CTC Leadership Team

Ann Beheler

Principal Investigator, Collin College

Ann Beheler has been in the Information Technology industry for over 30 years, and she is now responsible for Emerging Technology grants at Collin College. In that capacity she leads the National Information, Security, and Geospatial Technologies Consortium, an almost $20 million DOL TAACCCT grant and the National Convergence Technology Center, a $4.4 million National Science Foundation grant. Ann has corporate experience, has led her own consulting firm, has created and taught in one of the first networking degree programs in Texas, and has previously managed IT-related divisions and grants ranging $1-$20 million in community colleges in Texas and California. Prior to her current position, she was Vice President of Academic Affairs for Porterville College, responsible for all instruction at the college, and prior that she was a Dean at both Orange Coast College in California and at Collin College. Among other things, Ann is known for effectively bringing together business and industry using a streamlined process to identify with them the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) they predict will be needed by “right-skilled” job candidates in the future. She then works with faculty to align curriculum such that those who complete certificates and degrees in IT have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that will make them readily employable in high-paying IT positions. Ann holds a PhD in Community College Leadership from Walden University, a MS in Computer Science from Florida Institute of Technology, and a BS in Math from Oklahoma State University.

Michael Coffman

Collin College

Michael Coffman is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Collin College; he started working at Collin in 2016. Prior to Collin College, Coffman served as the Dean for Career and Technical Education at John A. Logan College, where he developed and oversaw various grants including Perkins, Illinois Green Environment Network, Accelerated Opportunities and National Science Foundation. During his time at JALC he managed 85 CTE programs. He served as an Associate Professor for 10 years at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, School of Information Systems and applied Technologies (ISAT) College of Applied Science and Arts. He was the program evaluator for the Accreditation Council of Independent Colleges and Schools; and co-chair for the Networking Session at the 12th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics in which his work was voted Best Paper in Session. He has authored and published several articles and manuscripts in reference to technology. Coffman holds a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL; a MS in Industrial Vocational Technical Education from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO; a BS in Functional Major I Electricity/Electronics Technology from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO and an AA in Pre-Engineering from Jefferson College, Hillsboro, MO.

Ernie Friend

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Ernest (Ernie) Friend is employed by Florida State College at Jacksonville, a values-driven institution of higher education committed to ensuring that every student has an extraordinarily positive overall experience headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. The college provides optimal access to high quality, affordable and relevant degree, career and community education to enhance the lives of our students and the economic development of Northeast Florida. Ernie holds a B.S. degree in Electronics Management from Southern Illinois University. He has more than 25 years of Information Technology management and academic experience in the military and with Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ). Since 1994, working at FSCJ he has been involved in many phases of computer networking infrastructure management and design. At the college he manages a two year college credit networking degree with about 2000 students. The two year degree has specializations in CCNA, CCNP, Voice, Security, Virtualization, and Open Source Operating Systems. In addition he created and manages a BAS in Computer Networking degree with about 650 students. He has created partnership with some of the biggest names in I.T. including Cisco, EMC, VMware, Citrix, Redhat, and others. He has considerable experience in working with the regional business community creating new and innovative programs that address the needs of the regional I.T. workforce.

Elizabeth Halweg

Fox Valley Technical College

Elizabeth Halweg is employed by Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton Wisconsin. The college provides high quality learning experiences to enhance the lives of the students and the economic development of Northeast Wisconsin. Elizabeth holds a MS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Vocational and Technical Education and a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Management Information Systems. After 20 years of work experience in the Telecommunications field, she is now an instructor of Information Technology at Fox Valley Technical College and has been there since August of 2000. As a strong proponent of STEM education, Elizabeth started the GirlTech summer camp at Fox Valley Technical College to expose young girls to STEM technologies. In 2008, Elizabeth became involved with the Converged Technology Center as a Mentored College and now supports the National CTC as a Converged College Network (CCN) board member and Co-PI on the National CTC grant. Elizabeth is committed to meeting established targeted goals in expansion of the CCN to 60 members and the virtual delivery of high-demand converged technology courses.

Michael Harsh

Collin College

Michael Harsh has served on multiple advisory councils including national and local committees for Cyber-security, Computer Networking and Convergence. He has been active with the Convergence grant for approximately 13 years; some of the activities for the grant includes presenting at both local and national conferences. He has assisted in writing and re-writing the HTI program and the DHTI program. Michael has two associate degrees from Collin College and a BAAS degree from the University of North Texas.

Chris Kadlec

Georgia Southern University

Dr. Chris Kadlec is an Associate Professor at Georgia Southern University in the Information Technology Department and joined the faculty there in 2007. He received his PhD from the University of Georgia from the Terry College of Business in Information Systems. He worked in IT support prior to his graduate work at the same university and at the University of Mississippi. He has worked in IT support for over twenty years and has taught in the field for over fifteen. Chris is an advocate for students and the field of Information Technology. To help both of these, he is currently working on articulation agreements between universities and community colleges, ensuring that students can get the latest skills and the best jobs while satisfying the needs of the business community.

David Keathly

Co-PI, University of North Texas

David Keathly received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical from Oklahoma State University and is a PhD Candidate at the University of North Texas. After 20 years of experience in developing military and commercial products, including a patent in image processing, as well as adjunct faculty assignments at Collin County Community College and the UT-Dallas, he joined the faculty in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas as a Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor in the Fall of 2004. He is now a Principal Lecturer in the same department. He was an SGA Honors Professor in 2005 and has received the Outstanding Student Advisor award from the Student Life Office, and a Meritorious Service Award from the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Council. David is a Senior Member of the IEEE and is the faculty advisor for the IEEE Computer Society Student Chapter, the UNT Robotics Society and the UNT Programming Teams, in addition to his involvement with various recruiting and retention programs. David is also Co-Director of the RoboCamp summer program for middle and high school students, and a Co-PI with the National Convergence Technology Center, an NSF program headquartered at Collin College in Frisco, TX.

Belicia Miraval Albornoz

El Centro College - DCCCD

Belicia Miraval Albornoz is a Faculty at Dallas County Community College District, El Centro College. She is Networking/Security and PC Support Programs Coordinator of STEM Division at El Centro College. Belicia won the Certificate of Course Recognition for successfully meeting the Quality Matters Rubric Standards 2014 for Network Defense. She is dedicated and committed to students’ success and to excellence in and out of the classroom. She earned a Bachelor Degree in Economics with honors and she has more than 10 years of professional experience in different industries such as banking, accounting, logistics, information technology and teaching. She have been trained and certified in different technologies and she have applied hands-on knowledge of these technologies in the corporate and college settings. Belicia’s current teaching load includes Cisco Networking Courses, VMware vSphere 6.0, Intro EMCv2, Windows Server Administration Fundamentals, and Network Defense Countermeasures Courses.

Brian Nelson

Lansing Community College

Brian Nelson spent 27.5 years as an adjunct instructor at Lansing Community College before becoming a full time faculty member in January of 2015.. He spent the first 20 years teaching in the Electronics Technology Program. He taught DC, AC and semiconductor circuit analysis classes as well as Linear Circuit applications. He then transitioned into the Computer Information Technology Program where he has taught a targeted math class, Home Technology Integration, computer troubleshooting, A+ prep and wireless networking. He has been the lead instructor for Home Technology Integration since 2007. He has been actively involved in the Convergence Grant activity having taught an HTI tract at the Summer Working Connections as well as authoring some curriculum. Brian holds a BSEE degree from Michigan State University. He holds certifications in A+, DHTI+ and Network+. Brian retired from GM after 33.5 years being employed full time as an engineer. He had spent the last 28 years working on advanced powertrain control systems.

CTC Grant Staff

Mark Dempsey

Assistant Director

Mark Dempsey joined Collin College in 2012 as program manager for the National Convergence Technology Center. In his current position, he plans and manages the CTC’s special programs and events as well as provides operational support to the CTC Director. Prior to Collin College, Mark worked for eight years at UCLA Extension, the continuing education division of UCLA. There, he worked first as an assistant to the director of UCLA Extension's Entertainment Studies & Performing Arts department, helping coordinate academic projects and special events, and later as a program representative, managing domestic and international custom-designed seminar programs. For several years during his tenure at UCLA Extension, Mark also served as a co-instructor for the capstone online class "The Business of Hollywood," which employed a unique role-playing element to explore strategies of film financing and negotiation. Before joining UCLA Extension, Mark was a development executive at an independent feature film production company, Echo Lake Productions. He has also worked as a freelance script analyst for Silver Pictures. Mark holds a BA in Cinema from Southern Methodist University and an MFA from Loyola Marymount University.

Tricia Conner

Web Communications Editor

Tricia Conner joined Collin College in 2014 as the Web Communications Editor for the National Information Security, Geospatial Technologies Consortium (NISGTC), where she maintained the NISGTC website, created flyers and other promotional materials for IT events, managed social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the grant as well as documented and recorded any conference, event, meeting, etc. as needed. In March of 2015, Tricia was asked to take on the related responsibilities for the Convergence Technology Center as well and split her time between the DOL and NSF grants. After the NISGTC grant ended on September 30, 2015, Tricia switched to full time with the Convergence Technology Center. Tricia has a passion for multimedia and digital communications and holds a BA in dual majors of Photography and Multimedia Authoring and Communications from Sam Houston State University. Prior to Collin College, Tricia worked for over 6 years at the First Baptist Church in Allen, TX as the Media Arts Specialist, where she handled the website, social media and print designs for all ministry departments. Before that, Tricia has also been a photographer and videographer at Sea World, Discovery Cove and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, which also included the development and launching pilot team of the current PhotoPass program for the Disney Company.

Debbie Miller

Manager, Program Reporting

Debbie Miller joined the National Convergence Technology Center in January 2016 where she is responsible for program budgeting and data collection. Prior to joining the CTC, Debbie worked as Manager Program Reporting for the National Information, Security, and Geospatial Technologies Consortium (NISGTC) DOL Grant from 2012 – 2015 at Collin College. In that position she worked closely with the Executive Director and 7 consortium partner project leads to gather, analyze, and prepare narrative for the Quarterly and Annual Performance Reports.

Debbie has 25+ years of Financial, Planning, and Analysis (FP&A) experience within the Telecommunications Industry working for Nortel and Ericsson. Her FP&A roles included experience in financial planning, analysis, financial reporting, and consolidations. Debbie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from the University of Tennessee.

Christina Titus

Program Manager - CCTA (Centers Collaborative for Technical Assistance)

Christina Titus came to Collin College in 2012 to work for the Networking, Information Security, Geospatial Technology Consortium (NISGTC), which was funded by a $20 million Department of Labor grant. Since 2015, she has been the Program Director for the Centers Collaborative for Technical Assistance (CCTA) NSF grant. Her role is to ensure the success and quality of programs, while overseeing the day-to-day operations and timelines in collaboration with the Executive Director. Christina’s previous experience as an administrative assistant, a lab supervisor, and a payroll clerk, together gave her experience with managing projects and planning events. Christina holds a BBA in Marketing from Our Lady of the Lake University and an MBA in Management from Texas A&M Commerce.