Meet our team
Beth Cougler Blom | Senior Learning Designer and Facilitator
Beth has more than 20 years of experience in the field of education, having worked in post-secondary environments, municipal government and community organizations, and now as an entrepreneur. She’s been a learning designer since 2005, began Beth Cougler Blom Facilitation in 2011 and has enjoyed working with clients across all sectors ever since. Beth has enjoyed a strong relationship with Royal Roads University over the years, as a former member of their learning design team, an Associate Faculty member and a facilitator of several courses in their Advanced Facilitation Certificate.
Beth has been deeply involved in the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) courses with both Royal Roads University and BCcampus since 2012 and is the original designer of FLO Synchronous, a course that helps people learn how to design and facilitate virtual learning experiences. She is a co-author of the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) Facilitation Guide, an open educational resource that is meant to support institutions to offer the FLO courses. Beth has been a strong user of Liberating Structures for several years and regularly facilitates workshops to help others learn how to use them. Beth and Tracy Roberts co-steward the Vancouver Island Liberating Structures User Group. Beth also is the convenor of the Victoria Facilitators Group.
Beth is the author of Design to Engage: How to Create and Facilitate a Great Learning Experience for Any Group, a “how to” book for people wanting to grow their skills in facilitating workshops. She is a qualified Instructor and Trainer of the Instructional Skills Workshop. Beth has a Master of Education in Adult Education from The University of British Columbia and a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University. She additionally holds certificates in intercultural studies and volunteer management. You can often find Beth hanging out with her family and friends, reading a good book, baking something, walking in nature, and coming up with new ideas.
Valeria Cortes | Learning Designer
Val has worked in the field of education for over two decades. She has extensive experience working with post-secondary institutions and community organizations across cultures. Through course design and facilitation, she has helped thousands of people learn from each other and feel empowered to take action to enhance their organizations and communities.
Val is an Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University, where she teaches and designs leadership courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In her courses and practice, Val emphasizes the need to understand different ways of knowing and being, as well as a holistic approach to learning. Val’s familiarity with work in multicultural contexts, and her use of arts-based and systems-thinking approaches, give her the tools and insight to explore issues from different perspectives and to create inclusive spaces.
While Val’s practical experience feeds strongly into her work, she also has a solid academic background. She holds an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of Victoria, as well as a Masters of Education and a B.Sc. in Information Systems Engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey. Her published work focuses on leadership and social justice, universal design for learning, and critical and holistic pedagogies in intercultural learning. Val loves spending time with her family, and being involved in her community. With her alter-ego, the puppet Giggles, she visits schools and community organizations to help children learn about their rights.
Karyn Lemberg | Learning Technologist
Karyn Lemberg has 20 years of experience in Multimedia Design and eLearning Development, having previously held positions as an eLearning Designer/Developer, Web & Multimedia Designer, Animator and Illustrator for both Print and Online courses. Currently a Senior Learning Technologist at Royal Roads University, she supports Faculty with online course development and tweaking of technologies. Also a freelance contractor, she loves creating interactive online modules primarily using Articulate Storyline.
Karyn’s formal education includes courses in Fine Arts (Malaspina College), Education (University of Victoria) and an Advanced Animation Diploma with Honours (Computer Master Institute of Technology). A combination of interests in both Design and Education is an excellent fit for designing effective and attractive learning experiences. Her skills include web design, illustration, interactive e-learning solutions, 2D animation, 3D animation, and interactive e-learning solutions. She is constantly expanding her knowledge by participating in online learning opportunities and testing various apps and plugins.
When there is time to relax, she’ll be out in the garden with a camera, reading or walking on the beach with her two dogs.
Michelle Hohertz | Technical Assistant
Michelle has worked in the supportive technology industry for over 20 years, assisting others with a wide variety of technical needs. Michelle’s formal education includes an honours degree from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Applied Information Systems Technology. Michelle currently works full time as a Desktop Support Analyst at the University of Victoria. When given some down time, Michelle enjoys building with LEGO, thrifting and sewing.