Meet Our Staff
Michele Gribbins, Associate Director
Michele joined COLRS in 2012 after teaching for seven years as a faculty member for the Department of Management Information Systems at UIS, where she continues to teach online classes. She provides direct consultation, development training, and support to faculty to enhance their instruction in online and blended courses. She coordinates and supports the COLRS Faculty Research Fellows Program and the Open Education Resources Fellows Program. Additionally, she designs, develops, and analyzes data reports related to online enrollments, admissions, and applications to guide COLRS when consulting and advising across campus.
Michele advances research through presentation and publication on a variety of online learning topics including pedagogy, best practices, emerging technologies, and academic integrity. Her research has been published in the Online Learning Journal, the Journal of Information Technology, the Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Electronic Markets, and the International Journal of Management Theory and Practices. She also has co-authored two book chapters and has delivered more than sixty presentations at international, national, and regional conferences. She serves as the Vice Chair for the Online Administration Network of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and serves on the Conference Planning Committee for the UPCEA Central Region. She is also the Treasurer of the Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education. She is a Certified Online Learning Administrator and has been on the project team for two Massive-Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by UIS.
Carrie Levin, Assistant Director
Carrie joined COLRS in July 2005. She earned her B.F.A. degree in Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and her Masters in Dance-Movement Therapy/Counseling at Columbia College Chicago. She spent several years as a professional actress in Chicago and as a movement therapist/counselor in Madison, Wisconsin working with institutionalized older adults, developmentally disabled adults, teens, and children. At COLRS, Carrie works with online faculty development, MOOC development, and support for COLRS research activities. She has authored and co-authored proceedings papers and book chapters on a variety of topics related to online learning and has presented at numerous national and regional conferences. In addition to her work with COLRS, Carrie is an adjunct instructor at UIS in the Educational Leadership department. Carrie holds the Professional Certificate in Online Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Emily Boles, Online Learning & Faculty Development Specialist
Emily joined COLRS in September 2006. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Illinois College and is completing her Master of Arts degree in English at UIS. She completed the highly selective Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning from Penn State/Online Learning Consortium in 2011 and holds the Master Online Teacher certification from the Illinois Online Network. Before coming to COLRS, Emily led faculty development courses in online learning and instructional design at Illinois Central College, taught technology training workshops at the Center for Teaching and Learning at UIS, and worked as a technical writer and web developer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
John Freml, Information Technology Technical Associate
John has held several different positions at UIS since late 2012, and joined the COLRS team in 2014, where he assists faculty in developing and delivering their courses online. In addition to his position at COLRS, John is an adjunct professor in the Arts and Humanities department at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, where he has taught courses in both German and Women’s and Gender Studies. As an undergraduate, he spent one year studying and researching in Tübingen, Germany with full funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He later received his M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati, where he also happened to teach online for the first time.
Scott joined COLRS in 2021. Originally from Pennsylvania, he came to Springfield in 2014 via Boston and Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, three kids, and the dog.
Scott holds a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University and specializes in video production for web, broadcast, and social media. He has previously worked at the University of Virginia, producing video content promoting the school’s successful $3 billion capital campaign, and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education where he worked closely with faculty in operating classroom recording technology for sharing lectures in a virtual environment.
Online, Professional & Engaged Learning
Vickie S. Cook, Executive Director, Online, Professional & Engaged Learning
Dr. Vickie Cook served as the Executive Director, COLRS from 2013-19. In 2019, she became the founding Executive Director of Online, Professional, and Engaged Learning (OPEL). OPEL was established to unite the efforts of COLRS, Continuing and Professional Education, the Office of Engaged Learning, and the Center of Faculty Excellence (formerly FDRO). Dr. Cook is also a Research Professor in the College of Education. Learn more about Dr. Cook on the OPEL website.
Affiliated Provost Staff
Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning
Ray is Professor Emeritus, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and Senior Fellow, Founding Director of the National Council for Online Education at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Each year, Schroeder publishes articles / book chapters and presents nationally on emerging topics in online and technology-enhanced learning. He is the 2010 inaugural recipient of the A. Frank Mayadas Online Leadership Award, 2011 recipient of the University of Illinois Distinguished Service Award, the United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame Award 2016, and the American Journal of Distance Education/University of Wisconsin Wedemeyer Excellence in Distance Education Award 2016.