Marcie Bober-Michel


Professor and Dept. Chair; educational consultant (generally specializing in evaluation projects); wife to Bill -- and mom to three cocker spaniels, a German shepherd, and two cats

Lola and Me


I was raised in Simi Valley (long before it became home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and known for the Rodney King trial) and watched it grow from a small bedroom community to a real city. I was a teenager during the late '60s and early '70s, and lived through memorable political times (always exciting but sometimes disturbing); I was lucky enough, in fact, to witness my own community move from county control to cityhood -- an interesting struggle of different interests, perspectives, and visions.

After high school -- whole semesters of total boredom punctuated by stimulating/intense intellectual experiences (a special thanks to Mrs. Greening and Mr. Schultz) -- I attended UC-Santa Barbara, and then the University of Oregon. My undergraduate career was completely undistinguished; nonetheless, I learned enough to settle into teaching at-risk students, first with San Diego Unified School District and later with the Grossmont Union High School District.

In 1988, I decided that a master's degree was essential for the goals I had set for myself ... but I found SDSU's EDTEC program quite by accident. My real ambition was to become a great writer, but my partner--now husband (Bill) urged me to study something that would let me earn "real money." Though I made the decision to earn a doctorate long before I finished the master's degree, I thought it best to take a year hiatus and rediscover my family, friends, and pets. So ... it wasn't until 1992 that I left for Arizona State University and the Learning and Instructional Technology (LNT) program (now called Educational Technology). For five years -- both while I was in school and after graduation -- I commuted between Ahwatukee (a neighborhood on the southeast edge of Phoenix) and San Diego. We returned to full-time San Diego residency in 1997, but four years later bought a second home in Phoenix about five miles from where we had lived earlier. Bill and I find the desert fascinating and beautiful -- and our backyard, which backs to a preserve, teems with wildlife.


Interests, Activities, and Plans

Since 1992, I've done extensive consulting -- a "home-based" business I fell into initially because I needed to find work that meshed with my doctoral studies at ASU. I stayed with it after graduation because I liked having options, learning new skills, living "on the edge," and sharing with others important tips I've learned along the way. In the early years of my practice, I focused on materials development; while some projects were quite boring and mundane (for example, GED practice tests published by Cliffs Notes), others were very exciting ... with a broader impact than I ever anticipated (for example, a workers' compensation fraud awareness course that, for many years, was presented all over the state).

I've been teaching in the Department continuously since Fall '96 -- appreciative of the opportunities I've been afforded. I've been directly involved in the evaluation of several technology infusion grants in place in local-area school districts, as well as one that targets the emerging technology practices of SDSU's preservice teachers. I've also worked on a grant to reshape SDSU's undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum.

I've helped to design workshops to improve the tactical skills of school police officers (training mandated by state law), assessed a web-based system for building and sharing student portfolios, and developed countless teacher guides to accompany third-party software. I've worked with the Imperial County Office of Education--which is charged with managing the California K-12 High Speed Network, the City Heights Educational Collaborative (focusing in particular on School in the Park), and the Classroom of the Future Foundation--which has overseen implementation of Apple Computer's Universal Locker at Bonita Vista High School.

I try to select projects that reflect my views of professional development and the competencies we all need to meet the demands of today's workplace.

While I'm not a prolific writer, I regularly publish articles, book chapters, and occasional pieces; click here to download an abbreviated vita.


If I had the time, I'd go back to school again ... first to study business management (since over the years, I've learned that my abilities as a performance technologist far outweigh my strengths at managing finances) and then to become a forensic scientist! [As the wife of a (now retired) police officer, I couldn't help but pick up the urge to investigate, and it's a great complement to evaluation.]

During the Spring 2005 semester, I was on sabbatical, primarily based at Arizona State University. It was a great opportunity to charge my batteries, teach in a new and different venue (with Dr. Howard Sullivan, who served as my dissertation chair), and tackle a few long-term research/writing projects I'd put on hold for so long! Upon my return, I became Dep. Chair -- a position I continue to hold and very much enjoy (even in VERY lean budget times like these).

Other Interests

Boomer and ball

My limited spare time is devoted to caring for Bill and our animals. I've outlined several stories about all the dogs we've owned ... but a host of distractions has kept the project from getting off the ground. Since February 2005, we've welcomed several new additions to the brood including two kittens (Thunder and Lightn'n), Boomer (a tri-colored cocker shown here), Dooie (a two-tone blond cocker), the lovely Lola (a chocolate cocker--and one wild lady), and Geronimo--a totally handsome and very large shepherd who'll celebrate his first birthday on Nov 3, 2008. Bill and I make wonderful pet parents---and he's already planniing for pup #5.

Though I don't volunteer nearly as often as I'd like to (or should), I'm quite involved with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I've posted an array of pictures from the 2006 Breast Cancer 3•Day Walk (Nov 10 thru 12); alas, the 2007 pics were too "risqué" to share publicly). I'll once again be crewing the Phoenix walk in 2008: Nov 14 to 16.

I'm also an avid distance runner, but a perennially sore left knee now limits me to half-marathons; my marathon days are over, I think.

Last updated on October 24, 2008.

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