Emerson Alumni Hall

Better Together: Student Teams that Work

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

J. Wayne Reitz Union
Rion Ballroom

Directions | Registration


Do your students grumble and roll their eyes when they hear “group work”? Despite aversion to group work, collaborative learning techniques are highly effective for facilitating student learning. Diverse student groups help students tackle challenges and problems creatively while enhancing their comprehension.

8:00 – 8:30am

Breakfast and Networking, Rion Ballroom

Breakfast catered by Classic Fare

8:30 – 8:40am

Welcome, Rion Ballroom

8:40 – 9:00am

Exemplary Online Awards and Rising Star Awards, Rion Ballroom

Alexandra Bitton-Bailey, Center for Teaching Excellence
The Exemplary Online Awards recognize quality and innovation in online course design, development, and teaching. The Rising Star Awards recognize ongoing commitment to teaching improvement.

9:10 – 10:00am

Breakout Sessions A

  • Spherical, Video-Based Virtual Reality: Emerging Technologies at the Crossroads of Learning and Instruction
    Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D. and Bojan Lazarevic, Ph.D.
  • Designing for Student Interactions within Online Environments
    Megan Podsiad, Ed.D., Kellie Goughnour, Brenda Such, Ph.D., Joleen Cannon, and Yuliya Antonenko
  • Collaborative Learning Teams + A Dose of Intention = Teamwork Skill Development
    Michelle Farland, Pharm.D., Kathryn Smith, Pharm.D., and Priti Patel, Pharm.D.
  • A Cross-Curricular Blended Learning Experience in the Humanities
    Barbara Mennel, Ph.D., Heather Maness, Ph.D., Ariel Gunn, Jaime Ahlberg, Ph.D., Anna Peterson, Ph.D., and Dylan King
  • 10:05 – 10:25am

    Resource Fair

    10:35 – 11:25am

    Breakout Sessions B

  • Comfortability with Uncomfortable Spaces: Creating Spaces for Critical Transformative Dialogues
    Cecilia Suarez, Ph.D. and Jarred Shellhouse
  • Internationalizing Upper Division STEM Classes
    Diba Mani, Ph.D.
  • Creating Inclusive Classrooms with Diverse Students
    Kate Fogarty, Ph.D.
  • Building Inclusive Classroom Communities
    Ann Christiano
  • 11:35am – 1:05pm

    Lunch and Panel

    Lunch catered by Classic Fare

    A panel of faculty and industry leaders will share their perspectives and expertise on diverse teams that work.

    1:10 – 1:30pm

    Resource Fair

    1:40 – 2:30pm

    Breakout Sessions C

  • Engaging Diverse Teams of Students in Collaborative Research via Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs)
    Anthony Auletta, Ph.D.
  • Diversifying Design – Using Diversity to Improve Creative Ideation
    Sean Niemi, Ph.D. and Matthew Traum, Ph.D.
  • Global Learning Gaps? First, Tell Me Who You Are: The Impact of Ethnicity and Gender
    Paloma Rodriguez, Timothy Brophy, Ph.D., and Mary Kay Carodine, Ph.D.
  • 2:40 – 3:00pm

    Wrap Up, Rion Ballroom

    Raffle Giveaway *must be present to win

    Keynote Panel

    Raegan Burden


    Raegan L. Burden, MMC

    Lecturer of Cultural Engagement, Department of Advertising

    As the first “Lecturer of Cultural Engagement” with the University of Florida’s Department of Advertising in the College of Journalism and Communications, Raegan thrives on bridging the gap between theory and real-world application. She specializes in monitoring trends and opportunities for advertising’s role in shaping the cultural, social, political, and ethical trust between institutions and audiences. Her teaching and research areas of interest are focused on the intersections of culture, brands, and psychology. In particular, how these segments affect/effect diverse populations and women across the lifespan.

    Kevin MacPherson

    Kevin L. MacPherson

    Clinical Lecturer, Assistant Director of Clinical Education & Physical Therapist

    Dr. MacPherson is an accomplished physical therapist, graduating from the University of Florida, achieving both a clinical doctorate and manual therapy certification with the University of Saint Augustine, and fellowship with Regis University. He provides instruction to students in the UF Physical Therapy program. His hope is to assist students in surpassing the standard level of critical thinking seen within his profession.

    Marko Suvajdzic

    Marko Suvajdzic

    Associate Director and Associate Professor, Digital Worlds Institute

    Marko’s experience includes a range of digital startups and educational projects from artificial Intelligence-intensive video game titles for major corporate clients to co-founding 5 of his own startups. Marko was the founder of the Computer Arts Department at the Academy of Art in Serbia, and serves as the CEO of the multi-national game studio O2D, Inc. He has lectured internationally at schools and conferences in the U.S.A., U.K., India, Serbia, China, and Norway.

    Nereida Perez

    Nereida (Neddy) Perez

    Global Chief Diversity Officer for McCormick & Company

    In her role at McCormick she leads the development and implementation of a global diversity & inclusion strategy for the 130 + year old spice and flavor company. Neddy has worked in various industries in the Human Resources, talent acquisition and diversity space for more than 24 years in various countries like the UK, Netherlands, U.S. Mexico, China and India. She is an internationally recognized leader in the design of STEM and Women’s Leadership development initiatives.

    Sofia Forwood

    Sofia C. Forwood

    Student, Combined M.S. in Management and B.A. in Economics

    Sofia is in her third year at UF pursuing a combined M.S. in Management and B.A. in Economics with minors in French and Geography. Beyond academics, Sofia has served as Operating Director of CLAS Student Council, Site Leader to the Brown Center for Leadership and Service, Vice President of Kappa Alpha Theta and mentor to two first-generation students.


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    Ann Christiano

    Ann Christiano
    Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications, UF College of Journalism and Communications and Director, Center for Public Interest Communications

    Ann Christiano is developing a first-ever curriculum in public interest communications, connecting practitioners and scholars who are working in the field, and nurturing and sharing research that can advance the emerging discipline. Ann also directs the frank gathering, which brings together leaders from around the world who are working at the front lines of social causes, as well as scholars and funders to share the best of what they know in Gainesville every February.

    Anna Peterson, Ph.D.

    Dr. Anna Peterson
    Professor, Religion

    Anna Peterson is professor in the Department of Religion. Her teaching and research address social and environmental ethics and religion’s role in social change and the public sphere. Her recent books include Being Animal: Beasts and Boundaries in Nature Ethics (2013), Religion and Ecological Crisis, co-edited with Todd LeVasseur (2016), and two forthcoming books: Cats and Conservationists: The Debate over who Owns the Outdoors, co-authored with Dara Wald, and Works Righteousness: Material Practice in Ethical Theory.

    Ariel Gunn

    Ariel Gunn
    Instructional Designer

    Ariel Gunn is a higher-education professional with twenty years’ experience in teaching, writing/learning center administration, and instructional design. Her research and instructional design interests include writing assignments and digital tools that promote equitable collaboration and critical thinking. Ariel received her MA in English from UF and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Technology.

    Anthony Auletta, Ph.D.

    Dr. Anthony Auletta
    Lecturer, Entomology and Nematology Department

    Anthony Auletta is a lecturer in the Entomology & Nematology Department at the University of Florida. At the heart of his teaching program are course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), which bridge the gap between the classroom and laboratory by engaging students in authentic research projects as part of their curriculum. Through this and his other teaching efforts, he hopes to help students foster a lifelong interest in science and appreciation for insects.

    Barbara Mennel, Ph.D.

    Dr. Barbara Mennel
    Professor, English & Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

    Barbara Mennel is the Rothman Chair and Director for the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. She is Professor of Film Studies with a joint affiliation in the Departments of English and of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Her recent books include Women at Work in Twenty-First-Century European Cinema (University of Illinois Press, 2019) and the second and revised edition of Cities and Cinema (Routledge, 2019).

    Bojan Lazarevic, Ph.D.

    Dr. Bojan Lazarevic
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Education Technology

    The scope of Dr. Lazarevic's research interest encompasses the intersection of online teaching methods, emerging technologies, virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D modeling/printing, cognition, and immersive multimedia development. Currently, he is a principal researcher for the following two projects: a) Facilitating Community of Inquiry through Screencasting and Video Announcements and b) VR Across Disciplines. To date, Dr. Lazarevic has published two books and a number of papers in both peer review journals and conference proceedings. He is finalizing his third book entitled Presentation Media for K-12 Teachers.

    Brenda Such, Ph.D.

    Dr. Brenda Such
    Assistant Director, Center for Online Innovation and Production

    Brenda Such, Ph.D., is an assistant director of course production at the Center for Online Innovation and Production. She and her team focus on the building of online courses particularly for the social sciences, humanities, and digital arts. She also oversees multimedia production, and treasures the opportunities to innovate with new technologies for online education.

    Cecilia Suarez, Ph.D.

    Dr. Cecilia E. Suarez
    Assistant Professor, Agricultural Education and Communication

    Dr. Cecilia E. Suarez is the Assistant Professor of Leadership and Intercultural Communication for the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. She also serves as faculty affiliate for the Center for Latin American Studies, the Education Policy Research Center, faculty-in-residence for Hispanic Latino Affairs, and on the executive board for Café Latino in IFAS. Her research focuses on access and equity of education through culturally relevant teaching and leadership practices.

    Diba Mani, Ph.D.

    Dr. Diba Mani
    Lecturer, Applied Physiology & Kinesiology

    Diba Mani earned her degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, after which she directly moved to Gainesville to teach in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. Diba most enjoys the human component of any work she is engaging in, be it research in the field of geriatrics or teaching college students in the classroom. Diba is an internationally-certified judo referee, assistant coach and faculty advisor of the Gator Judo Team, and also a regular vinyasa yoga practitioner. She is passionate about diversity and cultural promotion through involvement in groups such as the Iranian American Academics & Professionals and the Cultural Awareness Team of the UF College of Health and Human Performance.

    Dylan King

    Dylan King
    Academic Advisor

    Dylan King is an Academic Advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida, primarily working with distance students in the UF Online Program, as well as students in the Intersections Scholars Program. Dylan received his degrees in flute performance from the University of Florida, and Stetson University, and performs with the Gainesville Orchestra and the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, and conducts the Gainesville Flute Ensemble.

    Heather Maness, Ph.D.

    Dr. Heather Maness
    Instructional Designer

    Dr. Maness is a triple Gator grad and has worked at UF in various capacities for over 15 years. She has a passion for leveraging technology, especially learning analytics, to solve education challenges that improve student learning. Her research focuses on stakeholder (employers and students) evaluation for curriculum development and continuous quality improvement.

    Jaime Ahlberg, Ph.D.

    Dr. Jamie Ahlberg
    Associate Professor, Philosophy

    Jaime Ahlberg has been a member of the UF Philosophy Department for nine years. Her research interests lie in ethics and political philosophy, and in the relationship between theory and practice. She has taught courses in these and related areas, and a new Quest 1 course on Ethics in the Public Sphere. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences awarded her a Teacher of the Year award in 2016. She is co-convener of the Ethics in the Public Sphere Intersections group.

    Jarred Shellhouse

    Jarred A. Shellhouse
    Marketing & Communication Specialist/Graduate Student, Agricultural Education and Communication

    Jarred Shellhouse is a marketing and communication specialist and master’s student in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, specializing in leadership development. His research focuses on mentorship and identity development within young adults. He hopes to better understand and facilitate leadership and mentorship with individuals that have contrasting identities, especially as they relate to gender, sexuality, and religion.

    Joleen Cannon

    Joleen Cannon
    Director of the Center for Online Innovation and Production

    Joleen Cannon, M.Ed., is the director of the Center for Online Innovation and Production. In the past 20+ years, she has labored and overseen multiple teams focused on IT support, network services, and instructional design within the private sector and higher education institutions. She has coordinated with UF Online to create programs and to manage the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of online courses.

    Kate Fogarty, Ph.D.

    Dr. Kate Fogarty
    Associate Professor, Family, Youth & Community Sciences

    Kate Fogarty is an associate professor and youth development/4-H specialist with UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences. She has served for 15 years as a faculty advisor to UF’s Collegiate 4-H club and taught undergraduate and graduate FYC courses in youth development for as long. Kate’s research specializes in youth mentoring programs and ways to prevent adolescent risk and promote resiliency.

    Kathryn Smith, Pharm.D.

    Dr. Kathryn J. Smith
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy & Translational Research

    Dr. Smith’s teaching and educational scholarship interests include ambulatory care practice, the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process, and Personal and Professional Development. She is the Leadership Professional Certificate Director and teaches leadership concepts in required and elective courses. She was recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 2018 with the Innovation in Teaching Award.

    Kellie Goughnour

    Kellie Goughnour
    Instructional Designer II

    Kellie Goughnour, M.Ed., is an instructional designer for the online STEM production team at the Center for Online Innovation and Production. Her primary responsibility is to foster collaborative working relationships with faculty, creating engaging learning experiences. Most recently, her focus has been to test and evaluate student interactions within online video content.

    Mary Kay Carodine, Ph.D.

    Dr. Mary Kay Carodine

    Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs

    More information coming soon.

    Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D.

    Dr. Matthew Schmidt
    Associate Professor, School of Teaching and Learning

    Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Florida in the Educational Technology program. As an applied researcher in the field of Instructional Design and Technology, his work focuses on the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative educational courseware and computer software using learner experience design methods, and with a particular focus on individuals with disabilities and their families. His research specifically investigates three-dimensional virtual learning environments, mobile learning, and online learning environments.

    Matthew Traum, Ph.D.

    Dr. Matthew J. Traum
    Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

    Matthew J. Traum (Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is Co-Investigator of the MERGE Lab with teaching and research focus on best practices for Mechanical Engineering Design instruction. Bringing to UF over 10 years of teaching experience both at the college and high school levels, Dr. Traum was previously the founding chief executive of Engineer Inc., an engineering education technology company that designs STEM lab equipment and curricula.

    Megan Podsiad, Ed.D.

    Dr. Megan Podsiad
    Instructional Designer III

    Megan Podsiad, Ed.D., is a senior instructional designer for the online STEM production team at the Center for Online Innovation and Production. She primarily focuses on adaptive learning in online education, assisting with student learning and experiences within online science courses.

    Michelle Farland, Pharm.D.

    Dr. Michelle Z. Farland
    Clinical Associate Professor, Division Head, Community Based Pharmacotherapy

    Dr. Farland’s educational research focuses on outcomes of team-based learning and personal and professional development. She has been recognized by the Team Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC) as a TBL consultant-trainer, by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as an Emerging Teaching Scholar and an honorable mention for the Innovations in Teaching Award. Dr. Farland is president of the TBLC and has served as a national speaker in the areas of diabetes, team-based learning, collaborative learning teams, and situational judgement tests.

    Paloma Rodriguez

    Paloma Rodriguez
    Director of the Office of Global Learning

    Paloma Rodríguez is the Director of the Office of Global Learning at the UF International Center. Her research interests include eportfolio pedagogy, career integration, faculty professional development, and on-campus opportunities to promote global learning. Her publications explore the use of eportfolio pedagogy in international programming and the role of global certificate programs for the advancement of comprehensive internationalization.

    Priti Patel, Pharm.D.

    Dr. Priti Patel
    Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacotherapy & Translational Research

    Dr. Patel is the Director of Personal and Professional Development curriculum for the College of Pharmacy. She completed and ASHP-accredited drug information residency at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals in Fort Washington, PA. Prior to joining UF, she was an associate clinical professor at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, and co-director of the St. John’s University drug information service at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

    Sean Niemi, Ph.D.

    Dr. Sean R. Niemi
    Lecturer, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

    Sean R. Niemi, Ph.D. is a Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and founder of the MERGE (MEchanical engineeRing desiGn pEdagogy) Lab focusing his research and teaching efforts on Capstone Design, Mechanical Design, Design for Manufacturing, and Instrumentation Design. Sean co-advises the UF Rocket Team, mentoring a group of interdisciplinary students in developing a 10,000 ft. apogee rocket for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. He also mentors several members of both the FSAE combustion and electric vehicle teams. He has worked in industrial maintenance and in aerospace, with graduate work in soft matter engineering, 3D bio-printing, and biotribology.

    Timothy Brophy, Ph.D.

    Dr. Timothy Brophy
    Director of Institutional Assessment

    Timothy Brophy is the Director of Institutional Assessment at UF. Dr. Brophy holds national and international leadership roles in assessment and has designed and implements UF’s Assessment System. He has extensive experience with test development and data collection processes for standards-based assessments and knows large-scale assessment structures and processes, policy, and state and national assessment issues. Dr. Brophy is the SACSCOC liaison for the University of Florida and served on the SACSCOC Board of Trustees from 2011-2017.

    Yuliya Antonenko

    Yuliya Antonenko

    Instructional Designer III

    More information coming soon.

    Past Interface Resources

    Select a year to view handouts, presentations, and sponsors.

    Interface 2019

    “Learning Beyond 4 Walls”


    Join other faculty, staff, and graduate students in expanding student learning beyond the classroom!

    Handouts and Presentations

    • Experiential Learning through Virtual Exchange Part I: Global Perspectives, Crystal Marull, Ph.D., Ginny Greenway, Ph.D., Mary Risner, Ed.D., and Sonia San Juan
    • Escape Rooms: Helping Students Find the Key to Real-World Problem Solving, Angelina Vascimini and Stacey Curtis, Pharm.D.
      Handout | Powerpoint
    • Virtual Spaces and Graduate Research Mentoring, Swapna Kumar, Ed.D.
    • Out of Your Seats and into the Streets, Kevin Baron, Ph.D.
      Handout | Powerpoint
    • Experiential Learning through Virtual Exchange Part II: Student and Faculty Voices, Crystal Marull, Ph.D., Ginny Greenway, Ph.D., Mary Risner, Ed.D., and Sonia San Juan
      Handout | Powerpoint
    • Augmenting the Curriculum: Pedagogical Possibilities for Augmented Reality, Jason Crider, Madison Jones, Shannon Butts, and Sid Dobrin, Ph.D.
    • Integrating Career Readiness into your Curriculum, Jaysen Williams and Nili Cimand
    • Global Learning Spaces, Monika Oli, Ph.D. and Paula Delpech, Ph.D.
    • Connecting the Dots with ePortfolios, Andie Cochran, Mutlu Çitim-Kepic, Paloma Rodriguez and Rori Bloom, Ph.D.
    • Excursion Learning: Innovating Curriculum Inside and Outside the Classroom, Meg Leroy, Ph.D. and Rachel Slivon, Ph.D.
    • Experiential Learning among Native Americans: Challenges, Opportunities, and Insights for Political Scientists, Richard Conley, Ph.D.


    • ProctorU
    • Adobe
    • 3PlayMedia
    • iClicker
    • Canvas
    • Turnitin
    • Top Hat
    • Zoom
    • Shadow Health
    • Conference Department at UF
    • UF Distance Learning
    • Honorlock
    Interface 2018

    “Student Voices Transform Teaching”


    Interface 2018 is your ticket to making good use of the formative and summative information that students can provide. Learn how UF faculty collect and integrate student feedback into their courses.

    Handouts and Presentations


    • Platinum
      • ProctorU
    • Silver
      • Adobe
      • 3PlayMedia
      • iClicker
      • Canvas
      • turnitin
    Interface 2017

    “Beyond Multiple Choice: Creative Assessment”

    Presentation Teasers

    Recordings, Handouts & Presentations


    • Platinum
      • ProctorU
      • Adobe
      • Turnitin
    • Gold
      • Capsim
    • Other
      • UF Conference Department
      • Distance and Continuing Education
      • Center for Teaching Excellence
    Interface 2016

    “Lessons Learned by Instructors: Combining Active Learning with Technology.”


    The Spring 2016 Interface will be an interactive event highlighting low- and high-technology learning tools. Faculty presenters will share experiences and time-saving tips from their use of technology in teaching to support active learning methods. Try out the tools others have used to transform the teaching and learning experience. Be inspired by your colleagues from different disciplines across campus!

    Handouts and Presentations


    • Center for Teaching Excellence
    • UF Conference Department
    • UF College of Medicine
    • UF Distance & Continuing Education
    • Adobe
    Interface 2015

    “Critical Reflection in Action”


    The reflective practitioner values the “bigger picture” and the relationship between learning activities, courses, academic programs, and past and future life experiences and plans. The purpose of Interface is to look through the lenses of quantitative and qualitative methods and use these perspectives for reflection on practice. This process has a great deal of ambiguity; there is often no one right answer or solution for everyone. Rather, the intent of Interface is to spark ideas and foster discussion and conversation. Together, we will critically reflect on our own beliefs and actions, and create opportunities for growth, in teaching.



    Interface 2013


    Explore and examine pedagogy, the science of teaching, and the teaching practice itself in blended learning environments as they relate to “reading, reflecting, displaying, and doing” in our disciplines.



    Interface 2012

    “Open Resources, Open Possibilities”


    For ten years, MIT has made all of its educational content available for anyone wanting to use it. During the same time period, Stanford has championed Creative Commons, which has defined and made available a form of open intellectual property attribution. Many other institutions and organizations are moving in the direction of open content and resources. At the University of Florida, we are exploring the implications of “Open Resources, Open Possibilities” and the impact on teaching and learning in higher education by focusing our Interface Faculty Seminar on the use of open and free resources on our own campus.




    Interface 2011


    The Fall 2011 Interface program will feature a series of “lightning rounds” – short demonstrations of technology use and instructional practices – presented by selected UF instructors identified for their innovative and effective use of technology in teaching. In addition to viewing these demonstrations, Interface participants will have opportunities for face-to-face discussion with both presenters and peers.


    College of Journalism and Communications

    Interface 2010


    Interface is an opportunity to recognize innovative faculty, provide a forum for professors to share their work with other disciplines and foster interdisciplinary collaborations on future projects.