Shannon Tabaldo



Shannon Tabaldo

Shannon N. Tabaldo is the Founding Director of the iDEAL Institute and Director of Digital Curriculum Integration and Development for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University.

Before coming to LMU, Shannon was the Director of Educational Technology at Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She has been a classroom teacher, teaching technology to K-8 as well as Junior High Math. With over 20 years of technology experience and a passion for teaching, she began to see the need for educational technology resources and the need for teacher training. Her personal and professional goal is to positively impact the institution of education so that all scholars have equal and equitable access to technology and learning opportunities.

Shannon is currently researching the impact of blended learning professional development in K-12 Catholic schools on teacher efficacy, to achieve digital literacy and close the achievement gap.

Shannon is the host of the My Tech Toolbelt podcast, an internationally recognized podcast that highlights teachers who INNOVATE, ENGAGE, and INSPIRE by using technology in their classrooms. You can find them at or @MyTechToolbelt on Twitter and Instagram.

Shannon has a B.S. in Business Administration from Linfield College, M.A. in Catholic School Administration from Loyola Marymount University, and is a Doctoral Candidate in LMU's Educational Leadership for Social Justice. She is a LeadingEdge Certified Professional Learning Leader, a Google for Education Certified Innovator, a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer, a Microsoft Office Application expert, and an Apple Certified Teacher.

She can be reached by email at .

Dr. Greg Akai



Greg Akai headshot

Greg Akai, Ed.D., is the Associate Director of the iDEAL Institute and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Teaching and Learning for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University.

Greg has a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Southern California. Greg’s doctoral program in educational psychology incorporated particular focus in the fields of learning and motivation. Greg’s current areas of research include artificial intelligence in education, learning engineering and learning design. Greg’s work continues to be guided and framed through the confluence of learning theory, learning technologies and instructional design.

As Affiliate Faculty, Greg wrote and teaches “Foundations for Online Teaching,” a requisite core course for undergraduate and graduate teacher-candidates in the School of Education. Greg’s “Foundations” course establishes the principles, practices and pedagogies of online teaching and learning in classroom, hybrid and distance learning environments, exemplifying how intentional instructional focus on educational inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility appreciably and complementarily strengthen good teaching practice.

Greg earned a M.A. in Educational Technology from California State University, Los Angeles. As a former public high school and adult school classroom, computer lab, hybrid and online teacher, Greg holds a Designated Subjects Teaching Credential.

Greg can be reached at .

Meaghan Crowley-Sullivan




Meaghan Crowley-Sullivan

Meaghan Crowley-Sullivan, M.Ed., M.A., is the Curriculum and Professional Learning Developer for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Meaghan completed undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, a minor in Education, Schooling and Society, a Masters of Education in Elementary Education and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership. Working as an expeditionary learning and blended learning teacher both in California and Colorado, her experience as a lower and upper elementary teacher has been shaped by her passion for forward-thinking instructional models, her commitment to encouraging teacher collaboration and the desire to utilize technology to meet the needs of all students, while promoting creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.

Prior to joining the iDEAL team, she worked as a master teacher, instructional technology coach, data team lead and school mentor in the Diocese of San Jose's Katherine Drexel schools. Her work in San Jose and with iDEAL has led her to receive the Drexel Blended Learning Award and the Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education from the University of Notre Dame. Her continued work, advising the tech nonprofit Readability Matters, on the integration of reading instruction and technology personalization has further led her to gain a deeper appreciation for the extent to which teachers and technology can truly impact student growth and success.

As part of the iDEAL team working remotely, she enjoys partnering with the many wonderful teachers, leaders and schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. She can be contacted at


Dr. Ashley Ireland



Dr. Ashley Ireland is the Instructional Director of Simulated Learning for the School of Education, a member of the iDEAL team, and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Teaching and Learning. As a leader in the field of immersive learning, she oversees the SOE’s simulation program--an innovative pedagogy that uses Mixed Reality Simulation to train students in profession-specific soft skills. As of 2021, the simulation program is used across all School of Education departments. As a lecturer in the graduate, undergraduate, and extension programs Ashley teaches courses in education policy, social foundations of education, PK-12 educational technology, instructional leadership, and innovative teaching methods.

Ashley has held various roles in education including teacher, instructional coach, program coordinator, reading specialist, teacher trainer, and school leader. She has a B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate from University of California, Los Angeles in Educational Leadership. Ashley holds K-8 multi-subject teaching certificates in both California and Virginia with authorizations in English Language Development as well as Gifted and Talented Education.

Follow her on Twitter @TeachinginFocus. She can be reached by email at

Amy Gross



Amy Gross

Amy Gross, M.A., is the Assistant Director for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Amy holds undergraduate degrees in Advertising and German from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to entering education, her career path offered her opportunities to collaborate with innovative, creative minds at advertising agencies such as Deutsch and Horizon Media, on top brands across the car, restaurant, and travel industries.

Eager to support young learners as they carved their own paths, Amy then earned her M.A in Literacy Education and her K-8 multi-subject clear credential from Loyola Marymount University. Her dedication as a student-centered, progressive educator awarded her the Student of the Year Award for LMU's Literacy Program as well as Graduate Student of the Year for LMU's School of Education.

In the field, Amy held roles as a primary classroom teacher, an upper elementary classroom teacher, and K-5 Intervention Teacher, with a devoted interest in CGI math, personalized reading paths and blended pedagogies. Invigorated by her own professional development, Amy joined the iDEAL team to support teachers and their growth journeys across technology integration, blended learning, and personalized learning, all for the benefit of our young learners.

She can be reached at

Kerwin Molina


Kerwin Molina headshot

Kerwin attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate from the Franciscan School of Theology, a school affiliated to the University of San Diego, where he received his Master of Theological Studies.

As a Catholic educator, he has had the opportunity to teach on both coasts of the United States in San Diego, CA and Durham, NC. In addition to his role in the classroom, Kerwin has also held the roles of Tech TOSA and Instructional Coach. He is a graduate of LMU iDEAL Institute's Academy of Blended Learning and taught in a blended learning school within the Diocese of San Diego.

Kerwin's aim as a program coordinator is to engage teachers in a way that makes them feel empowered, confident, and excited. He hopes to impart his passion for blended learning, technology integration, and teacher leadership on those he serves. Kerwin's goal across his journey with LMU iDEAL is to promote Social Justice for all within education.

He can be reached at



Christine Navarro



Christine Navarro headshot

Having recently stepped away from the classroom after five years, Christine now looks forward to helping other teachers create tailored experiences for their students in varied-ability classrooms throughout both private and public schools in Southern California.

Christine has experience in creating and leading professional development to train program staff on building and implementing lesson plans, using literacy programs, and implementing effective classroom management techniques. She is a graduate of LMU’s IDEAL Institute Academy of Blended Learning herself and taught in a blended learning school within the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Christine earned a Master’s in Science of Education, Single-Subject teaching credential (English) and both English Language authorization and Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) certification from Mount Saint Mary’s University.

It is her goal to continuously seek out opportunities for growth, to serve as a mentor and to advocate for educational equity. She looks forward to the opportunity to further develop as a teacher leader and share her love of instructional technology and curriculum design, while remaining anchored in best pedagogical practices here at the IDEAL Institute.

She can be reached at 

Tiffany Wong



Tiffany Wong headshot

Tiffany is a Program Coordinator for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Throughout her time in public and private urban classrooms, as well as non-profit educational organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tiffany developed a passion to inspire and prepare school communities to mindfully evolve with rapidly changing educational, technological, and socio-economical landscapes.

Tiffany graduated with dual degrees from the University of San Francisco, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis in Education and Child & Youth Studies. She also earned a Master’s in Teaching and currently holds a California Multiple-Subject teaching credential.

She is a graduate with certification from both LMU iDEAL Institute's Academy of Blended Learning and Technology Integration Specialist Teacher Leader programs.

Looking to continue her passion of advancing justice through education, Tiffany is currently building potential within educators by supporting and providing innovative and economically accessible ways to integrate relevant technology with sound pedagogical practice.

Tiffany can be reached at


Justin Shelton




Justin smiling

Justin Shelton is the Adminstrative Coordinator for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Justin believes strongly in the power of education to empower and transform. He has the upmost respect for educators, having worked as a math, science, and language tutor for several years himself. Prior to joining LMU, he also spent four years with the JET Program in Japan, teaching English in rural Hyogo prefecture.

Justin is passionate about continued learning, and holds a deep love for the sciences; he graduated in 2013 from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, and is currently working on his Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering at LMU. In his free time, Justin enjoys learning new recipes in the kitchen, reading science fiction, and playing with his two kittens.





In Loving Memory – Crystal Wilhite

Program Coordinator

Crystal Wilhite

Crystal Wilhite was the Program Coordinator of PreK-12 Technology Integration Projects for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

She held various roles in the School of Education, including coordinator for the CAST (Catholic Archdiocesan School Teachers) Program and the Department of Urban Education. As a staff member, LMU graduate, and mother, Crystal was thoroughly involved and invested in education. She specifically had an interest in the purposeful integration of technology and advocating on behalf of all children.

Crystal earned her B.S. in Sports & Health Sciences from American Military University and her M.A. in Educational Studies with a focus in Counseling from LMU. Prior to LMU, she worked in the automotive industry as well as served in the United States Army. She also volunteered at local community colleges to support veteran students, lead workshops, and provide general counseling.