"It was really fun. Some levels were really easy, but others got harder and harder. I didn't think that I could beat the last level of one of the exercises, but I worked on it and beat it!"
Learning Enhancement Corporation is a Chicago-based company that develops software combining neuroscience with motivating video-game technology. LEC won the EdNET Rookie of the Year Award in 2006, honoring the most promising venture with the greatest potential to be a significant player in the education industry in the coming years.
LEC products integrate clinical methodologies that have been used successfully in the past to help develop specific cognitive skills in individuals with identified learning and/or attention deficits.
LEC’s innovative approach makes cognitive skill development dramatically more affordable and extends its reach to a far larger population. With LEC’s products, virtually any individual can augment his or her learning skills; the techniques which have been meticulously built into LEC’s products can help both in remedial situations and in users without identified deficits who are looking for overall improvement in mental fitness and/or a competitive advantage.
LEC is guided by the principle that every person can improve his or her ability to learn and think – the essence of what it means to be human. LEC is committed to facilitating each individual's journey to become the most effective learner he or she can be, by providing tools that incorporate sound science with entertaining and motivating video gaming technology.
Roger Stark, Founder & CEO
Prior to founding Learning Enhancement Corporation in 2001, Mr. Stark was CEO and founder of S.P.A. Worldwide, an international interactive marketing communications company specializing in the creation and design of integrated marketing programs, interactive new media, and live interactive events. In 1996, Mr. Stark partnered with Brain Wink to form WinkStar, which developed e-Commerce sites, website development and interactive design for live corporate communication events. With Wink/Star/S.P.A. Worldwide, he was instrumental in the new design launch of PC Magazine, Computer Shopper and PC Sources for Ziff Davis Publishing, and he supported product launches for TerraGlyph Interactive Studios (including Steven Spielberg’s first interactive new media game for Tiny Toons); Electronic Arts (EA Sports); and Namco Cybertainment, Inc. Also in 1996, Mr. Stark began exploring his interest in education and cognitive sciences which ultimately led to founding Learning Enhancement.
Betsy Hill, President & COO
Before she joined Learning Enhancement Corporation in 2005, she was President of Marketing Pro Tempore, consulting with a wide range of businesses regarding strategy and marketing. Prior to that, she worked in a variety of marketing, strategy and product commercialization roles in companies developing advanced e-commerce and energy information services. She spent 14 years at The NutraSweet Company, beginning as a business analyst and ending as the director of the company’s fat substitute business.
Ms. Hill is past-chairman of the board of trustees of Chicago State University. She is a professor in the MBA program at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, teaching courses in critical thinking and strategy. She holds both a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Sara Sawtelle, Ph.D., Director Scientific Affairs
Prior to joining LEC in 2004, Dr. Sawtelle was the instructional technology coordinator and an instructor in Chemistry at The Culver Academies. Before joining The Culver Academies, she served as Training Director with Xcel Computer Systems, Inc and was an Assistant Professor in Chemistry at St. Mary’s College in Indiana. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Memphis. Dr. Sawtelle is a member of the International Society of Technology in Education and the Learning and the Brain Society. Dr. Sawtelle received her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Boston College.
Karen Buccola, Director Customer Service
Ms. Buccola has been the Director of Customer Service since 2005, before which she served as Account Manager for the Abbott Laboratories account with EduNeering, a company that provides custom computer–based training programs in support of regulatory compliance. Previously, Ms. Buccola spent twenty years with the NutraSweet Company, working as a consumer service representative and managing the consumer response center. She also managed the company’s consumer database and developed the online sales program. Ms. Buccola earned a B.S. Ed. degree.
Key Staff Consultants
Patricia Cosentino, CPA, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Cosentino has served as LEC’s Chief Financial Officer since 2002. She operates an accounting, tax, business development and organizational development practice focused on small businesses, start-up enterprises and non-profits. Ms. Cosentino is a CPA and holds a J.D. degree.
Brian Wink, Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Wink was named the Chief Technology Officer of Learning Enhancement in 2005. Previously, Mr. Wink was involved in starting two companies that have gone public through the IPO process (MacroMedia and MyPoints). Mr. Wink has provided technology consulting and services to a wide range of companies including eCharge2 Corporation, SmarrtNavigators, Inc., iSpy Systems, Inc., and Geneca. In 2001, Mr. Wink sold WinkComm, a software development firm he founded in 1993. WinkComm’s customers included RR Donnelley, Apple, Motorola, Ameritech, Sprint, MCI, CellularOne, 3Com, and Adobe. Prior roles included consultant relations at Apple Computer, COO for MacroMedia.
Scientific Advisory Board
Mr. Bragdon has researched and written extensively on the practical applications of neuroscience in the development and maintenance of mental fitness. He is the author of many books on the subject, including Building Mental Muscle, Use It or Lose It: Keeping Your Brain Fit, and Exercises for the Whole Brain. He developed the Time-Life Books series “Family Creative Workshop”, was founding editor of “Games” magazine and editor and publisher of "The Curious Mind" a periodical on cognitive skills. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the International Council of Active Aging as well as other professional and scientific organizations.
Jean-Claude Dutes, Ph.D.
Dr. Dutes has substantial experience working with people who have developmental and emotional problems that require special care beyond the range of most traditional therapy or education. He serves as Psychology Section Leader in the Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. He is also an adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Central Michigan State University. His area of expertise is neurological and psychological assessment and group counseling. Dr. Dutes earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Counseling in 1985 from Michigan State University.
Jeffery Gilger, Ph.D.
Dr. Gilger’s multidisciplinary research spans the educational, clinical and neuroscience disciplines, focusing on normal and abnormal neuropsychological development, genetics, and the etiology of learning-language disorders, especially dyslexia. Recent research projects include the neurology/genetics of the gifted-learning disabled individual, the use of virtual reality for spatial skills analysis, and a multi-site project on the efficacy of reading remediation programs in not-for-profit clinics. Dr. Gilger was among the first investigators to describe the genetic patterns for inherited learning and co-morbid disorders in families and to suggest that the genes for dyslexia may be part of the normal continuum of reading variation. Most recently, Dr. Gilger has served as Associate Dean for Discovery and Faculty Development for the College of Education at Purdue. Dr. Gilger is president and program chair for the Brain and Neuroscience SIG of the American Educational Research Association, a former officer and board member of the International Dyslexia Association, and an advisor or editorial board member for a number of grant agencies and professional journals. He holds memberships in the American Psychological Association, the American Society of Human Genetics and the Behavior Genetics Association.
Peter Kline, M.A.
Mr. Kline is an accomplished author of more than 20 books and numerous articles on education, literature and the arts. For the past 20 years, he has been involved with integrative-accelerative learning. Mr. Kline worked with Eastman Kodak and the New York Public Schools to develop and implement programs for teacher training and corporate culture change. He also developed an integrated whole language and phonics program that has been used in a number of schools to help students make rapid improvement in reading skills. Mr. Kline founded The Thornton Friends School in the Washington D.C. area, and has worked with school systems in Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Brooklyn, Queens, Rochester, Utica, Detroit, Arlington and Washington D.C. Mr. Kline’s books include: Why America's Children Can't Think, Ten Steps to a Learning Organization, The Everyday Genius and The Genesis Principle. For the past 20 years, he has been actively involved with integrative-accelerative learning which effectively blends creativity and critical thinking. Mr. Kline earned a B.A. from Amherst College and a M.A. from the Catholic University of America.
Sheldon Margulies, M.D.
Dr. Margulies is a board-certified practicing neurologist in Silver Spring, Maryland, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Margulies currently holds the rank of clinical assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Previously he was a clinical assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Maryland and the University of Alabama. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966, and Stanford School of Medicine in 1971, completed an internal medicine residency at McGill University in 1973, and completed a neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1976. Dr. Margulies is an inactive member of the Maryland Bar, having graduated from the University of Baltimore - School of Law in 1988. Dr. Margulies is also the founder of Fascinating Education (www.fascinatingeducation.com), a company dedicated to making a difference in the way science is taught.
Marion Perlmutter, Ph.D.
Dr. Perlmutter is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she has previously worked as a research scientist in the Center for Human Growth and the Institute of Gerontology. Dr. Perlmutter has received numerous grants in her work in gerontology, memory and early cognitive function. She received her M.S. in Educational Psychology at State University of New York and her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Developmental Psychology.
Theresa Rosen, Ph.D.
Dr. Rosen is a cognitive enhancement researcher. She received her doctorate in the Educational Psychology Doctoral Program at Texas A&M – Commerce, where she also received her Master’s Degree in Education Psychology. In 1981, she received a BGS from Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan. After graduating she ran her own medical transcription company before becoming a pharmaceutical representative for Reid & Carnrick.
Gary Vogel, O.D.
Dr. Vogel's practice has focused on low vision and vision therapy and he has developed his own vision therapy software programs. He has been in the private practice of optometry since 1977 and serves as a clinical instructor at the University of Missouri - College of Optometry. He graduated from the Ohio State College of Optometry, and is a member of the American Optometric Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Vogel has published articles in the Journal of the American Optometric Association and the Journal of Behavioral Optometry.
Patricia Wolfe, Ed.D.
Dr. Wolfe is an international authority on the educational implications and application of current neuroscience, cognitive science and education research to teaching and learning. In her capacity as an independent consultant, she has trained thousands of administrators, teachers, boards of education, and parents in schools and districts throughout the United States and in over 50 countries internationally. She is an award-winning author and has appeared on numerous videotape series, satellite broadcasts, radio shows and television programs. Her books include Brain Matters: Translating the Research to Classroom Practice and Building the Reading Brain, PreK-3 (co-authored with Dr. Pamela Nevills). She is also the author of numerous book chapters and articles. www.patwolfe.com. Dr. Wolfe holds a B.A. from Phillips University in Oklahoma, and an Ed.D. from The University of LaVerne. She received the Early Intervention for School Success Educator of the Year Award in 2002.
Deborah Zelinksy, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.
Dr. Zelinsky specializes in neuro-optometric rehabilitation in her practice, The Mind-Eye Connection, where she works with patients with traumatic brain injury, autism, developmental delays and processing, learning and memory difficulties. Previously she worked at the Ft. Lauderdale Eye Institute and the Director of the Clinic for Macular Degeneration at the Schwartzman-Steinberg Low Vision Clinic. Her numerous papers, workshops and seminars on Visuospatial and Motor Planning Skills are recognized worldwide. She created the Macular Connection Visual Rehabilitation Course for the Blind Service Association. Her publications include “An Insight to Vision: A Guide to the Neurological Effect of Lenses” and “Bridging the Gap between Neuroscience and Eye Care.” She is also the regional director for the Optometric Extension Program, as well as a Charter Member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association. Dr. Zelinsky received her Doctor of Optometry and Bachelor of Science in Visual Science degrees from the Illinois College of Optometry. She is a fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.