Staff Directory

Center for Instructional Technology (CIT)

Ivon Foster-McGowan, Ph.D.

Assistant to the Provost for Special Projects and Academic Technology

Dr. Ivon Foster-McGowan began working at The University of Alabama in December 2008 as the Assistant to the Provost for Special Projects.  Among the many projects Ivon led in this role, some include the implementations of UA on iTunes U, online course evaluations, UA mobile app, campus-wide digital signage, access control for classrooms, and Qualtrics.  While retaining her special projects role, in 2012 she was asked to be the academic technology representative for Academic Affairs and assumed responsibility for The Center for Instructional Technology.  Prior to joining the University, Ivon’s career in technology administration included the Assistant Vice President for Academic Technology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the Interim CIO and Chief Operations Officer of University Technology Services at Florida International University, and Director of the Instructional Media Unit at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Ivon earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research from The University of Southern Mississippi in 1998, and holds bachelors and masters degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling.


Christina Frantom

Marketing and Communications Manager

Christina joined CIT in January 2010. She previously served as Director of Public Relations for the Office of Information Technology and as the Deputy Director of Communications for the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in White Plains, New York. Christina earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Texas A&M University and her Information Technology Infrastructure Library certification while at the University of Alabama. With more than 15 years’ experience in multimedia design, infrastructure, and management, Christina loves working with the variety of creative professionals in her department.


Karen Burns

Instructional Developer

Karen joined MMS in 2010. She was previously a corporate software trainer for Rexel, the world’s largest electrical distributor. Karen has a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Troy University, a master’s degree in Computers and Applied Technology from The University of Alabama and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership and Technology here at The Capstone. Karen provides web applications training to faculty and staff for all web applications managed by MMS.


Lou Baucum

Business Operations Coordinator

Lou has been with the university for over 35 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from UA in 1975. Lou wears many hats, but officially she is the Business Operations Coordinator for CIT.


Amber Howard

Office Associate

Amber came to the University in February 2008 after raising six children.  She started as an Office Associate in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness working for Dr. Robert Smallwood, Asst. to the Provost.  During this time she became building representative of Russell Hall and was the liaison between the building occupants and the University Construction Administration through two reconstruction phases and a  new roof!  In 2014, Amber transferred to CIT and continues in her role as Office Associate and Russell Hall building representative.  She is currently a ministerial student taking classes and pursuing her life- long dream of pastoral studies.


Audio/Visual Solutions (AVS)

Michael Poe

Manager, Audio/Visual Solutions

Mike joined the AVS team in 2014 and served as an integration specialist, primarily responsible for the installation and maintenance of A/V systems. Mike has over 20 years of experience with A/V system design and integration. He became manager in November 2016.


Jonathan BogardusJonathan Bogardus

Classroom Desktop Support Specialist

Jonathan joined the university in May 2001 as a PC/network analyst. In 2008 he began working for The Center for Instructional Technology as an Audio/Video and Computer Support Specialist.  He earned his bachelors degree in American Studies from The University of Alabama.  He has also received his Certifications as a CompTIA A+ Certified Professional, Apple OSX Desktop Support Essentials, Dell Desktop Hardware and Software Support, Tegrity Software Support, Smart Technologies Support, and the CTI-P101 Foundations of Crestron Programming. His primary focus is hardware and software troubleshooting, research, testing, design, deployment, customer support, and training for both classrooms and conference rooms.  Jonathan has 25 years of technical support experience in both A/V and Computer support and installation. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and has many hobbies that include home, car, and furniture restoration and renovations along with swimming, boating, biking, and drawing.


Tyler Cloud

Classroom Desktop Support Specialist

Tyler joined The University of Alabama in January of 2014 as a junior Mac administrator for eTech and the College of Arts and Sciences. He became part of Classroom Computer Support with Audio/Visual Solutions in January 2016. Tyler assists in imaging, maintenance, and support efforts for classroom computers. Tyler has over 8 years of technology and computer experience. He enjoys learning about technology and spending time with his family and friends in his free time.


FredEkstroem2Fred Ekstroem

AV Integration Specialist

Fred Ekstroem joined The University in 2015. He is primarily responsible for technical support for live events and help desk support calls ranging from classroom support issues, conference room support issues, digital signage support, and indoor and outdoor Emergency PA system support. Before joining the CIT team as a staff member, Fred worked in the office as an undergraduate intern for four years.


Steven Gregory

Classroom Desktop Support Coordinator

Steven joined The University of Alabama in February of 2012 as the Technology Specialist for eTech and the College of Arts and Sciences.  He became the Coordinator of Classroom Computer Support with Audio/Visual Solutions on July 21 of 2014.  Steven manages imaging, maintenance, and support efforts for classroom computers. Steven has over 10 years of technology and computer experience.  He enjoys growing his small computer business and spending time with his family and friends in his free time.


Shane Houston

Senior A/V Integration Specialist

Shane has been with the university since 2010. He is primarily responsible for control system programming and interface design, but also does system design work as well. Shane has several certifications related to A/V and control system interface design and programming, and is currently working towards an advanced level control system certification with Crestron.


Darrin Jason

Senior A/V Integration Specialist

Darrin has been with the university since 2009 and with Audio/Visual Solutions since 2010. He has a wide range of responsibilities, including project management, A/V system design, installation, programming, and maintenance. Darrin holds certifications in A/V system design and control system programming.


Steve Kelly

A/V Integration Specialist

Steve has been with the university since 2010. He has been the primary lead for live technical event support, supervised the AVS help desk, and assists with a variety of installation projects.


Dennis Key

Senior A/V Integration Specialist

Dennis joined the university in 1995. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications. Dennis has worked in a variety of technology related roles during his time with UA; he currently serves AVS as the project manager for Digital Signage.


Greg McDonald

A/V Integration Specialist

Greg joined the university in 2013, and primarily works with A/V system installation, programming, and maintenance. He holds certifications in A/V system design, control system programming, and lighting design and control. He enjoys soccer and watching movies.


Manny Omar

Classroom Desktop Support Specialist

Manny joined the university in August of 2014. He earned his bachelors degree in Communication Media from North Carolina State University in December of 2009. Manny is responsible for the AVS help desk, including supervision of the AVS student employees. He has a long-term goal to become an IT manager, network administrator, and/or consultant. Manny has five years of technical support experience and plans to continue his education at UA. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, drawing, and swimming.


Mike Payton

Senior A/V Integration Specialist

Mike joined Audio Visual Solutions in November 2000 after previously working in Engineering as an Electronics Technician Sr. He currently serves as a project manager and A/V system designer, and he also performs installation, control system programming, and maintenance work.


AVS4Jesse Popee

Audiovisual Technician

Jesse Popee has been with The University since 2016. He is primarily responsible for A/V and control interface installations including classrooms, conference rooms, digital signage, and the indoor and outdoor Emergency PA system. Before joining the CIT team, Jesse was a Hardware and Software Technician at ITS Computer Store in Chelsea, AL.


Wes WilliamsWes Williams

A/V Integration Specialist

Wes Williams has been with The University since 2016. He is primarily responsible for A/V and control interface installations including classrooms, conference rooms, digital signage, and the indoor and outdoor Emergency PA system. Before joining the CIT team, Wes was a Lead Programmer for Audio Video Architects in Tuscaloosa, AL. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama and is a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


Mike Wilson

Senior A/V Integration Specialist

Mike joined the university in 1989. He is primarily responsible for A/V project management and system design. He holds certifications in A/V system design and control system programming. Mike assumed interim management responsibility for AVS in March 2016 until November 2016.


Emerging Technology & Accessibility (ETA)

Rachel Shuttlesworth Thompson, Ph.D.

Director of Emerging Technology and Accessibility

Rachel began working at The University of Alabama in 2004 after receiving a Ph.D. in English-Applied Linguistics. She has been with the Center for Instructional Technology since 2007. Rachel serves as Director of Emerging Technology and Accessibility, assisting The University with the implementation of campus-wide instructional technology and with a new campus-wide web and instructional technology accessibility initiative. Rachel also teaches linguistics courses in the UA English Department when possible and serves as a WellBama Ambassador for several campus areas.


Kimberly SmalleyKim Smalley

Technology Accessibility Specialist

Kim joined Emerging Technology and Accessibility in 2015. Kim serves as the Technology Accessibility Specialist, assisting the University with technical support on the new campus-wide web and instructional technology accessibility initiative. She has previously worked as a web developer for University Libraries and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. Kim began working at The University of Alabama in 1999 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography in 2003 and a Master of Science in Interactive Technology in 2007 while working full-time. In 2007, she began working for Shelton State Community College as the Coordinator of the Faculty Resource Center. In 2009, she returned to The University of Alabama. Kim also teaches courses as an adjunct instructor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences and Shelton State Community College.


Faculty Resource Center (FRC)

Marilyn StaffoMarilyn J. Staffo, Ph.D.

Director, Faculty Resource Center

Marilyn joined the Faculty Resource Center in November 2005 after 20 years on the faculty at Stillman College. While at Stillman, Marilyn was an academic librarian with responsibility for the multimedia collection, developed the instructional technology curriculum for the Stillman Teacher Education Program, and served as Project Director for the Faculty Advancement Program in Technology. Marilyn was recognized twice by the Alabama Department of Education as an Alabama Technology Innovator. Marilyn earned a Ph.D. from UA in Instructional Leadership with extensive course work in instructional technology in 2001.  Her research interests include instructional technology decision-making, using technology for effective teaching and learning, and instructional technology trends and issues. Marilyn teaches as an adjunct instructor in the College of Education and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. Her background includes teaching face-to-face, blended, and online courses. She serves on dissertation committees for students conducting instructional technology research. Marilyn is a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Interactive Online Learning. Marilyn has been chair of the Technology and Learning Committee, the campus-wide academic technology governance committee, since 2010. As Director of the Faculty Resource Center, Marilyn provides leadership within the area of CIT that supports the use of the campus-wide learning management system and other instructional applications to enhance the teaching and learning process.


Rick Dowling

Coordinator of Faculty Development

Rick has been an employee of The University of Alabama since 1986. Rick received both his B.A. (Broadcast & Film Communication, 1985) and Masters degree (Interactive Technology, 2007) from UA. Throughout his career at UA, he has held seven different positions in several different areas on campus including the Office of University Relations and Center for Public Television. Rick teaches Advanced Post Production as an adjunct instructor in UA’s Telecommunication and Film Department, which allows him to use many of the instructional technologies the FRC supports. For much of the 1990’s, Rick produced a Center for Public Television program called Integrated Science, which gave him an opportunity to travel around the world. As Coordinator of Faculty Development, Rick is continually exploring ways to help faculty learn to use the instructional technologies supported by the FRC.  Rick and the Assistant Coordinators of Faculty Development provide online tutorials, conduct workshops, and provide individual consultations to meet the instructional technology professional development needs of UA faculty. Rick and his wife, Suzanne, are parents of an amazing young man named Sam. Sam has autism, which presents their family with a number of challenges and blessings. Both Rick and Suzanne actively seek to raise awareness about autism in the community.


Kevin Halbrook

Assistant Coordinator of Faculty Development

Kevin began working for the FRC as an undergraduate employee in 2006 and continued as a graduate assistant in 2007.  He joined the FRC full time after earning his master’s in Library and Information Studies in 2009 and is currently an Assistant Coordinator of Faculty Development. Kevin’s work with the FRC is largely focused on lecture capture systems and instructional technology for plagiarism prevention.  He leads workshops on these topics and offers assistance and support to faculty who use these and other instructional technologies.  Kevin is also interested in audio production and academic copyright law and is happy to share his knowledge in these areas with UA faculty.  Kevin enjoys meeting instructors from a variety of disciplines and helping them to use technology to enhance their teaching and improve student outcomes.


Katie Johnson

Assistant Coordinator of Faculty Development

Katie Johnson joined the Faculty Resource Center in September 2011.She began working for The University of Alabama in the spring of 2007.  Her first position with UA was in the College of Continuing Studies as an online technical support staff member where she was both a student worker and graduate assistant. Katie is one of two Assistant Coordinators of Faculty Development in the FRC. Her key areas of support are the campus-wide web conferencing product suite and student response clicker system. Katie is pursuing a Ph. D. in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in instructional technology. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Arts in Computers and Applied Technology in Education, and an Ed. S. in Educational Leadership. Katie’s research interests include using technology in pedagogically sound ways and the use of social media in education.


 Amy LeePard

Senior Learning Resources Functional Administrator

Amy joined the Faculty Resource Center as a Learning Resources Functional Administrator in 2013 after having served as graduate assistant in the FRC. In providing functional administration for the learning management system and cloud-based storage and collaboration tools, Amy serves faculty, staff, students, and other campus stakeholders from departments across campus. Amy provides functional administration and monitoring for instructional technology tools and assists with testing and updates to campus-wide systems. Amy serves as a liaison between the technical administrators, campus support staff, users, and vendor support. Additionally, Amy fields inquiries and resolves issues for instructional technology users and monitors and compiles pertinent information from vendor media and user community forums. When not problem-solving instructional technology issues, Amy enjoys letterpress printing, traditional hand bookbinding, hand papermaking, and exhibition planning. Amy has served as the Chair of National Exhibitions for the Guild of Book Workers since 2010, as curator of juried biennial exhibitions that have traveled across the U.S. to many prominent universities, libraries, and fine art museums. Amy holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies of Community Arts from New College at UA and is a candidate for the M.F.A. in the Book Arts in the School of Library and Information Studies.


 Chris Snell

Learning Resources Functional Administrator

Chris joined the Faculty Resource Center team in the fall of 2016. Chris assists in providing functional system administration and maintenance for UA’s learning management system (LMS), and helps facilitate communication between campus support staff, vendor support, and other campus stakeholders. While working on his B.A. in Interdisciplinary Linguistics from the University of Alabama’s New College program, Chris worked with the Center for Instructional Technology’s Audio/Visual Solutions for two years as an undergraduate student worker. Chris adds valuable prior experience with multimedia and technology. Chris is a former teaching assistant for a documentary film class at UA, worked with the organization Cru on donor relations via media, and has over three years experience with AT&T as a wire technician. Despite his love for technology, Chris enjoys any opportunity to hike and camp.


Erin Warner

Sr. Instructional Technology Support Specialist

Erin joined the staff of the Faculty Resource Center in May 2013. She previously worked as a graduate assistant in Emerging Technology and Accessibility during the transition from our prior learning management system. Erin is pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in social and cultural studies. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and English and completed a master’s degree in Women’s Studies at the University of Alabama. Erin provides leadership for the FRC instructional technology support team. She coordinates the testing of user features in the learning management system (LMS), communicates with the faculty development team regarding support issues, provides day-to-day management of the FRC support ticketing and reporting system, and develops and delivers the orientation and training for FRC graduate assistants. She also manages hardware resources for the Faculty Resource Center’s training facility.