August 09, 2011

Site coordinators join WED off-campus program

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Through the College of Education and Human Services’ workforce education and development department, Southern Illinois University Carbondale operates off-campus undergraduate degree programs at 16 sites, giving thousands of people the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degrees.

The program began 37 years ago at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and now includes sites in Washington, California, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere in Illinois.  A faculty member, with the assistance of support staff, manages each of the sites offering on-site instruction and advisement for students. 

Recently, three new site coordinators joined the program.  The new faculty coordinators include Deborah Diffenauer at NAS Dam Neck/Oceana in Virginia, Myron Cleveland at Riverside, Calif., and Jeff Grayson at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington. 

“We are pleased to welcome the new coordinators to the SIU/Workforce Education and Development family, comprised of professional faculty and staff tasked with providing voluntary educational opportunities to our military members and veterans.  Each of these new faculty members has strong backgrounds and interests in serving our clientele,” said Beth W. Freeburg, chair and associate professor in the workforce education and development department. 

Freeburg said all three have strong training and development backgrounds as well as prior service to the University.

Diffenauer, originally from Herrin, is a triple alumna of SIUC, earning her doctorate in workforce education and development in 2010, her MBA in 2004 and her bachelor’s in business management in 2003.  She has a long employment affiliation with the University as well, most recently serving as financial aid advisor II in the financial aid office for three years before taking the Oceania position. 

Previously, she was a supervisory processing clerk graduate assistant, a processing clerk and a teaching assistant in information management systems.  She also holds a radiological technologist certificate in radiation technology from George Washington University and worked for a decade as a radiological technologist in various medical facilities. 

Her research interests include occupational career development and transition, and occupational training program skill development, while her teaching interests include career development, training program development and training evaluation models.

Cleveland earned his master’s degree in education and his bachelor’s in workforce education and development at SIUC.  He served as interim program coordinator at Riverside for more than a year before becoming coordinator and he previously served as an adjunct instructor in the program. 

Cleveland’s professional experience also includes working as a curriculum developer for Technology Services Inc. and as a regional security manager for Coca Cola in California.  He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1982 to 2005, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.  Cleveland’s research interests include training and education, while his teaching experience includes methods and media, occupational analysis and curriculum development.

Grayson earned his bachelor’s degree in workforce education and development at SIUC in 2004 and he holds a master’s degree in human resources development completed in 2008 at Webster University in St. Louis.  He also holds several professional certifications.

Grayson was previously an instructor in SIUC’s workforce education and development department.  His experience also includes working as an academic department manager and instructor for the Community College of the Air Force in Montgomery, Ala.  His educational interests include workforce education and development, occupational analysis and curriculum development, instructional systems design, instructional materials and methodology and evaluation, assessment and performance.

The SIUC workforce education and development off-campus degree program is one of the largest of its kind in the country.  Enrollment in the program’s military component averages 800 students at any given time and the program boasts more than 19,000 military and civilian graduates.  For more information about the program, visit

Deborah Diffenauer

Deborah Diffenauer  Download Photo Here

Myron Cleveland

Myron Cleveland  Download Photo Here

Jeff Grayson

Jeff Grayson  Download Photo Here