WCET's 29th Annual Meeting
All WCET17 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.
Deb Adair
Executive Director
Quality Matters
Deb Adair is the executive director of Quality Matters, a non-profit organization providing faculty-centered, turnkey quality assurance solutions and certifications for online education. With over 25 years’ experience in higher education, she has held faculty appointments, served as an organizational consultant, and worked in the adult literacy field prior to joining QM in 2007. Adair serves on the advisory boards of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and the National University Technology Network (NUTN) and has authored and presented widely on the topic of quality assurance for online learning.
Hannah Apaun
Associate Software Engineer and New Graduate
SendGrid, University of Denver
Hannah Apuan is a 2017 graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in Computer Science and also a 2013 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award recipient. After graduating in three years, she now works as an associate software engineer at SendGrid in downtown Denver. She never thought she was good enough to go into computer science because she didn’t think she was good enough at math, but perseverance and passion have led her to succeed.
Amanda Babcock
Online Programs Compliance Coordinator
University of Utah
Amanda Jean Babcock manages State Authorization for the University of Utah, including accreditation compliance for existing and in-development online programs. Additionally, she assists with curriculum administration through the U of U’s Office of Undergraduate Studies. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Babcock held leadership positions overseeing regional higher education student services, academic affairs, online education, admissions and operations. Her experiences range across faculty development, student retention, appeals and discipline to FERPA compliance and IPEDS data reporting. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, a M.A. in English from the University of Utah and is currently in her third year as a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership and Policy department at the University of Utah. Through WCET webinars and other presentations, she has shared her experiences taking a major public university from no compliance to a structured process in less than a year. She also has a strong interest in disability issues in higher education, including transition and policy issues related to academic accommodations, student decision-making and disability identity, and best practices in online accessibility.
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.
0Ryan Baltrip
Director of Online Programming, APeL
William & Mary
Ryan Baltrip is the cirector of online programming in the associate provost office of University eLearning Initiatives at William & Mary. His areas of expertise include best instructional design and delivery practices in online learning, improving online video production, innovative educational programming, and effective online learning leadership and administration.
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.
Wanda Barker
Director, Educational Technology Cooperative
Southern Regional Education Board
Wanda Barker joined the Southern Region Education Board in January 2015 as director of the Educational Technology Cooperative, where she brings more than 20 years of experience working on issues of education policy and practice. She previously served as the statewide executive director of eLearning and Learning Technology Systems at the North Carolina Community Colleges system office, as well as teaching and administrative experience at Catawba Valley Community College, University of Phoenix, Wilkes County Schools, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech).
0Dylan Barth
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dylan Barth is a Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant in UW-Milwaukee’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), where he coordinates the Online and Blended Teaching Program. Barth's areas of focus include online and blended pedagogy, asynchronous discussions, active learning classroom strategies, gamification, and learning analytics. He also serves as the online programs coordinator through the office of the Provost and teaches courses in Women’s and Gender Studies and the Honors College.
Brianna Bates
Head of Academic Compliance Office of General Counsel
Brianna L. Bates serves as the head of Academic Compliance in the Office of General Counsel at Coursera. In this role, she is responsible for compliance expertise related to all academic programs offered in partnership with Coursera’s University partners including national and international accreditation standards and requirements in addition to local, state and federal compliance regulations. Bates has previously engaged in policy research work in China, the Czech Republic, Uganda, South Africa and India to spearhead team engagements on behalf of NYU, funded fellowships and the United Nations. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary with a BS in Psychology and Biology and of New York University’s (NYU) Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in International Policy. Bates is pursuing a Doctor of Law (JD) degree with a specialization in Intellectual Property and High Tech Law at Santa Clara University’s School of Law.
Dror Ben-Naim
Smart Sparrow
Dror Ben-Naim is the founder and CEO of Smart Sparrow, an educational technology company pioneering adaptive and personalized learning technology. Prior to founding Smart Sparrow, Ben-Naim led a research group in the field of Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Educational Data Mining at UNSW. The technology that the group developed was adopted by top universities in Australia and the US. In 2011, he and his fellow researchers founded Smart Sparrow to take Adaptive Learning to the next level and secured backing from venture capital investors.
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.
Samantha Birk
Higher Education Institutional Program Manager
IMS Global Learning Consortium
Samantha S. Birk has more than 25 years experience in higher education as a teacher, administrator, and project manager. Prior to joining IMS she was the associate director for Instructional Technologies at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). She was fully responsible for several successful projects that made IPFW a leader in mobile computing and digital curriculums. As a faculty member, she earned honors faculty status at IPFW and developed her first online course in 1996. In 2000 she was honored as Associate Faculty of the year.
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.
Joan Bouillon
Director of Regulatory Compliance
As the director of Regulatory Compliance at Pearson, Joan Bouillon is the knowledge resource for higher education accreditation and federal and state regulations. Bouillon conducts training for Pearson staff and educational partners. Her primary responsibility is assisting educational partners with the morass of federal and state rules and requirements, especially state authorization applications. Bouillon has many years of experience in compliance at public and private institutions.
Brenda Boyd
Senior Academic Director, Program Services
QM Quality Matters, Inc
Brenda Boyd joined Quality Matters in May, 2011 and currently serves as senior academic director, program services. She leads the professional development team, oversees the quality assurance department, and is responsible for the regular updating of QM Higher Education Rubrics. She holds a M.S. in Education from Capella University and is a WCET Steering Committee Member.
Niki Bray
Assistant Professor
University of Memphis
Niki Bray taught in the Memphis City Schools District for 18 years teaching 6th grade science, high school Biology, Honors Biology, Physical Science, and Physical Education & Health. A member of the University of Memphis Women's Basketball team from 1994-1997, Bray went on to coach girl's basketball at Airways Middle, Wooddale High, and Central High where she lead her Under Armour-sponsored nationally ranked team to a AAA State Championship in 2011. Bray earned her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Design & Technology. Her research interests center around adaptive learning and technology-enhanced learning. Br cayonsiders herself to be a student-centered instructor who believes in designing learning experiences that puts the learner in the center of the course design.
Jennifer Brock
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Bryan University
Jennifer Brock is a higher education professional specializing in educational administration, educational technology, instructional design, and online learning. She currently serves as the vice president of Academic Affairs at Bryan University in Tempe, AZ. Brock works closely with program directors and Faculty on program development and learning innovation. Current projects include personalized and adaptive learning, student learning outcomes, general education and remediation, student success coaching, faculty development, and alternative credit options. She holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University.
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.
Rosa Calabrese
Manager, Digital and Project Support Services
Rosa Calabrese, has been with WCET since 2014. She works to maintain the web and graphic design on the WCET website in addition to providing organizational support to both WCET and SAN. Before joining the team at WCET, she worked as a program assistant in Copenhagen at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad where she gave administrative support to over 40 courses within the European Humanities department. She received her bachelor's degree in 2013 from the University of Denver where she double majored in Electronic Media Arts Design and Sociology, with a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. Outside of work, she can be found exploring Boulder by bicycle or volunteering with cats and dogs at the local animal shelter.
Scott Carlson
Senior Writer
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Scott Carlson is a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, and has been with the publication since 1999. He covers a range of issues, including college management and finance, the cost and value of higher education, buildings, campus planning, energy, architecture and sustainability. A former technology reporter at The Chronicle, Carlson hosted the Tech Therapy podcast from 2007 to 2010. Prior to the Chronicle, he worked at the Star Tribune and City Pages, both in Minneapolis, and at City Paper in Baltimore.
Francesca Carpenter
Associate Director, Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative
Achieving the Dream
Francesca I. Carpenter is the associate director for Achieving the Dream’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative. In this role, Carpenter works to ensure that the initiative meets its target of supporting colleges and faculty in redesigning courses and degree programs using open educational resources with the overall goal of increasing degree completion rates and access.
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.
Ilona Chebotareva
Intentional Futures
If you have five hours to spare, ask Ilona Chebotareva about math reform. A passionate supporter of education and the arts, Chebotareva puts her mathematics degree to use at Intentional Futures through education research, analysis, and presentation. Before coming to iF, she studied everything she could find, sold violins at a music store, and made up songs about traditional Ukrainian food. Little known fact: can come back from a parry with a solid high-line riposte.
Edie Cheng
Aspirations in Computing Director, Programs & Personnel
Edie Cheng is passionate about helping young women and girls, particularly to explore computing and the intersection of technology and media. Cheng was previously the digital media manager for the San Francisco Symphony and has worked as a project manager, entrepreneur, and business consultant. She started her career as a software developer and holds a degree in computer science from Brown University and an MBA from MIT Sloan. In her spare time, Cheng enjoys leading Girl Scout troops for her two young daughters, skiing, knitting, and exploring culture on the front range of Colorado.
Thom Chesney
Brookhaven College
Thom Chesney has led Brookhaven College as President since 2011, helping to provide quality educational programs, learning opportunities, and lifetime experiences to its students. His extensive experience in leadership at higher education institutions includes positions as associate provost for Student Success and Assessment for The University of Texas (UT) at Dallas; district vice president of academic affairs and provost of Collin College; and additional administrative and faculty roles at UT Dallas, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Texas Wesleyan University, and Whitman College. Chesney is a committed community leader and volunteer. He serves locally on the boards of the North Texas Community College Consortium and Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, and nationally on the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) Commission on Economic and Workforce Development and on the American Council on Education (ACE) Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program. He was named the 2014 Citizen of the Year by the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce. Chesney earned a Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
Mark Christensen
Professional Development
Ed Map
Mark Christensen is focused on illustrating how Ed Map connects people and technology to enhance the discovery, management, and access to quality and engaging course materials to help lower costs and improve outcomes. Mark has worked in K–12 and higher education in various roles throughout his career from classroom teacher to school administrator to marketing communications. He holds his MBA in Marketing from Rivier University and his Ed.D. in Curriculum & Technology from Plymouth State University/Argosy.
Lisa Clark
Dean of Online Programs
University of Northwestern Ohio
Position: Dean of Online Programs, Associate Professor, Quality Matters Coordinator Professional Background: English Humanities Baccalaureate from The Ohio State University Master of Arts in English and Women's Studies from The Union University/Vermont College Media Literacy post-grad certification from Appalachian State University Educational Media Instructional Technology post-grad certificate from Appalachian State University, Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Capella University. I am a Quality Matters Master Reviewer and on-site/online facilitator. I also serve in the Peer Corp for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Bob Collins
Vice President, Financial Aid
Western Governors University
Bob Collins joined Western Governors University (WGU) in October 2012 as the vice president of Financial Aid. In the late 1990’s, Collins was the acting director of Financial Aid at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a consultant for WGU in the very early stages - before the first students enrolled. Collins has 35+ years of experience in student aid administration and continues to be active in the state, regional, and national professional associations. Collins has been a member of several technical review panels for the National Center for Education Statistics, participated on numerous negotiated rulemaking committees, and actively engaged in the Distance Education Demonstration Program with the US Department of Education.
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.
Amelia Coomber
Student and Entrepreneur
Denver University
Amelia Coomber is a senior computer science major at the University of Denver and president of the DU computer science club. She has struggled with ADHD and a form of dyslexia that made her feel less than able to be successful in the future, especially when it came to the sciences. It wasn’t until winter quarter of freshman year that she gave CS a try and a professor turned her life around. For the first time she felt smart, people were impressed with what she was doing, and everything sheI had been told, such as “don’t switch to CS you won’t make it, it’s too hard especially if you don’t have a CS background” was wrong! IT has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. She is nearly done with her CS major and has even started a company. Her company, Boobi Butter, is a subscription box company that empowers women with the tools and resources they need to take control of their breast health and perform routine self exams.
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.
Caroline Creidenberg
New Graduate and Entrepreneur
Caroline Creidenberg recently graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Computer Science, which led her to pursue my own company. Wedfuly is an online wedding planning platform that merges that gap between DIY weddings and full-service wedding planning through virtual planning technology.
0Cheryl Cyrus
Principal Strategist
Cheryl Cyrus is a principal strategist on Blackboard’s Enterprise Consulting team. In this role, she provides expertise and support to clients on eLearning, competency-based education (CBE), and a variety of other course design and development projects. Before joining Blackboard, she worked for the Florida Department of Education, the University of South Florida and the University of Memphis.
0Jennifer Daines
Program Chair for General Education
Colorado Technical University
Jennifer Daines serves as program chair for General Education at Colorado Technical University. A former Air Force officer, she has over 20 years’ experience leading teams and managing programs. Her passion lies in serving veterans and other non-traditional students and in exploring ways to impact learning and drive completion. Daines earned her B.S. in English from the U.S. Air Force Academy and her M.A. in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
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.
Rachel Davenport
Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology
Texas State University
Rachel Davenport is a senior lecturer in the Biology Department at Texas State University, where she teaches large face-to-face lecture classes as well as online classes. She facilitates pedagogy workshops on campus aimed at increasing student engagement and incorporating technology into the classroom to enhance student learning. She received the College of Science and Engineering Achievement Award in Teaching in 2016, and the Presidential Distinction Award in Teaching in 2017.
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.
Mary Ellen Dello Stritto
Assistant Director - Ecampus Research Unit
Oregon State University
Mary Ellen Dello Stritto is the assistant director of the Ecampus Research Unit at Oregon State University and is involved with the design and implementation of research studies on online/distance education. She manages and oversees statistical analyses for the research unit. Dello Stritto also directs the Faculty Fellows Program and a professional development program for faculty. She has a background in psychology with a specialization in quantitative methodologies, survey design, and statistical analysis.
Nathaan Demers
Director of Clinical Programs
Grit Digital Health
Nathaan Demes, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist with experience in therapeutic boarding schools, medical ICU's, integrated care, and college counseling. Prior to joining his current role, Nathaan served as a Behavioral Health Research and Technical Assistance Associate at the WICHE-Mental Health Program. With these experiences, he has unique expertise in advancing student success, health promotion and suicide prevention on campus. Nathaan is currently the Director of Clinical Programs with YOU at College developed by Grit Digital Health and is a board member of the Colorado Psychological Association.
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.
0Pratima Dutta
Director, Distance Learning
California State University, Northridge
Pratima Dutta is director of Distance Learning at California State University, Northridge. There, she implements learning design and technology to lead innovations in distance learning for the university and the CSU continuing education network.
0Joan Ehrlich
Acting Director, Office of Disability Services
Northern Virginia Community College
Joan Ehrlich assists in providing accommodations to students, faculty, staff, and visitors to Northern Virginia Community College. In consult with students, she determines appropriate and reasonable accommodations for their participation in classes and college-sponsored activities. She provides information and training to faculty and staff regarding designated accommodations. Ehrlich also works with the College’s Extended Learning Institute and website designers to make sure that visual, audio, and print content are accessible. Her goal is to encourage the inclusion of disability in the conversation about cultural diversity and inclusion on college campuses.
John Endrud
Senior Vice President, Market Strategy and Development
Wiley Education Services
John Endrud joined Wiley Education Services in 2006 from Sungard Higher Education and is currently SVP of market strategy and development . He's responsible for all new institutional partner acquisitions, and leads new product and services strategy. He previously served as Deltak's VP of marketing and director of business development. Prior to Deltak, Endrud worked for Collegis and Eduprise as a regional sales executive. He holds a MBA from Benedictine University and a Bachelor of Individual Studies in Marketing, Economics, and I/O Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
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.
Jonathan Finkelstein
Founder & CEO
Jonathan Finkelstein is founder and CEO of Credly, a credential service provider which enables organizations to recognize, reward and market skills, competencies and certifications. As founder of LearningTimes, Jonathan helped hundreds of mission-driven organizations launch innovative online programs that impacted the lives of millions of learners. He is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley), contributing author to The Digital Museum(AAM), and co-authored a report for the U.S. Department of Education on digital badges. Jonathan is a frequent speaker on digital credentials and the future of learning and workforce development.
0Raymond Fleming
Chair, Biomedical Sciences; Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Raymond Fleming, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor of Psychology was a recipient of a 2014 WCET Outstanding Work Award for the U-Pace online instructional approach he co-created. Fleming directed the extensive evaluation studies of U-Pace and is a National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements Fellow.
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.
Jessica Franson
Distance Learning Coordinator
UW MBA Consortium
For the past 14 years Jessica Franson has worked at UW-Eau Claire in various roles related to online learning. Currently she is the distance learning coordinator for online programs in the College of Business, where she oversees all operations for the online programs. Franson has taught online as an adjunct for the College of Business since 2009. She has a M.Ed. in educational technology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and B.A. in organizational communication from UW-Eau Claire.
0Renee Franzwa
Director of Higher Ed
Renee Franzwa leads Higher Education Strategy at EdSurge. She has worked on many collegiate levels, co-founded an edtech company, served in the US/abroad as a student advisor, and helped establish General Assembly-San Francisco. She holds a Master’s in Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco, a BS from California Polytechnic (San Luis Obispo), and certifications in design thinking, product management, and partnership development. After traveling and teaching through 40+ countries, she believes in cooking as therapy and there is no better way to bring people together than a home-cooked meal.
0Dominic Fried-Booth
Head of Product
Barnes & Noble LoudCloud
Jessica Gagnon
Front Range Community College
Jessica Gagnon is a librarian with Front Range Community College near Denver, CO. She is lead instruction librarian, and serves in the capacity of online librarian for the FRCC online courses. She also teaches Web Design and Graphic Design online for Colorado Community Colleges Online. Gagnon is QM Certified Peer Reviewer, Face to Face Facilitator, and Online Facilitator.
Joe Garcia
Joe Garcia assumed the presidency of WICHE on June 20 2016. Garcia left his dual role as Colorado lieutenant governor and executive director of the state’s Department of Higher Education. Before his inauguration as lieutenant governor in 2011 and re-election in 2015, Garcia was president of Colorado State University-Pueblo. During his four-year tenure there, he helped the institution overcome financial difficulties and stagnant enrollment, and enhanced its reputation through aggressive marketing and nontraditional solutions. Previously, he was president of Colorado’s second-largest community college, Pikes Peak Community College, overseeing three campuses serving more than 16,000 students a year. Garcia, who earned a business degree from the University of Colorado and a jurisdoctorate from Harvard Law School, began his career in 1983 with Holme Roberts & Owen, where he went on to become the first Hispanic partner in the 100-year history of the storied Denver law firm. Throughout his career, Garcia has been actively involved as a board member for numerous civic, educational, and cultural nonprofit organizations, including the YMCAs of Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver; Pikes Peak Legal Aid; economic development agencies in Pueblo and Colorado Springs; the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority; Pikes Peak Child Nursery Centers; and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

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.
John Gibson
Faculty, Business & IT
Glendale Community College
John Gibson has taught business and information technology courses for Glendale Community College since 2000, where he is also a member of several OER Steering Committees. Prior to working at Glendale Community College, Gibson consulted on virtual university initiatives at Arizona State University and earned a MS in Business & Computer Information Systems from Colorado State University. He has presented at conferences on topics ranging from experiential learning to OER mastery learning.
Shonda Gibson
Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Shonda Gibson has served in a variety of roles in higher education and brings over 25 years of corporate and industry experience in the fields of leadership, operations management, recruiting, training, and team development. She is the associate provost for institutional effectiveness at Texas A&M University-Commerce and also serves as the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. She served on the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) Program Advisory Committee in creation and implementation of the state’s first competency-based degree offered by an accredited public institution, which earned the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s prestigious Texas Star Award. She has also led the Institute for Competency-Based Education (ICBE), a collaboratory funded by the Texas legislature for innovation focused on experimentation and research to advance the understanding of competency-based education and to support development and growth of CBE programs. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Social Psychology, has a master’s degree in Psychology, and an MBA with emphasis in both Management and Economics.
Mitchell Gilbert
Compliance Specialist
Western Governors University
Mitch Gilbert leads Western Governors University’s Compliance Specialist team which is responsible for monitoring and tracking all new legislation and rule changes across the United States and its territories while providing compliance support to the university. He previously served as Assistant vice president of state authorization for Education Management Corporation, where his main responsibility was keeping four universities, 83 campuses, and three online campuses in 36 states complaint with the various state regulations.
0Thomas Gilhooly
Executive Director
Higher Learning Partners, Regis University
Paul Golisch
Executive Director
Paul Golisch is an executive director for Lumen Learning, helping colleges increase adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Prior to joining Lumen, Golisch served in IT leadership positions for more than 20 years, with the last nine as a Dean and chief information officer at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix. He also served as a tri-chair of the Maricopa Millions OER Project. He has presented at local, national, and international educational conferences on topics such as Open Educational Resources, Flipping the Classroom and Integrating Technology into Instruction.
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 .
Stacey Güney
Director, Digital Learning Solutions Network
Stacey Güney is an educational evangelist leveraging technology and innovation to increase access, equity, and student success. Stemming from her work consulting with a variety of institutions, she saw the need for more integrated solutions involving student metacognition and learning. This lead to the launch of the Austin Community College ACCelerator, the largest technology-enhanced learning environment in the world.
Lisa Haas
Director of BenXL
Benedictine University
Lisa Haas is currently the director of BenXL, the Center for Experiential Learning at Benedictine University. In her role, she is focusing on expanding and assessing experiential learning activities within the curriculum and co-curriculum. She is also implementing a micro-credential badging system across the University. Haas has worked in higher education for the last 15-years at Benedictine University, Colorado Technical University, and American InterContinental University in a variety of roles from Admissions, Academic Advising, and Academics. She loves using technology to reach and impact the student experience. Haas earned her B.A. in English from St. Norbert College, M.A. in Educational Leadership from Argosy University, and Ed.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University.
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.
Kurt Hayes
Executive Director of Learning Experience Engineering
DeXL (Dynamic Experiential Learning)
Kurt Hayes has spent the last 15 years in higher education designing and developing online education experiences. Hayes has a master’s degree in Adult Education, Distance Learning and has worked on initiatives spanning from the development of online high school programs, college-level certificates and degrees, and the launch of online programs internationally. He is passionate about finding ways to inspire learners to persist through transformational educational experiences.
Tyson Heath
Manager of State Authorization
Western Governors University
Tyson Heath is the manager of State Authorization for Western Governors University (WGU), working out of the Salt Lake City headquarters. He has been with the university for six years working out of the Compliance and Accreditation department. Heath maintains the University ‘s operation in all 50 states and territories by completing state authorization applications and renewals for 30 plus states a year, and more recently serves as the NC-SARA Coordinator. In addition to state authorization, he has authored accreditation reports for the Council of Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), professional licensure applications (Education and Nursing), and Utah State Office of Education (USOE). He maintains the University catalog and oversees the submission of federal student and employee reporting, Clery Act and Student Consumer Guide.
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.

Phil Hill
Co-Publisher of the e-Literate blog, Co-Producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner at MindWires Consulting
Phil Hill (@PhilOnEdTech) is co-publisher of the e-Literate blog, co-producer of e-Literate TV, and partner at MindWires Consulting. As a market analyst, Hill has analyzed the growth of technology-enabled change for educational institutions, uncovering and describing the major trends and implications for the broader market. His unique graphics and visual presentations have been widely used in the industry. As an independent consultant, he helps educational institutions, technology and content vendors, and policy makers as they consider and implement new initiatives. Hill’s clients have included Western Governors University, California Community College System, Iowa State University, Bournemouth University, Pearson Education, Coursera, and others.
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.
Paige Holroyd
Sr. Product Manager, Personalized Learning & Analytics
Paige Holroyd has followed her passion for education in her role in product management for Pearson, focusing on helping partners achieve their goals. She has 10 years of experience in education technology with Pearson, in various roles including solutions and service support. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver and has a Graduate Teaching Certificate in Online Teaching.
Fred Hurst
Vice President, Institutional Advancement
Western Governors University
Fred Hurst is vice president of institutional advancement at Western Governors University. He serves as a national spokesperson for WGU and competency-based education to the higher education, policy, and quality assurance communities. Prior positions include: senior vice president for Extended Campuses at Northern Arizona and architect for NAU’s Personalized Learning competency-based education initiative; executive director of the Florida Public Postsecondary Distance Learning Institute; dean of information technologies and chief information officer for the University of Maine System’s Education Network of Maine; and started his higher education career in educational technology at Wichita State University. He served as vice chair of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance as an appointee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Hurst received the WICHE/WCET Richard Jonsen Award in 2013. He has served the Higher Learning Commission as a member of the Institutional Actions Council (IAC), team chair and consultant-evaluator.
Alyson Indrunas
Director, Teaching and Learning
Lumen Learning
Alyson "Indy" Indrunas is the director of teaching and learning for Lumen Learning. She holds an M.A. in English Studies from Western Washington University and an M.Ed. in Continuing and College Education from the Woodring College of Education. Her scholarly interests are in educational technology, professional development, open educational resources, and instructional design. Her career transition was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae which she hopes inspires other contingent faculty.
Angela Jackson
Online Program Manager
University of South Dakota
Angela Jackson is the online program manager at the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of South Dakota. Her main responsibilities include quality assurance of distance delivered courses, including accessibility, and also the primary trainer for all faculty who have been approved to teach online, DDN, hybrid delivery, correspondence study, video conference or any other distance delivered courses at USD. She obtained a B.S. in Information Systems from Capella University and her M.S. in Technology for Education and Training from USD.
0Michele Jackson
Associate Provost for University eLearning Initiatives
William & Mary
Michele Jackson is the associate provost for University eLearning Initiatives. She identifies and accelerates eLearning opportunities and programming through collaborative relationships with both academic and administrative campus stakeholders. With her leadership, W&M is creating new approaches to technology enhanced learning for the liberal arts. Alongside 25 years experience in the classroom, Jackson has created and supervised programs to integrate technology into teaching and learning at the department, school, and university level and has served as department chair. She has authored 30+ publications and received over $1M in research funding.
Pat James
Program Consultant
California Community Colleges' Online Education Initiative
Pat James has been a leader in Distance Education in California since 2000. She has taught multimedia production courses online, was chair of the ASCCC Technology Committee, and won the Chancellor's Office Technology Innovators' award in 2008. As Dean of Instructional Technology and DE at Mt. San Jacinto Community College, she co-directed the state @ONE professional development project, served on many system advisory committees, and taught online educators through the @ONE certification program. She has also provided instructional design support for a variety of colleges and universities and has served on the Student Success CIG for WCET. In 2012, under her direction, Mt. San Jacinto College was awarded a Gates Foundation grant to build a developmental writing MOOC. She is currently serving as the Executive Director of the California Community Colleges' Online Education Initiative. Pat is dedicated to developing quality distance learning opportunities. Her blog about the OEI can be found at http://ccctechedge.org
Mark Jenkins
Director of eLearning and Open Education and Coordinator of Accessible Technology Initiatives
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Mark Jenkins is the director of elearning and open education and coordinator of accessible technology initiatives at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). SBCTC eLearning is a system office coordinating policy, innovation and shared technology initiatives for a system of 34 independently governed CTCs. Recent initiatives include implementing a robust open licensing policy and the technical infrastructure to support it and coordinating a statewide response to the requirements of Washington's new accessible technology policy. Before coming to the State Board four years ago, Jenkins worked at Portland State University. He's worked in higher education his entire career and eLearning since 1997. His roles have ranged from office systems delivery to office staff to faculty to eLearning administration and now policy work. He earned a PhD in Literature from the University of California in San Diego in 1996
Stephanie Jenkins
Assistant Professor, School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Oregon State University
Stephanie Jenkins received a dual Ph.D. in Philosophy and Women's Studies from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. She is currently an assistant professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University. Her research and teaching interests include 20th century continental philosophy, feminist philosophy, disability studies, critical animal studies, and ethics.
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.
Constance Johnson
Chief Academic Officer/Provost
Colorado Technical University
Connie Johnson, Ed.D, is Colorado Technical University's (CTU) chief academic officer and provost, working with both online and ground degree programs. She has oversight of academic affairs, including faculty, curriculum, classroom experience, and accreditation. During her time at CTU, Johnson has initiated adaptive learning technology implementation, leading academics through change, and effective technology implementation in the online classroom including the promotion of academics, faculty and student engagement through social media. Connie also serves as a peer evaluator and team chair for the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) and was recently appointed as an ACAO Digital Fellow. Her educational background includes a Doctorate of Education, organizational leadership emphasis (2010), and a Master of Business Administration in management (1991) from Nova Southeastern University; and a Bachelor of Science with honors in criminal justice from Florida State University.
Dale Johnson
Adaptive Program Manager
Arizona State University
Dale Johnson, adaptive program manager, enjoys constantly innovating as he works with faculty and vendors to develop new courses and educational technologies. Johnson studied architecture at Arizona State University and public policy at Harvard, a learning path that combined his interests in design, engineering, art, and history. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and building: he’s traveled to over 30 countries, lived in Barcelona for a year, and built his own solar home in Phoenix.
Rick Johnson
VP, Product Strategy
Rick Johnson is the vice president of Product Strategy, and one of the founders of VitalSource, the most widely used platform for delivery of electronic textbooks in the world. He is a frequent speaker on electronic textbooks, their integration into an institutional environment, and how the accessibility needs of individual students can be accommodated in their delivery. He has served on multiple committees addressing delivering accessible content, a member of the working groups creating the EPUB standard, serves on the board of directors for IMSGlobal, is active in the Publishing@W3C work groups, and is the co-inventor of three domestic and international patents dealing with electronic books and their distribution.
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.
0John Jones
Director, Media Resources Center
Wichita State University
John Jones joined the MRC in 2014, and has been the director since 2015. He has been an instructional designer, corporate trainer, new media manager, web developer, and college instructor. Jones has an MFA in Fiction from Wichita State University and an MA in English and Creative Writing from Kansas State University. He has fifteen years of teaching experience as a graduate assistant and adjunct for K-State, Butler County Community College, Newman University, and Wichita State University.
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.
Kate Jordahl
Director of Strategic Planning & Operations
Online Education Initiative (OEI)/Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Kate Jordahl is the director of strategic planning and operations for the CCC Online Education Initiative (OEI). Before the OEI, She worked at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills for 19 years as professor and administrator and served as faculty lead on the Foothill College OEI Implementation Team and as Foothill College Faculty Representative to both the OEI Consortium and the OEI Common Course Management System Selection/Implementation Committee. In addition to being a Peer Online Course Reviewer and online faculty mentor, she designed and facilitated the Foothill College Online Teaching Certification Course (OTC).
Kathe Kacheroski
Academic Director, Direct Assessment
Capella University
Kathe Kacheroski has more than15 years of experience in online higher education in academic advising, learning assistance, and curriculum design. She currently serves as academic director, direct assessment at Capella University. She brings an expertise for combining traditional higher education best practice with innovative delivery models, and has received awards for creating the first online Supplemental Instruction program as well as for innovation in hybrid learning. Kacheroski has led the development and implementation of CBE programs in several institutions. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management.
Shweta Kailani
Senior Instructional Designer
Texas A&M University
Shweta Kailani is a senior instructional designer in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. She collaborates and consults with faculty in integrating educational technology in their courses to increase engagement and student learning. She facilitates numerous workshops and professional development seminars for faculty in the college and across the university. Her areas of interest include Game Based Learning, Open Educational Resources, Web 2.0 Ed Tech tools, Universal Design, and User Experience/User Interface Design.
Brenda Kellar
Anthropology Online Advisor
Oregon State University
Brenda Kellar is an advisor for the Oregon State University Anthropology department’s online bachelor’s degree. She has been working with online students for the past five years and became interested in the many different ways students speak of community when describing their online educational experience. Kellar is also a PhD candidate in the History of Science program at Oregon State University and her dissertation research focuses on beekeeping, knowledge of pollination, and the role of science in decision-making at the turn of the twentieth century.
Deborah Keyek-Franssen
Associate Vice President for Digital Education and Engagement
University of Colorado System Office
Deborah Keyek-Franssen, Ph.D. and associate vice president for digital education and engagement at the University of Colorado System Office. She has been instrumental in furthering CU campuses' implementation of digital and online education solutions, including MOOCs. She serves as the director of the Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) Conference and oversees state authorization compliance. She is an inaugural member of the Coursera Advisory Council, serves as faculty for the EDUCAUSE Management Institute, is vice-chair of the statewide Colorado Open Educational Resources (OER) Council, and sits on the steering committee for the National Association for System Heads’ (NASH) Taking Student Success to Scale initiative.
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.
Stacia Klasen
Director of Academic Operations
Colorado Technical University
Stacia Klasen has been working in the field of higher education for over 12 years, where she has had the opportunity to support the success of adult learners in a variety of roles. She has worked within student advising, learning services, career services, and now, academic operations at Colorado Technical University, where a piece of her role includes partnering with college leadership to enhance the online classroom experience. Klasen earned her Ed.D. in adult and higher education from Northern Illinois University.
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.
Judy Komar
VP of Educational Technology
Colorado Technical University
Judy Komar is Vice President of Educational Technology at Colorado Technical University (CTU). Recently, Judy has been working with the academic teams, specifically the Nursing Leadership team, to design new adaptive learning nursing maps powered by a learning analytic engine. In addition to creating a new model for nursing students, the Nursing Leadership team and Judy have also mapped all lessons in the program to the program outcomes within the adaptive learning system to provide increased information to the Nursing Leadership team.
Olga Kopp
Professor of Biology
Utah Valley University
Olga Kopp is a Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University. She has a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology and an M.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). Her research interests are in plant tissue culture and plant microbe interactions. She is very interested in student-centered learning and involvement of undergraduates in research/ scholarly activities.
Pat Lane
Director of Data Initiatives
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Patrick Lane is the director of data initiatives, a role that includes managing the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange, which seeks to improve linkages between state data systems to provide better information to students and their families while also improving education, workforce, and economic development policy. He previously coordinated WICHE's Adult College Completion Network. He came to WICHE having spent several years working in education policy in the Republic of the Marshall islands. He received a master's degree from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 2007 and completed a Ph.D. in public administration at the University of Colorado Denver in 2015.
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.
David Leasure
Higher Learning Challenge
An innovator in online higher education, David Leasure has led online university programs and competency-based education. He has served as provost at Western Governors University, Colorado Technical University, and Jones International University. Leasure earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science and was associate professor of computer science at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, where he turned his interests from artificial intelligence to teaching and learning with technology. His core belief is that all students can learn and his passion is helping them and their institutions succeed.
Julia Lehman Caldwell
Lead Instructional Designer
UW MBA Consortium
Julia Lehman Caldwell has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 2004, in several different instructional technology roles. She is currently the Lead Instructional Designer for the UW MBA Consortium.
Sarah Leibrandt
Research Analyst
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Sarah Ohle Leibrandt is a research analyst for the Policy Analysis and Research Unit at Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Prior to joining WICHE, she worked for the Colorado Department of Education and Red Rocks Community College. Leibrandt earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy from University of Colorado Boulder and a Bachelors degree from Wellesley College. She is a proud Colorado native.
Adel Lelo
Senior Manager Assessment Solutions
Western Governors University
Adel Leo has been with Western Governors University for over eight years and has initiated, worked on, and executed some of the university's larger projects. These include the architecting, engineering, and rolling out of WGU's online proctoring process with multiple vendors while strengthening and improving our on-site test delivery process. Currently serving as senior manager of assessment solutions, her responsibilities include vendor management, assessment security, and department projects. In a previous life she ran an online magazine, tried her hand in real estate, and almost signed up for culinary school.
Sharon Leu
Senior Policy Advisor, Higher Education Innovation
Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology
Sharon Leu leads the Office of Educational Technology’s higher education innovation initiatives, including next generation assessments, individualized learning pathways, use of open resources and platforms, and strategic partnerships with stakeholders. Leu also works in offices across the Department to design programs that improve quality of education and increase success of students and adult learners. Prior to joining OET, she oversaw the design and implementation of the Department of Labor’s $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, the largest federal investment in postsecondary innovation and systematic infrastructure change. Leu can often be found leaping from boulder to boulder with a heavy backpack and dreams of becoming a park ranger when she grows up.
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.
0Jay Lynch
Senior Academic Research Consultant
Jay Lynch is a senior academic research consultant at Pearson on the academic research, efficacy, and evaluation team. He provides guidance and research support to various groups on issues ranging from improving student completion rates to translating learning science findings into instructional design recommendations. He is particularly interested in how edtech can improve on the current standards of educational research to generate more meaningful and accessible research outputs to better empower education decision-makers.
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.
0Maureen Madden
Instructional Designer & Accessibility Liaison
Northern Virginia Community College
Maureen Madden is an instructional designer and the accessibility liaison for the Extended Learning Institute which provides her the opportunity to assess the accessibility of the online courses for the College. Madden primarily interacts with teaching faculty and the other instructional designers, but also serves as a go-to person when there are questions regarding the facilitation of accommodations in the online learning environment. She provides training, advice, and instructional guidelines. She has a passion for making online learning materials accessible for all users which creates welcoming and inclusive learning environments.
Andrew Magda
Manager of Market Research
The Learning House, Inc.
Andrew J. Magda is the manager of market research at The Learning House, Inc. He leads in the development of custom and large-scale market research studies and assists partner institutions with their research needs. Prior to Learning House, Magda was a senior analyst at Eduventures and a project manager at the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.
Leah Matthews
Executive Director
Leah Matthews is the executive director of the DEAC, a non-profit educational association located in Washington, D.C. The DEAC’s Accrediting Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Matthew’s experience in higher education and accreditation includes three years as vice president for Recognition Services at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and eleven years at the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, where she served as the director of Institutional Compliance overseeing accreditation processes for approximately 750 post-secondary career and technical institutions. Prior to joining ACCSC, she worked for five years at the U.S. Army Japan Headquarters in Zama, Japan. She also taught for several years in the Baltimore City Schools system. Matthews holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Education from Westminster College, a MPA from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. from George Mason University.
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
Mollie McGill
Director, Programs and Membership
Mollie McGill is WCET's director of programs and membership. WCET is a national, non-profit organization whose mission is to advance technology-enhanced learning in higher ed. She spent nearly 20 years with WICHE early in her career and was instrumental in founding WCET in 1989. McGill directed learning innovations and technology initiatives for the University of Colorado and served in leadership roles for several Colorado statewide e-learning projects.
0Joe McInerney
Outreach Specialist
Red Rocks Community College
Joe McInerney
Lisa McIntyre-Hite
Executive Director, Product Innovation
Laureate Education, Center for Innovation and Learning
Lisa McIntyre-Hite, PhD, is the executive director of Product Innovation for Walden University's Center for Learning Innovation. Her professional passion is rooted in the desire to expand access to higher education. She leads competency-based curriculum development efforts for Walden University's Tempo Learning, one of six programs accredited nation-wide to offer a direct-assessment, competency-based curriculum. Much of her research and work is focused on competency-based education in higher education.
Shannon Meadows
Chief Revenue Officer
Ed Map
Shannon Meadows is the chief revenue officer at Ed Map and has deep expertise in the areas of go-to-market approaches, team development, sales operations, and sales effectiveness. Her domain knowledge encompasses technology start-up organizations as well as the ed-tech and publishing sectors, analytics, mobile, social and cloud-based solutions. Meadows has a strong background in higher education sales and leadership. She served as vice president of sales and sales operations for Blackboard as well as senior vice president of business development for CourseSmart (now Vital Source) – a leading digital content and educational services platform. She earned her bachelor’s degree in the honors program at the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in creative writing with minors in computer science and dance.
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.
Michael K. J. Milligan
CEO and Executive Director
Michael K. J. Milligan is CEO and executive director of ABET. He is responsible for all aspects of ABET global operations, representing 35 technical and professional societies. Prior to joining ABET, Milligan held various positions in government and academia, including 24 years in the U.S. Air Force. He served as associate professor and deputy department head in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and later worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, his MS from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and a BS from Michigan State University. Milligan also holds an MBA from Western New England College and is a Certified Association Executive. He is a senior member of IEEE, a member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu engineering honor societies, and a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Maryland.
Kara Monroe
Vice President of Academic Innovation and Support
Ivy Tech Community College
Kara Monroe, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Instructional Technology, Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana). Monroe holds a PhD from Capella University, an MBA from Jones International University, Masters Coursework in Mathematics from Converse College and Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Education from Ball State University.
Jesus Moreno
Project Manager
LeCroy Center/ DCCCD
Jesus Moreno is a project manager for Dallas County Community College District where he has created several innovative applications that have been implemented within the district. Moreno has been developing professionally in academia since 2003 starting in California working for the Kern County Office of Education. He has won the innovation of the year award for his institution for three out of four years that he has been with the district.
Cali Morrison
Associate Dean, Alternative Learning, Alternative Learning
American Public University System
Cali M.K. Morrison is associate dean, Alternative Learningof alternative learning at American Public University System and a doctoral (Ed.D.) candidate in higher education administration at Montana State University. Previously Morrison was the assistant director, communications and analysis at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and project director of Transparency by Design at WCET, where she became interested in studying adult learners and accountability. Current research interests include competency-based education and its practical and policy implications for higher education. Morrison holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Western Kentucky University, a M.Ed. in Adult & Higher Education from Montana State University, an online graduate certificate in Women's Studies from Western Kentucky University.
0Rhonda Newton
Instructional Designer
Rhonda Newton is an instructional designer at Triseum (an educational gaming company) where she works collaboratively with different game design units and SMEs to create interactive educational games for higher education and K-12. Newton a has a keen interest in leveraging technology to enhance authentic, contextual learning.
Mary Niemiec
Associate Vice President for Digital Education, Director of University of Nebraska Online Worldwide
University of Nebraska
Mary Niemiec is the associate vice president for Distance Education for the University of Nebraska. She is also director of University of Nebraska Online Worldwide – the University‐wide online education initiative collectively offering more than 100 online programs from four campuses – University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Campus.
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.
Hae Okimoto
Director, Academic Technologies
University of Hawaii System
Hae Okimoto has over 25 years of planning, developing, and implementing an effective distance learning program serving over 9,000 students annually for the 10 campus University of Hawaii system; including the faculty development and student orientations, access and availability of academic and student support services for distance delivery. For the last 17 years, her focus has been in developing and delivering a customer focused suite of technology services, including expansion of the technical infrastructure and establishment of software solutions for all faculty, students, and staff for the UH system.
Andrew Olstad
Oregon State University
Andrew Olstad teaches statistics and data analytic classes for Oregon State University, both in person and online. His research interests include simulation and modeling of complex educational and business situations. In his spare time, Olstad enjoys games, adventures with his family, and good food.
0John Opper
Executive Director, DLSS
Florida Virtual Campus
John Opper has 13 years of experience working for the Postsecondary Education Planning Commission as a Policy Analyst and Director. He served as executive director of the Florida Distance Learning Consortium for 12 years until its merger with the Florida Virtual Campus in 2012 at which time he became executive director for Distance Learning and Student Services. He has authored policy studies and recommendations in the area of undergraduate education, academic libraries, funding policy and educational technology. In addition, he has served on a variety of state, regional and national workgroups and boards. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Armstrong State University, a Master's in Education from the University of Georgia, and a PhD from Florida State University.
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.
Laura Pedrick
Executive Director, UWM Online
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Laura Pedrick, executive director of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Online, oversees the University’s online and blended programs. She is the campus lead for UWM’s participation in the competency-based UW Flexible Option initiative. She managed two Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Learning Challenge grants on UWM’s innovative U-Pace instructional model, and she is a co-author of Policy Practice for Social Workers: New Strategies for a New Era, a multimedia textbook with web-based case studies, forthcoming from Routledge.
Brenda Perea
Director of Educational and Workforce Solutions
Brenda M. Perea, director of educational and workforce solutions brings nearly fifteen years of experience in the secondary-postsecondary educational field along with ten years in the corporate world identifying and targeting workforce skills not apparent in transcripts, degrees, certificates and courses. She successfully led the Colorado Community College System to implement a system-wide workforce driven digital badge initiative, building collaboration between 13 colleges, 39 campuses and Colorado’s leading businesses and industries. She is nationally recognized to mentor digital badge initiatives into developing deeper collaboration with business and industry around workforce skills. Perea speaks nationally on digital badges and participates in the international Open Recognition Alliance weekly calls and IMS Global workgroups to shape the national conversation on higher education badging, industry and business interest and workforce participant credentialing. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico, a Master’s of Science degree from Shenandoah University.
Roxanne Phillips
Program Chair
Colorado Community Colleges Online
Roxanne Phillips has been a program chair at Colorado Community Colleges Online for five years and in that role, she gets to work with both instructional designers and her instructors to bring the best online experience to the students of the Colorado Community College System. Phililps has been developing content and teaching online classes for fifteen years and is still in search of the next big thing in online education.
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.
Russ Poulin
Director, Policy and Analysis
Russ Poulin organizes WCET's national policy and research activities, edits WCET's Frontiers blog, coordinates WCET's research efforts, and works on elearning consortia issues. He represented the distance education community in the U.S. Department of Education's 2014 Negotiated Rulemaking process. Previously, he coordinated distance education activities for the North Dakota University System. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado Denver and a Master's from the University of Northern Colorado. Poulin enjoys going to the films with his wife, Laurie.
Brandon Poulliot
Technical Support Specialist
Laramie County Community College
Brandon Poulliot is an academic technologist with a specialization in learning management system administration, professional, and support. He has worked in higher education with multiple institutions since 2008. His current interests in online education center around authentic assessment design, games-based learning (specifically commercial off-the-shelf games), and the maker movement in higher education. He is currently pursuing an M.S. in Instructional Technology from the University of Wyoming.
Kristin Powers
Associate Director
Intentional Futures
Kristin Powers is a learning scientist who holds degrees in Fine Art, English, and Digital Media. Powers has held a variety of jobs from IT for an institution, video game design for education, to owning a specialty bakery, but has always sought to understand how things work by testing and iterating. She is passionate about social emotional learning, empathy research, playful learning, serious games, science, and technologies that target ELL, minority, and struggling students.
Lou Pugliese
Senior Innovation Fellow and Managing Director
Arizona State University
As former CEO of Blackboard and director of strategy at ETS, Lou Pugliese has more than 25 years of experience developing a wide variety of technology solutions to radically improve teaching and learning outcomes. He also serves as an Advisory Board Member for Educate Global Fund, an impact fund investing in social businesses that significantly improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children. His expertise leads ASU’s efforts to understand, advocate for, and enhance the digital learning environment.
0Emilio Ramos
District Director of Instructional Technology
LeCroy Center/ DCCCD
Emilio Ramos has experience managing a complex information technology environment, managing and designing enterprise implementations of CRM, back-office and business systems, and large scale Learning Management systems. Ramos has a proven ability to lead seamless implementations and deliver next-generation innovations and technical solutions improving revenues, margins and productivity. He holds extensive knowledge of the processes, policies and overall environments of educational institutions.
Megan Raymond
Assistant Director, Programs and Sponsorship
Megan Raymond, assistant director for programs and sponsorship at WCET, the leader in the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. She directs various events and programs including the Annual Meeting and WCET's monthly webcast series. Raymond builds relationships with corporate sponsors invested in the WCET community and edtech as the contact for sponsorship. She has been with WCET since 2007. Prior to this, she was the assistant director of housing and conference services at Fort Lewis College, a small liberal arts college in Colorado. She directed a successful conference program, adjudicated student conduct, and trained and managed 30 student staff members. If it weren't for her passion for improving access to higher education, she'd likely live in the remote mountains and spend her days exploring by bike or foot, fortunately she gets to do both as much as possible. She has a BS in marketing and a MS in Health and Nutrition Education
Scott Ready
Director - Customer Relations, Enterprise Consulting
Blackboard, Inc.
Scott Ready has over 20 years of experience in higher education, as faculty and chair of the first online Interpreter Training Program; director of eLearning; and 12 years with Blackboard; he has led institutions globally in furthering adoption and implementation of new online programs. He is a nationally certified Sign Language Interpreter and prior to academia, Ready was the assistant director of the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and director at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company’s Relay Center.
Rebecca Reese
Senior Instructional Designer
Laramie County Community College
Rebecca M. Reese holds a degree in Instructional Design and Development (IDD) from the University of South Alabama with an emphasis in the fields of educational psychology, learning theory, and academic technology. She works as senior instructional designer for Laramie County Community College, and is a reviewer with the Association for Educational and Communications Technology (AECT). You can find her on Twitter @rmreese1 where she shares information on topics such as #HigherEd #EdTech #OER and #OnlineLearning. 
0Sherri Restauri
Director, Coastal Office of Online Learning
Coastal Carolina University
Sherri Restauri has served in academia for 17 years. During this time, she has served as an instructional designer, faculty member in the field of psychology and other areas, and also as an administrator over Online Learning at several universities. She joined the office of online learning at Coastal Carolina University as their director in July 2016. Her research focus is on improving the teaching and learning process across all teaching modalities through the use of technology, with specific interest in pedagogical practices to increase student engagement, and online pedagogy best practices.
Cecilia Retelle Zywicki
Vice President, Strategic Partnership Operations
Wiley Education Services
Cecilia Retelle Zywicki is vice president of strategic partnership operations for Wiley Education Services. Zywicki oversees the state systems initiative, federal & state policy, and partnership agreements with associations and foundations. She joined the business through the acquisition of Ranku, which Wiley acquired in 2016. Prior to co-founding Ranku, Zywicki was the senior director of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and lobbyist at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She holds a law license and inactive K-8 teaching license in the State of Minnesota. She has a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver and a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Foundation of Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where she played for the Women’s Ice Hockey team.
Steve Rheinschmidt
Director of Learning Innovation
Saint Leo University
Steve Rheinschmidt is often referred to as the former, 10-year executive director of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC). But since leaving Iowa four years ago, he has wandered the Earth promoting program growth and innovation using a partnership platform in a more commercial venture. At Saint Leo, Rheinschmidt now promotes management, direction, and aggregation of a portfolio of Learning Innovation initiatives, while heading up some new strategies like the lowering of course materials costs while maintaining the highest quality possible.
Carlos Rivers
Operations Research Analyst
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Carlos Rivers serves as the operations research analyst for the Institute for Competency-Based Education. He focuses primarily on historical data collection and analysis for Texas A&M University-Commerce's Affordable Baccalaureate Degree and establishing and tracking program specific metrics that can potentially serve as a framework for universities planning to launch similar competency-based programs. Rivers also has provided data and analytic insight for university-wide enrollment and retention initiatives. His publications on CBE and data analytics have appeared in such venues as the EDUCAUSE Review, WCET Frontiers and The Evolllution.
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.
Robert Rosenbalm
Project Leader
LeCroy Center, DCCCD
Robert Rosenbalm serves as the managing director of the National University Technology Network (NUTN) housed at the acclaimed R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications, a leader in distance learning since 1972. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Arts from Amberton University. In addition, he is a graduate of multiple leadership programs including the DCCCD (2004), North Texas Community College Consortium (2005) and the Instructional Technology Council (2010).
Steve Rothenberg
Project and Product Implementation Manager
Steve Rothenberg has been with the Colorado Community College System for over 10 years, and teaches project management at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado. Rothenberg joined Colorado Community Colleges Online (CCCOnline) in 2015 as an instructional designer and moved into his current position as Project and Product Implementation Manager in 2016. He holds Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, as well as Master's Degrees in Education and Computer Information Systems.
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).
Ken Salomon
Thompson Coburn LLP
Ken Salomon has spent his entire legal career in the public and private sectors in Washington, DC. He has helped clients in a variety of sectors—including e-commerce, higher education, technology, telecommunications, health care, and intellectual property—develop and implement winning lobbying strategies by crafting and implementing innovative approaches to affect the formation of public policy in the U.S. Congress and the administration. Salomon has handled other major government relations projects, including securing the change to federal law to enable e-learning students to receive federal financial aid. He was a professorial lecturer on International Telecommunications at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies for several years. In 2015, Salomon was elected a member of the Ethics Committee of the United States Olympic Committee.
Laura Sankovich
Faculty Chair, MBA Program
Laura Sankovich, PhD, is Faculty Chair of the MBA program at Capella University. She is also the owner of The Human Resource which focuses on HR compliance and preventing employment issues for small and medium-sized businesses. Sankovich is from Chicago and enjoys international travel with her family, with a home-base in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Michael Sano
Higher Ed Community Manager
Michael Sano is the higher ed community manager at EdSurge. He has dedicated his career to supporting students in reaching their academic and personal goals. Most recently as an associate dean of students, Sano has also served as director of academic support services, director of experiential education programs in Nicaragua, and provided direct support to students with disabilities through ed tech initiatives. He thinks a lot about innovation and affordability in higher education.
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.
Kim Schmidl-Gagne
Program Manager
Keene State College
Kim Schmidl-Gagne is the program manager for accreditation processes and for diversity and multicultural student initiatives at Keene State College. After 20 years in residential life, she joined the staff of the provost and chief officer for diversity and multiculturalism as the accreditation liaison officer and to assist with coordinating a variety of programmatic efforts, including the American Democracy Project ADP, the symposium and numerous speaker series as well as efforts to integrate academic affairs and student affairs. Kim Schmidl-Gagne is an instructor for Statistics and Quantitative Literacy at Keene State College, as well as the Curator for the AASCU Economic Inequality Blended Learning Course and a member of the ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Steering Committee.
Reed Scull
Associated Dean and Director
University of Wyoming Outreach School
Reed Scull has been the associate dean of the University of Wyoming’s Outreach School since 2008. He concurrently serves as the Director of the Division of Outreach Credit Programs. In addition, Scull was the 2011-2012 Chair of UPCEA West. Prior to his position at the University of Wyoming, Scull served for 13 years as the Coordinator of Academic Programs at the University of Neva—Reno College of Extended Studies.
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.
Burck Smith
StraighterLine helps students lower the cost and risk of attending college and helps colleges attract and retain students by offering affordable, competency based, online, general education courses with guaranteed transfer pathways. In 1999, Burck Smith co-founded SMARTHINKING, a provider of online tutoring provider for colleges. Smith has written chapters for three books on education policy for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Prior to SMARTHINKING, he was consultant and journalist. Smith holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College.
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.
Karen Solomon
Vice President for Accreditation Relations and Director, Standard Pathway
Higher Learning Commission
Karen J. Solomon is the vice president for accreditation relations and director, Standard Pathway, at the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). She served on the steering committee charged with developing HLC’s new accreditation processes and currently leads the task force on student success initiatives. She serves on the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Board of Directors and is a past chair of the WCET Executive Council. Solomon is a reviewer of good practices for INQAAHE and has been a consultant, presenter, and peer reviewer for developing international accrediting agencies. Prior to joining HLC, she was the founding executive director of Illinois Campus Compact for Community Service and an associate at ACT, Inc., along with various roles at institutions. She holds an Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University with a focus on adult learners and educational technology.
Carolyn Speer
Manager Instructional Design and Technology
Wichita State University
Carolyn Speer manages the Instructional Design and Technology team at Wichita State. She began her career as a faculty member at Friends University. She has also worked as a freelance instructional designer, ghost writer, and online textbook author. She is interested in universal design concepts and making educational opportunities accessible to underserved populations. She strongly believes that everyone in higher education works for the students. She holds a Master's from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University.
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.
David Stone
Director of Collaborative Programs
Pennsylvania State University
David Edwin Stone is the director of collaborative programs for Penn State University. Stone is responsible for university course sharing and program initiative. He has conducted research, published and presented on large scale higher education change in the area of online learning, provided consulting in the area of workforce development, and has conducted international research on the use of virtual learning environments for foreign language instruction.
Terri Straut
Senior Research Analyst
Terri Taylor Straut is an experienced elearning project manager and administrator. As the founding director of CU Online (for University of Colorado) and a member of the founding management team of the Western Governors University (WGU), she has been a part of the online/distance learning industry since its infancy in the mid-1990s. In addition to her experience in higher education, Straut has implemented distance education projects for corporations and the non-profit sector.
Ruth Tarantine
University Dean of Nursing
Colorado Technical University
Ruth Tarantine holds the position of dean of nursing for Colorado Technical University. Her academic career has focused on leveraging technology to design new online nursing programs with a focus on quality, scalability and compliance. Research interests focus on the use of simulation in multidisciplinary education as well as reducing 30 day hospital readmissions.
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.
0Karen Tinsley-Kim
Instructional Development Specialist
University of Central Florida
Heather Tobin
Instructional Designer
University of Denver
Heather Tobin is an instructional designer at the University of Denver, and adjunct instructor at Colorado Community Colleges Online. Tobin has been working and teaching in various higher education settings since 2002. These experiences have allowed her to cultivate a unique blend of student and instructor perspectives, which significantly influences her current design work. Her professional interests include; visual design solutions for learning, learner experience design, and strategies for meaningfully incorporating innovative technologies in teaching practices.
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.
Nick White
Director of Competency Based Learning Solutions
Capella University

Nick White is the director of Competency Based Learning Solutions at Capella University. White's constant goal is to find ways to make learning more effective and efficient for adult learners through innovative design practices and the smart use of technology. He leads a team of curriculum specialists assessment specialists, instructional designers, project managers, editors, and course producers that work collaboratively with faculty members to design exceptional online programs and courses. He has a master's degree in instructional design, is an award winning instructional designer and administrator, and is a frequent speaker at national conferences.

Grace Whiteaker
Instructional Designer
Grace Whiteaker is an instructional designer for CCCOnline, a centralized department within the Colorado Community College System that creates and delivers online courses that any student in the system may take and receive credit for via their home school. She has a varied background that includes librarian, project manager, news photojournalist, coffee barista, lecturer, information and adrenaline junkie, and world traveler. She thrives on course design, process design and improvement, work flow, and organization.
Dana Willett
Director, Office of Distance and Extended Learning
Texas State University
Dana Willett assists Texas State University in strategic planning and development of distance and hybrid courses and programs in harmony with the university mission. He has provided similar leadership at both Austin Peay State University and the University of Southern Indiana. Willett has particular interest in learning assessment, accessibility, gamification, and mobile learning. He completed a BA in English and an MBA at the University of Southern Indiana. Willett also holds certifications from Quality Matters and the Online Learning Consortium. He has also taught online courses in computer programming and accounting.
Darlene Williams
Vice President for Technology, Innovation, and Economic Development
Northwestern State University
Darlene Williams is vice president for technology, innovation, and economic development at Northwestern State University. Williams is the key administrator for “e” initiatives and plays a key role in the development of business partnerships. She has been instrumental in the development of traditional and accelerated online degrees, OER initiatives, PLA, and faculty development programs. Further, she assists state leaders in the identification of strategic objectives, innovative approaches, and best practices in eLearning. Williams received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Instruction from the University of Nebraska.
Melissa Williams
University Program Director
Colorado Technical University
Melissa Burton-Williams is the undergraduate program director for Colorado Technical University’s College of Business and Management. Williams obtained her Doctorate in Management (Organizational Leadership). Her SAGE Publication was a discussion of her dissertation findings relating to elected leaders management capacity. Her work experience includes over 25 years in the public sector, which includes 15 years in management/leadership. Her attention now is on assessment and data trends towards improved student performance.
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.
Scott Woods
Director of Programs
Colorado State University
Scott M. Woods, Ph.D., MBA, serves as director of Online Programs at Colorado State University. In this role, he facilitates the transformation and management of programs in business and engineering from the traditional environment to hybrid or online. Scott is also an affiliate faculty member for the School of Social Work teaching courses in conflict resolution and research methodology. Previously he served as regional director of academic affairs with the University of Phoenix.
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.
Jeffrey Young
Senior Editor
Jeffrey R. Young is a senior editor at EdSurge, leading coverage of higher education and co-hosting the EdSurge On Air Podcast. He previously spent 20 years at The Chronicle of Higher Education as a reporter and editor. In 2014 he spent a year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he was also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Young has written for national publications including The New York Times, New Scientist, Slate, and The Wall Street Journal. An article he wrote was selected for the anthology The Best of Technology Writing 2007. He is a frequent speaker on issues of education and technology, having given talks at the South-by-Southwest Interactive conference, at education events, and on campuses. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University in 1995 and a master’s in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University in 2001.