Contributors is maintained by the Faculty Instructional Technology Services department at DePaul University. The site’s primary goal is to provide information on enhancing instruction through the use of technology. The following staff members are contributors to the site:

sarah-2016  Sarah Brown

Sarah has worked in the College of Education and with FITS since 2010. She also teaches in the Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse department. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Secondary English Education and Writing at the University of Findlay in Ohio, and after teaching at Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Dayton, Ohio for two years, she moved to Chicago to earn her MA in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse at DePaul.

When she’s not teaching or testing out a new technology, Sarah runs, crochets, and cooks.

jan-2016  Jan Costenbader

Jan came to DePaul from California State University, Chico in November of 2010. There, he taught Mathematics and developed an online hybrid Mathematics course for General Education Mathematics. He also assisted faculty in course design as an instructional designer. Currently, he provides instructional design consultation to the College of Science and Health, the Quantitative Reasoning program and several departments within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. In addition, he teaches fully online developmental Mathematics and blended Quantitive Reasoning courses.

John Gieger  John Gieger

John Gieger leads the Center for Educational Technology in DePaul’s College of Education. After several years in digital archiving, John came to DePaul in 2013 to work in Teaching with Primary Sources, a program sponsored by the Library of Congress. Since 2016, he has been working to effectively integrate tech into classrooms and curricula. His professional interests include Interdisciplinary education, pedagogica/andragogical strategies, and drinking gratuitous amounts of coffee.

guan_web  Sharon Guan

Sharon Guan is the director of Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS). She has been working in the field of instructional technology for nearly 20 years.  Her undergraduate major is international journalism and she has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in educational technology from Indiana State University.  She has conducted research on interpersonal needs and communication preferences among distance learners (dissertation, 2000), problem-based learning, online collaboration, language instruction, interactive course design, and faculty development strategies. She also teaches Chinese at the Modern Language Department of DePaul, which allows her to practice what she preaches in terms of using technology and techniques to enhance teaching and learning.

v-johnson-headshot  Veronica Johnson

Veronica Johnson has been an instructional designer for the School for New Learning since February of 2015. In December of 2014 she graduated with a Masters in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University. Veronica has a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Before coming to DePaul, Veronica was a teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 14 years. While teaching she discovered that she enjoyed designing her own curriculum so this is what led her to become an instructional designer. Veronica enjoys collaborating with faculty to ensure the best practices of online design are embedded in every course she designs.

alex-2016  Alex Joppie

Alex has been with FITS since 2008, when he started out as a student worker while earning an MA in professional and technical writing from DePaul. Now he is an instructional designer for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Theatre School. Alex earned his BA in English from Concord University.

Alex is a strong advocate for usability in educational technology and a co-lead of the Mobile Learning Initiative at DePaul. Alex follows tech news feverishly, loves early-morning runs by the lake, and is always up for a board game night.

erin-2016  Erin Kasprzak

Erin Kasprzak is a Senior Instructional Technology Consultant and also teaches online for DePaul’s School for New Learning. She began working in higher education in 2006, primarily in instructional design and technology positions, and has been at DePaul since 2011. She is also a co-lead of DePaul’s Mobile Learning Initiative.

Erin has a B.A. in English and History from Bradley University and an M.A. in Modern East European History from Indiana University, Bloomington. She spends as much time as possible on a bicycle—commuting, on a weekend group ride, or racing.

melissa_koenig255  Melissa Koenig

Melissa Koenig is Director of Central Support for Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS) at DePaul University. She has published articles related to learning outcomes in online environments and has presented both in the United States and internationally.

Melissa earned her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and also holds an AB in Psychology from Kenyon College. She has worked in Chicago as a professional librarian and as an instructional designer for both Universities and Museums. When not wearing one of her many professional hats, Melissa can be found on the ice speed skating with her son who has dreams of making an Olympic team.

josh-lund_comp255  Josh Lund

Josh Lund is an Instructional Technology Consultant at DePaul and a former teacher turned mad scientist. After completing a B.M. in Music Theory/Composition at St. Olaf College and an M.M. in Composition at Northern Illinois University, he spent six years teaching instrumental music at Elgin Academy, William Penn University, and Central College and worked as an active performer and clinician before returning to Illinois to complete a second master’s degree in instructional technology at Northern Illinois. A life straddling two different disciplines, technology and the fine arts, has led him to researching teaching technology in the collaborative arts, multimedia and recording technologies, and user interface design . He is really enjoying the fact that his job lets him play with technology tools all day and then teach others to use them.

Josh still writes and performs on occasion, teaches the occasional wayward bass or guitar student, and is an avid gardener and disc golfer. He enjoys cooking, travel, and the outdoors, particularly when his family is also involved.

kevin-2016  Kevin Lyon

Kevin is a Double-Demon, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Professional Writing from DePaul in 2009, and staying on for his Master’s in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse with dual concentrations in Technical and Professional Writing and Teaching Writing and Language. He is an now an Instructional Technology Consutlant and a Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse instructor. His research interests include technology in education, education and identity formation/negotiation, and online learning and interaction.

ashanti-2016  Ashanti Morgan

Ashanti Morgan is a Senior Instructional Technology Consultant and Program Lead for the Global Learning Experience (GLE) initiative at DePaul University. She also teaches computer productivity courses online in the School for New Learning.

Ashanti has been working in the instructional design industry for over a decade in a variety of sectors including higher education, K-12, and non-profit. In her current role at DePaul, she manages faculty training and course development for the GLE program, an initiative that exposes students to intercultural exchanges while collaborating virtually with students abroad. She also provides instructional design expertise to faculty in a variety of disciplines across the university.

Ashanti earned her master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University. She also obtained her bachelor’s degree in Organizational & Corporate Communication from Northern Illinois University.

To learn more about Ashanti, visit her personal website

lisa-2016  Elizabeth Ramos-Torrescano

Lisa wears two hats at DePaul, she is the Assistant Director of Information Technology and Program Development for the School of Nursing and a Senior Instructional Designer for Department of Health Sciences and the Master’s of Public Health.  She has fifteen years of experience working in educational, non-profit, internet start-ups, and publishing organizations in positions that leverage her background in user experience, instructional design, and leadership.

Lisa earned her B.A in American Studies from Northwestern University, and a M.B.A with a concentration in Health Sector Management from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

Lisa is in the throes of raising 3 teenage boys, but she makes time to ride her bike, try out new recipes weekly,  garden, travel, and attend cultural events around the city.

  Sonya Ratliff

Sonya joined DePaul University’s School for New Learning in February 2016.  She has more than 20 years of experience working with faculty/students at higher education institutions including; Chicago State University, City Colleges of Chicago, and the University of Phoenix. During that time, she held various positions in Student Services, Information Technology, and Academic Affairs.   Sonya earned a BS in Health Information Administration and an MS in Education and Technology from Chicago State University.  Sonya has dedicated her career to helping faculty/students bridge the gap between the traditional classroom and the online learning environment.

In her spare time, Sonya likes to read, shop, and spend time with her family.

She is an Instructional Designer with Faculty Instructional Technology Services assigned to SNL.

  Dee Schmidgall

Dee Schmidgall is a senior instructional technology consultant for FITS and teaches online for DePaul’s School for New Learning. He holds an MFA in visual communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has done extensive work in DePaul’s human-computer interaction graduate program.  A former musician, radio DJ, advertising copywriter, and graphic designer, he’s currently interested in usability issues and user experiences within learning management systems.

daniel-2016  Daniel Stanford

Daniel Stanford holds an MFA in Computer Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a concentration in Interactive Design and Game Development. Since 1998, his interest in interactive media and education has led him to take on a variety of professional roles—from website designer and graphic artist to teacher and online-course developer. His work as an instructional designer has received multiple awards from the Instructional Technology Council and he has been both a course reviewer and finalist in Blackboard’s Exemplary Course competitions.

Daniel is currently Director of Faculty Development for Faculty Instructional Technology Services at DePaul University where he oversees multiple faculty-development initiatives, including the DePaul Online Teaching Series, which won the 2012 Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Learning.

You can view more of Daniel’s talent and work on his website,

carolyn_vos255  Cari Vos

Cari is an eLearning Content Developer with FITS. She received her B.A in Psychology and Linguistics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and came to DePaul in 2015 for her M.A. in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse. She started her tenure at FITS as a graduate assistant, but quickly became enamored with Instructional Technology and recently joined as full-time staff. In addition to her position at FITS, Cari also teaches and conducts research in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse department here at DePaul. When she’s not on campus, she enjoys traveling, baking, and spoiling her niece and nephew.


bwagner  Bridget Wagner

Bridget is an eLearning Content Developer at FITS and teaches in DePaul’s Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse department. She’s also a DePaul Double Demon with a B.A. and M.A. in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse. Prior to joining FITS she worked as a research assistant in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse department, and as a peer writing tutor and website coordinator at DePaul’s University Center for Writing-based Learning.

While she clearly enjoys her time spent at DePaul, she also enjoys cooking and exploring new places on foot.

lori-2016  Lori Zalivansky

Lori is a native to Northern Illinois, having moved here from Buffalo, New York, at eleven months old. She is the first family member that was born in America, as her whole family is from Belarus, Russia. Although she understands Russian she can only say a few words. Lori got her B.S. from Western Illinois University. She started her college career as an accounting major, but due to a lack of interest, she changed her focus to computer science. This also was not the flame to her candle, so she changed her major to what she got her degree in, instructional design and technology. Lori has been a member of the FITS team for 6 years and counting.

Past Contributors

Jean Bryan

Jean is a northern Illinois native and has been a loyal DePaul employee for almost 20 years. In that time, she has worn a number of hats—from administrative assistant in the Math department to assistant to the vice president for planning and information technology. As the University built out its information infrastructure, Jean—as communications coordinator for the division of information technology—kept the University community informed by providing progress reports and highlighting creative examples of Internet use for administrative as well as instructional purposes. Through this introduction, Jean became intrigued with the educational uses of computers, which led to her position as a senior instructional design consultant in Faculty Instructional Technology Services.

Jean is such an avid student of pedagogical theory and learning assessment that she received her doctorate in Educational Technology from Northern Illinois University. Her dissertation focuses on teaching beliefs and the adoption of web-enhanced teaching. Now retired from FITS, Jean can now enjoy more time with the things she loves: family, home-grown tomatoes, and the Outlander books by Diana Cabaldon.

oann Golas

Joann worked at FITS as a Senior Instructional Technology Consultant before moving on to become the director of online learning at DePaul’s College of Commerce. She holds degrees in Speech, Theater and Education from the University of St. Thomas and from University College Dublin. With her background in theater and education, Joann has a particular fondness for integrating the visual and student content creation into assignments.

Eric Iberri

Eric worked in FITS is a graduate assistant while earning a masters degree in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse department. His concentration was in Teaching Writing and Language. His general interests within the field include computer mediated collaborate writing environments, literacy, and the discursive construction of race, gender, and sexuality and how these factors affect the teaching of writing.

Jim Janossy

Jim Janossy was a Senior Instructional Design Consultant and long-time faculty member of the College of Digital Media. He has retired from FITS, but continues to teach at DePaul.

Jeanne Kim

Jeanne is a former K-8 teacher and technology integration specialist. She received her MS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Jeanne was a Senior Instructional Technology Consultant for DePaul’s School of Education.

Theodore Ledford

Theodore is a Chicago native and worked at DePaul assisting to produce online classes in summers home from college. He aspires to a future in design and urban studies.

Rick Salisbury

Rick is an award-winning film and video editor with an M.S. in Telecommunications from Indiana University. Rick has produced training and promotional videos for the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago Public Library, and the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency.

Elizabeth Schinazi

Elizabeth Schinazi earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism/Mass Communication from the University of Iowa. After working in educational publishing as a Technology Producer, she decided to head back to school to learn more about making computer applications easier to use and more accessible for users including teachers and students. She received her Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University and joined the FITS department as a Graduate assistant and went on to work as an Instructional Technology Assistant.

Megan Stemm-Wade

Megan joined FITS in 2008 to do a little copy-editing and stayed on to do a lot of course building and design. She worked on a variety of projects, focusing on translating classroom modes of learning into online modes.

A native of central Indiana, Megan moved to the Chicago area nearly ten years ago. She is a graduate of DePaul’s School for New Learning, where she earned her B.A. in Communication and Culture. She won several awards for writing about film history and media literacy issues and has published articles about her niche area: classroom films of the 1950s–1970s. Megan is also currently a graduate student in the Media and Cinema Studies program at DePaul’s College of Communication.

Before joining IDD/FITS, Megan worked for several years in nonprofit fundraising, cementing her desire to work in a mission-driven environment. She also spent three years as a dog walker while finishing her bachelor’s degree, a job that prepared her for life with her American Eskimo Dog, Lula B. In her treasured free time, Megan loves to travel with her husband Derek, watch horror movies from the 1960s, and learn new cake decorating techniques.

Emily Stone

Emily was a Senior Instructional Technology Consultant at DePaul and a recent transplant to Chicago. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and moved to the Philadelphia area to begin her teaching career. After one year as a middle school math teacher, Emily jumped at the opportunity to combine her two passions, teaching and technology, and worked at the cyber charter school Connections Academy. Through a robust Learning Management System Emily monitored and facilitated 2nd–5th grade curriculum for Pennsylvania students who could be living hundreds of miles away from her office.

Online teacher by day, online student by night, Emily completed an online program through Michigan State to earn an M.A. in Education with a concentration in Technology and Learning. Upon completing the program she was offered an online instructor position with Michigan State’s EduTech Certificate Program. This part-time position allows Emily to stay current on Educational Technology at the K–12 level and perfectly complements her DePaul position where she supports instructional technology integration at the University level.

In her free time Emily enjoys yoga and dance classes, exploring Chicago with her husband, and trying the latest Rachael Ray recipes.

Pantelis Vassilakis

Between 2003 and 2009, Dr. Vassilakis had been teaching at DePaul University’s School of Music, Chicago, IL, where he was the Music Technology Specialist and one of the Instructional Design Consultants. Since 2009 he has been teaching at Columbia College Chicago, where he Chairs the Audio Arts and Acoustics department. His research interests include cross-cultural dissonance perception, digital signal analysis, otoacoustic emissions, sound localization, musical aesthetics, film music theory, and collaborative assessment driven instructional design. More at