The issuance of our doctoral degrees is necessarily reviewed and approved by PhD faculty.
As for day to day operations, we have moved away from the use of a part-time faculty panel to a few full time core faculty and instructors which serve as mentors and guides and monitor the students’ progress through the various programs. Upon completion of a degree program, and upon certification from a PhD faculty member that the student has successfully completed the program, a degree is issued in accordance with the program completed.
Blue Marble University and its included schools, the Panama College of Cell Science, and Blue Marble University Medical School, continue to refine and develop the model for a virtual university. We are writing the book on how to deliver educational programs online, which are both affordable and innovative.
Education at an Online University
Education in the virtual world is essentially a self-learning experience. We do not have buildings or offices which house professors who give lectures in large lecture halls and in some cases conduct research activities. Rather we use learned scientists and educators to help develop our course content which is then uploaded to our website for delivery to students. As a virtual university, course material is not “taught” by a professor or instructor, but rather learned by the student in a self-learning process.
Because programs are delivered in an asynchronous manner, students and faculty are not online at the same time. With students from many countries, it would not be possible for instructors and students to meet at the same times due to varying time zones and locations.
Consequently, our programs rely much more heavily on Information Technology (IT) staff rather than on teaching faculty. Our “Private Student Portals” represent an elegant and unique format in which we create a private website for each student where all relevant courses, financial records and academic records are centralized for easy access by the student at any time. We use our own pre-designed degree programs which are delivered over the internet by computer technology. Our course content as well as our degree programs are decided upon at the top with input from qualified people, rather than based on which particular faculty we have and what their individual specialties are. Basing a curriculum on what faculty an institution has is a restrictive approach to modern education, and limits somewhat the ability to deliver innovative programs. Our programs are predesigned in order to achieve consistency which does not exist where various instructors are permitted to conduct their own courses. We require our students (and hence our student mentors and guides) to follow a specific path to ensure that the highest quality of the educational outcome is achieved.
This concentration on consistency also benefits our students in that by generally supplying only a few Instructor/mentors for a particular program, the online student can become comfortable as to what is expected, and experience less variation (sometimes radical) in teaching styles commonly experienced when subjected to a different faculty member for every course.
From time to time applicants inquire about our teaching faculty. While we do have some “in house” faculty members, we rely primarily on learned experts who have generously made their lectures and knowledge available to the world online. So, through the use of video lectures and other online resources, our courses are “taught” by world-renowned experts, lecturers, and authors. Our in-house faculty members serve in the roles of Mentors and Advisors, answer questions, and generally supervise the course content. Here is an example of a video lecture from our Stem Cell Biology doctoral program describing early human fertilization and embryonic development, conducted by Douglas A. Melton, Professor, Harvard University and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute:
Here is an example of video instruction in our Education Design and Technology doctoral program discussing the Unity Game engine, and presented by its creative engineers:
Dr. Kelli Miller serves as our Director of Educational Programs. Once our overall programs are determined with input from learned educators, course content is assembled. As we notged above, we borrow video lectures from the internet made by eminent educators in various fields. These educators hold positions in the world’s best institutions. In this way, we can offer to our students lectures and content from qualified faculty from other institutions, yet which are not on our staff nor associated with us. Internationally acclaimed faculty thus become our faculty for some courses and lectures.
Each of our courses are carefully laid out for each student to follow, additional assignments are scheduled from time to time, and naturally exams are also in the mix. But in the main, our faculty and instructors are mentors and guides to the material presented.
(A) Permanent Staff
Professor Doctor Piotr Beck, Director of Admissions
D.Sc., Pharmacy, Poznan University of Medical Sciences (Poland)
Dr. Beck is a retired Professor from Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Krakow. Although trained in Pharmacy, his experience is in medical aspects of stem cell therapy. He becomes our first full time faculty member, and has assumed a variety of roles as we grow. Dr. Beck teaches courses in three of our doctoral degree programs: Biomedical Engineering, Stem Cell Biology, and Applied Biology and also at our Medical School. Dr. Beck is also our Director of Admissions.
Dr. Walter P. Drake, Director, Blue Marble University
J.D., University of Baltimore (USA); PhD , Panama College Of Cell Science
A published scientist in the field of tumor immunology, with 25 lead author research reports in bio-medical journals, Dr. Drake covers some of our most important courses in the bio-medical sciences. Moreover, as an experienced attorney in medical malpractice cases and medical insurance matters, Dr. Drake is an instructor/mentor in our Law program, and guides medical students in the non-medical courses included in our online MD program involving negligence law, medical device regulations, medical insurance, and medical negligence. Dr. Drake’s CV can be reviewed here: Walter P. Drake CV
Dr. Kelli Miller, Director of Blue Marble University Degree Programs
Ph.D., Capella University (USA)
Dr. Miller is an experienced educator in the post-secondary school environment. Prior to obtaining her doctoral degree in “Post-secondary and Adult Education”, she received a Masters Degree from Jones International University with a study specialization in “Challenges of Non-Traditional Adult Learners”. She has designed curricula and training programs for the State of Georgia. Most importantly to our students, Dr. Miller “wrote the book” on being a PhD Mentor and Editor for doctoral candidates. We are very happy to have Dr. Miller contributing to our new institution, and in addition to teaching various courses particularly for our Instructional Technology doctoral degree program, she serves as our overall Director of Degree Programs.
(B) Adjunct Staff: Part Time Instructors which we can go to on a rotating basis who have graciously expressed interest in teaching our programs and who have helped to guide the initial formulations of our Curricula. As our enrollment increases, more reliance on our adjunct staff will occur. (Not all staff listed)
Floyd Brown, Program Director, Computer Sciences
MS, Software Engineering, California State University (USA)
A veteran computer engineer in the aerospace industry, including Management Engineer at Northrup Grumman Corp, Floyd Brown brings a wealth of industry specific and real world knowledge to Blue Marble. He knows what is needed to get jobs, what proficiencies employers are looking for. Floyd is in the process of transitioning to a career in education and states: “As an educator, it is my belief that the mission is to make the students’ experience enjoyable and exciting”.
John R. Brown, Instructor, Adjunct Faculty Computer Sciences
MS, Computer Science, Columbia University (USA)
An accomplished software engineer whose work experience includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory, John R. Brown is an excellent addition to our staff
Dr. Robert M. Goodman, Program Director, Biology
PhD, Biochemistry, New York Medical College (USA)
In addition to a doctoral degree in Biochemistry, Dr. Goodman also obtained significant medical education at the Chicago Medical School, and thus is the perfect faculty member to manage our two biology programs. He is currently the Science Director and co-ordinator of international clinical trials at the National Clinical Trials Network, and has had a lengthy instructional experience as Adjunct Science Professor for Mercy College.
Dr. Eric Scott Harvey, Instructor, Adjunct Faculty, Computer Sciences
PhD, Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia (USA)
Experienced in the application of computer systems to the health care field, Dr. Harvey has rock solid credentials in biostatistics, as well as experience teaching graduate students online. He says: “A Project Portfolio is key…” in line with the Blue Marble approach that every student must develop an online portfolio showcasing their education and skills.
Amber A. Logan, Instructor, Adjunct Faculty Humanities
MA, Liberal Arts, Social Science and Creative Arts, Baker University, Kansas (USA)
Amber Logan was selected as a faculty member due to her extensive experience in post-secondary education, which includes prior experience as adjunct faculty with Baker University, in depth knowledge of instructional technology platforms, and serving as Associate Registrar for the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. She also holds an M.A. in International Relations from Webster University.
Brandi N. McKinley, Instructor, Adjunct Faculty Humanities
MA, Educational Leadership, University of South Florida (USA)
Brandi McKinley is a career educator with over ten years teaching experience including substantial time with the programs at University of Phoenix, and Ohio Christian University. She brings a lot of enthusiasm to mentoring online students.
Teresa Mushik, Program Director, Humanities
MA, Social Sciences/Education, Binghamton University, also known as State University of New York (USA); MA, Political Science, Binghamton University
An online instructor for various colleges and most recently for Empire State College teaching World History and History of the Enlightenment, Teresa Mushik is very well qualified to head up our Humanities program. She is a prolific writer as well as textbook editor, and will generate a fascinating program of learning for Blue Marble.
Sadia Rahman, Instructor, Adjunct Faculty Computer Sciences
MS, Computer Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology (USA)
Solid training and experience in Information Technology, database engineering, and server implementations.
Dr. Daniele Tosi, Program Director, Biomedical Engineering
Ph.D., Electronic Engineering, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Dr. Tosi is an accomplished and enthusiastic engineer who is specializing in signal processing and applied signal processing which has applications in many biomedical applications such as nanoparticle detection. She received among other things, a Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship from Santa Clara University (USA).
Leony Wolynez, Director of Student Online Portfolios
MS, Education, Touro College, New York (USA)
Leony Wolynez from the Philippines, also holds an MA degree in Education from the University of the Philippines, and is completing an MS in Instructional Technology from Touro College. Blue Marble University is exploring the implementation of a virtual world experience for some parts of our website, and Leony is a member of “Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education, 3D Training, Learning and Collaboration, and Role Playing Game Designers”. With her own online portfolio, she will help our students develop their own online portfolios to showcase their education and talents.
Melissa Zink, Instructor, Adjunct Faculty Humanities
BA, English, University of Houston (USA)
Melissa Zink is finalizing her thesis work for an MA in English at Northwestern University. Although her CV is not extensive, we liked her passion for education: “I love the entire process of writing and believe that it is a needed skill in every industry”. We agree, and that is why all of our fast track 5 year BS/DSc programs will include a writing segment.