Board of Directors

  • Joel Esperanza

    Dr. Joel Esperanza

    Board Member — In Memoriam

    Dr. Esperanza came to the Board of Directors with a wealth of experience as an Educator and Creative Professional. Dr. Esperanza holds a Ph.D. in Education with a Specialization in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Medical & Biological Illustration from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia.

    In 2001, he started as an Associate Professor for American InterContinental University (AIU) – Dunwoody campus. Since then, he has held various roles, including Dean, Associate Dean of Design, and Program Chair of Visual Communication. In 2009, Dr. Esperanza also began teaching at AIU – Online campus.

    From 2011 to 2012 Dr. Esperanza served as the Academic Director for the Media Arts & Animation, Game Art & Design, and Visual & Game Programing progams at Art Institute of Atlanta.

    From 2012 to 2014 Dr. Esperanza oversaw all of the Fine Arts students at AIU Online’s Associate and Bachelor programs, in addition to managing about 40 faculty members an over 700 students around the world.

    With regard to Dr. Espranza’s research in Education, his dissertation focuses on instructional design and creating various performance tasks to see how it affects students’ critical thinking. It centers on the creative and decision-making process and emphasizes the need for due diligence and research. Dr. Esperanza states that this is crucial for students because, “Based on research, employers are asking for increased critical thinking skills, better communication, and respectable design technique.”

    He wasn’t always in the education industry though, Dr. Esperanza started as a Certified Medical Illustrator. In college he took both art and science classes to master the art of illustrating procedures to help people understand science. The dotcom crash however led him from medical illustrations to research and development for movies and games. Dr. Esperanza is currently a Faculty Assessor for at CAThe Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and is a professionally trained commercial actor (both local and national) and an experienced spokesperson. On a personal level, Dr. Esperanza is married, has a dog and loves to travel and watch sports.

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