Anya Andrews

Senior Research Scientist and Instructional Systems Architect, Institute for Simulation and Training history month profiles

What is your current job title and responsibilities?
As a Senior Research Scientist at the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, I am responsible for providing instructional technology expertise to a variety of our sponsored research and development efforts. I specialize in learning innovation for training, education, and human performance improvement.

What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I started at UCF in 1999 as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Nicholson School of Communication when pursuing my Master’s degree in Media Communication (’01). I quickly got involved in supporting several faculty members in using technology for teaching purposes. When I later enrolled in the Instructional Technology doctoral program (’06) at the College of Education, I was hired by the Dean’s Office to conduct research in education while also supporting the college on the learning technology side. Upon graduation, I spent several years working in leadership roles in the training industry and was thrilled to come back to the academia as a faculty member at IST in 2009.

What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite UCF memory was the Ph.D. graduation ceremony. Due to a traffic jam near campus that day, I arrived late and was escorted to the doctoral bench by an usher as thousands of eyes were looking at me. I was really embarrassed at first but as soon as I saw my doctoral advisor Dr. Gary Orwig’s smiling face kindly welcoming me to take a seat he had saved for me, I felt once again that the UCF faculty do stand by their students.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would like to bring simulation into every classroom at UCF. We already many wonderful examples of incorporating simulation into the curriculum and, considering the expertise we have within the UCF, we can take it much further.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Seize every learning opportunity that is presented to you and never rest on your laurels.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Chocolate-covered strawberries.

What is your favorite book or movie or song?
My favorite book is “A History of Art” by Lawrence Gowing. I always feel inspired after spending an afternoon with this insightful book.

What is your dream vacation spot?
My dream vacation spot is Tahiti. I would love to experience the serenity of the beautiful Tahitian nature I have seen in so many vacation guides.

What is your favorite sport to watch or participate?
Figure skating is my favorite sport to watch on TV. Growing up in Russia, figure skating was always a favorite outdoor activity in the winter time.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be?
I am a firm believer in interdisciplinarity and most of my experience has been working with interdisciplinary teams. If UCF wanted to name an interdisciplinary award or a scholarship in my honor, I would volunteer my time to mentor and support the awardees.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF, who would you choose and why?
I would like to have lunch with Dean Deborah German of the UCF College of Medicine and explore many great collaboration opportunities for pursuing research on simulation in healthcare and faculty development

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I would like to thank everyone who has mentored, inspired, and worked with me over the years: my graduate advisors Dr. Burt Pryor and Dr. Tom Morgan from the UCF Nicholson School of Communication; my doctoral professors Dr. Gary Orwig, Dr. Dick Cornell, and Dr. Mike Robinson from the UCF College of Education; and my fellow IST colleagues Dr. Randall Shumaker, Dr. David Metcalf, and Dr. Clint Bowers.

Name and describe a teacher from you past who truly inspired you.
Dr. Dick Cornell was my first professor in the Instructional Technology program who quickly put our studies in the right perspective: effective instructional design should reside on sound learning principles, whereas technology is just an enabler for implementing creative design ideas.

What undergraduate class/program inspired you the most and why?
My undergraduate degree is in Linguistics, and it was the advanced etymology class that inspired me to take a strong interest in studying the origins of words and idiomatic expressions. Whenever I come across an antique book, I am always curious to discover the original meaning of a word and how it evolved through time.


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