Alex McDaniel

Alex McDaniel | Associate Director of Instructional Design

A former decorated US Army Military Intelligence Noncommissioned Officer who, after graduating from Basic Combat Training, Defensive Language Institute (Presidio of Monterey), and the Electronic Warfare Signals Intelligence Programs, spent most of his military career overseas, Alex McDaniel earned his BS in Organizational Communication from MSU Denver, his MA in Instructional Design and Adult Learning from the University of Colorado Denver. Alex has more than 20 years of professional instructional design and leadership experience and currently supports MSU Denver as the Associate Director of Instructional Design. Alex has also developed and taught numerous face-to-face and online courses including: Instructional Design Thinking (EDT-2050), Games, Applications, and Instructional Interaction (EDT-3050), Intermediate Interactive Production (COM-3450), and Producing Digital Documents (COM-3630).

Since 2005, Alex McDaniel has worked with individual faculty members to create and improve hundreds of online, hybrid and face-to-face courses. After watching a speech from Sal Khan (of Khan Academy) in 2012 about the power of open instructional resources and platforms, Alex began a deep investigation of OERs, including mastering so many subjects offered via Khan Academy that he became one of the few people in the world to earn a Black Hole Badge. Throughout this time, Alex actively sought ways to infuse OERs into course design processes in order to maximize student learning and make each learning opportunity more affordable for Colorado students. In his current role as Associate Director of Instructional Design, he has worked with his team to increase the overall adoption and creation of OERs within the design of online and hybrid courses at MSU Denver, resulting in saving students hundreds of thousands of dollars and dramatically increased access to students who might have otherwise been excluded from continuing their education.

Recent awards include MSU Denver Extraordinary Service Award, Roadrunner’s Who Soar Award, eLCC’s Learning Technologist of the Year, Blackboard Catalyst, and the Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice.

Special Skills:

  • Languages: English, Korean, American Sign Language
  • Expert project management, comprehensive knowledge of online education pedagogy, andragogy and best practices
  • Certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and Program Coordinator, and ELITE certification
  • System administration of various learning management systems including Blackboard Learn, Moodle, Canvas, as well as expertise in HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, Javascript, Actionscript, VB, and database development, queries, management, and analysis
Todd Wolfe


Todd Wolfe

Instructional Media & Support Manager

Todd Wolfe is an experienced instructional media developer and manager who came to instructional design by way of degrees in video production and writing. It was through many years of higher education that he developed an interest in teaching and designing courses. He has worked for museums and universities and loves empowering both teachers and students to further their education and career opportunities. He enjoys solving the complex challenges of the 21st century educational landscape, especially when it comes to digital technologies and content delivery.

Todd Wolfe earned an AS in Video Production from the Art Institute of Colorado, a BA in Creating Writing from Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a MA in Rhetoric and Teaching Writing from the University of Colorado Denver. He is also certified in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). He has taught Web programming, writing for social media, English composition, and most recently, instructional media.

Special Skills:

  • Video studio production
  • Adobe Suite, especially Premiere, After Effects, Audition, Photoshop
  • Certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and Program Coordinator, and ELITE certification
  • Webmaster

Craig Ibarguen

Instructional Designer

Craig Ibargüen has over 10 years of experience working as an instructional designer in higher education and in the corporate world. Before joining MSU Denver, he worked as an instructional designer for Pearson for six and a half years, largely designing online courses for colleges and universities. Craig also has extensive experience as an instructional designer for corporate training, including stints as an ID in the telecommunications and financial industries.

Before becoming an instructional designer, Craig was an assistant professor at Pikes Peak Community College for four years, teaching introductory writing, argumentative writing, introduction to literature, and introduction to film courses.

Craig has a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Science from Weber State University.

Special Skills:

  • Writing and editing
  • Course development in learning management systems
  • Content authoring tools (Adobe Suite, Camtasia, Articulate)
  • HTML5 and CSS
  • Audio editing
Nate Easley

Nathaniel Easley III

Instructional Media Developer

Nate Easley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organization and Innovation Management with a minor in Music Performance from Colorado State University. After College, Nate worked as a high school teacher/mentor for inner city youth in the Denver Public School system. After several years, Nate decided to move to South America, where he studied cinematography and started a small production company. He produced projects that reached over 300,000 people and participated in the production of projects that reached millions. Over the span of 10 years in South America, Nate taught business, english, music and audio visual production. He also worked with non profit organizations to provide audiovisual service and training to hundreds of people.

In 2019, Nate moved back to the United States and began his career as a Junior Media Developer at Metropolitan State University. Nate has combined his passion for education and audiovisual production in order to create innovative instructional multimedia. He is certified in Quality Matters (QM), proficient in industry-standard video special effects tools (Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Lightroom, e.g.), knowledgeable of federal and state law related to usability and accessibility (ADA Section 508), and has experience working with Blackboard and Canvas learning management systems. Nate is also fluent in Spanish and English.

Special Skills:

  • Video studio production
  • Adobe Suite (Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Lightroom), Final Cut
  • Music Production & Composition
  • Fluent in Spanish & English
Lindsey Schreiber


Lindsey Schreiber

Instructional Designer

Lindsey Schreiber is an experienced instructor of art and art history in higher education fields who discovered in the field of instructional design the answer to her desire to make online learning more effective and enjoyable for her students. Though a teacher since 2008, she moved into the online classroom in 2011 and quickly realized both the potential and frustrations of teaching online. While teaching for a variety of colleges and universities across Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, she strove to continually research and implement better methods of assessment, engagement, and presentation within her courses. She enjoys discovering and testing out new educational technologies and software that improve student interaction and solve the challenges of online instruction. Courses taught include Art Appreciation, a multi-term survey of Global Art History, and upper-division, writing-intensive courses, including Power and Patronage in Renaissance Italy, Costume and Identity in Renaissance Europe, Bold and Baroque Palaces of Europe, and Death and Dying in Visual Culture.

Lindsey Schreiber earned a BA in Fine Art and Entrepreneurial Business from Oregon State University and an MA in Art History from the University of Oregon. She is also a PhD candidate in Art History at Temple University in Philadelphia and recently earned a graduate certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She has previously managed a library for creativity at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a quilt store.

Special Skills:

  • Flexible teaching in a variety of formats within higher education
  • Creativity and innovation in design
  • Research and writing
  • Visually critical thinking
  • Reading and writing in Spanish, French, Italian, and German
Michael Rupert

Michael Rupert

Instructional Designer

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Michael has devoted much of his life to education and this great state. Michael first gained experience designing learning experiences while teaching for a science club called Science Matters in America, before deciding to pursue education at the university level. During his undergraduate career at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he studied history with a focus on colonialism in Africa, earning Latin honors for his thesis “La Grande Nation, The Revolutionary Tradition in French West Africa.” In addition to completing a history degree, Michael took classes with the school of education focusing on curriculum design, ultimately graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in history and a secondary social studies teaching license. It was here at the CU school of education that he gained a foundation for the practice of instructional design. After teaching social studies in a public school setting for a brief time, he shifted his educational pursuits to the museum field, where he worked as a Docent for Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum, as well as a trainer for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, continuing to design learning experiences. During this time, Michael found a desire to gain a more solid foundation and framework for the practice of instructional design, and continued his education by completing a M.Ed. in instructional design and technology from the University of Southern California. Upon completing his M.Ed. he was hired by the Center for Teaching Learning and Design at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he currently works as a junior course developer, allowing him to apply his knowledge, education, and experience to create effective courses for the university.

In addition to his educational experience, Michael loves to cook and worked as a cook at several restaurants, has taken sommelier classes at L’Ecole Du Vin in Bordeaux, France, and is proficient in American Sign Language. Michael hopes to continue his education while at MSU Denver, by completing certificates through the culinary, brewing, or urban agriculture programs. He loves the mountains, hiking, the Denver Broncos and everything else in the great state of Colorado!

Special Skills:

  • In depth familiarity with major instructional design models including SAM and ADDIE
  • Well versed in the practice and theory of Social Studies/ Civics education
  • Proficient with course building tools including Articulate Suite and Adobe Captivate
  • Proficient in American Sign Language
  • Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS
Tanner Wilde

Tanner Wilde

Instructional Design Support Specialist II

Tanner Wilde is an Instructional Design Support Specialist who started with CTLD as a student employee. Shortly after starting, he helped establish the Virtual Support room for instructors transitioning to Canvas, MS Teams, and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, after joining the team full time as a Support Specialist, he continues to work with instructors and improve CTLD’s suite of tutorials and other resources for online learning.

Special Skills:

  • In-depth knowledge of online learning software, such as Canvas, Teams, and Yuja
  • Virtual meeting and communication
  • Instructional content development
  • Technical support
Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo


Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo

Course Developer I

As a former marketing lecturer for Regis University, as well as a business consultant and trainer, Jennifer has spent the past ten years developing and teaching courses and workshops for in-person and online learning. Throughout this time, she has grown to love the instructional design side of course development and is currently enrolled in a graduate certificate program at CU Denver.

Jennifer earned her BA in English from California State University of Sacramento and her MBA with a marketing emphasis from Regis University. She is a passionate advocate of inclusivity and representation in higher education.

Special Skills:

  • Developing and teaching online and in-person undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Using and explaining remote-learning tools, such as MS Teams and content-sharing sites
  • Troubleshooting Canvas, Yuja, and MS Teams


Marit Smith

Course Developer I

Marit has always loved school and learning. She has a BS in Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Behavior from Colorado State University and MS in Psychology with a focus on Cognition and Brain Science from Georgia Tech. As a teaching assistant and lecturer, she became even more passionate higher ed learning opportunities. She spent several years as a researcher working on various projects involving cognition, critical thinking, abductive reasoning, and personal epistemology but wanted to use her knowledge about learning processes in a more applied way. She recently honed her course design, media production, content authoring, and project management skills in the Learning Design and Technology Master’s Program at UC Denver.

Marit served as a mentor and a curriculum developer for a program supporting high-achieving, low-income high school students in the Denver area which further inspired her to pursue a career path where she can promote equity, inclusivity, and quality learning experiences for all students.

As an Instructional Design Support Specialist, Marit is eager to work with MSU Denver faculty and create resources to help with the technical aspects of education.

Special Skills

  • Developing content for online and hybrid learning environments
  • Research methods and scientific writing
  • Teaching and training
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Tim Wright

Instructional Media Developer

Tim Wright received his BS in Technical Communications with a focus in Video Production from MSU Denver in 2015. After graduating, he worked as a video editor and media producer for a content marketing company, while also participating in many independent projects as a video editor, sound design specialist, camera operator, director, and more. Altogether, he has more than 10 years of video production experience. He has had one of his films make it to the “Best Of” showcase for the Denver 48 Hour Film Project, and is a regular volunteer with the Denver Starz Film Festival.

In the Fall of 2020, Tim’s path shifted a bit, and he enrolled in the University of Colorado Denver’s Learning Design and Technology program, focusing in Online Teaching and Leadership for Learning Design and Technology. In 2021, he accepted a position as an Accessibility Assistant with the Office of Disability Resources and Services. Through his work there, he was able to connect with students on a more personal level, reaffirming his passion for education and the student experience.

Special Skills

  • Video Production/Editing
  • Music Production
  • Creative Writing
  • Google Suite
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Alexandra Grima

Course Developer I

Alexandra earned her B.S. in Education from Texas A&M University with a concentration in language arts and social studies and a M.Ed. with a concentration in learning design and educational technology from The University of Florida.

She completed various student teaching internships throughout her time at A&M most of which focused on gifted and ESL education. Although rewarding and short-lived, Alexandra has worked both in K-12 education and in government service at a military clinic. She then decided to continue her education and develop her interest in instructional design and theory by earning her Master of Education where much of her coursework focused on learning design and technology, developing educational applications/literary games, and fundamental programming. Growing up in a multicultural household, travelling to several countries around the world, and teaching English in South Korea, all helped shape Alexandra’s keen interest in developing courses that reach out and cater to often underrepresented populations. She values diversity, inclusivity, and equity in all aspects of her life and strives to use the best instructional and design practices when developing courses and learning material.

Alexandra enjoys hiking with her Akita Inu, cycling, jamming out, making literary text adventures, and playing her switch. She has grown to love the outdoors upon moving to Colorado and has a goal to visit as many national forests as she can.

Special Skills

  • Fluent in English and Korean
  • Multicultural engagement and inclusion
  • Instructional Design theory and technology
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
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Melissa A. Dickman, Ph.D.

Course Developer I

Melissa comes to CTLD with an array of experience in higher education and corporate to include teaching, training, instructional design, accessibility, program development, and much more. For the last 20 years, she has lived coast to coast while teaching, training, and learning. As a first-generation graduate, she is passionate about education and providing support to faculty and equitable experiences for students. Melissa completed her Associates degree here in Colorado at FRCC in Westminster before moving to California and completing a BA in Literature and Writing at CSUSM. After completing her BA, she returned to Colorado and completed her MA in Teaching and Learning with Technology online with Ashford University. In May of 2022 she completed her Ph.D. in Education from Capella University with a focus on Instructional Design. Her research focuses on Institutional support of faculty creating online courses. Melissa is excited to work with such a diverse talented group at MSU Denver.

In the many years of teaching and training, Melissa has had the opportunity to work with a multitude of course development software and be the administrator for learning management systems (LMS) across the higher education and corporate industry. Before becoming an instructional designer and LMS administrator she was a full-time professor at the Community College of Denver where she assisted faculty with creating courses for all modalities as she created her own. While teaching and training, Melissa realized she could help more students by assisting more faculty with the design and development of quality courses.

Special Skills

  • Instructional design expert
  • Facilitation of training, novice to expert participants
  • Course/Program design and development
  • Research
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Ciara Rupert

Course Developer I

Ciara Rupert is a proud Colorado native. She received her Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Art History along with a certificate in Technology, Arts, and Media from CU Boulder. After graduating she fell into the education world as a special needs co-teacher at High Plains Elementary. From there she expanded her love for education and children and moved on to become lead teacher at Spectra Autism Center. Her love for teaching and kiddos grew as she moved into the early childhood classroom and led a team of five teachers and six special needs kiddos 3 to 5 years old. In this position she enhanced her lesson planning skills using instructional design models and theories without even knowing it. After receiving a diagnosis of a rare autoimmune disorder, she unfortunately had to step away from the classroom. From here she pursued a certificate in Instructional Design through MSU. During her last semester of the program she was offered an opportunity to intern at the CTLD and gained valuable hands-on experience from the amazing team of Instructional Designers and Course Developers. Later in her internship she was given an opportunity to move up to the position of Course Developer where she is currently. She loves being able to stay in the education field and help students from behind the scenes. Ciara is extremely passionate about providing accessible and engaging learning experiences for all students. She is motivated by creating better learning experiences than she had growing up.

Outside of loving education, Ciara loves art (looking at it, creating it, talking nonstop about it, etc.), the Legend of Zelda series, anything and everything pop culture (be sure to quiz her on who that one actress in that one thing was), and everything food. She loves spending time with her husband, new puppy Ramona, and her old lady cat Zoe.

Special Skills

  • Proficient in design software such as Adobe Creative Suite
  • In-depth knowledge of art practices such as figure drawing and painting, printing practices, and basic 3D modeling.
  • Knowledgeable in coding; HTML and CSS
  • Proficient with building in LMS such as Canvas
  • Extensive experience in teaching in classrooms along with online learning tools


Nick Hoffman

Instructional Design Support Specialist II

After graduating from MSU Denver with a degree in Anthropology and Sociology, Nick undertook curriculum development and teaching at a network of inner-city schools in Denver. His passion for instructional design was ignited here, where he eventually moved into a coaching role for teachers and colleagues. During his time distance learning in 2020, he realized the need for quality digital landscapes and how they can begin to address inequities among students. He spearheaded the implementation of many online teaching tools in his schools and shared his insights with instructional leadership teams throughout the pandemic. His interest in course development and creating engaging online spaces led him to gain extensive experience in numerous technologies and software development languages to better serve users and captivate learners. Nick loves to use his technology skills coupled with a background in curriculum development to support creating elegant online platforms for instructors.

Nick loves to rock climb, compete in dance, and adventure with his family.

Special Skills

  • Strong skills in JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, React, and Node.js
  • Curriculum Development
  • Extensive experience in education and teaching in-person and online


Will Austin

Course Developer I

Will believes that travel is the greatest learning tool. He has lived in four southeastern states and spent time in Spain, Japan, and everywhere between. He is now broadening his horizons further in Colorado.

Above all, Will is an educator at heart. He developed professional learning courses and workshops for teachers in central Florida. The primary focus was to empower teachers to have students use educational technology effectively in the classroom. He was both a first-grade teacher and an adult transition teacher of students with special needs.

Will earned his MA from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of South Carolina.

Special Skills

  • Listening, reading, and writing in Spanish and Portuguese; studied French, Latin, as well as some Danish and Old English
  • Proficient in Apple, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and Articulate tools as well as several learning management systems; System admin for Microsoft SharePoint and Google for Education
  • Facilitation and Support
  • Basic HTML and CSS
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Sarah Creasy

Course Developer I

Sarah has made learning her lifelong goal. After graduating from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2004 with a B.A. in Art Studio and Art History, Sarah returned to get her Master of Science in Instructional Technology in 2006.

Sarah started out in the Instructional Design corporate world, interning with Merck and then moving on to UnitedHealth Group. Switching gears into the continuing education field, she served at Vatterott college with a team of her own designers, creating 10-week courses in such fields as Medical Assistantship, HVAC, Court Reporting, and Cosmetology. She next pursued a position that allowed her to create materials assisting the underworked to gain access to their GED and make plans to pursue gainful employment.

Along the way, Sarah has designed courses for Western Governors University that explore topics such as Data Science, Cloud Computing and Architecture, and Ethics in Computing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she also taught with Strayer University, managing a blended classroom to bring instructors into the online teaching world. Her main goal in any instructional design setting is adding value for the end user.

Outside of her career, Sarah enjoys collecting houseplants, notably rare Aroids, quilting, and running a busy household with 2 kids, 4 dogs, 2 cats, a turtle, and a fish.

Special Skills

  • Content development for all types of classrooms
  • Modular development using Articulate Storyline, Rise, and Adobe Captivate
  • LMS administration
  • Doing the hard tasks first and enjoying the easy ones last
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Knox Mallette

Course Developer I

Knox Mallette started his passion for education while teaching English as a foreign language in Handan, China, after completing his Bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Florida in 2011. After finishing out his teaching contract, he decided to come back to the US and pursue a Master’s degree in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies at Florida State University. While pursuing his Master’s degree, he worked a variety of jobs in FSU’s Office of Distance Learning. He started from proctoring student exams to working as an LMS Helpdesk Technician – assisting with FSU’s Great Blackboard to Canvas Migration in 2017. In his time at the LMS Helpdesk, he learned the ins and outs of providing technical support for both Blackboard and Canvas while also leading faculty and TA training campus-wide on LMS best practices.

In 2018, he moved to Florida State University’s College of Business as an Instructional Technologist, where, in addition to continuing to support Canvas and conduct faculty training, he developed his understanding of practical instructional design support as well as developing analytics projects to drive targeted redesign processes.

Special Skills

  • Extensive experience in Canvas-based LMS support
  • Teaching and training, both in-person and remote
  • Using analytics to track success measures to drive redevelopment strategies
  • Course design and development
  • Accessibility remediation
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Rachel Chizever

Course Developer I

Rachel earned her degree in Secondary Education Social Studies from the University of Cincinnati in 2016. While looking for a teaching job, she thought to herself, “Where would my dog want to live?” This led her to Colorado Springs. There, she taught sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade Social Studies for the past seven years. As a teacher, Rachel coached multiple sports, ran the GSA club, prevented the banning of books, and helped open a new middle school.

Having always loved the integration of technology within the classroom, Rachel decided to earn a master’s degree in Learning Design and Technology from the University of Colorado. After graduating in May 2023, she moved to Denver and made the decision to pursue a career in instructional design, which led her to MSU Denver.

Special Skills

  • LMS Experience
  • Curriculum Building
  • Project Based Learning
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Experience Teaching In-Person and Online
Jenni Bruhn


Jennifer Bruhn, MEd, PMP

Instructional Design Support Specialist II

Jenni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University and taught in the classroom for 10 years where she honed her skills in curriculum development and instructional delivery. She continued her academic journey by earning a Master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with a Technology Specialist focus. She worked as an instructional coach and most recently has experience as a program coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin (horns up!). With a strong foundation in education, supporting instructors, and a focus on leveraging technology to enhance learning experiences, Jenni brings a unique blend of pedagogical expertise and technological proficiency to her work.

With a passion for educational content creation, troubleshooting, and learning and development, Jennifer excels in building relationships, managing complex projects, and communicating effectively in fast-paced environments. Her commitment to lifelong learning and collaborative problem-solving makes her a valuable asset to any team.

In her free time, Jenni enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her two beloved dogs, Lola and Brewer. She has a passion for hiking and discovering new trails, as well as indulging in culinary adventures by exploring new restaurants in her local area. Having lived in Illinois, Florida, Texas, and now excitedly residing in Colorado, Jenni brings a diverse perspective and a deep appreciation for different cultures and educational landscapes. Her adaptability and openness to new experiences further enhance her ability to connect with colleagues and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. Jenni is thrilled to bring her expertise and enthusiasm to the vibrant educational community at MSU Denver.

Special Skills

  • Educational content creation and technology integration
  • Curriculum development
  • Project Based Learning
  • Project and program management
  • Troubleshooting