Campus Technology Virtual Conference and Expo 2009:  Speakers

Josh Baron

As Director of Academic Technology and eLearning at Marist College, Mr. Baron is responsible for overseeing a wide range of instructional technology initiatives, including distance learning, faculty professional development, and learner support. He also plays a leadership role in strategic planning for the College in areas of academic and information technology. Mr. Baron was elected to the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors in 2008 and is also a member of the Education Dynamics Advisory Board. Before coming to Marist, Mr. Baron was the Associate Director of Instructional Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology. In this capacity, he helped lead a $10 million U.S. Department of Education technology initiative working both at the K-12 and college level. He was also a member for the Stevens Web Campus initiative and developed one of the first Stevens online graduate courses. Mr. Baron has presented at numerous higher education and K-12 conference including EDUCAUSE, NECC, Sloan-C, League of Innovation CIT, and the International Sakai conferences. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and holds a Master of Arts degree (online) in Educational Technology Leadership form George Washington University.

Gary Brown

Gary Brown is director of the Office of Assessment and Innovation at Washington State University. At WSU, he also led WSU’s collaboration with the International Coalition for ePortfolio Research, and he more recently was invited to co-direct the Web2ePortfolio Association for Authentic & Electronic Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) initiative, launched to provide information about the ePortfolio community in the U.S. and abroad. Brown has served as the lead developer of WSU’s widely recognized Critical Thinking Initiative, and he has worked with the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Project, which is focused on ePortfolio based assessment. At the heart of Brown’s work is a focus on outcomes assessment at WSU, work recently commended by WSU’s regional accreditors.

Geoff Fletcher

Dr. Geoffrey H. Fletcher is Editorial Director for the Education Group of 1105 Media. He has responsibility for all content related to Campus Technology, T.H.E. Journal, their web sites and e-newsletters. Prior to joining T.H.E., Dr. Fletcher was Assistant Commissioner at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with responsibility for curriculum, assessment, technology, textbooks and professional development. He was with the TEA for 11 years serving in various positions, all related to instructional technology. For over two years he also had responsibility for TEA’s information system, including the Public Education Information Management System. Dr. Fletcher also has served as the Executive Director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA). Dr. Fletcher holds a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University in English, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Miami University in English, and an ED.D in education from the University of Cincinnati with an emphasis on futures study, gifted education, and curriculum.

Joanne Humbert

Joeann Humbert is the Director of Academic Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology where she oversees media development for courses, Web services and emerging technology initiatives. Her group trains and supports the current academic technologies for teaching for the campus. She has served on several advisory boards, including the NMC Horizon Report, National University Telecommunications Network (NUTN), has served as a reviewer for the New York State Education Department Office of Higher Education for several Institutional Capability Reviews for distance learning and was a Sloan-C Consortium Pillar Editor on Student Success. In 2008, her Online Learning group received the New Media Consortium’s Center of Excellence Award recognizing demonstrated excellence and outstanding achievement in the application of technology to learning. Humbert currently co-chairs the Academic Technology Task Force at RIT. The goal of the task force is to provide a cohesive strategic plan for Academic Affairs that will make recommendations for organizational structure and resource allocation.

Linda Jorn

Linda Jorn launched the Digital Media Center (DMC), Office of Information Technology at the University of Minnesota over ten years ago. DMC team members work with faculty, staff and students to advance the thoughtful application of digital technologies. The thirty-six DMC team members provide research and evaluation, design, training, professional development and consultant services and promote Information Technology scholarship. Linda is part of the management team that supports enterprise learning systems and personal learning environments for over 55,000 learners. Linda’s current interests place the DMC at the intersection of rhetorical, management, leadership, learning, teaching and technology issues.

Stephen Laster

Stephen Laster, Chief Information Officer of the Harvard Business School, is a seasoned technologist, product strategist and business leader with extensive background in eLearning, Digital Community Building, CRM, Personalization, eCommerce, Enterprise Integration, Sales Force Automation and Order Management.

As CIO, Stephen leads a team of 110 professionals who oversee the School’s academic and administrative computing environment. Previously, he was Director of the Curriculum Innovation and Technology Group at Babson College. In addition, he was CTO, Babson Interactive, LLC, where he was the primary architect and driving force behind Babson’s adoption of eLearning. Prior to focusing his career on technology in an academic environment, Stephen held leadership and technical positions at Stride Rite, Art Technology Group, CrossComm, Advanced Business Technologies, Inc. and Sapient.

Stephen sits on the board of Recycline, and is an experienced speaker and consultant for companies such as Irving Oil, EMC and Super Duper Publications. He has been recognized by IBM for thought leadership in message-oriented middleware, and by Ed Tech Magazine as a thought leader in educational technology.

He holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Babson College.

John Lester

John Lester joined Linden Lab (the creators of Second Life) in 2005, bringing experience in online community development as well as a background in the fields of healthcare and education. Previously, John was the Information Systems Director for the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pioneered the use of the web in 1993 to create online communities supporting patients dealing with neurological disorders. As a Research Associate in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, he also created online collaborative education environments for professors and students to advance the case-based teaching method in medical education.

At Linden Lab, John initially focused on cultivating the education market, helping it evolve into the vibrant community it is today. He also founded Linden Lab's initial East Coast presence in Boston in 2007, which has grown to 30 employees. Currently, John is Linden Lab's lead Evangelist and Market Developer for all current and emerging markets (education, healthcare, enterprise, government, entertainment, and the arts). He acts as a product expert and strategist for organizations using Second Life as a platform for innovation, and frequently gives presentations at universities and conferences on best practices and strategies for success in virtual worlds.

John lives in Boston and is commonly referred to by his avatar's name in Second Life - "Pathfinder Linden."

Julian Lombardi

Julian Lombardi is an assistant vice president with Duke's Office of Information Technology, research scholar with Duke’s program in information science and information studies, and adjunct faculty member in Duke's Department of Computer Science. His research program is focused on immersive education and the design of social software systems that support deep collaboration and resource sharing across large numbers of users. Julian was one of the six principal architects of the Croquet project and is now P.I. of NSF-funded effort to advance Open Cobalt, an open source virtual world browser and construction toolkit. Julian also teaches about virtual worlds at Duke.

Eddie Maloney

Edward J. Maloney is the Director of Research and Learning Technologies for the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University. He works to define the university’s technology strategy for teaching and research and participates in national conversations about educational technology. He also coordinates the Academic Technology Coordinators' teaching of faculty in the use new technologies such as statistical analysis software, Learning Management Systems, Web development tools, and text analysis applications. In his combined role as both academic faculty and director of innovative technologies and learning designs for CNDLS, Maloney enjoys a unique vantage point for bridging the gap between traditional academic fields and emerging technologies.

Jordan Slott

Dr. Jordan Slott is a research engineer in Sun Microsystems Laboratories on Project Wonderland (, a free and open-source toolkit to build virtual worlds written entirely in the cross-platform Java Programming Language. His work focuses on the modularity and extensibility of the Project Wonderland software platform. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctorate from Duke University.

Jeremy Todd

Jeremy Todd is the Interim Director for the Office of Classroom Management at the University of Minnesota. This unique organization in Academic Support Resources is responsible and accountable for all central classroom issues including the course data base, scheduling, utilization, classroom technology, classroom facilities coordination, classroom planning/design/projects, support and advocacy. He is a previous presenter for classroom design and planning at Campus Technology 2009, the Society for College and University Planning’s international conference, and various facilities conferences.

Aaron E. Walsh

Aaron Walsh is Director of the Grid Institute, an international best-selling author and Boston College faculty. In 2006, he received the Teaching with New Media award for his work on Immersive Education. He received this prestigious national award for his pioneering work on immersive education, which was recognized as "...innovative, promising technology which holds the potential to significantly affect society in the near future." In 2007, Computerworld named him one of the forty most innovative people in the information technology industry. After more than a decade of research and development in the field, Aaron began using his prototype technologies to teach Boston College courses from a distance. At that time he coined the term "Immersive Education" to describe learning platforms that combine interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat, web cameras and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms.

Allyson Wells

Allyson Wells has 22 years of experience in the higher education industry in general management, marketing and risk management. Allyson serves as the General Manager of Business Process Services for SunGard Higher Education. Her duties include helping college and university executives and other leaders in higher education craft intentional strategies for institutional progress in the areas of institutional research & effectiveness, grants/sponsored research and curriculum development/online learning. Prior to joining SunGard Higher Education, Allyson held positions in alumni relations and development at DePauw University, the financial services industry with American International Group, Marsh & McLennan and Chubb Group.

Darren Wesemann

Mr. Darren Wesemann has over 20 years of experience managing global development organizations. Prior to joining SunGard Higher Education, Darren held a number of key positions with SunGard Data Systems, most recently as president of SunGard Infinity, a part of SunGard Financial Systems. There, he created and deployed the company’s service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models that offer customers innovative options for software delivery. As chief product officer, Darren has direct responsibility for our product management strategy and execution, with a goal of "shortening the distance" between market needs and the solutions we provide to address those needs.

Aimee Whiteside

Aimee Whiteside is a Research Fellow in the Digital Media Center (DMC), Office of Information Technology at the University of Minnesota. Aimee earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication at the University of Minnesota in August 2007 and a Graduate-level Certificate in Adult Learning Technology Integration. Aimee’s current projects include the Active Learning Classroom Pilot Evaluation, Bush Grant Learning Spaces Research (LSR), and several faculty-driven projects on exploring social presence in online and blended learning, integrating synchronous discussion into blended learning, using metacognitive strategies in asynchronous discussion, and transitioning curricular change through faculty development programs. Her research interests include formal and informal learning spaces, the sociocognitive aspects of learning technologies, online and blended learning environments, qualitative and innovative research methods, and technical communication.