QM Research Colleagues

Quality Matters Research Colleagues support QM by conducting, presenting, writing, and publishing research on online learning, including QM-focused topics such as design and implementation. They also contribute to the body of research that supports the QM Rubric and framework, propose QM-focused research projects and professional development, and provide consultation for research-focused inquiries. 

Current QM Research Colleagues

  • Barbara W. Altman, Ph.D., Texas A&M University - Central Texas (since 2016)

    Barbara (Barb) Altman is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Management for the College of Business Administration at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen, Texas. Dr. Altman is interested in research on corporate social responsibility, sustainability, organizational change, public/private partnerships, and improving online and blended course design and delivery. She has over 18 years of teaching experience in online and blended formats. She serves on the Quality Matters Academic Advisory Committee.

  • Deborah Anne Banker, Ed.D., Tarleton State University (since 2014)
    Deborah Anne Banker

    Deborah Anne Banker is a Full Professor in the Division of Child Development and Family Studies at Tarleton State University. She also serves as the Quality Matters Coordinator for the university. Dr. Banker has engaged in independent research to improve her online courses and is fascinated by discoveries in the research literature regarding student learning, achievement, satisfaction, and retention in online courses. She is published on teacher preparation and training.

  • Racheal Brooks, Ph.D., QM Director of QA Implementation Solutions
    Racheal Brooks

    Dr. Racheal Brooks, Director of Quality Assurance Implementation Solutions at Quality Matters, is a higher education administrator, educator, and consultant who has dedicated over fifteen years to expanding the possibilities of teaching and learning. She leads QM's consulting initiative and provides targeted, individualized support to institutions committed to enhancing their online quality assurance implementation efforts. As a faculty member, Dr. Brooks facilitates online and blended Spanish and graduate-level research methods courses. Dr. Brooks's research centers on online instruction, learner success, curriculum development, culturally affirming and inclusive design, digital accessibility, program assessment, and online language instruction.

  • Steven Crawford, Ed.D., Maricopa County Community College District (since 2022)
    Steven Crawford

    Steven Crawford is the District Director for the Maricopa Center for Learning and Innovation at the Maricopa County Community College District. His interests include the use of educational technologies, usage of multimedia, and emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence. He is also interested in approaches to course design to effectively leverage blended, HyFlex, and synchronous online learning environments. In addition, Steven serves on the Quality Matters Academic Advisory Committee.

  • Barbara Frey, D.Ed., University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University (since 2022)
    Barbara Frey

    Barbara is an Instructional Design Consultant with the University of Pittsburgh and an Assistant Professor with the School of Education at Point Park University. Her background includes over 20 years of teaching experience with the World Campus at Pennsylvania State University and the Global Campus at Colorado State University. In addition, Barbara is an active Quality Matters Facilitator, Master Reviewer, and Researcher, plus a Scholar with the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI). Her research interests include instructional design, online teaching and learning, and digital accessibility. Barbara is co-author of the book Distinctive Distance Education Design: Models for Differentiated Instruction (IGI Global Publications, 2011).

  • Amy Grincewicz, Ph.D., Kent State University (Senior Research Colleague)
    Amy Grincewicz

    Amy Grincewicz is the Director of Instructional Design for Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Kent State University. Her dissertation from Capella University focused on instructional design strategies to promote deep learning within accelerated online courses across various disciplines and much of her current research focuses on designing quality courses and programs. She is an experienced face-to-face and online instructor with over 15 years of teaching experience. Read more about Amy M. Grincewicz and her work at Kent State.

  • Steve Kaufman, University of Akron
    Steve Kaufman

    Steve has been an instructional designer for 18 years, and is a Senior Instructional Designer and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at the University of Akron. Currently, he serves as one of the Quality Matters Ohio Consortium’s State Leads and is chair of their executive committee. Steve is also a certified APPQMR Facilitator, Course Review Manager, Master Reviewer, and Chair of the QM Instructional Designers Association. Through his experience, he has been able to help grow online programs by providing insight and guidance into the course development process, and frequently coaches institutions on their QM implementation.

  • Rae Mancilla, Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh (since 2022)
    Rae Mancilla

    Rae Mancilla is the Assistant Director of Online Learning at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She brings to bear over a decade of design and project management expertise in developing fully online and blended programs, including large-scale course developments. She is also an active educator and researcher, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on Instructional Technology, and is passionate about faculty development for online learning. Her research interests include the professional development of instructional designers, language learning and technology, digital accessibility, and program evaluation.

  • Stella C. S. Porto, Ph.D., Inter-American Development Bank (since 2016)

    Stella C. S. Porto is a Learning & Knowledge Management Specialist Sr. at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). She leads a team managing online training and online courses in the areas of development focused on Latin America and the Caribbean as well as IDB staff. Previously, she was the director of the Masters of Distance Education and E-Learning at University of Maryland Global Campus (previously UMUC). She holds a doctorate in Computer Science and master’s degrees in computer science and distance education. Stella's research interests involve educational technology, online course design, and e-learning projects for both adult education and professional training, with a focus in technology and management. Stella's LinkedIn address is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stellaporto/

  • Penny Ralston-Berg, M.S., Pennsylvania State University (since 2020)
    Penny Ralston-Berg

    Penny Ralston-Berg is currently a Senior Instructional Designer for the Penn State World Campus. She has over 25 years of online learning design experience. Her research interests include student perspectives of quality and how this impacts design practice, the growth of instructional designers from novice to expert, and the use of games and simulations in online instruction. She is a QM AOFC and AAFC facilitator and former chair of the Quality Matters Instructional Designers Association. She is also a Quality Matters Coordinator for Penn State.

  • Andria F. Schwegler, Ph.D., Texas A&M University – Central Texas (since 2020)
    Andria F. Schwegler

    Andria Schwegler is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Counseling and Psychology Department at Texas A&M University – Central Texas and serves as Chair of the Counseling and Psychology Department and the Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Applied Psychology. She has 30 years of experience teaching students from pre-kindergarten to graduate school with over 10 years of experience teaching blended and online courses in higher education. Her research interests include norms related to teaching, participation in course enhancement, quality of feedback in course reviews, academic rigor, the application of human learning research to teaching, and online information literacy.

  • Kay Shattuck, D.Ed., QM Founding Director and Senior Advisor for Research

    Kay Shattuck has worked with adult education for more than 35 years, focusing on online and distance education since 1999. Kay was a member of the initial group of Maryland distance educators who developed what would become Quality Matters and served as QM’s Director of Research through 2019.  She continues now as Founding Director and Senior Advisor for Research by supporting the research team led by Dr. Bethany Simunich, QM’s Director of Research and Innovation. In addition to her work with QM, she is an associate editor of The American Journal of Distance Education.

  • Bethany Simunich, Ph.D., QM Vice President of Innovation & Research
    Bethany Simunich

    Dr. Bethany Simunich, Vice President of Innovation and Research at Quality Matters, leads efforts to help institutions, faculty, and staff make data-driven, research-based decisions to implement quality assurance best practices and promote online student success. In her over twenty years in higher education, she has held faculty roles for both in-person and online teaching, and also worked in online faculty development, instructional design, and online administration. Dr. Simunich is also co-Director of the CHLOE Project (Changing Landscape of Online Education), and author of the book, HIDOC: High-impact Instructional Design for Online Courses.