Information Design and Strategy Online


Ignatius Aloysius

Ignatius Valentine Aloysius completed his MFA in Creative Writing with a focus on fiction from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, where he received the Distinguished Thesis Award for his novel manuscript Fishhead. Soup., now under consideration by Curbside Splendor Press. A finalist for The Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists competition, Aloysius was also an interdisciplinary Ragdale resident. In addition, he became the 2014 Writer-in-Residence at el Ranchito Cielito con Nopales in La Union, New Mexico. Aloysius moderated several writers’ panels and also participated as a guest panelist at the 2015 Chicago Writers Conference. His writing has appeared in TriQuarterly, Newcity, the Chicago Tribune, LaTolteca Zine, and Gander Press Review. Aloysius is currently Managing Editor of the bilingual LaTolteca Zine online. He lives in Evanston and makes a living as a graphic designer and teacher of English and design software. In his spare time, he writes songs and plays lead guitar in a hard rock band.

Currently teaching:Advanced Writing Workshop

Atef Bader

Atef Bader has been working in the IT industry for many years and currently is a member of the technical staff at Lucent Technologies. He is a recognized expert in object-oriented technology, automated software testing, concurrent software systems and software architecture. His technical papers have been presented at numerous conferences and published in technical journals. Bader holds a PhD in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Currently teaching:Data Management Principles

Jen Baker

Jennifer (Jen) Baker’s expertise is in the interdependence of communication theory and practice, where she strives to help others find true confidence in their interactions with others. She is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communication and technical writing; she has also taught a number of communication courses at the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and at Northwestern University. Professionally, Baker has worked at a marketing company (Harte-Hanks), an engineering firm (Radian), and a variety of educational organizations. Artistically, she has founded an inner-city high school speech/debate team, assisted with photography and animation in independent films, and produced a radio show on communication.

Courses taught include Theories of Persuasion, Business Communication, Collective Decision-Making and Communication in Organizations, and Professional Communication Skills. She has also taught field study courses where she is able to champion both the theory of communication and the practical nature of interaction in organizations through the experiential learning model. In her workspace, she has been called the happiest professor that a student has ever known. Baker received her MA in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Currently teaching:Effective Communication

Kevin Budelmann

Kevin Budelmann is the president and co-founder of Peopledesign, a design strategy firm based in Michigan. Kevin oversees the firm’s strategic direction and helps manage client relationships as designer, strategist and change catalyst. Budelmann has been a designer at Herman Miller Inc, served as the president of APDF (Association of Professional Design Firms) and AIGA West Michigan (Professional Association for Design) and is on the board of IxDA (Interaction Design Association). His co-authored book, Brand Identity Essentials (Rockport 2010) has been translated into six languages and is available worldwide. He received a Master of Design Methods from IIT Institute of Design and is a frequent speaker and guest blogger on brand and design innovation.

Currently teaching:Information and Content Strategy

Mark Clare

Mark Clare, founder of New Value Streams Consulting, has more than 20 years of experience in knowledge management, strategic change and informatics with Fortune 200 companies, including 3M and Allstate. His previous executive positions include vice president of knowledge and informatics management at Parkview Health, a nine-hospital system in northeast Indiana. Clare is author of many publications, including the book Knowledge Assets and a series of articles in KM Review on “Solving the Knowledge-Value Equation.” He holds a patent in artificial intelligence and has several more patents pending. Clare has an MS in physics, an MA in analytic philosophy and a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Currently teaching:Foundations of Leadership

Michael Dain

Michael Dain has been a practitioner in the field of Human-Computer Interaction since 1997, and received his master’s in the subject in 2001. His interests combine a deep appreciation for human behavior, design history and principles, and interaction patterns and innovations. He has held many roles in leading development of innovative experiences, including Creative Director and Experience Design Director. His advertising work has won Cannes Gold and Silver Lions, Addy Awards and Marcom awards. He has worked in Advertising, Education, Health Care and Enterprise Systems. Dain has developed and taught User Centered Design courses for DePaul and Northwestern Universities.

Currently teaching:Information Design and Architecture

Ric Edinberg

Ric is a pragmatic dreamer who blends experiences in design planning and fine art. He holds a master’s degree from the Institute of Design and a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His experiences have enabled him to integrate a variety of sensibilities to forge a pragmatic approach to developing tools and systems that that people can relate to and use, and that also add economic value for his clients. As director of the U.S. office for Insitum, Ric has designed and led many successful international research and innovation projects spanning the globe in countries such as South Korea, Nigeria, Uganda, Turkey, Peru, Venezuela and Mexico, to name a few.

Currently teaching:User Research

Adriano Galvao

Brad Gerstein

Brad Gerstein is VP, Experience at Rauxa where he manages the customer experience and visual design teams. Prior to joining Rauxa, Gerstein was a user experience instructor for Digital Bootcamp, where he advised agencies on the latest trends in user experience design. While at Digital Bootcamp he also taught courses to post-graduate students on user experience at the Chicago Portfolio School. Before this, he was an executive vice president at Decision Counsel, where he established and grew creative and user experience teams within the organization. Gerstein is an award-winning design professional with over 16 years of industry experience fusing strategic planning, creative concepts, technological innovation and ground breaking design into highly engaging interactive experiences that allow companies to build enduring relationships with their customers. He received his MFA from Art Center College of Design.

Currently teaching:Models and Theories of User-Centered Design

Matthew Green


Currently teaching:User Research

Randy Hlavac

Lauren Johnson

Lauren Johnson is the Coordinator of the Interaction Design major and the User Experience and Web Development minors in the Interactive Arts and Media (IAM) Department at Columbia College Chicago, and has been a faculty member in this program since 2006. She received her Masters in Education, Learning Design and Leadership, New Learning, from the University of Illinois, where she studied knowledge acquisition and educational theory through the lens of usability and technology. She teaches interface design, interaction theory, user experience and usability, and collaborative development. She also runs an interaction design company, Goodspark, which focuses on content management systems and usability analysis for small businesses, with a specialization in women-owned businesses and creative

Currently teaching:Models and Theories of User-Centered Design

Khusro Kidwai

Khusro Kidwai is the Assistant Dean for Distance Learning at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies. In this role he collaborates with the School’s leadership and Office of Distance Learning staff to establish and implement a vision for online learning. He is responsible for overseeing partnerships with other offices in the school – Graduate Programs, Undergraduate Programs, Professional & Post-Baccalaureate Programs, Marketing, and Student Services. Prior to joining Northwestern University, he was the Director of Online Teaching and Learning and the Director of the Center of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Southern Maine (2010-2012) and Research Associate at the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Pennsylvania State University (2009-2012).

He received his Ph.D. degree from the Instructional Systems program at Pennsylvania State University in 2009. His doctoral work focused on the design and development of a web-based reading environment. In 2013 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Board of Standards in Performance, Training and Instruction (IBSTPI).

Currently teaching:Instructional Design

Rebecca Kuchar

Rebecca is a seasoned insights professional who orchestrates all manner of qualitative and qual/quant research worldwide. With a method-agnostic approach, she is just as likely to be found conducting co-creation groups, ethnographies and telephone interviews as she is coordinating longitudinal online, mobile or hybrid studies. Rebecca has conducted research across the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia. Her clients have included Allstate, Citi, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel and the U.S. Census Bureau. Rebecca earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a RIVA-trained moderator and a member of ESOMAR, the world research organization.

Currently teaching:User Research

Glenn LeBlanc

Glenn LeBlanc is a freelance learning designer with Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, working to develop courses in the Predictive Analytics and Information Design and Strategy programs. Prior to joining Northwestern, he was Senior Instructional Designer at University College in the University of Maine System, where for over 20 years he worked with faculty teaching at a distance using multiple technologies, including interactive television, the Blackboard course management system, videoconferencing, desktop conferencing, and screencasting. In addition to his freelance work at Northwestern, LeBlanc also works as a Network Instructional Designer for Southern New Hampshire University.

His interest in providing educational opportunities for rural and under-served students began as a Peace Corps Biology and Math teacher in a village government secondary school in Cameroon in the early 1980s. He pursued this interest with a focus on Anthropology and Education, completed a Master’s degree in Anthropology at Syracuse University, and completed all course work in the Ph.D. program in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation at Syracuse University School of Education.

Currently teaching:Instructional Design

William Lester

William Lester is the MPPA faculty director and a scholar of political science and public administration. His research interests include leadership and ethics, public administration, disaster response, organizational theory, public personnel, and American politics. He has published in Public Administration Review and The Public Manager, among other journals, and is on the editorial board of Public Voices. He has a book forthcoming in the American Society for Public Administration series entitled Transformation and Leadership in Disaster Response. Lester was named a 1999 Civitas Scholar and was also a 2009 participant in Minnowbrook III. Recently, Lester was named a Fulbright scholar, teaching and researching in Moscow. He received his MPA and PhD from Texas Tech University with specializations in public administration, American politics, and political theory.

Currently teaching:Foundations of Leadership

Jessica Mansbach

Jessica Mansbach is currently a Learning Designer at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies. In this role, she partners with faculty throughout the School to design online courses. She also teaches masters level classes at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. Mansbach holds a doctorate degree in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University and master’s degree in Social Work from University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the School of Professional Studies, Jessica coordinated a teaching apprenticeship for College of Education graduate students at Michigan State University. Her teaching interests include online learning, adult student development, and student leadership.

Currently teaching:Introduction to Learning Theory

Thomas Miller

Thomas W. Miller is faculty director of the Predictive Analytics program. He has helped to design courses for the program, including Marketing Analytics, Advanced Modeling Techniques, Data Visualization, Database Systems and Data Preparation, Web and Network Data Science, Sports Management Analytics, and the capstone course. He has taught extensively in the program, offering courses in modeling methods, machine learning, and web analytics. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern, Miller spent fifteen years in business IT in the computer and transportation industries. He also directed the A. C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research and taught market research and business strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Miller is consulting editor to Pearson Education in practical data science. His books with Pearson include Data and Text Mining, Modeling Methods in Predictive Analytics with Python and R, Web and Network Data Science, Marketing Data Science, and Sports Analytics and Data Science. Miller is also owner of Research Publishers LLC and its ToutBay division, a technical publisher and provider of data science services. He has consulted widely in the areas of retail site selection, product positioning, segmentation, and pricing in competitive markets, and has worked with predictive models for more than thirty years. Miller holds a PhD in psychology (psychometrics) and a master's degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA and master's degree in economics from the University of Oregon.

Currently teaching:Data and Text Visualization

David Noffs

Dr. David Noffs has spent over 10 years as an Instructional Technologist and Designer in the Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence at Columbia College Chicago where he oversaw the development of online interactive tools and the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS’s). In this capacity, he supervised the installation of a campus-wide Moodle (Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) LMS in 2008 and development of training programs for students, faculty and staff. Noffs’ work grew to include not only teaching faculty and staff ways to use technology in the classroom, but also oversight of the creation of faculty led virtual learning communities, and non-stop facilitated online courses for faculty and staff development. In addition, he helped develop and teach workshops for mobile app development, online coursework development (instructional design), grade book design, portfolio design, and an array of online teaching tools, including integration of social media into virtual learning communities. Noffs joined Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in 2015. His doctoral dissertation in Adult and Continuing Education from National Louis University is entitled, Resonating Frequencies of a Virtual Learning Community: An Ethnographic Case Study of Online Faculty Development at Columbia College Chicago. Noffs also teaches courses in Sound Design, Web Design and iOS, C# and C++ Programming at Columbia’s department of Interactive Arts and Media.

Currently teaching:Learning Environment Design

Eric Patrick

Eric Patrick is an associate professor at Northwestern University in the School of Communication. Prior to working at Northwestern, Patrick was an animator for the Peabody award winning and Emmy nominated Nickelodeon program Blues Clues. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his work has won numerous awards both domestically and internationally, including awards at The Black Maria Film Festival, The Humboldt International Film Festival, Semana de Cine Experimental de Madrid, South by Southwest Film Festival, The Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Festival de Cinema Independent de Barcelona. His own independent animated films include Stark Film, Ablution and Retrocognition. He received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

Currently teaching:Visual Communication
Capstone Project

Russell Roberson

Russell Roberson is vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for a global medical company, assuring that products and services are designed, manufactured, distributed, and serviced properly. He has responsibility for an extensive portfolio of healthcare software products in both medical (pharmacy, imaging, electronic medical records, and prescription management products) and nonmedical (financial and data-privacy products) device areas affected by global regulation. Roberson is a frequent speaker at global conferences on such topics as software design processes, regulatory affairs, and quality management systems. A licensed professional engineer, he holds professional certifications in engineering, auditing, and management; is active in several professional societies; and sits on his college fraternity’s national board of trustees. Among his publications are two books on leadership and cancer management. Roberson has a doctorate in business administration and management, an MBA degree, and a MS in mechanical engineering.

Currently teaching:Foundations of Leadership

Marianne Seiler

Marianne Seiler is a senior principal in Accenture’s customer analytics practice. She works with global marketing, sales and customer service leaders to drive growth and shareholder value through the application of analytics. She specializes in helping clients restructure organizations, reengineer processes, implement enabling technologies and establish performance metrics to convert analytic insights into market actions. Her research and writing is focused on data-driven marketing, high-performance customer management and analytics application in customer-facing functions. Seiler previously held executive positions in marketing and business development at Viacom, Harte Hanks and Dow Jones. She has a PhD in management from Claremont Graduate University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Currently teaching:Introduction to Data Collection and Analytics

Sam Tepper

Samuel R. Tepper is a Digital Partner at Salesforce where he works with clients to achieve their digital transformation objectives. Tepper likes to say that he embodies "Moneyball" meets "eHarmony" for sales. Tepper has been an adjunct instructor at the School of Professional Studies (SPS) for over 15 years, teaching classes in a variety of subjects, including Sales Communications, Theories of Persuasion, Bargaining and Negotiations, and Professional-Client Communications. Prior to Salesforce, Tepper led sales strategy and development at PwC where he used data and analytics in their marketing, sales, and service strategies. Before this, he worked as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting and Accenture where he used analytics to help his clients boost revenues and cut costs. Tepper received a patent in using predictive modeling to uncover the 'DNA' of High Performance Selling.

Prior to working as a consultant for some of the largest consulting firms in the world, Tepper co-founded Strategic Information Partners Corp., a small full-service information strategy consulting firm specializing in solving unique business problems. Tepper received the Excellence in Leadership and Teaching Award from SPS in 2014 and the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. He received his PhD, MA, and BS from Northwestern University.

Currently teaching:Capstone Project

Donald Wedding

Donald Wedding works at the SAS Institute as a financial services industry consultant for advanced analytics. He previously worked in risk and customer analytics in both the banking and insurance industries. He is a frequent presenter on analytic topics at conferences, user groups and industry meetings. He is particularly interested in segmentation and cluster analysis as machine learning algorithms. Wedding received his PhD in engineering systems from the University of Toledo, where he specialized in machine learning and expert systems. He has an MS in engineering from the University of Toledo, an MS in business from the University of Akron and an MS in data mining from Central Connecticut State University. He is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Currently teaching:Introduction to Techniques of Predictive Analytics