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Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios

Campus partners from across NC State University will be leading sessions at the TA Workshop. Learn more about our guest instructors by reading their short bios below.

Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., is a faculty scholar at the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at North Carolina State University. Michelle received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership with a cognate in Statistics at Clemson University. She currently is Editor for the Career & Technical Education Research Journal. Michelle has extensive experience designing and facilitating training for post-secondary education, business, and government programs. Her multidisciplinary experience creating programs includes workshops in Executive Leadership, Change, Conflict Management, Empowering Middle Management, Improving Training Effectiveness, and Instructional Design.  

Christopher Beeson is an Instructional Technologist with DELTA at NC State University. Drawing from his previous experiences as an IT Director and Special Education Teacher, his specialties include small group and one-on-one consultations using Google and flipped instructional methodologies. Christopher is responsible for creating workshops and training seminars, designing instructional video solutions for instructors, and assisting with LearnTech faculty support. He holds bachelor’s degree from Elon University in K-12 Special Education and Elementary Education. Christopher is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and enjoys boating, creating music, and playing soccer.

Anne Burke is a librarian and an educator, focusing on the undergraduate experience at NC State. She works with students and faculty to promote awareness and use of library resources that give students an edge in their academic and co-curricular pursuits.

Dr. Matthew Cooper is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State University where he teaches courses in Material and Energy Balances, Unit Operations, Transport Phenomena and Mathematical/Computational Methods. He is the recipient of numerous teaching and pedagogical research awards, including the NCSU Outstanding Teacher Award, NCSU Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award, ASEE Chemical Engineering Division Raymond W. Fahien Award, and the 2013 and 2017 ASEE Joseph J. Martin Awards for Best Conference Paper. Dr. Cooper’s research interests include effective teaching, conceptual and inductive learning, and integrating writing and speaking into the curriculum and professional ethics.

Photo of Miriam Ferzli

Miriam Ferzli is a Teaching Professor and Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at NC State University. She teaches large lecture introductory biology courses for biology majors and the SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environments with Upside-down Pedagogies) format. She also directs an undergraduate research program. As part of these roles, Miriam became very involved with graduate student teaching assistant professional development (GTA PD) and has collaborated with the Graduate School to establish certificate programs and the Interdisciplinary Consortium for the Advancement of TA Training. Currently, Miriam is co-chair for the Center for the Integration of Research in Teaching and Learning at NC State’s Graduate School. As part of these groups, she has developed course curriculum and workshops to advance GTA PD. She has also investigated the stages of development of GTAs as they progress through their teaching experiences and actively evaluated GTA teaching in the classroom/laboratory.

Dr. Sarah Heckman is a Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs with the Department of Computer Science. She is also a three-time graduate of Computer Science at NC State, and received her PhD in August of 2009. Dr. Heckman is an Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor and received the NC State University Outstanding Teacher Award as a representative of the College of Engineering in Spring 2015. She is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State. Dr. Heckman teaches several of the core courses in software engineering and programming languages. Her research interests are in computer science education and software engineering. As a graduate student, she was a three-time recipient of the IBM PhD Fellowship.

Katie Homar (PhD University of Pittsburgh) is the Director of Academic and Engineering Writing Support at NC State’s Graduate School where she designs writing support and outreach for grad and postdoc trainees across disciplines. She earned her PhD in English and certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Pittsburgh where she also taught and advised writers across the disciplines.  Her area of specialization is histories of rhetoric and composition. Prior to pursuing a career in academic administration and graduate professional development at NC State, she taught multimodal composition and communication as a Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Jason King is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. Jason teaches courses on topics that include introduction to computing, programming concepts, data structures and algorithms, and software security. His research interests include software security and innovative use of technology for facilitating grading and course management. He received his PhD in Computer Science from NCSU in 2016, his MS in Computer Science from NCSU in 2011, and his BS in Computer Science from NCSU in 2009.

Leslie Rand-Pickett is the Director of Graduate Career Services for the Department of Computer Science at NC State University.  She established this program in February of 2016, which focuses on developing career related programs for over 750 master’s & PhD students in CSC. Ms. Rand-Pickett previously worked for 11 years in the Career Development Center in both employer relations and career advising capacities. From 2011-2016, she consulted with employers to develop strategies for recruiting NC State students for internship, co-op and full time positions across the university, and managed the ePACK jobs and internships database. Additionally, her career advising experience includes six years as a liaison to Engineering students at NC State, and six years working with Nursing and Social Science students at UNC Wilmington. Leslie is an eastern North Carolina native, and a 3rd generation alum from NC State, with a M.Ed. degree in Counselor Education. She also holds degrees from Peace College and UNC Chapel Hill.

Photo of Rhonda Sutton

Rhonda Sutton currently serves as the director of leadership programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University and as an Extension Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences.  She has over 20 years of experience as an administrator within a university setting.  Much of her career has been at NC State, serving as the second director of the university’s women’s center, the first director of the university’s postdoc office, an organizational development leader and as an assistant vice provost in the former Office for Equal Opportunity.  Dr. Sutton is also a licensed professional counselor in the state of North Carolina.  Her counseling experience includes working at a college counseling center, a mental health hospital, an employee assistance program and owning her own private practice.  In all of her professional roles, Dr. Sutton has provided professional and personal development training with the overarching goal of helping people develop their strengths and realize their potential.  Dr. Sutton received her B.S. in business administration from Appalachian State University, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in counselor education from North Carolina State University.

Crystal Tenan is the IT Accessibility Coordinator at NC State University. She earned her bachelor’s of science and master’s of science in education from Baylor University and a master’s of science in applied information technology from Towson University. Her areas of expertise include digital accessibility, assistive technology, student accommodations and campus accessibility. She is dedicated to the mission of making the world a more accessible place.

Dr. Carrol Warren is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Education, in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development department. She also serves as a Faculty Scholar in the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research and Coordinator for the Ed.D. program in Community College Leadership. Past experiences in online teaching involve restructuring online courses for faculty efficiency and student success. Her research interests include community college leadership, instructional design, and assessment. She is an alumna of NC State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Meredith College.

Alexa Carter is the Research Librarian for Physical Sciences and Graduate Services at NC State University Libraries, where she provides scientific information literacy and research support to faculty, researchers, and students. She also works with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to create, facilitate, and enhance peer teaching and learning opportunities through the Libraries’ Peer Scholars Program. Her research interests include STEM outreach, assessment, and peer-to-peer engagement.

Jill Anderson began working as an Instructional Technologist with DELTA in January of 2020, and has 13 years of experience in higher education working at NC State. Jill is responsible for creating faculty workshops on pedagogically sound use of instructional technology tools, supporting faculty who are interested in improvement of online course design, consulting with faculty one-on-one to meet their needs, and assisting with LearnTech faculty support. Jill holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University in Biology and a Master in Education from Texas A&M University in Curriculum and Instruction. She will complete NC State’s graduate certificate in Teaching, Training, and Educational Technology in December of 2020. Jill is a North Carolina native and enjoys hiking, backpacking, bird-watching, and spending time with her husband and teenage daughters.