Saylor Academy https://www.saylor.org Free and open online courses for people everywhere Wed, 24 Aug 2022 12:55:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.2 154379054 Saylor Academy Professor Spotlight: Michaele Chappell https://www.saylor.org/2022/08/saylor-academy-professor-spotlight-michaele-chappell/ Tue, 23 Aug 2022 11:11:41 +0000 https://www.saylor.org/?p=108648 For Dr. Michaele Chappell, her decades-long career as an academic resembles a remarkable journey of “wearing math hats,” a reflection of the many roles she experienced over the years. Encouraged by her teachers to excel in her mathematics courses throughout middle and high school, Michaele began her career in the early 80s as a high [...]

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For Dr. Michaele Chappell, her decades-long career as an academic resembles a remarkable journey of “wearing math hats,” a reflection of the many roles she experienced over the years. Encouraged by her teachers to excel in her mathematics courses throughout middle and high school, Michaele began her career in the early 80s as a high school mathematics teacher in Georgia. While teaching, Michaele went on to earn her Master’s degree in Mathematics from Georgia Southern University and landed the position of adjunct instructor of mathematics. 

In 1986, Michaele began her doctoral program in Mathematics Education as a McKnight Ph.D. Fellow at Florida State University. Following graduation, she joined the faculty ranks at the University of South Florida, where she worked for more than ten years before joining the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University. Of the eighteen years she taught at MTSU, Dr. Chappell served as chair of her department for two. 

“Throughout my 38-year journey in education, my research and scholarly interests targeted improving math achievement for learners of color; promoting the professional development of teachers; and incorporating the Arts to learn science-related disciplines, commonly referenced as STEAM.”

Over the course of her academic trajectory, Dr. Chappell exhibited a strong commitment to graduate studies by assisting and mentoring over 100 individuals through their Master’s programs, as well as 20 doctoral candidates. Among her accomplishments are further developing existing programs, helping launch a new doctoral program, co-authoring a teacher resource book, Math, Culture & Popular Media, and presenting her work at numerous conferences across the United States, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea. 

Later in her career, Dr. Chappell saw the possibility of expanding her work beyond what she called the ” classroom walls” and “university border”, and centered her attention on a new venture, LCG Education Associates LLC, her own educational consulting firm.  

“In 2006, I launched the business, which offers educational support services and tailored professional development training; LCG also provides voiceover and on-camera artists for corporate/industrial virtual learning projects.”

Dr. Chappell joined the Saylor team in August 2021 to collaborate on updating our College Algebra course. In her words, “The course itself is a gateway, permitting critical thinking in many areas beyond mathematics; therefore, I was delighted to contribute to it in the ways that I did.”

Our math courses, as with any other self-paced course, require motivation and persistence. To help you achieve your goals, here is a pro tip from Dr. Chappell herself: Be diligent, disciplined, and tenacious about your studies. Persevere and finish what you start. 

“Enrolling in Saylor’s courses is like making an investment into your own life; this investment of time and effort will eventually enhance and enrich your life in unimaginable ways.”


Want to learn more about the people behind Saylor Academy and our mission to provide free education to all? Check out our other employee interviews here and learn more about our mission here!

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Pathways Graduate Earns 17 Certificates on His Way to Starting a New Career https://www.saylor.org/2022/08/pathways-graduate-earns-17-certificates-on-his-way-to-starting-a-new-career/ Tue, 16 Aug 2022 12:25:00 +0000 https://www.saylor.org/?p=108652 Kwasi Owusu Adu-Gyamfi, a native of Ghana currently residing in Washington DC, has recently graduated from the Restoration and Transformation program at Central Union Mission, one of our skills development partners. With a formal background in civil engineering, Kwasi is actively pursuing work therapy with Central Union Mission.  In July 2021, Kwasi heard about Saylor [...]

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Kwasi Owusu Adu-Gyamfi, a native of Ghana currently residing in Washington DC, has recently graduated from the Restoration and Transformation program at Central Union Mission, one of our skills development partners. With a formal background in civil engineering, Kwasi is actively pursuing work therapy with Central Union Mission. 

In July 2021, Kwasi heard about Saylor Academy during his graduation from the Pathways workforce development program and went on to successfully complete a total of seventeen Saylor courses. In his words, “Restoration and Transformation Program students of Central Union Mission who had achieved Saylor Academy certificates and found jobs inspired me.”

Through our partnership with Central Union Mission, we are able to reach a large number of students and help them develop skills that will assist them in getting their careers back on track. From leadership to customer service, and from resume writing, to interviewing skills.

Kwasi’s favorite course was Leadership and Teams, as it broadened his understanding of the subject and allowed him to realize his potential as a leader.

“My hopes are very high and I will not hesitate to enroll in any educational programs that will make me a better person.”

We are excited to see what the future holds for Kwasi and all of our passionate learners around the world who, like him, continue to walk towards a brighter tomorrow.


Education is a powerful tool that can open many doors. Whether you are looking to add to your skill-set, your resume, or just learn for fun, we have plenty of courses to help you on your journey. Read more of our student interviews here and find information on our courses here.

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Saylor Academy Professor Spotlight: Melinda Salzer https://www.saylor.org/2022/08/saylor-academy-professor-spotlight-melinda-salzer/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 10:50:00 +0000 https://www.saylor.org/?p=108634 Melinda Salzer, a marketing consultant and professor, spent her early career in the advertising industry, where she learned about the creative process and market analysis. Drawn to target markets and market conditions, and how marketing campaigns were developed to address these factors, Melinda transitioned into the marketing industry. In 1988, Melinda launched her marketing consulting [...]

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Melinda Salzer, a marketing consultant and professor, spent her early career in the advertising industry, where she learned about the creative process and market analysis. Drawn to target markets and market conditions, and how marketing campaigns were developed to address these factors, Melinda transitioned into the marketing industry.

In 1988, Melinda launched her marketing consulting business, Speaking of Marketing LLC. Soon after, she attended the MBA program at St. John’s University, where she deepened her knowledge of the fast-paced world of marketing.  

“For the next several years, I worked with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing strategies. I created marketing plans, marketing materials, press releases, website content, and other growth strategies. I also conducted marketing workshops and seminars for several business and industry organizations.”

Melinda joined the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWB0), serving a two-year term as President of the chapter. NAWBO connects women business owners, allowing them to share resources and create strategic alliances.

Come 1996 and, being a seasoned marketing professional, Melinda decided to expand her portfolio of experience by adding a teaching role. She would go on to apply for various university positions in the marketing department of schools in her area, leading to the beginning of her career as an educator.

“Teaching one class turned into being asked to return semester after semester. As time went on, I realized how much I enjoyed teaching and sought positions in other schools, as well.”

As of 2022, Melinda is an adjunct professor at three colleges: Southern New Hampshire University, Berkeley College, and Brookdale Community College.

Melinda joined the Saylor team in 2010 as a Course Content Developer and has worked on nearly a dozen courses with us.


"The overall concept of Saylor Academy is inspirational. Offering free higher education is such an important undertaking and being part of this initiative is very fulfilling." – Melinda Salzer
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What Melinda enjoys most about contributing to our courses is creating original content, as it gives her the opportunity to research and provide students with the most up-to-date information possible.

“Students face many obstacles when it comes to higher education, with cost being a major issue. Students are left with loans that take years to pay back, and Saylor can bridge the gap for students who are unable to afford a college education.”

Saylor learners, listen up; if you ever find yourselves taking one of Melinda’s courses, make sure you are committed to the course before you begin. This will help with continuity and recall. Remember, the material evolves as the course progresses.

“By dedicating time to the course, the student can apply their new knowledge as they move through the material.”


Want to learn more about the people behind Saylor Academy and our mission to provide free education to all? Check out our other employee interviews here and learn more about our mission here!

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This Lifelong Learner from Nigeria Hit the 60-Certificate Milestone https://www.saylor.org/2022/07/meet-nwachukwu-from-nigeria-who-hit-the-60-certificate-milestone/ Tue, 26 Jul 2022 11:50:00 +0000 https://www.saylor.org/?p=108604 Nwachukwu Chibuike Christian, a public speaker, educator trainer, and pharmacy technician from eastern Nigeria, is not like most online learners. While searching for chemistry and geography certifications on the Internet, he came across Saylor Academy, which immediately caught his attention. His newfound learning platform checked all the boxes—easy access, a wide range of courses, and [...]

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Nwachukwu Chibuike Christian, a public speaker, educator trainer, and pharmacy technician from eastern Nigeria, is not like most online learners. While searching for chemistry and geography certifications on the Internet, he came across Saylor Academy, which immediately caught his attention. His newfound learning platform checked all the boxes—easy access, a wide range of courses, and a schedule that suited his needs. Having found the right place to learn, Nwachukwu went on to complete not one, not two, but, to date, sixty certificates. 

“I am grateful to Saylor Academy for providing online candidates the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.”

Nwachukwu’s favorite course is World Regional Geography, which he recalls was his first certificate. The knowledge he has acquired through the wide range of courses is vast. 

“The chemistry course I also took helped me to solve daily problems environmentally. The political science courses helped me be politically aware, especially the American government course that I took. I also took a course in philosophy, environmental ethics, and worldview.” 

His hope for the future is to put the skills and knowledge he gained through Saylor Academy to work in his community. His drive stems from what he learned in courses like Global Justice and Ethics and Public Policy

“I would recommend Saylor to anybody who is looking for a place to study for free or for college credit. The courses are not easy to pass, but if you are determined, definitely you will succeed.”


Stay Connected!

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This IT Professional Came for Bitcoin and Stayed for 11 More Certificates https://www.saylor.org/2022/07/this-it-professional-came-for-bitcoin-and-stayed-for-11-more-certificates/ Thu, 07 Jul 2022 10:50:00 +0000 https://www.saylor.org/?p=108569 Johan Groen first started his career in IT at the age of 19, when he was recruited to work in a copy shop. While working there, he was offered numerous training opportunities that eventually led him to an international position in the head office responsible for IT-related matters in more than 30 different locations. Thus [...]

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Johan Groen first started his career in IT at the age of 19, when he was recruited to work in a copy shop. While working there, he was offered numerous training opportunities that eventually led him to an international position in the head office responsible for IT-related matters in more than 30 different locations. Thus began his journey through Europe. 

In 2006, Johan joined Flow Traders, a trading firm in Amsterdam, as an IT specialist. “Within this company, I thrived in many different roles and capacities whilst being part of a great team that built low latency networks, cutting-edge hardware & software, and a solid reliable financial trading environment in general.”

A career breakthrough came 16 years later when a call to venture into entrepreneurship led him to start his own small business. GreenBit offers financial and IT services to individuals, family offices, asset managers, and companies who wish to learn specifically about Bitcoin and the DeFi environment. 

As Johan’s interest in Bitcoin grew, he came across Saylor Academy’s Bitcoin for Everybody. In his words, “I wanted to go down the rabbit hole, and this course is possibly the only one that starts with the basics and gives you an excellent journey to understand Bitcoin Economics.” 

Despite completing his first certificate, Johan was far from finished with his Saylor experience. After browsing our 100+ professional-level courses, he was drawn to topics he had previously encountered throughout his career and had never had the opportunity to explore in-depth. Knowledge was at his fingertips. 

“I was amazed by all the high-quality information that was readily available but mostly impressed that a company would offer this to all people in the world free of charge.” 

To date, Johan has completed a total of 12 courses. Saylor Academy has become his reference platform for polishing his skills and acquiring new ones. Education drove change in his life, and in the lives of many of our students around the world. 

“Hopefully, education will be high quality, widespread, and available to everybody. There are many areas in the world that have a very high undeveloped potential. Education empowers.” 


Stay Connected!

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Saylor Academy Professor Spotlight: Tamara L. Gillis https://www.saylor.org/2022/06/saylor-academy-professor-spotlight-tamara-l-gillis/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 10:50:00 +0000 https://www.saylor.org/?p=108531 Tamara Gillis, a full-time communications professor at Elizabethtown College, has always been curious about what motivates people. “Communication is at the heart of all relationships – both the professional ones and the social or personal ones. Early in my career and my educational journey I took note of that fact and have tried to apply [...]

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Tamara Gillis, a full-time communications professor at Elizabethtown College, has always been curious about what motivates people.

“Communication is at the heart of all relationships – both the professional ones and the social or personal ones. Early in my career and my educational journey I took note of that fact and have tried to apply it as a practitioner and as a partner in relationships.”

With more than thirty-eight years of experience in the communications profession, thirty-three of which have been devoted to teaching, Tamara has built her career as both a professor and a practitioner. Her experience ranges from having worked in health care, higher education, advocacy, and the publishing industry.

“I’ve had the pleasure of teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses as well as executive leadership training.”

In 2012, Tamara joined the Saylor team as a faculty consultant. She has been involved in our communications and business courses and has contributed to at least six of them.  For Tamara, each course is unique in its explanation of the contributions of communications to our lives.


"I was intrigued by the Saylor proposition, and I was hooked after my first course development experience.” – Tamara L. Gillis, Ed.D., ABC, FRSA, IABC Fellow
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Working on a new Saylor project always brings something new to the table, experiences that have helped Tamara become a better educator and consultant.

“Saylor experiences have introduced me to new content assets and have helped me develop my skills in writing assessment elements.”

If you ever find yourself taking one of Tamara’s courses, remember that the key to succeeding is to pace yourself and enjoy the experience. In her words, “Each content asset in the course is there to help you expand your knowledge and apply your understanding of the content.”


Want to learn more about the people behind Saylor Academy and our mission to provide free education to all? Check out our other employee interviews here and learn more about our mission here!

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