ASQ - Education Division

Division Leadership


Belinda Chavez

Belinda Chavez is the Agency Audits and JSC S&MA Operations Manager for Honeywell Technical Solutions, Inc., in support of the NASA Safety Center Audits and Assessment Office. She has over 25 years of Safety and Quality experience. Belinda is a graduate of Louisiana Technical University with a Master of Business Administration and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology.

Belinda served on the ASQ Board of Directors (2007-2012), was Section Affairs Council Chair (2010-2012), Region 14/14A Director (2007-2012), Region 14A Deputy Regional Director (2013-2014), Aviation, Space and Defense Division VOC Chair (2013-2014), Section 1422 VOC Chair (2014), and Section 1418 Nominating Committee Chair (2011-14). She co-Chairs the Performance Awards and Recognition (PAR) program and previously chaired the Quality Management Process (QMP) Program and Section Affairs Council Student Branch Committee. Belinda participated in numerous ASQ committees and task forces including Strategic Business Planning Committee, Public Policy Advisory Council, Education & Training Initiative, Membership Committee, Economic Case for Quality, ASQ Global, Member Value task force, Roundtable Discussion task force. She also served as a Baldrige National Examiner for two years and Examiner for Quality Texas for two years.

Belinda is an ASQ Fellow and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, and ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, an IPCM Certified Manager, and George Group Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. She has received numerous company and NASA awards including a USA Safety Quest Award, a NASA Space Flight Awareness Award, and the NASA Astronaut Silver Snoopy Award, and NASA Group Achievement Awards.

Chair-Elect and Quality Education Conference Chair

Norma Simons
Performance Innovation LLC

Norma S. Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC., firmly believes in and is committed to providing companies with effective solutions that yield bottom-line results. She has worked with advised and consulted with all size companies including many Fortune 500 companies and has, individually, coached many of their top executives. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty at Cleary University and teaches statistics in the MBA program.

Over the years, Norma’s various projects and solutions have helped to improve performance for a wide array of clientele. Norma’s philosophy and practice is to tailor and develop specific solutions and programs for clients and/or specific subgroups, whether for on-going processes or a particular project of importance. Her extensive consulting and training experience includes Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Problem Solving, Statistics, Design of Experiments, Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), Quality System Implementation, and Lean Six Sigma – just to name a few areas.

Norma was honored by the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group) as a Distinguished Contributor for her instrumental contributions in the development of guidelines for establishing a Business Operating System (BOS). The Business Operating System is a mechanism for guaranteeing that all of the key ingredients of a business unit & success, including its day-to-day activities, are, in fact, continuously focused on and aligned with the organization’s underlying vision and goals. In addition to the guidelines for a model system, Norma has also developed actual Business Operating Systems for various entities, which have, in turn, enabled those organizations to integrate their processes, thus resulting in increased profitability and other bottom-line improvements for specific plants or divisions, as well as for the overall organization.

With regard to her own certifications, Norma is an ASQ Fellow, a Certified Quality Engineer, a Certified Reliability Engineer, and a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Norma has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in addition to degrees, from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, in Natural Sciences and Education.

Norma is professional, energetic and diplomatic and is continually well-received by all levels of her clients’ organizations.

Immediate Past Chair and Nominating Committee Chair

Fernando F. Padro

Dr. Padró has been a researcher in higher education quality assurance for almost 30 years. He is currently at the University of Southern Queensland in an academic staff (faculty) capacity with the responsibility in the quality area in the Learning, Teaching, and Quality Unit. He is a Senior Member of ASQ and is a Faculty Fellow with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He has published over 40 peer-reviewed artifacts and made over 70 conference presentations in the US and abroad. He is the editor of the Education Division's Quality Approaches in Higher Education.

Dr. Padró has been a Baldrige Examiner for four years and has served as a Peer Reviewer for The Higher Learning Commission's Project AQIP. He is on the editorial board of TQM Magazine and has been elected Faculty Fellow for the NASPA. He is a senior member of ASQ, served as the Education Division Chair (2013-2014), and chaired the Higher Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Padro has published articles in ASQ's Journal for Quality and Participation and the ASQ Higher Education Brief.

Secretary, Twitter/Social Media

Vicki Fawcett-Adams

Vicki Fawcett-Adams, Ed.D., recently earned her doctorate in education from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. Her dissertation focused on the motivation and influences on science career choice from the adult perspective. She holds a BS from Cornell University, a MA from Rollins College and a MS from Barry University. Vicki came on board as a volunteer with ASQ Education Division while presenting her research poster at the Division STEM conference and attending subsequent conferences as moderator and participant.

Dr. Fawcett-Adams has presented her empirical research at more than 15 state, regional, and international conferences and is continuing to present her significant findings at conferences nationwide. She is a frequent contributor to ASQ Education Division newsletters. As a team leader for ASQ’s Education Division, she also monitors the Division’s Twitter page, manages the ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda LinkedIn page and other social media platforms.

Vicki Fawcett-Adams, Ed.D., recently earned her doctorate in education from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. Her dissertation focused on the motivation and influences on science career choice from the adult perspective. She holds a BS from Cornell University, a MA from Rollins College and a MS from Barry University.

Vicki came on board as a volunteer with ASQ Education Division while presenting her research poster at the Division STEM conference and attending subsequent conferences as moderator and participant. Dr. Fawcett-Adams has presented her empirical research at more than 15 state, regional, and international conferences and is continuing to present her significant findings at conferences nationwide. She is a frequent contributor to ASQ Education Division newsletters. As a team leader for ASQ’s Education Division, she also monitors the Division’s Twitter page, manages the ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda LinkedIn page and other social media platforms.

Treasurer and Social Responsibility Committee Liaison and Discussion Board Moderator

David Davis

David Davis is a team lead at New West Technologies, a consulting firm specializing in fields of energy, transportation, building, and education. He implements program and project management policy, with a focus on the development, collection, and analysis of performance metrics, and the planning and execution of project management and grants management training. He has previously applied his quality management skills in the surveying and mapping industry, and for a small grant-maker serving academic institutions, nonprofit groups, and state and local government.

David has developed and delivered training on quality auditing, project management, records management, and related subjects. He has also developed public education materials on grants administration, and a range of environmental and energy-related topics. He holds a master’s degree in management from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi. A senior member of ASQ, David is an ASQ-certified quality auditor and manager of quality and organizational excellence, and a Project Management Institute-certified project management professional.

Auditing Committee Chair

DeAnna Nwanko

DeAnna M. Nwankwo is the Corporate Compliance Officer at Core Laboratories and is responsible for the Ethics program globally. She is also the Quality Assurance Director for one of the seven business units of Core Laboratories responsible for laboratories in the western hemisphere. DeAnna has more than thirty years of quality assurance expertise in the petroleum and environmental laboratory fields as well as more than ten years’ experience in corporate compliance and governance.

DeAnna has been a member of ASQ for 15 years. She is an ASQ Senior Member and a Certified Quality Auditor. DeAnna brings several years of financial compliance experience to the Division with five years as a Section Treasurer and five years as a Section Audit Committee Chair, She also served one year as Section Programs Chair and several years as a Section Certification Exam Proctor.

Membership Committee Chair

Connie Smith

Connie Smith has worked in support staff roles for the past 20 years for a variety of organizations, the past 9 years in higher education, and is currently the Administrative Secretary in the Center for Learning and Academic Success at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa. Previous to this position in the college, Connie worked as an Operations Assistant in the Center for Business and Community Education and was responsible for maintaining and submitting program data for year-end state reporting purposes.

Connie is a Full member of ASQ. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and a master’s degree in higher education administration with a leadership emphasis from Upper Iowa University, in Fayette, Iowa. She is passionate about supporting input/feedback from the bottom-up and engaging in grassroots efforts to improve the structure and function of higher education organizations through the implementation of quality processes and the incorporation of knowledge management principles.

Education Chair

Lee Jenkins, PhD

Lee Jenkins is a career educator with a passion for improving student learning in schools. His career was in the California public schools where he served as a teacher, math/science coordinator, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. In the middle of his career he taught and administered at Oregon State University. Jenkins’ earliest publications were with mathematics manipulatives starting in 1971 with It's a Tangram World. This publication, plus other math books, propelled his speaking career taking him to many USA cities plus some locales in Canada, Europe and Latin America.

His work with leadership and curriculum solidified in the 1990's when he integrated the systems thinking of W. Edwards Deming. He brought back these principles to his school systems and then in 2001 began consulting and writing full-time. He started his own consulting firm, From LtoJ Consulting Group, Inc. (The term LtoJ is from the shape of the graph beginning with an L-curve at the beginning of the year, proceeding through the bell-curve mid-year and ending the year with a J-curve).

One of the most powerful aspects of Jenkins' teaching and writing is creating the team of learners in classrooms everywhere. His most recent publications are:

  • Improving Student Learning: Applying Deming's Quality Principles in Classrooms
  • Permission to Forget: And Nine Other Root Causes of America's Frustration with Education
  • From Systems Thinking to Systemic Action
  • Boot Camp for K-12 Leaders: Continuous Improvement In addition he has edited five books by classroom teachers explaining their implementation of Jenkins' principles in their classrooms.

Voice of the Customer Chair

Steven Schulka
Adjunct Professor
California State University Dominguez Hills

Steven Schuelka is an Adjunct Professor for California State University Dominguez Hills. He has been an ASQ member for nearly 35 years and is a Senior member, ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Reliability Engineer, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence. He is currently serving a second term as a member of the ASQ Board of Directors (2013-2016), is Regional Director for Region 12 (2010-2016), served as the ASQ SAC Vice Chair (2013-2014), Chair of the Voice of the Customer Committee (2013-2014) and current VOC Committee member, QMP Committee member (2010-2012), Statistics Division Outreach Chair (2014-2015), and Education Division VoC Chair (2015).

Steven received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Statistics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in Engineering degree from Purdue University. He has taught numerous seminars in SPC, CQE prep courses, and classes on the Design of Experiments at a variety of colleges around Chicago over the past thirty years. Steven began his career in quality with Phillips Petroleum as a quality engineer, and then spent 15 years with Inland Steel Company as a statistical engineer and supervisor, then five years employed by The Methodist Hospitals as an Organizational Performance Manager, and as a reliability engineer and statistical consultant on the Space Shuttle Program before turning to academia. Steven was the Director of the Master of Science in Quality Assurance program at Calumet College for five years before becoming a lecturer at Purdue University and an adjunct professor for California State University.

Workforce Development Chair

Ardith Beitel

Ardith Beitel is an Internal Auditor for Boeing Test and Evaluation based in Seattle. Her work life is in manufacturing QA, predominately in automotive, with print/packaging and now aerospace to the mix. Her favorite quality areas are prototype quality, training and auditing.

She is a senior member of ASQ and has served extensively as a volunteer leader in ASQ. She had the pleasure to teach at a college level and share quality principles with an entire countywide consolidated school district while in Detroit, all thanks to ASQ volunteering. (Just a shameless plug for this great professional community!) She taught two classes; Quality Management and Teamwork and Problem Solving. In addition, she has provided on-the-job training, informally and in classes to her co-workers, giving her insight to the successful skills required for workforce training.

Her desire to be in this leadership position in the Education Division comes from an innate desire to spread knowledge as part of the ASQ professional community. Ardith’s insight: "Our field is relatively young and still searching for acceptance in many industries. We have so much to offer society and it all begins with understanding. I believe if we have the correct tools and dynamic ability to adapt their applications we can truly increase the quality of life in the world."

Examining Chair 

Don Brecken

Don Brecken is Instructor/Business Program Advisor for Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI. Don is also Director of Quality for Commercial Tool & Die, Inc. located in Comstock Park, MI. His background includes quality leadership, higher education, continuous improvement, operations learning and development, management consulting, quality auditing, and management system implementation.

Don is an ASQ Fellow, past Chair of ASQ Section 1001 (Grand Rapids), Regional Director for ASQ Region 10, and served on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners in 2004, 2005, and 2007. He is an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Orgnaizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) and RABQSA Certified Business Improvement Auditor (QMS-BI).

Don earned his MBA in Strategic Management from Davenport University’s Sneden Graduate School. He has three undergraduate degrees in business with a Technical Specialty in Quality Leadership.

Don also instructs graduate and undergraduate courses in quality management, strategic management, operations management, and leadership at Davenport and Ferris State Universities.

Higher Education Chair

Julie A. Furst-Bowe

Julie Furst-Bowe is currently serving as the 8th Chancellor of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, a metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students that has been nationally recognized as an “up and coming” institution by the U.S. News and World Report. SIUE has been engaged in quality improvement initiatives for more than a decade and is a member of the Academic Quality Improvement Program. Prior to this position, Dr. Furst-Bowe served as the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the first and only university to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Dr. Furst-Bowe is an internationally-recognized expert on quality improvement in higher education. She has edited two books on this topic and is a frequent speaker at national and international quality conferences. She is active in several national and international quality organizations and was recently featured in “Who’s Who in Quality,” by the American Society for Quality.

K-12 Chair

Gina Hare

Gina Hare has over 30 years of experience in training, organizational development, and business administration. She has worked in the human resources field for both private industry and public education.

Gina is the Director of Operations and a Senior Consultant for Jim Shipley & Associates (JSA), a consulting firm specializing in training K-12 educators in the implementation of systems improvement. Gina uses the Baldrige Criteria and Core Values to align and improve the internal business operations for Jim Shipley & Associates. Gina is a skilled project manager who works closely with K-12 educational leaders across the country to plan and coordinate district-wide, regional, and national training events and seminars. She has provided editorial review to more than fifty JSA Baldrige-based publications and contributed to the design and development of many others including A Leader’s Guide to System Improvement. Included in her quality experience, Gina has served as an examiner-consultant for the Florida Sterling Quality Award Program and has been involved for many years with ASQ’s National Quality in Education (NQEC) Conference as a member of the proposal review committee and as a conference exhibitor.

Prior to joining Jim Shipley & Associates in 2001, Gina served as a corporate trainer in both the retail and hospitality industries. From 1990-2001, Gina worked with Pinellas County Schools, the 21st largest district in the United States. While at Pinellas County, Gina held a leadership role in the Professional Education Department, led the program used to evaluate and promote principals and assistant principals, and oversaw their leadership training. Gina designed and implemented the first Baldrige-based school administrator certification program ever used to prepare educators to become principals and assistant principals.

Gina earned her Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration from The University of South Florida (USF) and served as school board member from 2008-2011 for a parochial school in Pinellas County, Florida.

Editor of Quality Approaches in Higher Education

Dr. Elizabeth Cudney

Dr. Elizabeth Cudney is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford, and her doctorate in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla. In 2013, Dr. Cudney was elected as an ASQ Fellow. In 2010, Dr. Cudney was inducted into the ASQ International Academy for Quality. She received the 2008 ASQ A.V. Feigenbaum Medal and the 2006 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineering Award. She has published four books and over 35 journal papers. She is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Manager of Quality/Operational Excellence, and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.  She is a member of the ASEE, ASEM, ASME, ASQ, IIE, SAE, and the Japan Quality Engineering Society (JQES).

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