NANSLO | Advisory Board Biographies

Rhonda Epper

Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D., is Assistant Provost at the Colorado Community College System, where her responsibilities include development of academic innovations across the system's 13 community colleges; policy direction for online learning; transfer and articulation; and the common curriculum management system. Previously, she managed CCCOnline, including the Enterprise Learning Management System, 24/7 Help Desk, and course development/delivery to 30,000 students annually. Epper also served at Community College of Denver where she led numerous online learning programs. Epper has served as a consultant to the California State University, WICHE, WCET, ECS, SREB, and the League for Innovation in the Community College. She has published widely on the use of technology in higher education; most recently "Technology Solutions for Developmental Math" (with Elaine Baker), published by the Gates and Hewlett Foundations, January 2009.


Kim Obbink

Kim Obbink is the director of Extended University at Montana State University. As director she is responsible for all aspects of the University's distance/online learning, continuing education, and outreach initiatives. Kim is also co-director of the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) at MSU, an online program, originally funded by NSF, which has delivered online graduate science content courses for teachers nationally for over 15 years. Dr. Obbink has been principal investigator on numerous grants to develop and evaluate online teaching and learning. She is actively involved with the Great Plains IDEA and WICHE ICE collaborative online initiatives, and currently serves on the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Commission on Technology in Teaching and Learning.


Heidi Pasek

Heidi Pasek is the Associate Dean and Chief Academic Officer at Great Falls College Montana State University. Dr. Pasek’s career as a college educator spans twenty years, during which time she has served as a counselor, a faculty member, and an administrator. Prior to her career in higher education, Pasek spent nearly a decade working in the human services and maintains licensure in the state of Montana as a professional clinical counselor. She earned her Doctorate in Education from Montana State University in Bozeman. Her previous degrees include a B.S. from Utah State University and a master’s in counseling from University of Great Falls in Great Falls Montana.


Todd Ruskell

Todd Ruskell has been a member of the physics faculty at Colorado School of Mines since 1999. His primary responsibility in that role is teaching the introductory calculus-based physics sequence. He has been responsible for evaluating incoming physics transfer requests since 2002. In 2010 Ruskell, along with one other individual, was appointed articulation coordinator. In that role he is primarily responsible for establishing individual institution-to-institution articulation agreements for students transferring from Colorado’s two-year institutions to Colorado School of Mines. He received his B. A. in physics from Lawrence University, and an M. S. and Ph.D. in optical sciences from the University of Arizona.


Joe Schaffer

Joe Schaffer currently serves as the President of Laramie County Community College, Wyoming’s largest community college. Laramie County Community College, also known as L-Triple C, is a fast-growing, comprehensive college with a main campus located in the state capitol at Cheyenne, and outreach campuses in Laramie and Pine Bluffs, WY. Prior to joining LCCC, Joe held many positions at Montana State University-Great Falls, including adjunct faculty, director of outreach, assistant dean of outreach and workforce development, and associate dean/chief academic officer. From 2008 to 2012 he served as the campus’ Dean and Chief Executive Officer. For more than a decade, Joe has also owned and operated a website design and internet consulting company. He received his Associates of Arts degree from Bemidji State University, a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Resource Management from The University of Montana, his Masters of Science in Technical Communication from Montana Tech, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from The University of Montana.


Scott Seville

R. Scott Seville has served as Associate Dean in the University of Wyoming (UW) Outreach School since 2005. He oversees special projects including the University's WICHE-Internet Course Exchange program, National Institutes for Health-funded Wyoming IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence Program and directs the statewide network of Regional Academic Centers. Seville is also Associate Professor of Zoology and Physiology and has taught a variety of courses using different distance approaches. Prior to joining the faculty at UW he was a NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ontario (Canada) Ministry of Natural Resources. He received his B.S. in Zoology and Physiology from San Diego State University, and a second B.S. in secondary science education, M.S. in Parasitology, and Ph.D. in Zoology and Physiology all from the University of Wyoming.


Pat Shea

Pat Shea, Director of WICHE Internet Course Exchange, will serve as the principal investigator. In this capacity, she will be responsible for coordination of all activity related to NANSLO, convening project meetings, managing communications among project partners, the broader WICHE community, providing oversight of the online faculty community Web site, coordinating activities among the project partners and the evaluator, and providing oversight on project dissemination activities. Ms. Shea is instrumental in the Western Academic Leadership Forum and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, which provides academic leaders in the WICHE states with venues for exchanging information and ideas, sharing resources and expertise, and collaborating on regional initiatives. She also directs the WICHE Internet Course Exchange, which allows institutions to share capacity in online courses and programs. Prior to holding these positions, Shea was assistant director of WCET, a WICHE initiative to advance the effective use of technology in higher education. Before coming to WICHE in 1996, she managed special projects for the technology division of the National School Boards Association, and directed information services for the Association of Telemessaging Services International.


Mary Burgess

Mary is the Director of Curriculum Services and Applied Research at BCcampus, where she works on a variety of projects in the area of Open Educational Resources. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies (CTET) at Royal Roads University. Mary has also worked as an instructional designer and as a business analyst on educational technology projects in the higher education sector. Mary has a BA in Liberal Studies and a graduate certificate in the Applied Management of Information Technologies from the University of Victoria and a Master of Educational Technologies from the University of British Columbia. Mary is based in Victoria, B.C.



Marlene Tignor

Marlene Tignor is a native Kansan who now calls Wyoming home where she holds the position as Vice President of Instruction at Laramie County Community College. Prior to moving to Wyoming, Marlene served as Dean of Instruction at North Central Missouri College in Missouri. Before heading to NCMC, she was the Associate Dean for Science and Technology at Labette Community College in Kansas. She holds a doctorate degree from Kansas State University, a master's degree from Pittsburg State University, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary of the Plains College. She has served on the board of directors for both the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA).



NANSLO staff Biographies


Gina Bennett

Gina Bennett is a faculty member at College of the Rockies, where she coordinates distance learning and curriculum innovation activities. She serves as primary liaison for the College’s involvement in provincial e-learning initiatives through BCcampus. Previously, her roles as educator have included Biology Lab Instructor, Literacy Educator, online GED teacher, and instructor of adult foundational Math, English, and Computer Skills. Bennett received her B.Sc. from Simon Fraser University and a M.A. in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University.


Dan Branan

Dan Branan is currently the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO) Project Manager. He provides leadership and coordination for the many subject-area teams that work on this project. Previously, he served as Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1996 – 99, 2004 – 2011), Co-Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (2005 – 2007) and Research Director for the Institute for Information Technology Applications (2005 – 2007) all at the USAF Academy. Branan received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of South Alabama, his M.S. in inorganic chemistry from the Ohio State University and Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Denver.


Ron Evans

Ron Evans has been an instructor at North Island College’s Bella Coola Centre since 1982. To serve this very small remote community distance education was required. He wrote web-based science courses to serve remote communities on the BC coast. This led to a web-based provincial level physics course, BC’s first entirely on-line lab science course, first year Space Science and Astronomy, the Tatla Lake On-line Observatory, the Web-based Associate of Science project and the Remote Web-based Science Laboratory that is now the NANSLO project centre piece. BA in Physics from SUNY at Plattsburgh. MSc in Physics/Astrodynamics from Pacific Western University at a distance.


Catherine Weldon

Catherine Weldon is the Project Coordinator for the NANSLO project. She maintains the project wiki workspace where Biology, Chemistry and Physics Discipline Panels collaborate while also attending to general management and project timelines. Catherine has a broad entrepreneurial business development background in fields such as telecommunications, healthcare, publishing, and energy. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at San Diego and an M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Colorado's Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program.