lots of opportunity for expression, even in the very early years,” he said. 

Instructor Spotlight: David Pardes

David Pardes, M.S., MBA, a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco, brings 12 years of wine industry experience, and a bit of humor, to his decade’s-long career of teaching finance, accounting and taxation to vineyard and winery owners and executives.

Instructor Spotlight: S. Kaan Kurtural

As an associate Cooperative Extension specialist in viticulture with the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, Kaan Kurtural is well versed in helping grape growers solve real-world production issues. “It is very satisfying to see the results of hard work,” said Kurtural, who grew up on a raisin ranch and whose research focuses on understanding whole grapevine physiology in order to improve agricultural practices and adapt to ecological stresses. Kurtural is the instructor of Establishing and Managing a Small Vineyard.

Instructor Spotlight: Rebecca Bleibaum

Rebecca N. Bleibaum, instructor and co-founder of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program, has been passionate about sensory science since discovering it as a student at UC Davis. Since that time, she has worked alongside pioneers in the field and around the world, focusing on turning academic concepts into applied sensory research.

Instructor Spotlight: Janet Mahrle

We sat down with instructor Janet Mahrle, Professional Certified Coach and owner of Mahrle Coaching Services, to talk about her popular course, Conversational Intelligence®: Strategies for Effective Conversations. Read what she had to say about the impact of making conversations more effective. 

Instructor Spotlight: Dawn Karner

What it means to be a ‘leader’ is changing. That’s according to Dawn Karner, a coach, trainer and leadership consultant who teaches our three-day course, Leading Through Emotional Intelligence and Coaching. Karner feels that the ‘soft skills’ she teaches have become essential qualities in today’s leaders.