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Multidisciplinary Community

Hear Stories from Faculty and Learners

At Capella, you'll join a learning community of faculty and students who share a passion for helping others through public service. Faculty members have extensive experience in public service organizations across the nation, and students work collaboratively to share their professional knowledge and expertise.

Debbie Reich, RN

Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing
Staff Educator, Division of Corporate Education, Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health

See how Debbie's master's program is boosting her professional confidence, supporting her passion for teaching, and helping her make a bigger impact on patient care.

Major L.Tammy Duckworth

Currently pursuing a PhD in Public Safety
Assistant Secretary, Department of Veterans Administration and currently a U.S. Congressional candidate for the 8th Congressional District of Illinois

Tammy Duckworth, Iraq war veteran and current Capella learner, calls upon others to commit to a career of public service through furthering one's education.

Laura Pettler, PhD

Dr. Pettler, a forensic investigator, shows a behind-the-scenes look at her work and shares why she chose Capella

Charles Tiffin, PhD

Charles Tiffin, PhD, Senior Faculty, has a passion for helping public safety professionals advance their education and leadership. He applies his professional experience in public safety to his work as an educator.


Dr. Tiffin holds a PhD in Organizational Development from Union Institute and University. He earned a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Policy Studies from Guilford College and a Master of Arts from Duke University. Dr. Tiffin also received a Fulbright Fellowship in Professional Police Studies. Before coming to Capella, he served in the Durham Police Department in North Carolina for more than 25 years. He possesses a wealth of experience, having served in a variety of positions including Chief of Detectives, Bureau Chief of the Administrative Services Bureau, and Executive Officer to the Chief and Special Projects.

Suzanne Holmes, DPA

Suzanne Holmes, DPA, Dean School of Public Service Leadership, focuses her research on managed care's impact on access and quality, the internationalization of the health sciences workforce, and issues of public health policy.


Dr. Holmes holds a Doctor of Public Administration from the University of La Verne, a Master of Arts in Public and International Affairs from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California. Dr. Holmes was a reviewer for the California Award for Performance Excellence, Baldrige National Quality Program, 2002-2004.

Gary Robinson, PhD

Gary Robinson, PhD, has been the program chair in Capella's School of Business and Technology since 2006. His public service vision and international experience are infused into the School of Public Service Leadership through his planning and development contributions.


Dr. Robinson earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Inter-American Studies from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. Dr. Robinson has served as an advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); acted as a consultant to the World Health Organization; developed and managed Peace Corps training programs; and worked as the Manager of Human Resources Initiatives in the role of vice president controller for the Boeing Company in Seattle.

Lonnie Wederski, PhD

Lonnie Wederski, PhD, a core faculty member in Nursing and Health Care Administration, is a creative, effective educator who applies extensive real-world nursing experience to his role as a faculty member.


Dr. Wederski earned a PhD from Walden University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Arts from Ottawa University, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from Yavapai College. Dr. Wederski has worked as a nurse, managed several nursing units, served as executive director for mental health, worked in psychiatry as a clinician and administrator, and directed health care consultants for major medical centers including Mercy Medical Center in Oklahoma City and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore.

Kathy McKoy, PhD

Dr. McKoy, an emergency management professional who has been in the field for nearly 20 years, talks about why she's excited to put what she learned during her Capella program into practice — and her chance to make a difference as a leader.

Diane Paloma

Program Director, Native Hawaiian Health Program
PhD learner, School of Public Service Leadership

Diane Paloma speaks about how earning her Capella degree is helping her serve her community as a health care administration.

Lisa Patrick

Lisa Patrick is pursuing a PhD in Human Services, specializing in Criminal Justice. She is a major with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in Titusville, Florida, working in its jail complex since 1989. She also is an adjunct professor for online and land-based institutions, as well as a mentor for...


Lisa's goal is to motivate students to embrace educational concepts for practical application in order to achieve personal and professional success.

Bockari Stevens

Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States
PhD learner, School of Pubic Service Leadership

For Ambassador Stevens, public service is a way of life that helps him set an example of leadership to the young people of his country.

Cheryl Dover, MS

Currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice
Chair, Nursing Program, Prince George's Community College

Cheryl Dover discusses the satisfaction and responsibility she feels as a nurse educator and also explains how her doctoral studies are taking her knowledge to the next level.