Meet the Team

OTL Team Photo


As individuals and a collective, OTL supports many initiatives and programs throughout the Smith School and the University of Maryland. Under the fearless leadership of our Director, Dr. Sandra Loughlin, and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Rebecca Ratner, we are seen as leaders and innovators within the instructional design and higher education communities.


Sandra LoughlinSandra Loughlin
Director, Office of Transformational Learning

Ph.D., Human Development and Quantitative Methodology with a specialization in Education Psychology, University of Maryland
M.Ed., Harvard University
BA, Elementary Education, Washington Adventist University

As an educational psychologist, Sandra's focus is designing environments that facilitate durable, actionable learning for students. To that end, she works collaboratively with administration, faculty and student groups to ensure an environment that fosters and transforms learning. In addition to her administrative tasks, Sandra is passionate about working directly with current and future instructors. She coaches faculty and graduate students to design and deliver effective instruction, and teaches courses in achievement motivation, educational psychology, cognition, and pedagogy. When she's not working (ha!), Sandra spends time singing 80s songs into kitchen spoons, centering herself on a yoga mat, picking up Legos, and saying ridiculous things like, "There's a Japanese beetle on my Crape Myrtle!"

Megan BenefielMegan Benefiel
Assurance of Learning Manager, Office of Transformational Learning

MBA, University of Maryland University College
BA, Sociology, Thomas Edison State University

Megan oversees the Smith School's Assurance of Learning (AoL) initiative. She specializes in project management, program evaluation and process improvement, with a niche for improving organizational effectiveness. Although Megan's strengths are in the details, she really has a passion for understanding how students learn and leveraging business strategies to optimize student success. When she's not working, she enjoys rescuing dogs, playing kickball, golfing, and watching football (Go Broncos!) with her husband, daughter, and two rescue mutts.

Candance BinuyoCandice Binuyo
Instructional Designer and E-Learning Developer

MA, Instructional Systems Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
BA, Communications and Media Studies, Goucher College

Candice collaborates with faculty and staff to develop high-quality learning experiences for students. She supports faculty by recommending active learning strategies for face-to-face, online and blended courses. Prior to joining UMD, she designed and developed interactive educational resources and developed scenario- and project-based educational courses for University of Maryland, University College (UMUC). She brings a wealth of knowledge about online instruction as she previously worked for Laureate Online Education and UMUC. Candice lives in Baltimore, Md., and enjoys taking Kickboxing and Body Combat classes.

Marni BlachowiczMarni Blachowicz
Instructional Designer and E-Learning Developer

M.Ed., Johns Hopkins University
Instructional Systems Design Certification, UMBC

Marni is an Instructional designer with over 10 years experience in writing, researching and developing courses for both corporate learning and higher education. After a successful career in the arts she received her masters in education from Johns Hopkins University and a postgraduate certificate in instructional design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She currently lives in Catonsville, Md., and is raising two wild and fun boys with her husband.

Nikk BonneauNikk Bonneau
Graphic Designer

BFA, Graphic Design, Shepherd University

As a graphic designer, Nikk supports the OTL team to achieve innovative and cohesive designs that help augment the University's brand. After 12 years in the outdoor recreation industry, affording him an unmatched calm under pressure, Nikk entered the design scene with a focus on strengthening brand assets. His graphic style offers clean and efficient visual communication, to accommodate the team's broad audience. Nikk uses his free time to paddle the east coast's best whitewater and dabble in any adventure that requires copious amounts of gear.

Jarrett CarterJarrett Carter
Program Manager, MOOC

MA, Educational Technology; Adelphi University
BS, Communication Arts; St. John's University

Jarrett is OTL's MOOC Program Manager, where he leads a team of instructional designers to develop courses for Smith's first venture into the massive open online course (MOOC) world. Over the past eight years, Jarrett has worked at public, private, open, and online universities. In these varying contexts, Jarrett has led high profile developments across various trends in higher education e-learning, including open education resources/Creative Commons, academic fair use, massive open online courses (MOOCs), adaptive learning courseware, learning analytics, competency based learning, flipped classroom, and more. Working on the MOOC at Smith is sort of a full circle moment for Jarrett, since he co-led the design of the University System of Maryland's first MOOC on the edX platform back in 2016. When he's not in the office, Jarrett can be found in his kitchen cooking, enjoying live music at different venues in the area, or watching reruns of Frasier on Netflix.

Jennifer HoeritzJennifer Hoeritz
Program Manager, Course Development

MS Human Resource Development, University of Texas at Tyler
BS Public Administration, Shippensburg University

Jennifer has been in the Learning and Development field for over 15 years specializing in creating innovative courseware in multiple modalities for adult learners. She has designed courses for face-to-face, hybrid, and online deliveries utilizing multiple approaches to include; the Flipped Classroom, Universal Design for Learning, Social Learning, and Experiential Learning. She's created over 100 courses for learners that range from undergraduate students to senior level executives. Not only does she enjoy designing courseware, but she loves to streamline the instructional design projects by identifying the right mix of flowcharting, project management, and templates to manage the work and set stakeholder expectations. When Jennifer is not working, she's teaching a graduate instructional design course for American University or training for a race. She's run several marathons, countless half marathons and also coaches in various running programs on the side. Her latest coaching effort was teaching young girls about self-esteem while training them to run a 5k through the "Girls on the Run" program. When Jennifer is not training others to run, she's running to keep up with her husband and two children.

Natalie JaniszewskiNatalie Janiszewski
Instructional Designer

M.Ed., Loyola University Maryland
BS, Biology, Loyola College

Natalie brings over 20 years of experience to her instructional designer role. She began as a science teacher in Howard County, Md., where she also advocated for low-income citizens by serving as a board member and chairperson for the Howard County Community Action Council. After earning a masters in education from Loyola University Maryland, she transitioned to instructional design and still teaches classes in the graduate program for educational technology at Loyola. Natalie loves to swim in open water and resides in Severna Park, Md., where she can often be found swimming in the Magothy River.

Alexis LiAlexis Li
Assistant Director, Office of Transformational Learning

MS, Organization Development and Knowledge Management, George Mason University
BA, Russian and International Relations, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

As the assistant director, Alexis manages a portfolio of projects, including the OTL internship program and guest speaker series. She also supports Smith's Assurance of Learning (AoL) initiative. She has honed her organizational, project management, and process improvement skills over the past 8 years at both academic and research institutions. Her prior experience includes managing professional development programs, experiential learning opportunities, and software adoption initiatives. Her passion lies in leveraging collaborative learning and equipping students with the skills sets needed for career success. She is an avid yoga practitioner and teaches restorative and yin yoga classes in Silver Spring.

Carrie LindemanCarrie Lindeman
Instructional Designer and E-Learning Developer

BS, Emerging Media, Ithaca College

Carrie is an instructional designer on the MOOC development team. She has studied the intersection of media, computer science, and education and has published research on intelligent tutoring systems for online textbooks. Carrie has worked in both the commercial and academic worlds of instructional design and utilizes that experience as part of the OTL team. She enjoys music and is a member of the Annapolis Chorale. Carrie is excited to begin her masters at the University of Maryland in the Human-Computer Interaction program.

Leslie LindseyLeslie Lindsey
Instructional Designer

BS, History, Texas Woman's University

As an instructional designer, Leslie supports the OTL in Smith's experiential learning initiatives. She joined the team with more than a decade of experience in faculty development, instructional design, and community outreach in higher education and the nonprofit sector, including her alma mater, Texas Woman's University, where she also worked in the Pioneers Oral History Project and taught United States history. A committed advocate for public education, her research interests include critical pedagogies, disenfranchised populations, and the history of technology. Leslie currently lives in Washington DC, where you can usually find her roaming the local bookstores and libraries.

Allison NederveldAllison Nederveld
Assistant Director, Experiential Learning

MS, Instructional Systems Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
BS, Mathematics and Secondary Education, University of Miami

Allison oversees several initiatives that require students to assess complex business problems and deliver innovative solutions. Allison came to Smith with over 15 years of experience helping others learn more effectively by creating engaging and relevant learning experiences. In her spare time, she blogs about e-learning and instructional design, competes in triathlons and travels the world with her wife, Wendy. Allison lives just up the road in Hyattsville, Md., with her cat, dog and foster kids.

Joshua Shannon-ChastainJoshua Shannon-Chastain
Instructional Designer and E-Learning Developer

MA, History, Istanbul Bilgi University
BA, History, Portland State University

Joshua is an instructional designer working with the MOOC development team under the guidance of Mary Warneka. Joshua has spent the past seven years designing, managing and teaching courses in Istanbul, Turkey. He published research on student interaction and engagement with e-learning materials and presented at international conferences and workshops in the United States, Germany, and Turkey. He enjoys cooking and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Jonathan SouthgateJonathan Southgate
Program Manager, Experiential Learning

MS, Instructional Systems Design with a focus on Instructional Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
BA, International Relations, American University

Jonathan is an instructional designer working with the experiential learning team under the guidance of Allison Nederveld. For more than six years, he has worked to develop innovative and solutions-driven instructional deliverables that meet the needs of his clients. Before joining Smith, Jonathan worked for various bureaus at the State Department including Passport Services and the Foreign Service Institute designing in-person and e-learning based courses. Outside of work, Jonathan volunteers for several organizations including the Association for Talent Development and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. He enjoys honing his photography and cooking skills, fostering animals of all sizes, and planning a wedding with his wonderful fiance, Lauren.

Mary WarnekaMary Warneka
Assistant Director, Course Development

MA, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University
BA, International Studies, University of Dayton

Mary oversees the instructional design team that coaches and supports faculty through course creation and enhancements. She develops curricula for faculty, and leads trainings on competency-based learning, diversity and infusion of communication skills into core classes. She has done extensive work in not-for-profit management, helping organizations adopt new processes and shift cultural norms. Her personal passions include oil painting, community organizing and facilitating on strategic visioning. After two years in a Women's Leadership Lab program, her tagline became Painting the Way to Your Bright New Future.