Office of Teaching and Learning staff members work hard to plan and implement a variety of professional development and other teaching and learning related programs and events. Below is a list of staff members, their related roles in the OTL office, and their contact information. Do not hesitate to contact any one of our staff members to assist with your questions.
We encourage you to nominate Office of Teaching and Learning staff members for the variety of NDSU and state employee awards. If you feel you have received top notch service from one of our staff members, nominate them for a
- Campus Kudos award,
- Governor's Awards for Excellence in Public Service,
- NDSU Staff Recognition Award, and/or
- Mary McCannel-Gunkelman Award.
This is one small way to say thank you for their dedicated service to the Office of Teaching and Learning at NDSU.
Dr. Jill Motschenbacher has been with North Dakota State University since 2014 and has been with the Office of Teaching and Learning since 2016. In September of 2017, Motschenbacher took on the role of associate director and as of June 1, 2019 she became the acting director and in June of 2020 she was named interim director. Motschenbacher will lead the Office of Teaching and Learning until a new director is appointed.
Motschenbacher received her Ph.D. (2012) in Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, with a major in Soil Physics and a focus in the biogeochemical cycling and sustainability of rice-based cropping systems, from the University of Arkansas. She completed an M.Ed. (2007) in the Administration of Higher Education and a B.S. (2006) in Agribusiness, with a minor in Environmental Science, from Middle Tennessee State University. In addition, Motschenbacher completed various engineering schools in the U.S. Navy and served for four years (1996-2000) aboard the USS Sacramento (AOE-1) as an Interior Communications Electrician. Prior to transferring to North Dakota State University, Motschenbacher completed a research and extension education postdoc in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University and two United States Agency for International Development (USAID) food security-based projects in rice mechanization and maize postharvest production losses in Wang’uru, Kenya and Iganga, Uganda.
Motschenbacher’s professional focus involves working to eliminate educational barriers in postsecondary education. This work includes educational program development and management, instructional improvement projects, assessment program implementation, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational reform, educational accessibility initiatives for underrepresented student populations, and university-wide administrative initiatives at North Dakota State University. Motschenbacher works to provide opportunities for faculty, instructional staff, and graduate students to advance in individual- and discipline-focused scholarship in the area of teaching and learning, with an aim of creating pathways that lead to student success, professional development, and institutional transformation. Motschenbacher currently serves as a co-PI for two National Science Foundation-funded grants: 1) Gateways-ND (2015-2020), which provides training, mentoring, and peer support for STEM faculty and instructors across the university in student-centered teaching practices and teaching quality improvement, and 2) IRES: China-USA International Research Experience for Native American Students in IoT-Enabled Environmental Monitoring Technologies (2018-2021), which provides North Dakota Tribal College students an opportunity to study international-based engineering applications at the Beijing University of Technology in Beijing, China.
Assistant Director // Enrollment and Records
Janalee Brandt has worked at NDSU since 1978. She has worked exclusively in the Distance and Continuing Education program throughout her time at NDSU. In addition to being known as the unofficial office historian, Brandt works closely with K-12 educators and administrators and assists with the registration process for their professional development classes. Throughout the years, Brandt has handled hundreds of thousands of registrations with most of them during the busy summer season. Brandt also manages accounts receivables and statistical reports for the Office of Teaching and Learning and its associated programs. In addition, she is an integral part of the office's records management initiative.
Linda Charlton Gunderson
Technology Coordinator // Group Decision Center
Linda Charlton Gunderson has worked in the Group Decision Center, a program of the Office of Teaching and Learning, since 2001. Charlton Gunderson is an expert meeting facilitator for the MeetingSphere virtual meeting software. Charlton Gunderson sets up thousands of student rating of instruction (SROI) surveys each semester. She is responsible for collecting course information, setting up each survey, distributing the surveys, and distributing completed survey results to instructors and departments. As the campus expert in Qualtrics survey software she spends a significant amount of time assisting departments and faculty/student researchers in setting up their surveys and teaching them to use advanced features in Qualtrics. Charlton Gunderson sets up or assists in setting up more than 1,500 surveys each semester.
Deb DeMers has worked for NDSU since 2002. DeMers worked in the Office of Registration and Records before coming to Distance and Continuing Education, now a program of the Office of Teaching and Learning. DeMers' role is to ensure all professional development students in the office's Distance and Continuing Education program are officially registered for their classes. Because professional development students are not required to seek admission, they do not register in the same manner as degree-eligible students. DeMers inputs student registration information into the campus enrollment system. DeMers plays an important role in ensuring that professional development records are maintained according to NDSU's and the North Dakota University System's records management policies.
Office Assistant and Records Coordinator
Kathy Hoovestol began her NDSU career in 2008 with Distance and Continuing Education which eventually became the Office of Teaching and Learning. Hoovestol is the office's receptionist and is most often the first voice you hear when calling the office. Hoovestol serves as the records coordinator and ImageNow liaison for Office of Teaching and Learning records initiative. She was instrumental in getting the office's paper filing system moved to the new electronic filing system. Hoovestol continues to keep the office's record system in compliance with the NDSU and NDUS records retention policies and trains staff to ensure documents are correctly added to the ImageNow software. She also takes detailed minutes for the University Assessment Committee and sub-committees.
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
Connie Jadrny began her career at NDSU in 2005. Jadrny spends much of her time writing so people will read each page of this website in great depth. Her extensive collection of everyday writing samples includes email content for the Information Link emails, the office's strategic plan, social media posts that enlighten, an occasional blog post, and your run-of-the-mill email communication. Jadrny contributes to the Office of Teaching and Learning's (OTL) success by regularly promoting its programs and services and facilitating its Strategic Planning committee. She is currently an NDSU Staff Senator who serves on the Environmental Sustainability Committee.
Jerry Olson has worked at NDSU since 1995. He began his career at NDSU in the Distance and Continuing Education Office, now part of the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL). He manages the Group Decision Center and is an expert facilitator for meetings using the MeetingSphere virtual meeting software. Olson is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of technology used by OTL staff. Olson manages the disposal of the office's records in accordance with record retention policies and in cooperation with OTL staff.
K-12 Professional Development Coordinator
Barb Schumacher has worked at NDSU since 1988. She has worked exclusively in the Distance and Continuing Education Professional Development program throughout her time at NDSU. Schumacher works closely with K-12 administrators and other individuals to get their K-12 Professional Development classes approved at NDSU. Throughout the years, Schumacher has prepared thousands of courses for the approval process by collecting syllabi, curriculum vitae, and other supporting documentation. Once the approval information is complete, Schumacher ensures the appropriate NDSU administrators have reviewed each course for quality and content. Upon completion of each course, Schumacher ensures the course evaluation feedback is emailed to the instructors. Schumacher's favorite time of the year is when the office's K-12 Professional Development Catalog has officially been mailed.
Payables and Purchasing Coordinator
Jane VanDerMeer has worked at NDSU since 1998. Before working in the Office of Teaching and Learning, she worked in the Veterinary and Microbiology Department and was hired by the Office of Distance and Continuing Education in 2002, now a program of the Office of Teaching and Learning. VanDerMeer is responsible for accounts payables for the Office of Teaching and Learning as well as its associated grant-funded programs. She produces fund balance and expense reports that help the acting director in making budgetary decisions for the office. In addition, VanDerMeer purchases and tracks delivery of grant-related supplies and equipment.
Staff listed in this section are individuals from across the NDSU campus who are able to assist with a variety of instructional needs and questions.
Dr. Melissa Vosen Callens
Associate Professor of Practice // Department of Communication
College Teaching Certificate Coordinator
Dr. Melissa Vosen Callens received her Ph.D. in rhetoric, writing, and culture in 2010 (comprehensive exams: literacy, collaborative writing, and online education). She completed her M.A. in english (2006) and her B.S. in english education (2003). Because of her background in education, Vosen Callens is involved in many pedagogical initiatives on campus, including Teaching Assistant (TA) Training, the peer teaching partnership program, and her department and college curriculum committees.
She is currently an associate professor of practice in the Department of Communication where she teaches courses in popular culture, media literacy, public relations writing, and pedagogy.
Her research interests are twofold. She studies the representation of gender and the representation of Generation X in popular culture; she is also interested in researching and disseminating best practices in the classroom. Her writing can be found in English Journal, Communication Teacher, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, and Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History, among other publications. She is currently writing a book that examines the representation of Generation X, and their widely noted institutional cynicism, in the series Stranger Things.
For the Office of Teaching and Learning, Vosen Callens coordinates the college teaching certificate and offers an Online Teaching and Learning Faculty Learning Community. Students interested in the program are welcome to contact her directly.