Meet the Team

gary-headshotGary R. Tucker, PhD
Executive Director of eLearning
Ph.D. Educational Technology, Texas A&M University

Gary has been involved in higher education distance learning since the 1990’s, and he has immersed himself in learning how to use technology to help people learn.

In 1998, Gary was part of a faculty team at Northern Arizona University who launched one the first online Master in Educational Technology programs—the program enrollment grew from 20 to 600 students in two years.

In 2005, Gary built upon that success to direct Abilene Christian University’s creation of ACU Online.

Gary understands that online learning is a narrow focus in today’s academic world, and he advocates the importance of blending online courses with face-to-face instruction. In 2014, Gary became the Dean of SAU Online and helped create the Department of eLearning.

Gary and his wife of 27 years have two children, Timothy, 24, who is in the Navy, and Anne, 22, a senior biomedical engineering student at Lawrence Tech University. In his spare time, Gary enjoys research, reading and riding his bicycle.

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Jeanie Maguire

eLearning Curriculum Coordinator
MA, Community Counseling, Eastern Michigan University

Licensed Professional Counselor

Jeanie is passionate about inspiring students to achieve personal and academic success. She has worked in higher education, primarily in the area of academic counseling and student success, for over 20 years.

Jeanie has taught online counseling courses for over 10 years, and she’s seen how student engagement in online courses is vital for persistence and success.

Jeanie met her husband during college, and they have three sons who play soccer. Maddie, her only girl, is the family dog.

Jeanie enjoys grocery shopping at specialty markets and watching cooking shows. Ironically, she never has time to cook.

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Tara McCoy-Jones

Lead Instructional Designer
EdS, Instructional Technology, Wayne State University

Tara McCoy-Jones has a passion for helping people and programs through Human Performance Improvement (HPI) and instructional technology.

Tara develops courses for Spring Arbor University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. She also works with the Information Technology department to facilitate the university’s technology initiatives. Tara enjoys adjunct teaching History and Online Pedagogy.

Tara has been an active member of the Jackson Trailblazer’s Toastmasters since 2014. Additionally, she is an avid reader who loves to watch documentaries, visit museums, and spend time with family and friends. In her limited spare time, Tara writes about various topics on her micro-blog.

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Gwen Hersha
Instructional Designer
MA, Communication, Spring Arbor University

Can a longing for new experiences be in one’s DNA? Gwen believes so, and sees her love for teaching and learning as an adventure. Early on she taught second grade, elementary music, and piano. Her career transformed into parenting four children with her husband, Mark.

Today she works in higher education, where she teaches with a student-centered focus and develops effective learning communities for online and blended courses. Gwen is fascinated with communication—especially how it affects every corner of life. What makes her really happy? Coffee, traveling to new places, and finding solutions to make others successful.

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Michelle Dawson
Instructional Designer
MA, Advertising, Michigan State University

Michelle has worked in higher education for nearly two decades. She has taught face-to-face communication courses, and currently teaches speech online.

If you chat with Michelle, you just may recognize her voice. In addition to being a lifelong learner and educator, she is also a professional broadcaster. Along with her husband Dave, she hosted a nationally syndicated Christian radio show on the Family Life Radio network. Michelle also has experience in news radio, having served as an anchor and reporter. She continues to do voice work for a variety of organizations.

When not designing online courses, working behind the microphone, or teaching, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband have three amazing children and two rowdy dogs.

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jessica-headshotJessica M. Bishop
Instructional Designer
BA, Interdisciplinary Studies (Honors), Rochester College

Jessica took the adage “write what you know” to heart; she chose to earn an interdisciplinary degree to build a broad knowledge base. She continued her education with certifications in Technical Writing, Writing for the Web, and User Experience (UX) on the Web.

Before joining the eLearning team, Jessica worked in retail and at a public library where she learned about customer experience. She was recently promoted to Instructional Designer.

Jessica is a proud Michigan native. She met her husband Matt (who grew up 20 minutes from her) at a college two hours from home. Misty, their Siamese cat, is paranoid (and adorable). In her free time, Jessica likes to craft, read, write, and walk.

Connect with Jessica on Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, and her personal blog (coming soon).

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Instructional Designer Assistant
MA Strategic Communication, Liberty University

Motivation in education came alive for Ann when she studied Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design. She has experienced how motivation enhances quality education, as both a student and a director. Her goal is to inspire teachers and students in their own educational environments, both online and face-to-face.

Ann works as an Assistant Instructional Designer and is completing her Master of Arts in Theatre from Regent University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, participating in theatre, drinking coffee, reading, journaling, and walking her adorable dog, Cole.

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Dave Zokvicdave 1 copy
Assistant Instructional Designer
BS, Psychology, Baker College

Dave has made a career out of multi-disciplinary knowledge and lifelong learning, having worked in public libraries, corporate IT, and recently landing as an Assistant Instructional Designer. He’s fascinated how Instructional Design provides a framework for integrating diverse skill-sets at the the crossroads of technology, design, communication, and learning.

Away from the office, he has a side hustle contracting as a writer and narrative game designer for Northward Compass, a mixed-media studio based out of Orlando, FL. In whatever time is left, he enjoys playing board games, hiking, reading, and debating obscure points of nerdery over sushi and coffee.

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