Lifelong Learner: Sharon Woodlief, Class of 2005

This month we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate Sharon Woodlief (M.A. Class of 2005) in our spotlight on alumni.

Sharon Woodlief's interest in lifelong learning began in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After moving to Santa Barbara to pursue a graduate study program in Political Science she found herself drawn to Psychology.

Sharon researched graduate programs that could provide a course of study that was rigorous yet consistent with her personal philosophy of Social Justice and Experiential Learning. Once she found Antioch University Santa Barbara, Sharon knew she would be on the right course both academically and personally (an added bonus was the University was located around the corner from where she lived downtown).

Woodlief graduated from Antioch University Santa Barbara, in 2005 with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. The photo is of Sharon Woodlief from her graduation from Louisiana State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree. It was significant time for her as it was at that graduation that she confirmed her objective to go to graduate school and ultimately find a path that would allow Sharon to continue to enrich her life as well as to encourage Ms. Woodlief to appreciate the world around her.
When asked about her experience at AUSB, Sharon Woodlief said:

"My classes at Antioch consisted of an array of diverse students, and the class environments were open to allowing all of those hungry and thoughtful scholars to think and challenge one another as well as being encouraged to challenge the brilliant faculty. I felt my knowledge base grow academically because the faculty was prepared to teach with skill and competence. Moreover, I felt my sense of intellect and self-confidence intensify, as I applied theories and ideas not only in my school work but in my community, and even with my family and friends."

Sharon shares this message for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:

"There is so much that I learned at Antioch that I still find myself routinely recalling themes and lessons, and in all manner of circumstances in my life. That is what education at Antioch is: taking what is learned in the classroom and applying what is learned throughout one’s life."

Since graduating from Antioch Santa Barbara in 2005, Woodlief has gone on to earn a Ph.D. in Education from the UCSB, with an emphasis in educational leadership and organizations. Her dissertation research was focused on multicultural awareness education. Sharon worked in Admissions at Fielding Graduate University’s School of Psychology. It was there that she began work with Antioch University Santa Barbara’s current President, Dr. Nancy Leffert
Sharon Woodlief is an Editor at Out of the Woods Publishing, Inc. She has just finished work on editing a novel titled: "The Farmhand" authored by former Louisiana correctional officer David Bruce. Woodlief's role in editing this tale on the psychology of people in the Louisiana prison system was based on her background in Clinical Psychology. Sharon Woodlief states, "When you see this book on the New York Times bestseller list and on the silver screen, you heard about it here first, from an Antioch Grad! I am so honored to have been chosen to participate in this work, and I am excited about what the future holds for me." For more information on this Antioch Alumni please visit her LinkedIn profile at

Antioch Graduate Tamie Beeman-Gangloff Facilitates Healing as an Eating Disorder Specialist

Tamie Beeman-Gangloff, M.A. in Clinical Psychology Class of 2009, often refers to herself as “The Wounded Healer” after having overcome her own battles with an eating disorder. Tamie’s approach in helping others recover is eclectic, one that includes work on relationship and personality issues, cognitive behavior, and feminist perspective.

The Antioch University Santa Barbara 2009 Graduate received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Since her graduation, Tamie has been working with men, women and adolescents in treatment for severe eating disorders in an inpatient and outpatient level. Tamie Beeman-Gangloff  also has experience in treating clients with substance abuse, sexual identity issues, and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

As a “recovered professional”, who leads her practice in Pennsylvania, Ms. Beeman-Gangloff has facilitated many scale bashing events. These events inspires clients to do away with the negativity associated with the numbers on the bathroom scale. Tamie ensures a safe environment where clients can began the healing process through discussion and action. Women bring in clothing articles and even food scales. Hammers are provided for the bashing!

When asked about her experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara, Tamie Beeman-Gangloff said:

“I chose Antioch because of the small classroom environment and the focus on the experiential process. Antioch focuses on what is important – the true experience with the client – face to face, learning the detailed skills that you cannot learn from a book. We didn’t focus on memorizing material for tests, but we were pushed to the limit to study cases and come up with the best treatment for our clients. The education was also of a very personal nature – forcing us to look inward and to rediscover ourselves. Of course, it is a requirement to attend therapy while in the program, however – with each new class and subject, I started to look more at myself and began to grow and change more personally and professionally. The teachers at Antioch helped to provide a safe environment for learning and self-exploration.”

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

Tamie shares this message of her own self-growth for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:

“I was referred to as a wounded healer due to my own personal recovery and experiences. As you can see from my website – this is an identity I have grown into. In school, we learn that self-disclosure is to be very limited and focused on what will help the client. I do this but in a more personal way. All of my clients know that I am in recovery – I feel that this helps us to connect and relate to one another on a level that could not otherwise be facilitated. My own pain and healing has become one of my tools for helping others.”

Tamie Beeman-Gangloff, M.A., provides individual, group and family therapy. Her treatment is very individualized for each client. For more information on this Antioch Alumni please visit


Antioch Graduate James Kyriaco Excels in Local Leadership

This week we feature Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate James Kyriaco (BA Class of 2009), a fundraising and management consultant, in our spotlight on alumni.

James Kyriaco knows how to 'keep it local' with thirteen years of experience and success in managing political campaigns in the Santa Barbara community.

The Antioch University Santa Barbara 2009 graduate received his Bachelor of Liberal Studies with an Area of Concentration in Social Services Administration paving the way for James to climb the ranks in the political world and help many candidates win victories in elections.

Mr. Kyriaco was born and raised in Santa Barbara. He attended Santa Barbara High School and completed coursework at Santa Barbara City College. James has held many leadership positions with a number of non-profit organizations including the Santa Barbara Family Care Center (President, Vice President), Goleta Valley Historical Society (Executive Director), Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County, Citizens Planning Association, and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons (Board Member).

James Kyriaco has consulted for numerous political clients ranging from County Supervisor Janet Wolf, Santa Barbara School Board Trustee Monique Limon to Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell, former Santa Barbara Councilmembers Roger Horton and Brian Barnwell, and Goleta Water District President Bill Rosen.

James has also been active in serving the Santa Barbara community through his work on the Santa Barbara County Historic Landmarks Advisory Committee, and as a former longtime member of the City of Santa Barbara Community Development and Human Services Commission.

When asked about his experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara, James Kyriaco said:

"I chose Antioch University because it offers a flexible schedule, strong faculty, and proven commitment to social justice through examination of individual and organizational behavior. I especially appreciated Antioch's powerful online learning tools, and its recognition of the value of experiential learning."

Read more about the Antioch Santa Barbara Difference.

James shares this message for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:

"My experience at Antioch was transformative, and impacts the way I look at the world around me every day. The instructors offer "real world" as well as academic knowledge, and their commitment to students is top notch. Many of the students are very accomplished as well, and the seminar format of many classes offers opportunities to learn from the student body as well as the instructor. The online platforms used at Antioch are technologically advanced, intuitive and complement the classroom and experiential elements of the curriculum."

Mr. Kyriaco has just completed a Master's Degree program in Public Administration through California State University, Northridge. James lives with his wife Angie (also an Antioch University Alumni) in Goleta, along with their cat, Guiseppe. For more information on James Kyriaco visit his profile at

Read more AUSB featured Alumni stories

Featured AUSB Graduate Conrad Torres is a Career and Life Coach

Conrad Torres believes in living life to the fullest and staying healthy both physically and mentally. His passion is to help others reach full potential in their professional and personal lives.

The Antioch University Santa Barbara graduate received his Master's Degree in Organizational Management in 2008. Conrad serves the local community with his work as the founder of TLC (Total Life Coaching). Conrad Torres specializes in career and life renewal coaching. Directing professional and personal potential, Conrad aids people of all ages in filling their lives and businesses full of purpose and passion. He draws on his counseling and organizational management experience to help clients find and clarifying their current life purpose and vision, then taking what is identified and make it a reality through a structured process of resourceful discovery.
When asked about his experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara, Conrad Torres said:
"I chose Antioch for a number of reasons. I actually had a very polished academic record throughout my schooling and could have gone to almost any University of my choosing, but after visiting several different campuses, I couldn't compare them to the feeling I felt while visiting the Antioch campus. First off, it wasn't a HUGE campus, where you needed a road map to find every building."

"It was personal, quiet, manageable and more importantly, I didn't feel like a small ant lost in a maze, but more like an elephant walking amongst the herd. That feeling was my assurance that I could learn as much as possible if I put in the effort. The sky was the limit at this University and I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity."

"I can still recall the first day of orientation meeting my new classmates one by one as they arrived on campus. I do admit I was a little nervous at first, but as I got to know each and every one of them, I felt a sense of calm, like I had known my fellow cohorts since childhood. From that first day, I was part of a family and have remained a part of that family ever since."
Conrad shares this message for prospective students of Antioch University Santa Barbara:
"It's been several of years since I graduated from Antioch and I still find myself going back to visit the faculty and staff from time to time."

"I am always recommending the University to friends and family members who are interested in continuing their education. All of my friends and family know that I not only received my B.A. from Antioch, but also my M.A. I learned so much and had the opportunity to interact act with so many people from all walks of life during my B.A. program, that there was no question in my mind about where to go for my graduate degree. Even after a two year break from receiving my B.A., I still felt Antioch was the one and only choice for me."

"As I'm sitting here, I am reminiscing about all the fun I had while obtaining both of my degrees. It was truly an experience like no other. As human beings, we are constantly evolving by learning new ways of doing things and that's exactly what Antioch challenges you to do. The professors don’t just go through the so-called “motions,” they challenge you to think outside of the box. They give you the necessary tools to not only better yourself, but also those around you and because of that, I feel the Antioch experience rivals even the most prestigious Universities." 


Karen Cator Speaks in Santa Barbara on Transforming Education with Technology

Antioch University Santa Barbara is proud to host Karen Cator, the Obama Administration's Director of Educational Technology, US Department of Education. Cator's address to the Santa Barbara community is titled Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, and the event was held on Wednesday, March 2, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, at the Canary Hotel.

Karen Cator has been instrumental in shaping the Obama administration's vision of 21st century opportunities for students using technology to transform teaching and learning. She has been a leading voice at the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Ms. Cator directed Apple's leadership and advocacy efforts in education. She has been a leading voice at the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators.

KEYT "Key News" Channel 3 was on the scene to cover the event – Here is the News Story on Karen Cator's visit to Santa Barbara.

Below is a video from the evenings presentation.

The event is a continuation of AUSB’s community collaboration surrounding the presidential inauguration of Dr. Nancy Leffert.