Marilyn A. Bennett, MA, MS, Ed.D.


Owner, Consultant
Next Step Global Consulting
Arcata, CA, USA
Industry: Business Services
Field: Educational Consulting

When looking up the word “diverse” in the dictionary, it’s easy to envision the name Marilyn A. Bennett front and center. With expertise in education, mediation, and community learning, Dr. Bennett has been going strong in her career for nearly four decades. During this time, she has traveled extensively to different places, and while her interaction with different cultures has undoubtedly made her a better educator, she believes that her experiences have also made her a better person. As the owner of Next Step Global Consulting, providing consulting services for recreation, disaster preparedness, life coaching, and organizational leadership for parents and children, Dr. Bennett wears a variety of hats. She draws upon her broad-based research and development skills as she works with county officers, teaches special education, organizes physical education programs for children, and oversees the development of manuals.

In her position of overseeing Next Step Global Consulting, Dr. Bennett feels the most satisfaction when she is working with students and helping to solve their problems. When embarking on the journey that has landed her where she is today, Dr. Bennett became a persistent seeker of higher education. In 1973, she earned a bachelor’s degree in health, recreation and physical education, and motor development from Humboldt State University, which she followed three short years later with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the same institution. Additionally, Dr. Bennett holds a master’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in kinesiology, both from Humboldt State University, along with a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne. A licensed counseling psychologist, she also earned certification in preschool, elementary and secondary education teaching in 1974 and became a certified mediator in 1998.

Dr. Bennett volunteers her time to several nonprofit organizations, including a local blood bank, The American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Special Olympics. She also serves as a facilitator at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif. In recognition of her services, she was named Volunteer of the Year by the American Heart Association in1998 and was given the Eudora Welty Memorial Award by The American Red Cross in 2003. A member of IBC and ABI, she feels fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as an Ambassador Representative of the United States for the World Forum, a gathering she looks forward to attending each year. As the years progress, Dr. Bennett hopes to continue providing consulting services and making presentations on mediation. Continue reading

Gloria G. Vaughn


Vaughn, Gloria

Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Vaughn Consultants
Sugar Land, TX, USA
Industry: Education
Field: Instruction of the Blind and Visually Impaired

At almost 71 years of age, Gloria Giersch Vaughn has not slowed down one bit since officially retiring just a short time ago. Formerly a teacher of blind and visually impaired students, she is now a private consultant to this same specialized population, working to improve educational standards and create more learning and job opportunities. When she first became a teacher, Mrs. Vaughn was enthralled by the capacity of students with multiple disabilities to grasp subjects with the same ease as nondisabled students. She marveled at the children’s enthusiasm and resolve not to be inhibited by their handicaps — a fervor which she similarly exhibited as their educator and mentor.

Before establishing Vaughn Consultants, Mrs. Vaughn wrote a number of children’s stories, including “The Flannel Board Storybook,” which she co-authored and published with Frances S. Taylor in 1986. Additionally, she compiled grants to acquire new technology that would enhance the lessons she delivered in the classroom to impaired students as well as the teachers who would prepare them for the future. Throughout the years, she received many service awards, though none were as rewarding as witnessing the impact she made on each child’s life. Her involvement with the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired has helped her to gain many contacts within the industry who share her passion for teaching and making a difference.

Mrs. Vaughn received a Bachelor of Science in Music and Education in 1962 from Texas Wesleyan University; a Master of Science in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in 1975; and an Educational Specialist degree in childhood development also from Vanderbilt University in 1978. She is certified as a teacher of the visually impaired by the University of Texas, as well as a member of the Surrey Association for Visual Impairment and the Council for Exceptional Children.

Gifted in many areas, Mrs. Vaughn creates beadwork, designs jewelry, plays music, and sings. Continue reading