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Board of Directors

free world u board of directors image David A. Hall, MD
Dr. Hall has had a fascination with science from an early age. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1968. He went on to complete a rotating internship at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena and then pursued a general psychiatry residency at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. He became certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1975.

He collaborated with Beckman Instruments in developing the world's first artificial pancreas and he shares two patents with them on this device. Dr. Hall is an accomplished violinist and wrote two violin concertos.

His specialization in psychiatry led him to explore the field of social psychiatry, in which society as a whole is viewed as the patient. This further led to the notion of "the root causes of social dysfunction," in which all social problems are compared to a tree, with roots, branches, and leaves. He observed that most people shortsightedly focus on the leaves of the tree, and miss the root causes. He further explored a type of meditation using theta and delta wave entrainment, and described a unifying theory of human consciousness development based on many disciplines including psychoanalysis, developmental biology, thermodynamics, and meditation.

Tyler Covey, CPA, CMA, CFM
Tyler Covey has more than 17 years experience in conducting audits and reviews of state and local government and nonprofit entities, and in managing operations for private-sector companies. He has a broad knowledge base in conducting performance, investigative, compliance, and financial evaluations and audits. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Management Accountant, a Certified Financial Manager, and has a bachelor of science in Business Administration-Accountancy from California State University, Sacramento.

Mr. Covey has supervised numerous high-profile evaluations, audits, and consulting engagements while working as a Principal and Co-Director of Performance Audits and Investigations for MGT of America and the California State Auditor’s office. Many of these reviews involved evaluating business processes and auditing management and administrative practices and performance. Mr. Covey has led several investigative or performance audits and management reviews of schools and charter schools and has assisted numerous schools and government agencies with process improvement, compliance issues, governance, organization, resource allocation, and internal controls. Mr. Covey is seen as an authority in charter schools, has given several presentations on charter school governance and monitoring, and has worked on charter school legal matters for the State of California. Because of his extensive work in education and charter schools, Mr. Covey has been invited twice to participate in educational delegations that toured and shared ideas with educational leaders in Turkey.

Moreover, Mr. Covey has served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for a private health care staffing company—which became one of the fastest growing nurse staffing companies in the nation. Mr. Covey also served as a partner in a Certified Public Accountancy firm and as the Production Services Manager for a leading bank. Finally, Mr. Covey is a member of the MGT Board Finance Committee.

Elizabeth Wiley, MA JD
Elizabeth Wiley is a lawyer with almost 20 years of experience as the director of her own consulting firm. The firm specializes in racial tension and gang abatement programs. She also has extensive experience in domestic violence and single mother support programs.

Ms. Wiley received her JD from Valley University and California College of Law and her MA from Pacific Oaks College. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

She has developed equi-therapy and aquatherapy programs for the Boy Scouts of America. She has been a Level 1 horse trainer and an animal therapy trainer form more than 15 years. Ms. Wiley is also a twelve step program specialist and is certified in first aid, CPR and urban disaster search and rescue.

Lisa Gerr
Lisa Gerr is a tenured sales and marketing professional with many years under her belt in sales, sales management, business development and marketing as well as independent consulting. She has had the pleasure of working with many personalities on a wide variety of projects. Among her recent ventures; she formed the commercial inflatable industry’s very first online store. Currently Lisa works as consultant in marketing, sales, customer relationship management and market research.

Continuously contributing to her education, Lisa Gerr has accumulated over 17 years of overall business experience. These include four years in video production, ten years in the sales and marketing of equipment and supplies to the video, film and broadcast industry and over three years in the branding, sales and marketing of commercial inflatables to business consumers in the amusement industry. Additional experience has been gained in other verticals such as education and alternative health through independent projects. This knowledge and skill is deepened because Lisa has fully participated in all primary aspects of the business cycle; as a business consumer, as a channel reseller and as a manufacturer. This familiarity with the full business cycle provides a versatile understanding of how each of these entities interacts with the other and what intrinsic needs exist within these enterprises. Very driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, Lisa has independently launched two businesses and assisted other start ups and young companies to gain the traction necessary to become viable enterprises.

Exploring human behavior, the psychology of relationships, the process of negotiation, needs analysis and behavior modification has always held Lisa’s interest and focus both academically and non-academically. Her strengths include communication, project management and meeting deadlines. On a personal level, she is driven by a passion to leave things better than when she arrived; whether it is a company, a community, a facility or the planet. Lisa supports social and business engines that are ethical and will create a positive effect in society. She is motivated to contribute to the building of the social framework within which our young citizens can stage the local and global changes that are necessary to preserve both the earth as well as humanity’s quality of life and evolution.

Paula M. Whitehead, MA
Paula M. Whitehead received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, with emphasis in Radio, Television and Film Production, Ethnic Studies, and Public Relations in 2001. In 2004, she received a Master of Arts in Bilingual/Multicultural Education, and a TESOL certificate. Both degrees were received from California State University, Sacramento.

As a Peruvian immigrant to the United States, Ms. Whitehead is particularly sensitive to the specific problems of those who come to this country and are faced with the task of acquiring the skills necessary to succeed in a new cultural environment. Her educational skills have provided her with additional insight into, and empathy for, the challenges students face when learning new languages, and struggling to make a good life for themselves.

Ms. Whitehead has held various positions in educational support and instruction. Since 2007, she has served as a Curriculum Research Developer Specialist.

Pamela Smith
Pamela Smith’s interest in education was first sparked by the challenge of teaching her younger brother, who has Down’s syndrome, to read and write. This early event started her on a path that she continues with today at Free World U. She is led by a strong desire to help children learn, especially those for whom it is most difficult.

Prior to coming to Free World U, Ms. Smith worked as a paraprofessional in a self-contained special education classroom. In her position as aid to the special education teacher, she helped compile IEPs and worked individually with the students. She also created pertinent learning materials to help the students meet their learning goals. Along with a personal and professional knowledge of special needs children, she brings with her a desire to make education relevant and readily available to all students and meet them at their point of need regardless of what their special requirements might be.

Mark Rollins
Mark Rollins, a graduate of the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is an expert in the field of intellectual property. Mr. Rollins has both practical and managerial experience in his field. On multiple occasions he was responsible for structuring core financial analyses and detailed reports projected to save clients in excess of $50 million. His strong work ethic, initiative, and attention to detail gained Mr. Rollins an annual award from employer Ocean Tomo, LLC, and promotion to the position of Associate within the Expert Testimony Practice Group.

Using his background in Business Administration, Mr. Rollins has improved productivity of new hires at Ocean Tomo, LLC through the implementation of enhancements in the training experience. His experience as a student at Meihi Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan combined with his personal interest in international travel gives Mr. Rollins a unique global perspective that he has applied to working with clients from Taiwan. Mr. Rollins has co-authored and contributed to articles published in Patent Management & Strategy, a Law Journal Newsletter.

Mr. Rollins recognizes the difference education can make in a child’s life, an understanding that led him to form a tutoring service for underprivileged students. This desire to help young people reach their potential also led him to offer his skills to the Board of Directors at Free World U. A third-degree black belt in karate, Mr. Rollins enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and photography.

Maryann Augusta
Ms. Augusta is a creative educational leader with a wide range of P-16 experience combining theoretical background in constructivist learning theory with job-embedded field experience in professional development, teaching and administration. As founder and CEO of The Learning Mode, she is known and highly regarded for her creative ability to build partnerships and programs that produce impressive organizational growth results for diverse clients, schools and organizations. Ms. Augusta has provided consulting services to various agencies and programs related to individual, team and organizational development. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Molloy College, Master of Arts in Education from Hofstra University and is a NYS certified teacher. Additionally, Ms. Augusta holds a post graduate Advanced Graduate Diploma in Administration from SUNY Stony Brook and holds NYS School District Administration Certification.

Ms Augusta turned her devotion to education and taught elementary school for 15 years for the Baldwin Public Schools before starting her own family. As a life-long learner, she is also trained as an Executive Coach and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer. A consultant specializing in coaching and career development, an on-going portion of Ms Augusta’s career responsibilities involves human resource management, with an emphasis on hiring, evaluations, employee training and technology-enriched professional development.

An experienced grant, proposal and technical writer, Ms Augusta authors numerous grants for not-for-profits, faith-based organizations, and educational facilities. She also serves a grant reviewer/scorer for the NYS Education Department and Phi Delta Kappa International sessions review committee for action research.

When her husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2008, Ms Augusta became involved with the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information in support of their work with virtual trials. She co-authored the book, “The Brain Tumor Guide for the Newly Diagnosed”, which is available at Amazon.com with all proceeds going to the Foundation or as a free download at the foundations’ web site.

Whatever area Ms Augusta works with, her work is known to motivate, empower and encourage a renewed, revitalized commitment to education, regardless of the focus. Her aim is to offer hands-on and learner-centered strategies, whether it is a classroom, business or organizational setting.

Laura Thompson Shive
Laura Thompson Shive brings varied experiences in management and education to her position as Chief Operating Officer at Free World U. A certified K-8 teacher, she has taught fourth- and fifth-grade inclusion classes for Stafford County Public Schools. She has taught second through fifth grade Spanish and German enrichment classes and remedial summer school. Trained in Hands-On-Equations, having completed an internship at a model school for inclusion, and having taught students with identified learning disabilities, mental retardation, developmental delays, and Gifted and Talented students, as well as English as a Second Language students, Laura Thompson Shive is experienced in meeting the educational needs of a variety of students.

As a Director of Education for Sylvan Learning Center, Laura Thompson Shive was able to affect dramatic changes to students’ academic achievement through customized instruction and successfully designed educational programs that elevated performance of the Center's students by multiple grade levels. She managed a staff of certified teachers and support staff, conferenced with families, maintained academic records and schedules, and collaborated on budget implementation. She also instructed students, ranging from kindergarten to college, one-on-one and in small groups, and supervised the Center's teachers.

In addition to her professional background, Laura Thompson Shive enjoyed many unique opportunities as a student, including representing the United States as an exchange student to St. Petersburg, Russia, participating in the elite University Scholars program during her undergraduate education, and receiving homebound instruction during an illness, all of which increases her ability to relate to the individual needs of Free World U's students. She holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, cum laude, with a minor in Biology from Bloomsburg University, and maintained a 4.0 in her post-baccalaureate studies in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas.

Sunshin Fungcap, MPA, CHHP
Sunshin has worked in the nonprofit arena for over 10 years as an administrator, a teacher, trainer, workshop facilitator, organizational team builder, and a life coach. She received her bachelor’s in Psychology at SUNY Stony Brook and her Masters is in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and Educational Studies. Her most recent experience involved overseeing operations for several residential, rehabilitative, and day program facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities and being part of the strategic planning committee to evaluate training tools to enhance programs within the agency.

Sunshin’s experience in workforce development and administration is not limited to human resources, but also private and alternative education. Experience includes, co-operating a tutoring and home-schooling program in Atlanta, GA. Teaching private elementary through middle school, language arts, vocal performance, and drama in GA, Teaching middle school children with Asperger Syndrom at a home school facility, overseeing a children’s learning center, and teaching universal pre-k in Atlanta.

Serving individuals in New York with visual and hearing impairments, she taught for the Hellen Keller School for the Blind and Deaf. While working as a public administrator part time, Sunshin also acts as a consultant and coach for her own organization and business SUNdays Wellness, Inc. Her role is to empower youth and adults to meet their potential, priorities, and achieve results in areas that challenge them.


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