Digital Learning Team

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Maria Parés-ToralMaría Parés-Toral
Director of Online Pedagogy and e-Learning Production

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Phone: (414) 288-5453

As the Director of Online Pedagogy and e-Learning Production, María has primary responsibility for the development and implementation of online programming at Marquette. She also coordinates educational development opportunities for faculty related to instructional technology and course design.

Before joining the Department of Digital Learning, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at Marquette University. Over her career, she has integrated her skills as a graphic and instructional designer and her knowledge of pedagogical principles to create educational materials, such as instructional modules, animations, and illustrations to enhance learning in various subject areas.

María's interests include culturally responsive course design, educational development, and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). María enjoys presenting at national and international conferences and coordinating, developing, and facilitating workshops and seminars for professional development, implementing diverse modes of face-to-face, blended, and online delivery.

María holds a doctorate in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master's in Foreign Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Graphic Design from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. 

Design Team

Sheila BernhardtSheila Bernhardt
Accessibility Specialist

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Phone: (414) 288-5969

Sheila is an Instructional Designer specializing in accessibility compliance of the resources used and the content within D2L.  Sheila provides one-on-one consultation with faculty and she designs and facilitates workshops that provide information and hands-on learning experiences focused specifically on accessibility in D2L and accessibility compliance.

Sheila began her career in higher education as an adjunct instructor in the undergraduate program at Marquette and continues to teach in the Lubar Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.  While at Marquette, she earned her e-learning certificate from the Center for Teaching and Learning and for the last several years Sheila has worked with the Department of Digital Learning as a contract Instructional Designer. 

Prior to working in higher education, Sheila worked in various management positions within the manufacturing and finance sectors.  Sheila was instrumental in leading change and training employees in concepts such as Leading Teams, Lean, Six Sigma, and Supply Chain Management.

Dan FreerDan Freer
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-6358

Daniel Freer is an Instructional Designer at the Department of Digital Learning. He comes to Marquette from Michigan State University, where he was as an Educational Technology Specialist in the College of Education's Design Studio. There, he worked with research faculty to help facilitate the implementation of D2L and other new technologies in their classrooms. In addition, at Michigan State University he consulted with faculty one-on-one on how best to use educational technology to meet their learning goals. Dr. Freer has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Education, both online and face-to-face. His research focuses on cognitive development as it relates to students' learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Dan provides consultation on course design and the implementation of educational technology in the classroom. He is available for one-on-one meetings to help facilitate the course design process for online, blended, and traditional courses.

Dr. Freer received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University.

Kathy AuchterKathy Auchter
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-3453

Kathy Auchter is an Instructional Designer for Marquette University in the Department of Digital Learning. Kathy enjoys collaborating with faculty and the design team to develop rigorous and meaningful online courses that support authentic learning outcomes in a timely manner. Additionally, Kathy’s role includes developing and hosting faculty development sessions.

Combined Kathy has nearly twenty years of teaching and instructional design experience. Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Community Education from UW-Milwaukee, Kathy served one term in AmeriCorps in the Urban Education Fellowship Program while earning her Master’s degree in Education from Alverno College. During her AmeriCorps service and beyond, Kathy taught middle school students English and religion. Kathy earned a Professional Certificate in Online Education from UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. She developed computer-based course training for a host of Microsoft Office Suite products for large corporations. Most recently prior to joining MU, Kathy served as an Instructional Designer at Concordia University where she enjoyed collaborating with faculty and administrators in the Office of Continuing and Distance Education developing comprehensive online courses in graduate education programs.

Bryan FedeBryan Fede
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-6095

Bryan is an Instructional Designer at Marquette University in the Department of Digital Learning. He received his Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where his interests focused on mathematics teacher training and professional development. His dissertation research was centered around the design, development, and facilitation of online courses for practicing elementary school mathematics teachers. At UNC, Bryan taught a number of face-to-face, blended, and online courses for prospective and practicing mathematics teachers and also consulted with faculty in the School of Education on the pedagogy of online teaching and learning. Bryan’s current research interests include the facilitation of asynchronous and synchronous online discussions.

Before pursuing his doctorate, Bryan was a high school mathematics teacher and an elementary math coach. In addition to a Ph.D., Bryan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. He is currently enrolled as a graduate student in the Instructional Systems Technology certificate program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  

Janna WrenchJanna Wrench
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-1470

Janna Wrench is an Instructional Designer for the Department of Digital Learning at Marquette University.  She enjoys working with faculty one-on-one to develop their courses in multiple modalities to free up the learning experience.  Taking the traditional course and exploring new ways of authentic learning and assessment, Janna works with faculty to reimagine their courses for the best possible outcomes for the learners utilizing instructional technology.

Janna is a Marquette alumna three times over, holding a bachelor’s degree in history and education, a master’s degree in Nineteenth Century history, and doctoral work in educational policy and leadership. She has almost 20 years of teaching experience at the high school and college level, and over 10 years of instructional design work. She is an adjunct associate professor of writing and humanities at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design as well. Janna has created and facilitated a wide range of faculty development programs for the Center for Teaching and Learning over the last 10 years revolving around online learning and educational technology.

Britney ManningBritney Manning
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-1936

Britney is an instructional designer at Marquette University in the Department of Digital Learning. Her Master’s degree is in Learning Design and Technologies with an emphasis in online learning. She enjoys custom designing creative and meaningful learning activities that align well throughout the course. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Nutrition with a wellness emphasis from the University of Minnesota. She additionally holds a variety of certificates in business and technology tools.

Prior to employment at Marquette University, Britney has held a variety of management and organizational leadership roles. She recently moved back to the states after living three years in Italy.

She enjoys playing with her baby girl, Kennedy and spending time at Gopher Games with her husband who is a Captain in the Air Force.

Christina JohnsonChristina Johnson
Instructional Technologist

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Phone: (414) 288-4991

Christina Johnson joined the Department of Digital Learning team in 2018. She is responsible for D2L technology education and training. Her Master’s degree was completed at UW-Milwaukee in Administrative Leadership with a focus in educational technology and instructional design. She has higher education experience in a variety of areas including teaching, advising and instructional design.

Christina’s interests include trail biking with her daughter and husband, gardening, farmer’s markets and birding.


John BlandinoJohn Blandino
Media Production Specialist

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Phone: (414) 288-1567

John moved from Madison to Milwaukee to join the Marquette community in 2014. He has 17 years of experience in video production and over 10 years of experience in news production. Enjoying creative and challenging video projects as well as meeting new and interesting people, John happily accepted his position at Marquette feeling it balanced his professional interests and faith. He graduated from MATC, Milwaukee campus, with a degree in television and video production and enjoys movies, rock climbing, and working on his house when he has free time. John feels fortunate to be able to do what he loves everyday.​​​

Katelyn StamasKatelyn Stamas
Media Production Specialist

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Phone: (414) 288-5168

Katelyn graduated from Marquette University in December 2017 with a B.A. in Digital Media. During college she worked as a student employee at the Academic Media Center and then worked in news following graduation. In her downtime she enjoys playing with her dogs, crafting and traveling. She is glad to be back at Marquette and continue her passion for video production in her professional career.


Nick BarbeauNick Barbeau
Media Production Specialist

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Nick graduated from UW Oshkosh in December of 2019 with a B.A. in Radio TV Film (RTF). Through his academic career he worked multiple video production internships and assisted on as many outside productions as possible. In his free time, he enjoys movies, road trips, painting and writing. Nick is excited to bring his enthusiasm and love for video production to his professional career, at Marquette.


Emily NewellEmily Newell
Graphic & Web Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-1659

Emily joined the Department of Digital Learning after 12 years experience in advertising agencies. She is designer of branding, identity, advertising, web and digital, and interactive spaces. She is excited to bring this knowledge to Marquette and use it to design more visually engaging online experiences for students and faculty. Emily has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.