Fusion Summit - Part 2: Strategically Building Community: A Conversation with Minority Serving Institutions on Centering Belonging and Community

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) have historically been hubs for strategically building community across the lifespan of the institution and the student lifecycle. Regardless of one’s institutional type, learning about these critical engagement and community building strategies can help to deepen and strengthen how institutions build belongingness and community in  digital spaces. Join us for this must-attend panel conversation with some of the top leaders from Minority Serving Institutions to learn more about critical community building and student engagement strategies. 



Angela Gunder is the Chief Academic Officer and VP of Learning for the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she is responsible for gathering, curating, and leveraging the intellectual capital created by and disseminated through OLC. Prior to her position at the OLC, Angela served as the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning, managing and mentoring the team that builds the fully-online programs for The University of Arizona. Her over fifteen-year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in web design, usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. She is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and the recipient of the 2018 MERLOT Distinguished Service Award, the organization’s highest honor. She is also the recipient of two Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Awards for the creation of a framework for personal learning networks, and for the creation of exploratory installations of education technology, respectively. In 2019, Dr. Gunder was named an OLC Fellow for her dedication to service, innovation, and scholarship in support of student success in online learning. Her research interests include open educational practices, digital literacies, narrative in online course design, and emerging technology for second language acquisition. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University. Angela completed her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at The University of Arizona, where in 2020 she was named an Erasmus Scholar by the College of Education for her commitment to the college, the university and to the community. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Originally from Salta, Argentina, he obtained an MSS at Utah State University and certificates in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University, QM Teaching Online Certificate, OLC Teaching Online Certificate, Promoting Active Learning Online, Association of Colleges and Universities Education, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, British Columbia, Canada, Indigenous Canada, University of Alberta, Canada, and Aboriginal Worldviews and Education, University of Toronto, Canada. He is currently serving as the Distance Education Coordinator at Leech Lake Tribal College and Teaching a Computer Basic Skills Course at the college. Antonio is a Quechuan Native and his ancestors come from the small village of Quiriza, Potosi, Bolivia.
Shani Suber is the inaugural Dean of E-learning Effectiveness and Enhancement at Dallas College. She has served in a variety of roles including 23 years in education as a K12 teacher, adjunct, faculty, and administrator. In her current role, she is the academic lead administrator for Dallas College’s learning management system (LMS) migration. She established the Online Learning Users Group (OLUG), comprised of faculty, chairs, and deans representing Dallas College's seven schools, is a dedicated, professional group that seeks to advance online learning at the college. OLUG guides online learning policy, process, technology, resource development, and faculty and student support decisions at Dallas College. These efforts resolved the challenge of having several online quality standards into one Dallas College Online Teaching Framework implemented across Dallas Colleges’ newly consolidated one college with seven campuses. To support faculty’s professional development for new federal standards of distance education, she secured grants to support/align quality of online teaching and instructional designer support for faculty throughout the LMS migration. Her leadership spans across 80k students, 3k faculty, and 7 ‘Schools Of’ at Dallas College. Shani's portfolio includes leading collaboration across the college to aid in online accessibility, sustainability, and technology. As an online learning leader, Shani has been committed to diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education over the years. She advocates for students with disabilities and equality in education for all students while implementing innovation and review educational digital tools. It’s her honor and life’s work to commit her professional career to encouraging, developing, and collaborating with educators in this incredible and meaningful industry for the students in the community.

Extended Abstract