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
College of Health, Human Services, and Science
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
College of Education
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
Forbes School of Business & Technology
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. Shari Schwartz
College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Shari Schwartz is Chair of the Social and Criminal Justice Program and an Assistant Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University. She holds a Ph.D. in Legal Psychology from Florida International University (FIU), a Master’s Degree in Legal Psychology (FIU), and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (FIU). Her educational background and expertise have influenced her research interests in judicial and juror decision making, effects of and remedies for stress in law enforcement officers, implicit bias in the criminal justice system, and psychologists as expert witnesses. Dr. Schwartz has been with Ashford since 2013.
Dr. Clifford Blizard, Member
Division of General Education
Dr. Blizard is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Education, where he serves as Course Lead for SCI 207, Our Dependence upon the Environment. He holds a doctorate in Environmental Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a Master’s degree in Geology from Colorado State University, a Master’s Degree in Education in Instructional Design and Technology from Kaplan University, a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Carleton College, and an Elementary I Montessori teaching certification from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Dr. Blizard has been an educator for over two decades, working with students from age 3 through PhD. He has taught courses in earth science, environmental science, and sustainability at a number of online universities. His research interests include exploring ways to promote transformative learning experiences in the online classroom, as well as sense of place education in the online environment. Dr. Blizard has taught at Ashford since 2013.
Michael J. Noble, Secretary
Faculty Support and Development Associate
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.