Faculty

Dr. Terry Fencl

Since 1980, Dr. Terry Fencl has been a full-time instructor of speech and theater at Triton College. She teaches in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department which offers interdisciplinary packages of general education courses in communications, fine arts, social and behavioral sciences and humanities. Department members collaborate in curriculum and lesson planning, assignments and exams, the assessment of learners, team teaching, etc. In 1998, Triton moved its learning community to an online format preserving the interdisciplinary mandate and connecting the virtual community of online learners to the classroom community of on-campus learners. Terry teaches online theater courses in this Community Of One model. Additionally, she teaches what was for a long time somewhat of a rarity –online public speaking courses.

Teaching online has been a rejuvenating, fun, and incredibly rewarding experience. Terry has seen her online speech students better prepared for their presentations than my on-campus learners. She also experiences significantly more insightful and substantive discussions in my online theater courses. She’s convinced that key factors are the high level of interactivity, collaboration and sense of community that can be achieved in the virtual classroom. A common theme among students in her course surveys is that they have never experienced in traditional classes as much communication with other learners and the instructor as they have in their online experience.

Terry has a Ph.D. in communications, an MA in speech & performing arts, an MS in organizational behavior, and a BA in English. Currently, she’s working with her department colleagues and with faculty from other colleges to develop an innovative, inter-institutional, team taught series of online humanities courses (under an ILLCO grant).


Dr. Norman Garrett

Dr. Garrett is currently Professor Emeritus of Management Information Systems in the School of Business at Eastern Illinois University, where he has taught courses in programming, networking and management information systems. He has been an educator since starting his first teaching assignment at Tolleson Union High School in Tolleson, Arizona, in 1973. Since that time he has worked as a teacher and administrator at the high school, community college, and university levels. Among other duties, he has served as a high school athletic director, a community college dean, a university academic computing specialist, and as associate director of a university computer institute. He hasa bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a masters and a doctorate from Arizona State University, and a certificate from the University of Illinois as a Master Online Teacher. He loves to teach using a technologically hybrid approach.

In industry he has worked as a systems analyst, assembly language programmer, network administrator, and corporate CEO. He has extensive consulting experience and has expertise in networking and telecommunications as well as several programming languages, software development, and educational technology. He has won numerous awards, has written 5 books and a variety of scholarly articles, and is listed in several editions of Who’s Who, including Who’s Who in Education and Who’s Who in the Computer Industry.


Dr. Rhonda Gregory

Dr. Rhonda Gregory is currently the Director of Distributed Education at Volunteer State Community College. In this role, she helps lead the online and blended learning initiatives of the College. She manages a team of professionals that promote and support 21st Century learning on and off campus. Prior to coming to Volunteer State Community College, Gregory worked at Greenville College, a four-year school in Greenville, IL. She held several positions there over nine years, including director of instructional technology, adjunct instructor, academic adviser, instructional technologist and online learning program coordinator. She holds a master of arts from Greenville College and is completing her Ph.D. at the University of Memphis.


Mr. Sam Hamra

Sam has been involved in education for the past 12 years. He has held many roles — from being technical support and providing faculty training to teaching courses in a blended and online setting in education. He has earned both an MBA and a Master of Information Systems. His work experience ranges from higher education to private business, including some experience in state government. His full-time day job is in banking. He is a Navy veteran and active in the local Boy Scout Chapter, serving as a committee chair.


Dr. Leaunda Hemphill

Hi! My name is Leaunda Hemphill and I teach at Western Illinois University in the Instructional Design and Technology Department. At National-Louis University, I taught educators to use technology effectively in their instructional planning and with their students in the classroom. Read more about Leaunda Hemphill.

Mr. Michael McNett

Mike McNett teaches writing at Oakton Community College. During the 1999/2000 academic year, he developed Oakton’s first online section of English 102 (Composition II), the research paper course, and it was first offered in the Fall 2000 semester. He is now teaching English 101 (Composition I) online for Oakton as well.


Dr. Kathy Najjar


Ms. Kathy Olesen-Tracey

With over 20 years of diverse professional experience, I am a nationally recognized expert in adult education, corrections education, technology integration, and distance learning. My educational leadership background includes developing standards aligned curriculum, providing professional development to educators across the country, facilitating national discussions for LINCS, teaching in adult and developmental education, guiding students with academic, career, and personal advising, planning and implementing student-focused programs.


Dr. Jody Reding

Dr. Jody Reding is the Director of Transfer recruiting at Lubbock Christian University. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with Specialization in Higher Education and Leadership from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the M.S. in Leadership from Lubbock Christian University. Prior to serving as the Director of Student Life at South Plains College, Reding worked throughout the nation at a variety of institutions in collegiate athletics.


Dr. Jason Rhode

Dr. Jason Rhode serves as assistant professor of instructional technology in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, as well as director of the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at Northern Illinois University (NIU). Read more about Dr. Jason Rhode.


Ms. Stephanie Richter

Ms. Stephanie Richter is an internationally recognized innovator in the use of technology in higher education currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Read more about Ms. Stephanie Richter.


Dr. W. Andrew Robinson

Dr. W. Andrew Robinson, Ph.D., M.A., B.A., A.A.S., CIDO, COT lives in Charleston, Illinois, with his wife of thirty-one years, Wanda Kay. Dr. Robinson teaches full-time for the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts and Humanities at Eastern Illinois University. Read more about Dr. W. Andrew Robinson.


Ms. Christine Scherer

Christine Scherer (she/her) is the Senior Content Specialist at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies Distance Learning Department. She has an MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse and a BA in Political Science from DePaul University, proving that the path to web accessibility isn’t always a direct one. Read more about Christine Scherer.


Dr. Traci Van Prooyen

With over twenty years of teaching experience in high school and higher education settings (in face-to-face and in online classrooms), Traci brings her educational experiences in the support of faculty in their understanding and application of the unique features of online. Read more about Traci Van Prooyen.


 Ms. Gina Wheatley

My name is Gina Wheatley. I am an Instructional Designer and Facilitator at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. I’ve designed learning experiences in the public and private sector for the past 12 years and it’s an area of interest that I am absolutely passionate about. Read more about Gina Wheatley.


Dr. Sally Bolen