June 13, 2018

Our Team

Stephen Nodine Stephen Nodine, PhDsnodine@gmu.edu
Director for Digital Learning, Stearns Center
As digital teaching and learning initiatives continue to expand and grow at Mason, Steve collaborates with University leadership to coordinate and develop strategic planning efforts. Additionally, Steve leads us in our office goals of increased support and services for online faculty and students.

Steve received his PhD in Forestry from Clemson University. He has served as a faculty training coordinator, distance education specialist, faculty mentor, instructional designer, instructional design manager, and faculty member in both online and face-to-face classrooms. He has advised faculty from all disciplines as they work to incorporate digital tools effectively into blended and online courses.

E Shelley Reid E. Shelley Reid, PhDereid1@gmu.edu
Director for Teaching Excellence, Stearns Center
Shelley has grown up in an extended family of teachers—including several college English professors as well as a middle school principal, a choir director, a medical school mentor, a gymnastics coach, a history teacher, a special education coordinator, and a high school counselor—so it’s not surprising that she frequently studies how both students and teachers learn. She is an associate professor in the Department of English, where she directed the composition program for ten years; taught undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, editing, and program administration; and helped create the doctoral program in Writing and Rhetoric.

She has recently published articles about how teaching assistants in composition programs learn to teach, how writing students engage in peer review activities, and how program leaders can assess student progress. She is interested more generally in questions of how learners transfer knowledge from one context to another, and how institutions shape the work of teachers and learners at all levels.

Laura Lukes Laura Lukes, PhDllukes@gmu.edu
Assistant Director for Teaching Excellence, Stearns Center
Laura is both a geologist and a geoscience education researcher, currently serving as the Assistant Director of Stearns Center. Her research focuses on how learning environments, teaching practices, and beliefs influence the strategies and tactics students use to manage their own learning in classroom settings (self-regulated models of learning). Laura is an award-winning educator who has experience teaching in a variety of settings (university, community college, K-12, informal, in the field, in person, online) and class sizes (6-95). She also has experience collaborating with faculty and providing training for graduate students in how to incorporate active learning methods into their classrooms.

Prior to joining the Stearns Center in June 2014, she served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Office of Polar Programs. During this time, she served as Director of the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), an internationally-collaborative field science research experience on the Greenland ice sheet for students and teachers from Greenland, Denmark, and the US. Laura continues to be an active leader in the national and international geoscience education communities. She served as President of the Geoscience Education Research Division (GER) of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and the chair of the Education Committee of the Geological Society of America (GSA). She received the 2017 Biggs Award for Earth Science Teaching from the Geological Society of America.

Darlene Smucny Darlene Smucny, PhDdsmucny@gmu.edu
Assistant Director for Digital Learning, Stearns Center
Darlene oversees the online course peer review process at Mason and assists departments with customized course and program reviews. Her focus is quality in online courses and programs, with an emphasis on faculty development, services, and support. Offering an experienced instructor’s perspective of online teaching and learning, Darlene can share guidance, tips, and resources for getting started and actionable feedback for course improvement.

Darlene received her PhD in Anthropology from UCLA. Prior to Mason, she worked at University of Maryland University College, where she designed and taught fully online courses and managed online faculty in the social sciences undergraduate program.

Susan Campbell Susan Campbell, BSscampbel@gmu.edu
Instructional Designer & Learning Technologies Analyst, Stearns Center
For over 34 years, Susan has held roles as instructional designer, instructional technologist, training manager, and trainer. With many of these years at Mason, she has provided services to every academic department and has been a guest lecturer across disciplines. Susan collaborates with faculty members and teaching assistants to design and develop successful online courses, technology-integrated components of face-to-face courses, and effective classroom management strategies.

Susan holds a BS in Community Services from Virginia Commonwealth University with expertise in establishing and implementing service-oriented programs in the public sector. She is certified as a Blended Learning Designer and Sloan-C Online Teacher.

Katrina Joseph Katrina Joseph, MSkjoseph@gmu.edu
Instructional Designer, Stearns Center
A member of the Mason community for ten years, Katrina has more than 20 years of experience in the eLearning industry, including design and development, videoconference network management, and corporate training video production. Her specialties include: instructional design and development, faculty professional development, interactive multimedia, simulations, synchronous learning tools, IT training and consultation, active learning, instructor presence, game design, web design and accessibility, 3D printing, learning management systems, web conferencing, video production, and project management.

Katrina holds a MS in Telecommunications, and she is currently a PhD candidate specializing in instructional technology with a research focus in educational game design.

Ying-Ying Kuo Ying-Ying Kuo, EdDykuo3@gmu.edu
Instructional Designer & Learning Analyst, Stearns Center
In her role, Ying-Ying often highlights the importance of integrating technology to support pedagogy and learning outcomes in design. Her designs promise efficient and effective online teaching and learning as well as course management. Her biggest reward comes from instructors and students who become proficient in teaching and learning in the digital world.

Ying-Ying received her EdD in Technology Education from West Virginia University. She is interested in complex educational topics using data derived from surveys, Blackboard, and instructional documents. She has devoted herself to educational research that will assist educators and ensure quality in online courses and programs.

Larisa Olesova Larisa Olesova, PhDlolesova@gmu.edu
Senior Instructional Designer, Stearns Center
With over 20 years of teaching experience in the U.S. and Russia, Larisa has expertise in the traditional classroom and online. Her professional and research interests focus on distance education, working with faculty on aspects such as online presence, the Community of Inquiry (CoI), instructional strategies, and best practices in online teaching.

Her published works include Feedback in Online Course for Non-Native English-Speaking Students, chapters in Creating Teacher Immediacy in Online Learning Environments and Assessment in Online and Blended Learning Environments, and articles in various online education journals. Larisa received her PhD in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University.

Ala Showers Ala Showers, MEdashowers@gmu.edu
Instructional Designer, Stearns Center
Ala started her career as an ESL faculty and, after a short segue to the corporate world, fell in love with instructional design while working at Mason. Her 15+ year career in higher education equipped her with skills in project management, web and media design, e-learning development, and a variety of tools and software that help online courses become alive, effective and engaging.

Her instructional design practice is driven by passion and best practices in online learning grounded in research. Ala holds a MEd in Instructional Design and Technology and an e-learning graduate certificate from Mason. Prior to her position at Mason, she was a member of NOVA’s instructional design team, supporting over 23,000 students in 550 unique courses. Ala is a Quality Matters (QM) certified peer reviewer of online courses. Her research interests include media design, technology for second language acquisition, brain-based learning and student engagement in online environments.

Monisha Tripathy Monisha Tripathy, MEdmtripat2@gmu.edu
Instructional Designer, Stearns Center
Monisha brings over fifteen years of work experience in instructional design, training, and quality assurance, with application in both higher education and corporate settings. In her role, she provides design support to Mason faculty members who are teaching classes online. She also assists with curriculum planning, provides ongoing support to ensure learner-centric instruction, and engages in the online course review process, working with faculty members on continuous course improvement efforts.

Monisha received her MEd in Instructional Design and Technology from Mason. Her specialties and professional interests include curriculum development, adult learning theory, online class development, online instruction, and quality assurance.

Lisa Sedlock Lisa Sedlock, MAElsedlock@gmu.edu
Project Manager, Stearns Center
Lisa provides direction and support to the authorization and compliance of Mason’s online programs. She oversees the creation and implementation of organizational systems that serve to both efficiently and effectively manage Mason’s activity levels in relation to compliance standards. Lisa’s research focus stems from an interest in assessment, strategic planning, and educating others about policy and practice.

Prior to her position at Mason, she worked in multiple roles at higher education institutions in areas such as academic administration, teaching, career services, residence life, student life, financial aid, enrollment management, and student affairs administration. Lisa received her MAE in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Florida and is completing her Certificate in Institutional Research from Florida State University online.

Laura Todd Laura Todd, MAltodd4@gmu.edu
New Online Projects Coordinator, Stearns Center
Formerly a high school teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools, Laura coordinates and manages the development of new fully online programs and courses. Laura also serves as a key member of the Director for Digital Learning’s support team. Laura earned her BA in Spanish from James Madison University, and her MA in Education (Curriculum & Instructions) from the University of Phoenix Online. She has also been accepted into Mason’s PhD program for Special Education.
Anais Ortiz, BAaortiz21@gmu.edu
Office Manager, Stearns Center
Anaïs provides operational and planning support to both Teaching Excellence and Digital Learning leadership, as well as Stearns Center staff. She also assists current and prospective Mason students beginning their Mason Online journeys by serving as liaison to respective academic departments. Additionally, Anaïs collaborates with Mason administrative units and external partners to ensure an informational and user-friendly online experience for all Mason Online visitors. Anaïs earned her BA in History of Art and Hispanic Studies from The University of Pennsylvania.

Charlotte Petsche, BAcpetsche@gmu.edu
Communications Specialist, Stearns Center
Charlotte provides assistance and support to the Office of Digital Learning through a diverse range of administrative responsibilities. Her role includes acting as a general liaison to students by managing phone and email communication regarding our online programs, providing support for events and special projects, and managing the Stearns Center and Mason Online websites. Charlotte has experience working in a variety of internships in marketing, entertainment, and sport management.

Charlotte graduated from the University of South Carolina in May 2018 with a BS in Sport and Entertainment Management. She is currently pursuing her MS in Data Analytics Engineering at George Mason.