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GPU Consortium Members

Currently the GPU public-private alliance encompasses individuals, institutions of higher education (IHEs), and organizations with expertise over a range of program and policy domains prioritized to address the Millennium Development Goals and implement tenets of UN Human Rights treaties.  

GPU Consortium Members

Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH

Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH, is a policy leader and community pediatrician for over 30 years, is an advocate, educator, and researcher in public health, public policy, pediatrics, and maternal and child health. Dr. Kessel has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Public Health Service serving as an Assistant Surgeon General and a senior program director for applied research, community-based programs, and professional education.  He was a senior advisor on public health, health policy, and child and family health matters to the White House, Cabinet Secretaries, Surgeon Generals, Health and Human Services officials spanning eight administrations.

Donald Wertlieb PhD

Donald Wertlieb, PhD, is Professor and former Chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, Tufts University, Medford, MA, and founding director of the Tufts University Center for Children and the Center for Applied Child Development. He served on the steering group of the National Forum on the Future of Children and Families, a joint program of the National Academy of Science’s Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  Wertlieb was President of the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP) (1996-99). Dr. Wertlieb has been Interim-chairman of the Department of Education at Tufts, and a Lecturer, Department of Social Medicine and Health Policy, Harvard Medical School. Internationally, Wertlieb’s work emphasizes collaboration and exchange in the development of mental health and integrated human services frameworks, with particular attention to fostering resiliency for children and families placed at risk.

Donald Lollar, EdD

Donald Lollar, EdD is Director, Oregon Center for Disability and Development at the Oregon Health and Science University. The Oregon Institute on Disability & Development (OIDD) at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center is one of 67 US University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. He is also Professor, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at OHSU and Associate Director for Academic Affairs at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center of OHSU. Dr. Lollar is an initiator and member of the World Health Organization task force to adapt the international classification (ICF) for children and youth with disabilities. He serves on the ICF-CY Task Force, an ongoing international activity related to disability classification for children and youth.

Don Lollar served as Senior Research Scientist, Division for Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He served as the co-lead of the US Public Health Services’ HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010 workgroup on Disability and Secondary Conditions and served as CDC representative to the advisory committee for the Child and Adolescent Measurement of Health Initiative and the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Children’s Mental Health.

Mary S. Thormann, EdD

Mary S. Thormann, EdD, based in Washington, D.C., has over 30 years of experience as an educator, disability specialist, teacher trainer, university professor/administrator, and consultant. She has designed, developed, and directed new programs from early childhood to higher education.  She has a particular focus on children and youth with special education needs.

Dr. Thormann has extensive international experience, especially in developing countries, and has provided technical assistance in various settings as a specialist in disabilities, basic education, curriculum, program evaluation, professional development and teacher training.  In addition, she served as the school psychologist for over 1,000 middle and high school students from 50 countries at the International School Bangkok, with responsibility for psychological and educational assessments and overall leadership of the school’s programs for students with special learning needs. She has worked as an education consultant in many countries, especially in disability and teacher training, including Ghana, Bangladesh, India (where she lived for nine years), Thailand (where she lived for four years), Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, as well as in Central Asia (Kazakstan) and China on UNESCO-funded school reform projects.

Barbara Weinstein, PhD

Barbara Weinstein, PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York, Audiology, Nursing, Physical Therapy, & Disability Studies, is well known for her teaching, research, publications, and program development in her role as professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York. As Executive Officer of Clinical Doctoral Programs, she serves as administrator for programs in audiology, nursing, physical therapy, public health, and disability studies.       Select honors and appointments she has received include the Distinguished Alumni Award from Case Western Reserve University, panel member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Panel- Cochlear Implant Conference; Invited Member of the International Working Group on Hearing and Aging sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Kellogg  Foundation; faculty member of the Brookdale Center on Aging at Hunter College; and Fellow, Brookdale Institute on Aging at Columbia University. 

Global VSAT Forum

GPU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Global VSAT Forum. GVF is a non-profit association representing the international satellite communications sector, and has a mission of facilitating expanded access to fixed and mobile satellite-based communications solutions that promote socio-economic development in all nations by enabling training, capacity building, peer-to-peer dialogue, research, and multi-stakeholder ICT programmes. he Global VSAT Forum (GVF) is the not-for-profit association of the international satellite communications industry. GVF represents more than 200 member companies from 100 countries, including fixed and mobile communication system and service providers. The Member companies include telecom carriers, operators, value-added resellers, manufacturers, consultants and other organizations involved in satellite communications. The Forum’s primary objective is to facilitate the delivery of training, intelligence, improved regulations and policies, standards, and heightened awareness of the advantages afforded by satellite communications.

Swinfen Charitable Trust

The Swinfen Charitable Trust was established by Lord and Lady Swinfen in 1998, with the aim of assisting poor, sick and disabled people in the developing world. The Trust's policy is to do this by establishing telemedicine links between hospital-based practitioners in the developing world and expert medical and surgical specialists who generously give free advice via the Internet. The Swinfen Charitable Trust has 181 hospital links with 458 consultants in 58 countries in the developing world and in disaster and post conflict situations. Doctors in 181 remote hospitals have immediate access to 458 consultants covering all medical and surgical specialties. 

Rehabilitation International

Founded in 1922, RI promotes respect for the rights and empowerment of persons with disabilities worldwide through innovative efforts, including promoting their right of access to health care, technology, education, employment and justice. Venus Ilagan, Rehabilitation International Secretary-General was the first woman Chairperson of Disabled Peoples’ International, managed a national Philippines rehabilitation program for children with disabilities, continues leadership of the National Federation of Organization of People with Disabilities in the Philippines (KAMPI) and the Differently-Abled Women’s Network (DAWN).

Daniel A. Kurywchak, President and CEO, Telemedicine.com

Daniel A. Kurywchak, President and CEO, Telemedicine.com (Telemedicine/Telerehabilitation/Telecommunication Systems Design). Dan has developed seminal courses and trained over 700 clinicians in the field of Telemedicine. He has taught courses for the Veterans Administration (VA), American Telemedicine Association (ATA), and is an internationally recognized speaker in Telemedicine. His expertise spans network typologies and installations assessment and implementation. His international telemedicine work spans locations from China, the Amazon in Brazil, Lebanon and Nigeria.

Dale Alverson, MD

Dale Alverson, MD is a Professor of Pediatrics and UNM Regents’ Professor on faculty at the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine. Since 1995, he has been the Medical Director of the Center for Telehealth and Cybermedicine Research at the University of New Mexico, Health Sciences Center. In that role, he has been involved in the planning, implementation, research and evaluation of Telemedicine systems for New Mexico, primarily serving its rural communities using information technologies, videoconferencing and the internet to provide access to clinical services and health education. He has also been involved in international Telehealth projects, particularly with Latin America. One initiative includes the use of river boats in the Amazon region that act as mobile floating clinics with development of uplink-downlink Telemedicine capability in the depths of the Jungle. These endeavors include collaboration with the Iberoamerican Science, Technology and Education Consortium (ISTEC) that includes over 100 universities in Latin America and Spain, and the American Telemedicine Association Latin American Caribbean Chapter (ATALACC).

Michael M. Behrmann, PhD

Michael M. Behrmann, PhD, George Mason University; Director of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disabilities (KIHd) is a leader and innovator in special education and technology. He believes in collaborative research/training enhanced by technology. An early adopter of microcomputer technology, his pioneering pursuits are known worldwide. He wrote two of the first books on assistive and instructional technology.  Current professional activities include the directorship of a state funded training and technical assistance center (TTAC); the Department of Rehabilitation's Northern Region for the Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS); multi university statewide distance education grants to prepare teachers in the areas of severe disabilities and vision impairments. Through a state-funded collaboration in distance education, advanced technology helps deliver a common curriculum to students at 6 state universities and at home.

Terese FinitzoTerese Finitzo, PhD, F-ASHA, FAAA

Terese Finitzo, PhD, F-ASHA, FAAA, CEO and Co-founder of OZ Systems, an expert in Audiology and Auditory Research, has more than 25 years of professional experience combining professorship with executive management roles. Dr Finitzo is a past chair and member of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. As CEO of OZ Systems, she has helped more than 7 million babies with state of the art information management applications used in over 1,000 hospitals across the country, including such prestigious institutions as Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. OZ also serves statewide newborn programs in Texas, Alaska, North Dakota, Iowa, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. OZ Systems’ software applications serve all babies born in England through the use of our product by that country’s National Health Service. OZ Systems also serves statewide newborn programs in the states of Tasmania, Victoria, and Queensland Australia. More recently OZ Systems has diversified its product line to include information management tools for early education and pre-K programs in Texas.

Muhiuddin Haider, PhD

Muhiuddin Haider, PhD, is a highly skilled public health professional who has managed and led diverse public health projects and research studies in more than a dozen countries worldwide over thirty years, on behalf of several international agencies and universities. Dr. Haider’s research into strategies of behavior change, application of social marketing tools and communications capacity building has led to several acclaimed publications. He has led major public health projects in several countries in Africa and Asia, for which he utilized technical skills to stimulate innovative and culturally sensitive approaches grounded in organizational and technical soundness. His recent research and programmatic work has focused on avian and pandemic influenza, for which he has contributed to creating and adapting IEC, BCC, and IPC training materials to establish and implement best practices within public health care systems and promote public-private partnerships. 

Larry Goldberg

Larry Goldberg founded the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media. He was a pioneer in the development of the emerging captioning system for digital television in the U.S. and is a nationally recognized expert in accessibility solutions for people with disabilities. Mr. Goldberg chaired the Federal Access Board’s TEITAC Audio/Video subcommittee, drafting recommendations for updates of section 508 standard, and regularly briefs Congressional and regulatory committees on access barriers and opportunities within new media, most recently testifying as an expert witness at hearings before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet on the “21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.” He works with technology companies such as, Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, HP, Adobe, and others on solutions to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities within their products and services. 

Trisha O'Connell

Trisha O'Connell, Director of Research and Development at WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), develops and manages research projects, identifying areas of need in new technologies and in the convergence of technology, media, disability, and education. She works with staff, educators, advocates, industry leaders, and government agencies to expand and refine the use of media access technologies, providing support and leadership for project directors and coordinating resources and deliverables across projects. O’Connell has developed and managed numerous National Science Foundation- and U.S. Department of Education-funded projects related to technology-based educational practices, including a seminal study on the impact of extended description on visually impaired students’ comprehension. 

Vicky G. SpencerVicky G. Spencer, PhD

Vicky G. Spencer, PhD is the Assistant Director of Operations of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disabilities and an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University and has over 25 years of experience as an educator, university professor, disability specialist, teacher trainer, and consultant. Her research has focused on research-based instructional strategies for the inclusive classroom for students with mild to moderate disabilities. She has been involved with assessing the literacy needs of the Tamil Indians in Penang, Malaysia; teaching ESL classes in Ecuador, Malaysia, and Russia, and most recently, she is working collaboratively to provide teacher training to special education centers in Cairo, Egypt focusing on the educational impacts of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

Josh Schachter, MS

Josh Schachter, MS, is a photographer, visual storyteller, educator, and community activist who has worked for organizations throughout the U.S. to document issues from urban revitalization to food security. Over the past decade he has taught documentary photography to youth, teachers, neighborhood groups, and nonprofit organizations around the globe from New Delhi, Brazil, and Tibet to Nigeria. Since 2005 he has developed a passion for digital storytelling and has facilitated digital storytelling workshops in the US, India and South Africa.  As founder of the photography and digital storytelling programs at the Tucson-based nonprofit organization, VOICES, Inc., he co-managed the youth-produced magazine 110 Degrees. As a VOICES guest artist in 2005/06, he co-facilitated the Looking Forward Looking Back Project, in which Tohono O’odham youth shared their lives and culture through digital stories. Since 2006 he has been traveling to India, where he worked with young performance artists to photograph their lives and stories in Kathputli Colony, home to nearly 9,000 traditional Indian artists in New Delhi. In collaboration with the nonprofit organization, BRIDGES to Understanding, he worked in the far north of India on community digital storytelling projects with Tibetan refugees. In January 2007 he co-founded the Finding Voice program with ESL teacher Julie Kasper at Catalina Magnet High School, where they use photography to develop the literacy skills of refugee and immigrant students. In June 2008, an exhibit of the Catalina students’ work was exhibited in the US Senate and six students presented their stories and immigration policy recommendations at a congressional briefing in the House of Representatives. 

Renée Cherow-O’LearyRenée Cherow-O’Leary, PhD

Renée Cherow-O’Leary, PhD, since 1995, serves as Founder and President of Education for the 21st Century, a media consulting group in New York City (web site under construction), developing educational materials primarily for children, parents and teachers in multiple platforms: print, television, online, blogs, and currently in gaming and virtual worlds. Most recently, she served as Professor of English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University (2003-present) with subject expertise in cultural and media studies, including Technologies and Literacies, Media Literacy, and Popular Texts in the Classroom. In spring, 2007, she was selected to be a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in interdisciplinary studies in education.  She presents at major academic conferences and is the creator and was host of an online educational talk show at Teachers College, Peer Review, conducting interviews with key educational researchers and policy makers.   Prior to her recent tenure at Teachers College, she was professor of Media Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University- Newark campus and a faculty member at Ramapo College of New Jersey, City College of New York, and New York University.  Clients include Disney Channel and other Disney initiatives, PBS Kids Sprout (Comcast), Word World and Word Box, and market research firms for educational research projects. Dr. Cherow’s early career was in children’s book publishing at Sesame Street/Children’s Television Workshop as Director of Research for the Magazine Group (1989-1995) with oversight for five publications targeted for children, parents and teachers. 

Nancy White, President, Founder, Full Circle Associates

Nancy White, President, Founder, Full Circle Associates. With strong experience in technology stewardship, White bridges technology and social design, always in a collaborative process. She focuses attention around the emerging field of online group facilitation practicing interaction design, facilitation and coaching for distributed communities of practice, online learning, distributed teams and virtual communities. Experienced working in inter-cultural international settings, she is an international expert in practicing online group facilitation of distributed work, learning and community groups. As a technology steward, designer and builder of online interaction spaces (events, teams, learning groups), she has extensive knowledge of web 2.0 tools as well as community and instructional design. She has led design work for health, education and scientific research online communities. She has recently published “Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities” with Etienne Wenger and John Smith.

David Gammel, MA, President, High Context Consulting

Mr. Gammel’s expertise is in unleashing the strategic potential of the web for organizations. High Context Consulting has attracted clients such as the Society for Human Resource Management, JotSpot (now owned by Google), SafeKids Worldwide, Council on Foundations, and many others. In addition to consulting, David speaks internationally to diverse audiences that have included Fortune 500 executives, small business owners, non-profit organization executives, boards of directors, small business owners, entrepreneurs, students and others. Web teams led by David won numerous industry awards for design, content and functionality, including an Aesculapius Award of Excellence for health care communications.

Martin Noretsky, PhD: Instructional Development and Evaluation Consultant

Dr. Noretsky served as a full Professor at Gallaudet University in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research. Dr. Noretsky was initially a fulltime Instructional Designer in Gallaudet's Instructional Development and Evaluation Center from 1977-1986. Subsequently, he became a fulltime instructor in the Department of Educational Technology and later in the Department of Television, Photography and Digital Media.  Dr. Noretsky as Faculty Liaison in Gallaudet University's Academic Technology Unit was responsible for teaching faculty how to apply varied technologies to improve teaching and learning. Noretsky is the Instructional Designer, Producer, and writer for US Department of Education-funded Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Phase I and II proposals (1996-99) to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services entitled "A Beginning Sign Language Course for Hearing Adult Learners", resulting in a five CD-ROM product, Ready! Set! Sign! 

Corinne Vinopol, PhD, President, IDRT

Corinne Vinopol is President of the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. (IDRT) and in leadership positions in dissemination and creation of unique teaching tools and program delivery for national and international dissemination. Dr. Vinopol has extensive knowledge and experience in the applications of technology for educational product development particularly with federal mandates for Section 508 accommodations compliance. With particular expertise in the development of computer software and other products in American Sign Language (ASL), in research on speech recognition and closed captioned television, in training related to emergency response for people with hearing losses, and in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), IDRT has developed a product suite noted for its federal funding support and national and international dissemination.

Filmmaker in Residence