We integrate a humane approach to education, professional quality, diversity, experience and innovation to articulate, develop and sustain educational initiatives at local, national and international levels.
Our interdisciplinary team, with over 100 years of collective experience, prides itself on its state-of-the-art training and cutting-edge research practices used to improve educational quality. We have worked in educational projects by UNESCO’s Teacher Training Initiative; MESH Guides in England; the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); the American Educational Research Association (AERA); the Ibero-American Institute of Natural and Cultural Heritage, “Andres Bello” Agreement (IPANC- CAB); and hundreds of other educational institutions, universities and governments in more than 40 countries around the world.
The collaborative work of the team aims to support all actors in the system, including policy makers, researchers, educational organizations and institutions, families, students and especially teachers who have the greatest influence on quality.
Our work is primarily focused on 1) developing personal and professional skills sets and processes core to the learning sciences 2) research in the learning sciences 3) advice on issues and projects related to the learning sciences.
Help individuals, groups and learning communities maximize their potential through on-going training, research and strategy development using an interdisciplinary and international approach.
To lead a change in the way humans learn in modern society by fostering natural intellectual curiosity, the use of multi-modal access to information, designing engaging experiences, and valuing collaborative and inclusive teamwork.
- Help individuals, groups and learning communities maximize their potential.
- Catalyze educational change.
- Encourage personal and professional reflection with a transdisciplinary lens.
- Optimize the possibilities of the digital universe and the democratization of knowledge.
Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, Ph.D.
Tracey is a Professor of Education and Neuropsychology and is currently an educational researcher affiliated with the Latin American Social Science Research Faculty (FLACSO) in Quito and teaches a course at the Harvard University Extension School entitled ”The Neuroscience of Learning: An Introduction to Mind, Brain, Health and Education Science”. She is editor of Nature Partner Journal Science of Learning. She is a former member of the OECD expert panel to redefine Teachers’ New Pedagogical Knowledge due to contributions from Technology and Neuroscience. She has taught Kindergarten through University and is ex-Director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning (IDEA) and former Director of Online Learning at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
Tracey’s vision is to improve the social, democratic and economic structures of countries through a better educated population. She strongly believes in the active role of universities as change agents to influence public policy. She has more than 27 years of teaching, administrative and research experience and believes firmly in the power of a single teacher to change many lives.
Tracey is author of nine books and dozens of peer review articles on themes ranging from multilingualism, to Mind, Brain, and Education, and 21st century skills.She has coordinated multiple international research projects and facilitates hundreds of workshops for thousands of teachers each year. Her clients include the Government of Costa Rica, the Dutch Government, the Government of Ecuador, the International Baccalaureate Organisation, international school associations in Europe (ECIS, Switzerland, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom), Latin America (Tri-Asociación, Colombia, Panama, Peru Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico), North America (USA, Canada, Mexico), Asia (TAISI, EARCOS, India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand), the Middle East (Israel, Iran), and businesses such as Procter & Gamble, Gymboree, Ares Sorono, and ASCD.
Her current research focuses on the integration of Mind, Brain, and Education science into teachers’ daily practice and professional development; changes in curriculum to enhance early math and pre-literacy skills; bilingualism and multilingualismñ and the leveraging of technology to enhance learning outcomes.
Tracey is a member of AERA (American Education Research Association), WERA (World Education Research Association), IMBES (International Mind, Brain, and Education Society) and Invited Founding Expert of the Science of Learning Community. She received her BA in International Relations and BS in Communications from Boston University (magna cum laude), her Master’s in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and her Ph.D. from Capella University.
Cynthia Borja, Ph.D.
Cynthia Borja has a PhD in Psychology from Capella University (USA), a Master’s in Psychology from Boston University (USA), and a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College (USA). She has been a part-time and full-time professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) and Universidad de Las Américas Quito (Ecuador) since 2009. Since 2011 she has been the President of Fundación Mykah, an non for profit organization dedicated to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ecuador. From 2014 to 2019 she was Dean of the Schoof of Psychology at Universidad de Las Américas Quito..
Monserrat Creamer, Ph.D.
Monserrat Creamer Guillén was Minister of Education of Ecuador from June 2019 to May 2021, a period during which she represented the country in regional and global forums in order to ensure the continuity of learning during the pandemic and share educational transformations. She has a Ph.D. of Education from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and has a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Edu-Communication from Alabama University (USA) and the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana respectively, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from PUCE (Ecuador).
Monserrat has a long professional career in the field of education and teaching. She was Director of Education at Grupo FARO, where she implemented the Learning Communities program, endorsed by CREA (Research Center) of the Universidad de Barcelona (2017-2019). She was Director of Academic Excellence at UDLA and advisor of CES for the redesign of university courses according to the 2011 Regulations (2014-2016); She was coordinator and teacher of the Education area at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (2002-2010). She has been a Reading Writing Critical Thinking accredited text author and trainer on Developing Critical Thinking in the classroom and other education articles. She has experience in educational project management and public policy analysis. She was undersecretary of Educational Professional Development, and of Educational Foundations and advisor to the Ministry of Education for the project to create the UNAE-National University of Education (2010-2013).
Likewise, she has experience in coordinating academic areas and teaching Language, Literature and Social at the Colegio Menor (1996-2002). In the field of Communication, she studied at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. She ucab-Vzla and she was Coordinator of the Press Unit of the National Art Gallery-GAN in Caracas-Vzla (1978-79). Later in Ecuador she was a news reporter with Diego Oquendo and Polo Barriga. She developed national TV coverage of the Monsignor Leonidas Proaño Literacy Campaign (1981-89).
Adriana Arellano, MA
Adriana Arellano is an independent consultant in design, evaluation and implementation of public policies, with an emphasis on educational policy, and also devotes her time to the design of development projects and the preparation of grant proposals. Adriana was Research and Knowledge Management Director of Grupo FARO, an Ecuadorian research center. There, she promoted the quality of research and adequate knowledge management within the organization, led diversity of research projects, designed numerous projects, coordinated the presentation of proposals to donors and was author and co-author in a variety of publications and chapters from books. She has concentrated his research work is educational policy, in particular at the higher education and that related to research. Prior to this, Adriana worked in the Ministry of Social Development Coordination, first as Education Specialist, and then as Director of Policy Management and later as an Investment Advisor in the Coordinating Ministry of Production, Employment and Competitiveness.
Adriana has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Social Policy Administration from the Florida State University, where she also participated in the institution’s project research team.
Adriana is Quito (Ecuador) and for a year she has lived in the province of Manabí, where she also seeks to contribute with her contribution to several local development projects.
Mishel Tirira Vallejo, BA.
Mishel studied Organizational Communications and Public Relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador). She is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Universidad Anáhuac de México.
She worked at Instituto IDEA (Institute for Teaching and Learning) of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in the coordination of promotion and logistic of projects and events related to education for six years. She has written several articles for IDEA´s educational journal, Para el Aula as well as for local newspapers. Since September 2015, she serves as a volunteer in a Scout group in Quito where she works with teenagers from 11 to 15 years old. Mishel is interested in all aspects of communication, social networks, public relations, and social projects that develop and support people through the promotion of high quality education and help the integral development of each person, respecting their individuality and context.
Dieuwerke (Dee) Rutgers, Ph.D.
Although originally from the Netherlands, Dee has lived in the UK for 10 years and in Ecuador for 3, and speaks four languages (Dutch, English, Spanish, and German). Multilingualism and multiculturalism thus lie at the core to her personal and professional identity. She has a PhD in Education from the University of Cambridge, UK, and is currently based in UK, where she works in some projects in Cambridge University. Her research and teaching are driven by a fascination with the cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of bi/multilingualism and their relevance for education. Additionally, she is passionate about supporting the development of critical thinking and research skills in students across the globe. Her specific areas of expertise are multilingualism and multilingual language development; bilingual education and content-and-language-integrated learning (CLIL); critical thinking and critical reading skills; educational research; qualitative research.
Jovi Nazareno, ALM Degree Candidate
During undergraduate school is when Jovi first began connecting psychology, English, and education. She noticed that the fondness she has for writing, which grew throughout childhood, became a valuable protective factor in school success. She also began tutoring in a writing center, where she observed the psychological factors that helped or hindered the growth of students. Motivated to improve her teaching and writing ability, Jovi grew interested in personality and writing, practices for assessing writing, and using writing to assess learning. Jovi then began a career as an editor/writer working with engineers, scientists, and management professionals where she again observed how the ability to learn new skills, such as writing, is valuable throughout life. Jovi hopes to further her knowledge about mind, brain, health, and education, and in doing so, to help find practical ways to maximize each person’s potential.
Joanna Ochoa, M.Ed.
Joanna is committed to education in all its fields. From the experiences gained in the field of professional education she has developed a commitment to contribute to the education of students from different social and academic backgrounds through effective leadership and innovative instruction.
Danielle S. Batchelor, MA.
Danielle has a particular interest in the transdisciplinary field of Mind (psychology), Brain (neuroscience), and Education and serves on the teaching team for a course offered through the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education called The Neuroscience of Learning: An Introduction to Mind, Brain, Health and Education, led by Dr. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. The notion that there is “no cognition without emotion”, fueled her interest in social and emotional learning (SEL) and the value of positive psychology as important models for human learning and thriving, and she recently completed a study through the Harvard Graduate School of Education on high school teacher mindsets and their attitudes on SEL in secondary schools. She is also a certified Health and Wellness Coach (with a Lifestyle Medicine certificate).
A testament to neuroplasticity and one’s ability to learn throughout the lifespan (think: Old dog, new tricks!), Danielle studied musical theater at Northwestern University, earning a bachelor of science. She began her career as a project manager for an online entertainment company (games, short films, animations) in San Francisco, California, and later owned her own consumer products business (earning two U.S. Utility Patents) in Houston, Texas. Danielle returned to school in her 40s with the intention of shifting to a helping field, and completed a master’s degree at Harvard University (Extension Studies, field of Psychology) in service to that goal. Her big-picture vision is to translate what she has learned (and continues to learn!) in order to help more people—and more types of people—gain access to a better education.
Danielle is an educator, a researcher, a mom, a painter, and a self-described theater-geek, and she is delighted to collaborate with the very talented members of the Conexiones team! She volunteers for Carnegie Vanguard High School (program admission by lottery system, 100% gifted and talented student body) in Houston, and serves as Co-Director for the Northwestern University Alumni Admission Council, which conducts all interviews for prospective students applying to Northwestern from the Houston area. She says: Cheers to having a “beginner’s mind” as you age and to following your curiosity wherever it may take you!
Cheryl Martens, Ph.D.
Cheryl Martens tiene un Doctorado en Sociología de la Universidad de Manchester (Reino Unido), una Maestría en Lingüística aplicada de la Universidad de Macquarie (Australia) y una Licenciatura con honores en Ciencias Políticas del Programa de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad de York (Canadá). Ella es profesora de investigación de sociología en la Universidad San Francisco de Quito y profesora invitada en la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina, donde ha impartido el módulo básico de Lectura Crítica para el Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Sociales desde 2011. Anteriormente era profesora senior en la Facultad de Medios y Comunicación de la Universidad de Bournemouth en el Reino Unido, profesora de investigación en periodismo y directora de investigación en la Universidad de las Américas UDLA (2014-2016). Además, Cheryl trabajó como consultora para el Consejo de Educación Superior (CES) en el Régimen Académico de Ecuador y lideró investigación sobre bienestar universitario con el Consejo de Evaluación, Acreditación y Aseguramiento de la Calidad (CEAACES); fue coordinadora académica de la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) en Guayaquil. Asimismo, Cheryl enseñó en la Universidad de Bellas Artes en Londres, la Universidad de Manchester (Reino Unido), la Universidad de Bratislava (Eslovaquia) y la Universidad Internacional de Hiroshima (Japón). Ha dirigido varios procesos de capacitación docente para la metodología de investigación; ha publicado una serie de trabajos en Comunicación con Sage, la prensa de la Universidad Fordham y las publicaciones de Palgrave MacMillan. Las publicaciones cubren temas relacionados con la comunicación, la tecnología, la sociología, la economía política, los medios de comunicación, la cultura digital, el género, el VIH, la metodología de investigación y el bienestar.
Belén Vásconez, Ma.
Belén is a clinical psychologist. She has a Master’s degree in Research in Health Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Personal and Youth Development. She is the coordinator of Psychological Counseling at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She is the former National Director of the emotional education Foundation La Akademia, and is university professor.
Isabel Solano, M.Ed.
Isabel has worked in several private institutions of Higher Education dedicated to the needs of the educational environment and to generate training products that help teachers to play their role successfully. Isabel has also facilitated interactive workshops related to pedagogical topics that provide teachers with tools to implement a more participatory and dynamic teaching. She is committed to include enriching learning experiences in education that help empower knowledgeable and critical individuals in our environment.
Karina Delgado, Ph.D.
Chacko Abraham, Ph.D.
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