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BY: Kendall Hunt
As a publishing company, we value our authors who present us with content that we can help bring to life. This month, let’s get to know Ellen Zimmerman and Debi Keyzer, co-authors of the eCurriculum, Bridging the First Year Experience!
To kick-start her career, Debi attended Northern Illinois University for her undergraduate degree in Education and Special Education. She attended Governors State University for a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. She gained extensive experience with students with diverse educational needs and backgrounds of all ages. She has been teaching at the college level since 2006 and has enjoyed the various roles she has occupied throughout her career including: department chair, program supervisor, adjunct instructor, teacher of students with special needs, inclusion facilitator, in-service trainer, mentor, team leader, assistive technology consultant, itinerant teacher, classroom teacher, preschool educator, and birth-to-three intervention specialist.
Co-author of Bridging the First Year Experience, Ellen Zimmerman, attended Illinois State University for a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Special Education and her Master’s Degree in School and Mental Health Counseling. Commenting on the development of this program, she said, “For almost 30 years I have worked with students of all ages and ability levels which gave me the knowledge base to build this comprehensive FYE curriculum.” In addition to her work in education, she has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor since 1998 and maintains a private practice in Barrington, Illinois.
When asked what made these two professionals want to author this text, Ellen responded:
“Debi and I have spent our careers working with individuals aged preschool through graduate school. This vast practical and hands-on experience has given us a knowledge base related to all stages of personal/educational development. This has driven our passion for addressing the whole student. Underlining this holistic approach is the aspiration to foster student success by allowing students to construct knowledge that fits their unique needs.”
Influenced by this background, Ellen and Debi are very excited to bring forth this dynamic platform full of content students and instructors find interesting, relevant, and in a word… fun! Utilizing current literature, legitimate online articles, interesting and thought-provoking videos, relevant research, and interactive lessons designed to enhance the student’s college experience and transformation, this content holds incredible value. Promoting intentional thinking and helping students become the best versions of themselves, Ellen and Debi bring their passion for engaging, relevant, and meaningful education creatively to this program.
In her personal life, Debi enjoys being active and loves to hike, walk, bike, and travel as she surrounds herself with family and friends. Debi’s thoughtful, caring, and kind family includes her husband, Mike, her 16-year-old daughter, Amy, and 13-year-old son, Matt. Debi is energized by new people and experiences and loves letting dancing, silliness, and movement bring joy and laughter into her life as she tries to engage in all three on a daily basis.
Lastly, Ellen and her son love living in central Illinois. An addition to being a sister, daughter, and friend to truly great people, Ellen loves reading fiction novels, visiting amusement parks, and watching reality television. She says that staying grounded is important in her daily life, so she loves to spend time engaged in yoga and meditation.
To learn more about the efforts of these two amazing authors, check out Bridging the First Year Experience here.