Your AU Faculty

College of Education

Joen Rottler, EdD - Dean

Dr. Joen Rottler is the Dean of the College of Education (COE) so she works with the campus Teacher Preparation Program. She is the Licensure Officer, and is responsible for graduate programs and new program development in the COE. Since she works with teacher candidates, she believes it is very important for them to realize that they are developing a professional reputation the minute they enter the program. That reputation includes exhibiting the behavior of a role model for K-12 students, demonstrating professional behavior in field-based experience/practicum, and practicing leadership skills throughout the program. "I am a positive person and believe teachers are leaders who make lasting impressions on students. I am an advocate for teacher leaders who believe in service. I find teacher preparation to be a very rewarding field since I am putting my thumbprint on future teachers by developing teacher leaders who serve students, parents, communities and the teaching profession." She holds a Master of Counselor Education from Iowa State University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa. She has experience as a preschool owner, Kindergarten, 1st, and 5th grade teacher, elementary principal, high school guidance counselor, consultant with the Iowa Department of Education and IPTV, and college professor at Upper Iowa University, Grand View College and Education Department Chair at Waldorf College. Read more about Dr. Rottler.

Mindy Dunlap, MA

Mrs. Mindy Dunlap is a dedicated professional who believes that educators and families need to work together in order to provide developmentally appropriate education to all children. Mrs. Dunlap holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa, and she specializes in Early Childhood and Reading. She holds the following certifications in the State of Iowa: PK-12 Principal, PK-12 Special Education Supervisor, Evaluator, PK-6 Classroom Teacher, and PK-6 Reading. She holds the K-12 General Administration certification in the State of Illinois. Mrs. Dunlap has taught preschool special education, kindergarten reading, first grade, and second grade.

From 2007 to 2010 Mrs. Dunlap was the Elementary Principal at Fulton Elementary School in the River Bend School District, where she had the unique experience of recovering the building after a roof fire. Before that, she worked as an Assistant Curriculum Director for the Northeast Community School District. While working at Northeast, she served as chair of a Professional Learning Community, Character Cadre, Safety Committee, and Evaluation Committee. She was also a member of the District Leadership Team, which was highly involved in creating the Professional Development Plan for the district. Throughout her career, Mrs. Dunlap served as a formal mentor to several new teachers, had a student teacher placed with her, and piloted both Growing with Mathematics Curriculum and Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum.

Mrs. Dunlap has been a member of the Illinois Principals Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Northeast Education Association (for which she served as the Public Relations Officer), the Iowa State Education Association, and the National Education Association. Mrs. Dunlap believes in continuing education and has attended numerous workshops, including 8-Step Process, Character Counts, Handwriting Without Tears, Mastering Math Facts, Visual Phonics, Pathwise Mentoring Training, and Response to Intervention. She was also an active participant at in-service trainings, including Model Core Curriculum, Atlas Curriculum Mapping, Second Step, Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and SMART Board. Mrs. Dunlap is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in early childhood education.

Erik Johnson, MA

Erik Johnson currently works as an Assistant Professor in the College of Education for Ashford. He attended Valparaiso University and earned a B.S. in Sports Management. While there, he also received a business minor and a minor in communications. He earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology degree from Ashford in 2008. Erik is currently working on a doctorate in Sports and Performance Psychology through University of the Rockies. When he’s not working, he loves spending time with family.

Cynthia Martinek, EdD

Dr. Martinek has been with Ashford University since July 2008, and currently serves as the Associate Dean for the College of Education. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Drake University, a 6th Year Certificate of Advanced Study Superintendent Certificate from Iowa State University, and both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Education from Iowa State University. Her professional experience includes being an adjunct professor at Waldorf College, an Elementary Principal in Belmond, IA, a PreK-Principal/K-12 Curriculum Coordinator in Latimer, IA, a teacher in the Mason City School district, a Research Associate at Iowa State University, and a teacher in Terril, IA.

David Quinn, PhD

Dr. David Quinn holds undergraduate degrees from Eastern Illinois University, and Educational Specialist and Doctorate degrees from the University of Iowa. He joined Ashford in Fall 2008, and will be teaching education and special education courses. Dr. Quinn has served as a teacher at the elementary and secondary levels, a special education consultant, a supervisor of special education instructional services, an assistant director of special education and a director of special education. He has also been an adjunct instructor for Drake University and St. Ambrose University.

Dr. Quinn believes that the following quote from Dr. Haim Ginott provides guidance for all students who wish to become educators: "I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized."

Dianne Willging, MS

Dianne Willging began working at Ashford University in 2000. The courses she teaches include Foundations of American Education, Principle of Education II, Math for Educators, Math Methods, Diagnosis and Assessment of Reading, Strategies and Techniques for Corrective Reading, and Practicum in Reading. Mrs. Willging also supervises student teachers and reading practicum students. She received her Master of Science in Elementary Education with specialization in language arts from Western Illinois University. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is also in Elementary Education with a specialization in reading from the University of Iowa. She continues her education with graduate courses in reading and math instruction. She holds elementary teaching certificates in Iowa and Illinois. Her work experience includes K-5 Title 1 teacher, kindergarten teacher, Talented and Gifted coordinator, and 2nd grade teacher. Accomplishments include the Ashford University Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching and Learning with Technology, Who's Who in Education, and the Gold Key Award for Excellence in Education.

Laurie Zahn, MS

Laurie Zahn holds a Bachelor of Science from Concordia University and Master of Science from Western Illinois University. Zahn currently teaches Elementary Reading Methods, Language Arts Methods for Elementary Teachers, Science Methods for Elementary Teachers, Social Studies for Elementary Teachers, Child and Adolescent Literature, and Secondary Reading in the Content Areas. She has been with Ashford University since 1998.