Skip to main content
SPS Logo

Program Faculty

Information Design and Strategy

Ignatius Aloysius

Ignatius Aloysius

Email Ignatius Aloysius

Currently teaching:
Advanced Writing Workshop

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.


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 communication and interaction with others. She is an experienced writer with a background in marketing, corporate communication, and technical writing; she has been teaching communication courses for almost 20 years, starting at the University of Texas at Austin, moving onto the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and now at Northwestern University. Baker has worked at a marketing company, an engineering firm, and a variety of educational institutions. 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. Personally, Baker lives in Evanston IL and is raising two young children, along with her elderly canine.
Courses taught include Theories of Persuasion, Business Communication, Collective Decision-Making and Communication in Organizations, Strategic Communication, Using Data to Make Informed Decisions, and Professional Communication Skills. Baker also teaches practicum and 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 awarded the SPS Distinguished Teaching Award and 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.


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.


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.


Kathreen Fontecha

Kathreen Fontecha

Email Kathreen Fontecha

Currently teaching:
Visual Communication

Kathreen Fontecha is the UI/UX Designer and Production Coordinator at the Statewide Integrated Pest Management program at University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. She has over a decade of experience as a graphic designer. She has extensive experience working on the visual design of technical information which sparked her interest in data analysis and information design. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies Information Design and Strategy program with an emphasis in Data Science and Analytics. Through this program, Fontecha was able to combine her passions and interests in information collection, analysis for patterns and trends, and presenting the information visually and effectively. Fontecha received her bachelor’s degrees in Design (Visual Communications) and English from the University of California, Davis.


Randy Hlavac is an expert in digital marketing and how to use consumer and business big data to define, target, and develop high value markets. Randy teaches Digital, Social and Mobile Marketing Strategies in the Medill IMC program, Marketing Analytics in the McCormick Engineering Management program and Social Media and Content Curation in the School of Professional Studies. Randy also works with The Garage and the Farley Entrepreneurial program to assist entrepreneurs to grow and position their brand using social and digital marketing. In addition to teaching, Randy is director of the OmniChannel Initiative – a joint venture with IBM to bring new business and marketing technologies into the college curriculum at Northwestern.

Randy also helped Northwestern develop Coursera online programs in Social Media Marketing and Content Strategy and Content Curation. These courses are offered worldwide and have students in over 150 countries. They are some of the largest online programs on marketing and content in the world.

Randy is CEO of Marketing Synergy, Inc. Founded in 1990, Marketing Synergy helps clients from start-ups to Fortune 100 to develop effective digital marketing strategies and deploy the marketing, customer service, and financial metrics systems to improve profits and grow market share.

Randy speaks at business, technical and marketing conventions around the world. He is a frequent speaker at IBM conferences on Big Data, Watson, and IoT. Randy is also the author of the book – Social IMC – Social Strategies with Bottom-Line ROI and will soon be publishing Prosper – Your Guide to Building Profitable Digital Marketing Programs. Randy is also a blogger on digital and social marketing technologies.


Reginald Jackson

Email Reginald Jackson

Currently teaching:
Instructional Design

Reginald (Reggie) Jackson is currently Senior Learning Engineer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Integrated Marketing Communications Program and Northwestern IT’s Teaching & Learning Technologies department. In this role, he consults with faculty in the design and development of courses as well as the use of technology and teaching strategies. Prior to joining Northwestern, he was an Academic Technology Analyst at University of Chicago. Before coming to higher education, he held positions as a corporate trainer and instructional designer primarily in the banking industry. He also teaches for Roosevelt University's Graduate Program in Training and Development. Reggie holds a doctorate degree in Adult Education from National-Louis University, master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Instructional Design and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola University.


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


Reba-Anna Lee

Email Reba-Anna Lee

Currently teaching:
Instructional Design


David Noffs

David Noffs

Email David Noffs

Currently teaching:
Learning Environment Design

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.


Chris Rinere

Chris Rinere

Email Chris Rinere

Currently teaching:
Data Management Principles

Chris Rinere is a Manager, Global Trade Project and Training for Shure Incorporated. He has a decade of experience in information design, software implementation, data analysis, and learning development program management. Chris’ experience within the learning development spectrum inspired his interests with analytics, visual design, and how they connect to user-centered behavior and learning. He has built teams and learning development programs from the ground up and served as a product manager with different banking, construction, and software products including strategy planning, visual design development, opportunity discovery processing, and socializing the product vision. Chris is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies Information Design and Strategy (IDS) program with an emphasis in Data Science and Analytics. He earned a dual-Bachelors Degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo in Adolescent Education and English Literature.


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.


Back to top