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Center for Instruction and Research Technology

Who We Are

Our Mission

The Center for Instruction & Research Technology’s (CIRT) mission is to empower UNF faculty by providing exceptional instructional, multimedia, and technical support, equipping them with the tools, training, and expertise to foster student success and excellence in scholarship.

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Rozy Parlette
Director of CIRT
(904) 620-5275

Rozy joined CIRT in 2015, initially as an instructional designer and later as the instructional design team lead. Before her tenure at CIRT, she taught at Duval County Public Schools and was an administrator for a New York City charter school. Rozy earned her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from UNF and a Master of Education in eLearning instructional design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She’s now pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at UNF. In her free time, Rozy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and watching classic films.

Creative Team

The Creative Team provides teaching and research tech support through project consultation, media development, and technology help. Notable services include equipment lending, media production, in-studio video and audio recording, 3D printing, graphic design, online surveys, and web publishing support.

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David Wilson
Associate Director, Creative Team Lead
(904) 620-1415

Dave has been working in higher education to support faculty with their teaching, research, and service since 2000. During that time he has worked on a diverse set of projects using a wide set of skills. Dave currently concentrates on media, online survey support, data management, and data visualization.

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Niam Jones
Video Producer
(904) 620-4425

Niam has lived in Jacksonville most of his life and has been a creative artist for over 20 years. When fatherhood began making the life of a traveling artist far less enjoyable, he returned to school to study digital media at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Before joining our team, Niam was the creative source for a corporate organization. When Niam isn’t channeling his creativity in the office, he is likely being creative outside the office, all while being a dad to 2 teens.

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Michael Boyles
Coordinator of Graphic Design
(904) 620-1899

Michael received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida State University and has accumulated more than 35 years of eclectic experiences. His design credentials cover a multitude of disciplines that incorporate print, environmental design, signage, trade shows, product design, package design, illustration, photography and web design. Michael has been with UNF since 2004, working with the Fine Arts Center. He is a founding member and past president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts/Jacksonville Chapter. He has taught graphic design and concept for more than 20 years at the college level, as well as advertising, illustration and color theory at Florida State University and Florida State College at Jacksonville.

David Johnson
David Johnson
IT Support Specialist
(904) 620-8860

David is a proud Jacksonville native, Osprey, and UNF alumnus, having studied business management and computer science. His experiences at UNF led him to serve the UNF community with his tech skills. However, David is both tech-savvy and creative — spending his free time composing music for a variety of mediums, gaming, and designing games.

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Andy Rush
Course Media Developer
(904) 620-5430

Andy has been working in the educational technology field for 25 years. He graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in science education at SUNY Cortland and went back to work there a couple years later. Next came work as an academic technologist at SUNY Oneonta, followed by a stint of 17 years at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where his son was born in 2002. Now officially retired from UMW, Andy will be working with UNF faculty to get their videos looking great, their audio sounding super, and maximizing the effectiveness of their online media. When not watching Netflix or YouTube videos, Andy spends his spare time cycling the roads and trails of North Florida.

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Shelby Scanlon
Coordinator of Communications
(904) 620-4295

Shelby is a Jacksonville native who studied emerging media at Ithaca College. Shelby is also a recent UNF alumna, having earned her Master of Science in communication management in 2023. Prior to joining our team, she was out cruising the Caribbean for Carnival Cruise Lines serving as the onboard media manager. When Shelby isn’t typing away behind her computer, she likes spending time with her family, traveling to different US National Parks, and scuba diving in the clear waters of the Florida Keys.

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Ron Shecut
CIRT Video Tech

Ron completed his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina. After graduation, he worked with PBS as a producer-director for 14 years. Ron continued in corporate media, working with various Fortune 500 companies in production and engineering design for an additional 20 years. In his free time, he enjoys day trips to sites around Florida.

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Craig Pedroza
CIRT Video Studio Tech

Craig moved from the Philippines to Jacksonville at a young age. He is a recent UNF alumnus, having earned his Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies focusing on film and production in 2023. Craig has won awards and created works ranging from full-scripted big-budget productions to documentaries to video marketing and pitching for companies. Some of his favorite past times are listening to old jazz while going night-driving and drifting through cafes trying to write something new.

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Deema Alhaddad
Creative Assistant Tech

Deema is pursuing a finance degree, intending to become a lawyer. She was born and raised in Las Vegas. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, creating art, and drinking coffee. Deema is an imaginative thinker and thrilled to be a part of CIRT.

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Jack Anderson
Creative Assistant Tech

Raised in Gainesville, FL, Jack transferred to UNF from Santa Fe College to pursue a degree in computer science. He enjoys a variety of hobbies, including music production, longboarding, and rock climbing. Jack also works on personal projects in his free time, developing skills in various creative software in hopes of making his own someday. After graduation, he plans to become a software engineer.

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Michael Rivera
Creative Assistant Tech

Michael was born in Puerto Rico but moved to Florida at a young age. He is pursuing a computer science degree, hoping to specialize in machine learning. Michael loves to watch his favorite shows, try out new foods, and play music outside of school. He plays multiple instruments in different ensembles.

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Amy Torrez
Creative Assistant Tech

Amy was born and raised in Miami, FL, but moved to Jacksonville to further her education in business management at UNF. Outside of hitting the books, Amy enjoys performing a variety of creative skills such as traditional and digital art, cosplay make-up designs, photo editing, playing the piano, and heading out to local conventions, which has become one of her natural habitats.

Instructional Design Team

The Instructional Design Team consults on instructional design best practices, assists in converting traditional course materials to the online learning format, and provides training and development related to practical and pedagogical skills necessary for developing and delivering interactive and engaging courses.

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Laura Jackson, Ed.D.
Assistant Director of Online Course Development
(904) 620-5387

Laura holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in deaf/elementary education from Flagler College, a Master of Arts in linguistics from Gallaudet University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in educational technology from the University of Florida. Laura began teaching online in 2008 and was faculty at UNF from 2010-2019. As an instructor, she completed extensive training in distance learning pedagogy and assisted faculty in designing and developing online courses. Her interests include spending time with her husband and daughter, watching Netflix, and reading.

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Natalie Gray
Senior Instructional Designer
(904) 620-4274

Natalie earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and classical archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Natalie then completed her Master of Arts in history at Appalachian State University, specializing in Roman history. After teaching history in higher education for several years, Natalie developed an interest in instructional design and online learning leading her to pursue a Master of Arts in educational technology leadership from George Washington University. Natalie enjoys reading, learning, and spending time with her pets in her spare time.

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Rob Rose, Ed.D.
Senior Instructional Designer
(904) 620-3927

Rob comes to the CIRT team after working as a teacher and instructional coach with Duval County Public Schools for many years. He holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in educational technology from the University of Florida. His dissertation focused on improving student engagement and learning outcomes in asynchronous online discussions. He is currently interested in integrating AI technologies into teaching and learning. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, kayaking, and creating stained glass windows..

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Jann Sutton, Ed.D.
Senior Instructional Designer
(904) 620-1994

Jann is passionate about the best practices and applications of educational technologies for teaching and learning. She came to UNF from the University of Delaware, where she held responsibilities for UDOnline distance learning development, research development, and academic technology services/faculty commons. In 2017 she earned her Doctor of Education in educational leadership, focusing on curriculum & technology. Jann enjoys learning about the Jacksonville area and open water scuba.

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Noelle Frantz
Instructional Designer
(904) 620-3927

Noelle holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education, a Master of Education in elementary education specializing in gifted education, and a graduate certificate in educational technology from the University of Central Florida. Before joining the CIRT team, she worked as a teacher with Duval County Public Schools and Orange County Public Schools in Orlando. In her free time, Noelle enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and caring for her cats.

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Wendy Poag
Instructional Designer
(904) 620-3287

Wendy joined the CIRT team in January 2020. Her professional experience includes a 22-year career as a K-12 educator. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school and served as an instructional specialist for Duval County Public Schools. She has trained teachers throughout her career on various topics, from technology to ethics. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and a Master of Science in educational technology, training, and development, both from UNF. Her free time consists of driving her two teenage daughters to all their extracurricular activities and watching performances and games as a proud parent.

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Khia Thomas, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
(904) 620-3927

Khia earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a master’s and doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan. Before joining the CIRT team, she served as an Associate Professor of Psychology at Broward College for 10 years, teaching traditional, blended, and online courses. Her interests in instructional design were piqued after being paired with one to create an interactive, engaging, fully online Psychology of Aging course. She is a Jacksonville native and, in her spare time, enjoys spending time with family, reading and listening to podcasts, catching up with friends, and traveling.

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Davee Thompson
Instructional Designer
(904) 620-3927

Davee holds a master’s degree in special education from Florida State University, where her love for designing and differentiating curriculum began. Before joining the CIRT team, she developed a curriculum and provided training to prepare contracted agents for their roles in various industries. Davee is a proud Teach for America alumni, where she began her career as a special education teacher in West Side, Chicago. You will find Davee trying out new restaurants in her free time, watching football with her family, and sitting on the beach with a book in her hand.

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Sara Wenger, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
(904) 620-3927

Sara earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Miami University, a Master of Arts in women's studies from The University of Alabama, and a doctorate in political and social thought from Virginia Tech. Before joining CIRT, she was an instructor of record for the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech, teaching a wide range of interdisciplinary courses. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching college football and the Premier League with her family, and taking long walks while listening to audiobooks.

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Danny E. Feinberg
Online Learning Librarian
(904) 620-5238

As the Online Learning Librarian, Danny works closely with the instructional design team and is an instructor in the Teaching Online (TOL) Foundation course. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education from Cleveland State University, obtained a Master of Library and Information Studies from Kent State University, and then a Master of Education in educational psychology from the University of Toledo. Danny has worked in academic libraries as a faculty librarian since 2007. His career began as an associate information literacy lecturer, transitioned to a liaison librarian, and has since worked as an online librarian in community colleges and universities in Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and now Florida.

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Sarah Moukhliss, Ed.D.
STEM Online Learning Librarian
(904) 620-2034

Sarah obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English from the Ohio State University, a Master of Library Science from Kent State University, and an Education Doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of West Florida. Her dissertation is on librarians and their preferred pedagogical methods when teaching at-risk students to use library technologies independently. Sarah has worked her entire career in libraries, including K-12 and public libraries, as a Visiting Instruction Librarian at UNF and an art college. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to her husband’s childhood home in Morocco, playing the flute, reading, and catching up with her twin sister, a nurse anesthetist in Ohio.

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Valdis Bean (they/them/their)
Coordinator of Accessibility Training

Val joined the CIRT team in October 2023. Before CIRT, they worked at the University of North Florida’s Library in Digital Projects and Preservation and UNF’s Student Accessibility Center. They are also a speaker, often invited to companies to speak about the importance of accessibility and service dogs. Val holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UNF and is pursuing a master’s in library and information science from the University of South Florida. Outside of work, Val enjoys traveling, visiting national parks, reading, keeping up with their various pets, and writing (and editing) books.

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Topaze Thomas
Accessibility Document Specialist
(904) 620-3927

Topaze holds a Master of Arts in human and resource development from Webster University and an Education Specialist degree in global training and Development from Northcentral University. She is an advocate for online learning. In her free time, Topaze enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and writing inspirational material.

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Sarah Allen
Graphic Designer
(904) 620-3927

Sarah received a Bachelor of Applied Science in digital media from Florida State College at Jacksonville and came to CIRT after working independently as an illustrator. She has experience creating art for community-driven projects and entertainment brands. She enjoys painting and spending time with her family in her free time.

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Alexandra Castro
Instructional Design Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Alexandra returned to UNF after earning her Bachelor of Science in public health with a minor in health education in 2017. Before joining CIRT, she worked as a teacher with Duval County Public Schools, a local charter school, individually with special needs, emotionally and behaviorally challenged children, and preschool-aged children. Her experiences have helped her develop a passion for education and technology in the classroom. In her free time, you can find her at the beach, roller-skating, or enjoying the beautiful state parks of Florida.

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Jesse Jackson (he/him)
Instructional Design Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Jesse is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in computer science with a minor in mathematics. He is an Army child and has lived in many places, including Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Kentucky, and Florida. He enjoys the world of web development and has an interest in cybersecurity. Outside of UNF, you can find Jesse playing VR, making websites, and playing with his two cats, Spooky and Dottie.

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Jouseph Said
Instructional Design Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Jouseph is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in computer science, honing in on his coding, algorithm design, and software development skills. Passionate about leveraging technology to solve real-world problems and enhance user experiences, he is eagerly preparing to make a meaningful impact in the future.

Online Learning Support Team

The Online Learning Support Team provides Canvas and instructional technology support to UNF faculty. The OLS Team includes professional staff and student assistants that are available to support faculty with their online learning needs.

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Michael Russo, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Online Learning Support
(904) 620-4798

Michael is a digital rhetorician, e-learning project manager, instructional designer, and educator who teaches college English and technical writing. He has advanced degrees in digital rhetoric, communications, and information design. Michael has supported instructors, students, and staff at UNF, Clemson, and Rutgers University, employing agile methodologies to empower self-organizing teams in collaborative workspaces built on creativity and trust. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and taking his pet Chihuahua, Chupacabra, on hikes.

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Tanem Coskun
Coordinator of Online Learning Support
(904) 620-4213

Tanem holds a Master of Science in higher education administration with a focus on student affairs and a Master of Education in educational leadership with a concentration in educational technology, both from the University of North Florida. She gained four years of experience working with students and faculty as a Telepresence Technician, where she conducted student/faculty training, created visual "how to" documents, and generally supported faculty and students upon request. Her long-term goal is to continue working in the educational technology industry for many more years. Tanem also enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, creating arts and crafts, spending time with her family and friends, and playing chase with her Pomeranian.

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Joe Stewart
Coordinator of Online Learning Support
(904) 620-4294

Joe joined CIRT in 2021 after working six years at other Florida colleges and universities as an adjunct professor and a support staff member. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2008 and has earned two Master’s degrees in the field of religious studies. In addition to his work, Joe is a published academic in the field of Dead Sea Scroll research and the Samaritans. Joe enjoys biking, kayaking, volunteering, and traveling in his free time.

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Yasmeén Merriweather, M.Ed.
Coordinator of Training
(904) 620-3548

Yasmeén is a Jacksonville native. She is pursuing a Doctor of Education in learning design and performance technology at Florida State University. Yasmeén is also a two-time University of Florida alumna. She holds a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in educational technology, a Graduate Certificate in instructional design, and a Bachelor of Arts in education sciences specializing in educational technology. Yasmeén is passionate about education, technology, instructional design, learning, and development. Prior to joining CIRT, she had relative experience in higher education and education non-profit management. Yasmeen enjoys tacos, volleyball, and traveling.

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Katie Commissaris
Knowledge Specialist
(904) 620-3927

Katie joined the CIRT team in December 2019. Her professional experience includes 11 years in the public school system, during which time she filled various roles, such as an elementary teacher, instructional coach, and school technologist. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Flagler College and a Master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University. She enjoys spending her free time taking whirlwind trips to Disney with her family.

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Sam Shaw (they/them/their)
Online Learning Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Sam moved from the town of Fort Walton Beach to the big metropolitan city of Jacksonville to pursue a degree in the coastal biology program at UNF. Sam’s passion for aquatic ecosystems steers many of their interests, including exploring wetlands, camping, and hiking with their dog.

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Haris Smajic
Online Learning Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Haris is a Jacksonville native pursuing an electrical engineering degree. He enjoys working with computers and learning more about the world of technology. Haris likes playing the guitar and spending time with his dog in his free time.

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Ronaldo Walker
Online Learning Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Ronaldo is pursuing a degree in Information technology with a concentration in networking. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, studying, reading, and exploring campus. Ronaldo also loves to explore the world of coding and learn about all things technology.

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Sierra Zapata
Online Learning Assistant
(904) 620-3927

Sierra is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice with a minor in computing. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, going on walks with her dog, meeting new people, and exploring new places with friends and family.

Admin Support Team

The Admin Support Team provides support in budget management, program assistance, and coordination of resources.

Michael Morris
Assistant Director of Operations
(904) 620-5391

Michael came to UNF as an undergraduate student and earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2015. Upon graduation, he began his professional career at UNF in the College of Education and Human Services before joining CIRT in 2019. In his current position, he manages departmental policies and procedures while acting as a liaison for university accreditation in addition to supervising departmental fiscal matters. Michael enjoys playing golf, brewing and sampling beer, and spending time with family.

Michele Verkerk
Budget Coordinator
(904) 620-4027

Michele started at UNF in the College of Education and Human Services in 2014 in an administrative support position. Her role in providing support to faculty, staff and students grew, and she transitioned into the Dean’s Office. In 2023 Michele brought her vast institutional knowledge to CIRT in the role of Budget Coordinator. In her free time, she can be found walking on the beach, reading a book, or experimenting with new recipes.