Learning, Design, and Technology Alumni
My name is Karen Pollack. I'm an affiliate faculty member of Instructional Systems in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems in the College of Education at Penn State University. I am also the Director of Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Programs here at the Penn State World Campus. My research interests include instructional design, collaboration, and hybrid and blended learning.
As Director of Academic Affairs, I am responsible for leading the development and delivery of more than 30 undergraduate programs. I also have responsibility for implementing Penn State’s Blended Learning Initiative and managing relationships with campuses that are engaged in blended learning. In that role, I facilitate multi-campus use of instructional materials and courses that provide high-quality, flexible learning opportunities for students. I have been with the World Campus since its launch in 1998, working extensively with our Education and K-12 portfolio. In addition I held various communications and management roles at Penn State since 1991. I earned my M.A. in telecommunications studies and a Ph.D. in instructional systems, both from Penn State.
Earning my doctorate in Instructional Systems through Penn State’s College of Education was one of the most personally and professionally rewarding endeavors I have undertaken – one of life’s great milestones that you look back upon with gratitude and pride. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to pursue my studies with renowned faculty researchers in the field of instructional systems. I am proud that I was able to reach my goal, with the support of those same faculty members, my peers and colleagues, and my family. For me, graduate education was an energizing, engaging, and intellectually stimulating pursuit. Once I started, I literally could not stop. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. I was inspired by our faculty. I was also inspired by my fellow students: their diverse nationalities, cultures, and interests; their dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, the sacrifices they made in the pursuit of that knowledge. These shared experiences, in turn, made me want to be a better student and a better citizen of the world.
Luis C. Almeida
Luis C. Almeida received a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems in 2008. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Communications Media at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). He is also the Director of the Applied Media and Simulations Game Center at IUP and International Columnist for the Investments and News Group (Investimentos e noticias). He has worked as a researcher for both the EETT and CFF grants. He has presented in regional, national and international conferences, e.g., ECA, AECT and AERA. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed academic journals including the British Journal of Education Technology and the Journal of Communications Media.
"The Instructional Systems Program has helped me to become a scholar. The research knowledge I received from INSYS have been instrumental in my current position as a doctoral faculty in a doctoral granting institution," says Almeida.
David Magolis is the Interim Director of Library Services and Assistant Professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems from Penn State in August 2010. His dissertation explored Homeless Veterans’ voices as they relate to our educational system and their perceptions of an ideal school. David’s dissertation is titled “Silent voices: Homeless Veterans’ educational experiences and perceptions on idealized design of schools”.
David shares, “the Instructional Systems program at Penn State promotes burgeoning researchers to work closely with faculty to explore their research interests. Most importantly, the Instructional Systems curriculum incorporates a research apprenticeship, which empowers students to conduct research independently or with classmates while guided by an experienced faculty member. As a novice graduate level researcher, the apprenticeship afforded me with multiple research experiences that subsequently lead to the successful completion of my dissertation. Without the research support and collegiality of the research apprenticeship group lead by Dr. Alison Carr-Chellman, my dissertation would have been a formidable study to complete. The research apprenticeship provided constant encouragement and feedback throughout the dissertation process. ”
Yu-Chang Hsu is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University. He earned his Ph.D in Instructional Systems (minor in Educational Psychology) from the Pennsylvania State University. Before joining BSU, he was a post doctoral scholar of assessment and evaluation with the College of Engineering at Penn State, for the Toys' n MORE project funded by National Science Foundation. His research interests include learning and instruction innovation through emerging technologies, cognitive and metacognitive processes of integrating multiple external representations in STEM fields, and information and new media literacy. He has authored several refereed journal articles and presented research findings in various national and international conferences. He was selected as one of the mLearning Scholars of Boise State University and recently awarded a grant as a Co-PI by Idaho Digital Learning Academy for analyzing student online learning patterns data and model development.
"INSYS provides a strong foundation yet allows me to put together a customized program for myself to achieve my goals in the academia. We have reputable, resourceful, and caring faculty who are always there to guide our advancement in profession," says Hsu.