Facilitating success.

Benerd College's faculty design transformational experiences to help you become a more effective leader and change practitioner. Their approach to teaching embodies the roles of facilitator, mentor, and fellow learner.

This team of award-winning faculty teaches courses for the Master of Arts in Leadership, Concentration in Organizational Innovation and Change, the Graduate Certificate in Leading and Facilitating Innovation and the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Consulting.

Rod Githens
Rod Githens, PhD

Program Lead & Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters; Leading and Facilitating Innovation Certificate; Strategic Consulting Certificate

rgithens@pacific.edu | Faculty Profile | Professional Website | LinkedIn

Dr. Rod Githens helps leaders nurture human and organizational potential through innovation, design, and strategy. His consulting business primarily serves government, health, education, and human services organizations. Rod led the initial development of the Pacific’s leadership programs in Sacramento, charged with creating a hub of innovation and creativity. His role expanded to Associate Dean, leading school-wide academic program development, innovation, and enrollment services. Rod has worked in corporate human resources, employee development, and in various faculty and leadership roles. In his teaching, he strives to meet students' needs through a real-world focus, supportive approach, and challenging students to foster innovation and change through their own practice.

Laura Hallberg, EdD

Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters; Leading and Facilitating Innovation Certificate

lhallberg@pacific.edu | Faculty Profile | LinkedIn 

Dr. Laura Hallberg has worked in nearly every aspect of our educational system, creating experiences to develop leaders seeking equity and social change. Her consulting and training work focuses on transformative leadership and equity. She currently serves as Assistant Dean in Benerd College, overseeing multiple graduate programs. She has also led the development of a master's and doctoral program at the Stockton Campus. Before joining Pacific, she was Senior Program Manager at Pivot Learning, overseeing two significant consulting efforts. Previously, she developed, coordinated, and taught in an award-winning California Partnership Academy in Northern California’s East Bay.  In her teaching, Laura strives to build a supportive community through reflective, authentic experiences so every student’s “why” shows up in the work they do every day.

Laura Hallberg
Carina Celisia Moore
Carina Celesia Moore, MA

Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters

cmoore1@pacific.edu | Faculty Profile | LinkedIn

Carina Celesia Moore is a national leader in learning and development within university settings. She serves as a leadership coach and as a consultant, specializing in leadership and management development, and organizational learning strategies. Carina has over 25 years as a leader of learning and development at the University of California, Davis, having served as Director of Talent Management and Development for the campus and health system. She holds certifications from the International Coaching Federation (ACC), Human Resource Certification Institute (SPHR), and the Association for Talent Development (CPTD). Carina enjoys cultivating excellence in people and organizations through innovative programs, impactful organizational consulting, facilitation, and coaching. Her teaching approach is learner-centered, interactive, and focused on bridging theory to practical application.

Allison Rowland, EdLD

Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters; Leading and Facilitating Innovation Certificate; Strategic Consulting Certificate

arowland@pacific.edu l Faculty ProfileProfessional Website | LinkedIn

Dr. Allison Rowland supports the necessary courageous work to build thriving, empowered workplaces and communities. She owns an active consulting business focusing on growth culture, strategic planning, executive coaching, and diversity-equity-inclusion (DEI). Allison has worked with organizations in various sectors, including education, nonprofit, and government. She currently serves as Program Lead for the Doctorate in Innovation and Leadership at Pacific. Previously, Allison worked in a variety of educational leadership and consulting roles.

Allison Rowland
Karen Sarafian
Karen Sarafian, EdD

Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters; Leading and Facilitating Innovation Certificate; Strategic Consulting Certificate

ksarafian@pacific.edu | Faculty Profile | LinkedIn

Dr. Karen Sarafian is committed to innovation for continuous learning, growth, and positive change. As Director of Innovation and Impact for the nonprofit she co-founded, her consulting work emphasizes support and development of the many dimensions of wellness. Karen was an award-winning educator in the Elk Grove Unified School District, where she last served as an Instructional Coach. She also worked as an Educational Consultant for Collaborative Learning Solutions where she coached, consulted, and collaborated with schools and districts to create and sustain systems. She serves as Program Lead for the MA Concentration in Learning, Innovation, and Design. Karen's approach to teaching and learning is based on a WITH mindset. By working alongside students to envision possibilities, her goal is to inspire each towards personal and professional growth.

Brett Taylor, EdD

Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters; Strategic Consulting Certificate

btaylor@pacific.edu | Faculty Profile l Professional Website | LinkedIn

Dr. Brett Taylor has dedicated himself to creating learning environments that cultivate the habits of creativity and innovation by engaging students in the real world. Brett owns an innovation consulting firm, NewSchool Innovation Consulting. He also serves as Executive Director of Secondary Schools at Twin Rivers Unified School District. AT Benerd, he previously led efforts around social and educational entrepreneurship. He was Founding Principal of Patiño School of Entrepreneurship, an acclaimed public high school in Fresno. The school was developed around rethinking what it means to teach and learn. As a professor, Brett believes the journey is more important than the destination and encourages his students to evaluate the learning process and growth.

Brett Taylor
Nileen Verbeten
Nileen Verbeten, MBA, MSW

Faculty, Organizational Innovation and Change Masters; Strategic Consulting Certificate

nverbeten@gmail.com Faculty Profile | Professional Profile | LinkedIn

Nileen Verbeten's experience as a project consultant, facilitator, and trainer, grounds her interest in organizational design and performance. She consults with healthcare organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies to improve operations, develop and implement strategic plans, and facilitate discussions around complex issues. As a leader in the healthcare sector, her exposure to broken systems in care delivery fueled her pursuit of process/performance management and process improvement. Nileen has led start-up and turnaround operations and helped groups resolve conflicts to emerge re-energized and refocused. In her teaching, Nileen engages students to deal with interpersonal and group dynamics, the concept of psychological safety and performance, and the skills expected of a facilitator/facilitative leader.

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Learn more about the programs

Learn more about the three programs that these faculty teach within Benerd College.