WCET's 28th Annual Meeting
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.
Russ Adkins
Russ Adkins, Inc., Higher Education Consulting
Russ Adkins assists higher education institutions in strategic planning to guide development and scaling of online and blended learning programs and related instructional technology and faculty development initiatives. Adkins also reviews and evaluates compliance with regional accrediting standards and federal requirements, and reviews and enhances institutional effectiveness plans to support online program assessment. Previously, Adkins led online learning and instructional technology initiatives, and also served as VP of Academic Affairs, at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Claire Arabie
Instructional Support Manager
Office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Dr. Claire Pettit Arabie joined the Office of Distance Learning as an Instructional Designer in July 2013. She earned the role as Instructional Support Manager in Fall 2015 and leads a team of staff dedicated to supporting faculty in delivering high quality hybrid and online learning experiences. She is a former UL Lafayette Outstanding Graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics and Master in Education. Claire is a hard-working and enthusiastic Ragin’ Cajun with traditional and online teaching experience.
Diane Auer Jones
President and CEO
AJSquared Consulting
Diane Auer Jones is President and CEO of AJsquared Consulting, a firm dedicated to advancing sound higher education public policy and helping institutions innovate and improve student outcomes. A molecular biologist by training, Jones spent more than a decade as a laboratory director and biology professor before transitioning to a career in public policy. She served in senior roles on Capitol Hill, in the White House and at the National Science Foundation and was ultimately nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Following government service, Jones served as Princeton University’s director of government relations, as President and CEO of The Washington Campus and as SVP and Chief External Affairs Officer for Career Education Corporation, a publicly traded postsecondary education provider and recognized leader in educational technology development.
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.
Alex Bachman
Executive Director
Pearson Education
Linda Baer
Senior Fellow
Civitas Learning
Linda Baer is a Senior Fellow with Civitas Learning. She has served over thirty years in executive level positions in higher education including Senior Program Officer in the Gates Foundation, system senior vice chancellor, university senior vice president and interim president. Her 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 on building capacity in analytics.
Melissa Balsan
Vice President, Marketing
Colorado Technical University
Melissa Balsan in the vice president of marketing for Colorado Technical University (CTU). An innovative marketer with 15 years of experience leveraging traditional and emerging technology, she is passionate about brand communication and customer experience. During her time at CTU, Balsan has developed and implemented the university’s social media and thought leadership content strategy; as well as overseen the university’s mobile roadmap and ongoing student-centered development.
Nori Barajas-Murphy
Grant Project Director
Nori Barajas-Murphy is the director of Grant Projects for the Online Learning Consortium. She heads up the Digital Learning Innovation Award, an award for exceptional work in the nascent field of digital courseware especially where it supports underrepresented student success. Barajas-Murphy has worked in higher education for over nine years in faculty development, online and blended teaching initiatives, and grant management. She is currently working on her EdD. Her research interests include the pedagogical best practices in online synchronous learning environments, teasing apart the reasons students prefer print text over digital text for learning, and the development of a digital text taxonomy advancing the transformation of adaptive and responsive course content. She shares her life with a madman who coordinates logistics for festivals and extreme sports events and with their 15 year old daughter who plays the ukulele and sews her own clothes. None likes schedules or bedtimes.
Brianna Bates
Associate Director, Office of Academic Program Review & Academic Assessment
New York University
Brianna Bates serves as the associate director academic program review and academic assessment in the Office of the Provost at New York University. Her unit within the office is responsible for new program registration and monitoring program changes with the New York State Department of Education, seeking any necessary non-New York state approvals, serving as a liaison to the Middle States Commission on High Education, administering the University's compliance with FERPA, and overseeing the academic affairs and compliance office serving the intercollegiate athletics program. In addition, the office spearheads the creation and implementation of several organizational systems that serve to both efficiently and effectively manage the institutions vast activity levels in relation to compliance standards. Bates is a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, has previously served as Accreditation Information and Accounts Specialist with the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, DC and as Accreditation Coordinator and Assistant Director in the Office of the Provost at New York University. Bates holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in International Policy from New York University.
Blake Beck
Director, eISU and Educational Technologies
Idaho State University
Scott Beckett
Distinguished Lecturer
Jacksonville State University
Scott Beckett earned his Secondary Teaching Certificates in Mathematics, Biology, and General Science in 1986 and has been teaching math and science at different levels ever since. He earned his A.B. in Social Relations from Harvard University, his M.S. in Forestry from Auburn University, his M.S. in Psychology from Jacksonville State University, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2012. Since 2012, he has trained JSU psychology graduate students to teach college developmental algebra using applied behavioral science and presented the results of that method at numerous conferences and webinars, including the International Precision Teaching Conference, Association for Behavior Analysis International, Alabama Association for Developmental Education, and National Association for Developmental Education. He is the Project Implementation Manager for NROC at JSU, and that collaboration has greatly enhanced the success of the developmental algebra program.
Autumn Bell
Chief Professional Development Officer
California Community Colleges’ Online Education Initiative
Autumn Bell is currently the chief professional development officer for the California Community Colleges’ Online Education Initiative (OEI). Prior to joining the OEI Management Team, Bell was with Fresno City College, first as an online instructor and then as the college’s first director of Distance Education and Instructional Technology. She previously worked at the University of New Mexico as a Senior training and development specialist. While there, she earned her Master’s in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology with an emphasis in Distance Education. In her current position, Bell works to ensure that California’s 113 Community Colleges have the training and support needed to increase student completion and success rates in online courses using the rich selection of tools provided by the Online Education Initiative.
Dror Ben-Naim
Founder, CEO
Smart Sparrow
Dror Ben-Naim spent the good part of the last 10 years thinking, coding, reading and writing about Adaptive eLearning. He is a big believer in empowering teachers with great technology that inspires them to teach better. He loves working with visionary teachers and learning from them. With a PhD in Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Educational Data Mining from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Computer Science, he is also our chief nerd and software architect.
Kelvin Bentley
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Tarrant County College District
Kelvin Bentley, Ph.D., serves as vice president of Academic Affairs for Tarrant County College District's TCC Connect campus, the 6th and newest campus which oversees online learning courses and programs and a cohort-based Weekend College, and has enjoyed over 14 years of experience as a faculty member, online learning administrator, and consultant. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware.
Samantha Birk
Program Manager, Communities of Practice
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 curriculum. In 2000 she was honored as Associate Faculty of the year. Birk holds a BA degree in Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado.
Ahrash Bissell
EdReady Project Director
The NROC Project
As part of The NROC Project, Ahrash Bissell has managed the EdReady project since inception. Bissell also consults on innovation in education and science for several projects, with special focus on science and math (STEM) disciplines, open educational resources (OER), and data-sharing. In particular, he seeks to build and test practical solutions to long-standing problems in realizing the promise of OER, including digital-age publishing models, sustainable business strategies, effective marketing and implementation of OER and related practices, and better collaborative approaches to designing and sustaining open legal, technical, and social innovations.
Andy Black
Executive Director of Educational Technologies, College of Nursing
University of Utah
Andrew Black received his PhD in Education from Capella University in 2010. Black also holds an MBA in Technology Management, and an MS in Healthcare Informatics, and undergraduate degrees in Electronics Engineering Technology and Business. Black has more than 26 years’ experience in IT operations management, plus more than 15 years in higher education leadership and teaching roles. Black currently works as an Assistant Professor teaching multiple online courses, and the Executive Director of Educational Technologies for the University of Utah College of Nursing.
TJ Bliss
Program Officer
TJ Bliss is a program officer in the Education Program at the Hewlett Foundation. In this role, he oversees grantmaking to expand the reach and efficacy of Open Educational Resources (OER). Before joining the Foundation, Bliss was the director of Assessment and Accountability at the State Department of Education in Idaho. In this role, he served as the delegate for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of states working together to develop a next-generation assessment system to measure student achievement of deeper learning skills. Bliss earned a Ph.D. in Educational Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation from Brigham Young University. His research there was focused on applying measurement and psychometric methodologies to develop a model of digital textbook quality, especially open textbooks. Previously, he was a member of the Open Education Group, a research team focused on understanding the impacts of OER at all educational levels. He was also an OER Policy Fellow at the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), where he conducted research on state education policies friendly to OER. 
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.
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.
Paul Bowers
Senior Strategic Consultant
Pearson Higher Education
Paul Bowers Senior Strategic Consultant Pearson Higher Education Paul Bowers has worked at the forefront of educational technology and distance learning for 32 years and has been involved in the emergence of new teaching and learning environments since the early 1980’s. He has served in a variety of roles at public and private higher education institutions, including 22 years as a faculty member, as well as director for teaching and learning, dean and vice president for online and adult learning at several institutions, including Buena Vista University, Cleveland State University, and Hiram college.
Ritchie Boyd
Principal Strategist, Enterprise Consulting
Blackboard, Inc
Ritchie Boyd is currently a member of Blackboard Inc.’s Enterprise Consulting team, specializing in online and blended learning, e-learning technologies, student engagement, and faculty development. Before joining Blackboard, Boyd had a 25-year career in higher education, most recently with Montana State University in a variety of technology-centric leadership roles in MSU’s Extended University, IT organization, and Academic Affairs. Prior to that he was at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Wyoming. In all of his past engagements he has worked with a broad and diverse range of faculty, students, and administrators in helping them achieve their goals of creating rich, engaging, and accessible educational experiences for their learners.
Niki Bray
WCET Adaptive Learning Fellow
WCET, University of Memphis
Niki Bray is a life-long educator who has taught at every level. Beginning in middle school, Bray taught sixth-grade science and coached girls basketball for three years before moving on to high school where she taught Biology, Honors Biology, Physical Science, Health and Physical Education, and coached girls basketball for 13 years. After a successful teaching and coaching career, she worked briefly in corporate America as a Training Specialist and Instructional Designer before returning to the classroom where she taught elementary physical education. Bray then accepted a position with The University of Mississippi where she served as an Instructional Designer to the Schools of Education, Engineering, and Pharmacy before accepting her current position of teaching and Instructional Designer with The University of Memphis' School of Health Sciences. Bray earned her BA in Education with an emphasis on Physical Education in 1997, a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2008, and is currently working to complete her Doctor of Education with an emphasis on Instructional Design & Technology at the University of Memphis. She enjoys teaching and developing online learning and the focus of her research is centered around Adaptive Learning.
Jennifer Brock
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Bryan University
Jennifer Brock 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 is a Quality Matters peer reviewer and holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University.
Ronald Brownie
Director, Online & Continuing Education
Northern State University
Director of Online and Continuing Education at Northern State University in Aberdeen South Dakota. Completed AS in Business at Quincy College, BS in Professional Aeronautics at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, MS in Human Resources at Chapman University. Education and Human Resource Professional with 25 plus years’ experience in a broad range of positions and organizations including federal government, private, and public institutions. Previously taught for US Navy, Stetson University, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Purdue University North Central accumulating 8,987 plus hours instructing, and training for administrative and technical courses.
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.
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.
Missy Bye
Professor and Department Head, Design, Housing, and Apparel
University of Minnesota

Elizabeth Bye is a professor in Apparel Design and the Head of the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel. Bye co-directs the Wearable Product Design Center, which is an innovative, synergistic "think-tank" that allows researchers to explore methods and technologies that will change how we design, produce and wear clothing. Her research interests are in fit and sizing, high tech/high touch, and functional apparel.

Colleen Carmean
Assistant Chancellor for Academic Technologies and Institutional Research
University of Washington - Tacoma
Colleen Carmean serves as UW Tacoma's strategist for emerging technologies. Her work focuses on knowledge systems that bring together open discovery, the user experience (UX), and assessment. She teaches critical thinking and applied computing. Current research includes the value of nudge analytics in improving learner decisions and success.
Jaime Casap
Chief Education Evangelist
Google, Inc
Jaime Casap is the Education Evangelist at Google. Casap evangelizes the power and potential of technology and the web as enabling and supporting tools in pursuit of promoting inquiry-driven project-based learning models. Working with the Google for Education Team, he collaborates with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders focused on building innovation and iteration into our education policies and practices. He speaks on education, technology, innovation, and generation z, at events around the world. In addition to his role at Google, Casap serves on a number of boards, including Inquiry Schools Dot Org, Seed Spot NEXT, and Mi Familia Vota. He is part of the Phoenix Union School District Team, who created the Phoenix Coding Academy, an inquiry-based high school designed with computer science as the core language students use in pursuit of the problems they want to solve. He is also an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes on policy, innovation, and leadership. You can read Jaime’s blog at www.jcasap.com and can follow and reach him on Twitter at @jcasap
Thomas Cavanagh
Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning
University of Central Florida
Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D. is Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida. In this role he oversees the distance learning strategy, policies, and practices of the nation’s 2nd largest university. In his career, Tom has administered e-learning development for both academic (public and private) and industrial (Fortune 500, government/military) audiences. He is also an award-winning author of several mystery novels.
Reta Chaffee
Director of Educational Technology
Granite State College
Reta Chaffee is the Director of Educational Technology at Granite State College in NH where she oversees the development and delivery of online/hybrid courses and innovative partnerships. She is a founding members of the USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee which hosts the annual Academic Technology Institute. She has over thirty years experience working in organizations promoting education and resource development in the United States and abroad. She holds a MS in Internet Strategy Management from Marlboro College and a Masters in International Administration from The School for International Training.
Yoomi Chin
Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer
Arkaive Inc.
Yoomi Chin, PhD, is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Arkaive. In her role, Yoomi is responsible for product development, communications, marketing, and branding. She graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with bachelor's degree in comparative literature and master's degree in journalism. She received her doctoral degree in education from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to co-founding Arkaive, she has served as a reporter for Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Business Journal. She has also served as lecturer and academic counselor at UCLA.
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. He 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 and participated on numerous negotiated rulemaking committees for the US Department of Education.
Robin Colson
Director, Research Evaluation
University of West Florida
Robin Colson serves as the director of Research and Evaluation for the Innovation Institute where she spends a great deal of time conducting research on areas of major emphasis to the Institute. A primary focus of the Institute is college affordability particularly with regard to open-educational resources (OER), competency-based education, and virtual student success services. Colson's current research focuses on success strategies for the non-traditional learner and the development a framework for the design and development of asynchronous competency-based education courses in Florida. She recently served as co-editor of the "Handbook of Research on Competency-Based Education in University Settings" (in press).
Matthew Cooper
Associate Provost
Thomas Edison State University
Matt Cooper is the associate provost for the Center for Learning and Technology (CLT). He provides vision, leadership, and direction for the CLT and works toward creating student-centric learning environments that help encourage engagement and interaction from students and mentors. The Center is responsible for over 700 unique online courses, and enables TESU to offer nearly 7,000 individual classrooms per year. His work in mobile learning and course design have been featured in a variety of publications, including PC World and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Jeannie Copley
Assistant Clinical Professor
Northern Arizona University-Extended Campuses-Personalized Learning
Jeannie Copley currently serves as the Lead Faculty of B.S/B.A Computer Information Technology for NAU Personalized Learning CBE program. Jeannie leads the development of the first competency-based B.S/B.A. degree program in CIT. Jeannie has devoted over 20 years to the field of Information Technology. Her industry experience includes working as a Programmer Analyst, Senior Network Engineer, Senior Firewall Engineer and as an IT Director in both national and global scale. She also has extensive experience in online learning curriculum design and technology deployment.
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.
Ryan Craig
Managing Partner
University Ventures
Ryan Craig is an entrepreneur and investor in the education industry. Prior to University Ventures, Ryan founded and built Wellspring, the largest and leading organization of treatment programs for overweight and obese children, adolescents and young adults. Ryan has advised the U.S. Department of Education and served as VP Strategic Development for Fathom, the Columbia University online education company. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University. Ryan frequently speaks and writes on higher education, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes and VentureBeat.
Rachel Cusatis
Instrumentation Innovator - Research
National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)
Rachel Cusatis is a social scientist serving as an Instrumentation Innovator - Research at the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Cusatis serves as the key grant activities coordinator and liaison to the institutional partners supporting research efforts across those institutions working directly with the PIs, institutional researchers, and data analysts. With a sociological perspective on the challenge of increasing access and success, Cusatis is passionate about improving student experiences and outcomes in postsecondary education, particularly for consistently underserved populations within our student body.
Dave Dannenberg
Director, Academic Innovations and eLearning
University of Alaska Anchorage
David Dannenberg is the director of Academic Innovations and eLearning at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Reporting to the senior vice provost, he leads UAA’s efforts to innovate teaching through the use of instructional technology. He received his Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech, with a research focus on how online virtual worlds are used and leveraged to deliver collaborative learning environments.
Van Davis
Associate Vice President, Higher Education Policy & Research
Blackboard, Inc.
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.
Wm. Preston Davis
Director of Instructional Services, ELI
Northern Virginia Community College

Wm. Preston Davis is director of instructional services at Northern Virginia Community College. He is responsible for educational technology initiatives and online instructional training and certification at NOVA. Davis has worked in higher education as teaching faculty, administrator, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has lead several digital innovation projects for ELI including the award winning zELI OER degree initiative, mobile apps for distance learning, and 21st century teaching and learning credentials at NOVA.

Andriel Dees
Director of Learner Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Engagement
Capella University
Andriel Dees serves as the director of learner inclusion, diversity, equity, and engagement and for Capella University. Previously, Dees has served as chief diversity officer for the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, and was a recipient of the UW System Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award. Dees also served associate dean for Multicultural Affairs at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. Prior to moving into the field of diversity in higher education, Dees practiced in the field of employment law for 10 years in various positions and organizations. She earned her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She is a founder and current President of the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) as well as the Sponsorship Committee Chair for the NADOHE Annual Conference. She also serves on the Special Education Advisory Committee for Burnsville, Minnesota School District 191. She lives in Burnsville, Minnesota with her husband and two teenage children.

Julie Diekman
Market Director
Capella University
Julie Diekman is the market director for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University. In this role, Diekman is responsible for school strategy that analyzes industry and employer insights, product differentiation, new product development, and providing an exceptional academic experience for Capella learners. Since joining Capella in 2011, she has held multiple roles in product management, focusing on a range of degree programs. Diekman holds a Master’s in Business Administration in Marketing from Capella University and BS in Business Administration and Management from Concordia University St Paul.
Brooks Doherty
Department Dean
Rasmussen College
Brooks Doherty is a dean at Rasmussen College working in the areas of developmental education, general education, and competency-based education. He is completing a doctorate in Education at St. Mary’s University, earned an MA in literature from University College London, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Political Science and English. Before becoming a dean at Rasmussen College in 2008, Doherty taught writing courses to students of varying disciplines. He has spoken to groups around the country on the topics of developmental and higher education, workforce preparedness, and Irish literature.
Robin Donaldson
Director, Member Research and Services
Florida Virtual Campus
Robin Donaldson serves as the director of Member Research and Services for the Florida Distance Learning Student Services within the Florida Virtual Campus. In this role, Donaldson leads the Instruction Services and Research workgroup and is responsible for monitoring DLSS initiatives, provides oversight on DLSS projects, and supports the statewide Distance Learning and Student Services Members Council. She brings more than two decades of experience in educational services to FLVC. Prior to her current role, she held numerous positions within FLVC. Donaldson came to the Florida Distance Learning Consortium from Tallahassee Community College in January 2010 where she worked with faculty in the design, development, implementation, and review of distance learning courses. She is also a online adjunct instructor for TCC.
Dora Donovan
Assistant Clinical Professor
Northern Arizona University
Dora M. Donovan is a Certified Business Analyst, and Business Management Consultant, specializing in training, full service business development and Project Management. Dora has worked in the field of business development for over 25 years, to include the development of private business startup and expansion of product manufacturing abroad to the Latin-speaking countries. In the field of business financial analysis, she has spearheaded large audit projects, along with the implementation of process improvement strategy, fiscal managerial planning and asset management. Dora services as a Business Professor for Northern Arizona University.
Tricia Donovan
Executive Director
Tricia Donovan has served as the executive director of eCampusAlberta since its inception in 2002. Working closely with senior representatives and steering committees from Alberta’s publicly funded post-secondary institutions; Donovan coordinates the evolution and expansion of eCampusAlberta. Donovan has successfully navigated inter-institutional collaboration in online learning and continues to introduce innovations and best practices in online learning with her colleagues from across the member institutions. Donovan also serves on the the WCET e-Learning Consortia CIG and endeavors to promote the value, breadth, and collaborative potential of online learning consortia.
Sandra Doran
Director, New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement
New England Board of Higher Education
Sandra J. Doran joined The New England Board of Higher Education in 2014 and serves as the director of N-SARA. Doran is the former president of the American College of Education and former chief of staff and Vice President/General Counsel for Lesley University. Doran earned a JD from Syracuse University College of Law and a B.S. in Political Science from Southern Methodist University. Her interest area is using educational technology and best practices in distance education to enhance student success.
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, Distance Learning
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Luke Dowden is the founding director of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and has served for the past six years in that role. Previously, he was the dean of Accelerated Learning at Bossier Parish Community College and executive director of the Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana. He is a past member and chair of the WCET Steering Committee. He has a strong interest in leadership and managing online learning and extended education units.
Meaghan Duff
Executive Director, Personalized Learning Consortium
Association of Public and Land‑grant Universities
The Personalized Learning Consortium (PLC) comprises 18 universities and serves as a coordinating body to foster multi-institutional collaboration advancing the use of technology to improve student learning, retention, and graduation. As executive director, Meaghan Duff provides the PLC with strategic and operational leadership as its members cooperate to share experiences and expertise, assess the market and identify promising vendors, and organize collaborative projects. Prior to joining APLU, Duff served as vice president of Corporate and Business Development at Blackboard Inc. Her mission is to provide professional educators with the technology and support they need to deliver transformative and sustainable instructional services for all the learners.
Dave Ernst
Chief Information Officer, College of Education and Human Development
University of Minnesota
David Ernst is graduate faculty and chief information officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Ernst is the director of the Center for Open Education and the executive director of the Open Textbook Network, which works to improve higher education through the advancement of open textbooks.
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 was recently 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 contributor to the IMS Global working groups defining standards for CBE, extended transcripts, and digital credentials. She teaches as an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University.
Maaroof Fakhri
Director of Education Partnerships
Maaroof (https://dk.linkedin.com/in/maaroof) is a science educator with two science degrees, a post-graduate in science communication. After visiting over 1000 schools engaging students in science and training teachers to do the same, he was the Editor-in-Chief a science magazine for Australia's top research centre, developed national science education programs on enabling technologies for the Australian Government, and worked with Aboriginal Elders to develop science-meets-culture programs for disadvantaged Indigenous schools. In the Middle East, Maaroof created immersive learning environments with Augmented Reality for teaching science.
Ellie Fogarty
Vice President
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Ellie A. Fogarty is a vice president at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in Philadelphia, where she serves as a liaison for accreditation services to over 80 colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. On behalf of the Commission, she presents workshops on issues related to higher education accreditation such as assessment, institutional effectiveness, and compliance. Prior to coming to the Commission, she worked for over 17 years at The College of New Jersey in various roles including Business and Economics Librarian, Associate Provost for Planning and Resource Allocation, and Deputy Compliance Officer. She earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Fogarty earned her undergraduate degree in Economics & Business Administration from Immaculata University, a Master of Business Administration from Temple University, and a Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Cristi Ford
Acting Associate Vice Provost and Directory, CILSS
University of Maryland University College
Cristi Ford, PhD, is acting associate vice provost and director 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 served in several capacities in the realm of online education and understands the complexities and depths of online learning.
Lisa Foss
Associate Vice President and Associate Provost for Strategy, Planning and Effectiveness
St. Cloud University
Lisa Helmin Foss, Ph.D., MBA, is the associate vice president and associate provost for strategy, planning and effectiveness at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications and a Master in Business Administration from St. Cloud State University and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration – Higher Education from the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation topic was "Implementing Data Analytics as an Organizational Innovation in Colleges and Universities”. She completed an American Council on Education Fellowship at The City University of New York and LaGuardia Community College during 2015-16, and she completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management and Leadership in Higher Education institute. She presents frequently at the locally, nationally and internationally on change management and data analytics in higher education.
Eric Frank
Eric frank, CEO, Acrobatiq, is passionate about finding ways to pair great teachers and smart technology to help every student realize their fullest potential. He has worked in executive roles at Cengage and Pearson and was co-founder and President of Flat World Knowledge, the world’s first commercial higher education open textbook publishing company. Frank is a frequent speaker on innovation in education, and his work to make education more accessible and affordable while maintaining quality has been widely covered in media outlets including the New York Times, Wired, US News & World Report, Fast Company, NPR, Time, and others. He is an advisor to the non-profit Center for Education Technology in Tel-Aviv.
Alex Freeman
Senior Director of Membership and Special Projects
New Media Consortium
Alex Freeman is the NMC's senior director of Membership and Special Projects. He is responsible for the management and coordination of special projects, especially those that serve the NMC’s member communities. Freeman produces online and face-to-face professional development programs, and is co-author and researcher for NMC Horizon Project publications, which analyze technology uptake across global higher education, K-12 schools, museums, and libraries.
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
Board of Regents, University System of Georgia
Myk Garn leads college and system redesign, development, and deployment of new instructional and educational operations models for the University System of Georgia. He focuses on competency-based, student-driven, advancement-by-mastery models. Specialties include strategic planning, affordability, emerging trends, disruptive innovation, quality standards, governance, fast failure and accessibility of Internet-based instruction and services.
Deb Gearhart
Director of Operations, Division of Distance and Continuing Education
University of South Dakota
Deb Gearhart has worked in the field of online and distance education for 30 years Gearhart is director of operations for the Division of Distance and Continuing Education for the University of South Dakota. Gearhart has served as vice provost for eLearning and Strategic Partnerships at Ohio University, director of eTROY at Troy University, director of E-Education Services at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, and before joining Dakota State she held several positions with the Department of Distance Education at Penn State, now Penn State World Campus. She was an assistant professor for educational technology at Dakota State University teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has co-authored a textbook entitled Designing and Developing Web-Based Instruction and edited another publication titled Cases on Distance Delivery and Learning Outcomes: Emerging Trends and Programs, along with publishing book chapters and articles in areas related to online and distance education. Gearhart has earned a BA in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned a M.Ed. in Adult Education with a distance education emphasis and an M.P.A. in Public Administration, both from Penn State. Gearhart completed her Ph.D. program in Education, with a certificate in distance education, from Capella University.
James Glapa-Grossklag
Dean, Educational Technology, Learning Resources and Distance Learning
College of the Canyons
James Glapa-Grossklag is dean, Educational Technology, Learning Resources, and Distance Learning at College of the Canyons. He supervises Online Learning, Accelerated Learning, Libraries, and Tutoring. He directs the Distance Education Captioning and Transcription grant for the California Community Colleges. Glapa-Grossklag was previously President of the Community College Consortium for OER (CCCOER) and currently serves as President of the Open Education Consortium and President of the Directors of Educational Technology in California Higher Education. He has substantial experience in accreditation, with a particular focus on evidence collection and distance learning.
Laura Gogia
Learning Innovator
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Laura Gogia, MD, PhD is a learning innovator and educational researcher specializing in connected learning, networked learning, and open education. Recent design and research activity have focused on the integration of digitally networked participatory culture into higher education, professional development, and adult learning environments. Gogia completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Academic Learning Transformation (ALT) Lab and received her doctorate in educational research and evaluation, both at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Prior to returning to school to obtain her doctorate, she practiced gynecologic surgery in rural Virginia for five years. She currently works for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Diane Goldsmith
Director, Learning, Assessment, and Online Education
University of Rhode Island
Diane J. Goldsmith joined the team at the University of Rhode Island as the director of Learning, Assessment, and Online Education in 2012. Previously, Goldsmith served as the executive director as well as the dean of Planning, Research, and Assessment for the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium. As such, she designed a student online course evaluation Instrument, conducted research on student learning online and faculty teaching online and developed Performance Indicators for the annual CT Department of Higher Education report. She was the principal investigator for two FIPSE and three Davis Educational Foundation grants which were used to develop collaborative academic support services including etutoring.org, academic success coaching, and an ePortfolio system. Goldesmith's research has been focused on online learning and teaching, as well as gender and women studies. She has presented at numerous National and Statewide Conferences including multiple presentations for Academic Impressions, WCET, NERCOMP and the National Association of Women in Education.
Sharon Goodall
Director, Innovations, Learning Design & Solutions
Sharon Goodall is director of innovations in Learning Design & Solutions at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Goodall leads efforts in investigating and applying next generation approaches to learning with the goal of improving student outcomes. With a master’s degree in computer science, she brings extensive experience in academic technology, interaction design, and agile development to her role.
Ashley Gosseen
Director of Instructional Design and Technology
Columbia College
Ashley Gosseen is the Director of Instructional Design and Technology at Columbia College. She has worked in online education for nearly 10 years. She is responsible for managing the instructional design team and overseeing course development, redevelopment, and LMS system administration. She has a B.S. in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia College. She is also an online adjunct instructor and course developer.
Carol Gould
Executive Director
Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance
Carol Gould is co-director of the Institute for Academic Alliances and executive director of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). She has served over twenty five years at Kansas State University leading academic and service programs that enhance community and student access to university resources and expertise, and facilitating alliances within and among university partners. Her responsibilities with Great Plains IDEA include managing and supporting the governance, policy development, and academic programs sponsored by the consortium.
Jeff Grabill
Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology
Michigan State University
Jeff Grabill a Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing. His research focuses on how digital writing is associated with citizenship and learning, and that work has been located in community contexts, in museums, and in classrooms at both the K-12 and university levels. He is a Senior Fellow with University Outreach & Engagement. At Michigan State, he helped develop and led a new major in Professional Writing, was a founder of the Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE) Research Center (now Writing, Information, and Digital Experience), and serves as Chair of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. In his role as Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, Grabill is responsible for guiding the development of technology-enhanced instruction on campus. He works collaboratively with the chief information officer on issues related to the teaching and learning experience and actively engages with the deans of the Graduate School and undergraduate education on new models related to curriculum development and delivery.
Jeff Grann
Academic Director of Assessment and Learning Analytics
Capella University
Jeff Grann leads competency-based innovations that help adults reach their personal and professional goals. He has been instrumental to several of the university’s award-winning offerings, such as its fully-embedded assessment model, student learning dashboard - competency map, and its direct assessment offering - FlexPath. Technically, Grann chairs the IMS Global workgroup on competency-based data exchanges, such as item-level results reporting and a student-controlled extended transcript. Academically, he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in educational psychology with a minor in gerontology and has several years of experience publishing research and teaching adult students.
Seth Greenberg
Senior Manager
EdSurge Higher Ed
Seth Greenberg is the senior manager of Higher Education at EdSurge. He is responsible for overall strategy and operations in building out EdSurge’s higher education platform. Greenberg is also a core member of EdSurge’s research and development team. Prior to EdSurge, he was a consultant with Parthenon, an education consulting firm where he developed growth strategy for higher education institutions and conducted M&A diligence across multiple sectors including edtech. Before consulting, he led the Social Venture Fund, an impact investing fund at the University of Michigan, and completed a fellowship with a microfinance institution in India. He received an MBA from the Michigan Ross School of Business and a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Cynthia Grua
Director, Instructional Technology
Utah System of Higher Education
26 years higher education administrative experience, 10 years as a distance education director, 16 years in a system office.
Jory Hadsell
Chief Academic Officer
California Community Colleges' Online Education Initiative
Jory Hadsell currently serves as the chief academic affairs officer for the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative, a statewide project to dramatically expand student access to high quality online courses through a coordinated, innovative learning ecosystem that also facilitates student enrollment across a consortium of colleges from within the 113 college state system. Hadsell earned a doctorate from Drexel University for his research into how the online instructional dynamic impacts student success in online courses.
Constance Hall
Faculty Chair
Capella University
Constance Hall, EdD, MSN,BA, RN brings over 25 years of nursing and clinical nursing to education. Her career includes nursing service administrative positions, faculty and academic leadership roles. She has demonstrated expertise in nursing education, curriculum development and her area of research focuses on nursing students' perceptions of stress producing situations. She maintains certification in specialties of medical surgical nursing and oncology nursing. A strong public health advocate, Hall has a laudable record of service and leadership to agencies focusing on the prevention of HIV, teen pregnancy, and domestic violence.
Tara Hammill
Medical Administrative Assistant/Healthcare Documentation Specialist Program Leader
Rochester Community and Technical College
Tara Hammill is the Program Leader for Medical Administrative Assistant and Healthcare Documentation Specialist Programs at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, MN. She is a graduate of Rochester Community College, AS, Medical Secretary; Metropolitan State University, BA, Business Technology, Leadership, and Education; and Bemidji State University, MS, Technology/Career and Technical Education. Tara has 15 years’ experience teaching land-based and online courses as well as prior learning assessment experience as a campus faculty champion.
Ronald Hannaford
Director of Digital Learning and Program Development
Biola University
Ronald Hannaford, an Australian, works to provide innovative digital education across the USA with global reach. With an MAT and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Intercultural Studies focused upon online education, he brings expertise in several educational theories from a cross-cultural perspective to effect holistic student transformation in the global context. Dr. Hannaford is also an Adjunct Professor for Doctoral and Masters level online courses, and a Solutions Consultant for Higher Education institutions.
Darcy Hardy
Associate Vice President for Enterprise Consulting
Blackboard, Inc.
Darcy W. Hardy is associate vice president for Enterprise Consulting at Blackboard Inc. In this role, she leads a team of nationally-recognized experts in higher education, K-12, e-learning and distance education, information technology, open source technologies, outcomes and assessment, and analytics. Prior to her position with Blackboard, Hardy spent over 25 years in public higher education, most recently serving as assistant vice provost for Technology Education Initiatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio. During her tenure with UTSA, she completed a two-year (January 2011-December 2012) Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment at the US Department of Labor, where her work primarily focused on the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, and the use of online and technology-enhanced education to reach adults and the workforce. She also completed a one-year IPA appointment with the Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE) at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC in 2013, where she provided expertise and guidance in the area of online higher education and the opportunity it provides to low-skilled and other adult workers, while continuing her work with the TAACCCT grant program at the Department of Labor.
Chris Hayes
Associate Director, Program Development
Chris Hayes has been with InsideTrack since 2009, earning nearly every certification and award offered. Chris considers the use of creative language, structures, and strategies, combined with wit and biting humor critical to his coaching style. Chris’s mission at InsideTrack and beyond: to create positive, global impact.
Kenneth Heard, III
Director, Department of State Authorization, Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
The University of Mississippi Medical Center
Kenneth “Kenny” Heard, III, J.D. (Academic Affairs ) follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Kenneth Heard, M.D. (Professor), and his father, Kenneth Heard, Jr., CT (Assistant Professor), as members of the academic personnel at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Heard graduated B.A. Biology from University of Mississippi in 1998 and was awarded J.D. from Mississippi College School of Law in 2006. After a successful term in private practice, Heard answered his calling to serve in one of Mississippi’s great academic institutions, working at the intersection between health sciences education and regulatory law. He currently serves as director of the Department of State Authorizations, along with multiple board and committee memberships directed at supporting UMMC’s academic mission; to improve the health and well-being of patients and the community through excellent training for health care professionals, engagement in innovative research, and the delivery of state-of-the-art health care.
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 five years working out of the Compliance and Accreditation department. He maintains the University ‘s operation in all 50 states and territories by completing state authorization applications and renewals for 30 plus states a year. 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), 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 are just a couple to name.
Joel Hernandez
eLumen, Inc
Joel Hernandez is the CEO of eLumen, Inc, a curriculum and assessment management platform that bridges traditional assessment and accreditation needs and next-generation competency-based approaches. He has been an active member in IMS Global's CBE standards development, as well as broader initiatives such as Open Badges, and a frequent speaker on technology-enabled CBE delivery.
Sean Higgins
Founder, Head of Business Development
ilos Videos
Amy Hilbelnik
Executive Director, Strategic Partner Initiatives Educational
Laureate Network Office
Amy Hilbelink currently serves as the executive director of Strategic Partner Initiatives for the Laureate Network Office, a division of Laureate Education, Inc. Hilbelink's responsibilities include advising and consulting with global academic partners on innovative approaches to hybrid, blended, and fully online learning solutions to ensure positive student outcomes. She also serves on the Global Quality Assurance Strategy Advisory Group to help define and implement hybrid, blended, and online quality standards for the Laureate network of institutions. Additionally, Hilbelink recently worked collaboratively with Monash South Africa in designing and shepherding a number of new programs for accreditation approval and with Pearl Design Academy in New Delhi, India on the creation of new blended courses.
Marshall Hill
Executive Director
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
Marshall A. Hill is executive director of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which provides a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of distance education. His involvement with SARA spans work with the Presidents’ Forum/ Council of State Governments drafting team, the development of SARA agreements with the country’s four regional higher education compacts, and membership on the National Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education. Prior to assuming his NC-SARA position in August of 2013, he served eight years as executive director of Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. Hill earned a B.A. in music from Utah State University in 1968, followed by an M.A. in music from the same institution in 1969. In 1972, he earned a Ph.D. in music education, with a minor in higher education, from Florida State University.
Ann Hill Duin
Professor of Writing Studies
University of Minnesota
Ann Hill Duin is a Professor in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, where she is Director of Graduate Studies. Her research and teaching focus on change agent leadership, international professional communication, and personal learning networks. She studies the impact of emerging technologies – including networked learning and wearables – on the future of teaching/learning. She served as Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Information Technology, she has a “students first” philosophy, and serves as a catalyst for creating the future of the academy.
Anne Honaker
Senior Instructional Designer
Western Kentucky University
As Senior Instructional Designer, Anne directs activities of the Distance Learning Instructional Design team, which includes the design, development, and production of course materials for use in online delivery modes. Anne also serves as the WKU Quality Matters Coordinator. Prior to coming to WKU, Anne worked at the Medical Center of Bowling Green, where she managed the eLearning system and designed online professional and workplace training.
Miki Huntington
MCTC Political Science Instructor; Metropolitan State Community Faculty
Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Miki Huntington is a Political Science instructor, eLearning Consultant and co-chair of the Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC). She is also Community Faculty at Metropolitan State University in the College of Individualized Studies (CIS). Her academic degrees include a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, M.A. in International Studies from the University of Washington and Post-Master’s Certificate in College Teaching from Capella University. She is a U.S. Army veteran.
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.
Kathleen Ives
CEO and Executive Director
Online Learning Consortium
Kathleen Ives joined OLC in 2006 and has served as its executive director and CEO since 2013. She brings a wealth of corporate experience to the organization having served in senior positions at CBS, AT&T, and Verizon. This experience included a focus on leadership and organizational development in transformational times which has proven critical given the changing higher education landscape. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Davis, M.A. from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication, and D.M. from the University of Phoenix.
Pat James
Executive Director
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
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, effective leadership of academics, women's leadership, leading academics through change, and effective technology implementation in the online classroom including the promotion of academics, faculty and student engagement through social media.
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.
Matthew Johnson
Cooley, LLP
Matt Johnson is as an associate in Cooley's Regulatory Education practice group and resident in the Washington, DC office. Johnson was associated with Dow Lohnes, which merged with Cooley in 2014. His practice primarily focuses on assisting higher education institutions and education technology companies regarding a variety of regulatory issues including state and federal privacy laws at the K-12 and postsecondary levels, including FERPA, state authorization and distance education issues, professional licensure, and veterans and military education benefits concerns. Johnson works with institutions to resolve issues at the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, state educational agencies, and state approving agencies for veterans' benefits.
Rick Johnson
Vice President of Product Strategy
Rick Johnson is the vice president of product strategy, and one of the founders of Vital Source Technologies, Inc. Vital Source, a division of the Ingram Content Group, is the maker of Bookshelf®, the most widely used platform for delivery of electronic textbooks in the world. Johnson manages the strategic direction of the fast growing platform, guiding the architecture, and implementation of its clients and systems. Prior to Ingram and Vital Source, he spent more than 12 years with Apple Computer, Inc. As a senior national consulting engineer for them he was instrumental in the implementation of complex solutions for many higher education and corporate customers, and received numerous national and international awards. A graduate of the communication and business departments of Biola University in 1984, he has lived in the Phoenix area with his family since they moved from Southern California in 1991.
Sally Johnstone
Sally M. Johnstone is the new president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and executive director of the Foundation for Student Success. She recently served as a vice president at the Western Governors University.She has also served as a provost at a public comprehensive university, in an executive role the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and as a faculty member. Johnstone is a commissioner on the U.S. UNESCO Commission, and on the editorial boards for Change magazine (USA) and the Journal of Open Learning (UK). She has given scores of talks and authored dozens of articles, books, and reports on issues of integrating information and communication technology into academics.
Tanya Joosten
Director, eLearning Research and Development
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Tanya Joosten is the director of Digital Learning Research and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) where she works to guide strategic digital learning earning efforts at the campus, state, and national levels, to develop innovative programming for the UWM campus, and to lead a team of researchers to advance the field of digital learning. She is the co-director of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) supported by the U.S Department of Education. See tanyajoosten.com for more info.
Whitney Kilgore
Chief Academic Officer
Whitney Kilgore is the Chief Academic Officer at iDesignEDU and leads the learner experience design group that provides white-glove concierge support to faculty. Prior to joining iDesign she served as Vice President, Academic Services for both Domestic and International clients at Academic Partnerships. She holds a PhD in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas.
David Kim
Founder and CEO
Intellus Learning
David Kim is a seasoned engineer and entrepreneur, who began his career as a technology investment banker and strategy consultant. Over the last decade, he has either founded or been a founding management team member of fast growing technology start-ups in the web search, digital content management and online advertising sectors. In 2010, Kim's focus turned to education to align with his social views of the importance of education to our society. He is currently founder and CEO of Intellus Learning, a content and curriculum analytics platform company working with higher education institutions to better manage their digital content and understand student behavior with digital content in relation to learning objectives. Kim received his BS Engineering degree from UC Berkeley and his MS Management and Engineering degree from Stanford University.
Jeff King
Executive Director
University of Central Oklahoma
Jeff King is the executive director of the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO’s mission of transformative learning is a perfect fit for his passion about helping students learn course content in an environment that also prompts beyond-disciplinary learning and self-discovery. King's role in helping develop UCO’s Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) initiative has been rewarding because STLR provides a means to this end.
Jess Knott
Learning Design Manager and Applied Researcher
Michigan State University
When she is not wrangling, (or being wrangled by) her two rescue dogs, Jess Knott is the learning design manager for IT Services Teaching and Learning Technology at Michigan State University. She guides a team that helps faculty, staff, and academic programs effectively integrate technology into their teaching and research through consultations, demonstrations, workshops, and hands-on development. She has worked in information technology since 1998, spanning the private and academic sectors. She lives in Lansing with her pretty amazing partner Ryan and has spent more perfectly good hours playing Fallout 4 than she’s comfortable admitting in polite company. Video games aside, she loves thinking, reading, volunteering, longboarding, uke-ing, and #3Wedu community.
Debby Knotts
Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives, Extended Learning
University of New Mexico
Debby Knotts is executive director with extended learning at the University of New Mexico. She heads the strategic initiatives unit of the organization, overseeing compliance and regulatory issues, institutional accreditation for distance learning, data analytics and reporting, distance learning student services, and the development of strategic partnerships and outreach. She has over thirty years of experience in development and support for university-level computer and web-based academic technologies, with 28 of those years supporting distance learning. Knotts led the unit at the University of New Mexico that would become its distance learning department, and spearheaded University of New Mexico legislative efforts in support of New Mexico becoming a member of SARA. Knotts earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Nebraska and her graduate degree from the University of Tennessee, in addition to performing extensive post-graduate research in distance learning, design for children’s technology, and telecommunication at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, she became an alumna of the Penn State/Online Learning Consortium’s Institute for Engaged Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) and served as an IELOL moderator in 2015 and 2016.
Carol Lacey
Associate Professor, College of Individualized Studies
Metropolitan State University
Carol Lacey, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS), Metropolitan State University. teaches courses in educational planning and philosophy, sociology, and writing and leads university-wide eFolio training. She actively participates in Metro State’s partnership building initiatives with other MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) institutions and in MnSCU Charting the Future CPL (credit for prior learning), CBE (competence-based education) and adult learning success planning and implementation. She holds a Ph.D. in American studies, M.A. in journalism and political science, University of Minnesota
Martin LaGrow
Academic Systems Consultant
Martin LaGrow provides thought leadership to Ellucian clients in academic technology implementation. His primary areas of expertise include emerging technologies, badging and gamification, open educational resources, student orientation, LMS administration, and ADA compliance. LaGrow has developed online courses and programs for schools including Immaculata University, Belmont Abbey College, and the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, and assisted in technology implementation initiatives at schools such as Antioch University and Harvard University. LaGrow is also an in-demand conference speaker on topics including digital badging, student orientation, and ADA compliance.
Amy Laitinen
Director, Higher Education
New America
Amy Laitinen is director for Higher Education with the Education Policy program at New America. She previously served as a policy advisor on higher education at both the U.S. Department of Education and the White House. She was named a top innovator for her work on federal policy and competency-based education by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Her current work focuses on federal policies to increase quality and transparency in higher education as well as the politics of higher education reform. Laitinen is the product of public higher education, holding an associate degree from Miami-Dade Community College, a bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mary Larson
Director, S-SARA
Southern Regional Education Board
Mary Larson is director of Student Access Programs and Services. She oversees a number of programs designed to help students start or continue their education, including adult degree-completion programs and state authorization issues. Prior to assuming her duties at the SREB in 1998, she worked at Fort Lewis College. Larson has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from the University of Georgia and a B.A. in English Literature from Montana State University.
Sunny Lee
Senior Product Manager
EdSurge Higher Ed
Sunny Lee is senior product manager at EdSurge Higher Ed. She is responsible for driving the higher ed product strategy and roadmap and is focused on helping higher ed institutions find meaningful technology solutions that help improve teaching and learning and improve efficacy outcomes. Previously she was director of Open Badges at Mozilla, and was one of the original founding members of the Open Badges initiative and team, playing a critical role in growing and activating adoption of the standard and technology. Lee has a Master of Information Management and Systems degree from UC Berkeley with an emphasis in Education and Technology.
Julie Legault
Creative Director, Founder, and CEO
Amino Labs
Throughout her career teaching and creating smart materials, wearables and IoT devices for companies, museums and popstars, Julie Legault has worked to make scientific and technological innovations approachable and desirable. She holds a Master of Science( MIT Media Lab (USA)), a Master of Art (Royal College of Art (UK)) and degrees Design Technology and Arts (Concordia University (Canada)).
Keith Lewandowski
Senior Strategic Consultant
Pearson Higher Education
Keith Lewandowski has held several roles in higher education in the areas of marketing, admissions, and research. Prior to Pearson, he served as the director of marketing and admissions for Wentworth Institute of Technology’s College of Professional and Continuing Education. Lewandowski also worked in both research and marketing positions at Eduventures, a higher education research and consulting firm. He began his career in higher education working as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Community Inclusion, an academic research center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Jennifer Lewis
Compliance Coordinator
University of Southern Mississippi
BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Paralegal degree from Midlands Technical Community College. Attended University of Tulsa School of Law (1996-1998). Masters in Adult Education and Training from the University of Phoenix. Masters in Healthcare Administration from Pfeiffer University. Business Administration Certificate from The University of Southern Mississippi (December 2016). 8 yrs. litigation paralegal. 7 yrs. information technology roles (Proj. Mgr, SEO content mgr.). 6 yrs. Business Analyst. Co-author of Heart Age Differentials & General Cardiovascular Risk Profiles for Persons w/ Varying Disabilities: NHANES 01-10.
Kurt Linberg
Higher Education Consultant
Kurt Linberg has been involved with innovations in higher education since 1999 as a teacher, mentor, and administrator. As an independent consultant, Dr. Linberg helps universities implement innovative models that improve access, reduce costs, and improve learning outcomes. Previous roles include VP of Curriculum Development at WGU, SVP/Provost at American Sentinel University, Dean at the College of St. Scholastica, and founding Dean at Capella University.
David Lindrum
Founder and Course Designer
Soomo Learning
David has spent 20 years at the intersection of learning and web technology. Working with major publishers including Pearson, Thomson, and McGraw, he launched both MetaText and Shadowbox before founding Soomo. David’s heart is in creating transformative instructional design, and using the web to meet instructional challenges.
John Lopez
SARA Director
John Lopez joined the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in July 2014 and serves as the director of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). In this position, he oversees state membership and institutional participation in SARA for the Western region's 16 member states and territories. Lopez’s previous positions include vice president of government affairs for Apollo Education Group, vice president of planning and research for a higher education management consulting company, institutional research analyst at the University of Arizona and legislative aide for a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature. He earned his PhD in higher education, specializing in management and policy, from the University of Arizona. His hobbies include golf, traveling, and philanthropic work in his native country of Belize.
Justin Louder
Associate Vice Provost
Texas Tech University
Justin R. Louder, Ed.D. is associate vice provost for Texas Tech University Worldwide eLearning. Louder previously served as the institution's assistant vice provost for eLearning, where he was the director of the Office of Online Compliance and Regulation and acted as the primary consultant for TTU Colleges and Department leaders on the development of new, high demand eLearning degree and certificate proposals.
Kris Luopa
Manager of Design
Capella University
Kris Luopa is a manager in Curriculum and Course Development at Capella University. She leads a team of specialists in the development and maintenance of Capella’s courses and degree programs. Her professional interests include the holistic development and continuous improvement of competency-based academic offerings and the use of technology as an enabler in education. Kris earned her PhD in Adult Education from Capella University.
Howard Lurie
Principal Analyst, Online and Continuing Education
Howard Lurie has more than 20 years of experience in developing and implementing online education technology solutions in higher education and K-12 markets. Prior to joining Eduventures, Howard served as Managing Director for Academic Partnerships at Acrobatiq. Howard served as a Vice President for External Affairs at edX, and was the Managing Director for PBS LearningMedia. Earlier, he directed online teacher professional development programs for WGBH and for Facing History and Ourselves. Howard is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Teachers’ College, Columbia University.
Lara Mabry
Instructional Design Specialist
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Lara Mabry is an Instructional Designer at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC). Previously, she taught face to face, online, and blended courses for five years in clinical laboratory sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Lara has disseminated research in educational technology and mobile learning at regional and national conferences, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in Health Related Sciences with a focus in education from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  Lara also holds a BS and MS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from VCU.
Sue Maes
Institute for Academic Alliances at Kansas State
Sue Maes enjoys the challenge of building new academic programs and fostering institutional collaboration. She is committed to improving access to higher education and has an extensive background in distance education, project development and management, and external funding acquisition. Dr. Maes serves as Dean of K-State Global Campus and as Co-Director for the Institute for Academic Alliances at K-State. For the past several years she has also facilitated the development of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Outside of her universal responsibilities she has dedicated recent attention to building and stabilizing the Manhattan Community Foundation and the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.
Andrew Magda
Manager of Market Research
The Learning House, Inc.
Andrew J. Magda is the Manager of Market Research of 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, Andrew was a senior analyst at Eduventures and a project manager at the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.
Eszti Major-Rohrer
Director of Products and Services; CURATE
Ed Map
Eszti Major-Rohrer leads Ed Map’s Product Management for course materials solutions to enable faculty and institutions align education resources to course outcomes. Major-Rohrer leads CURATE by Ed Map™, a professional service designed to overcome the discoverability barrier many faculty and instructional designers encounter when seeking fresh, relevant OER and disaggregated content. She also directs Ed Map’s OPENVUE® a comprehensive course materials management platform. A native of Hungary, she joined the higher education industry seven years ago. Previously, she provided business consulting domestically and internationally.
Colin Marlaire
Associate Vice President for Innovation in Learning
National University
Collin Marlaire is associate vice president at National University. His department conducts faculty training and support, manages educational technologies, and drives institutional adoption of emergent educational technologies and practices for all modalities: online, onsite, hybrid, executive, competency-based, etc. His research focuses on developing scalable models for innovation in education - incentivizing participation and innovation, designing towards modality, developing actionable analytics, and fostering collaboration. He received his Ph. D. in English from Marquette University in Wisconsin.
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.
Sophia McArdle
Policy Analyst
Department of Education
Mollie McGill
Director, Programs and Membership
Mollie McGill provides leadership to WCET’s annual leadership summit, the WCET Fellow on Adaptive Learning, and is the point of contact for WCET’s Steering Committee, Executive Council, and Academic Leadership Forum. She also is responsible for membership growth and engagement and welcomes any opportunity to get to know, at a personal level, anyone associated with a member institution or organization. She spent nearly 20 years working for WICHE in the early part of her career and was instrumental in founding WCET in 1989. Mollie directed learning innovations and technology initiatives for the University of Colorado System and served in leadership roles for several Colorado statewide e-learning projects. She received her education degree from Emporia State University.
Stephen McGoffin
Business Manager / Budget Analyst
Office of Distance Learning, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Stephen McGoffin joined the Office of Distance Learning in December 2015 as its first Business Manager and Budget Analyst. Stephen is responsible for managing the Office of Distance Learning budgets, advising the Director on all financial matters, tracking and assisting in evaluation of all contracts with external vendors managed by Distance Learning, and creating pro-formas of online programs. Prior to joining the distance learning staff, he was a small-business owner for three years and spent time as a consultant with the USDA and LA SBDC.
Shannon Meadows
Chief Revenue Officer
Ed Map
Melissa Messina
Instructional Design Specialist
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Melissa Messina is an instructional designer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and, since 2011, has developed and taught online courses in web design, information organization, advanced metadata, and cataloging for Emporia State University’s School of Library and Information Management. Previously, Melissa worked as a research associate for UMKC’s Institute for Human Development, where she managed digital initiatives for federally funded grants. Melissa holds a BA in English from Cornell College, an MLS from Emporia State, a multimedia certification from Portland State University, and is Quality Matters and OLC certified.
Joe Mitchell
Senior Vice President of University Partnerships
Joe Mitchell is the Senior Vice President of University Partnerships at Revature, where he is responsible for managing Revature's work with colleges and universities. Mitchell has over 15 years of experience in the education industry, leading technology and enterprise services sales across North America and Europe. Prior to Revature, Mitchell served as the Executive Director of Enterprise Partnerships for Pearson. He's also worked as a regional sales manager for Blackboard, Inc., and co-founded Sentient Learning Ltd, a software and services company that supports schools across Europe and North America.
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.
Cali Morrison
Director, Alternative Learning
American Public University System
Cali M.K. Morrison is director of 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.
Beth Mulherrin
Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success
University of Maryland University College
Beth Mulherrin implements and evaluates strategic initiatives for innovative academic and student support models by collaborating with colleagues to improve student success, including leveraging data analytics to improve outcomes for at-risk students and onboarding for new students. She has presented nationally on online learning, curriculum design and assessment, academic integrity, and competency-based learning.
Jaymes Myers
Assistant Vice President, Learning Science and Assessment
Southern New Hampshire University Online
Jaymes Myers is Assistant Vice President for Learning Science and Assessment for Southern New Hampshire University's College of Online and Continuing Education. His work in instructional design and assessment has spanned traditional four-year state institutions, competency-based programs, hybrid online models, and next generation online design. Jaymes holds a Masters degree in Communication from University of Utah and spends his "free" time running local races and losing CrossFit competitions.
Jack Neill
Vice President, Client Services
Jack Neill is the vice president of client services at HelioCampus, an analytics platform-as-a-service company serving higher education institutions. In this role he is responsible for the delivery of data analysis and data science services, helping institutions leverage the HelioCampus platform to identify trends and find actionable insights in their data.  Prior to joining HelioCampus, Neil was the senior director of Data Analysis at the University of Maryland University College where he was responsible for analysis of key university success metrics and for supporting academic and student retention teams with institutional and learning analytics.
Richard Nelson
Nicolet College
Richard Nelson is President of Nicolet College in Wisconsin. He previously served as Provost at Paul Smith’s College (NY) and in academic administration at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Prior to his academic career, Richard managed new product development in the food and beverage industry and served in state government as director of a rural economic development agency. Richard received his academic training at the University of California, Davis (BS) and Cornell University (MS, PhD).
Curtis Newbold
Assistant Professor, Communication
Westminster College
Curtis Newbold earned his Ph.D. at Clemson University in rhetorics, communication, and information design (RCID). Prior to his doctoral work, Newbold received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Utah State University in English and professional and technical writing. He currently chairs the Master of Strategic Communication program and facilitates corporate leadership training as a part of the Westminster Leadership Certificate. In over 10 years of teaching, Newbold has taught a variety of communication courses on topics such as visual communication and branding, publication design, proposal writing, infographics in popular media, popular science journalism, scientific writing, integrated marketing communications, web design, public speaking, and many others. He owns and operates the popular communications blog, TheVisualCommunicationGuy.com and has worked as a consultant, freelance graphic designer and technical communications editor.
Mary Niemiec
Associate Vice President for Digital Education, Director of University of Nebraska Online Worldwide
University of Nebraska
Don Norris
President and Founder
Strategic Initiatives
Donald M. Norris, Ph.D. is President and founder of Strategic Initiatives, Inc. Norris has 35 years experience as a thought leader and expert practitioner in leading and navigating change, crafting and executing strategy, strategic marketing, and organizational transformation. His clients include hundreds of corporations, colleges and universities, and associations. He has published 20 books and monographs that continue to set the gold standard for transformative, strategic change. He has pioneered a number of leading edge technologies in strategy, innovation, and change management. He is currently leading the Cooperatory™ initiative at Virginia Tech which will serve as a nexus for the entrepreneurial innovation resources and experiences at the University and expose Tech students and alumni to crowd-sourcing-and-funding approaches to entrepreneurship. He holds and B.S, in Engineering Mechanics and MBA from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Michigan.
Patricia O'Sullivan
Instructional Design and Training Specialist
University of Mississippi
Patricia O’Sullivan is an instructor of Ethics in the School of Pharmacy and an instructional design and training specialist in the Department of Online Design and eLearning at the University of Mississippi. O’Sullivan has been teaching for over 20 years and has experience in a variety of teaching formats including F2F, online, hybrid, lecture, cooperative learning, and the flipped classroom. In her role as an instructional designer, she teaches an online eLearning Training Course, oversees a team of faculty course reviewers, and heads up the department’s adaptive learning initiative.
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.
Mike Palmquist
Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation
Colorado State University
Mike Palmquist is associate provost for Instructional Innovation, professor of English, and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University, where he leads university-wide efforts to enhance learning and teaching in face-to-face, blended, and distance courses. His scholarly interests include writing across the curriculum, the effects of computer and network technologies on writing instruction, and new approaches to scholarly publishing.
Jenny Parks
SARA Director
Midwestern Higher Education Compact
Jenny Parks is the director of the Midwestern Regional State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). She came to the Compact after work in university compliance and institutions research. She earned her master's degree in educational policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on her doctorate at Northeastern University in Boston. Parks joined the Compact in September 2013.
Tina Parscal
Executive Director
Tina Parscal is the executive director of Colorado Community Colleges Online. Prior to this role, she was Provost and chief academic officer at the University of the Rockies. Parscal has a PhD in Education from Capella University; Masters of Social Science from the University of Colorado, Denver; and a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Regis University. Throughout her career she has had a focus on innovation in instructional technology and online learning, student services and support, faculty development and teaching excellence. Over her career she has led a number of collaborative efforts including HLC re-accreditation, establishing a Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and initiatives focused on student success and quality online course development at scale. She was honored as a “2014 Women Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Magazine for her leadership in creating an inclusive learning environment. Parscal has published and presented in the areas of educational leadership, instructional design, online learning, emerging instructional technology, assessment, and cognitive apprenticeship strategies as well as served as the executive editor of an award-winning peer-reviewed journal.
Laura Pasquini
Lecturer // Researcher
University of North Texas // Royal Roads University
Laura A. Pasquini is a Lecturer with Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX and a Researcher with The Digital Learning and Social Media Research Group at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. As an early career scholar-practitioner, Dr. Pasquini’s scholarship is around open education, communities of practice, networked scholarship, and collaborative learning environments for workplace learning and performance in higher education. She consults, teaches, and trains with a variety of educational, non-profit, and corporate organizations to improve culture, learning design, career planning, & teaming practices.
Karen 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
Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives & Executive Director
UWM Online
Laura Pedrick oversees UWM's online and blended programs. She founded the Online Program Council, directs the seed funding program for new online programs, partners with the Learning Technology Center staff to promote new program development, works with University Communications and Media Relations and the Department of Admissions and Recruitment on marketing and student recruitment for this growing segment of UWM’s student population (see online.uwm.edu) and serves as the point person for regulatory compliance, data requests and grant proposals concerning online and blended instruction at UWM. Pedrick is currently serving as campus lead for UWM’s participation in the UW Flex Option, which will offer 4 self-paced and competency-based online programs in beginning in fall, 2013. She is managing a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Learning Challenge grant on UWM’s innovative U-Pace instructional model. She is also co-author of the UWM Guide to Developing Online and Blended Programs.
Alison Pendergast
Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer

Alison Pendergast is the chief marketing and strategy officer for Acrobatiq.  For all of her professional career, she has focused on understanding the trends and harnessing the power of technology to improve education. Over the past nineteen years, she has helped bring to market numerous transformative and market-leading print and digital learning products in multiple Executive roles, first at Pearson, and most recently, at Jones & Bartlett Learning. She is a long-time advocate of using technology to expand access to education and was instrumental in the development of Accesstext.org, a leading public-private partnership delivering alternate textbooks to students with disabilities. She was also a founding contributor of Coursesmart, LLC, now the world’s largest digital textbook store on the Internet. In addition to her professional career, Alison is a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Connecticut ARMY R.O.T.C. program and a veteran US Army Medical Service Corps Officer. She holds a Masters in Business Administration, cum laude from Norwich University.

Courtney Peppers-Owen
Director of Learning Services
Jacksonville State University
Courtney Peppers-Owen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with 16 years of experience working with developmental college students in the areas of algebra, reading, writing and first-year college success. She currently supervises and trains JSU Psychology graduate students to support learning services programs. She has presented data-based papers on student outcomes, program development and supervision at numerous conferences and webinars including the International Precision Teaching Conference, Association for Behavior Analysis International, Alabama Association for Developmental Education, and National Association for Developmental Education.
Brenda Perea
Instructional Design Project Manager for Special Project Grants
Colorado Community College System
Brenda M. Perea is the instructional design project manager for Special Project Grants at Colorado Community College System. Perea is central to developing a system wide digital badging credential system which entails building collaboration between a consortium of colleges and workforce to identify and target workforce skills not apparent in our courses, certificates and degrees. She understands the need for business and education partnerships to define career pathways to ensure relevancy in post-secondary education and career training. Perea cares deeply about advancing opportunities for Colorado residents. Prior to her current position, her projects for the Colorado Community College System include providing instructional design training and technical assistance for 300 hybrid and online course developments, while serving as a central resource for publishing grant material to OER. She has spent the last 15 years in the instructional design field, with projects spanning academia, corporate and government/military. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico in Business Administration-Finance and Marketing Management, a Master's of Science degree in Teaching and Learning from Shenandoah University and a Certificate in Public Administration-Educational Leadership from Shenandoah University.
Bonnie Peters
Chief Student Success Officer
California Community Colleges' Online Education Initiative
Bonnie Peters is the chief student services officer (CSSO) for the Online Education Initiative (OEI). Prior to 2014, Peters spent (15) years at San Diego City College, where she counseled students both on campus and online, served as Dept. Chair, taught career counseling classes on campus and online, and eventually developed the college’s online counseling program. She is a trained career counselor and holds a M.S. degree in Counseling and a second M.A. in Teaching and Learning with Technology. Additionally she is trained as a distance-counseling professional, having completed the National board of Certified Counselors’ distance counseling training. For the past ten (10) years she has added to her professional repertoire the goal of developing online student services, in particular online counseling in order to support the “whole student” with their efforts to successfully achieve college and career goals.
Jason Piatt
Electronic & Information Technology Manager, Student Accessibility Services
Kent State University
Jason Piatt currently serves as Electronic and Information Technology Manager for the Office of Student Accessibility Services at Kent State University. In this role, he provides leadership and coordination for various EIT accessibility initiatives and practices, including acting as a resource and advocate for EIT accessibility policy, collaborating with various units in the development of accessible online materials, and overseeing accessible technology. Piatt possesses more than 10 years of experience and consultation in online course design and development, has delivered numerous faculty training sessions, worked on Quality Matters initiatives for Kent State, and was integral in overseeing state authorization compliance for Kent State Online programs.
Kathy Pidjeon
Regulatory Affairs Coordinator, eCampus Center/Extended Studies
Boise State University
Kathy Pidjeon is responsible for university compliance with state authorization and other regulations pertaining to its online operations and for facilitating academic integrity enhancements identified through a comprehensive study of the university's online community. Previously she served as human resource, legal, and government affairs manager for a national corporation and held management positions in diverse enterprises in the public and private sectors. Pidjeon holds a B.S. in business management from Pennsylvania State University and completed postgraduate studies at Boise State.
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. Russ enjoys going to the films with his wife, Laurie.
Matthew Prineas
Vice Provost and Dean The Undergraduate School
University of Maryland University College
Matthew Prineas is the vice provost and dean of the undergraduate school. He received his Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Rochester and an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
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.
John Raible
Instructional Designer
University of Central Florida
John Raible is an Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida's Center for Distributed Learning. In this role, he works with faculty to transition courses from face-to-face to the blended or online environment. His research areas include the integration of emerging technology into online curriculum, accessibility for online learners, and the use of OER materials. He has presented at local, state, national, and international conferences; in addition to being published in multiple peer-reviewed journals.
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.
With 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; Scott Ready 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.
Cecilia Retelle Zywicki
Vice President, Operations
Ranku, a Wiley Brand
A lawyer and teacher by trade, Cecilia Retelle Zywicki was the senior director of Education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She worked with businesses and chambers to advance policy positions which ensure that businesses remain competitive in a global economy. Prior to joining the Chamber, Retelle was a lobbyist for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce concentrating on education, immigration, labor-management, and health care issues.
Sarah Riddlebarger
Vice President, Solutions and Services
Ed Map

As vice president of solutions and services, Sarah Riddlebarger ensures that Ed Map’s Platform-as-a-Service offerings anticipate and respond to client and market needs. She leads Ed Map’s support, solutions, and product management groups. Her teams work with partners and clients to develop content strategies, and to architect, implement, and support Ed Map solutions. Riddlebarger earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Ohio University, then topped off her liberal arts grounding with an MBA from OU as well.

F. Patrick Robinson
Capella University
F. Patrick Robinson is the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University. He has a distinguished record of leadership and service to the global HIV/AIDS care community. He is a certified AIDS nurse specialist and a Certified Nurse Educator through the National League for Nursing. An award winning educator, Robinson has received many accolades for teaching excellence and curricular innovation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
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. Rob 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.
Jesse Rosel
Manager of Course Media
Capella University
Jesse Rosel is a manager of design in Curriculum and Course Development at Capella University. He leads a team of instructional designers, interactive designers, and other specialists roles that partner with faculty to design and develop Capella’s degree programs. Rosel especially focuses on leveraging technology and design thinking to create engaging learning experiences. His professional interests include the discipline of product development, scenario-based simulations, the chaotic process of innovation, rapid prototyping, design sprints and all things that point to the continuous pursuit of great user experiences in online learning. He earned a Bachelor’s in English from the University of St. Thomas (MN) and a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Capella University.
Larry Rudman
Vice President of Instructional Design and Research
Prior to his current role, Larry served as Executive Director of Instructional Design and Learning Research for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. Larry started his career in education as a teacher for Teach for America in Brooklyn, New York after graduating from Yale. He left teaching to pursue a Masters and Doctorate of Education in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, but left before completing his dissertation to build educational products primarily for K-12 students. In the late 1990s, he developed educational software titles at Sunburst Technology.
Matthew Rysavy
Data Analyst Professional
Colorado Community College Online
Matthew Rysavy is the data analyst professional for the Colorado Community College System’s online extension, CCCOnline. He works to enhance the student experience by using data in creative ways in addition to supporting strategic planning and decision-making. He is currently working on dashboarding, student intervention points, and learning to integrate R into everything.
Adrienne Salentiny
University of North Dakota Environmental Training Institute
Adrienne Salentiny is the director of the Environmental Training Institute (ETI), a University of North Dakota outreach unit specializing in occupational safety and environmental health training. She is an instructional designer with over 15 years' experience in training and design of educational programs. Prior to her leadership role with ETI, Adrienne worked in fields of technology, web design, and information sciences at the University of Oregon and the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Adrienne is a graduate of the University of Oregon (BS) and the University of North Dakota (MS, PhD).
Vince Sampson
Special Counsel
Cooley, LLP
Vince Sampson is a special counsel in Cooley's Higher Education group and Government Analytics practice and is resident in the Washington, D.C. office. Most recently, Sampson was President of the Education Finance Council – the trade association representing nonprofit and state agency student finance organizations. He served as the organization's chief representative on Capitol Hill, with the federal government, and within the higher education community, working to advance EFC's goal of increasing accessibility and affordability for postsecondary education. Prior to joining EFC, Sampson served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy Planning and Innovation (PPI) in the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of the Postsecondary Education. He also served in the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs, where he was Senior Counselor with responsibility for oversight matters. He holds a Bachelor's degree from University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and his LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is admitted to the Maryland Bar.
Terrence Scarborough
Director of Licensure
The University of North Carolina General Administration
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.
Judith Sebesta
Executive Director
Institute for Competency-Based Education, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Judith Sebesta serves as the executive director of the Institute for Competency-Based Education, which conducts research on CBE and engages in program development. Prior to this position, she was Director of Innovation for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She has been a professor at the University of Missouri, University of Arizona, University of Evansville, and Lamar University, and has published on CBE and innovation in higher education. Sebesta earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas.
Christine Seifert
Associate Professor or Communication
Westminster College
Christine Seifert is an associate professor of Communication at Westminster College where she is the director of the Master of Strategic Communication Program. She has a PhD in English with specializations in rhetoric and professional writing. In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate classes, she does corporate training and consulting on persuasion, change management, and project management. Seifert is the author of three books: The Predicteds, a novel (2011); Virginity in Young Adult Literature after Twilight, an analysis of sex and virginity in YA literature published in the last 5 years (2015); and Whoppers: History's Most Outrageous Lies and Liars (2015). Her next book, due out in the spring of 2017, is about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Seifert contributes to magazines and journals on a range of topics including feminism, pop culture and marketing, coaching and training, and persuasion. Her latest article about coaching appears in The International Journal of Self-Directed Learning (Summer 2016).
Dick Senese
Interim President
Capella University
Richard (Dick) Senese serves as the interim University President and vice president of Academic Affairs/chief academic Officer for Capella University. Prior to returning to Capella in 2014, Senese served in leadership roles with the University of Minnesota Extension for 13 years. He most recently served as the Extension's senior associate dean, where he oversaw research, program evaluation, international partnerships, and faculty development, among other responsibilities. Prior to his promotion to senior associate dean, he served as the founding associate dean for the Center for Community Vitality. He has taught at a number of Minnesota-based institutions, including St. Olaf College, Metropolitan State University, and the College of St. Scholastica, and served previously as the associate dean for Capella University's Harold Abel School of Psychology. Senese received his PhD from the University of Minnesota through the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology program with the Department of Educational Psychology. He is a licensed psychologist and active in community affairs in his native Minnesota.
Kevin Shanley
Director, eLearning
Utah State University
With over 15 years experience, Kevin Shanley has a solid background in online, broadcast, and hybrid delivery methods in distance education. He has been a Manager of Distance Education at Utah State University (USU), for over 7 years and has worked previously as a Manager of Instructional Technology at Edmonds Community College in Washington State, and as an Instructional designer at California State University, Chico. He earned his MS in Instructional Technology from USU in December 2009 and a BS in Instructional Technology from California State University, Chico in 2000.
Kyle Shaver
Software Analyst and Developer
California State University, Northridge
Kyle Shaver is a software analyst and developer with CSUN Information Technology. Shaver holds a BS in Computer Science from CSUN, where he also served as Chair of Technology for CSUN Associated Students. He has worked with the City of Los Angeles, developing mobile applications for both iOS and Android. He helped spearhead the curricular app development process and has been highly instrumental to its effectiveness and ongoing evolution.
Molly Sheahan
Director, Faculty Development and Support
American InterContinental University
In her position as Director of Faculty Development and Support, Molly Sheahan partners with the faculty community and faculty leadership team to identify and measure faculty performance, assess development opportunities, and engage faculty in establishing best in class adaptive learning instructional practices.
Joellen Shendy
Associate Vice Provost and Registrar
University of Maryland University College
Joellen Shendy has over 25 years in higher education, all in a Registrar's Office. She has spent the last nine years as a Registrar, currently at University of Maryland University College and previously at National University in San Diego, CA. Shendy has presented at AACRAO, PACRAO, CAPACRAO, Learning Impact Leadership Institute, PESC Data Summit, UPCEA, and NAFSA Association of International Educators. She currently chairs the Business Processes and Systems Strand for the Competency Based Education Network (C-BEN) and leads an IMS Global workgroup on Extending the Transcript for Competency Based Education.
Kim Siegenthaler
Director, Mizzou Online
University of Missouri
Kim Siegenthaler, Ph.D. has 25 years’ experience in higher education as a faculty member, administrator, and distance educator. Kim brings a broad perspective to the conversation about culture and change. As Director of Mizzou Online, she oversees the University of Missouri's distance programs, serving more than 15,000 students.
Burck Smith
Burck Smith is the CEO and founder of StraighterLine. Ten years before launching StraighterLine in 2009, he co-founded SMARTHINKING, the largest online tutoring provider for schools and colleges. Burck has written chapters for three books on education policy for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is a member of the American Enterprise Institute's Higher Education Working Group. Prior to starting SMARTHINKING, Smith was independent consultant and journalist whose clients included the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Computer Curriculum Corporation, the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, the Milken Exchange on Education and Technology, Teaching Matters Inc., Converge Magazine, Wired Magazine, Wired News, University Business, the National School Boards Association and more. In the early 1990's, he wrote articles on a variety of subjects including creating community telecommunication networks, electronic access to political information, telecommunications deregulation and the ability of utilities to serve as telecommunications service providers. He holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College.
Evan Smith
State Regulations Compliance Coordinator
University of Missouri, Mizzou Online
Evan Smith began his university career in linguistics at University of Kansas and Indiana University, teaching at each institution. After discovering an interest in editing educational materials, he moved into Independent Study/Continuing Studies in 1984. In 1989, he moved to the University of Missouri to recruit faculty for print-based and online courses, reviewing their work as well. Around 2011, Smith was reassigned to handle state authorization, later joining WCET-SAN. He has published or presented numerous times on distance education topics. Hobbies include movies, history, and dioramas.
Vernon Smith
Vice Provost for Distributed Learning
University of the Pacific
Vernon C. Smith is vice provost for distributed learning at the University of the Pacific. He is formerly chief academic officer at MyCollege Foundation, creating a college from scratch: Portmont College at Mount St. Mary’s (now MSMC Online). He served over 20 years as faculty, faculty chair, dean, and vice president of academic affairs at Rio Salado College, a Maricopa Community College, where he was recognized for outstanding teaching, innovation, and leadership. His B.A. and Master of organizational behavior degrees are from Brigham Young University; his Ph.D. in higher education organization and administration is from the University of Arizona.
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. She 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.

David Soo
Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Education
David Soo is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary. His work focuses on a broad array of higher education policy issues, with a particular focus on areas of academic quality and innovation. In addition, he provides leadership to the Department on financial capability for young Americans. David earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2011. David is from Newton, Massachusetts and resides in the Eckington neighborhood of the District of Columbia.
Tanya Spilovoy
Director, Distance Education and State Authorization
North Dakota University System
Tanya Spilovoy is director of Distance Education and State Authorization for the North Dakota University System. She leads North Dakota’s 11 public institutions in distance and online education. She is also the regulator for post-secondary, degree-granting institutions. Spilovoy serves on the MHEC-SARA Steering Committee and has just begun her term on the WCET Steering Committee. She is leading the Open Educational Resources Initiative for the NDUS. Spilovoy is interested using technology to creating opportunities for student access and success in higher education.
Suzanne Tapp
Executive Director
Texas Tech University
Suzanne Tapp is the executive director of the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center at Texas Tech. Her recent research interests include a partnership with the Transparency Project in Teaching and Learning and examining the strategic role of teaching and learning centers in campus change. Tapp is a former Core member for the Professional and Organizational Development Network for Higher Education (POD). She will chair the Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference in June, 2017.
Ruth Tarantine
University Dean of Nursing
Colorado Technical University
Dr. Ruth Tarantine, DNP, RN, has been a nurse for over 25 years. Dr. Tarantine is currently the dean of nursing for Colorado Technical University. Prior to CTU, she worked as director of healthcare for an online program management company where she led the design of online nursing programs for public universities. She also has experience leading a large online nursing program for a private university. Prior to higher education, she held several leadership and education positions at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson is the CEO of CogBooks. He and the company are passionate about applying science-based methods to education delivery. This scientific approach will allow educators to revolutionize the effectiveness of learning over the next decade. CogBooks is an online learning delivery system that intelligently personalizes to the individual learner and provides tools that enable educators to better understand and support each student. It is a leading provider of adaptive learning technology and is used by a range of publishers and large education providers to power advanced online learning systems.
Sharyl Thompson
Higher Education Regulatory (HER) Consulting
In 2014, Sharyl formed Higher Education Regulatory (HER) Consulting, LLC to assist institutions from all sectors with navigating the work of state authorization compliance. She also consults and reports on professional licensure requirements, how they intersect with state authorization regulations, and she participates in regional and programmatic accreditation activities. Sharyl’s professional experience includes completing numerous applications for state authorization, researching and reporting on regulations for state authorization and professional licensing, writing and publishing white papers, and presenting at numerous national conferences. BS: North Central University, Minneapolis MS: Capella University
Patrice Torcivia Prusko
Instructional Designer
Cornell University
Passionate about using technology to increase global access to STEM education and enable all students to have a globally networked learning experience. I've been designing, developing and teaching online and blended courses since 2001. Consult with faculty on development of online courses using current best practices focused on building community and increasing student ownership. Work with team on the development of CornellX MOOCs, online courses and globally networked learning experiences. Collaborate with University library, Center for Teaching Excellence, Faculty, edX, and outside vendors. Cornell MOR Associates Emerging Leaders Program #3Wedu
Julie Uranis
Director, Distance Learning and Continuing & Professional Development
Western Kentucky University
As the director of Distance Learning and Continuing & Professional Development, Julie Uranis is responsible for the overall operations and strategic direction of proctored testing, WKU On Demand, instructional design, Career and Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning at Western Kentucky University. Prior to joining WKU, Uranis held both teaching and administrative positions at Eastern Michigan University, joining that institution in 2003. Uranis had been the program manager for EMU-Online at EMU, where she was responsible for student services, recruitment, and retention for online programs and courses.
Connie Wacloff
Instructional Designer
Capella University
Connie Wacloff is an instructional designer at Capella University. She works with subject matter experts to create engaging, relevant online courses. Additionally, she collaborates with Capella’s IT team as a process analyst designing its new course and curriculum authoring system. Her professional interests include designing authentic online content and facilitating collaboration between stakeholders within course development to increase course quality. Connie earned her Bachelor’s in English and a teaching license from St. Olaf and is currently enrolled in the Master’s degree program in Higher Education at Capella University.
Ellen Wagner
Vice President, Research
Ellen Wagner is a learning technologies activist. She is currently employed as vice president, research at Hobsons. Hobsons recently acquired the learner analytics project she co-founded as a not-for-profit provider of learner analytics as a service. The proceeds from the sale of the PAR Framework have funded the Foundation for Student Success to provide research grants exploring predictive analytics and student success measurement. Wagner is the former senior director of worldwide eLearning, Adobe Systems, Inc. and was senior director of worldwide education solutions for Macromedia, Inc. Prior to working in software solutions marketing, Wagner was chief learning office and director of education for Viviance new education, a Swiss-based elearning company with offices in 10 North American and European countries. She was chief learning officer and VP of Consulting Services for Informania, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Viviance. Before joining the private sector, Ellen was a tenured professor and chair of the educational technology program at the University of Northern Colorado, and held a number of administrative posts, including Director of the Western Institute for Distance Education and Coordinator of Campus Instructional and Research Technologies, Academic Affairs. She worked as Visiting scholar and Project Director at WCET, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, while on sabbatical leave from UNC. Her Ph.D. in learning psychology comes from the University of Colorado - Boulder. Her M.S. and B.A. degrees were earned at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Robert Wagner
Executive Vice Provost & Dean
Utah State University
Robert Wagner serves as Executive Vice Provost and Dean of Academic and Instructional Services at Utah State University. He administers the comprehensive development and delivery of eLearning courses and programs (video, online, blended, flex) for the university system. Robert also serves on the governing board for the Utah Education and Telehealth Network. He is a faculty member in the Political Science Department. Robert earned his Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Albany and holds a Master’s of public administration from the University of Utah.
Ashley Weatherspoon
Director of Student Partnerships and Collaboration
Metropolitan State University
Ashley Weatherspoon is the Director of Student Partnerships and Collaboration with Metropolitan State University for the past 2 years. She works with all the two year partners through academic and student affairs. Her role is to work with all aspects of partnerships, ensuring the students that stay on the two year college for their bachelor’s program have received the same services as the students on the main Metro campus. From communicating to accessing technology.
Deborah White
Director of Distance Education
The University of Michigan-Flint
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.

Alli Woods
Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development
University of Maryland University College
Alli Woods is currently the Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development for University of Maryland University College. Prior to this time, she served as the Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Kaplan University. Woods earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and her master’s degree from Bowling Green State University.
Jason Wyrick
Academic Strategist
Pearson Education
Jason Wyrick joined Pearson in 2012 after 14 years at the University of Denver. He started his career at DU’s University College as an academic advisor and ended as the associate dean of academics. At Pearson, Wyrick has led training initiatives for multiple institutions, worked in change management, and consulted with both internal and external partners prior to joining the Academic Strategy team in April 2006. Wyrick has taught on-campus and online graduate courses since 2005 and continues to teach at DU. He has presented at national conferences in the topic areas of knowledge management and aligning faculty hiring with accreditation standards. Wyrick earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in Higher Education Administration at the University of Denver and his bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
Thomas Yen
IoT Lab Technical Director and Instrumentation Innovator-Instructor
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thomas Yen is the technical director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Internet of Things Lab. He is also an Instrumentation innovator-instructor in the Departments of Industrial and System Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering where he teaches Engineering Design courses. As the technical director, he facilitates the development and enhancement of IoT competencies of its industry members through collaboration with university faculty/researchers and students, by engaging in common research interests, proof of concepts development, best practices education, and cutting-edge exploration. He coordinates all aspect of student engagement with the lab. Yen is passionate about developing courses based around the use of multidisciplinary student teams. Students engage in hands-on learning to gain a fundamental understanding of IoT, and work in multidisciplinary teams on a project to design innovative uses of IoT devices and technologies. The course aims to engage a diverse multidisciplinary group of students to bring together the artistic, scientific, engineering, business, and law majors as necessary requirement for successful innovation projects. Yen has a Ph.D and M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Human Factor, and Medical Instrumentation, and a B.S. degree from Northwestern University in Biomedical Engineering.
Jeannie Yockey-Fine
State Regulatory Services Advisor
Cooley, LLP
Jeannie Yockey-Fine works with attorneys and other professionals in Cooley, LLP's, Higher Education Practice to provide client institutions and organizations with expert assistance and guidance related to state authorization and regulation of higher education institutions, state institutional license application review, as well as state-level professional licensure. Yockey-Fine was associated with Dow Lohnes, which merged with Cooley in 2014. Before joining Dow Lohnes, she served as licensure manager and educational policy analyst at the Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education, reporting directly to the executive director. In that role she was responsible for overseeing compliance with Florida rules governing private postsecondary institutions as well as monitoring trends affecting postsecondary education in states around the country.
Karen Yoshino
Principal Strategist, Enterprise Consulting
Blackboard, Inc.
As a senior member of the Enterprise Consulting team at Blackboard, Karen Yoshino works colleges and universities in the areas of building CBE programs, assessing student learning, and using data for action research. Prior to Blackboard, Yoshino was executive director of the SAT at College Board, and associate treasurer at Harvey Mudd College. Her doctorate is in higher education leadership from Claremont Graduate University. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees at La Roche College, where she chairs the enrollment planning committee and served as past chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
Deone Zell
Associate Vice President, Academic Technology
California State University, Northridge
Deone Zell is associate vice president of Academic Technology at CSUN, where she leads initiatives that advance teaching and learning through technology. Prior she was faculty for 12 years in CSUN School of Business. She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA where she also managed projects for the vice chancellor’s Office of Research focusing on high-performance organizations in Fortune 500 companies and universities. She has authored multiple articles and books on the topics of innovation and organizational change.