WCET’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting
Tuesday Speakers
Mike Abbiatti
Executive Director and WICHE Vice President for Technology Enhanced Education
Mike Abbiatti is the executive director of WCET and WICHE vice President for technology Eenhanced Education. 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.
Beverly Amer
Principal Lecturer
Northern Arizona University
Beverly Amer is an engaging, energetic and thought-provoking presenter. She's currently a Principal Lecturer in the W. A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University, where she leads a team of 26 faculty and students in the delivery of a blended and flipped introduction to computers course that successfully uses adaptive technologies to nearly 1,000 students a semester. Recipient of numerous teaching awards, she holds the title of President's Distinguished Teaching Fellow, and has received the prestigious President's Award for teaching innovation at Northern Arizona University and the University College Faculty Leadership Award. She is a Certified Management Accountant, and holds a variety of Microsoft certifications. In addition to her passion for engaging students to achieve success, she enjoys travel, outdoor sports, and just about anything chocolate!
Claudia Arcolin
Senior Instructional Designer
University of Texas at San Antonio
Claudia Arcolin is a Senior Instructional Designer at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She has been working in the field of education and instructional technology since 2003. She holds a doctorate in Cognitive and Education Sciences and a Master in Continuing Education and E-Learning. Her areas of interests include student-generated content, gamification, communities of learning, and informal learning environments.
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.  An Analytics Handbook: From Evidence to Action is forthcoming from the Society for College and University Planning. 
0Kathy Becker-Blease
OSU Psychology Chair
Oregon State University
Kelvin Bentley
Assistant Vice President for Digital Learning Innovation
University of West Florida
Kevin Bentley has more than 16 years of digital learning leadership experience. He has lead online learning initiatives for 2- and 4-year institutions as well as been a digital learning thought leader and consultant. Prior to joining UWF, he served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Tarrant County College District in Fort Worth, Texas. As the chief academic officer for TCC Connect, he was responsible for strategic academic planning for all online courses and programs and the accelerated Weekend College.
0Michael Berman
Chief Innovation Officer and Deputy CIO, Chancellor's Office
California State University
Michael Berman is the chief innovation officer and Deputy CIO for the California State University system. In recent years he was VP and CIO at Cal State Channel Islands, and has been the senior technology administrator at three other universities. Berman was a member of the Board of Trustees of NMC and participated in the advisory committee for the NMC Horizon Reports on Higher Education. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University, and he has been a faculty member, software developer, systems administrator and textbook author.
Jenny Billings
Chair, ACA English
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Jenny Billings is the chair of English and Study Skills at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Concord and Salisbury, NC. She teaches English Composition and is also a Cengage faculty partner. Billings has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest University, a Master’s degree in Creative Writing in Poetry from Queens University of Charlotte, and a Doctorate degree in Community College Executive Leadership from Wingate University. In 2016, Billings won the Faculty-Led Digital Learning Initiative Award (DLIA) from the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) for the e-Text Initiative at Rowan-Cabarrus. The e-Text Initiative was also a Top 10 Finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Award.
0Chad Bolser
Ivy Tech Community College
Niki Bray
Instructor and Instructional Designer
University of Memphis
Former WCET Adaptive Learning Fellow, Niki Bray teaches in the School of Health Studies at the University of Memphis where she also serves as the school's instructional designer. Niki earned her doctorate from the University of Memphis in 2017 in Instructional Design & Technology. Passionate about student success, Niki's research interests include adaptive learning, edtech, faculty support, and student success.
Tonya Buchan
Instructional Designer
The Institute for Learning and Teaching, 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. Tonya 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.
Melody Buckner
Director of Digital Learning and Online Education
University of Arizona
Melody Buckner is the director of digital learning and online education for the office of digital learning, and the interim dean of University of Arizona South. In her role as director, she oversees the design, development and maintenance of over 700 courses within almost 80 fully-online programs the UA Online campus. She began at the UA almost a decade ago as an instructional designer, charged with helping faculty create online courses that reach out and engage students in an online UA experience.
Don Carter
Director, Academic and Research Technology Services and Adaptive Courseware Program Manager
Northern Arizona University
After 15 years as founding director of the Northern Arizona University (NAU) eLearning Center, Carter now heads up the new ITS group, Academic & Research Technology Services and is Adaptive Program Manager. Prior to coming to NAU, he served as director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center at Seton Hall University, where he was instrumental in their university-wide laptop program, curriculum redesign initiatives, and faculty fellows program. At Randolph College, Carter was founding director of both the Office of Academic Computing and the Ethyl Math and Science Resource Center. He taught Decision Making in the Master of Administration program at NAU and previously taught mathematics, computer science, and alternative & solar building design & graphics at NAU, Randolph College, and Yavapai College.
Gary Chinn
Assistant Dean for Digital Learning
Pennsylvania State University
Gary Chinn is assistant dean and director of the Office of Digital Learning with the college of arts and architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. The Office of Digital Learning collaborates with faculty in the design, development, and delivery of fully online course, curricular design of programs, and technology integration in support of resident instruction.
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).
Cheryl Costantini
Vice President, Content
Cheryl Costantini is the vice president of content strategy for Cengage. She leads the design and execution of content-driven initiatives, product, and business models. For nearly 20 years, Costantini has held numerous roles at Cengage, including general manager for humanities, vice president of marketing for business and computers, and vice president of brand management.
Beth Davis
Vice President, Business Development
The Douglas Stewart Company
Beth Davis is an education strategist with a focus on leveraging technology across the enterprise to improve access, student success and institutional efficiency. She was the co-founder of the PAR Framework (now Starfish Analytics). Prior to her role at PAR, Davis was the senior vice president, products, and general manager at Adobe Systems where she also held vertical-specific roles managing higher education, students and non-profit markets. She was also a major contributor to the efforts associated with Macromedia’s acquisition by Adobe Systems, Inc. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.
Cheryl Dowd
Director, SAN
Cheryl Dowd is the Director of the State Authorization Network (SAN)for WCET and Cyber Fellow for WICHE. Dowd directs the activities and research for institutions and other related organizations to understand and manage regulatory compliance requirements for the out of state activities of the institutions. As Cyber Fellow, Cheryl is developing relationships with national education and security agencies to develop institutional data protection and privacy resources and training opportunities to share with the WICHE community.
Luke Dowden
Chief Online Learning Officer & Associate Vice Chancellor
Alamo Colleges District
Recently, Luke Dowden joined the Alamo Colleges District as its Chief Online Learning Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Prior to joining Alamo Colleges Online, Dr. Dowden founded the Office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010 and served as its Director for eight years. He is a past Steering Committee Chair and Executive Council Chair for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET).
0Maaroof Fakhri
VR Product Owner and Evangelist
Maaroof Fakhri is a science communicator and geek who works at Labster to engage the next generation of scientists through the use of virtual technologies, particularly virtual reality, as their VR Product Owner and Evangelist. He’s travelled the globe creating science programs for teachers and students on five continents. Fakhri has been drenched in slime as a science presenter, elbow-deep in dissected camel eyeballs in the Middle East, leveraged augmented reality to teach cybersecurity to youth, and has had the privilege of working with remote Indigenous communities in Australia build engaging localised science curriculum for disadvantaged students. As a graduate with two STEM undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Psychology, and a post-graduate in Science Communication, Fakhri believes the right technologies, in the right hands, can have a profound and transformative impact on global science education.
Franz Feierbach
Director of Operations
Salt Lake Community College
Franz Feierbach is the Director of Operations at Salt Lake Community College's School of Applied Technology. Franz has been involved in SLCC's transition to CBE since the very beginning and has been instrumental in data collection, validation, and continuous improvement. He is founding member of C-BEN and has been involved in the C-BEN Quality Assurance Collaboratory.
Chris Gilliard
Professor of English
Macomb Community College
Chris Gilliard’s work concentrates on privacy, institutional tech policy, digital redlining, and the re-inventions of discriminatory practices through data mining and algorithmic decision-making, especially as these apply to college students. He is currently developing a project that looks at how popular misunderstandings of mathematical concepts create illusions of fairness and objectivity in student analytics, predictive policing, and hiring practices.
Kevin Grant
Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
University of Texas at San Antonio
Kevin Grant is the associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Business and the program director of the online BBA Cyber Security program. He has previously served as the coordinator for the Project Management concentration in UTSA’s MBA program, and the assistant dean for academic programs in the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management and the director of the Graduate Systems Management program at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
Julie Greenwood
Associate Provost for Transformative Learning
Oregon State University
Julie Greenwood is motivated by the opportunity to increase diversity, equalize degree completion, and create a personalized transformative experience for each of our students. As associate provost at Oregon State, she oversees implementation of Adaptive and Personalized Learning, Undergraduate Research, ROTC, and Curricular Initiatives and Programs to support teaching excellence and inclusivity. Relationships with students continue to strengthen her commitment to equity and justice with a resolve to support all to graduation and beyond.
Angela Gunder
Director of Instructional Design and Curriculum Development
University of Arizona, Office of Digital Learning
Angela Gunder is Director of Instructional Design and Curriculum Development in the Office of Digital Learning at the University of Arizona. She is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and the recipient of the 2018 MERLOT Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, she has served as the OLC Innovate 2017 Program Chair, the OLC Innovate 2018 Conference Chair, and the OLC Collaborate Institutional Chair. Her research and pedagogical interests include the design and facilitation of innovation makerspaces, open educational resources, and emerging technology for second language acquisition.
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 led to the launch of the Austin Community College ACCelerator, the largest technology-enhanced learning environment in the world.
Misty Hamideh
Instructional Designer
Portland State University
isty Hamideh is an instructional designer at Portland State University. For the past fifteen years, she has helped faculty members find creative solutions to the process of transforming their courses to the digital space. She holds a Master’s in TESOL and has a passion for learning about emerging technologies that can help to build online community and promote student-centered learning.
Eric Heiser
Salt Lake Community College
Eric Heiser has worked in higher education for the past 13 years. Currently, he serves as the Dean of the School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties and CTE Director at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). He is the Principal/Owner of Heiser Education Consulting, LLC, an education consulting firm specializing in change management. Eric serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN). He is also a founding member of the National Advisory Board for Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning Research.
Priya Jamkhedkar
Instructional Designer
Portland State University
Priya Jamkhedkar is an instructor of Physics at Portland State University. Jamkhedkar completed her Master’s at the India Institute of Technology, Bombay, India and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Arizona in 2002 in the field of Cosmology and Astrophysics. Her research interests include astrophysics and cosmology, physics and mathematics education for undergraduate students, data analysis and modeling techniques.
Sukhwant 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. 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.
0Stan Kruse
Instructional Designer, The Institute for Learning & Teaching
Colorado State University
Heather Mariger
Digital Accessibility Advocate
Chemeketa Community College
Heather Mariger has taken an unusual route to Chemeketa and advocacy. Her early career was in hospitality.  Her resume includes positions as the Executive Chef for the American Consulate in St. Petersburg Russia; the Food and Beverage Director for a Washington DC based Hotel; and the Catering Manager for Utah State University Food Services.  It was while she was working on her Master’s at Kansas State she became intrigued by the possibilities that the Internet promised for higher education – especially for those who did not have the option to attend school as “traditional” students. These interests led her to Utah State where, while working on her Doctorate in Instructional Technology, she was working at the Center for Persons with Disabilities and became involved with the National Center for Distance Access to Education (NCDAE) and Project GOALS, a series of federally funded grants to promote digital accessibility in higher education.With GOALS, Maiger helped to develop and evaluate a large body of materials designed to help institutions of higher education plan for, and disseminate, system-wide digital accessibility. She also worked extensively with the regional accreditation and the reaffirmation process, leading the work on the creation of a Blueprint to assist accreditors in evaluating web accessibility efforts during the accreditation cycle. She now serves as the Accessibility Advocate for Chemeketa Community College, helping faculty and staff improve course design and accessibility. Her goal (and obsession) is to ensure that all students have equal and inclusive access to education
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.
Daniel Metz
Associate Dean
Community Colleges of Colorado Online
Daniel Metz is the associate dean of Liberal Arts at the Community Colleges of Colorado Online. Metz has been an educator for over 20 years, focusing on online administration, course development, and instruction. Formerly the program chair of Arts and Humanities at CCCOnline, he continues to teach humanities and philosophy courses. Previously, he taught cultural studies and EFL in Japan for the University of Leeds and Shoin University. He holds a MA in Philosophy from the University of Bristol, U.K., and a BA in Philosophy and World History from Whitworth University. Metz lives in Denver, CO.
Kate Miffitt
Associate Director
The Pennsylvania State University
Kate Miffitt is the associate director of the Office of Digital Learning in the College of Arts & Architecture at Penn State. In this role, she identifies and evaluates new online programs and opportunities, leads strategic digital projects, and oversees the learning design and programming teams. She holds a B.A. in English from Stonehill College and an M.A. in education in instructional technologies from San Francisco State University.
Rita Mitra
Associate Professor of Information Systems and Cyber Security
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Rita Mitra is an associate professor in practice at UTSA’s College of Business, where she designs, develops, teaches, and facilitates online cyber security courses and their lab implementations. She holds an M.S. in Computer Science from New York University. Prior to her tech career, Mitra was a music educator and performer, with a D.M.A. in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and an M.M. in Piano Performance from the Juilliard School of Music.
Cali MK Morrison
Associate Dean, Alternative Learning
American Public University System
Cali M.K. Morrison, Ed.D. is associate dean, alternative learning at American Public University System. Previously Cali was the assistant director, communications and analysis at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Current research interests include competency-based education and the future of credentials. Cali lives near Bozeman, MT with her custom homebuilder hubby, two daughters, and dogs where she is active in the community, especially with Bozeman Area Community Foundation, Thrive, and Girls for a Change.
Kara Monroe
Provost/Senior Vice President
Ivy Tech Community College
Kara 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. She is currently the Provost/Senior Vice President of Ivy Tech Community College.
Kristyn Muller
Impact Analyst
SUNY System Administration
Kristyn Muller is the impact analyst for Open SUNY within SUNY System Administration. In this role, she evaluates the effectiveness of Open SUNY’s services, analyzes how online learning impacts SUNY’s overall goals, and develops ways to share data to inform the continuous improvement of SUNY’s online learning practices. Muller recently earned her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership.
Richard Nelson
Nicolet College
After graduating with Bachelor's degree in Fermentation Science from the UC Davis, Richard went on to earn his Masters and PhD degrees from Cornell University. He worked in the US and Canadian food and beverage industry for twelve years managing product, process, and business development. Nelson then directed a Minnesota state agency for value-added agriculture and business development before choosing a career in higher education. He served as a department chair and as associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and in 2006 moved to Paul Smith’s College in northern New York State where he served as Provost for nine years. In 2015, Nelson was named President of Nicolet College in northern Wisconsin where he continues his advocacy for high quality, accessible education as the only enduring foundation for sustained rural prosperity and social well-being.
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.
John 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.
0Sunay Pasole
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Engineering Remote Education
Texas A&M
Sunay Pasole is the assistant vice chancellor for engineering remote education for Texas A&M. He has more than twenty years of experience in the academic technology arena and over fifteen years of experience in distance and online learning. Over his career he has helped a few hundred faculty from varied disciplines develop hybrid and online courses. He has also taught traditional, hybrid, and online courses in general and STEM disciplines ranging in size from 28 to 300. He has also helped plan, build, and manage successful online programs in nursing, education, engineering, leadership and cybersecurity.
Dani Pedrotti
Director of Membership Development
For the last 20+ years, through work in multimedia and academic technology development and support, Dani Pedrotti has strived to help educators use technology in creative and innovative ways. Creating environments that empower students to achieve success in their academic and life pursuits has been, and continues to be, her primary professional motivation. Pedrotti lives in beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington with her spouse and menagerie of feathered and furry “kids.”
Kim Penoyer
Online Program Development Coordinator CU Online
University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus
Kim Penoyer made the transition from corporate America to higher education 1994, working in the CU Denver Public Relations department, while completing her MBA. She then became executive director of the continuing engineering education program for the Engineering department at CU Denver and director of CU at Interlocken for the CU System. In 2005, she joined CU Online at CU Denver as the online program development coordinator. In this position, she supports departments and faculty by providing grants for online program and course development.
Gonzalo Perez
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Coconino Community College
Gonzalo Perez currently serves as the associate provost for academic affairs at Coconino Community College in rural Northern Arizona. He oversees the pre-college programs, online education, adult education as well as curriculum and assessment. He is also directing a Southern Nevada, Northern Arizona NSF LSAMP which is focused on increasing minority participation in STEM degrees. Furthermore, he and his team are also engaged in a GED Exam Prep project with the Havasupai Tribe located at the base of the Grand Canyon. Perez teaches various courses in Computer Science, and Information Systems studies and his research interests include information security and biometrics. He has published numerous papers on behavioral biometrics, an adaptation of NoSQL databases as well as innovative outreach programs to better engage students in STEM fields.
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.
Marcela Ramirez
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Marcela Ramirez is the Director of Online Learning at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Marcela oversees online course design and development, Blackboard support, training, and administration. She also provides leadership and manages useful implementations of emerging digital learning solutions to engage students in an online environment. Marcela has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from The University of Texas at El Paso and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Carrie Riley
Assistant Registrar
Salt Lake Community College
Carrie Riley works in the Office of the Registrar and Academic Records as an assistant registrar at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). During that time, she has worked exclusively for the School of Applied Technology and its non-term, open entry/exit environment. During Riley’s time with the School of Applied Technology, she has developed methods to work within Banner for non-term programs. She has been a founding member of C-BEN, and is currently participating with C-BEN’s Collaboratory #3 project in partnership with Lumina, Association of Collegiate Registrars, and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), to continue the work on the development and implementation of Comprehensive Learner Records in Higher Education.
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).
Philippos Savvides
Manager, Learning Technologies
Arizona State University
Philippos Savvides is curious about the interaction between technology and learning. In his current role, he helps identify needs and build systems that enable access, enhance the online learning experience and improve student outcomes.
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.
John Scott
Ally Community Manager
John Scott is the community manager for Blackboard Ally. Prior to joining the Blackboard Ally team, he worked on his PhD in Education and New Media at the University of California Berkeley, where he designed, taught, and researched online learning courses focused on collaborative learning, multimodal literacy, and Universal Design for Learning. He spent four years as a Special Education teacher in New York City public schools, specializing in technology-mediated literacy and learning. He is passionate about supporting teachers adopt new technologies and inclusive pedagogies in their practice.
Stacy Southerland
University of Central Oklahoma, Institute for Learning Environment Design
Stacy Southerland, PhD is a Professor of Spanish and Faculty Liaison for the Center for eLearning and Connected Environments at the University of Central Oklahoma where she also designs and coordinates online Spanish courses. Her active research and presentation agenda focuses on learning innovation and learner success. She has received international recognition for initiatives in these areas and for her online teaching, learning environment design, and learner support strategies. Dr. Southerland promotes excellence in online learning through service on editorial review boards and program committees for various international elearning organizations.
Tanya Spilovoy
Director, Open Policy
Tanya Spilovoy, Ed. D., is the Director, Open Policy at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Spilovoy leads the Z Initiative which focuses on the policy, practice, and implementation of Open Educational Resources in states, systems, and higher education institutions. Previously, she served as the Director of Distance Education and State Authorization at the North Dakota University System. Spilovoy received her B.A. in English from Union College, a M.A. in Education from Hamline University, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Change from Benedictine University.
Karen Srba
Vice President, Academic and Instructional Technology
American Public University System
Karen V. Srba is the vice president of academic and instructional technology for American Public University System (APUS). Srba heads a team of eLearning professionals who design digital, interactive learning content and 3D immersive applications for education. Srba is an innovator of education technology that increases student learning and increases persistence and completion rates. She has spoken and written on many topics including adaptive learning pedagogy, immersive technology (3D and VR/AR), and experiential learning for online adult students. Her latest research projects focus on the higher education transformation and the application of the neuroscience of learning. She earned her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and is a certified Project Manager. She earned her Master’s Degree in Distance Education Leadership and E-Learning Technology from the University of Maryland University College.
Jess Thompson
Program Administrator, Accessible Technology Initiatives
Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
Jess Thompson is a Program Administrator in Accessible Technology Initiatives at the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges. Her work focuses on accessibility in online learning and supporting the 34 community and technical colleges in developing policies and practices that support accessibility both in instruction and campus-wide. Jess has been active in exploring and implementing systemwide accessibility solutions, one of which includes a systemwide captioning hub.
Julie Uranis
Vice President of Online and Strategic Initiatives
Julie Uranis serves as the vice president for online and strategic initiatives at UPCEA and the managing director of the National Council for Online Education. Prior to joining UPCEA she led two units at Western Kentucky University (WKU) as the director of Distance Learning and Continuing and Professional Development. Uranis began her career at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where she held both teaching and administrative positions. She earned her M.S. in Technology Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, all from EMU.
Kara Van Dam
Vice Provost
University of Maryland University College
Kara Van Dam serves as vice provost and dean of the Undergraduate School at University of Maryland University College. In this role, she ensures that the school, its faculty, staff, and students—both stateside and overseas—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. Previously, she served as the vice provost for the Learner and Faculty Experience. She holds both a master's degree and a doctorate in linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Karen Vignare
Executive Director
American Public & Land-Grant Universities
Karen Vignare is a strategic innovator who has been leveraging emerging technologies to improve access, success and flexibility within higher education for over 20 years. Vignare currently serves as the Executive Director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The PLC’s mission is to support public universities as they rapidly infuse technology that supports improved student learning, retention and graduation.
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.

Ralf Widenhorn
Portland State University
Ralf Widenhorn is a Professor of Physics at Portland State University. Widenhorn completed undergraduate work at University of Konstanz, Germany and received his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources/Physics from PSU in 2005. Widenhorn has taught introductory physics courses and labs for the past 15 years. His research interests include physics education research and solid-state physics and digital image sensors. Widenhorn has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and has received multiple awards for his teaching resources. Web: http://web.pdx.edu/~ralfw/
Michael Willis
Senior Learning Innovation Architect
University of Central Oklahoma, Institute for Learning Environment Design
Michael Willis is a Senior Learning Innovation Architect at the Center for eLearning and Connected Environments and the Institute for Learning Environment Design at the University of Central Oklahoma. He has extensive experience in online course design, elearning consulting, and information technology. He enjoys teaching Sociology at UCO and his work is motivated by the belief that people have a profound propensity to learn that is maximized through inspired information delivery and design.