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Executives

We are delighted to introduce the IABL directors.




Dr. Susan Ruckdeschel

President

Dr. Susan Ruckdeschel has led many professional initiatives, beginning with a 15-year career as a K-12 reading specialist, sharing her passion for literacy by helping students who struggled with reading and writing. She also instituted student writing clubs at each school she worked in. After some time as a central office administration, she published the book “Peer Coaching for Adolescent Writers,” a handbook that teaches teachers how to teach students a writing process. This launched her career as an educational consultant, working with non-profits and school districts throughout the U.S., leading workshops and coaching teachers.

After a lot of travel, including all boroughs of New York City as a professional development coach, Dr. Susan founded Literacy Solutions and more, Inc., where she directed the design of an online catalog of teacher professional development courses. She successfully scaled the product by procuring multiple state approvals and leveraging a district clientele that spanned throughout the U.S. Since that time she founded Blended by Design, LLC, an all-inclusive blended learning consultancy with a catalog of K-12 student learning modules for struggling learners. Dr. Susan earned her EdD in 2017 in Supervision of Curriculum and Instruction, her study was titled, “The Efficacy of Online and Blended Learning in Teacher Professional development.” She continues to focus her research on digital literacy and use of evidence-based practices that impact effective curriculum design and instruction for teachers and their students. Dr. Susan once served as Secretary to the IABL, and now humbly embraces her new position as their President.



Georgios Kormpas

Vice President

Georgios is currently the Director of the Teaching, Learning and Development Center at Al Yamamah University in Saudi Arabia. He also works for the Center for Executive Education where he coordinates corporate programs for executives. Georgios has taught English in several countries, including the USA, Greece, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and others. He has also been an invited speaker at different TESOL events in several countries namely the USA, Greece, Egypt, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Pakistan, Mexico, Turkey, and others. Georgios is pursuing a Ph.D. researching Technology Enhanced Learning at Lancaster University. He is the Past chair of the ANPC (Affiliate Network Professional Council) a professional council of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) International, an association based in the US with affiliate teacher associations in more than 120 countries around the world. Georgios currently serves as a member of the Nominating Committee of TESOL International, a committee that is responsible for nominating Directors to the Board of TESOL. Finally, he is a contributor to the latest 6 Principles Book for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners (Academic and Specific Purposes) and has several forthcoming publications.



Chrysoula (Chryssa) Lazou

Secretary

Chrysoula (Chryssa) Lazou is an EFL educator in the public sector, Hellenic Ministry of Education. She holds a Bachelor Degree in English Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Master's of Education in Distance Education, Athabasca University, Canada's Open University. Chryssa is a founding member and Past President of the Association of State School Teachers of English in Kavala, Northern Greece, the Secretary of IABL (International Association for Blended Learning), the Chair of the Digital Communications Committee of IABL, and an IVLP and U.S. programs alumna with a specialization in media literacy, cultural awareness, and inclusive leadership and practices in education and community. Chryssa organizes and co-ordinates events and webinars, participates as a presenter and inspirer in national and international conferences and workshops, and facilitates MOOC courses with international students. Her teaching practices are based on the Universal Design for Learning principles and involve the incorporation of new technologies and project-based learning on various fields, leveraging CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) method and blended learning. Her most recent U.S. program participation and project implementation involves Alumni TIES Seminars with a specialization in media literacy and critical thinking in the digital age. She is the coordinator of the “Media Literacy for Teens.gr” (Bravo Schools 2020 distinction) and “DigiTEENS.gr” projects and trains undergraduate students of the English Language Department (Kapodistrian University of Athens) in online instructional design. She is a Northern Lights Award recipient (2017), a World Learning grant recipient (2019), ELT Excellence Awards 2020 recipient, Education Leaders Awards 2020 recipient, and Governor General's GOLD MEDAL Award for academic excellence recipient.



Koni Drampala

Treasurer

Koni Drampala has a bachelor degree from the Department of Primary Education of Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. She, also, has a MEd in Distance Education of Athabasca University of Canada. She obtained a permanent teaching position and she provided after-school support to Roma children population. Currently, she is pursuing studies in Business Administration at the Technological Educational Institute of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace while also she studies Adult Education. For the last 4 years, she is seconded to the Directorate of Primary Education of Kavala region, to assume responsibilities for the educational information system of Greek schools.


Apostolos Koutropoulos

Member-at-Large

Apostolos Koutropoulos ("AK") is the program manager for the online Master of Arts program in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is also adjunct faculty  in the Instructional Design program Master of Education program at UMass Boston, and faculty at the Online Learning Consortium. AK holds a BA in Computer Science, an MBA with a focus on Human Resources Management, an MS in Information Technology, an MEd in Instructional Design, and an MA in Applied Linguistics with  a focus on foreign language teaching. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Athabasca University. In addition to Blended Learning, his interests include knowledge management, educational technology, open education, MOOCs, and corpus linguistics. AK prefers to research in a collaborative manner, and such collaborations have included research work in MOOCs, gamification, lurking, and open education. AK is also a past editor for Current Issues in Emerging eLearning.

As member-at-large for IABL, AK is a working member of the digital communications committee.


Dr. Liliana Cuesta Medina

Member-At-Large

Dr. Liliana Cuesta Medina is an Associate Professor at the Master’s programs in English Language Teaching at the Faculty of Education, Universidad de La Sabana (Chía, Colombia). She holds a PhD in English Philology from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED-Madrid, Spain), a B.A. in English and Spanish from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional (Bogotá, Colombia), and a Specialization in Applied Linguistics to the Teaching of English from the Universidad La Gran Colombia (Bogotá, Colombia). She has been involved in national and international teacher development programs and associations, mainly in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), teacher education, and online education. Her research areas include Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), teacher education, academic writing, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), self-regulation, blended learning and online learning, on which topics she has published in a number of indexed journals and conference proceedings. Currently she is the Academic Coordinator of the Master in English Language Teaching programs at Universidad de La Sabana.


Chadia Mansour

Member-At-Large

Chadia Mansour is an applied linguist with expertise in second language acquisition, language pedagogy (English and Arabic), curriculum development and instructional design for in-person, blended and online environments. She holds a BA in English for Academic Purposes (Tunisia), an MA in Applied Linguistics (USA). She is currently a doctoral student (ABD) in Distance Education and Online Learning (Canada), working on research related to online assisted second language acquisition. Chadia is a recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Languages Teaching Scholarship (The US Department of State) and a recipient (along with three colleagues) of the US Department of Education Grant for Modern Standard Arabic textbooks series design and writing.

She also holds Cambridge Assessment English Certificate of Teaching English Online, the Canadian College of Educators Portfolio Based Language Assessment Certificate, TESOL Certificate (USA), and Certificate of College Teaching (USA). Chadia has about twenty years of international experience (Tunisia, USA and Qatar) in language teaching, in higher education, including ESL, EFL, EAP, ESP, AFL and Discourse and Language Across Cultures. She has held various leadership positions, such as directing the English for Legal Purposes Summer Program for prospective graduate students and thesis supervisory for undergraduate linguistics students (The College of William and Mary, USA). She has been an active leader in various language teacher associations. Her latest leadership project involves an initiate of Open Educational Resources (OER) repository for the ELT community around the globe. Chadia is a frequent international presenter, a keynote speaker, as well as an organizer and a moderator for in-person and online conferences.



Dr. Hend Merza

Director, and Past Vice President

Dr. Merza is an Associate Professor who joined IABL in 2015 as Middle East Director.  In 2016 she was nominated for the role of IABL Secretary where she served until  July 2018. Since July 2018 she's been serving as the elected Vice President for IABL.

Dr. Merza received a doctorate in Educational Administration in 2004 from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She has 38 years of experience in public and higher education in Saudi Arabia. She has published many papers and book chapters, as well as designed and delivered more than 15 training programs for community service and development. Her fields of interest are Scientific Research in Educational Administration, Quality Assurance, Training, and Blended Learning. She is currently working as a teaching staff, and Quality Assurance and Accreditation Manager at the Arab Open University/ Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

 

Dr. Mohamed Ally

Founding Director

Dr. Mohamed Ally is Professor in Distance Education and a researcher in the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University in Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada. His current areas of research include mobile learning, e-learning, distance education, and use of information and communication technology in training and education. Dr. Ally is Past-President of the International Federation of Training and Development Organizations (IFTDO) and is one of the Founding Directors of the International Association of Mobile Learning (IamLearn). He was also on the board of the Canadian Society for Training and Development. Dr. Ally chaired the Fifth World Conference on Mobile Learning and co-chaired the First International Conference on Mobile Libraries. He recently edited seven books on the use of mobile technology in education, training and libraries and is currently editing three additional books. His book “Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training” won the Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for significant contribution to distance education. Two of his research papers won the best research paper award at national and international conferences. Dr. Ally has published in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in books and encyclopedia and served on many journal boards and conference committees. He has presented keynote speeches, workshops, papers, and seminars in many countries.


Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas

Past President & Founding Director

Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas, long time teacher and researcher of adult education and educational technologies, has focused for almost two decades on exploring and developing blended learning solutions. She has been involved in numerous blended learning projects in North America, Ghana and India. Aga is an Assistant Professor in Distance Education, at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, FHSS, at Athabasca University, Canada. Aga has taught in both the Master’s and Doctoral programs at AU and other universities. Drawing from 25 years of experience as a face-to-face and online adult educator, instructional designer and an academic, combined with her passion for teaching and learning, Aga has focused her research and practice on the issues related to the excellence in online and digital learning, including blended learning. Aga is an internationally recognized expert in technology-assisted teaching and learning, online education, m-learning, instructional design, and mobile-assisted language learning. She is Past-President of the International Association for Blended Learning (IABL) and Past-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning. In those roles, she has interacted and collaborated with academics and training experts around the globe across diverse educational and cultural contexts. Aga has published a number of articles and book chapters as well as edited books pertaining to mobile and blended learning. She has been active in local and international professional associations and is a regular presenter at international conferences. She is excited to be able to contribute to the field of blended learning as a founding director of the International Blended Learning Association.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/apalalas



Dr. Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh

Past-President & Founding Director

Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh, Ph.D., is a retired Senior Researcher with the American Institutes for Research. She is an educational consultant (K-16) and an expert in the field educational communications and technology, as well as in cultural and linguistic competence (CLC).  Dr. Willis-Darpoh also has significant expertise in teacher training/culturally responsive teaching, diversity, disproportionality and disparities and is a certified blended learning developer. An educator with more than 35 years of experience, she has presented nationally and internationally on blended learning and conducted research for multinational organizations. Dr. Willis-Darpoh is a two-time Fulbright scholar (Nigeria 1988; Germany 1997) and was a member of the Fulbright Association’s National Board of Directors.  In addition, she served on the Research and Innovation Advisory Board of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) and is the Past President and Founding Director of the International Association for Blended Learning. Gwendolyn earned a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, a M.Ed. from the American University, and a B.S. from Virginia State University.

gdarpoh@iabl.org



Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos

Past-Treasurer & Founding Director

Dr Tsinakos Avgoustos is a Professor and Director of Advanced Educational Technologies and Mobile Applications Lab in the Department of Computing Science at International Hellenic University in Greece. He is also the Director of the European Master “Immersive Technologies - Innovation in Education, Training and Game Design (IMT)”, Member of the Institute of Educational Research and Development of the International Hellenic University (12/2019-present), Director of the Education Pillar of the Con-E-Ect Headquarters of UNESCO in Greece (2016-present), Member of the Open Source Working Group for "Content and Equipment in Higher Education" for the Ministry of Education (April 2016-today), Founding Director of the International Association for Blended Learning (IABL) for Europe and Past-Treasurer, National Ambassador of SELFIE (2018-present), Member of the National Advisory Committee EDYTE SA for research and technology issues (2020), Member of the Board of the Lifelong Learning Center of the International University of Greece (2020) - Previous Positions,  Member of the Board of the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (9/2018 to 11/2019), Director of the Lifelong Learning Centre of the International University of Greece - Kavala Branch (2018-4 / 2019) and Member of the Bologna Expert Group for the Ministry of Education (2011-2013).

As part of his academic activities, he participates and collaborates scientifically with several Open Universities such as Canada, Spain, the Netherlands and China. Since 1997 he has been engaged in research in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Distance Education, and since 2010 he has been teaching in postgraduate programs in Greece and abroad in thematic units related to distance education, new technologies in education and learning, and development of Mobile and Augmented Reality applications. He has been / is a Coordinator (or member of the Coordination Team) in more than 19 national / international programs related to distance education and Technology Supported Learning and has participated in more than 50 global / international / national conferences as a guest speaker / presenter. His list of publications includes four books in English and one book in Chinese with over 2,000,000 readers, four book chapters, more than 75 articles on e-learning / mobile learning and Augmented Reality. Awards and Distinctions involve UNESCO GREECE Nomination for the ARTutor augmented reality platform he developed, GOLDEN PRIZE from the Education Leaders Awards 2019 competition, category "Digital Higher Education” and 2020 Outstanding Distinction Award for AU Faculty Members from the AUGSA Committee.

Further Details available at: http://tsinakos.cs.ihu.gr


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