Advisory Buddies

Advisory Buddies

In May of 2016, after a year of successful connecting around the globe, the Virtually Connecting Co-Directors announced that they had asked some well respected active members of the movement to act as Advisory Buddies to help make decisions about direction and resources. In May 2017, we added three more.

A. Michael Berman (@amichaelberman) – Convener of Advisory Buddies, Onsite/Virtual participant, and Blogging Buddy: I am the Chief Technology Innovation Officer for California State University Office of the Chancellor. I’ve been a computer science professor, I’ve developed software, and I wrote a C++ textbook back in the day. I blog at despite generally failing as a curmudgeon. I’m also involved with NMC (New Media Consortium) where I’m a member of the board of directors. I am an advocate for creating new opportunities at all levels of higher education for those who are underrepresented. Most days I enjoy life, and sometimes I make music.

Gardner Campbell (@GardnerCampbell) – Advisory Buddy and Onsite Guest: Gardner Campbell currently serves as Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, where for nearly three years he also served as Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success and Dean of the innovative University College. He is an intellectual omnivore, a former radio announcer, a professor (Milton and Renaissance studies, film studies, new media studies), and a bassist. Gardner has worked in teaching and learning technologies for over twenty-five years, nearly fifteen of those (to his great surprise) as an administrator. He’s been a member of numerous advisory boards as well as the governing board of the New Media Consortium, serving as chair in 2011-12 and again in 2017-18. He also speaks frequently at conferences and workshops, both nationally and internationally, including keynote talks in Sweden, Canada, Italy, and Australia. In 2011 he was named one of the top 50 innovators in educational technologies, and in 2016 he led the “Great VCU Bike Race Book” project at VCU that won a teaching and learning Innovators Award from Campus Technology magazine. You can read his blog, “Gardner Writes,” at .

Amy Collier (@amcollier) – Advisory Buddy and Onsite Guest: Amy Collier received her doctorate in Family Studies from Texas Woman’s University in 2008. Through her graduate studies in social sciences and 10+ years working in faculty development, Amy has been an advocate for learners and teachers across a variety of educational institutions, from community-based service organizations to large public broad-access universities. Currently, Amy is the Associate Provost for Digital Learning at Middlebury College, where her strategic vision positions Middlebury as a leader in creating and sustaining a global learning community through digital pedagogies and technologies. Prior to this, Amy was the Senior Director for Inspiration and Outreach in the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning at Stanford University, where she oversaw online and blended course design initiatives, conducted research to inform effective teaching practice, and was a strong advocate for evidence-based instructional improvement, strategy and planning.

Laura Czerniewicz (@Czernie) – Advisory Buddy and Onsite Guest: Associate Professor Laura Czerniewicz has a long history engaging with open scholarship, open access and open education in higher education. She is the director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Prior to that, she headed OpenUCT, a three-year Mellon funded initiative which culminated in an institutional repository designed to share both research and teaching resources, an enabling institutional open access policy, Guidelines supporting open access and research outputs. She blogs intermittently at

Kristen Eshleman (@kreshleman) – Advisory Buddy, Onsite/Virtual Buddy/Participant: Kristen Eshleman is Director of Digital Innovation at Davidson College. She leads an R&D initiative focused on the design and research of experiments that explore new models of a liberal arts education in the digital age. R&D provides a safe-to-fail space where risk-taking is encouraged and design-based research informs Davidson’s digital strategy. The anthropologist in her is drawn to the intersections between technology and culture. Her current pedagogical interests include learner agency, digital scholarship, inclusive pedagogy, and mindfulness & contemplative learning. In partnership with the Cynefin Center for Applied Complexity at the University of Bangor, she is currently pursuing micro-narrative research focused on higher education as a complex adaptive system, exploring how institutions might be optimally structured to foster and account for open and emergent learning.

Chris Gilliard (@hypervisible) – Advisory Buddy, Onsite Guest, and Virtual Buddy/Participant: Chris Gilliard has been a professor for 20 years, teaching writing, literature, and digital studies at a variety of institutions, including Purdue University, Michigan State University, the University of Detroit, and currently Macomb Community College. His students have gone on to graduate programs at a variety of schools: University of Colorado, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, Columbia, University of Chicago, and elsewhere. Chris is interested in questions of privacy, surveillance, data mining, and the rise in our algorithmically determined future.

Kyle Johnson (@kyleejohnson) – Advisory Buddy and Onsite Guest: #weirdCIO Kyle Johnson is the Dean for Information Technology & Services and Director of Emerging Learning Technology for Chaminade University where he focuses on helping the institution make the best use of technology to serve their students. He has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education.  He believes technology can be the catalyst that amplifies the effect of good faculty using sound pedagogy to reach students and is passionate about leading in that process.

Kyle is certified by SCUBA Skills International (SSI) as a Master Diver with over 300 dives during last 16 years at sites in ten different countries around the world.  He is sorry that more of you can’t live in Hawaii, especially in the winter.

Alan Levine (@cogdog) – Advisory Buddy, Blogging Buddy, Virtual Buddy, and Onsite/Virtual Participant: Alan is recognized for expertise in the application of new technologies to education. A pioneer on the web in the 1990s and an early proponent of blogs and RSS, Alan shares his ideas and discoveries at CogDogBlog. Among his recent interests are new forms of web storytelling (including 50+ Web 2.0 Ways To Tell a Story, pechaflickr, and the StoryBox), as well as leading and teaching the open digital storytelling class, ds106.

Most recently (October 2014-March 2015) spending four months as an Open Learning Fellow at Thompson Rivers University, he typically fills time consulting with higher educational institutions on digital technologies and the affordances of the open web working with institutions such as the Digital Media Hub, Mozilla, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served as an instructional technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington, following leadership positions at the New Media Consortium and the Maricopa Community Colleges.

When possible, he enjoys the peace of a little cabin in Strawberry, Arizona. His interests include digital photography, bending WordPress to his whims, and randomly dipping into the infinite rivers of the internet.

Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) – Advisory Buddy, Onsite Guest, and Virtual Buddy/Participant: Bonnie Stewart is an education researcher and practitioner fascinated by who we are when we’re online. Coordinator of Adult Teaching and Professional Learning at the University of Prince Edward Island, where she completed her Ph.D in Educational Studies, Bonnie leads digital strategy and professional learning initiatives. Her research focuses primarily on digital literacies, networked scholarship, and the intersections of knowledge and technologies. A networked educator who began working in online education in the 1990s, Bonnie was involved with Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) research in its early Canadian incarnations. Bonnie has published in Salon.comThe Guardian UK, and Inside Higher Ed in addition to a variety of peer-reviewed venues, and she leaves her trail in the snow at

Alek Tarkowski (@atarkowki) – Advisory Buddy and Onsite Guest: Sociologist, copyright reform advocate and researcher of digital society. Co-founder and President of Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation, a think-and-do tank building a digital civic society in Poland. Public Lead of Creative Commons Poland and European Policy Fellow with the Creative Commons organization.  Co-founder of Communia, a European advocacy association supporting the digital public domain, and of the Polish Coalition for Open Education (KOED). For almost a decade, Alek has been involved in the openness movement, focusing on policy work in the fields of education, heritage collections and science. His other policy interests include copyright reform and digital skills. He is also actively contributing to the building of the Creative Commons global network.

Martin Weller (@mweller) – Advisory Buddy and Onsite Guest/Buddy: Martin Weller is Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University. He is the author of four books including The Digital Scholar & The Battle for Open. He is Director of the OER Hub which researches open practice in education.

He blogs about ice hockey, films, and occasionally ed tech at If you like pictures of dogs & weak jokes follow him on twitter, but he doesn’t recommend it.