Wendy Howard

Associate Instructional Designer, Center for Distributed Learning, IT&R 2017 Women's History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I am an Associate Instructional Designer with the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL), which falls under Information Technologies and Resources (IT&R). In addition to advancing our academic discipline through research and service, our primary responsibility is to support UCF’s teaching faculty in the design, development, and implementation of their online and mixed mode courses. This includes everything from teaching faculty development courses such as IDL6543 to individual consulting on Webcourses and online course design.

What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
I joined the Instructional Design team at CDL in July 2011 with a diverse background in both corporate training and higher education. After completing my undergraduate honors thesis on the math and physics principles used in programming video games, I was hired as a Course Director to build the physics and math curriculum for a new degree program in game design at Full Sail University and eventually a published textbook, Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers. After six years of teaching in that program, I transitioned to the corporate world as a technical trainer and eventually supervisor of technical trainers, writers, and instructional designers for companies such as FIS, Wyndham Worldwide, and Compudyne. Deep down though my passion has always been higher education, so I continued to teach at Rollins College as an adjunct professor in both the IT and Communication departments and developed online courses for the School of Technology and Design at Rasmussen College. Eventually, I came back to higher ed here at UCF where I absolutely love working at CDL full time and teaching as an adjunct for the Nicholson School of Communication. My current research interests are focused on faculty development for online education and internationalizing the curriculum with technology.

What is your academic background?
Ed.D., Education, University of Central Florida (2015)
Major Field: Instructional Design and Technology
Major Professor: Dr. Glenda Gunter
M.A., Corporate Communication and Technology, Rollins College (2003), honors
B.A., Mathematics, Secondary Education, Rollins College (1998), magna cum laude|Secondary School Program, Mathematics, Harvard University (1993)
Dissertation: A Formative Evaluation of a Technology-Mediated Alternative to Traditional Study Abroad

What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite UCF memory was my very first Knights football game. I had just started at CDL and my new colleagues invited me to join them tailgating and then watching the game. It was a great way to bond with the team, and it was back in the Blake Bortles era so we won the game!

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
I would love to provide every single one of our students with an international learning experience. Ideally, I wish we could give every student a scholarship to study abroad if they wanted to, and for those who choose not to travel, I would love to give them an opportunity to at least experience another culture live through the use of technology.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Never forget the reason why you chose this noble profession.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
If UCF were to name something in my honor, I would love it to be a new Faculty Lounge where we could all commune in comfort and with good food.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Given the opportunity, I would love to have lunch with Mr. Rosen. Stories of his philanthropy are legendary in my world, and it would be fascinating to hear a few directly from him.

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank Tom Cavanagh for my greatest successes at UCF. His support, encouragement, and trust in me (even when my ideas push the limits) has given me the confidence to take on some ambitious projects that are just now coming to fruition.

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
My 7th grade teacher Mr. Judice truly inspired me to pursue a career in educational technology. He recruited me to serve as a computer lab assistant during the silent reading period in junior high, and I still remember clear as day the first time we dialed up Prodigy and connected to this crazy thing called the Internet. I was hooked!

What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
In my master’s degree program at Rollins College we traveled to Silicon Valley as a cohort and visited some of the top tech companies at the time: Cisco, Sun Microsystems, McAfee, & Intel. It was an amazing experience to see companies that were pushing the limits of technology, and I remember noting the distinct differences in company cultures that allowed them to foster innovation.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I love restaurants that offer small plates or tapas so that I can explore different flavors and ingredients rather than committing to one entrée. It’s also fun to experiment with wine pairings to see what compliments each dish.

What is your favorite movie, book or music?
The movie Rudy still brings me to tears every time I watch it.

What is your favorite vacation destination?
I absolutely love exploring the Caribbean islands, especially by sailboat. Each island nation has a distinct personality, and my goal is to eventually visit each and every one.

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Contact Us

Linda Walters, Director of the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty
Linda.Walters@ucf.edu

Fran Ragsdale, Administrative Assistant
Fran.Ragsdale@ucf.edu

Phone: 407-823-4240

Mailing Address
Center for Success of Women Faculty
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 160955
Orlando, FL 32816-0955

Physical Address
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816

Internal Mail (UCF)
Center for Success of Women Faculty
CL1 Room 207
32816-0955