I am currently working at The University of Rhode Island (URI) as the Director of the IT Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) team. I started at URI in March 2020, the same week everyone was sent home for COVID19 quarantine and all instruction went online. It was both an exciting and crazy time to start a new position supporting the learning management system and educational technology.
This coming year the TLS is working on a roadmap to provide expanded professional development opportunities to URI faculty, enhancing online courses with more interactive digital learning objects that engage students, and providing wider choices in educational technology options for remote and hybrid learning formats.
I believe that students learn more from what they personally do and experience than from what they are only told or read about. Therefore, the more that education can be integrated with multimedia and experiential hands-on learning then the more engaging that content will be to learners.
Overall I feel that educational approaches and technologies are like tools in a toolbox. We have many to choose from, and we should choose the right tool for the right need, for the right situation, and for the right context. In the words of John Dewey, there is no "either-or" solution to educational needs. To those beliefs, I work in partnership and collaboration with educational professionals to review their needs and learning goals, and then to help them choose the right tools and approaches for their objectives and context.
Through a cooperative approach to educational technology in learning I believe the best processes and products can be realized, and great educational technology projects can be achieved.
A bottom-up collaborative approach is more successful in bringing about sustained change in education because it’s inclusive of as many stakeholders as possible. This is because faculty leaders are the best path to innovative learning programs, as they are on-ground with the students and can implement the fastest and most effective changes. Through faculty and teacher leadership an institution can see the quickest turnaround on innovative change.
I completed my studies at The University of Washington, and then Nova Southeastern University. I lived ten years abroad as an American expatriate in France (Paris) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now reside in Rhode Island. So, I have lived, worked, and completed distance learning contracts and educational technology program development in three countries. I have worked as an adult educator in the sciences for over 10 years, and prior to that in my previous life/career, I worked in scientific research as a protein chemist. Over the years I have worked in both formal and non-formal venues, online, face-to-face, outdoor, and abroad internationally.
I completed my Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Instructional Technology and Distance Education with Nova Southeastern University under the direction of Dr. Jared Bucker and Dr. Michael Simonson. My research was centered on the Diffusion of Innovations theory and Positive Psychology (Explanatory Style). I looked at the relationships between explanatory style and individual innovativeness among faculty through a study of emerging technology (Web 2.0) uses in formal higher education settings.
I believe strongly that those with the means should give back. I have therefore volunteered time over the years to initiatives in developing nations, including (but not limited to): 1) seven years of professional support to the new open-education initiative of University of the People as a part-time Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, and 2) support of charity events under Action4Access to raise money for educational projects in developing nations.
As far as personal interests, I have many. Besides indoor hobbies like cooking, reading, and writing, I do many outdoor things too.
I cannot get enough of new cultures, environments and places. Besides living abroad for 10 years in two other countries, I have also traveled extensively over the years to 25 countries. I have now traveled to Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Ireland, Corsica, Kenya, Tanzania, Oman, Egypt, Thailand, Australia, China, and the UAE. I have also traveled to 35 states in the USA (including Hawaii and Alaska) and drove coast-to-coast in 2014. I love traveling, and I have learned there is no education like personal experience.
I am also an avid photographer, and I like to dabble in the alternative photographic processes, such as photo transfers, previously possible with Polaroid and Fuji film, but those were discontinued, and so now only possible with the Impossible Project instant film and gel transfer methods. I also dabble in emulsion lifts, black-n-white, infrared, light graffiti, and any other fun process. I am also a fan of urban art on canvas.
I am a senior student with Yee's Hung Ga, southern Shaolin Kung Fu, under the direction of Yee Chi Wai (Frank Yee's) disciple Sharif Bey in Syracuse New York since June 2016.
I also do kickboxing, snowboarding, running, hiking, camping, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. My longest race was 14K in the Le Man's relay marathon in Le Mans France, and my highest/hardest hike was Mount Kilimanjaro.
There is much fun to be had! :)