Dr. Michael Levens
Ideation – Connectedness – Learner – Futuristic – Input
Dr. Michael Levens has over three decades of professional experience, divided evenly between industry and higher education, as a college president, provost, academic chair, institute director, professor, corporate executive, business consultant, author and board member. Most recently, Dr. Levens served as President and CEO of Walsh College where he also held full-time faculty rank from 2006-2022. Joint appointments have included visiting Fulbright faculty at EKA University of Applied Science in Riga, Latvia, adjunct faculty at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and post-doctoral program faculty at Tulane University. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Levens brings a unique combination of academic leadership, corporate business experience, and a global perspective to his work.
Prior to entering higher education, Dr. Levens held executive positions at General Motors (GM), working in product development, brand management, and research for brands including OnStar and Saab, among others. He also served as a methodologist and consultant at Gongos, Inc. He has worked in 35 countries on five continents and has conducted more than 100 research projects internationally. His research has been grant funded in the United States and European Union and is focused on affluent consumer behavior, advertising measurement, and non-traditional bundling strategies. He has presented his research at conferences hosted by the American Marketing Association, Advertising Research Foundation, Association of Marketing Theory and Practice, Atlantic Marketing Association, Automotive Market Research Council, and the Canadian Marketing Association.
Dr. Levens’ textbook, “Marketing: Defined, Explained, Applied,” is in its 3rd edition and has been used by more than 200 colleges and universities worldwide. Dr. Levens also provides service to industry and the academic community as a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, pro-bono consultant to not-for-profit organizations, Fulbright peer reviewer, and member of the Scientific Committee of the annual conference “Emerging Trends in Economics, Culture and Humanities” held in Riga, Latvia.
Dr. Levens holds a post-doctoral diploma from Tulane University, a Ph.D. from Capella University, an MBA from Bond University in Australia, and a BS from Kettering University. He also completed the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents. Dr. Levens is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has been appointed to seven different boards of directors.
Ronald W. Ogrodnik,
Founder and President Emeritus
Ideation – Strategic – Maximizer – Relator – Activator
After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Ogrodnik became a licensed Psychologist and began his career in colleges as both professor and administrator. His path in life lead him to a variety of careers including many personal business ventures and leadership roles in a variety of educational and business settings. His expertise are in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Organizational Development, and Leadership Development/Selection. His vision is to enhance the lives of people through Sarasota University.
Dr. Lindsey Pollock
Provost and Director of the College of Education
Ideation – Responsibility – Arranger – Input – Includer
Dr. Lindsey Pollock’s love for public education was born long before her. Inspired by the passion and work ethic of her father (a college professor), her mother (a first-grade teacher), and her grandfather (a school custodian), education was all Lindsey knew as a child – and she loved it! From a young age, she’d line up her dolls in a makeshift classroom, pretending to be a teacher and making her brother attend her “classes.” That Lindsey would go on to earn her doctorate in education didn’t surprise her mother, who predicted she’d be a principal one day. While her journey has been filled with exciting adventures along the way, her public education career has far exceeded her childhood dreams.
In addition to her doctorate in educational leadership, Lindsey holds master’s degrees in educational leadership, social work and Montessori integrative learning. Along with a variety of Texas teaching certifications, Lindsey is a licensed social worker and holds a Montessori administrator credential. She recently retired from the Houston ISD after 13 years as the principal of Garden Oaks Montessori, a PK3 – 8th grade public school. Her public school service spans over two decades. Today, as the Executive Director of The Lian Dante Foundation, Lindsey coordinates Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts as well as social services to children, families and campuses. Her efforts continue to impact classrooms and communities in a new and ever-meaningful way.
Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Regulatory Affairs
Maximizer – Strategic – Relator – Learner – Empathy
Dr. Douglas G. Riedmiller has over 30 years of experience in higher education teaching and administration. He has held various titles within educational institutions from lecturer to professor and from associate dean to Vice President. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges located in Southern California. He obtained his masters and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology at The Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. Following his internship and residency at The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Dr. Riedmiller returned to Florida. His training and experience in higher education curriculum design and leadership as well as organizational, group and individual dynamics supports his current service to Sarasota University. As a licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Riedmiller understands, respects and is fully invested in Sarasota University’s unique commitment to Strengths Based Learning. His focus with Sarasota University is to help it reach the goals of providing superior education to students and playing a vital role in the well-being of the university community and society in general.
Registrar, Director of Student Services
Achiever – Intellection – Adaptability – Ideation – Maximizer
Dr. Mlynarczyk has more than 40 years experience in higher education both as a teacher and administrator in the public and private sectors. He has served as department chair of Teacher Education, department chair of Information and Communication Technology, Associate Dean of Professional Studies, Dean of Education and Assistant to the President for Institutional Planning and Budgeting. In addition, he has directed several National Science Foundation in-service professional development grants for the improvement of mathematics, science, and technology education. His doctoral degree is in Educational Administration with an emphasis on Operations Research and computer management systems. His current teaching focus is on instructional and administrative uses of computer technology and data driven decision making. Dr. Mlynarczyk believes in the inherent worth of individuals and is an advocate for strengths-based leadership. He enjoys helping others work toward improvement and achievement of personal and professional goals.
Caterina Reed, M.A., M.S.
Input – Discipline – Intellection – Deliberative – Achiever
Caterina M. Reed is a Montessori alumna (Pre-K thru Grade 6) and proponent of the Montessori Method. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature and M.A. in English from Stony Brook University. She also received her M.S. in Information and Library Science from the University at Buffalo and holds an active Librarian certification with the New York State Education Department. She has experience in library reference and technical services as well as experiential learning and career development (with a focus on personality assessments and helping students find their strengths). She also has years of work experience working with AMI-recognized Montessori schools.
Director of Admissions
Input – Ideation – Arranger – Activator – Self-Assurance
Ellyn Lastinger has served as the Director of Admissions at The Center for Guided Montessori Studies since 2013. Prior to her position at CGMS, Ellyn provided operating, staffing and clerical support for various companies in the Tampa Bay Area.
A native Floridian, Ellyn resides in Tampa, and enjoys camping, walking her dog Cocoa, reading, and volunteering in her spare time.
Faculty in College of Education
Self-Assurance – Context – Learner – Significance – Focus
Dr. Daniel Robinson (Robin) Howe began his Montessori career at the age of two at the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, which he attended through the eighth grade. Graduating from Dickinson College with two majors (Spanish and Religion), he went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from University of South Florida.
After successfully pursuing a career in the restaurant industry, Robin decided to return to his Montessori roots. He earned his Primary certification from Palm Harbor Montessori School (AMS) then attended St. Catherine’s University to earn his Lower and Upper Elementary Certification (AMS). He also attended NAMTA’s Orientation to Adolescent Studies (AMI).
Robin holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University and is a Senior Montessori Foundation School Consultant.
In his free time, Robin is an avid marathon runner and is working towards running marathons in all 50 states.
Faculty in College of Education
Futuristic – Learner – Input – Achiever – Strategic
Dr. Norman Lorenz possess over 42 years of education and experience within school systems, including 26 years direct service in Montessori primary and elementary education, the direction of a post secondary Montessori teacher education institution, and combined part and full time faculty dedication of 21 years with the California community college system using Montessori in higher education. He is a tenured Professor of education studies, teaches Human Development and early education, and is the college coordinator for Professional Development with the Center for Learning and Teaching at Sacramento City College in Sacramento, CA.
Included across more than 42 years of educational experiences are founded in Montessori pedagogical principles. Dr. Lornz is a cofounder of a Montessori charter public school, The California Montessori Project, Charter Public School and, and a past board member and President of River Montessori Charter School.
Dr. Lorenz became involved with Sarasota University teaching with the masters program as well as partnering with a team to assemble a doctoral program which is in process.
Dr. Luz Casquejo Johnston
Faculty in College of Education
Input – Ideation – Arranger – Activator – Self-Assurance
Dr. Luz Casquejo Johnston has been in the field of education for over 20 years and has been in the Montessori movement in every capacity. She started her Montessori journey in the 70’s as a primary student. She came back to Montessori as an adult and earned her AMS Lower Elementary I Credential. She has worked in charter schools as a Lower Elementary guide and served for seven years as a Montessori charter school administrator.
Dr. Luz is currently an Associate Professor in the Kalmonovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California. She is also a consultant and has designed and delivered trainings on elementary Montessori and issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to schools in the U.S. She is an international speaker with specialities in Montessori elementary education, child development, DEI and school leadership.
Parenting on Purpose is based on the decades of experience she has working with children and their families. She’s applied the concepts and skills in her work as a guide, a principal (with families and teachers) and now as a professor in a teacher education program.
Anita Blalock, MA
Director of Financial Services
Achiever – Intellection – Ideation – Learner – Maximizer
Anita Blalock holds a Master’s in Cultural Anthropology and Communication. Research, discovery and learning about societies and cultures is her passion. Like many parents before her, she discovered Montessori education when her daughter was born and was eager to find a learning environment that respects each child’s unique needs and allows them to choose their educational path independently.
Anita has worked for as a Montessori teacher and as an Assistant Director. In 2016, she joined The Center for Guided Montessori Studies to develop the Leadership Program for Montessori school directors. At CGMS she currently holds the role of Associate Director of Finance & Operations, and here at SU she ensures smooth operations on the financial side. She loves task-orientated projects which kept her role as a program coordinator for new CGMS program developments always evolving and exciting.
Anita also likes creative design work in her spare time, especially creating copper and silver viking knit jewelry or alcohol ink art. She currently lives with her family in Hungary.