Staff and Contributors

Since 1985 the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference has provided a transformative professional development experience for individuals working in the field of distance and online education–from teachers to instructional designers to administrators (and everything in between). The challenge is to address this rapidly changing landscape with the most current topics, technologies, and innovations to inform best practices. The Distance Teaching & Learning team collaborates with more than two dozen advisors and committee members from campus and around North America who help shape the conference program every year. Below is the 2019 list of contributors:

UW-Madison DT&L Conference: staff and contributors

Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI), Continuing Studies, UW-Madison


Headshot of Wendy FritzWendy Fritz
Standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before her, Wendy is the DT&L Conference Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She oversees the entirety of the event: executive and other sponsorship, funding, board and committees, planning, marketing, quality, programming, logistics and sustainability in collaboration with, (and in deep appreciation for) the amazing DT&L staff, volunteers, advisors, committee members and distance education enthusiasts.

Image to comeLouise Fowler
Louise is the conference workshop chair and helps shape the overall conference program schedule. She also leads selection of recipient for the Mildred and Charles Wedemeyer Award, presented each year at the conference.

Jenny Peabody
Jenny is an accomplished, creative, and detail-oriented event and marketing professional with experience in innovative public and private events. This is her first year serving as the DT&L Conference conference coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she is thrilled to be contributing her talents to such a unique conference! While Jenny is new to our team, she is more than happy to answer (or find the answer to) any questions you may have. You’ll know Jenny by her loud laugh, positive attitude, and exaggerated hand gestures.

Bridget PowellBridget Powell
Bridget is our newly-minted Conference manager, and her military background in planning the occasional Military Air Show is bound to come in handy. While following in the footsteps of the indefatigable Kimary Peterson will be a huge job, Bridget feels up to the challenge. She vows to curb her acronym usage but can’t promise she’ll stop telling bad jokes. When you see her at the Conference, give her a smile, tell her she’s doing a great job, and tell her to take a deep breath!

Janet Staker WoernerJanet Staker Woerner
Janet is a faculty associate/program manager for Learning Design, Development, and Innovation (LDDI). She provides excellent instruction for our Fundamentals of Online Teaching conference certificate. She is also responsible for digital credentialing for our certificate programs. Her research areas are social media, competency-based education, and artificial intelligence. Janet enjoys interacting with all her learners and creating a community of connection for all. When not spending time in the online space, she loves the outdoors with hiking and curling.

Tom Tobin headshotThomas Tobin
Thomas is the Conference conference programming chair and faculty associate on the Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI) team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he identifies trends and themes in the field of distance education; shapes the scope and focus of each year’s conference in collaboration with its advisory board and staff; finds the keynote, spotlight, and featured speakers for the conference.

Miranda Winkelman headshotMiranda Winkelman
As a recent graduate from the UW-Madison, Miranda is excited to share her beloved campus and city with each of you. While this is her first time experiencing the DT&L Conference, she is excited to see the all the behind scenes work come to life this August. During the conference, feel free to ask her any questions about campus life, local running paths, or just Madison in general.

Conference Committee

  • Thomas Arendalkowski, Learning Designer, Central Information Technology Services, University of Wisconsin Colleges/University of Wisconsin Extension
  • MaryEllen DelloStritto, Assistant Director of Research,Oregon State University
  • Leslie Dinauer, Professor and Doctorate of Management Program Chair, University of Maryland University College
  • Ollie DreonAssociate Professor, Millersville University
  • Hilda Glazer, Faculty Chair/Ed. Psych. and Director, Center for the Study of Play Therapy, Capella University
  • Julie Hewitt, Faculty Development, Distance Learning Center, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • Jana Hitchcock, Instructional Designer, Penn State World Campus
  • Colin Holden, Curriculum Manager, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Reginald Jackson, Senior Learning Engineer, Northwestern University
  • Mike Kern, Information Process Consultant, Cooperative Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Tim Lombardo, Instructional Designer, Lecturer, and Instructor, The Ohio State University
  • Janice Mertes, Assistant Director, IMT/Digital Learning, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Mark Millard, Director of Learning Design and Technologies, Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • James Moore, Director of Online Learning, DePaul University
  • Penny Ralston-Berg, Instructional Designer, Penn State World Campus
  • Anita Samuel, Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • David Stein, Associate Professor, Workforce Development and Education, Ohio State University
  • Terry Tao, Instructional Design Team Lead, Division of Continuing Education, Outreach, and E-Learning University of Wisconsin-Extension

Advisors and Contributors

  • Ryan Anderson, Director of Instructional Design and Development, Division of Continuing Education, Outreach, and E-Learning, University of Wisconsin-Extension
  • William Diehl, Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of Online Graduate Programs, Pennsylvania State University
  • Darcy Hardy, Associate Vice President, Enterprise Consulting, Blackboard Inc.
  • Tanya Joosten, Director, eLearning Research and Development, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Bruce Maas, Emeritus CIO and Vice Provost for Information Technology, Honorary Fellow School of Information, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Carlos Morales, President, TCC Connect, Tarrant County College District
  • John Orlando, Associate Director, Faculty Support, Northcentral University
  • Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning, Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service and Professor Emeritus of Communication, University of Illinois-Springfield
  • Rick Shearer, Director of LMS Conversion, World Campus Learning Design, Pennsylvania State University
  • Thomas Smith, Emeritus Director, Engineering Telecommunications Programs, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension
  • Vincent Spezzo, Learning and Technology Specialist, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Ellen Wagner, Vice President, Research, Hobsons
  • Olena Zhadko, Director of Online Education, Lehman College, CUNY

Executive Sponsor Committee

  • Jeffrey Russell, Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning and Dean of Continuing Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison