Meet Your Professional Diploma Programs' Instructors

Your Immersives and Professional Diploma Programs instructors bring years of real-world experience in their fields to the classroom. You'll learn first-hand from experienced professionals the latest trends and techniques so that you can succeed in your chosen profession. Read on to learn more about these fascinating teachers:

Suzanne Garrett Photo

Suzanne Garrett, B.S., M.B.A., PMP has more than 20 years of teaching and training experience as a professor at various universities in the United States and Japan teaching project management, math and accounting courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. She has held the rank of full professor of business administration, as well as associate dean and chair of the undergraduate programs at John F. Kennedy University. Additional credits include president of Strategic Organizational Solutions Inc., specializing in project management consulting and training; and created and led numerous training courses and professional-development programs in project management, including the popular PMP Exam preparation workshop.

Best part about teaching international students at UC Berkeley Extension: "I enjoy having a variety of academic, work and cultural backgrounds in the classroom. Teamwork and learning from each other are rich experiences that we would have difficulty replicating anywhere else. I also love hearing from former students—where they are, who they are working for, how they are using exactly what we discussed in class in their new job, how they passed the PMP Exam."

Suggestion for students: "Design a plan to combine studying, playing and making friends. You will remember this unique experience for the rest of your life. Some of the friends you will make will be your friends for life."

What she teaches: Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Project Schedule and Risk Management

John Gonzales Photo

John Gonzales, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. is assistant professor of economics at the School of Management, University of San Francisco; and part-time lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He previously worked as an investment consultant in San Francisco and as principal economist (principal administrator) at the Centre for Co-Operation with the Economies in Transition, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

Best part about teaching international students at UC Berkeley Extension: "The students are very motivated, and their diversity makes the courses more interesting."

Suggestion for students: "Be ready to work hard and have one of the best experiences of your life."

What he teaches: Applied Economics for Business, Intermediate Corporate Finance, International Economics

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Liu Lifong, B.S., PMP is the founder of Global Focus Consulting, advising business leaders in North America and Asia as their companies navigate the transition to a global economy. She has more than 20 years of experience in engineering, construction, international business development and organizational change management.

What she teaches: Project Management

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Martin Medeiros was a former economist for Bank of America where he reported on economic indicators for one of the largest banks in the United States. His expertise has also taken him abroad as a visiting scholar teaching micro- and global economics at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

For the past 10 years, Medeiros has been using his industry expertise and international teaching experience to instruct, counsel and mentor UC Berkeley Extension's international students. Recognized for his excellence in teaching and his commitment to students, Medeiros received the Honored Instructor award from UC Berkeley Extension in 2005.

One of the courses students find interesting and challenging, Medeiros notes, is Global Business and Marketing Strategy. In this course, book learning and hands-on practice come together. Students form small teams to run a hypothetical athletic shoe business from the ground up. "To me, this exercise is a lot of fun," Medeiros says. "It involves teamwork, the division of labor, creativity and the application of knowledge learned in class. This is as close as we come to a real-world circumstance. And the outcomes are not always neat, just like the real world.

"Students who have had experience running a company enjoy it," he continues. "For students who do not have any experience, it provides them with an idea of the sheer weight of the number of decisions they will have to make."

What he teaches: Applied Economics for Business, Global Business and Marketing Strategy, International Economics

Joseph Mudd, B.S. brings more than 40 years of project and operations management to the classroom. He was a senior director of Facilities for an international biopharma corporation; VP Operations for an international engineering-procurement-construction contractor. Projects he’s been involved with include biotech research, development and manufacturing facilities; micro-electronics wafer fab, test assembly and device manufacturing; and international construction projects for U.S. multinational corporations.

Best part about teaching international students at UC Berkeley Extension: "Procurement is intimately connected to the legal system. Exploring the importance of procurement to project managers and the difference in procurement and contracts within the two basic legal systems of the world is both challenging and interesting."

Suggestion for students: "Focus, focus, focus—ensure you are 100% present for all course work. Project management knowledge is valuable in all supervision and management functions and, of course, directly in your future project management work."

What he teaches: Project Cost and Procurement Management

Patricia Muscatelli's finance background is as rich and diverse as a well-balanced investment portfolio. Having worked as a financial planner for Bank of America and Wells Fargo, as well as a finance manager of several private companies, she helped develop the finance curriculum at several universities. As an instructor for UC Berkeley Extension professional certificates, she shares her areas of expertise in financial planning, cash management and financial analysis.

Muscatelli teaches Applied Corporate Finance to international students. For the majority of the class, students are divided into groups to work on case studies and offer solutions. "They're asked to look at the cases from the perspective of management, shareholders and the community at large," Muscatelli says. "As we are learning from continued research in the field of behavioral finance, people and company management don't always behave in the way that our models forecast, which means students need to be able to identify areas that may be subject to the 'human' factor."

Muscatelli's course prepares students for success using real-world scenarios, as if they were in the actual workplace. They learn that there can be many ways to solve a problem, sparking lively debate.

Teaching international students is "challenging, informative and fun," Muscatelli says. "Having students from as many as 15 different countries and with varied, real-world experience makes it challenging. It is informative because students share with me and each other things about their countries and how business is conducted in different parts of the world. It is fun because the students are enthusiastic and bring a lot to each class."

What she teaches: Applied Corporate Finance, Basic Corporate Finance

Nancy Roberts Photo

Nancy Roberts, B.A., M.A., GRI Certified Sustainability Reporter has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations, communication and project management for mission-driven organizations. She was a consultant on sustainable communication and marketing strategies with a focus on social media and metrics. Roberts co-authored the International Guidebook of Environmental Finance Tools (United Nations Development Program, 2012) and A California Green Plan: Making the Case for Business (commissioned by the Gellert Foundation).

What she teaches: Introduction to Marketing

Bob Steiner has an M.B.A. in international management and international marketing. With experience leading AT&T's marketing and sales, as well as consulting for many Fortune 100 and 500 companies, Steiner's expertise is multicultural competence—training people to work successfully with global teams.

An instructor for nine years, Steiner teaches market research, global leadership, and cross-cultural communications and training. "International students at Berkeley are unique," Steiner says. "They're often very motivated, very bright and very fun to work with. I get a great charge out of working with international students."

Like many UC Berkeley Extension instructors who have both corporate and academic experience, Steiner balances theoretical knowledge with practical application in his teaching philosophy. "Students clearly get great content knowledge out of taking our courses," he says. "These professional certificates are a training ground for working with a global culture. My personal philosophy is to make the mistakes here, to find the challenges here in an academic environment before you're in an actual corporate environment. There, the mistakes are quite costly."

Steiner sees students grow and mature through their studies in Berkeley. Most significantly, he finds that the students emerge with a greater level of confidence. "I see students who are quite reticent to give authoritative presentations in the very beginning," he says. "After they've finished the program, they've really increased their level of confidence and their ability to assert themselves, especially in this culture and in this language."

What he teaches: Marketing Research: Concepts and Techniques