Bridging the Divide - Summer Series
Course Facilitators

Jeremy Bell

Dr. Jeremy Bell has been working in public education for 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Social Studies and Masters of Curriculum & Instruction with a cognate in Special Education from Louisiana Tech University. He worked for 16 years as a Special Education teacher and Educational Diagnostician in Webster Parish Schools. He then completed his Doctor of Education degree from Louisiana State University, Shreveport in 2020. He has taught in all grade levels and has worked in leadership capacities in multiple schools. He is now an Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction and Special Education Program Coordinator at the University of Louisiana Monroe. He has interests in all things special education including educational diagnosis, learning disabilities, educational technology, assistive technology, and gifted education. 

Eboni M. Brown

Dr. Eboni M. Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department in the College of Education at University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she has served as a faculty member since 2019.    

Dr. Brown completed her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2016. She also received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2007 and her Master of Educational Leadership in 2009 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Her research interest lies in the areas of diversifying pre-service teachers and Reading and Language Arts skills for elementary teachers.  

Prior to Dr. Brown’s position as an Assistant Professor, she was an educator serving grades 2nd-8th for 12 years. As an educator she provided services throughout Louisiana in Monroe City Schools, East Baton Rough Parish, and Lafayette Parish. Within these parishes, some of her positions include: teacher, gifted teacher, curriculum coordinator, and interventionist.   

Dr. Brown currently teaches Language Arts for Elementary Teachers and Reading Practicum courses. She also is a supervisor for elementary interns. Lastly, she served as a facilitator for summer 2020 Bridging the Divide with a course titled, “College Student Connectiveness and Engagement Online”.  

Jake Dugard

Jake Dugard is a designer and educator. He is currently working on a new studio practice called Tangent, is the founder of speaker series Medium Stories, and is an assistant professor at the School of Design at Louisiana Tech University.  He lives in Ruston, Louisiana with his wife Stephanie and kids, River, Judah, and Phoenix. 

Rudolph Ellis

Dr. Rudolph Ellis is currently the Interim Vice President of Student Affairs.  He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in English Education and obtained his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and his Doctorate in Developmental Education with a specific focus on Curriculum and Instructional design and student personnel and services. Dr. Ellis has taught for over 15 years and has worked on several activities that aim to promote student success, retention, and persistence.   He has served in a variety of leadership roles including the Associate Director of Campus Living and Housing, the Director of Retention and the Associate Dean of Student Services in Student Affairs.  He is also involved in several outreach programs within the community.  As an alumnus of Grambling State University, Dr. Ellis believes in giving back and making a difference in the lives of students at the University.    His interests include Student Success and Retention, Social Media and Education, Living Learning Communities, and Male Identity Development in higher education.

Mirla G. Enriquez

Mirla G Enriquez is an associate professor of Graphic Design at Northwestern State University. Her research interests include advertising design, critical thinking, and design education. She teaches upper-level courses in the Graphic Communication concentration and supervises senior students in their capstone projects. Mirla graduated with an MFA. from the University of Texas-Pan American and has a Licenciatura as Industrial Designer from the University of Design in Havana, Cuba. Mirla is the professor advisor for the Design Center in the Art Department, a design office that services the university and the community while hiring students from the upper-level courses of the Graphic and Interdisciplinary Design concentration.  

Ahmad Fayed

Assistant Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University 

Ahmad Fayed is an assistant professor of engineering technology at Southeastern Louisiana University. He joined Southeastern in Fall of 2017 and since then he has served in many leadership roles relevant to teaching and learning. He served as a member of the Teaching Excellence Team and the Experiential Learning Team of Southeastern, and as an Online Instructional Mentor for the college of Science and Technology. He consistently explores, implements, and shares new learning technology tools and strategies with colleagues at Southeastern, University of Louisiana System, and nationwide. In order to help enhance the efficiency of remote teaching techniques during COVID-19 restrictions, he was granted the opportunity to offer a Professional Development course for colleagues at ULS through the Bridging the Divide Program in Summer of 2020 titled: Four Instant Response and One Grading Technology Tools for Online Learning. He participated and presented at multiple national conferences addressing technology and strategies for in-person and online teaching. The most recent contributions were presenting to the virtual and onsite “2021 Teaching Professor Conference” about Successful Tools and Strategies for Teaching Engineering and Science Remotely. 

Lisa Flanders-Dick

With a passion for teaching, integrating technology and STEM, training educators, and developing curriculum, Lisa Flanders-Dick has over 25 years of experience as an educator.  Her experience has expanded from that of a teacher to also include many opportunities outside of the classroom from project coordinator to staff developer to educational consultant. Lisa is currently a professional in residence in the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University where she teaches undergraduate elementary education courses, coordinates the Hub, and works on her doctorate in educational leadership. 

James Gillley

James Gilley is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Nicholls State University. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University in the Department of Political Science with focus in Comparative Politics and International Relations. He has recently published the book Space Civilization, and spent much of the last two years learning how to build a community and produce high quality video content.  

Jada Hector

Jada N. Hector is an accomplished mental health clinician (Licensed Professional Counselor) and author (most notably Criminal Justice and Mental Health) with an array of experience from treating severe mental illness, trauma, substance use and abuse, sexual health, to everyday mental health struggles. These days, Ms. Hector lends those experiences to help remedy gaps in mental health surveillance, treatment, and recovery options, create better policy, and heal communities. To do so, Ms. Hector specializes in forging systemic change for lasting success of mental health and substance abuse programming through education and consultation. Lastly, Ms. Hector is an Adjunct Instructor at UL Lafayette teaching Crime and Mental Health, Ethics, as well as Drug Policy.

Joanna Hunter

Joanna Hunter is currently the Interim Student Advocate and academic advisor for ULM Online. Her work is primarily with online transfer students and advisor for several online academic programs including elementary education, health studies management, political science, and criminal justice.   

Joanna has a Bachelor’s in History and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She also serves on staff senate at ULM. She worked in the nonprofit sector for seventeen years, eight of those directing multiple children’s programming and staff. Prior to ULM Joanna worked as an administrator for Poverty Point World Heritage Site for four years before coming to ULM Online.   

Joanna is from the Northeast Louisiana area and is active in her church, works with historical sites as a volunteer as well as community events.   

Charles R. King

Dr. Charles R. King work history consists of twenty years of service in the addictive behavior treatment field. Dr. King is certified through the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium for Substance Abuse (IC&RC) and is currently licensed by the Louisiana Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority (ADRA) in Addiction. He currently serves as an assistant professor of psychology and addiction studies at Northwestern University in Natchitoches, LA. Dr. King is also the founder of First Choice Addiction Center where he specializes in the treatment of prenatal and postnatal substance use. Prenatal substance use is a critical public health concern that is linked with several harmful maternal and fetal consequences. Prenatal substance abuse can cause significant developmental and cognitive delays especially if untreated and undiscovered. Dr. King identifies the wide spectrum of physical and developmental challenges for infants along with the importance of coordinated services and early intervention for pregnant women with substance use disorder to enhance optimal bonding, health, and well-being.

Andrea Leonard

Andrea Leonard spent nearly a decade teaching online chemistry courses at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette before joining the Office of Distance Learning as an Instructional Designer in 2019. In her instructor role, she developed and designed the first online and hybrid chemistry courses at UL Lafayette and was the ULearn Faculty Fellow in 2017, designing an adaptive learning General Chemistry I course using the Realizeit platform. During this time, Andrea was named Ray P. Authement College of Sciences Outstanding Instructor and received an Outstanding Advisor Award four times.  

Andrea’s education and certification includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from UL Lafayette and a Master of Science degree in Chemistry with a concentration in organic chemistry from Louisiana State University. She has also earned certifications to become a Quality Matters Master Reviewer. 

Glenn Lo

Dr. Glenn V. Lo has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Kansas State University and has been teaching at Nicholls State University since 1995.  He has been an active participant in NSF-supported projects (Calibrated Peer Review, Physical Chemistry Online, New Traditions – Mathcad in the Physical Chemistry Curriculum) as well as state-funded projects (LaCEPT, LaSIP) to improve science education.  From 1998 until 2008, Dr. Lo managed the server which hosted an online homework system which he developed and was used by thousands of high school and college Chemistry students worldwide.  When Nicholls adopted Moodle as its official LMS, Dr. Lo ported the questions to a Moodle question bank and has been continually adding to the database.  In 2008, his online CHEM 101 course was the first course at Nicholls to be recognized as meeting the expectations for the 14 essential standards of Quality Matters.  Dr. Lo maintains a YouTube channel of instructional videos (Physical Chemistry and General Chemistry lectures as well as numerous short Chem Q&A Videos which were funded by the Louisiana Distance Education Initiative).  These and the Moodle question banks have made it possible for these courses to be taught in flipped format and made the transition to online seamless during the CoVID-19 pandemic.  In 2018, Dr. Lo started developing interactive tutorials deployed as Moodle quizzes. He has recently pivoted to implementing these tutorials in H5P to enhance their effectiveness and accessibility. 

Nick T. C. Lu

Nick T. C. Lu is an instructor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University where he teaches composition and literature courses to undergraduate students. Lu’s research interests include postcolonial theory, globalization, nationalism, Marxist theory and geography, and world literatures with a focus on East Asian and African cultures and literatures. He is currently working on a book on Taiwanese literature while editing a critical volume for Routledge on the topic of literature and social justice. 

Johnette Magner

Dr. Johnette Magner is an Assistant Professor in Communication and Media Studies and Director of External Affairs at Louisiana Tech University. She is also a certified Digital Wellness practitioner, Director of Public Policy for the Digital Wellness Institute, and a visiting faculty member in the Institute’s global certification program. Dr. Magner is a frequent speaker on topics related to Digital Well-Being. 

In addition to her duties at Tech and the DWI, Dr. Magner is a gratis faculty member at LSU Health Shreveport in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine where she is studying the relationship between technology use and well-being. Dr. Magner has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree from Louisiana State University Shreveport, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park. 


Dr. Taniecea A. Mallery serves as the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In this role, she is responsible for leading institutional efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as ensuring that underrepresented groups have equal access to educational opportunities and resources. She is a member of the graduate faculty, teaching doctoral-level courses in the College of Education.

Prior to joining UL Lafayette, Dr. Mallery worked as a senior diversity research specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C., and she completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the U.S. Census Bureau. Her recent publications include national policy reports on diversity in the U.S. physician workforce, studies on the impact of medical school curriculum on where physicians choose to practice, and research on the role of social influence in group decision making for faculty advancement, promotion and tenure.

Dr. Mallery earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Loyola University New Orleans, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in applied and computational mathematics from Princeton University. From 2016-2017, she completed the Chief Diversity Officer Fellows Program sponsored by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She is a member of the 2018 class of the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In the local community, Dr. Mallery serves as Incoming Chair of the Board of Directors for Leadership Institute of Acadiana and Vice President of Fund Development on the Board of Directors for Lafayette Education Foundation. She also serves on the Community Advisory Board for Junior League of Lafayette and on the Boards of Directors for the United Way of Acadiana, the Louisiana Budget Project, and the Ernest J. Gaines Center at UL Lafayette.

Michael S. Martin

Michael S. Martin is an Associate Professor of English, Modern Languages, and Cultural Studies at Nicholls State University. He works in the fields of 19th-century American literature, early American literature, Native American Studies, and Appalachian literature. At Nicholls State, he teaches both American literature surveys, advanced writing, literature of hunting and fishing, Civil War literature, and other courses. His original work has appeared in Postmodern Culture, Studies in the Novel, The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Criticism, among other publication. 


Anita Sharma

Dr. Anita Sharma, LCSW, is the Director of the Gerontology Program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and is the Joseph A. Biedenharn Endowed Chair in Gerontology.  She earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in Clinical Social Work (with emphasis in Gerontology) from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.  She is a licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 25 years of professional experience in mental health and psychotherapy.

Dr. Sharma serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including the West Ouachita Senior Center, Louisiana Geriatric Society, and the RAIB Board of the Louisiana Department of Health.  In 2021, Dr. Sharma created the Disability Advocacy Network to assist people with disabilities and their caregivers in locating appropriate services.  As one of the statewide LDH Health promotion Ambassadors, Dr. Sharma reaches out to people at the grass-roots level.  She created two series of workshops in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Alzheimer’s Association to provide community education relating to COVID-19 and other health issues affecting older adults and minority populations.

Dr. Sharma organizes the Annual Conferences on “Age and Aging” and “Disability Advocacy” that have received wide recognition.  Additionally, she organizes the Annual “Ageless Women’s Leadership Summit” to commemorate the Women’s History Month.  As the Director of the ULM Gerontology Program, she redesigned and expanded the curriculum and created a Graduate Certificate “Senior Healthcare Management.”  Dr. Sharma is passionately committed to Gerontology education and community outreach initiatives.

Cherissa Vitter

Dr. Cherissa Vitter is an Assistant Professor of International Baccalaureate Education at Southeastern Louisiana University and is responsible for teaching courses leading to the IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning.  Cherissa created the 12 online courses that comprise the International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate, which includes an international internship.  She teaches students around the world using experiential online techniques and differentiated instruction.  Cherissa is a Clinical Coach for US PREP and consults nationally with universities providing guidance in teacher preparation and evaluation development.  Her area of research is teacher evaluation and experiential learning online where she has been a presenter at national conferences and a speaker at international conferences including the National Society for Experiential Education and the International Baccalaureate Global Conference. Cherissa currently serves as the president of the Louisiana IB Schools.  

Sherri Voebel

Sherri Voebel, MLIS has held management and analyst roles within education and private industry.  Sherri holds a MLIS in Library and Information Science from LSU (1996) and a BS in Nutrition with a life sciences emphasis from Mary Hardin Baylor University (1976).  Sherri brings to NSULA a; strong background in data analytics and provides a niche skill set bridging research, innovation and training.  Sherri has served as a consultant to business, pharma and legal teams — using proprietary software to analyze large swathes of scientific and patent literature.  Areas of application include research in medicine, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, patent portfolio landscaping, scoping searches, right to operate, data management, litigation support, competitive intelligence, patent infringement analysis, and identifying in-licensing, out licensing, collaboration and business acquisition opportunities. 

Sherri worked with two information aggregators: Questel-Orbit (France) and Delphion-  An IBM -Web Data Group LLC joint venture purchased by Thompson Scientific.  Sherri worked with the IBM Almaden IT team on the loading, integration, searchability and data integrity of international patent and legal information. She also served as the bridge between marketing and industry Advisory Board members focusing on software as a service (SAS) product enhancements and product improvements for both Delphion and Questel Orbit. Her experience includes providing web-based online training using guided user interfaces for end-user searching and providing training on command language searching for professional librarians and patent searchers. Sherri has worked with machine learning software since 2002 and provided product management with software integration and testing with various online products: Corporate Tree*, Citation Link*, Snapshot*, and Derwent integration*.  

Sherri is an active member of the Special Library Association – Pharmaceutical Health Technology Division and the SLA Academic Division.  She is a member of the Patent Information User Group and a former PIUG Membership Chair. Sherri has served on the PIUG Education Committee supporting the PIUG mission to educate professional searchers and trainers with decades of patent information experience. Training provides the basics of patent law, patent information resources, search techniques, patent analytics, and best practices for searching patent information. 

Aside from being a human pet, owned by Keiko, a 17 year old Siamese cat, Sherri enjoys international travel, cooking and gardening. 

Diana Wu

Dr. Diana Wu works as an Instructional Designer for the Office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She works closely with faculty to create and improve online, hybrid, and adaptive courses. She facilitates professional development on various course design topics and provide pedagogical and technology consultations to faculty effort to effectively incorporate technology to enhance teaching and learning experience in their online courses. 

She has earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech, and has over 15 years of experience in the instructional design field. Prior to joining the Office of Distance Learning at UL, she served as assistant director for the Office of Instructional Technology at Virginia Tech for seven years, and taught in the Instructional Design and Technology program as an affiliate faculty. She has taught several face-to-face and online courses including Introduction to Instructional Design and Technology, Applications of Digital Media, and Interactive Learning Media Design. 

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