NITLE Fellows, Specialists, and Staff

Headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, on the campus of Southwestern University, NITLE draws on talent from across the country. As thought leaders, our fellows provide strategic insight and analysis, encouragement, and a little provocation to the liberal arts community. They work on concrete projects that address strategically pressing issues for liberal education and also help NITLE keep an eye on the big picture. Our subject-area specialists provide colleges and universities with expert guidance on how best to use technology to enrich students’ learning experiences. Our staff facilitates the work of both fellows and specialists, integrating it into programs that help our members advance the teaching and learning mission of liberal education.         

Executive Director: Michael Nanfito        

Fellows: Joey King (Distinguished Fellow) | Bryan Alexander (Senior Fellow) | Thomas A. Warger (Senior Fellow) | Kristine Bartanen | Ethan Benatan | Chris Bourg | Mark Dahl | Rebecca Frost Davis | Rick Holmgren | Carol Long | Tracy Mitrano | Carol L. Smith | Joshua Honn (2012 Rick Peterson Fellow), Meghan Frazer (2011 Rick Peterson Fellow)

Subject-Area Specialists: Jo Cannon | Michelle Moravec | Cristián Opazo | Beth Secrist | Meg Stewart | Randy Thornton

Staff Members: Arden Treviño | Grace Pang         

Michael Nanfito, Executive Director

phone: (253) 318-8742 | e-mail: mnanfito@nitle.org | see full biography | back to menu

Michael Nanfito, NITLE executive directorMichael Nanfito is the executive director of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. He sets the vision and strategic direction for NITLE, working closely with our national advisory board, our fellows, and the NITLE member community. He also develops and directs NITLE’s staff.

Mr. Nanfito has a deep background in networked information resources and technology-related entrepreneurial activity, ranging from the development of very large data-driven web environments to consulting for small academic libraries. A 2002 Frye Fellow, Mr. Nanfito previously served as associate director of NITLE. Prior to his tenure at NITLE, he served as associate library director and then director of instructional technology at the University of Puget Sound. He holds an M.L.I.S. and a B.A. with honors in history (San Jose State University).         


W. Joseph (Joey) King, Distinguished Fellow

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Joey King is a distinguished fellow at NITLE. He previously served as NITLE’s executive director and vice president for innovation at Southwestern University. Prior to his tenure at NITLE, Dr. King was executive director of Connexions, a leading open education system with over 1 million unique visitors per month. Beyond higher education, Dr. King is a co-founder of Grifiti, a computer accessories company, and was president of Zama Networks, a quality of service network provider acquired by Mitsui & Co. He was also chief scientist of F5 Networks (FFIV, an S&P 500 company), which has become the industry leader in network traffic management. He serves on the boards of directors of Grifiti and CE Analytics. Dr. King holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction (University of Washington) and a B.A. with honors in computer science and experimental psychology (Southwestern University).         


Bryan Alexander, Senior Fellow

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Bryan Alexander is a senior fellow at NITLE as well as a researcher, futurist, teacher, writer, speaker, and consultant working in the field of technology and academia. His current research interests include emerging pedagogical forms enabled by mobile technologies, learning processes and outcomes associated with immersive environments (as in gaming and augmented reality), the digital humanities, and futurist methodologies. Dr. Alexander is the author of Future Trends in Technology and Education, a monthly report that surveys recent developments in how education is changing, primarily under the impact of digital technologies. His book, The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media, was published in April 2011 by Praeger. A 2004 Frye Fellow, he holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan.         


Thomas A. Warger, Senior Fellow

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Dr. Thomas A. Warger, NITLE Fellow Thomas A. Warger has held leadership roles in IT management in higher education for more than twenty years and is now a senior fellow at NITLE. Dr. Warger has served as chief information officer at Bryn Mawr College, IT projects coordinator at Five Colleges, Inc., and interim chief information officer at five other colleges; two of those posts included library interim directorship. Dr. Warger has been instrumental in helping NITLE define a productive and sustainable program and is a leading contributor to NITLE’s strategic consulting program.

Dr. Warger has consulted at numerous colleges and universities and been lead author of the Edutech Report newsletter for eight years. His experience includes: IT strategic plans and accreditation self-studies, ERP selection and implementation, IT staff development and re-organization, digital assets management, audio-video services modernization, instructional technology development, budgeting, project management, grant writing, regulatory compliance projects, IT governance committees, web and public relations development, learning management system selection and implementation, and construction and renovation projects for IT and instructional facilities.         


Kristine Bartanen, NITLE Fellow

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Kris Bartanen, NITLE FellowKristine Bartanen is academic vice president and dean of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, a position she has held since 2004. She has served Puget Sound as director of forensics, professor and chair of the Communication and Theatre Arts department, associate academic dean, and vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Dr. Bartanen’s work has included particular attention to development of academic-residential programs on the campus, including residential first-year seminars; growth of the interdisciplinary curriculum, most recently in neuroscience; and support of civic scholarship, such as the Sound Policy Institute and the Race and Pedagogy Initiative.

Dr. Bartanen chaired the West Coast Technology Project in 2004–2005, an effort to bring liberal arts colleges of the western states into collaborative engagement with new technologies and is currently a member of the steering committee for the new Northwest Five Colleges consortium. She has long-standing interest in the professional development of faculty members and significant experience in hiring and evaluation. Her focus as a NITLE Fellow is developing a framework for evaluating digital scholarship for faculty in the tenure and promotion cycle.

Dr. Bartanen holds a B.A. from Pacific University-Oregon and her M.A. and Ph.D. in rhetorical studies from the University of Iowa. She has been recognized with a Martin Luther King, Jr. “Keep Living the Dream” Award and as an honorary lavender graduate for her work in support of diversity and inclusion.        


Ethan Benatan, NITLE Fellow

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Ethan Benatan, Marylhurst UniversityEthan Benatan has worked in higher education IT since the 1990s, serving in roles from graduate assistant to vice president and chief information officer. He has held positions at Reed CollegeMarylhurst University, Duquesne University, and (as a graduate student) at the University of Pittsburgh and Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (Oregon chapter) and a graduate of the Frye Institute. As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Benatan is working with NITLE to think through the implications of shifting financial models on the business of the small college.

Dr. Benatan has published and presented widely including through EDUCAUSE, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges, Academic Commons, and the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries. He has served on the EDUCAUSE 20/20 advisory panel, as editor for the New Horizons department of EDUCAUSE Review, and on the ACM/SIGUCCS board. A recipient of the National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, he received his Ph.D. in computational biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 for work in the areas of artificial intelligence and three-dimensional protein structure.    


Chris Bourg, NITLE Fellow

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Chris Bourg, NITLE FellowChris Bourg is the assistant university librarian for public services at the Stanford University Libraries. In this role, she is responsible for the humanities, area studies, and social sciences libraries of Stanford University. Her previous positions within the Stanford Libraries include head of the Information Center, associate director for communications, associate publisher, and curator for the social and behavioral sciences. Prior to Stanford, Dr. Bourg spent 10 years as an active-duty U.S. Army officer, including 3 years as a member of the faculty at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Bourg will publish several articles for NITLE on library leadership and organizational design issues with a focus on helping academic libraries at small colleges think strategically about library services and scholarly communication.

Dr. Bourg is a 2009 graduate of the Frye Leadership Institute and is currently participating in the Stanford Fellows Program. She also serves on the steering committees for the Taiga Forum and the Public Service Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group of the Association of College and Research Libraries. She is a graduate of Duke University, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University. She has published on issues related to diversity and leadership, and shares her thoughts on issues facing academic libraries and higher education on her blog, Feral Librarian.         


Mark Dahl, NITLE Fellow

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Mark Dahl, NITLE FellowMark Dahl is director of the Aubrey R. Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College. Previously, he served at Lewis & Clark as the associate library director for technical and digital services and as the library technology coordinator. Prior to Lewis & Clark, he held positions at Central Oregon Community College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (as a graduate student). As a NITLE Fellow, Mr. Dahl will write several articles that outline guidelines to help college libraries move from building digital collections to developing digital initiatives centered around faculty and student scholarship; emerging modes of data services in liberal arts college libraries; and strategies for reconfiguring space in college libraries to meet a number of traditional and emerging academic needs on campus.

Mr. Dahl has presented and written extensively on library technology and digital initiatives. He is actively involved in the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education and the Orbis Cascade Alliance Consortium and also serves on the Oregon Historical Society Library Advisory Council. His professional interests include digital initiatives, student engagement with library resources and the future of the liberal arts college library.

Mr. Dahl holds a bachelor’s degree in history and journalism and master’s degrees in history and library/information science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a graduate of the Frye Leadership Institute (Class of 2006).         


Rebecca Frost Davis, NITLE Fellow

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Rebecca Frost Davis, NITLE FellowRebecca Frost Davis is the director for instructional and emerging technology at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. Previously, Dr. Davis served as program officer for the humanities at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), where she also served as associate director of programs. Prior to her tenure at NITLE, she was the assistant director for instructional technology at the Associated Colleges of the South Technology Center and an assistant professor of classical studies at Rhodes College, Denison University, and Sewanee: The University of the South.

As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Davis will develop a literature review relevant to intercampus teaching, which will cover contextual issues such as team-teaching, teaching through videoconferencing, and collaboration; a survey of intercampus teaching at NITLE member institutions; and several case studies of intercampus teaching at liberal arts colleges, including interviews with faculty, students, support staff, and administrators. This work will be summarized in a final report or white paper to be published by NITLE.

At Rebecca Frost Davis: Liberal Education in a Networked World, Dr. Davis blogs about the changes wrought by new digital methods on scholarship, networking, and communication and how they are impacting the classroom. In her research, she explores the motivations and mechanisms for creating, integrating, and sustaining digital humanities within and across the undergraduate curriculum. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in classical studies and Russian from Vanderbilt University.         


Rick Holmgren, NITLE Fellow

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Rick Holmgren, NITLE FellowRick Holmgren heads Allegheny College’s learning, information, and technology services group, which includes the library, the learning commons, computing services, and institutional research. Dr. Holmgren came to Allegheny in 1988 after earning his Ph.D. in mathematics from Northwestern University. A tenured member of the mathematics department, he currently serves as vice president for information services and planning at Allegheny.

Dr. Holmgren has served in a variety of administrative roles at Allegheny, including directing its first-year/sophomore programs and advising, chairing its accreditation review team, assisting with strategic planning efforts, and founding the learning commons. A 2005 Frye Fellow, Dr. Holmgren also serves on the College’s Administrative Executive Committee.       

As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Holmgren will publish several articles addressing the business model of small colleges. The express purpose of these articles will be to help small colleges grapple with the business-model issues facing liberal arts colleges.


Carol Long, NITLE Fellow

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Carol Long, NITLE FellowDr. Carol S. Long is provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of English at the State University of New York College at Geneseo, a position she has held since July 2009. She holds her B.A. from Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Northwestern University. She will become Interim President at Geneseo on October 1, 2013. As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Long will help develop a tool that defines metrics that college presidents can use to assess and express success rates in actually integrating pedagogy and technology.

At Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, Dr. Long was a member and later chair of the English department; she also served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and of the graduate School of Education at Willamette for seven years. She has a deep interest in interdisciplinary studies, and her most recent research is in the area of rhetoric of science; she has team-taught with chemists, biologists, mathematicians, visual and theatrical artists, environmental scientists and historians.

Dr. Long’s administrative interests have focused on curriculum, technology, and international education; her experience has included regional accreditation work, facilities design, grant writing, major gift fundraising, service on boards such as the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education and the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, and participation with consortia such as the Annapolis Group and the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Outside of academia, she has a long-standing interest in whitewater rafting and kayaking.         


Tracy Mitrano, NITLE Fellow

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Dr. Tracy Mitrano, NITLE Fellow Tracy Mitrano is the director of IT Policy and Institute for Computer Policy and Law at Cornell University. She currently serves on the boards Teach Privacy, the Cornell Daily Sun (independent student newspaper), the Tompkins County Broadband Committee, and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. She is also co-chair of the Hawkins Leadership Roundtable for EDUCAUSE.

A graduate and faculty member of the Frye Institute, Dr. Mitrano served as faculty for EDUCAUSE’s Seminars on Academic Computing, the Executive Leadership Institute and the Leadership Institute, and was a member of the EDUCAUSE Board (2006-2010). She served as a member of the InCommon Steering Committee for two terms, from 2004-2010 and has been a frequent speaker at conferences, colleges, and universities on the subjects of Internet national and institutional policy, electronic surveillance and government regulation, social networking, and privacy.

Dr. Mitrano has a doctorate in American Women’s History from Binghamton University and a law degree from Cornell Law School. Holding an appointment in the Department of Computing Information Science at Cornell University, she sometimes teaches a course “Culture, Law and Politics of the Internet.”         


Carol L. Smith, NITLE Fellow

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Carol Smith, NITLE FellowCarol L. Smith is the chief information officer at DePauw University, a leading national liberal arts college in Greencastle, Indiana, a position that she has held since 2008. Ms. Smith joined the DePauw community in 1994 and has been variously involved with information technology programs and initiatives at the university, including playing a key role in developing the Faculty Instructional Technology Support (FITS) program. Her current role as leader of the Information Services division is to ensure that effective, appropriate, and sustainable IT resources and services are available to all students, faculty members, and staff members of the DePauw community.

As a NITLE Fellow, Ms. Smith is focused on exploring how to develop a framework that helps campuses collaborate on the delivery of standard IT services.

Ms. Smith earned her undergraduate degree from DePauw and her M.S. degree in instruction systems technology from Indiana University School of Education in 2001. She is a graduate of the Frye Institute.          


Jo Cannon, Subject-Area Specialist

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Jo Cannon, NITLE subject-area specialistJoanne (Jo) Cannon has been working in the field of educational technology for more than 25 years. She earned her M.Ed. in instructional technology from UMass Amherst and her B.A. in mathematics and German from Mount Holyoke College. She is currently the assistant director of educational technology at Smith College, where she also manages the Center for Media Production. Over the years, she has worked with colleagues in a variety of fields to create educational multimedia applications and to teach students and faculty to create and use media effectively in their own work.

Ms. Cannon teaches courses in educational media, course design, and facilitating on-line learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has taught face-to-face, hybrid, and on-line courses and specializes in flexible course design with an eye toward accessibility and the varied needs of the learner in each of these environments.

As a subject-area specialist, Ms. Cannon leads workshops and facilitates discussions about media literacy, streaming media, course design for hybrid and on-line learning, and facilitating learning via web and media technologies.   


Michelle Moravec, Subject-Area Specialist

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Michelle Moravec, NITLE Subject-Area SpecialistMichelle Moravec has 20 years of experience in liberal arts education focusing on curricular transformation. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles and has taught at both large public institutions as well as small liberal arts colleges. She has also served in various academic administrative roles involving co-curricular programming and grant writing.

Dr. Moravec’s particular interests lie in translating the traditional abilities of humanities students into 21st-century skills. She is most interested in helping students and faculty to combine a range of existing digital humanities tools to create digital humanities projects.

As a subject-area specialist, Dr. Moravec leads workshops and facilitates discussions about blended learning, digital humanities, digital scholarship, open access, and social media in pedagogy.    


Cristián Opazo, Subject-Area Specialist

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Cristián Opazo, NITLE subject-area specialistCristián Opazo is a senior instructional technologist at NYU Global Technology. His area of expertise is designing, developing, and managing curricular projects involving the purposeful use of educational technologies with an emphasis on hybrid/blended courses. Before joining NYU, Mr. Opazo was the senior academic computing consultant at Vassar College, where he managed a series of learning technology initiatives and served as teaching faculty in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science. He holds a M.Sc. degree in physics from Michigan State University and a B.Sc. degree in physics from the Universidad de Chile.

As a subject-area specialist, Mr. Opazo leads workshops and facilitates discussions about mathematical modeling, computational simulations, scientific visualization, open source technologies, curricular design, and blended learning.    


Beth Secrist, Subject-Area Specialist

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Beth Secrist, NITLE subject-area specialistBeth Secrist has more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of IT, instructional technology, and libraries and information science. In addition to an M.S. in library science, Ms. Secrist has additional graduate work in instructional design, instructional and web technologies, learning theory, and graphic design. She has strong experience in IT administration, including content management systems, course/learning management systems, multimedia digitization, web services integration, and web accessibility. She also has experience in project and program management and is particularly interested in the digital humanities as well as the integration of information and digital literacies into the curriculum.

As a subject-area specialist, Ms. Secrist leads workshops and facilitates discussions about blended learning, the digital humanities, digital language labs, digital literacies, digital preservation, digital scholarship, program management and planning, and social media in pedagogy.    


Meg Stewart, Subject-Area Specialist

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Meg Stewart, NITLE subject-area specialistMeg Stewart has been collaborating with faculty members in thoughtful technology integrations and curriculum development informed by instructional-design best practices since 1998. She is an academic technology consultant who emphasizes learning goals first and teaches and supports the application of geospatial technologies in instruction for all disciplines across the liberal arts campus.

Ms. Stewart is a seasoned project manager, grant writer, and educator who has teaching experience at the community college level, at four-year colleges, and in graduate programs. She holds a Master’s degree in geoscience from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2009-10, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and conduct geospatial research at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

As a subject-area specialist, Ms. Stewart leads workshops and facilitates discussions about GIS and geospatial technologies, spatial literacy, learning spaces, grant writing, project management, digital literacy, digital humanities, course design, and social media in pedagogy.    


Randy Thornton, Subject-Area Specialist

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Randy Thornton, NITLE subject-area specialistRandy Thornton is an experienced educational technologist with a background in both college-level classroom teaching in the humanities and online application and systems management. He has taught widely in the humanities in both college classrooms and hybrid environments and has an academic background in philosophy and classics.

An active contributor to the Moodle community, Mr. Thornton has been awarded membership on the select “Documentation writers” group at Moodle.org in recognition of his contributions to community documentation. He is also the founder of LOMA, The League of Moodle Administrators, a peer-based community support group.

As a subject-area specialist, Mr. Thornton leads workshops and facilitates discussions about Moodle and other open-source technologies, open access, course design, blended learning, MOOCs, digital literacies, and program management and planning.  


Arden Treviño, Director of Shared Practice and Business Manager

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Mrs. Treviño manages NITLE’s business operations and finances. Previously, she has provided support for library projects and services at Southwestern University, provided financial services and investment consultation for the construction industry, and worked for an Austin-based lobbying firm during the Texas Legislative sessions. She has extensive experience in non-profit business operations, and holds both a B.F.A. with high honors (Texas State University-San Marcos) and an M.B.A. (University of St. Thomas).         


Grace Pang, Communications Specialist

phone: (734) 330-0467 | e-mail: gpang@nitle.org | see full biography | back to menu

Ms. Pang directs NITLE’s public relations efforts, supporting its strategic advancement as a thought leader in the liberal arts college space. She oversees the development of publications and content, handles media relations, and maintains NITLE’s communications with its member network. Previously, she worked in community relations at SOS Community Services, a non-profit social services agency, and in program development at the Great Lakes Colleges Association. She holds an M.A. in English (University of Michigan) and B.A. in English and rhetoric (University of Illinois).