Barbara Bates, PhD, U.S. Director and Founder For the past 19 years, Barb has been an educator, teaching in middle school, technical college, and since 1998, at DeVry University, Westminster, CO campus. Her passion is opening doorsthrough education and expanding options to people looking for a better life. In 2004, this passion led her to Meru, Kenya, where she and her husband, Steve, started a project to ship used computers from Colorado to schools in Meru and provide technology training to teachers at those schools so they could help develop computer literacy in the region. Her overarching goal is to open the doors for Kenya to connect to the world’s education, economic and political discourse and opportunities. Until all people can join in the markets, the conversations, and the learning with our global community, we all suffer the absence of their voices and ideas.
Barb’s expertise is in the area of faculty development, online education and development, and 21st century teaching and learning. Her Master’s degree from the University of Colorado is in Educational Psychology and her PhD, also from CU, is in Educational Leadership and Innovation.
John Kamwara, Kenya Director, is a professional teacher trained at Meru Teachers’ College. He has taught for many years in both government public schools and private sector schools. Over the years, John has demonstrated astute teaching skills with excellent national results of English Language and social studies for students sitting for national examinations. He is currently working in one of the top best schools in Kenya – Fred’s Academy and also teaches computer applications to students from age 6 to 14. John has won many awards from the government being the best teacher of English language and social studies not only at the district school level but also at the national level primary schools category. John was one of the few teachers to pioneer teaching with computers in Meru region school zone. He joined Technology Partnership in 2005 and became a director in 2007. With Technology Partnership, John is mainly involved in teacher training programs, technology curriculum instruction in TP schools and community mobilization for project implementation.
Steve Bates, MBA, has been a member and supporter of Technology Partnership since the first trip to Kenya for exploring the needs of educators in Meru, in 2004. Steve’s professional career has been in Human Services with the State of Colorado, during which time he served as Director of the Division of Youth Corrections and the Director of the Office of Children, Youth, and Family Services for the State of Colorado. Steve is currently the Director of the Denver Family Crisis Center for the Denver Department of Human services. Steve’s work responsibilities included managing yearly budgets of $5 – $600 million. Steve’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Keller graduate school of management.
Brandon Berman joined the Technology Partnership board in 2011. He lead a group of eight to Meru, Kenya in July 2011 under the project name “From Their Perspective”. The group donated twenty small video cameras and two laptops and worked with schools to create connections with schools in the US. The group also taught first aid and video production and the trip was documented with video and photography. He plans to return to Meru in July of 2013 with Barbara Bates and others to continue the educational mission. Brandon is an instructor and director of the Multimedia Graphic Design program at Front Range Community College. Brandon is a New Media Designer and an Educator/Trainer with a background in human services. He is creative and adept at integrating multimedia into education. He has been consulting on video production, Web development and design, podcasting, software usability, implementation, and training since 1997 and owned a video and web design company from 2001-2007. Brandon has been teaching video editing and animation courses for the past 12 years. He has been with Front Range Community College for 7 years and was the 2007 Master Teacher and received the 2008 Outstanding Faculty Award. He has also taught at Colorado Free University, Red Rocks Community College, University of Colorado, Boulder and at primary, secondary and universities in several towns in Kenya. Brandon is excited to be part of Technology Partnership and has made many friends in Kenya and the US.
Joanie Calhoun is committed to making education and computer training available to students and teachers in Kenya. Joanie has been to Kenya 7 times and has been involved in partnerships with several schools, which involved providing textbooks for every student in Form 1,2,3, and 4 in one Secondary School, providing Training for Teachers, shipping computers to Kenya three times with Barbara Bates, shipping elementary library books from Wyoming schools to an elementary school in Meru, providing Home Science supplies for Std.7 and 8 students and personally sponsoring students in KeMU, Meru Institute of Technology, Kenyatta University, Meru University of Science and Technology, Nairobi Catering Training Program, and numerous Secondary Schools in the Meru area. Joanie is on the board of Kenya Methodist University Development Association, a 501C-3 based in Richland Washington,, which raises funds for scholarships for students at KeMU. Joanie is also an Ambassador for The Center For The Church and Global Aids, based in Denver, whose focus is education about prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, elimination of stigma against persons with HIV/AIDS and providing grants for HIV/AIDS project in Kenya, India, Denver, and other places around the world. Joanie served as the Mission Coordinator of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church for 12 years and is currently the liaison for missionaries related to our conference churches. Joanie is the Mission chairperson of Erie United Church and is married to Jim Calhoun, Pastor of Erie UMC.
Tim Rutherford was a valuable resource to Technology partnership long before becoming a board member. His participation began as a technology student at DeVry, providing technical support for the 2011 trip. This involved creating the installation media and traveling to Kenya to perform the installs and troubleshooting at all of the schools. All technical needs, from the website to software installs in Kenya, are passed through Tim to help out organization stay up to date and efficient.
Cliff Deffke, Ralph Ogden, Stephen Parce
George Awuor, PhD, is a policy analyst at The Bell Policy Center- a non-profit research and advocacy group based in Denver, Colorado. He focuses on fiscal reform and how public policy affects working poor families in Colorado. George has international research experience working on poverty issues. He holds a Ph.D. in design and planning from the University of Colorado at Denver.
photos: DianaSabreen.com & Darcy Varney placesmakepeople.com