Dr. Pamela Lindsay

Co-Founder and Dean:

Dr. Lindsay enjoys supporting students and families through development of curriculum, instruction, administration, and community-based collaborative programs. A long history of work with families of learners with differing abilities inspires her passion for developing historic and individualized curricula and programs providing students with lifelong collegiate engagement, optimal learning opportunities, and motivation toward success.

Her professional background and interests include work in the arts, technology, academia, and family educational counseling. Examples of awards and commendations include multiple recognitions from the State of California Senate and Assembly, the Service Above Self Award from the San Andreas Regional Center, the University of Phoenix Bay Area Leadership Impact/Sperling Alumni Achievement award, a CACSE Special Education Recognition Award, a Lifelong Learning award from the Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network, a Contributions to the Profession award from Delta Kappa Gamma International Society of Key Women Educators, and featured articles in publications such as Bay Area Women magazine.

Dr. Lindsay’s EdD/CI from the University of Phoenix and personal research work, including national and international dissemination of study, includes a focus on development of lifelong higher education programs for adults with differing learning needs with focus on adults with intellectual disability. Other degrees include a B.A., and M.A. from the Department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre at San Jose State University where she served as a Graduate Instructor, Lecturer, and Director.

Dr. Lindsay serves on an annual panel in the Department of Human Biology class on autism at Stanford University, is an invited alumnus of the Royal National Theatre Summer Programme (London, UK) and a veteran of professional theatre, dance, film, television, and music work within the United States, Europe, and Japan.

DeAnna Pursai, MA

Co-Founder and Executive Director:

DeAnna Pursai holds a Master’s in Education Policy Analysis in the School of Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from Purdue University. DeAnna has been named an Architect of Change on the Maria Shriver blog and co-awarded the Delta Kappa Gamma State Distinguished Career/Professional Service Award with CAA’s Co-Founder and Dean of Instruction, Dr. Pamela Lindsay. DeAnna is active in the downtown Rotary Club of San Jose, as a board member, as the Chair of the Rotary Climate Action Committee, and as the Rotary mentor to the newly-formed Rotaract Club at San Jose State University. She proudly served 6 years as a board member of Christmas in the Park, and she is an active member in a vibrant Bay Area leads/referrals group called MyProGroup. She is big sister to Angel Ellenberger, who happens to have Down syndrome and is an exquisite actress, entertainer and comedian. One of DeAnna’s bucket list items is to give a TED Talk on the subject of how to innovatively cast a wider higher education net to include adults with differing abilities who historically have not had access to higher education.