Institutional Review Board Membership

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) consists of a chair and at least five additional members, representing each of the four colleges, including the Forbes School of Business & Technology™; the College of Education; the College of Health, Human Services, and Science; and the College of Liberal Arts, with varying backgrounds to promote complete and adequate review of research activities. The IRB also includes at least one member who is not affiliated with Ashford University. The current membership of the Ashford IRB includes:

Dr. Charles P. Holmes, Chair

Assistant Professor
College of Health, Human Services, and Science
Dr. Charles P. Holmes

Dr. Charles P. Holmes is an Assistant Professor in the College of Health, Human Services, and Science at Ashford University. He obtained his PhD in Community Health with a Health Education focus and his Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Illinois. Prior to his graduate work, Dr. Holmes earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Eastern Illinois University. Dr. Holmes has been a collegiate instructor for over a decade, teaching at the University of Illinois for six years prior to moving to his new home in Denver, Colorado. His primary foci in teaching are public health, health education, academic writing, and graduate research. Dr. Holmes was appointed Chair of the Institutional Review Board in February 2016.

Dr. Maureen K. Lienau, Member

Assistant Professor
College of Education
dr laura sliwinski

Dr. Lienau is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and is an Institutional Review Board member at Ashford University. She obtained her PhD in Education with a minor in Student Development and a M.A. in Counseling from The University of Iowa. Dr. Lienau has over 25 years’ experience teaching at the college level, including teaching undergraduates at The University of Iowa, North Dakota State, Moorhead State, and Ashford Universities, and Elmhurst College. In addition, she has extensive experience writing grants and fellowships to federal agencies and administering grants from the DOE, NEH, and NEA. While working for Argosy University, Dr. Lienau taught both masters and doctoral level courses and supervised doctoral student dissertations and masters’ capstones. Her research interests focus on the factors affecting college student retention and academic success as well as college level writing. She recently celebrated her ten-year work anniversary at Ashford University.

Dr. Irina Weisblat, Member

Assistant Professor
Forbes School of Business & Technology
Dr. Inara Weisblat
Dr. Irina Weisblat is an Assistant Professor in the Forbes School of Business at Ashford University. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University (SDSU) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from National University, San Diego. Her educational background, business expertise, and leadership roles have influenced her research interests that focus on educational effectiveness. She explored the question of whether the skills that the colleges teach actually meet the needs of the global economy. She believes in innovative teaching, as jobs in the 21st century require advanced competencies, leadership, and critical thinking. Dr. Weisblat was named Outstanding Business Educator and presented with the Scholarship Achievement Awards. In 2015, she received the Ashford University Outstanding Academic Scholar award. Dr. Weisblat is a contributing author to the National Standards for Business Education (2013). She published research-based articles in refereed journals, book reviews in professional journals, and two textbook supplements on Entrepreneurship. Dr. Weisblat is past President of California Business Education Association, President of the International Society of Business Education (ISBE), and President of the Ashford University’s chapter of Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society.

Dr. C.T. Rowley, Member

Associate Professor and Lead Faculty
Division of General Education

Dr. C.T. Rowley, is an Associate Professor and Lead Faculty in the Division of General Education. She started at Ashford as an Adjunct Professor in 2007, employing a constructivist course design and teaching model to engage students in the learning process. She has a BA from Penn State University and earned her MA/Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been teaching courses in the Social Sciences and Multicultural Education since 1993 and has professional expertise in the areas of Training and Organization Development, Social Psychology, Ethnic Studies, Distance Education, Mixed Methods, Culturally Centered Ethnography and Qualitative Research. She has held professional memberships in the Online Learning Consortium and the Association for Talent Development, is a certified quality matters peer-reviewer, and has consulted with several universities on best practices in Distance Education.

Dr. Alexander Cohen, Member

Program Chair for the Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Military Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Alexander Cohen
Alexander Cohen is the Program Chair for the Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Military Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from New York University and his PhD from the University of Iowa. His dissertation, which explores how weather can drive political behavior, has been the source of two publications. He joined Ashford University in 2011 and teaches political science and sociology.


Michael J. Noble, Secretary

Faculty Support and Development Associate
Michael J. Noble
Michael J. Noble holds an MBA in Finance from Ashford University and a BA in International Business and Economics from George Fox University. His research interests include effects of political statements and political parties on perceived suitability of presidential candidates.