Meet the Team

The Center for Online Teaching Excellence is being designed by us, faculty and staff members drawn from across SUNY. We are volunteering our time to help design and stand-up this center as we believe in the importance of supporting and connecting online practitioners from across SUNY to achieve our vision. To further the design of the center, we are collaborating in teams aligned to the 4 pillars of the center – Community, Competency Development, Course Support, and Research and Innovation. On this page you will find out who we are and a bit about each of us; we welcome any feedback and comments you have for us!


Community of Practice Team

Alexandra M. Pickett

Alex Pickett Photo editAlexandra M. Pickett (@alexpickett) is the Associate Director of the award-winning SUNY Learning Network (SLN), the online learning network for the State University of New York. Working with 40 of the 64 SUNY institutions, she has directly supported or coordinated the development of more than 5,000 faculty and their web-delivered courses. She also teaches Introduction to Online Teaching in the online CDIT master’s program at the University at Albany. She is the principle investigator on the SUNY/SLN NGLC grant-funded project, an elected member of the National University Technology Network advisory board, and on the steering committees of the Sloan-C ALN and Sloan-C Blended Learning conferences. She is the co-recipient of a number of awards recognizing excellence in online faculty development, distance learning innovation, online effective practice, and institution-wide programming and systematic progress. She was recognized as a Sloan Fellow (2012), an honor conferred by the Sloan Consortium Board of Directors, and also serves on the new Campus Technology Advisory Board for 2013-2015. She consults and speaks nationally and internationally on effective online teaching and learning, large-scale online faculty development, online instructional design, and using web2.0 to enhance instruction.

Martie Dixon

Martie Dixon Photo EditMartie Dixon is the Assistant Academic Dean of Distance Learning and Alternative Programs at Erie Community College, ECC in Buffalo, New York. She is responsible for managing distance learning courses, incorporating best practices in course design, providing training and support for instructors using technology, managing the department budget, and helping the distance learning steering committee plan for the future direction of distance learning at ECC. Martie’s responsibilities also include the coordination of offsite instruction, supervising the departments of Internships and Co-ops, Service Learning, and academic departments: Business, Office Management and Information Technology. Martie chairs the Directors of Online and Distance Learning Environments (DOODLE), an association of individuals from SUNY campuses who meet to discuss and plan present and future online programs. She also represents community colleges on the SUNY Learning Network (SLN) advisory council, and is a member of the board of directors for the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education, (NYSCATE) and the Instructional Technology Council (ITC). Martie has more than 30 years’ experience in education. She has served as a math and computer science teacher at the junior high, high school and college level; and as a staff developer for BOCES, working with school staff to enhance their technology usage, and with teachers to infuse technology into their curricula.

Patricia Aceves

Patrica Aceves Photo Edit Dr. Patricia Aceves currently serves as the Director of the Faculty Center in Teaching, Learning & Technology and Research Professor in the Department of Technology & Society at Stony Brook University. Dr. Aceves earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Northern Arizona University, her master’s degree in Vocational Education from Montana State University and her doctorate of Education in Leadership from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.  A significant focus of her career has been in online learning where at St. Cloud State University (MN) she was instrumental in building online faculty and student service infrastructure and degree programs that grew into the largest online enrollment in the MnSCU system.  She is passionate about assisting faculty and administrators to see the value and necessity of academic assessment and accreditation and has served as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, Minnesota Online and currently as a compliance peer reviewer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  Throughout her career, she has effectively worked with faculty, administrators and technology leaders to construct and assess programs, seek and gain funding, and to use her skills in networking, collaboration and conflict resolution to build consensus and meet objectives.

Lisa Dubuc

Lisa Dubuc Photo EditLisa Dubuc is the Coordinator of Electronic Learning and Instructional Designer at Niagara County Community College and has been in the education field since 1999 as a teacher, instructional technologist, and an instructional designer. She has provided many workshops and presentations on online course development, web tools, ANGEL/Blackboard, mobile learning, creating accessible content, online student success, and online course quality. Currently, Lisa is the Internal-Vice Chair for the Directors of Online Learning and Distance Learning Environments (DOODLE), represents the 2-year community colleges on the SUNY FACT2 advisory council and is a member of the SUNY Learning Network Campus Instructional Design Team. She is a certified Quality Matters Online Course Reviewer and serves as the (N.E.T.T.) conference planning chair, which brings k-12 educators together to explore technology in teaching. Lisa received her MS. ED in Educational Computing from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She also received the SUNY Chancellors award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2011 and is a graduate of the WNY College Connection’s -Women’s Leadership Institute class of 2012-2013. Follow her on twitter @ldubuc or visit her blog “Beyond the Bricks,” which is dedicated to learning innovation and best practices for Teaching Well Online.

Christine Kroll

Christine Kroll PhotoEditChristine T. Kroll, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean for Online Education at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the University at Buffalo (UB). Christine serves as teaching faculty within GSE as well as UB’s Department of Communication. Working in Online Education since 1996, Christine is the program director for the Ed.M. in Instructional Communications and the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Online Education (both launching fully online in Fall 2014). She is currently serving as a Co-PI on a SUNY Innovative Instruction in Technologies research grant focused on the design and validation of an assessment tool for Learner Readiness.



Deborah Spiro

Deborah Spiro Photo Edit As Acting Assistant Vice President for Distance Education at Nassau Community College since January 2011, Dr. Deborah Spiro is responsible for directing and supporting all aspects of distance education campus-wide. Dr. Spiro began in the field of technology-enhanced education by conducting training in classroom and corporate environments, teaching online, designing web-based content, and creating instructional materials for teachers, trainers, and administrators. Dr. Spiro has received a Doctorate in Education with a concentration in Instructional Technology and Distance Education (ITDE) from Nova Southeastern University in Florida through a fully online program. Her primary research interests are in adult learning and the design and delivery of effective online educationShe has delivered presentations on instructional design and technology and has won awards for excellence in professional and adult training. Dr. Spiro continues to work with her doctoral program by serving as a guest presenter in synchronous sessions advising students as they pursue consulting and leadership opportunities in the field.


Research and Innovation Team

Lisa Stephens

Lisa Stephens Photo EditDr. Lisa Stephens serves as Senior Strategist for Academic Innovation in the SUNY Office of the Provost.  She is responsible for the Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) program designed to leverage technology in service of pedagogy as part of the Chancellor’s Open SUNY strategic plan. She is the interim lead for the Open SUNY Coursera initiative and the FLEXspace (Flexible Learning Environments eXchange) open education repository project. Lisa is a member and past-chair of the SUNY Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching & Technology (FACT2) and continues to support strategic communications for the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the University at Buffalo, serving on several Middle States teams, and is co-chair of the UB Faculty Senate Teaching and Learning Committee.  She also has an adjunct faculty appointment in the UB Department of Communication. Research interests include administrative choice of technology adoption, with publications in EDUCAUSE Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of Distance and Online Learning, the College and University Media Review, as well as various presentations and research reports. Lisa has led the UBlearns Faculty Advisory Committee, co-chaired the UB Teaching, Learning & Technology Task Group that made master planning recommendations for learning space and facilities renovations, and for several years, managed the UB Distance Education and Videoconference Operations unit.

Nicola Marae Allain

Nicola Allain PhotoDr. Nicola Marae Allain is a faculty/mentor and Academic Area Coordinator, Digital Media and core faculty in the Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies at SUNY Empire State College. Previously, Dr. Allain was the Director of Curriculum and Instructional design for the Center for Distance Learning at the college, leading a number of research initiatives and scaled implementation of instructional innovations. She has a diversified experience in online, open and distance learning as well as teaching, mentoring and research. Her work has included large scale national and international collaborations in curricular, technology, arts and science research and development.

Dr. Allain contributed to securing more than $2.5 million in funding for initiatives in digital media and emerging technologies, and online program development. She has presented extensively in the fields of online and distance learning, emerging media/technologies, and curricular innovations. Dr. Allain has also served as an external reviewer of open learning, distance and online programs, and as a research consultant. Her efforts in service to the SUNY Empire State College were recognized in 2006 with the SUNY Chancellor’s Excellence Award.

Susan Deer

Dr  Susan Deer photo editMy experience at the community college level, and in particular SUNY, has been very multidimensional over the past thirty years. I have served in the capacity of adjunct instructor, full-professor, Athletic Director, Department Chair, union president, Associate Vice President, Dean of Instruction, Vice President of Academic Affairs and currently Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services. This experience has not only afforded me a global understanding of the community college, it has also provided me with an understanding of the people who make up an institution’s culture.

The relevant professional experiences that have also prepared me for a more global understanding of higher education in general are: Chairing the Hudson Valley Educational Consortium Executive Committee, being the Vice Chair of the SUNY Chief Academic Officers Executive Committee, serving as a Periodic Review Reviewer for Middle States, participating as an institutional representative for the Hudson Valley Women’s Networking Division of ACE, being an active member of the SED Regents Task Force for Distance Education, Partnerships, and Competency-Based Education, and serving on several SUNY initiative advisory councils.

John Kane

John Kane Photo EditJohn Kane is a Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at SUNY-Oswego. He received MA and PhD degrees in Economics from SUNY-Stony Brook. John joined the SUNY-Oswego economics department in 1983 and has served as the SUNY-Oswego CELT Director since 2008. He has taught over 20 separate undergraduate and graduate economics classes in face-to-face, online, and hybrid formats. For over 20 years, John has provided a large introductory economics class of 350-420 students every fall and has been the sole instructor for the economics capstone class in the spring semester. His large classes include a variety of low-stakes testing approaches (including an online mastery learning quizzing system and daily use of clickers). In smaller classes, John often uses a flipped classroom approach, wikis, and open educational resources. His online resources in introductory microeconomics, macroeconomics, labor economics, and econometrics have been widely adopted elsewhere.

As CELT Director, John is responsible for organizing over 200 workshops on campus every year. Most of these workshops are live streamed and are posted for later viewing.

John’s research focuses on applied econometric studies in the areas of: the economics of education, economic education, forensic economics, and labor economics.

Mark McBride

Mark McBride Photo EditMark McBride, Monroe Community College’s Director of Library Services has teaching experience at both Alfred University and SUNY Buffalo State.  His presentations are numerous and he has been published in the Journal of Educational Technology Systems and the Association of College and Research Libraries, to list a few.   He has been awarded several grants and is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the New York State Library Association (NYLA). He has supported two IITG projects: Developing a SUNY-wide Transliteracy Learning Collaborative to Promote Information and Technology Collaboration (Trudi Jacobson, PI), and Learner eXperience Designers (LXD) Exploring the Feasibility of Badging (Beth Burns, PI).  While serving on the FACT2 Council, he participated in a number of Task Groups: Learning Environments, Intellectual Property, E-Publications, Teaching, Learning & Technology, and Learning Analytics.

Alexandra M. Pickett

Alex Pickett Photo editAlexandra M. Pickett (@alexpickett) is the Associate Director of the award-winning SUNY Learning Network (SLN), the online learning network for the State University of New York. Working with 40 of the 64 SUNY institutions, she has directly supported or coordinated the development of more than 5,000 faculty and their web-delivered courses. She also teaches Introduction to Online Teaching in the online CDIT master’s program at the University at Albany. She is the principle investigator on the SUNY/SLN NGLC grant-funded project, an elected member of the National University Technology Network advisory board, and on the steering committees of the Sloan-C ALN and Sloan-C Blended Learning conferences. She is the co-recipient of a number of awards recognizing excellence in online faculty development, distance learning innovation, online effective practice, and institution-wide programming and systematic progress. She was recognized as a Sloan Fellow (2012), an honor conferred by the Sloan Consortium Board of Directors, and also serves on the new Campus Technology Advisory Board for 2013-2015. She consults and speaks nationally and internationally on effective online teaching and learning, large-scale online faculty development, online instructional design, and using web2.0 to enhance instruction.

Eric Rabkin

Eric Rabkin Photo EditDr. Eric Rabkin joined Stony Brook University from the University of Michigan in 2013 as Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and Associate Provost for Online Education. Rabkin’s scholarship in language and culture — particularly narrative theory, popular culture, and composition — has produced over 30 books and been honored by the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fantasy and Science Fiction Criticism (2010). At Michigan he was well known for his many teaching innovations, including the development of the highly successful practical English writing program for those who will use writing in their work lives, and for his work at all levels, including faculty training, in research and communication applications of computer technologies. He offered the world’s first writing-intensive MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) through Coursera (2012) and the University of Michigan, where his awards included the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award (2004), the University Teaching Award (1990), and the Golden Apple Award (2006) given annually by students for outstanding teacher at the University of Michigan. At Stony Brook he is spearheading campus-wide efforts to elicit, develop, share, implement, and test a full range of ideas, teaching and learning methods in online education (from the most basic and modular levels to the most thorough and far-reaching) and is charged with exploring and supporting the implementation of various online educational options, including hybrid models employing onsite and online components for credit- and non-credit-bearing educational experiences.

Carol Reiser

Carol Reiser Photo EditCarol L. Reiser is a Development Manager/Grant Writer for Strategic Planning and University Advancement at SUNY System Administration. She is responsible for identifying grant opportunities, conducting prospect research, writing proposals and preparing applications to secure funding to advance the strategic plan, The Power of SUNY, and institutional priorities as Open SUNY. Carol is an outcomes-focused professional with more than 24 years of resource-development and strategic planning experience. During that time, she has secured over $35 million for programs, facility upgrades and operating funds from public and private sources. Carol has considerable experience in the political and public-policy realms as an appointee for both Democratic and Republican Governors – two in Ohio and two in New York – and as a writer for the Speaker of the New York State Assembly. Carol holds a B.S. in Agriculture Communications from the College of Agriculture at The Ohio State University.

Kim Scalzo

Kim Scalzo Photo EditKim Scalzo is Director of the SUNY Center for Professional Development (CPD), where she fosters leadership for strategic planning, new program development, campus relationship management, and partnership development with training vendors, and implementation of Open SUNY. Prior to joining the SUNY CPD in 2009, Kim spent 18 years in a variety of administrative and leadership roles at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, including Director of Academic Outreach Programs with overall responsibility for Rensselaer’s Distance Learning, Continuing Education, summer, and Outreach programs. Kim has also served as a reviewer for the New York State Education Department Office of Higher Education for several Institutional Capability Reviews for distance learning programs. Over the past five years she has participated in an EU-US DAETE and DAETE2 projects to develop international quality standards for continuing education and is a co-presenter of a new workshop on quality standards for continuing education and distance learning organizations. She is also a co-creator of the Bray-Scalzo Partnership Model for creating and sustaining successful partnerships. In addition to her role in SUNY, Kim serves on a number of national and international boards that focus on continuing education, online and leadership development.

Paul Schacht

Paul Schacht Photo EditDr. Paul Schacht is chair of the English department at SUNY Geneseo and project director of Digital Thoreau, a collaborative effort uniting Geneseo, the Thoreau Society, and the Thoreau Institute Library at Walden Woods in an effort to promote scholarly and community engagement with the texts of Henry David Thoreau, beginning with Walden. He is a co-author of “English Majors Practicing Criticism: A Digital Approach,” a case study of collaborative digital pedagogy that won a 2010 Community Contribution Award from NITLE, the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. He has published essays on technology and civic engagement in the classroom; on collaborative writing using wikis; and on Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and Mark Twain. He was awarded a SUNY IITG for “Crowdsourcing Commentary” a project that uses Henry David Thoreau’s Walden as a foundational platform for collaborative textual annotation, enabling individuals across multiple courses, campuses, levels of expertise, and intellectual approaches to engage in rich, vibrant, multi-layered conversation around a single text.  He has also received two Chancellor’s Awards, one for Excellence in Teaching, and another for Excellence in Faculty Service.

Peter Shea

Peter Shea Photo EditDr. Peter Shea is Associate Professor of Education with a joint appointment in the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany. His research focuses on technology-mediated teaching and learning in higher education. He is the author of more than 50 articles, book chapters, and other publications on the topic of online learning and co-author of the book “The Successful Distance Learning Student”. He has overseen more than $2 million in external funding for his recent research with significant support from the US Department of Education, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the New York State Department of Education.

Previously, Dr. Shea was the Director of the SUNY Learning Network, leading teams for faculty development, student support, and technology infrastructure. Dr. Shea has also served as manager of the SUNY Teaching, Learning, and Technology Program and Project Director for SUNY’s participation in the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT).

He is a recipient or co-recipient of several national awards and honors, including the EDUCAUSE Award for Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning for the State University of New York, and Sloan Consortium Awards for Excellence in Faculty Development and Asynchronous Learning Networks Programs. He was named a Sloan-C Fellow in 2011 and was honored with the University at Albany Excellence in Education award in 2013. He was awarded an IITG Grant and renewal for his multi-campus collaboration to develop educational gaming across SUNY.


Competency Development Team

Alexandra M. Pickett

Alex Pickett Photo editAlexandra M. Pickett (@alexpickett) is the Associate Director of the award-winning SUNY Learning Network (SLN), the online learning network for the State University of New York. Working with 40 of the 64 SUNY institutions, she has directly supported or coordinated the development of more than 5,000 faculty and their web-delivered courses. She also teaches Introduction to Online Teaching in the online CDIT master’s program at the University at Albany. She is the principle investigator on the SUNY/SLN NGLC grant-funded project, an elected member of the National University Technology Network advisory board, and on the steering committees of the Sloan-C ALN and Sloan-C Blended Learning conferences. She is the co-recipient of a number of awards recognizing excellence in online faculty development, distance learning innovation, online effective practice, and institution-wide programming and systematic progress. She was recognized as a Sloan Fellow (2012), an honor conferred by the Sloan Consortium Board of Directors, and also serves on the new Campus Technology Advisory Board for 2013-2015. She consults and speaks nationally and internationally on effective online teaching and learning, large-scale online faculty development, online instructional design, and using web2.0 to enhance instruction.

Linda Lawrence

Linda Lawrence Photo EditLinda Lawrence is the Coordinator of Instructor Development in the Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College.    She is responsible for coordinating development and training for 500+ adjunct and part-time faculty for the Center to support instructor and student success in the online learning environment.   Ms. Lawrence integrates a variety of training principles, LMS training, pedagogy, and effective learning practices into resources and development opportunities for online teaching and learning.   Additionally, she uses a variety of technological applications to design, implement, facilitate and connect online, often geographically distant, faculty through self-directed online workshops, webinars and individualized support.  Over the last five years, Ms. Lawrence has also been instrumental in bringing together faculty and professionals through coordination and planning of a Center conference focusing on online teaching and learning.  Her contributions and dedication to faculty development were recognized in 2011 when Empire State College received the prestigious Sloan-C Award for Faculty Development for Online Teaching.   Her interests are in online faculty skills and competency development promoting teaching effectiveness to support student retention and success.

William Pelz

William Pelz Photo EditWilliam Pelz is Professor of Psychology at the Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) of the State University of New York (SUNY).  During his more than 45 years at HCCC he has served as Chair of the Humanities and Social Science Division, Director of Distance Learning, and Instructional Designer for Online Learning for the HCCC Internet Academy.  Throughout his career he has practiced his first love – teaching.   Bill has published a number of scholarly articles, primarily in the areas of student and faculty satisfaction with asynchronous teaching and learning.  His recent research interests are in isolating the heutagogical factors that influence learner-directed achievement in virtual learning environments and applying the results to innovative blended learning environments.  From 1999 through 2009, Bill was the Lead Faculty Trainer for the SUNY Learning Network.  In that role he provided pedagogical and technical training and support to more than 2500 SUNY faculty. Bill is an outspoken advocate for Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALNs) and has presented his views and research findings at numerous national and international conferences.  In 1994 Prof. Pelz received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2003 he won the Alfred P. Sloan International Award for Excellence in Online Teaching, and in 2006 the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.  Professor Pelz was named a Sloan-C fellow in November, 2013.

Anne Reed

Anne Reed Photo EditAnne Reed is an instructional designer at SUNY at Buffalo (UB) Graduate School of Education and also provides instructional support for Millard Fillmore College at UB. Anne has studied both Education and Art History and has been teaching online since 2007. Her teaching experience includes UB, Canisius College, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After completing her M.A., she immediately began teaching online and soon realized that she has a passion for instructional design. Anne worked as a learning technologies specialist at Niagara County Community College before coming to UB in 2012. Her current primary responsibilities focus on the training of faculty in online course development and delivery. She has developed a faculty training program which consists of regularly scheduled workshops, delivered both face-to-face and online. Anne is a founding member of Shared Faculty Resources (SaFaRi), a sub-group of the Online Learning Collaborative at UB.  She is also a certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and she completed the Instructional Designer Certificate Program through the SUNY Learning Network in May 2013.

Carine Surdey

Carine Surdey Photo EditCarine Surdey is a Senior Instructional Designer at SUNY Broome Community College. There, she assists in coordinating distance education initiatives and Co-Chairs the campus Distance Learning Steering Committee.  She also serves as the campus representative to SUNY FACT2 and is a member of DOODLE (Directors of Online and Distance Learning Environments).  She oversees the operations of SUNY Broome’s Teaching Resource Center which supports faculty in many technical and pedagogical areas including distance education and instructional technology initiatives.  Prior to this appointment, she was an adjunct instructor in SUNY Broome’s Computer Studies Department, where she taught for 6 years.  Her past experience includes a variety of work in computer-related fields such as training, consulting, and help desk/troubleshooting as well as several years as an Economist with the New York State Department of Labor.

Pamela Youngs-Maher

Pamela Youngs-Maher Photo 2 edit
Pamela Youngs-Maher earned an Online Teaching Certificate from UCLA in 1998.  Since that time, she has served as an Instructional Designer and Director of Distance Learning at 3 SUNY campuses.  Pam has designed and taught 2 fully online courses; one a non-credit course for a certificate program, and a graduate course in Education.




Course Support Team

Susan Gallagher

Susan Gallagher Photo EditSusan Gallagher has a long history of working in distance education for SUNY. She has been in her current position as the Director of Distance and Online Learning at Hudson Valley Community College for 16 years where she has helped to guide the program through rapid growth and change. Prior to that, she was a television producer for SUNY’s New York Network for 16 years specializing in live educational programs. She was a 2007 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and served as a member of the SUNY Faculty Advisory Council for 5 years. She is particularly interested in using distance education to create opportunities for intercultural exchange and during the fall 2012 semester she was on sabbatical leave to teach English at a university in Istanbul, Turkey where she used a variety of distance learning technologies to connect her Turkish students with American students.

Jeanne Fagan

Pamela Youngs-Maher Photo EditJeanne Fagan is a Professor at Finger Lakes Community College. She earned her M.S. in Tourism Management from R.I.T. During Jeanne’s 36-year tenure at Finger Lakes she has authored numerous academic degrees including the A. A. S. in Tourism Management, the A.S. in Sports Studies and the A. S. in Tourism Studies. In addition to offering these degrees in the traditional format, each degree is also offered online. Jeanne has been teaching online for over ten years.

In addition to teaching, Jeanne has been involved with several tourism consulting projects. A sampling would include: intercept research of Finger Lakes Region visitors, a sabbatical experience during which she worked with the City of Geneva managing a $250,000 HUD grant for tourism development, as well as the most recent endeavor developing and implementing an extensive destination marketing and visitor services training program for the Western Erie Canal Alliance, encompassing a five-county region serving the Erie Canal.

Jeanne received the 2000 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching, the 2010 Women of the Year, Professional Achievement Award presented by the Finger Lakes Business and Professional Women, and the 2011 Legacy Award for long-term contribution to the Finger Lake Tourism Industry.

Caroline Manssino-Cohen

Caroline Manssino Cohen Photo EditCaroline Manssino-Cohen is a Senior Instructional Developer at the University at Albany. In the spring 2000 semester, she began supporting online faculty and students through the SUNY Learning Network (SLN), where her love for online teaching was born. Since 2007 she has worked with UAlbany faculty to understand the pedagogical and technical issues that can arise from teaching courses on the online spectrum. In fact, she was integral in the development and, in a world of acronyms, the naming of the Online Course Development (O.C.D.) and O.C.D. FLEX programs used at UAlbany to train new fully online faculty. Caroline is the Chair for SLN Advisory Council and a member of SUNY’s DOODLE group. Caroline is an alumna of UAlbany with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology.

Ryan McCabe

Ryan McCabe is the Assistant Director of Online Learning at Finger Lakes Community College. He has worked at the college since 2008. Before coming to FLCC, Ryan worked in the Online Learning Department at SUNY Canton. Ryan has a BA in History from SUNY Potsdam and a MS in Adult Education from Buffalo State. He is a certified Blackboard Administrator, as well as a certified Quality Matters Reviewer. In addition to being responsible for online course development, training, course reviews and LMS administration, Ryan is also an adjunct Computer Science instructor at FLCC. He serves on the planning board of the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Writing Center Advisory Board, College Council, the College Council Executive Committee, the Governance Executive Committee, the Institutional Effectiveness Committee and is the Chair of the Employee Engagement Committee at FLCC.

T. John McCune

John McCune Photo EditT. John McCune is the Multimedia Team Leader for Information Technology Services at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. Within his current role, he researches and implements emerging technologies in learning environments, and oversees the team that provides multimedia services to the university. In the SUNY system, he has served as the chair for the Educational Technology Officers Association (EdTOA) and also serves on the SUNY Technology Conference planning committee. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in Computing Technology in Education at Nova Southeastern University. Recently, he was honored to be included in the first Educause Breakthrough Models Academy class. His research interests include multimedia, human computer interaction, and online learning environments.

Irene Scruton

Kathleen Stone

Kathleen Stone Photo EditKathleen Stone is Director for Curriculum and Instructional Design in the Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College. She provides leadership for the Curriculum and Instructional Design (CID) team. The CID team supports faculty in the development, design, and revision of all online courses within the curriculum (500 undergraduate courses taught in multiple sections, 5 terms per year) and supports instructor development and training of over 500 adjunct instructors. Kathleen is responsible for supervision of the team and for ensuring that curricular materials and instructional methodologies are current, of outstanding quality, meet accessibility regulations, and comply with copyright law. She is a member of the Empire State College’s OER Task Force focusing on open education initiatives and the FACT2 Online Accessibility task force. Kathleen is one of the original developers of the OpenSUNY OER101 course. Her interests include adult learner’s persistence in online courses, accessibility of online courses, and open educational resources.

Wendy Tang

Wendy Tang Photo EditWendy Tang is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Stony Brook University. She received her B.S., M.S. and Ph. D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester. Her current research interests are in Wireless Sensor Networks, Communication Networks and Graph Theory Applications. She and her colleagues are the recipients of two best paper awards in 1997 and 1998. She is also an accomplished educator. Her dedication in promoting women in engineering was recognized by an IEEE Region 1 Award in 1998, an IEEE Regional Activity Board Achievement Award also in 1998, and an IEEE Third Millennium Medal Award in 2000. In 2004, together with Dr. Serge Luryi, Dr. Tang initiated a project that promotes entrepreneurship in engineering education in collaboration with three other higher education institutions on Long Island. For their pioneering contributions, the IEEE Long Island Section awarded Dr. Luryi and Dr. Tang, the Athanasios Papoulis Education Award in 2006. Dr. Tang is currently the Associate Chair for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She also serves as the Faculty Director for the Honors College and the Program Director for the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Online program.


Librarian Support Team

Maureen Zajkowski

Maureen Zajkowski Photo EditMaureen Zajkowski is the SUNYConnect Program Manager for the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) at SUNY System Administration. SUNYConnect is a joint initiative of the OLIS and the libraries of the 64 SUNY campuses to share collections and services across the State University of New York. In particular, Maureen has coordinated services associated with the implementation and support of an integrated library system used by 60 SUNY campuses. Her work includes participation in the establishment and maintenance of financial models associated with the activities of the Office; and serving as an OLIS representative to the SUNY Council of Library Directors governance structure, various campus communities, and System Administration offices. Maureen is routinely involved in the implementation of various SUNY library planning efforts. She has a MLS and a MBA.

Laura Murray

Laura Murray Photo EditLaura K. Murray is a Library Implementation Specialist with the Office of Library and Information Services and has been with SUNY System Administration for 20 years. She designs and implements online content in multiple platforms and re-designs and supports library catalogs for 57 SUNY campuses. Laura is also a graphic designer, photographer and publications specialist. She designs and supports asynchronous online training in ANGEL and provides in-service training for OLIS staff. For seven years, Laura was an adjunct instructor for the UAlbany School of Information Science and published a textbook, Basic Internet for Busy Librarians. She has a MLS and a MA in Photography.


Darren Chase

Darren Chase Photo EditDarren Chase is the Web Librarian at Stony Brook University. He is responsible for the development and administration of the University Libraries website, and is dedicated to designing online interfaces and applications that deliver an excellent user experience. Darren provides information literacy instruction and works closely with faculty to develop course-integrated online learning guides. He has partnered with faculty in support of multimodal communication and learning activities, and delivered demonstrations of multimedia development applications and designed online resource guides for understanding copyright, fair use and the Creative Commons, and for accessing “copyright-friendly” resources.


Michelle Costello

Michelle Costello Photo EditMichelle Costello, Education/Instructional Design Librarian, is liaison to the School of Education and provides reference help and library instruction to students, faculty and community members. Ms. Costello is a member of a three-person library-based Instructional Design Team who assist faculty in designing, developing and implementing online courses. She also teaches workshops for faculty and students on authentic uses of classroom technology which further increases her relationships within the campus community. Ms. Costello was a Co-Project Manager of a successfully developed and implemented learning community of pedagogical improvement for librarians (LILAC, Library Instruction Leadership Academy) and currently serves as consultant for this program. Michelle earned her MLS from Syracuse University and a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from St. John Fisher College.

Dana Longley

Dana Longley Photo EditDana Longley is the Assistant Director for Library Instruction and Information Literacy at SUNY Empire State College and was recently the chair of SUNY Library Association’s Working Group for Information Literacy. She primarily coordinates and delivers information literacy initiatives and instruction for a fully online academic library serving distance learners, and manages the library’s budget, among other things. She has spearheaded and managed the College’s hands-on, online, synchronous instruction program for the past five years. She’s been an avid follower, user and experimenter of emerging technologies and social media for libraries and instruction for years. Read more about her.


Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell Photo EditAmanda Mitchell is the Instruction & Electronic Resources Librarian at SUNY Delhi. She holds a BA in biology and English from Colgate University and an MSLIS from Syracuse University. At SUNY Delhi, she serves on the Online Instruction Committee and is the library liaison to the nursing, turf management, and natural science departments.




Brandon West

Brandon West Photo EditBrandon West is the Online Learning/Instructional Design Librarian at the State University of New York at Oswego. His responsibilities include teaching students information literacy skills in online and face-to-face environments, training other library faculty how to teach online, designing instructional experiences and materials for students in both face-to-face and online environments, and managing the library’s electronic research guides. Brandon also is a member of SUNY Oswego’s Angel Learning Management System (LMS) Team, which is overseeing the campus migration from the Angel to Blackboard Learn. Brandon’s research interests include creating accessible education by the way of universal design in all types of learning environments and using instructional design to develop cognitively appropriate instruction for students. Brandon is new to his role at SUNY Oswego, and brings a diverse background to SUNY which includes experiences in public librarianship, K-12 education, and a background in Educational Technology.

Cori Wilhelm

Cori Wilhelm Photo EditCori Wilhelm is the Assistant Director/Assistant Librarian for Circulation, Reserves, and Educational Outreach at SUNY Canton’s Southworth Library Learning Commons. While at SUNY Canton, she has taught library instruction and serves as an embedded librarian in online courses. With an interest in collection development and cataloging, she spearheaded a major de-accession project of the library’s regular collection, Reserves collection, and Reference collection in the past calendar year.

Relatively new to academic librarianship (she just started in her position last Fall), Cori is looking forward to collaborating with more experienced librarians and instructional designers on the team, and hopes to learn throughout this and other Open SUNY Project collaborations.

Some of her favorite authors are Yann Martel, Ann Patchett, David Sedaris, Steve Martin, and Aimee Bender. She had a big, crazy, once-in-a-lifetime event this year when she appeared on Jeopardy! in October.


Instructional Multimedia Developer Team

Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz Photo EditEmily Schwartz is Coordinator for Special Projects within the Office of Strategic Planning and University Advancement at SUNY System Administration. In this role, she has served as the Project Manager for faculty supports within Open SUNY, and providing logistical and research support in building the Center for Online Teaching Excellence. Prior to joining the Office of Strategic Planning, Emily worked as a project management analyst in the SUNY Shared Services initiative for two years, serving as the administrative lead to the SUNY-Wide Shared Services Steering Committee and the Office of Shared Services. Emily received a Masters of Public Administration from the University at Albany.



Dan Feinberg

David Ghidiu

Dave Ghidiu Photo EditDave Ghidiu is an Instructional Designer at Monroe Community College, where he assists faculty implementation of technology into their courses, and provides guidance for online pedagogy. He also provides LMS training and software training at the college for the faculty. Dave’s interests include open educational resources, online collaboration tools, gamification, and multimedia.




John Hughes

John Hughes Photo EditJohn Hughes is the director of media production in the Office of Community and Governmental Relations at SUNY Empire State College. His primary charge is the development of a media communication infrastructure within the distributed organization of the college. He also manages day-to-day video production, photography, streaming and video conferencing for the college. He recently completed the ”ESC-TV” project, which integrates video conferencing, video streaming and on-demand video from the media management system, Ensemble, into a dedicated webpage. Hughes has been at Empire State College for eight years. Previously, he worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a founding member of the Rensselaer Satellite Video Program. He holds a B.S. in television production from Empire State College and an M.S. in technical communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Ann Giralico-Pearlman

Ann Pearlman Photo EditAnn Giralico-Pearlman is the Instructional Design Specialist (ID) in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CELT), and adjunct faculty at The College at Brockport. As Instructional Design Specialist, Giralico-Pearlman works with faculty and staff to develop or redesign courses for online, hybrid, and media enhanced instruction. Giralico-Pearlman focuses on best-practice pedagogy and andragogy models, creating social interaction in virtual environments, and developing effective course delivery and assessments measures. She recently completed the SUNY Instructional Designer Certification Program with Distinction, and is also a Fellow in the SUNY Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiative. As COIL Fellow, she partnered with the Women and Gender Studies program at Brockport and the University of Novgord, Russia, to develop a blended course using cloud technologies. Alongside her responsibilities as an ID, Giralico-Pearlman teaches an undergraduate course, Introduction to Video and Audio, for the Department of Communications and a graduate level course, Classroom Technology, for the Education Department. Prior to joining Brockport, Giralico-Pearlman owned a omni-media production company that specialized in creating media presentations for educational institutions. She was recognized with international, national, and local awards for her work as a video and multi-media producer.

Meghan Pereira

Robert Piorkowski

Robert Piorkowski Photo EditRob Piorkowski is the Assistant Director for Online Learning for the SUNY Learning Network (SLN). Rob has been with SLN since 2000. He started his career in education as a Middle School English teacher in Queens, NY in 1988. He then spent 10 years teaching high school French in Greene County before becoming an Instructional Designer for SLN. Once aboard, Rob trained and nurtured hundreds of faculty from various SUNY campuses in online course development. Rob left SLN to work for Excelsior College as the Assistant Dean of Online Learning for 3 years. Now back in his current role, he manages the operations of the SLN Education team.



Jeffrey Riman

Jeffrey Riman Photo EditJeffrey Riman is an Assistant Professor and Instructional Designer at the Fashion Institute of Technology and currently serves as Coordinator of The Center for Excellence in Teaching.

Educator, technologist, consultant, creative and business manager
BFA Pratt Institute:

Managed creative imaging and technology solutions for marketing, design and advertising agencies. Partnering with creative directors and designers combining technology with creative problem solving to produce iconic images for cosmetic and automotive brands. Early adopter in the application of technology as a tool for creative development and production. Worked in various capacities as a Studio manager, business manager, and business developer across print, publishing and imaging media. Served on the customer advisory boards of Ziff Davis and Apple Computer.

Member of the faculty CityTech/CUNY and Parsons School of Design/New School

Currently Coordinator and Instructional Designer for Center for Excellence in Teaching at FIT-SUNY. Responsible for the integration of technology in teaching campus-wide. Member SUNY FACT 2 Council, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and consultant to Faculty Senate Instructional Technology Committee. Co-author , Adjunct Advocate@FIT: Bringing Part-time Faculty into the Mainstream, Baywood Publishing, 2010. Presenter at numerous regional and national conferences such as SUNY-CIT, Campus Technology and Assessment in the Arts. 2012 Recipient of Parson Strategic Design and Management Program Teaching Award.

Linda Ryder

Linda Ryder Photo EditLinda K. Ryder, MA, MFA, is the Senior Instructional Designer at Hudson Valley Community College’s Center for Distance and Online Learning. She has been teaching studio arts, art history, computer applications, web environments, and information management to students at the undergraduate and graduate level for over 25 years, and working in academic technology, faculty development and IT project management for more than 15 years.

Previous professional positions include faculty development and Blackboard system administration for New England College, Assistant Professor, Academic Technology Coordinator and Blackboard system administrator for Colby-Sawyer College, and membership on the Board of Trustees of NERCOMP, the regional affiliate of EDUCAUSE, where she chaired the annual conference.

In the late ‘90s, as Project Director (online and offline) for the Professional Development Program of the Empire State Partnerships Project (NYSED/NYFA statewide arts in education collaboration), she participated in some of the earliest academic studies of how educators would use the WWW for collaboration and faculty development.

She is the author of “When a Picture Needs a Thousand Words: ProCite as a Visual Resource Management Tool.” ProCite in Libraries: Applications in Bibliographic Database Management. Ed. Deb Renee Biggs. Medford: Learned Information, Inc. 1995.