WCET's 29th Annual Meeting
Wednesday Speakers
Mike Abbiatti
Executive Director and WICHE Vice President for Educational Technologies
Mike Abbiatti is the Executive Director of WCET and WICHE Vice President for Educational Technologies. Abbiatti assumed the WCET leadership position in January 2015. Previously he was the director of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Educational Technology Cooperative. Abbiatti was formerly associate commissioner for information and learning technology for the Louisiana Board of Regents. He is the founding director of the successful Louisiana Board of Regents Electronic Campus, and former director of Distance Education for Louisiana State University. Abbiatti has been recognized by the Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards Program as a Laureate signifying leadership in the design, deployment, and utilization of Information Technology for the benefit of Louisiana's citizens, and is a past member of the EDNET Education Executive Advisory Board. Other national recognitions include the United States Distance Learning Association's Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in K-12 Award, Electronic Learning Magazine's Distinguished Achievement Award through the Educator of the Year Program.
Linda Baer
Senior Consultant
Linda L. Baer, Consultants
Linda Baer is a senior consultant with Linda L. Baer Consultants. She has served over thirty years in numerous executive level positions in higher education including senior program officer in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, system senior vice chancellor, university senior vice president and interim president, and senior fellow with Civitas Learning. Her ongoing focus is to inspire leaders to improve student success and transform institutions for the future. Baer presents and publishes on educational transformation, partnerships, shared leadership and workshops on building capacity in analytics.
Aaron Bahmer
Director, Instructional Technology
Eastern Wyoming College
Aaron Bahmer has served as the director of Instructional Technology at Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) since the department’s inception in 2001. He is the administrator for the EWC learning management system (LMS), which has included Jones Knowledge, WebCT, Blackboard, and, currently, CampusCruiser, and is starting training on Instructure Canvas for a summer 2018 deployment at EWC. Bahmer started his career at EWC as a faculty member in 1998. Through his position at EWC, he has been a member of the Wyoming Distance Education Consortium (WyDEC), a group comprised of higher education distance learning professionals from each of the seven Wyoming community colleges and the University of Wyoming. The WyDEC has offered annual professional development conferences in Wyoming, debated distance education issues, provided leadership in distance learning, and developed the WyCLASS website (wyclass.org) which compiles a statewide listing of all higher ed distance classes into a single catalog each semester and allows students to create registration requests for classes throughout the state.
Nori Barajas
Director, Grant Projects
Online Learning Consortium
Noreen Barajas works as the OLC director of grant projects. She oversees the Digital Learning Innovation Award (DLIAward) and is responsible for the development and dissemination of information related to the award, the submission process, as well as the reviewing and judging process to award exemplary digital courseware projects. Prior to grants, Barajas worked in faculty development and digital scholarship. She earned an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne with the dissertation investigating the factors that influence college student digital textbook adoption.
Tricia Bertram Gallant
Director, Academic Integrity Office
University of California, San Diego
Tricia Bertram Gallant joined UC San Diego in August 2006. She directs the AI Office which serves to promote and support a culture of integrity in order to reinforce quality teaching and learning at UCSD. Bertram Gallant is an internationally known expert on integrity and ethics in education, having authored or edited numerous publications as well as consulted with high schools, colleges and universities and spoken at conferences around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Canada, Egypt, England, Jamaica, Mexico, and Singapore. She is the author of "Academic Integrity in the Twenty-First Century" (Jossey-Bass, 2008), co-author of "Cheating in School" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), editor of "Creating the Ethical Academy" (Routledge, 2011), and section editor for the International Handbook of Academic Integrity (Springer, 2016). Tricia serves on the Executive Board of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), of which UCSD is an institutional member.
Marianne Boeke
Senior Associate
Marianne Boeke has been a senior research associate with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) since March 2004. Boeke works on a variety of long-term projects including those associated with the Lumina Foundation for Education, Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers (PMET), and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). She is the co-author of numerous articles including, Critical Connections: Linking States’ Unit Record Systems to Track Student Progress (co-authored with Peter Ewell for the Lumina Foundation for Education, 2007) and Adult Learners in the United States: A National Profile (co-authored with Karen Paulson for the American Council on Education, 2006). Boeke holds a Ph.D.in higher education from the University of Denver, a master’s degree from The American University, and a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University.
Jeff Borden
Chief Innovation Officer
Saint Leo University
Jeff Borden is the chief innovation officer at Saint Leo University. Having spoken nationally and internationally to tens of thousands over two decades, Borden employs his base subjects of communication and education, as well as his performance history as a comedian, actor, and director to showcase innovative and scalable solutions by which to transform learning for all. Using his platform of Education 3.0, Borden seeks to create "best learning" by using neuroscience, education research, and education technology every day.
Gates Bryant
Tyton Partners
Gates Bryant joined Tyton Partners as a partner in 2011 in the strategy consulting practice. Prior to joining Tyton Partners, Bryant was an executive with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, working in strategy, product management, and finance during a period of dramatic change in the educational publishing and technology industry. Prior to that role, he spent seven years as a strategy consultant with the Parthenon Group. Bryant began his career as an investment consultant with Cambridge Associates, evaluating global private equity and venture capital funds on behalf of foundations, endowments and other institutions.
Tonya Buchan
Instructional Designer
Colorado State University
Tonya Buchan is an instructional designer for The Institute for Learning and Teaching and Program Manager for the APLU Adaptive Courseware grant at Colorado State University. She received her MS. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University before working in employee and organizational development. Buchan started in Higher Education in 1999 as an online instructor at the College of Southern Nevada and later worked for Nevada State College as a course design and instructional technology consultant. Her interests include faculty development, online course design, blended classrooms, and active learning.
Deb Bushway
Provost & Consultant
Northwestern Health Sciences University, Lumina Foundation
Deb Bushway is Provost at Northwestern Health Sciences University and a consultant with the Lumina Foundation. She is interested higher education innovation focused on student learning and success. She has been deeply involved in the Competency Based Education movement, serving as senior advisor to the Undersecretary at the US Department of Education regarding educational innovation. She has served at University of Wisconsin – Extension, Capella University, and Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN. Bushway has more than 25 years of experience in higher education.
Lauren Carris
Director, Curriculum
Western Governors University
Lauren Carris seeks to inspire her teams and institutions to solve complex challenges in learning and workforce development. Today, she applies her leadership and drive for innovation to the increasing demand for affordable, attainable, quality higher education through competency-based learning at Western Governors University. There, Carris leads teams to design, deliver, and continuously improve programs at scale. She relies on the latest research in learning science and user experience and design to reimagine the definition of exceptional learning experiences.
Cody Connor
Manager of Course Design & Development
Purdue University
Cody Connor is the manager of course design and development at Purdue University, leading a team of twelve instructional designers. He serves as a member of the Teaching & Learning Technologies leadership team, collaborating with IT and academic leadership across campus to envision, develop and grow University-wide faculty resources and programs to support exemplary face-to-face and online course design and development. Connor also serves in a leadership role in Purdue's IMPACT program to redesign large foundational courses for student-centered learning and furthering Purdue's strategic goals toward student success and affordability.
Kevin Corcoran
Executive Director
Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium
Kevin Corcoran is the executive director of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC). Corcoran is responsible for developing and growing the products and services offered to support eLearning initiatives. He also runs Connecticut’s Adult Education Virtual High School that supports the adult credit diploma program state-wide. Corcoran currently co-chairs the WCET e-Learning Consortial CIG as well as the NENY Blackboard Users Group, and New England OER organizations. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and his M.B.A. with a specialization in technology management from Walden University.
David Dannenberg
Director, Academic Innovations & eLearning
University of Alaska Anchorage
David Dannenberg is the director of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Academic Innovations & eLearning (AI&e). Reporting to a senior vice provost, he leads UAA’s efforts to innovate teaching through the use of instructional technology. In this role, he oversees the instructional design, eLearning/distance education, professional development, online student and ePortfolio Services.
Preston Davis
Director of Instructional Services
Northern Virginia Community College
Wm. Preston Davis has worked in higher education for 20 years, including service as consultant, faculty member, manager of education programs, and Dean of distance education. Davis is currently director of instructional services and associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). He is responsible for learning and technology resources through NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI) online campus and for instructional technology training for faculty at NOVA. He chairs the NOVA Testing Advisory Committee and is the NOVA representative for the statewide VCCS Textbooks Costs and Digital Learning Resources(TCDLR).
Van Davis
Associate Vice President, Higher Education Policy & Research
Van Davis is associate vice president of Higher Education Research and Policy at Blackboard Inc. where he works on competency based education and higher education policy issues as well as distance education, learning technology, and college affordability. Previously, Davis was director of innovations in higher education at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board where he coordinated the development of the state's first public CBE bachelor's degree as well as the state's adult degree completion project, course redesign project, and online faculty development initiative.
Cheryl Dowd
Director, SAN
Cheryl Dowd is the State Authorization Network project director. Dowd worked at Sinclair Community College from 2012 – 2015 managing state authorization complexities as they related to Sinclair’s out of state activities as well as working on one of the student completion initiatives, Connect 4 Completion. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond in Virginia, master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia.
Luke Dowden
Director of Distance Learning
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Luke Dowden believes in authenticity. He wants to make a difference in people's lives by facilitating access to high quality postsecondary educational experiences. 2. He lives for helping people find their second chance in higher education, especially through online learning. 3. He is passionate about continuous improvement and is rarely satisfied with personal success because it is not permanent. 4. Dowden cares about his team members and is interested in impacting other's success. 5. He has a holistic systems view of organizations.
Lindsey Downs
Manager, Communications
Lindsey Downs is the manager of communications for WCET and has a background in Communications, Instructional Design, Higher Education, and Educational Technology. She holds a M.Ed in Adult and Higher Education, a Certification in College Teaching from Montana State University, and is a certified Instructional Designer. Downs' interests include teaching with technology, effective classroom facilitation, training, and classroom design. When not enjoying her work, she spends time in beautiful Bozeman, MT with her husband, boxer dog Piper, and cat Boo.
Deb Everhart
VP, Design and Innovation
Learning Objects
Deborah Everhart is vice president, design and innovation, at Learning Objects, developing competency-based, interoperable learning environments and credentials. She has served as a strategic advisor for the American Council on Education, leading research and the publications "Communicating the Value of Competencies" and "Quality Dimensions for Connected Credentials." Everhart is a leader in the IMS Global working groups defining standards for CBE, extended transcripts, open badges, and digital credentials. She teaches as an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University.
Cristi Ford
Associate Vice Provost, Center for Innovation in Learning
University of Maryland University College
Cristi Ford, PhD, is associate vice provost and offers leadership for the Center for Innovation in Learning and Student Success at the University of Maryland University College. In this role she provides thoughtful leadership in identifying promising next generation online learning innovations and leads the implementation of this plan through rapid prototyping and piloting. She has been engaged in several innovation initiatives including adaptive learning, badging, and several student success geared pilots.
0Dominic Fried-Booth
Head of Product
Barnes & Noble LoudCloud
Myk Garn
Assistant Vice Chancellor for New Learning Models
University System of Georgia
Myk Garn is an academic innovator and strategist with over 30 years of experience developing, deploying and leading college and state system instructional, operational, organizational, policy and strategic models. He is a committed academic change agent, focusing on the development and deployment of new instructional and educational operations with an emphasis on competency-based, student-driven, advancement-by-mastery models. He emphasizes the roles of faculty and needs of students throughout his work. His experience includes strategic planning, affordability, emerging trends, disruptive innovation, quality standards, governance, accessibility and accreditation.
Carol Gering
Director of eLearning & Distance Education
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Carol Gering is the director of eLearning and Distance Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). She has more than twenty years experience in higher education and has taught a variety of online courses. Before accepting the position of eLearning Director, she managed a team of instructional designers at UAF. Gering holds a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary field of Online Education and Psychology, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.
0Thomas Gilhooly
Executive Director
Higher Learning Partners, Regis University
Sharon Goodall
Director, Innovation, Design & Analysis
University of Maryland University College
Sharon Goodall is director of Innovation, Design and Analysis in Learning Design & Solutions at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), leading efforts in applying next generation instructional design approaches to online learning with the goal of improving student outcomes. With extensive agile course development experience, Goodall leads her team in focusing on student engagement through interactivity, simulation, and game-based learning. Prior to joining UMUC, she was a AI researcher; that experience is now coming full circle as machine learning and AI find application in online learning .
0Amy Haston
Educational Technology Consultant
Purdue University
Amy Haston is an educational technology consultant in the Teaching and Learning Technologies group at Purdue University. Her team supports Purdue’s faculty in the use of educational technology to help facilitate student learning. Haston assists faculty with many types of tools, but her main areas of focus and expertise are with classroom response systems and lecture capture. She earned a BA in Communication from Purdue University.
Kelly Hermann
Vice President For Accessibility Strategy
University of Phoenix
Kelly Hermann is the vice president for accessibility strategy at the University of Phoenix. Hermann oversees services to students with disabilities and guides accessibility initiatives to ensure all students with disabilities are granted equal access to the University’s programs and activities. She chairs the special interest group on online learning and distance education for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and frequently presents on the topic for AHEAD, OLC, and other national organizations.
Mike Hess
Founder and Executive Director
Blind Institute of Technology
Mike Hess is the founder and executive director of the Blind Institute of Technology. He brings more than two decades of blindness experience, leadership, and thoughtfulness to the mission. As the token blind guy in private Fortune 500 companies, he experienced just what it takes to build organizations through people, processes, and tools. Hess managed 7- and 8-figure projects throughout his career, and states it is because of his blindness, not despite his blindness, that he became a 6-figure engineer. Even though he had great success in his corporate career, he always had the notion of leaving his thumbprint on humanity. Thus, he left corporate America to begin the mission at Blind Institute of Technology. After 4 years of challenges and successes, he has created partnerships with Davita, Uber, Oppenheimer and many other organizations to meet the goals of BIT. Along the way, because of key partnerships and wins, the Denver Post, Denver Business Journal, and CBS News 4, have all done significant stories on Blind Institute of Technology.

Ethan Holliger
Accessibility Consultant
Blind Institute of Technology
Ethan Holliger is an accessibility consultant with The Blind Institute of Technology. He has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering Technology from The University of Toledo. He has used screen readers his entire life and has six years of experience doing accessibility testing as well as training individuals how to use assistive technology. With the Blind Institute of Technology, Holliger provides accessibility testing expertise for all WCAG standards for websites of various companies.
Sukhwhant Jhaj
Vice Provost for Innovation, Planning and Student Success
Portland State University
Sukhwant Jhaj, vice provost for academic innovation and student success at Portland State University, provides vision and leadership to advance student success and undergraduate learning at Oregon's urban research university. Trained as a designer, Jhaj uses design thinking to discover new solutions for incremental and disruptive challenges facing the academy. Jhaj is an active researcher with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Association for Public and Land Grants Universities, and government agencies. He is an expert in design thinking, design of student services, managing change, open innovation and user centered design. Jhaj earned his terminal degree, Master of Architecture, from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He also holds an MBA from Portland State University and has completed Leading Change and Organizational Renewal program at Stanford Business School and Achieving Breakthrough Service program at Harvard Business School.
Sally Johnstone
Sally M. Johnstone is the president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and executive director of the Foundation for Student Success. She recently served as a vice president at the Western Governors University.She has also served as a provost at a public comprehensive university, in an executive role the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and as a faculty member. Johnstone is a commissioner on the U.S. UNESCO Commission, and on the editorial boards for Change magazine (USA) and the Journal of Open Learning (UK). She has given scores of talks and authored dozens of articles, books, and reports on issues of integrating information and communication technology into academics.
Tanya Joosten
Director, eLearning Research and Development
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Tanya Joosten is the director of Digital Learning Research and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) where she works to guide strategic digital learning earning efforts at the campus, state, and national levels, to develop innovative programming for the UWM campus, and to lead a team of researchers to advance the field of digital learning. She is the co-director of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) supported by the U.S Department of Education. See tanyajoosten.com for more info.
Jeff King
Executive Director Center for Excellence Transformative Teaching Learning
University of Central Oklahoma
Jeff King, Ed.D., is executive director of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning. His research and application interests have long focused on what faculty can do to help students learn, to be motivated toward deep learning strategies, and to persist in their educations. Over the years as a college faculty member and in faculty professional development, King has matched passion to position in helping students succeed.
Jeanne Kitchens
Associate Director
Center for Workforce Development, Southern Illinois University
Jeanne Kitchens is the associate director at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Center for Workforce Development. Over the past 19 years, she and her team have designed and implemented career and workforce development programs using technologies to improve access and engagement. Currently, Kitchens is working with the Credential Engine™ to improve transparency in the credentialing marketplace.
Jessica Knott
Learning Design Manager
Michigan State University
Jessica Knott is the learning design manager and applied researcher for Michigan State University Information Technology. She has worked in information technology since 1998, spanning the public and academic sectors. Find her on Twitter @jlknott.
Ben Lauren
Assistant Professor of Experience Architecture Assistant Director of MA in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing Fellow, MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology
Michigan State University
Benjamin Lauren is an assistant professor of experience architecture (xa) in the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University, where he teaches Professional Writing, Experience Architecture, and Rhetoric and Writing. He is also an assistant director of the MA in digital rhetoric and professional writing and a hub for innovation and learning in technology fellow. Currently, Lauren is the book editor at Communication Design Quarterly (CDQ), where he produces the Communication Design podcast series. His research has been published in Technical Communication, Computers and Composition, and IEEE’s Transactions on Professional Communication.
Mark Leuba
Vice President, Product Management
IMS Global Learning Consortium

Mark Leuba leads IMS Global Learning Consortium’s portfolio of technical standards and programs that are pioneering new ways to connect learners to employment opportunities. Leuba is active in the Connecting Credentials initiative, the Credentials Engine, and led TIP: the Technical Interoperability Pilot project for the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), a major research project published in the Educause Review. Prior to IMS, he held several positions as a technology executive in the education industry.

Ryan Luke
Program Director for Adaptive Learning
University of Louisville
Ryan Luke is the adaptive learning program director at the University of Louisville. Prior to this role, Luke taught college level mathematics for almost ten years. In addition to Mathematics, he holds a degree in Computer Science and began investigating digital courseware because of his interest in Mathematical Computing. His passion for teaching and love for students fueled his dedication to student growth and success initiatives. He now leads a team in the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning to aid faculty in implementing adaptive and personalized learning through digital solutions.
Kim Lynch
Senior System Director for Educational Innovations
Minnesota State
Kim Lynch leads an innovative team that facilitates the use of technology for academic and student success across 37 colleges and universities in Minnesota. Prior to her position with the Minnesota State system, she worked for Anoka-Ramsey Community College in various roles, including Dean of STEM, Chief Information Officer for both Anoka-Ramsey and Anoka Technical College, Dean of Innovative Teaching & Learning, and teaching faculty member deeply committed to faculty development and effective online learning.
Colleen McConeghy
Vice President
Colleen McConeghy, vice president at iDesign, has spent over 20 years in various roles throughout the student lifecycle including marketing, enrollment management, instructional design, and retention. With an extensive background in Online Program Management, McConeghy joined iDesign to partner with universities in a fee-for-service model to provide high-quality online education experiences. She began her career in higher education as a faculty member in Communication at the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Northern Colorado. She is very proud to call Colorado home. You can follow Colleen on Twitter @colleen4iDesign
Demarée Michelau
Vice President of the Office of Policy Analysis and Research
Demarée K. Michelau is the vice president, policy analysis and research, at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). In this role, she manages WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research unit and oversees externally-funded projects related to adult learners, projections of high school graduates, college access and success, and the development of a multistate longitudinal data exchange. The author of numerous reports and policy briefs, she also has experience in a variety of higher education policy issues, including articulation and transfer, equity and attainment, accelerated learning options, college affordability, common academic standards, and K-16 reform. Previously, she held positions with the National Conference of State Legislatures and with former Colorado Congressman David Skaggs. Michelau received her bachelor's degree in public law from Northern Illinois University and her master's degree and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Patricia O'Sullivan
Adaptive Learning Program Manager
University of Mississippi
Patricia O’Sullivan is the manager of the University of Mississippi's Personalized Learning & Adaptive Teaching Opportunities (PLATO) Program. She holds advanced degrees in Theology and History, and has been an educator for over 20 years. With a background in instructional design and online learning, O'Sullivan transformed her large, lecture Health Ethics course into a flipped hybrid using adaptive courseware and employing collaborative problem-based learning.
Tina Parscal
Executive Director
Tina Parscal is the executive director of Colorado Community Colleges Online (CCCOnline), the online consortium of thirteen community colleges that comprise the Colorado Community College System. In this role, she provides strategic leadership and administrative direction for CCCOnline’s operational, academic, educational, and technical activities. She also chairs the Learning Technology Council for the Colorado Community College System. Parscal has more than 25 years of experience providing academic and administrative leadership in higher education and has served in such roles as provost/chief academic officer, dean, program director, and faculty.
Lena Patterson
Operations Director
Lena Patterson has been a part of the eCampusOntario team since the organization opened shop in August 2015. She worked closely with the government to establish the consortium model in Ontario and now heads up a growing project team in her role as operations director. Patterson focuses on cross-pollination, stakeholder relations, and the promotion of access and innovation in online and technology-enabled teaching and learning. She has a BA and an MA in English Lit from Dalhousie University. You can find her on twitter @lpatter10.
0Karen Pedersen
Chief Knowledge Officer
Online Learning Consortium
Karen Pedersen currently serves as the chief knowledge officer for the Online Learning Consortium. Prior to joining OLC, Pedersen served in various leadership positions at public and private colleges/universities. Her responsibilities included leading a system-wide enrollment management transformation as well as managing marketing, student success, technology, and academic operations. She has envisioned over 25 innovative online degree programs. Pedersen holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD from Oklahoma State University.
Dale Pike
Executive Director and Associate Provost
Dale Pike is the executive director and associate provost for Technology-enhanced Learning & Online Strategies (TLOS) at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Pike was the director of academic technologies at Boise State University. His responsibilities included the coordination of technology-based tools and environments that are used for instruction, including Blackboard Learn, iTunes U, and Student Response Systems (Clickers), as well as the support of faculty professional development in the use of these tools to improve student learning. Before Boise State, he was the associate dean for Instructional and Information Technology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He started his career in 1995 working at a two-year college in central Utah called Snow College as the director of their Instructional Assistance Center. Pike attended Utah State University and holds a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences with a minor in Japanese.
Rob Robinson
Senior Director, Strategic Services
Civitas Learning
Rob Robinson is a senior director of Strategic Services at Civitas Learning where he works with colleges and universities to help them leverage data analytics to further their mission of student success. Robinson holds a BS and a Ph.D. from UT Austin and an MBA from St. Edward’s University. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). From 2008 to 2012, he chaired the Distance Education Advisory Committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the State of Texas.
Jeff Rosen
Vice President for Accreditation Relations and Director of the Open Pathway
Higher Learning Commission
Jeff Rosen serves as vice president for accreditation relations and director of the open pathway for the Higher Learning Commission. At the Commission, he helped to build the approval protocol for the Commission’s oversight of competency-based education programs, both credit-based and direct assessment, and worked with the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) to articulate best practices in the field. With a background in continuing higher education and workforce development, he has spoken at annual conferences sponsored by UPCEA, WICHE, and C-BEN, and written on the completion agenda and the public good. At the Commission, he directs the Visiting Scholars and Interns program, and through the Open Pathway’s Quality Initiative process, promotes the Commission’s commitment to Civic Engagement. Given the widespread growth of online learning, he is particularly interested in how to extend that commitment to the online environment and to competency based programs. Before joining the Higher Learning Commission, Rosen served as a research university dean, professor of art history, and elected Trustee of a public community college.
Cyndi Rowland
Associate Director
Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
Cyndi Rowland is the associate director of a large research-training-and-service center, the Center for Persons Disabilities (CPD) at Utah State University. The CPD is in a national network of University Centers of Excellence in Disability; with one in each state. She directs projects on, technology and disability. She is the founder and executive director of WebAIM (www.webaim.org) and the technology director of the National Center for Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE; www.ncdae.org).
Sarah Saxton-Frump
Co-Founder and Director of College Completion
Sarah Saxton-Frump has dedicated her career to building and serving high-quality educational opportunities for under-resourced communities. A co-founder of PelotonU, she graduated from Brown University in 2007 and received her Master’s in Educational Administration in 2013. Saxton-Frump served for five years at KIPP: Austin Collegiate as a principal, AP, 9th team leader, and high school social studies teacher. Prior to KIPP, she taught in Brownsville, Texas with Teach for America.
Kim Scalzo
Executive Director
Kim A. Scalzo is the executive director of Open SUNY, SUNY’s online learning initiative at the System level, and interim executive director of SUNY Academic Technologies and Information Services. Scalzo was previously the director of the SUNY Center for Professional Development, a university-wide program providing training and professional development to faculty and staff across the SUNY campuses. Prior to joining SUNY, she was at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute working in and leading Continuing Education and Distance Learning efforts. She also served as a reviewer for the New York State Education Department Office of Higher Education for several Institutional Capability Reviews for distance learning programs. She is a US representative to the IACEE Quality Program for continuing education organizations and is currently leading the Open SUNY Institutional Readiness program to implement quality standards for continuing education and distance learning organizations. Scalzo currently serves as past-president for the International Association of Continuing Engineering Education (IACEE) Council. Additionally, she has served as Chair of the Executive Board for the Continuing Professional Development Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE-CPD) and a member of the National University Telecommunications Network (NUTN) Advisory Board. She received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from SUNY Plattsburgh and master’s degree in Education in College Student Personnel from the College of Saint Rose.
Christopher Sessums
Learning Strategies Consultant
Christopher Sessums is a learning strategies consultant with D2L Ltd working with clients and prospects across the globe to optimize student success and institutional effectiveness. Prior to joining D2L, Sessums rved as a faculty member and administrator at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Florida, both centrally in the Office for Distance, Continuing, and Executive Education and within the School of Education.
Peter Smith
Orkand Chair, Professor of Innovative Higher Education Practices
University of Maryland University College
Peter Smith is the Orkand Chair and professor of innovative practices in higher education at the University of Maryland University College. The founding president of the Community College of Vermont, California State University, Monterey Bay, and the Open College at Kaplan University, and a member of the board of the Open Education Consortium, he brings a deep reservoir of knowledge and experience to this conversation.
Tanya Spilovoy
Director of Open Policy, WCET
Tanya M. Spilovoy, Ed. D. Director of Open Policy, WCET and Open Education Fellow, Hewlett Foundation.
Amy Stevens
VP, Academic Resources and Communication
Southern New Hampshire University
Amy Stevens did her doctoral work in American Intellectual History at Boston College, earned a Master’s in Teaching with Technology from Marlboro College Graduate Center, and has been driving innovation ever since. Since joining SNHU in 2011, she has grown and led a number of teams to support SNHU’s commitment to student success, academic excellence, and rapid expansion. As the vice president of academic resources and communication, she leads high performing teams that implement learning support models, support accreditation and compliance concerns and drive thought leadership.
Megan Tesene
Adaptive Learning Program Manager
Georgia State University
Megan Tesene is the adaptive learning program manager based in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Georgia State University. She is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at GSU. Tesene has taught introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses at Georgia State, previously earning the Certificate of Excellence in College Teaching from CETL. In addition to sociological research, she has extensive experience in program evaluation, critical pedagogy, instructional support, and active learning communities.
Van Ton-Quinlivan
Vice Chancellor, Workforce & Digital Futures
California Community Colleges
Van Ton-Quinlivan is vice chancellor for workforce and economic development of California’s Community Colleges, the division that administers funding to advance the workforce mission across California’s 113 community colleges, one of the largest and most complex higher education systems in the nation. In 2014-15, she spearheaded the Board of Governors Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy, bringing together industry, labor, social justice, public workforce agencies, and youth advocates to work together with community college leaders to develop a set of “strong workforce” policy recommendations to close the gap on the industry-valued “middle-skill” credentials needed by California. Ton-Quinlivan was named a White House Champion of Change in 2013 for her distinguished career in industry, education, and service as a community leader. She is also vice chair of the National Skills Coalition, co-chair of the Workforce Action Team of the California Economic Summit, serves on the California Council on Science and Technology, and served on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Closing the Skills Gap Implementation Team.
Evangeline Tsibris Cummings
Assistant Provost and Director
University of Florida
Kara Van Dam
Vice Provost
University of Maryland University College
Kara Van Dam, PhD serves as vice provost and dean of the Undergraduate School at UMUC. In this role, she ensures that the school, its faculty, staff and students - both overseas and stateside - are supported in rich learning environments, and that the school's more than 30 bachelor's degrees and undergraduate certificates help students develop as competent and confident people and professionals.
Heather Welzant
Associate Vice Provost, Academic Performance Improvement
University of Maryland University College
Heather Welzant is associate vice provost, academic performance improvement at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She is responsible for partnering with other areas of the academic community at UMUC to achieve the greatest possible performance impact by ensuring that robust, systematic, aligned, and consistent quality processes are deployed in order to capitalize on evidence-based decision making. Welzant joined UMUC with over 17 years combined experience educating and training adult learners in both educational and business arenas. Further, she brought 10 years of higher education teaching experience; both traditional and online. Welzant holds a PhD in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement from Capella University. Her research interests are with faculty and student performance relevant to online teaching and learning.
0Allison Woods
Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development
University of Maryland University College
Allison Woods has worked in higher education for over twenty years as a faculty member, course designer, faculty trainer, and now as the AVP of Faculty Development for University of Maryland University College. She earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and her master's from Bowling Green State University.
0Margaret Wu
Educational Technologist
Purdue University
As an Educational Technologist with Purdue Teaching and Learning Technologies, Margaret Wu help improve students’ academic experience by piloting educational technologies for which there is an enterprise level need. Her expertise as an educator and former assessment professional allows her to contribute in the tool adoption process from the exploration to the assessment phase. She is passionate about the pedagogically sound use of educational technology to improve educational outcomes for all students. She earned a BA in English Education and an MSEd in Literacy and Language Education from Purdue University.
Ryan Yang
Associate Director Academic Technology
Michigan State University
Innovator, strategist and designer of education experience in higher education since 2000. Currently Ryan Yang serves as the associate director for academic technology at Michigan State University. He oversees the Learning Design, Digital Content and Accessibility, AV/IT integration, and Scoring Office teams that partner with faculty to provide effective learning experience for students in-person and online. His current interest in education technology and online learning are adaptive learning, learning analytics and immersive experiences.