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Charles V. Balch PhD

Professor of Computer Information Systems
Arizona Western College

BA 226
PO Box 929
Yuma, AZ 85366
(928) 317-7619

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Skype "VirtualCharlie" My status
Skyler Born 18-Dec-09

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About Me

I'm proud to announce that our first child, Skyler was born at 3:14 PM on the 18th of December, 2009.

I've been happily married for to a lady I met while living on my sailboat in the United States Virgin Islands. For the fourteen years before I met my wife and for about a year after, I lived on a sailboat completely off the power/phone grid while teaching at the University of the Virgin Islands and acting as CEO or a couple of computer consulting firms that I founded. I took advantage of opportunities offered by my location, sailboat, and teaching schedule to visit all of the Caribbean and some of South America. In search of our roots and tired of hurricanes we left the Islands to move to Copenhagen, Denmark where my half Danish wife managed Hard Rock Cafe and I wrote web based expert systems for a bit over a year. We decided that we wanted careers in teaching and came back to the states to earn advanced degrees.

I am fortunate that Arizona Western College was the first institution to offer me a position in writing after I graduated with my PHD. We are happy to be living in Yuma and bought a house in September of '08. You'll often find me sailing the local reservoirs.

Charlie's Picture
Charlie - Painted Desert
Summer 2008

Please don't call me "Mr. Balch" or "Charles" -- I prefer the informal "Charlie." If you must be formal, call me "Dr. Balch." I worked long and hard for my PhD and am proud to say that Mr. Balch is no longer proper. On the other hand, when I'm called "Charles," I think my mom is around and I'm in trouble.

My professional career is divided equally between success in academia and in the private information systems sector. My focus has always been on effective use of technology and human-computer interaction.

My academic credentials are eclectic.

I am currently a Professor of Computer Information Systems at Arizona Western College. AWC is a great learning outcomes focused college where I enjoy my work and take great satisfaction with the results. I am also co-chair of the the AWC Student LEarning Outcomes Assessment Program (LEAP) where I get to help insure the AWC learning experience provides the best possible student outcomes.

Starting from the beginning to get back to now I was a college brat and my PreK-12 learning experience included twelve different schools in six states and a US territory. I thrived on the changes in curriculum which allowed me focus on each institutions strengths and graduate from high school as a National Merit Scholar.

While an undergraduate at the University of California at Davis, I created a cross-discipline Bachelor of Science degree in Psychophysiology focused on the study of how the mind effects the body and how to train persons to control this interaction to their advantage. I developed much of the early software used internationally in this area.

At the University of the Virgin Islands, I earned a Masters Degrees in Education and a Masters in Business Administration while also serving as full-time faculty and covering various administrative positions. UVI faces unique instructional challenges and I was very active in creating distance education technology solutions to address those issues.

I was a Louisiana State University Board of Regents Fellow as I earned my PhD with a focus on Instructional Technology and Computer Information Systems. LSU provided the opportunity for me to pursue my eclectic interests and I nearly doubled the units required for my program of study with a variety of cross discipline graduate courses. My dissertation is a case study on Considerations in Internet Survey Design. BIRAT, my Internet based survey system demonstrates my finding and is in international use.

My primary research interests are:

  • Effective use of instructional technology;
  • Internet based survey design, delivery, and analysis;
  • Diffusion of innovation;
  • Internet based collaborative decision making; and
  • Applied free/Open source software.

Student learning assessment is moving into my radar.

My professional experience has focused on applied computer technology. I worked my way through my undergraduate degree creating computer systems for real-time monitoring and analysis of human physiological functions at the University of Davis International Biofeedback Lab. Shortly after my graduation with my Bachelors, I headed the educational center for a national chain of computer stores based in New Orleans.

I then went on to create, build, and sell two business consulting agencies based in the United States Virgin Islands focused on training users and adapting business software to the unique staffing, accounting, and shipping needs of Caribbean businesses. I next spent two years as sole author developing an Internet based Decision Support System for a major stock broker.

In addition to teaching at Arizona Western College, I am currently adjunct business faculty at Northern Arizona University; CIO of Acorn Art Systems, a supplier of wholesale art supplies; and a Consulting Engineer with, a network security company.

Thanks for the visit,
Charlie Signature