About ODL

As individuals and a collective, ODL supports many initiatives and programs throughout the Smith School and the University of Maryland. We are leaders and innovators within the instructional design, educational technology, and higher education communities.

For any questions, you can email us at smithteach@umd.edu.

Meet the Team

Our expert team, which includes instructional designers, multimedia and digital experts, works closely with faculty to develop engaging online programs. ODL is the place where high-tech tools, best practices in online program development, and innovation meet to make successful learning happen. Learn more about the team that makes this happen:

Mary Bedell
Instructional Designer

Mary Bedell is an instructional designer with a background in teaching who joined the Office of Digital Learning in 2023. Mary began teaching while receiving her MA in Art History from Syracuse University, where she also earned a certificate in university teaching from the graduate school and received the outstanding teaching award. Mary also works as an adjunct professor teaching Art History and Art Appreciation courses. Outside of work, you can usually find her in any of the museums and galleries in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas.


Marni Blachowicz
Assistant Director 

Marni Blachowicz is an Instructional designer with over 15 years experience developing courses and managing programs for both corporate learning and higher education. After a successful career in the arts, she received her master's in education from Johns Hopkins University and a postgraduate certificate in instructional design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Marni holds an MEd from Johns Hopkins University and a degree in Instructional Systems Design from UMBC. 

Nicholas Bonneau
Graphic Designer 

As a graphic designer, Nikk Bonneau supports the ODL 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. Nikk has a BFA in Graphic Design from Shepherd University

Ada Crutchfield
Instructional Designer

Ada Crutchfield has worked in the Education and Technology field with 10 years of K-12 and HigherEd experience working across California and Maryland. Ada earned a M.S. in Educational Technology from California State University, Fullerton. She is very passionate about making a difference with technology in teaching and learning. She is patient, knowledgeable, fun, creative, and an encouraging person to ensure everything runs smoothly, with contingency planning options, where applicable. Her mantra with faculty is “We can do this!” In her spare time, she enjoys going on walks with her family and her son and exercising whenever possible. Also, she volunteers stewardship at her church.

Theresa Ewing
Assistant Director 

Theresa Ewing oversees the Educational Technology team at ODL, which consists of academic technology, media production, and graphic design. Ewing has been a member of the Smith community since she was a student at UMD, supporting the Supply Chain Management Center before moving to Smith IT. During her many years with Smith IT, she had a number of roles including academic technology support specialist, and then digital media manager, before becoming assistant director of academic technology and media production. Now at ODL, she and her team provide academic technology support and digital media creation services for ODL, as well as for the Smith community as a whole. Ewings's parents both attended the University of Maryland and were born and raised in the area surrounding campus. She currently resides in College Park with her husband and son.


Arifa Garman 
Senior Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer

Arifa Garman has been in the learning and development for over 25 years specializing in creating online and hybrid courses incorporating multiple theories and practices such as the flipped classroom, experiential learning and utilizing technology to engage with students. She facilitates with Online Learning Consortium and helps train faculty and division chairs on online methodologies, technologies, and best practices. Garman joined UMD as an Instructional Designer and brought her experience as an Executive Director of ELearning and Testing to help her focus on the creation of online courses with UMD. When not working full time, she enjoys cooking and sharing her food with friends and neighbors. She also enjoys working on her art (Islamic art on Porcelain) and keeping her skills up as a fashion designer by working on new creations that mix colors and textures. She has three adult children who excel in their professional fields.


Suzanne Hurley
Instructional Technology Specialist

Suzanne Hurley’s work includes supporting Canvas, lecture capture, web conferencing, and other instructional tools. Prior to joining the ODL, Hurley worked for the Office of Smith IT for 15 years doing many different jobs ranging from web application development to helpdesk support to Citrix administration and classroom image deployment. In her spare time, she enjoys playing softball, building mechanical keyboards, and playing video games such as World of Warcraft.  


Garrett Mollman
Digital Media Specialist

Garrett Mollman is a digital media specialist working with the ODL team. He edits videos, makes animations and manages the studio spaces. He earned his BS degree from the University of Baltimore in 2010 to pursue his interest in graphics and animation and merge that with his interest in programming and electrical engineering. Garrett started at Smith in 2012 as an A/V technician with Smith IT supporting classroom technology and helped start the media production team in 2015. 

Joshua Shannon-Chastain
Program Manager

Joshua Shannon-Chastain is an instructional designer on the Non-Degree Program team. He has 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. Joshua obtained an MA in History from Istanbul Bilgi University and a BA in History from Portland State University.

Paul Walsh

Paul Walsh joined the Office of Digital Learning in the summer of 2022. Before taking on his current role, Paul worked at the University System of Maryland’s Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation leading state institutions to expand access to affordable, high-quality educational opportunities, at scale, via the edX platform. Paul was also the Assistant Vice President for Academic Innovation and Instructional Support at the University of Baltimore and founding director of the Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, and Technology (CELTT). He serves on several non-profit and local school boards and lives in Timonium with his wife and two daughters. He has degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Towson University.

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