INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: OCTOBER 2021
INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: FEBRUARY 2022
October 2021 Instructor Excellence Award:
Computer Software and Business Skills Instructor New Horizons Las Vegas
Mia Gwyn is an award-winning Computer Software & Business Skills Instructor at New Horizons Learning Center.
Mia grew up traveling the world, living in different countries, and attending different schools. For half of her childhood, Mia was a stranger and “the new kid” in school. This experience exposed her to many different cultures and perspectives, and taught her to be adaptive, agile, and flexible. When Mia joined the workforce, she wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do and found herself in sales at New Horizons in Las Vegas, NV. “I never saw myself in sales, but the owner of that location noticed that I thrived at helping students with questions on Excel or troubleshooting PowerPoint. This owner noticed something innate in me and offered me a chance to teach…and the rest is history! 12 years of teaching, and all with New Horizons. I love it, and my early life experiences make me perfect for the job.”
Mia’s teaching credentials include Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Power Automate, QuickBooks, Crystal Reports, InDesign, Acrobat, Certified Associate Project Manager, Leadership…and the list goes on. Mia enjoys the fact that the work that she does
is helping others improve in their work and in their lives. “I love teaching because I genuinely love those Eureka moments that students have – a moment where what they learned becomes exactly what they needed to know to make life easier or to make work more efficient…or the fact that they realize they actually enjoy or understand something that at first seemed daunting.” Mia likes to know that, in her own small way, she is helping improve their lives.
Mia loves teaching in any modality, which includes Virtual ILT. “I think online classes have suffered an ill-begotten reputation of being worse than ‘in-person’ training because, in its infancy, online training was not as developed and sophisticated as it is now.” Mia strongly believes that even though virtual training requires different techniques and tactics as a teacher, if it’s done properly, the virtual class is far more effective than in-person training. “It’s less expensive, it provides a flexibility that in-person doesn’t, it reaches a wider breadth of people, and, if done properly, it can still be engaging and hands-on. I personally love teaching online and having the chance to change the world’s perception of virtual training one student at a time!”
So, what’s next for Mia? Well, she’s had 12 years to hone and fine-tune her skills in a variety of settings and circumstances. So now she’s ready to “train the trainer.” “I want to be in a position where I can help other instructors, at any level, improve their techniques or find ways to simplify the process. I want to help my fellow instructors live, love, and last in this career.”
October 2021 Instructor Excellence Award:
Patrick von Schlag
Patrick von Schlag is an ITIL Expert, Service Management Consultant, and thought leader. He began his career working in technical support for a pharmaceutical company, transitioned to doing the same for a software company, and was a substantial contributor at a U.S.-based, global training company for several years. In 2002, Patrick went on to run a consulting training organization for most of his career where he taught best practices, and now is the President at Deep Creek Center.
After spending just a few minutes with Patrick, you will “feel” his dedication to helping his clients adopt IT Service Management frameworks, models, and quality systems. Patrick is a respected author, instructor, and consultant with expertise in IT Service Management, Project Management, Agile Practices, and Information Security and IT Governance. Patrick is sought after for his training programs that cover process structures, strategic planning, service design, change management, and operational improvements.
Consultant & Instructor
When asked how he got into teaching, Patrick talks about his love for teaching which he attributes to the mentors he has had throughout his career.
“I have been very fortunate to have good mentors and good people guide me in my career. It’s important with all of the stuff we do, to provide some functional context as to ‘why this matters’ in the minds of our client.” Patrick frames one question for many of his clients and asks it again and again --- “So what?” For every framework, there lies the question, ‘Well, why do I care about this?’, or ‘Why does my customer care about this?’, or ‘How does this help me in my career to serve my customers more effectively and get better results?’” Great teachers, like Patrick, don’t just teach material, they teach how to think!
Virtual teaching became an imperative this past 20 months, but Patrick was ready for it as he embraced it long ago. “I ran my first set of virtual classes in the 1990s back when we were still supporting 9600 baud modems, so virtual teaching is not a new thing for me.” But Patrick does acknowledge that virtual teaching now is different because it is the norm. “More organizations are further and further dispersed, and it is very difficult to find locations and facilities and time and money (for air travel and hotels) which are necessary to bring people together for a training program.” There are challenges with virtual training, for sure, but Patrick realizes that the positives outnumber the negatives. “It’s much more cost effective and more people can now access training programs. Virtual is a good trade off to be able to serve more students because the clients can spend their dollars on providing excellent education instead of travel.”
Looking ahead, Patrick is excited about the future for Cybersecurity training. He has been involved in the rollout of learning programs for the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and says, “Cybersecurity risk management is front page news everyday now for a variety of reasons. I am excited to help organizations move beyond a technical view of cybersecurity to thinking about it in the context of business risk and identifying and prioritizing investments, so they get the most optimal results.”