Quality Matters Academic Advisory Council

The Quality Matters Academic Advisory Council (QMAAC) was created in 2004 during the grant phase of Quality Matters and has since evolved in purpose and composition. The Council provides guidance to and oversight of the programmatic directions and initiatives of Quality Matters. In 2014, the QMAAC became a standing committee of the QM Board of Directors. The QMAAC's 15 members include representatives of QM subscriber schools, QM senior staff and online and blended learning leaders who provide a national perspective.

QMAAC members are to represent an institution or organization’s interests and viewpoint to QM; provide guidance on QM to ensure QM’s long-term sustainability and success; help to review new initiatives and act in an advisory role for new projects; and disseminate QM-related information, materials, and opportunities to others.

QMAAC Members

  • Deb Adair, Ph.D., ex officio

    Deb Adair graduated from Broward College and earned a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.  For the past decade, she has cultivated the growth of Quality Matters (QM) from a grant supported initiative to a non-profit organization engaging thousands of educators in peer review processes to improve and certifying the quality of online and blended courses. QM has trained more than 60,000 educators, each working to improve student learning. Under Dr. Adair’s leadership, Quality Matters has helped focus the education community on the practical application of quality standards to online and blended courses and programs and has worked continuously to effect improved student outcomes. Dr. Adair has served in a leadership role for Quality Matters since it earliest days.

    Deb has more than 25 years’ experience in higher education, in faculty and administration, as well as non-profit leadership and management consulting. Dr. Adair has held faculty appointments in management at the American University and Troy State University and was an Adjunct Associate Professor teaching online courses for the University of Maryland University College. Previously, she served in the U.S. Army as a Soviet Analyst and Cryptologic Linguist (Russian).

    Dr. Adair received an A.A. degree from Broward Community College, a B.S. degree from Boston University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Arizona. She is a graduate of the first class of the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Education and an alumna of the HERS Leadership Institute. Her acknowledgements include citations from state and local governments for her work on literacy and women’s issues, the Broward College Alumni Merit Award, and the Nofflet Williams Award for service to the distance learning community.

    She has served on the boards of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies and the National University Technology Network, the National University Technology Network, the Presidents' Forum, and Credential Engine.  She has authored and interviewed broadly as an expert in quality assurance for online learning.

  • Missale Ayele, J.D., MPH

    Missale Ayele, J.D., MPH is the Project Coordinator for the Online Chronic Disease Program in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.  In this capacity, she created a competency‐based graduate certificate curriculum supported by a workforce training needs survey and research.   She managed the design, development, and delivery of quality online courses. Missale is also the Institutional Representative for Quality Matters at Georgia State University. She is interested in promoting health, workforce development, and capacity building through evidence‐based education and leveraged technology.

  • Brenda Boyd, ex officio

    Brenda Boyd joined QM in May, 2011 and currently serves as Senior Academic Director, Program Services. She leads the professional development team and is responsible for all QM professional development offerings. Brenda and her team launched QM's Teaching Online Certificate, a pathway for faculty to demonstrate their knowledge of online teaching through the use of digital credentials tied to evidence in 2016. She oversees the quality assurance department as well and is responsible for the updating of QM Higher Education Rubrics.

    Brenda has served QM in several capacities since 2004. During the grant-funded period, Brenda served on the QM Advisory Board. Brenda helped found the Ohio Quality Matters Consortium in 2007 and was active as a state-wide system facilitator to bring QM to institutions throughout the State of Ohio.
    Brenda served on the Rubric Review Committee for the 2011-2013 Edition of the QM Rubric, was co-chair of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Rubric Committee, and is currently co-chair of the QM Higher Education Rubric Committee, Sixth Edition.

    Her background includes experience in both Community College and University settings. Brenda has worked with faculty in helping them design online courses from developmental to graduate level programs for over eighteen years. She has led faculty learning communities on topics ranging from using technology in the classroom to using virtual worlds for teaching and learning. She has also worked for a corporate consulting company with a private University where she created a plan to bring the University up to speed with technology tools to support online teaching and learning to all five campuses in four states.

    She holds a M.S. in Education with a specialization in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University and a B.F.A. from University of Dayton.

  • Gary Brown, Ph.D.

    Gary Brown, Ph.D., serves as Academic Director of the Association for Authentic, Experiential & Evidence‐Based Learning (AAEEBL) and as a member of the Campus Technology Advisory Board.

    With AAEEBL, Gary serves on the executive committee. He is also been a leader in the development of the annual survey and, currently, he co‐ chairs The Advisory Council, a group that includes representatives from the ePortfolio vendor community dedicated to advancing best ePortfolio practices.

    With AAC&U, Gary has served as an assessment leader and recently contributed in the publication of two monographs reporting on pilot work with Lumina’s Degree Qualification Profile (DQP). The DQP has been developed to articulate a common set of college learning outcomes and, specifically, to outline outcomes useful in two and four‐year institution’s transfer collaborations. In addition, Gary has contributed to the development and advancement of AAC&U’s VALUE initiative, which includes a set of rubrics developed by teams of faculty to help guide the assessment of student learning.

    For Campus Technology, Gary has served as an evaluator of conference proposals and annual innovation awards.

    Previously, Gary was Associate Vice‐Provost at Portland State University with responsibility for online learning and assessment.

    Before that, Gary’s experience was At Washington State University where, at various times, he directed the Office of Innovation and Assessment, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and he was Associate Director of Washing State University’s Writing Center. At Washington State, Gary was a leader in launching the institution’s fledgling online courses and degree programs. Gary has more than 40 years of experience in technology enhanced curriculum, assessment and evaluation, and he has evaluated several NSF, USDA Challenge, and FIPSE grants.  He has taught English, Communication, and graduate level Program Evaluation. He has served on the Oregon University System’s Assessment Group, and as co‐chair on Oregon’s statewide prior learning assessment for PSU.  He was on the Washington State Governor’s task force that supported the implementation of online learning in the state high school system. In addition, Gary served as assessment editor for Technology Source and Innovate, two of the first fully online peer reviewed journals.  He directed the team that developed Flashlight Online, one of the first online survey instruments, and he directed the development of one of the early learning management systems. His work has been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Education.  His teams have received 6 best research awards and 2 best publication awards, and Gary was a recipient of the first Washington state wide awards for teaching, learning and assessment.  He has consulted at over 100 institutions in the United States, Canada, Australia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.  Gary has been a National Learning Communities fellow and served on the National Advisory Board for Information Literacy.

    Gary has an interdisciplinary Ph.D. with emphases in Multimedia Discourse and Program Evaluation.

  • Cynthia France Ph.D.

    Cynthia L. France, Ph.D., served as Director of the Faculty Development Center and Professor of Instructional Design at Chesapeake College before retiring in June 2016. She has many years experience applying her instructional design expertise in diverse settings, including two- and four-year academic institutions as well as large corporations. She has taught graduate courses in instructional design and managed design teams and large projects. During her sixteen year tenure at  Chesapeake, Dr. France  served as the co-project director of two successful grants funded by The Maryland Higher Education Commission and sponsored by the Eastern Shore Association of Colleges, focusing on quality in online course design and using technology to improve instruction. She also served on the original FIPSE grant team that crafted the first Quality Matters rubric and peer review process.  Under her direction, the Faculty Development Center at Chesapeake managed online course design and development, helpdesk services for online students, and technical support for instructors, and offered faculty training and development opportunities. Dr. France completed her doctoral work in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

  • Yakut Gazi, Ph.D.

    Yakut Gazi, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Learning Systems at Georgia Tech Professional Education, overseeing learning design and development, technology infrastructure, compliance, and assessment. She has worked at higher education institutions in the United States, Qatar, Turkey, and Spain as an instructional designer, media specialist, IT consultant, faculty member, and technology leader since 1993. Prior to joining Georgia Tech Professional Education, she was the assistant vice chancellor for engineering remote education at Texas A&M University.  Dr. Gazi also led the distributed learning and classroom technology operations at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Under her leadership, the institution’s online semester credit hours grew to 40% and the institution was awarded the 2013 Quality Matters Making a Difference for Students Award for online educational quality.

    In addition to these roles, she has taught courses in educational technology, foundations of distance learning, psychology of learning, theories of learning, and predictive analytics in higher education.

    She is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Social Media in Society, Educational Technology, Research, and Development (ETR&D), and the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. She presented at regional, national, and international conferences and is the author or co-author of book chapters, journal articles, and proceedings. She is the co-author of a book titled, “Discourse Indicators of Culture in Online Courses: Designing Learning Environments for Global Success.”

    Dr. Gazi has her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, and an M.A. in Educational Sciences and a B.S. in Teaching Chemistry, both from Bogazici University in Turkey.

  • Julie Porosky Hamlin, Ph.D.

    Since 2001, Julie Porosky Hamlin, Ph.D., has served as executive director of MarylandOnline, a consortium of 20 public and independent colleges and universities in Maryland that collaborate in online learning. Previously, Hamlin was senior vice president of University of Maryland University College (UMUC), having begun her career as a faculty member in UMUC's European Division. At UMUC, Dr. Hamlin oversaw a number of operational units, including undergraduate programs, military programs, international programs, contract programs, student affairs, marketing, a research institute, and a leadership institute.

    Dr. Hamlin’s career in higher education includes appointment to several boards and commissions; service as an evaluator and team chair for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; and service as an evaluator for the American Council on Education’s Military Institution Voluntary Education Review (MIVER) program. As time permits, she teaches online classes in the University of Phoenix’s Ph.D. in Higher Education program. Hamlin holds a Ph.D. in higher education policy from University of Maryland College Park and a B.A. and M.A. in English from The University of Arizona.

  • Ray Lum

    Ray Lum is an Associate Professor with twenty years’ academic experience in the Department of Health Management and Policy within the School of Public Health at Drexel University. He teaches blended and online courses in health management and policy. Ray also serves as the School of Public Health’s Director of E-Learning, where he directs the online learning activities. These duties involve managing the technology related to delivery of online and blended courses through the Learning Management System (LMS) and measuring the learning outcomes via the Academic Evaluation Feedback and Intervention System (AEFIS). Ray serves on numerous university and school committees regarding technology and curriculum development related to quality and pedagogy. This includes his present role as a Provost Online Learning Council Fellow. As one of several Fellows, he is responsible for capacity building of online program offerings and their quality across the university. Ray is also a QM Master Reviewer. 

    Ray’s research interests are in the areas of reducing health disparities in the Asian population with a focus in cancer. He co-founded the American Cancer Society Asian Advisory Committee 12 years ago that now has over 40 community organizations in the Philadelphia region. The Asian Advisory Committee’s focus is to build these community based organizations’ capacity related to health. Ray also co-founded Hep B United Philadelphia five years ago that focuses on reducing Hepatitis B across various ethnicities with particular interest in the immigrant population. Due to Hep B United Philadelphia’s successful outcomes, it was selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a model to establish national best practices for building capacity and community collaboration. Over the past couple years, Ray has been mentoring students in health disparities research though a HRSA Opening Door Training Grant in health outcomes related to community capacity building.

    Ray is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and holds a Master's of Philosophy and a Master's of Science in Organizational Dynamics. He received his Bachelor's of Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering.

  • Elizabeth McMahon

    Elizabeth (Beth) McMahon is a faculty member from Northland Community and Technical College. An experienced educator and instructional designer for face-to-face, online and blended courses, she regularly facilitates workshops and webinars for faculty that focus on best practices for online teaching, course design and integration of academic technology. She is a System Lead Coordinator for Quality Matters (QM) in Minnesota and is Co-Coordinator of the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (a project sponsored by Minnesota State). She is a certified by QM as a Master Reviewer, Course Review Manager and Facilitator, and regularly facilitates workshops and courses for QM. In addition to serving on the QM Academic Advisory Council, she is also a member of the Minnesota State Academic and Student Affairs Technology Council and the Minnesota Learning Commons Advisory Board.

  • Michael Mills, Ed.D.

    Michael Mills, Ed.D. is the vice president of the Office of E-Learning, Innovation and Teaching Excellence at Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Maryland. 

    He leads a team that focuses on quality, innovation, and incorporating new technologies into the learning environment. Recent initiatives have included working with faculty to use mobile applications and open education resources in their classrooms. The emphasis on technology is centered around increasing student engagement, whether the courses are face-to-face or in a distance format.

    Prior to arriving at Montgomery College, he was director of e-learning and a full-time faculty member at Delaware Tech.

  • Penny Ralston-Berg

    Penny Ralston-Berg is currently an instructional designer for the Penn State World Campus and telecommutes from her home in Menomonie, WI. She works with faculty to design and develop online programs for the general undergraduate portfolio (GUP) and Labor and Employment Relations (LER). She also works on special projects related to quality standards, process improvements and faculty development. Her research interests include student perspectives of quality and how this impacts the design of online courses; and the use of games, simulations, and virtual worlds in online instruction.

  • Joseph Scuralli, DPS

    Joseph Scuralli, DPS, serves as the Berkeley College Dean, Online. In this role Dr. Scuralli works closely with Deans and Department Chairs, supervising and influencing online academic programs. More than 2,900 students enrolled in at least one online class at Berkeley College last year.

    Dr. Scuralli designed and taught the first online Foundations of Marketing course for the Berkeley College MBA in Management program. He most recently served as Berkeley College Interim Dean, Online. In addition to his teaching experience in the Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, Dr. Scuralli also served Berkeley College in the positions of Chair, Management, and Interim Dean, Larry L. Luing School of Business. As Interim Dean he oversaw the Accounting, Financial Services, Fashion Merchandising and Management, Management, and Marketing Communications departments. Dr. Scuralli joined the Larry L. Luing School of Business faculty in 2007.  As Chair of the Management Department he oversaw five academic program departments, comprised of 11 degrees offered. His prior teaching experience included faculty assignments at William Paterson University.

    Dr. Scuralli serves as a Councilman in the Township of Wayne, Ward 4, and was the president of a family-owned plastic-processing machinery business for 10 years.  He holds a DPS from Pace University and earned both MBA and BS degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

  • John Sener

    John Sener is the founder/CKO of Sener Knowledge LLC, a consulting practice which co-creates knowledge leading to positive change in education, learning, and society. As a pioneer in online learning, he brings a unique mixture of broad practical experience and academic expertise to the council. He was the external evaluator for the original FIPSE-funded Quality Matters project and has been a member of the Quality Matters Academic Advisory Council since its inception. He is the author of The Seven Futures of American Education: Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World (CreateSpace, 2012).  He was also involved with the Online Learning Consortium/Sloan Consortium for many years in numerous capacities, including Director of Special Initiatives, Effective Practices Editor, JALN editorial board, and various other roles. He also served as a member of the Council on Academic Management for Army University Access Online (eArmyU) and the NUTN Advisory Board.

    During his seven years at Northern Virginia Community College's Extended Learning Institute, he was a pioneer in demonstrating the feasibility of creating successful online degree programs at the community college level, directing development of the nation’s first distance education associate engineering degree program along with associate degree programs in information technology, business management, and public management. 

    His career in education and training over the past 35+ years includes directing a number of foundation and federally funded projects. He has also been a trainer, teacher, administrator, instructional designer, and tutor in the areas of adult literacy, basic skills, information systems, and English as a Second Language. He holds a MS degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Psychology from Oberlin College.

  • Kay Shattuck, D.Ed., ex officio

    Kay Shattuck, Ed.D., boasts an adult education practice spanning 30 years: Initially with adults in transition, and since 1999 with a focus on distance education. She has been teaching ADTED World Campus courses since 2000. Additionally, she is an associate of Penn State World Campus Faculty Development program where she authors and facilitates online courses available to PSU online faculty.

    In 2002, Dr. Shattuck was part of a group of Maryland distance educators awarded a FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education) Grant from the US Department of Education. The resulting program - Quality Matters – is now an international program to improve online education. Dr. Shattuck continues a leadership position with QM as the director of research. In 2008, she was honored as the Distance Learning Administrator of the Year by the Maryland Distance Learning Association. She was recently one of 25 invited online learning leaders who participated in a quality in online learning conversation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

    Dr. Shattuck’s academic affiliation is with The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education, Education/Learning Performance Systems where she has been teaching online with the World Campus since 2000. She is also affiliated with the World Campus’ Faculty Development program where she authors and teaches online courses for faculty. Recently, she organized and acted as editor for the upcoming book, Assuring Quality in Online Education: Practices and Processes at Teaching, Resource, and Program Levels.

    Dr. Shattuck’s interests in distance education include the interactions of cultures (broadly defined) in online distance education and all aspects of research on the Quality Matters™ Rubric and process. Her current research is focusing on student retention. Her current practice focus is on issues related to course designs that are culturally inclusivity.

  • Bethany Simunich, Ph.D.

    Bethany Simunich, Ph.D., is the Director of Online Pedagogy and Research at Kent State University. She has worked with Quality Matters for many years, including as a Master Reviewer, APPQMR & IYOC facilitator, and Senior Research Colleague. She is a QMC and Course Review Manager for Kent State and co-State Lead for the QM Ohio Consortium and, in 2016, received the QM Making a Difference for Students Award. She has held positions as faculty member, educational technologist, and instructional designer, and teaches graduate courses in online teaching and instructional design. Her research interests include presence in the online classroom, peer evaluation of online teaching and design, online student and instructor satisfaction, and rigor and outcome achievement in online courses.

  • Julie Uranis

    Julie Uranis serves as the Vice President for Online and Strategic Initiatives at UPCEA and the Managing Director of the National Council for Online Education. Prior to joining UPCEA she led two units at Western Kentucky University (WKU) as the Director of Distance Learning and Continuing & Professional Development. Uranis began her career at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where she held both teaching and administrative positions. She earned her B.A in History from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, a M.S. in Technology Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, all from EMU.

  • Darlene Williams, Ph.D.

    Darlene Williams, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Technology, Innovation, and Economic Development at Northwestern State University. In this capacity, she oversees the Offices of Electronic and Continuing Education, Office of Sponsored Programs, the Small Business Development Center, campus sites located at Barksdale Air Force Base and the Tunica‐Biloxi Cultural and Educational Resources Center, and two satellite campuses located in Alexandria and Leesville‐Ft. Polk. Williams administers eNSU (Northwestern State’s Electronic Campus), an extensive online professional development program for faculty, and one of the largest video conferencing networks in the state. She also serves as the Chair of the Louisiana Board of Regents eLearning Task Force. Williams earned her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska‐Lincoln.