Instructional Development & Media Services
Robert “BJ” Kitchin Jr., MSW
Senior e-Learning Specialist
BJ brings solution focused leadership and a sense of humor to teamwork and collaboration. Setting goals and celebrating achievement is fundamental here. He consults and serves to solve teaching & learning problems for faculty, and supports academic and other projects with learning design, communications design, and integrated media & technology services. He manages and leads University College’s marketing personnel and resources, integrating evidence-based communications strategies to solve eLearning design and marketing problems. A common consulting goal is to help clients to clarify and define learning goals and to fit the technology and workflow to learning & business goals. An emphasis on universal design is ever present in consultations.
He provides administrative oversite and leadership to University College Instructional Development & Media services, Marketing & and Communications, Off-Campus Library Services and Maine CITE. BJ serves as the co-chair of the e-Learning Technology Advisory Committee, a University of Maine System-wide team, supporting and developing strategies, direction, and plans for meaningful and innovative use of technologies which effectively support teaching and learning across the University. He also serves on strategic UMS committee’s aimed at the ongoing development of world-class teaching and learning experiences for Maine citizens and worldwide learners.
BJ and his family recently adopted a retired racing greyhound. He recommends everyone consider addopting a rescue greyhound. Magnificant, well mannered and a joyful addition to the family.
Araminta “Mina” Matthews, MFA, GCDF
Senior Instructional Designer
Mina emphasizes lifelong learning in her career and personal life, pursuing scholarship in a diversity of fields to stay current as an instructional designer and the learning trends of distance education. In addition to her work at University College, Mina also teaches distance writing courses around the system. She has a terminal degree in Creative Writing (MFA), and certifications in career development, teaching, web design, and, most recently, a graduate certificate in Digital Curation from the University of Maine.
As UC’s Senior Instructional Designer, Mina is the primary coordinator for the UC Faculty Institute, overseeing a team of highly skilled professionals who bring together an annual conference for 250 UMS faculty each year. She also developed the Virtual Academic Writing Lab Tutors (VAWLT) program and training platform, the concept for the modular “Short Course” for New Online Faculty, and the framework for a career and college advising platform called Vocational Occupational Integrated Career Exploration Services (VOICES). She works closely with faculty and program coordinators to clarify learning goals and define a strong match between the goal and the technologies or system-resources that can support those goals with the best pedagogy in distance education. She provides administrative leadership to the University College Instructional Design & Development team in partnership with the Senior eLearning Specialist. Mina sits on the UMA eLearning Committee in an advisory capacity and serves on the Blackboard Core steering committee.
As the lead author on a co-authored, peer-reviewed work with colleague, BJ Kitchin, Mina recently published a chapter on the topic of design patterns as a means to achieve social presence in the online classroom: Student-Teacher Interaction in Online Learning Environments. She is also collaborating on original research into concept-mapping as an early warning system with Dr. James Cook of UMA, as well as a full-length anthology of original research into effective strategies for teaching Fine Arts courses at a distance in collaboration with Shiva Darbandi, the Director of the JoAnne Waxman Library at the Maine College of Art. Mina is also a professionally published fiction author with several works of popular fiction available in the Ursus library system.
Heather Nunez-Olmstead, MSEd
Heather brings to UMA and University College experience designing and teaching distance courses for the University of Maine at Presque Isle, as well as blended and high-impact learning environments for alternative education. She has served on UMPI’s Pedagogical Committee with a focus on assessment, and she has facilitated seminars ranging from a workshop to bolster girls’ confidence in STEM fields to an interactive session with a cohort of Graduate students in a Master’s of Social Work program. Heather will have earned her Graduate Degree in Curriculum and Instructional Strategies from the University of New England this May, and is currently a certified teacher holding her B.A.A.E. degree from UMPI.
Heather serves the system-wide mission of University College, primarily serving the two northern campuses, UMPI and UMFK as well as the UC Houlton Center, and supporting the work of UMA as a leader in distance education.
Anne Fensie, MEd
Anne Fensie is an Instructional Designer with University College with an office in Augusta serving faculty throughout the state. Anne has taught at the high school level, in college, and through adult education. Her experience includes teaching, professional development, curriculum writing, and administration. With a focus on improving education outcomes for all learners, faculty find her patience and resourcefulness a welcome support. Anne is a specialist in Microsoft products and is skilled in multimedia production, including web design and video editing. Anne earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Ithaca College and a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from Bridgewater State College.
Senior eLearning Specialist
Andrei brings to UMA and University College, experience generating and supporting a vision for faculty professional development. His strengths are illustrated in his partnering with faculty to assess their needs and goals, in his ability to to determine relevant and creative action steps to meet those goals, and with his targeted expertise in ed. technologies, online pedagogical approaches and distance course delivery.
With over 15 years of full-time classroom teaching experience at the University Maine, Colby College and Bates College, Andrei understands needs and challenges that faculty face – and he speaks their language. He strongly believes that student engagement in any course – face-to-face, distance, or blended – is the key to success for student achievement and faculty expectations of learning outcomes.
Instructional Media & Support Manager
Rich is a 20+ year veteran of the University of Maine System and applies his years of experience to supporting the media needs of faculty and staff at University College and beyond.
Rich was a Theatre Arts major at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and gained additional experience as a radio/television engineer at various Maine media outlets.
Currently, as Manager of Media Services and Support, Rich travels across our state for film projects initiated by UMS faculty and staff, supervises and mentors Media Specialists, and oversees the daily operations of ITV, compressed video and online courses.
Rich is an amateur singer and mandolinist, an avid gardener, and a passionate landscape photographer.
Michelle Lisi, MFA
Coordinator of the University College VAWLT
As Coordinator of the UC VAWLT (Virtual Academic Writing and Library Tutors), Michelle is privileged to team with talented students, staff, and educators to deliver writing support across the UMaine System. She also enjoys working in distance education as a part of the University College Instructional Design and Development Department. A poet and short story writer, Michelle earned a BA in English and Communication at the University of Delaware and an MFA in Fiction Writing at Columbia University. She moved to Maine in 2002 to help her husband launch an independent video rental store in Brunswick. Since 2004, she has taught English, Humanities as well as test prep courses and tutored in writing centers at UMA, USM and CMCC. As an instructor, Michelle has developed multiple seminars focused on media and writing; as a coordinator, she has served the UMA Writing Center as well as the UC VAWLT, which she established with the UC ID&D team. Michelle’s favorite things are coffee, her 7 year old, and her two cats; she hates team sports, gender-normative children’s programming, and the word “moist.”