May 2020: IDD&E Alumni Updates and Achievements

Head and shoulder photo of Jason Ravitz
Jason Ravitz

Jason Ravitz (Ph.D. IDD&E ’98) reported: “Health, safety and healing to all. For those whose basic needs are met, content creation at home is about to explode, so here we go. I’ve started my own company for evaluation and education—Evaluation by Design LLC that can be found at evalxdesign.com. This is after I completed a Year 2 study for Google’s Dynamic Learning Project at Digital Promise and designed their Year 3 study to incorporate measures I originally developed for use in West Virginia while at the Buck Institute for Education (BIE). What excites me is that teachers are using these measures now with coaches, and I think there is a real research opportunity. For context, I self-published these measures after leaving the BIE and they have become a #1 Google search—survey of 21st century teaching. Especially popular in the Philippines, I’m thinking of going to a conference or writing a proposal, if anyone has contacts. Just this week I learned there is a Malaysian translation in the works. I’m working on student- and employer-facing versions for new projects, and recently created a parent survey to help with local school closings. I miss being mentored by all the great IDD&E faculty and colleagues. Feel free to reach out if any of these interests you.”

Headshot of Mike Morgan
Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan (M.S. TV, Radio, and Film and IDD&E ‘85) has moved from serving as a Learning Strategy Manager with Xerox Corporation (Norwalk, CT) to a new role as a Senior Learning Consultant with Skillsoft (Dublin, IE). Mike works remotely from Indianapolis, IN.

Jim Ellsworth
Jim Ellsworth

Dr. Jim Ellsworth (Ph.D. IDD&E ‘98) has been called back by the U.S. Army, where he retired at the 1-star/Senior Executive level, to advise the current General Officer leadership of the Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) on creation of the “ubiquitous, career-spanning learning ecosystem” that he envisioned as an architect of the new Army Learning Model & Strategy in the last decade. His goal is to apply evidence-based online and blended learning tools and strategy, at the system level, to both break down the barriers between the Army’s learning enterprise and operational force and to increase resilience in the face of future disruptions ranging from routine weather closures to wide-scale industrial accidents, environmental disasters, or hostile attack.

Steve Covello
Steve Covello

Steve Covello (M.S. IDD&E ‘11) is currently Rich Media Specialist/Instructional Designer and online faculty at Granite State College. He published an OER e-book Teaching with Rich Media focusing on the unique needs of instructional design for fully online education. It is based on foundation principles of instructional message design from the IDD&E program and Dr. Brenda Dervin’s sense-making methodology. The book is available online at https://granite.pressbooks.pub/rich-media/.

John D. Stawarz
John D. Stawarz

John D. Stawarz (M.S. IDD&E ’18, C.A.S. DDI ‘18) is currently an Online Learning Librarian at Syracuse University Libraries. Using knowledge and skills developed during his M.S. and C.A.S. in the IDD&E Department, he is serving as an online adjunct instructor for the second time teaching the course “IST 613 Library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment” at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.

Ruzanna Topchyan
Ruzanna Topchyan

Ruzanna Topchyan (Ph.D. IDD&E ’13) published two papers:

  • Udofot, M. & Topchyan, R. (2020). Factors relating to small business cyber-attack protection in the United States. International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics (IJCSDF), 9(1), 12–25.
  • Topchyan, R., & Whoeler, C. (accepted for publication). Do teacher status, gender and years of teaching experience impact job satisfaction and work engagement? Education and Urban Society.
Kalpana Srinivas
Kalpana Srinivas

Kalpana Srinivas (Ph.D. IDD&E ‘12) received the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence award in the category “Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and University Initiatives.” This award is “made to members of the University faculty and staff, who, through their work, have enhanced the undergraduate experience for students, or made invaluable contributions to supporting and advancing the University’s mission and goals.” Kal was the driving force behind the launch of the university-wide Orange Success program to enhance advising and accountability and spearheads the university initiatives on student retention. Kal is currently holding the position of Interim Executive Director for Student Success at Syracuse University. In her social media profile on LinkedIn, Kal commented: “Winning the Chancellor’s Citation Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and University Initiatives was a sobering moment for me. I am humbled and very thankful to the selection committee and the Chancellor for acknowledging what I love doing as part of my job at a University that has taken a chance on me in many ways and continues to give me many opportunities to pay it forward. I could not have done it without my colleagues and graduate students who work in our division.”

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