About our Volunteers and Service Learners

Our service-learning projects are completed by volunteers, including professional educators, instructional designers, and college students who are enrolled in instructional design and performance improvement programs. We encourage volunteers and students to use this experience for individual portfolios. In addition, some student volunteer candidates have used this experience to fulfill a practicum requirement, depending upon the requirements of their program. Since our inception in 2014, we have adapted our service-learning approach to include thousands of people in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Here is a summary of how our approach evolved as we expanded our reach.

Current Focus (2016 and beyond)

Our current focus is creating open educational resources (OER) for underserved adult basic education programs to support the millions of adults with low literacy and math skills. Since 2016, over 3,500 people have enrolled in our 100% virtual service projects in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to learn about adult basic education needs and to help us design and build a repository of free lesson plans for adult educators and their students that are aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards (see our Adult Learning Zone on OER Commons). For information about these projects, please see our roster of projects on our website.

Early Projects (2015 and Prior)

Within our early projects, volunteers and service learners were selected during a competitive application and review process. During each volunteer selection process, we made tough selection decisions based on the experience level of the applicants. For example, in the spring of 2015 project, we received four times more applications than available positions within the cohort. Our process began with our needs and goal consultation with our nonprofit clients. A Call for Volunteers describing the nature of the project and requesting volunteer help was posted on our website, and a copy of the call will be emailed to every student and faculty member who has expressed interest in either volunteering or mentoring volunteers.

As part of a competitive selection process, interested student volunteer candidates were asked to submit an application responding to the call. All student volunteers were sponsored by a faculty member from the student’s instructional design program. The faculty member acted as a reference for the student. Volunteers were selected based on the academic and work backgrounds of the student candidates.The following is the full roster of volunteers and service learners, along with their school or work affiliations and faculty sponsors (if applicable).

Fall 2015 Volunteer Subject Matter Experts, Designers, and Facilitators:

  • Filiz Aktan, Florida State University (Student)
  • Kaylea Algire, Praescient Analytics & James Madison University (Student)
  • Betzi Bateman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Aaron Burgess, Cincinnati Christian University
  • Lynna Casiano, Public School District
  • Zhaihuan Dai*, Florida State University (Student)
  • Gio del Vecchio, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Anneleise Dickens, Phoenix Academy, Rock Hill Schools
  • Camille Dickson-Deane, Montgomery County Community College
  • JR Dingwall
  • Amanda Duffy, American Institutes for Research
  • Joe French, Columbia Southern Education Group
  • Joshua Heinrich, University of Cincinnati
  • Valerie Henderson, Consultant
  • Colleen Jackson*, California State University Monterey Bay
  • Cheryl Keener, Keiser University
  • Heather Lamb, VBCPS Adult Learning Center Keya Mukherjee, Saint Leo University
  • Jessica Resig, The Pennsylvania State University & Old Dominion University (Student)
  • Gilbert Reyna*, Texas A&M University, Health Science Center, Rangel College of Pharmacy
  • Eric Stauffer, Virginia Tech (Student)
  • Brian Steinberg, Various Online Colleges, and The Ally Group
  • Stacy Swan, CorpU / Independent Contractor

*Prior service learner

Spring 2015 Service Learners:

  • Alexa Franklin-Burrell, Full Sail University (Faculty Sponsor: Michelle Haynes)
  • Carolina Sandoval, California State University – Los Angeles (Faculty Sponsor: Manisha Javeri)
  • Colleen Jackson, California State University – Monterey Bay (Faculty Sponsor: Bude Su)
  • Elaine Rettger, Arizona State University (Faculty Sponsor: Wilhelmina Savenye)
  • Hana Moudallal, Oakland University (Faculty Sponsor: William L. Solomonson)
  • Holly Marshburn, Nova Southeastern University (Faculty Sponsor: Barbara Christina)
  • Jason Engerman, Pennsylvania State University (Cohort Facilitator)
  • Paige Hale*, Morehead State University (Cohort Facilitator)
  • Shulong Yan, Pennsylvania State University (Faculty Sponsor: Alison Carr-Chellman)
  • Wendy Gentry, Virginia Tech (Cohort Facilitator)
  • Willette Brye, University of South Alabama (Faculty Sponsor: Joe’l Lewis)
  • Zhaihuan Dai, Florida State University (Faculty Sponsor: Fengfeng Ke)

*Prior service learner

2014 Service Learners:

  • Alexander Alderman, University of Missouri-Columbia (Faculty Sponsor: Sean Goggins)
  • Aysenur Ozyer, University of Colorado-Denver (Faculty Sponsor: Brent Wilson)
  • Candice Bowes, George Mason University (Faculty Sponsor: Karen Gardner)
  • Carol Kubota, Arizona State University (Faculty Sponsor: Wilhelmina Savenye)
  • Christina Chapman, Ashford University (Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Lockwood)
  • Cynthia Casillas, University of Wisconsin-Stout (Faculty Sponsor: Susan Manning)
  • Elizabeth Simpson, UW-Whitewater (Faculty Sponsor: Kay Lehmann)
  • Eric Ludwig, University of Colorado-Denver (Faculty Sponsor: Brent Wilson)
  • Eunsung Park*, Pennsylvania State University (Faculty Sponsor: Roy Clariana)
  • Gabrielle Blake, Old Dominion University (Faculty Sponsor: Jill Stefaniak)
  • Gilbert Reyna, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (Faculty Sponsor: Stephen Rodriguez & Susan Elwood)
  • Greg Williams, Brigham Young University (Faculty Sponsor: Richard E. West)
  • Helen Graves, University of California-Irvine (Faculty Sponsor: Dana Massin)
  • Jennifer S McIntosh, University of Tampa (Faculty Sponsor: Enilda Romero-Hall)
  • Karen Chang, San Francisco State University (Faculty Sponsor: Zahira Merchant)
  • Kathy McIlhany, Purdue University (Faculty Sponsor: Hannah Kim)
  • Keith Webster*, University of Tampa (Faculty Sponsors: Jonathan McKeown & Enilda Romero-Hall)
  • Kristian Spring, Brigham Young University (Faculty Sponsor: Peter Rich)
  • Maria Torres, University of Tampa (Faculty Sponsor: Enilda Romero-Hall)
  • Matthew Bolton**, The University of Memphis (Faculty Sponsor: Trey Martindale)
  • Mintian Guo, Indiana University Bloomington (Faculty Sponsor: Elizabeth Boling)
  • Paige Hale, Morehead State University (Faculty Sponsor: John Curry
  • Preeti Sharma, Arizona State University (Faculty Sponsor: Gary Bitter)
  • Rachel Ogg, University of Missouri (Faculty Sponsor: Rose Marra)
  • Richard Ringer, Arizona State University (Faculty Sponsor: Wilhelmina Savenye)
  • Ronda Dorsey*, Indiana University – Bloomington (Faculty Sponsor: Krista Glazewski)
  • Sabrina Berntsen, George Mason University (Faculty Sponsor: Nada Dabbagh)
  • Sandye Royer, Idaho State University (Faculty Sponsor: Jane Strickland)
  • Shaina Khan, Cal State East Bay (Faculty Sponsor: Li-ling Chen)
  • Shawn Haag, University of Minnesota (Faculty Sponsor: Angel Pazurek)
  • Xue Yang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Faculty Sponsor: J. Jessica Li)
  • Yiwen Zhang, Cal State East Bay (Faculty Sponsor: Li-ling Chen)

* Volunteered in both the Spring and Fall service-learning cohorts; **Deferred selection

Interested? Contact Us!

If you are interested in gaining real-world experience as an instructional designer, please contact us. Once we receive notice of your interest, we will contact you when courses and projects become available.


  1. Lydia Krueger says:

    I am an experienced instructional designer with a desire to use my creative and business talents for non-profit organizations. I’m not sure where I fit best with your “get involved” roles of volunteer designer, SME, or mentor. All three interest me. There are always new things to learn, and I enjoy being a student, teacher, and coach.

    I’ve got time, energy, and creative juices to spare, and I enjoy working with a design team.

    I would also be interested connecting your program/resources with philanthropies that I care about in Dallas.

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