A message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola & Lake Nona Campuses
Meet the Lake Nona and Osceola Faculty and Instructional Development team, which partners with faculty members to enhance teaching and learning in many ways through the campus-based Center for Teaching/Learning Innovation.
Shara Lee, Campus Director, Faculty and Instructional Development
In partnership with her fellow faculty members, Shara Lee develops and administers professional development opportunities, leads a team of employees who meet with faculty members for one-on-one consultations through the Center for Teaching/Learning Innovation on each campus and supports the Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses in the achievement of their campus plans and initiatives.
Shara, who has been employed with Valencia since 2013, first joined the team as an assistant director with the department of faculty and instructional development at Winter Park. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be the first campus director and enjoys helping with teaching/learning pedagogy and serving as a facilitator and sounding board in the development and creation of learning experiences.
“I enjoy helping others to become increasingly confident in their skills and supporting them as a meaningful thought partner,” she said. “I feel strongly that one of the best ways that I can serve Valencia, and my campus community, is to ensure that current development opportunities continue to be evaluated based on their success in addressing the ever-changing needs of their intended audiences as well as in the importance of creating an environment that welcomes fresh, relevant ideas.”
Shara is a member of the Poinciana Campus Planning team and the Osceola Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridges to Baccalaureate Project grant team. She has been a participant in the Pivot 180 leadership development program and is co-chair with Michele McArdle, executive dean, Winter Park, for the Student Readiness for Online Learning Committee.
Shara has a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal/organizational communications from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Master’s in Business Administration from Stetson University and a doctorate in educational leadership in higher education from the University of Florida.
Gary Kokaisel, Faculty Developer/Instructional Designer
As a faculty developer/instructional designer, Gary Kokaisel supports faculty as they develop course and curriculum experiences, in all modalities, to improve student learning.
“I provide suggestions and alternative strategies to faculty in the use of technology for teaching and learning, help faculty to design and develop multimedia projects, while also consulting with faculty in regard to their pursuits in developing with the Essential Competencies of a Valencia Educator.”
Gary has been a Valencia employee for more than 14 years. In that time, he has served East Campus as a library assistant, student computer lab assistant and computer support specialist for the Learning Technology Center. At the Osceola Campus, he has held roles as manager of the Learning Technology Center, manager of Faculty and Instructional Development and now in his current position, he serves as faculty developer and instructional designer.
“Seeking out internal opportunities and being adaptable to change has been the story of my career at Valencia.”
Gary received an Associate in Arts degree from Valencia and a bachelor’s degree in humanities with a minor in cultural anthropology from the University of Central Florida. He has a certificate in instructional design and technology and is nearing completion of his master’s degree in instructional design in technology from Walden University. Gary has also completed PIVOT 5 and earned IT certifications in Microsoft Certified Professional, CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+.
Amy Eger, Faculty Developer/Instructional Designer
Amy Eger helps with Blackboard, educational technology and faculty development. First employed with Valencia from 2001 – 2005 as an instructional designer with OIT, she also served as an associate faculty member in the areas of education and student success. She returned to the College in 2013 in her current role.
“Being able to work with such a diverse group of faculty, I walk away each day learning something new,” Amy said.
With more than 15 years’ experience in the field of adult education and instructional design, Amy strives to find an answer for any question that faculty may pose who come into the Center for Teaching/Learning Innovation.
“My customer service goal is to make sure I have a smile on the face of all faculty leaving the Center.”
Amy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication media and dance performance and a Master’s of Arts degree in adult education and communications technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is “a dissertation away” from a doctorate in education in instructional technology and distance education. In addition, she has a graduate certificate from the University of Florida in instructional design.
Steve Cunningham, professor of EAP is also a faculty fellow within the department. Read The Grove for an introduction of all Office of Faculty and Instructional Development faculty fellows on November 20, 2014.