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Meet The Collaborators

Clyciane Michelini profile

Clyciane Michelini

Instructional Designer

Clyciane is a Brazilian that came to the U.S. to fulfill her husband’s dream of studying in America. She is a Civil Engineer who, since 1992, fell in love with computers and the beautiful field of educational technology for children. In 2001, she got her Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, adding to her engineering mind the worlds of graphic design and technology. Clyciane is very proud of her Brazilian family-centered culture full of happiness, colors, and diversity and feels blessed to have met in the U.S. people who value, accept, and are willing to teach her their values and culture. Clyciane currently holds a position as an Instructional Designer II with the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Iowa State University. Clyciane is part of the Course Design & Quality Team, and her main responsibilities are faculty and instructors’ instructional support. Before working for CELT, she was a staff for the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching (CTLT) in the School of Education, also at Iowa State University, where she had a chance to meet and work with Dr. Patricia Leigh. She is a wife, a mother, and a grandmother who enjoys gatherings with family and friends, cooking, traveling, and dancing.

EJ Bhang photo profile


STEM Educator

E. J. Bahng immigrated from South Korea and is currently an associate professor in the School of Education, and Equity Advisor in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University, Ames, IA. She develops interdisciplinary and integrated STEM and the Arts-based (STEAM) curricula and mentoring programs that are rooted in the Communities of Practice (COP) approach. In 2020, she co-authored Children Doing Physics: How to Foster the Natural Scientific Instincts in Children. Since 2019, Dr. Bahng has been a member of the ISU Sustainable Peace Faculty Learning Community and, since 2021, a convener of the Critical Friends Faculty Learning Community for Multilingual Multicultural Women of STEM. She is a daughter, a sister, and also writes children’s books, Aari’s Arirang Adventure, Bird’s WAY, Grand Mothers.

Mike Eck profile photo

Mike Eck

Community Advocate

After graduating from Princeton High School with the class of 1972, Mike Eck enjoyed a 40+ year professional career in Information Technology sales and business development. He knocked on doors, opened doors, closed deals, learned to work on teams, traveled cross country and went to India once. Thanks to VITALITY Cincinnati, his “second career” began in 2010 as he fell into volunteering in the local food and food justice movement and building bridges between people and communities while embracing diversity. First and foremost, Mike Eck found inspiration and guidance from his parents during years growing up in Sharonville and Evendale, his Princeton school experiences, and currently from his wife of 45 years, his daughter, and two grandchildren. His journey has led him to circle back and give back to Princeton and the communities that make up the school district.  He states, “It is my pleasure to know and collaborate with Dr. Patricia Randolph Leigh in building a bridge to a brighter future".

Michael Pearl photo profile

Michael Pearl

SMRC Director

Michael has proudly served as the Director of the St. Monica’s Recreation Center in the Village of Lincoln Heights since 2011. Known as “a ministry for God’s children”, programs, activities, and events for youth (ages 6-16) and adults have grown drastically under Michael’s leadership. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the 4031 Eagles and the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty, both local organizations benefitting young people and formerly served on the Board of Education for one of the largest districts in Ohio, the Lakota School District. In his spare time Michael loves spending time with his family and coaching basketball. Being an African-American male and being born without his left hand, Michael strives to be an inspiration and example of one who overcomes adversity.

Holly Jenkins profile photo

Holly Jenkins

Literacy Educator and Entrepreneur

Holly is the founder and President of Restart Your Life, Inc., a coaching firm specializing in personal and professional development. She is an author and filmmaker whose books include the award-winning, Daddy Don’t - Letters to My Father (A Story of Incest), and Childhood Sexual Abuse 101 (Not an Elective). Daddy Don’t - Letters to My Father (A Story of Incest) Volume II was published in 2022. Her documentary film, "Empty Closets - In Honor of Those Left Behind," highlights the long-lasting devastation that homicide has on individual families and our communities. This film premiered at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH.

Holly tutors reading for kindergarten through college-age students and has certification to teach English as a second language and edits manuscripts for self-publishing authors. In addition, she was the Director for AATLC’s 2022 STEP UP program. 

Holding a BA in Ethical Leadership, Holly is currently attending Thomas More University pursuing a Master’s in Ethical Leadership and Organizational Management.

Kajal Madeka photo profile

Kajal Madeka

Instructional Tech Consultant

Kajal is an Instructional Technology Consultant for AATLC. Her professional expertise ranges from online and hybrid course design, backward design for active learning and flipped classrooms as well as development of spiral curriculum for professional and higher education. She has over 10 years  of experience working on a variety of technology platforms and mentoring both new and experienced faculty from different disciplines and programs to develop online courses, curricular materials, effective pedagogy and delivery approaches for varied contexts and learners ranging from Diversity Education, Veterinary Medicine, Physical Therapy, Meteorology, Food Science, Dietetics, Human Development Family Studies and World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute. Kajal also has a Ph.D. in Archaeology and Culture from India which gives her a unique perspective and cultural sensitivity that allows her to connect deeply with her learners. She now brings her skills of curriculum and course design, active learning, and content development to AATLC to develop an integrated curriculum for elementary after-school and summer programs with a focus on Literacy, Diversity and STEAMSS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Social Studies). She also helps with the design and production of promotional print and digital media.

Linda J-Towles profile picture

Linda Johnson-Towles

STEAMSS Art Coordinator

Linda Johnson-Towles serves as the Arts Coordinator for STEAMSS curriculum development. She also served as the reading teacher for AATLC’s 2022 STEP UP program. She has 30+ years of extensive experience in the educational field as a teacher, consultant, instructional coach, and resource management coordinator. Linda has facilitated past STREAMSS student initiatives through partnerships with city of Cincinnati cultural institutions including museums- Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, and the Taft Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Zoo, 3D-printing local organizations, and the Girl Who Code national organization. Her previous curriculum development initiatives include digital delivery of resources to educators, students, and the public at large, trainings and workshops while employed as the eLearning Project Manager at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Linda has fostered effective pedagogy and best practices for instructional technology, problem and project-based learning, and media and visual literacies for student mastery within the Cincinnati Public School District and others. Her earlier expertise includes librarianship with an emphasis on children’s literature and programming. Ms. J-T. continues to leverage her years of experience through volunteer efforts and personal application for interests that include ceramics, fine arts, thread and yarn crafts.

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