MIchelle facilitating a workshop

I was raised in California's Silicon Valley by my mother, an artistic woman with a passionate voice, and my father, a man with a love for reading who became a research chemist. My parents are both first generation Americans. In 1959, my father left his family in New Jersey to drive across the country to California and pursue his dream of being the first in his family to attend college. At this time, tuition for California's community colleges was free for residents. He began his journey at Porterville Community College and eventually earned his Ph.D. with the support of my mother. This story inspires me to support public higher education and the needs of diverse learners. Risk-taking, creativity, and innovation were part of my back-drop growing up in Silicon Valley. I connected these values in graduate school, by studying the history of art and photography.

I believe that being an educator today is a gift, as we are amidst the greatest learning revolution in history. Technology will continue to enable a future where learning is inclusive and accessible to all, but teachers -- not tools -- will fuel this shift. Designing human-centered learning experiences is our new focus.


  • Working for CSU Channel Islands as Innovations Lead on the Teaching & Learning Innovations team. I work remotely with my awesome team. Learn more about our humanizing approaches for remote work here.
  • Writing for EdSurge
  • Wrapping up the 2nd edition of my book, Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies
  • Developing a humanizED podcast
  • Working on developing a series of Great Online Teachers Seminars (contact me for info!)
  • Speaking with faculty around the nation (invite me to your event!)
  • Loving my family
  • Spoiling my dog
  • Feeling grateful for every single day of my beautiful life
  • Dreaming about a trip to Italy
  • Learning from everything...always


  • Ed.D. Educational Leadership and Management, Capella University
  • M.A. Art History, University of California, Riverside
  • B.A. Studio Art/Photography, San Jose State University


    • 2011, Educator Advancement Scholarship, Capella University
    • 2010 , Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
    • 2009 Edublog Award
    • 2007, Sloan-C Excellence in Online Teaching Award
    • 2007, NISOD Teaching Excellence Award
    • 1997, 1998 - UCR/California Museum of Photography’s History of Photography Fellowship


  • 2015, How to Humanize Your Online Class, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), online workshop
  • 2014 & 2015, Advisory Board, NMC Horizon Report, Higher Education
  • 2015, Conference Chair, Online Learning Consortium/MERLOT, 8th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium
  • 2014, Conference Chair-Elect, Sloan-C/MERLOT, 7th Annual ET4Online
  • 2012, Member of the California Education Technology Taskforce





  • LinkedIn, Corporate Headquarters, (Keynote). The Fractal Life: Harnessing Social for Authentic, Agile Living. User Experience Design, All Hands Meeting, Mountain View, CA, July.
  • Rasmussen College, (Keynote). Risking It All: Learning in the Social Era. Rasmussen Academic Symposium North and South, Minneapolis, MN and Tampa, FL, June.
  • Online Teaching Conference, (Concurrent Session). The Center: An Online Learning Community for California's CC Faculty, San Diego, CA, June.
  • Online Teaching Conference, (Concurrent Session). Creating a Mobile-Friendly, Humanized Syllabus with Populr.me. San Diego, CA, June,.
  • Skyline College, (Invited Speaker). How to Humanize Your Online Class: A Faculty Workshop. San Bruno, CA, May.
  • Sloan-C International Emerging Technologies Symposium for Online Learning, (Invited Session). Learning Out Loud: Changing Student Mindsets About Voice Comments. Dallas, TX. April.
  • Cuyahoga Community College, (Keynote). Teaching in The Dark: Learning to Love What We Fear. Tri-City EMerge Conference. Cleveland, OH, March.
  • Technology Innovations & Pedagogy Conference (Keynote), Humanizing Learning with Emerging Technologies, Fresno State, Fresno, CA, January 13.
  • State University of New York (SUNY) (Invited Speaker), How to Humanize Your Online Class. SUNY Learning Network Online Summit 2014. New York, NY, February.