Archive for the ‘Staff Profiles’ Category

Meet Megan Stemm-Wade

September 22, 2011
Megan Stemm-Wade

Megan Stemm-Wade

What is your job title and what are your primary responsibilities at SNL?

My title is Instructional Technology Consultant, part of Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS) I’m basically a liaison to SNL to provide instructional design and Desire2Learn support. I am responsible for course design and revision, D2L training, and ongoing support of courses in D2L, for both SNL Online and SNL faculty.

How did your education at SNL impact your current job?

I know I would not have my current position had I not gone back to SNL to complete my BA. My focus area was Communication & Culture, and I took all the courses I could involving writing, media, and cultural studies. My SNL experience sharpened my professional writing skills, and helped build my professional confidence. It also created a network of DePaul friends and mentors. Once I graduated (in ’08), DePaul was one of the first places I looked for employment, as I felt so nurtured and stimulated by the environment here. Happily, FITS (then IDD), needed content developers (writers!) to work in the Blackboard learning management system, and my career in Instructional Design began.

Looking back as a student, is there anything you would have done differently?

SNL was actually an opportunity for me to look back on my previous experiences as a student and to basically do EVERYTHING differently. I worked very hard during my time at SNL to achieve some personal goals that I had not reached in my earlier college career. I really feel I had the best possible time as student in SNL. If I changed one thing, it might be to establish a relationship with my wonderful faculty and professional mentors Renee Gilbert-Levin and Kate Johnson sooner in the process. I worked pretty independently for my first few quarters, and when I did reach out to Renee and Kate, their guidance was amazingly supportive and helped me really sharpen my focus.

What advice do you have for current SNL Online students?

Believe in yourself. Absolutely believe in yourself. You can do this. Keep track of your competencies; keep on top of your assignments. Never give up because completing your degree is so worth it. Set goals for yourself and celebrate when you achieve them. Learn from what didn’t go as expected when you don’t. Above all, go to commencement! It will be a shining day in your life.

The School for New Learning experience helped me by:

Changing my life. Creating my own Individualized Focus Area allowed me to take my degree path very personally and very seriously. I became a more focused, more motivated student at SNL, and was encouraged to achieve my personal best. I was exposed to media studies, through great courses taught by Dorothy Balabanos, Gary Fox, and Warren Scheideman, which opened up a new path for my life. I’m very proud of my work at SNL and thrilled at the doors that have opened because of my education. Before SNL, I never thought I’d complete my Bachelor’s degree, and now I’m getting my Master’s in Media and Cinema Studies. I am so proud every day!


Get to Know Bernadine Thomas

September 6, 2011
Bernadine Thomas

Bernadine Thomas, Adult Student Affairs Assistant Director

What is your job title and what are your primary responsibilities?

I am the Assistant Director for the Office of Adult Student Affairs. My primary responsibilities are to advocate on behalf of the adult students as well as to assist them in their transition to college and support them in achieving their educational goals. I am also responsible for creating and overseeing programming and services for adult students including community building events (we host a new adult student reception each quarter for incoming adult students as well as food and free chair massages during midterms and finals), academic support (we provide math and writing tutors), social networking (such as our annual wine and cheese celebration) and a strong network of partners for service referrals (we provide resources within DePaul as well as resources from within the community). In addition, I develop, coordinate and implement initiatives to support our population at the Loop, Lincoln Park, and suburban campuses.

What is your educational background and where did you work prior to your position in Adult Student Affairs?

I received my MA in Adult and Continuing Education from National-Louis University. I received my BA in Communications through Chicago State University. Currently I am pursuing certification as a coach. My focus will be on Life & Career Transition. In my role as coach I want to guide you to discover who you really are, what you want, and assist you in designing action steps to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Prior to my current position, I was the Assistant Director for the graduate programs for four years with the School for New Learning. Before that I worked 15 years for Kelly Services in various positions. My last position there being Office Manager for the Vice-President. I’ve taught adults at Chicago State University, National Latino Education Institute formerly Spanish Coalition for Jobs, and the Paul Simon Job Corp on the city’s south side. I am also a Professional Advisor and I teach a course for SNL entitled “Exploring Success Techniques for Enhancing Career Skills” at the Oak Forest campus. The purpose of the course is to provide students with the coaching tools needed to meet challenges in their job and career advancement. We cover such topics as self assessment, networking, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing techniques, effective job searches and developing a career action plan.

What do you like most about working at DePaul and in Adult Student Affairs?

What I like best about working at DePaul is the people I work with. I feel our students are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. What I like most about working in Adult Student Affairs is that I can relate to most adult students because I was also an adult student facing some of the same challenges our students now have. I am able to refer them to the wealth of resources available here at DePaul. I also like that in addition to the Adult Student Center, students can find academic support and resources with our office through workshops, resource referrals, financial assistance and other academic programs. They can also visit a math or writing tutor, learn about scholarships, participate in skill-building workshops or connect with learning resources. We also now assist veteran and commuter students. Adult Student Affairs is now the home of the Office of Veterans Affairs which is dedicated to the needs and concerns of the student veteran population. A Veterans Liaison is available on campus to provide various resources to ensure the success of our student veterans. We also
provide resources for commuter students.

What resources does the Adult Center offer for distance education students residing in the Chicago area? What about students residing outside the Chicago area?

Good question! Distant education students are important to us and we are working to come up with new ways in which to engage them and provide resources for them. Last year we piloted a few new initiatives with the distant learner in mind. One in particular was a teleseminar whose focus was on your career. It was entitled “How to Protect Yourself From Job Layoffs.” It was very successful. This is something we will continue to build on this year.

Where is the Adult Student Center located?

Adult Student Affairs is located on the 11th floor of the DePaul Center. My office is located at DPC 11015 and my Director, Haydee Nunez is located at DPC 11007. The Adult Student Center is also on the11th floor – DPC 11017. Stop in and visit us! Our hours are 8 am – 8 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 am – 5 pm Friday.

Meet SNL Online Staffer Dee Schmidgall

July 23, 2010

Dee Schmidgall

What is your job title and what are your primary responsibilities at SNL?

Well, my business card states that I’m an interactive designer and multimedia wrangler. I wear a lot of hats. I’m responsible for the visual design of SNL Online internal and external communications, publications, tutorials, social media, and online courses. I personally develop, administer, and/or coordinate the production of graphics, podcasts, videos, wikis, and other multimedia for our online courses. I work with faculty and other instructional designers to develop and maintain new and existing courses. I also design for and oversee our department website, and work with and design for our marketing team. And I do a lot of tech support, though that’s not in my “official” job description.

Besides your work, what are your other interests?

I love music, movies, theater, reading theology (when I have time, which isn’t often these days), and travel. And I watch too many episodes of House Hunters.

What is your educational background and where did you work prior to coming to SNL?

I have a BA in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University, and a post-bacc certificate and MFA in visual communications from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I’ve been taking courses towards an MS in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul for the past 2 years.

I spent most of my early adulthood (adulthood being a characterization my friends and family might dispute) pursuing a career in music, playing drums for a series of rock bands of little renown. I was also a radio DJ and copywriter. More recently I worked for a small ad agency in River East, and taught while in grad school.

What do you like most about working at DePaul and SNL?

I love the people and the institution. Most folks here really care about their work and the welfare and success of their students. DePaul’s always been a place dedicated to empowering people through education, and I see that mission embodied in our programs at SNL in general and SNL Online in particular.

What advice do you have for current SNL Online students?

Buy or get access to the best computer and fastest internet connection you can. Maybe that means you stay later at work or access your course from the library or a Starbucks, but a bad connection on a slow computer will frustrate you needlessly. We post minimum tech requirements for online students here.

Get into the course as soon as it becomes available, and keep engaged with your instructor and fellow students, especially in course discussions. Don’t expect to drop in once a week and catch up; you need to be involved throughout the week, if only in small but regular chunks of time. Keep current and active in the course, and you give yourself the opportunity to grow and succeed.

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