Faculty and Staff
The faculty and staff of the CTE pursue ongoing professional development to stay abreast
of current trends in higher education and specific CTE programming areas. Individual
staff members seek out research and publication opportunities in their areas of expertise,
in order to contribute to new knowledge and establish CTE as statewide and national
leader in the field.
Nate Carnes, Interim Director
Nate Carnes is the Interim Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. In addition to three
education degrees and a permanent Ohio teaching certificate, he earned his Ph.D. in
Education Administration with an emphasis in science education at Miami University
(OH). His teaching performances, that span more than 40 years, have resulted in awards
and citations of teaching excellence at the University of South Carolina, state, regional
and international levels. Among these citations, he is the recipient of the prestigious
2007 ASTE Science Teacher Educator of the Year, a recognition of international distinction;
South Carolina Association for Middle-Level Education 2018 Jennifer L. Wilson Teaching
Excellence; and the College of Education 2011 Lee Maidment Spirit of Service awards.
His scholarly activities explore pedagogical issues and innovations within and beyond
Aisha Haynes, Assistant Director
Aisha Haynes is the Assistant Director at the UofSC Center for Teaching Excellence.
She oversees the CTE’s Instructional Design team. Haynes is a certified Quality Matters
Peer and Master Reviewer and has earned Online Teaching certifications from the Online
Learning Consortium. She teaches for Palmetto College. She is also Graduate Associate
Faculty in the College of Education. Her research interests include: instructional
design in online learning environments, online course accessibility, Universal Design
for Learning (UDL), and collaboration and engagement in online learning environments. Haynes is the immediate past president for the Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning (ADEIL) and is active on statewide committees related to instructional design and
Karen Edwards, Faculty Mentor
Karen Edwards is a senior instructor in the Department of Retailing, where she teaches
retail- and law-related courses in both online and face-to-face formats. Edwards is
certified by Quality Matters to review and assess the quality of online courses offered
by higher education institutions. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and her bachelor’s
degree from Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. She is a frequent presenter and past
Associate Director for Distributed Learning Pedagogy at USC's Center for Teaching
Excellence. Edwards is a faculty mentor for the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Stephanie Milling, Faculty Mentor
Stephanie Milling is a faculty mentor for the Center for Teaching Excellence. She is the Associate Chair and Undergraduate Director of the Department of Theatre and
Dance, as well as the Interim Administrative Coordinator of the Dance Program and
the Head of Dance Education. Originally from Texas, Milling left home at fourteen
to attend the Walnut Hill School for the Performing and Visual Arts and graduated
with honors in dance. Milling also completed her pre-professional training at prestigious
programs such as the Boston Ballet School, the Houston Ballet Academy, and Les Grands
Ballets Canadians in Montreal, Canada. Since her performing career, she has taught
in a wide variety of artistic and educational environments, including company classes
for Dallas Black Dance Theatre I and II, several public schools within the New York
City Department of Education, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University,
and the University of North Texas. She also served in the capacity of Assistant Dean
for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University prior to her
appointment at the University of South Carolina.
Instructional Design Team
Gloria Washington, Instructional Designer
Gloria Washington is an instructional designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence with 24 years
of experience in higher education at the University of South Carolina. She serves
as a co-chair for the Provost Advisory Committee for Women Initiatives (PACWI). She is a Blackboard Certified Trainer and a Blackboard Exemplary Course Program
Reviewer. Washington completed the Quality Matters’ Applying the QM Rubric and Higher
Education Peer Reviewer courses. Before coming to CTE, she worked in Teaching and
Technology Services and as a Technology Director for the Ted Mimms Foreign Language
Learning Center. Washington serves as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She is the President-Elect of the Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning (ADEIL). Washington also authors the blog, Pedagogy Before Technology. She holds a Doctor of Education, a Master of Arts in Education, and a Master of Business
Administration. Her expertise is in the pedagogical use of technology to support teaching
and learning. Her instructional design philosophy is “pedagogy first, technology second.”
Casey Carroll, Instructional Designer
Casey Carroll is an instructional designer with the Center for Teaching Excellence
at USC. Carroll works with all who teach to support the creation of innovative and
accessible courses and the continued development of teaching skills. He also works
with instructors teaching online to help with course design and learning technologies.
Prior to joining CTE, Carroll designed curriculum for professional training and leadership
development. He has also taught First-Year English and English as a Second Language
at the University of South Carolina. Carroll holds a master’s degree in linguistics
from USC and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology from Pacific Lutheran University.
Jennifer Yowell, Instructional Designer
Jennifer Yowell is an instructional designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence
at the University of South Carolina. Jennifer is a multi-talented instructional designer
with experience in higher education course development, graphic design, website creation,
project management and training. With a lifelong passion for learning, she is dedicated
to working with faculty to create engaging, effective learning experiences that help
students gain the skills needed for success. Regardless of the subject, her approach
is oriented toward inclusive and effective solutions. Yowell enjoys working with educators
who have a wide range of technical experience, from the beginner to the most experienced.
She is known for her patience, tenacity and her engaging personality. Yowell was
inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and holds a Master’s Degree in Administration
from the University of Tennessee and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology
with a certificate in computer based instruction, from East Carolina University.
Xavery Hopkins, Program Manager
Xavery Hopkins is the Program Manager of Operations and Faculty Events for the Center
for Teaching Excellence. She is responsible for providing advanced direction and planning
of programs and services for the CTE. Hopkins has over 15-years of experience leading
and facilitating special projects. She coordinates the work of CTE staff to implement
programs and services for University faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants.
Hopkins is responsible for all matters related to day-to-day management, workflow,
processes, and business operations of CTE. She is also responsible for identifying
and initiating partnerships with other units, and with individuals to support faculty
development, providing leadership and support for initiatives that promote faculty
collaborations, drives strategic initiatives, and manages special programs for the
Hopkins earned a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of South Carolina
and an MBA from Winthrop University. She is a graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business
School of UNC-Chapel Hill's Executive Management Program.
Michelle Hardee, Program Manager
Michelle Hardee is the Program Manager for all graduate student Teaching Assistant
training at the University. Hardee is responsible for developing the CTE’s graduate
TA/IA training seminars, developing and teaching the GRAD 701 Teaching Assistant Development
course required of all new TA/IAs, and helping students progress through the Preparing
Future Faculty Program. She regularly coordinates with the Graduate School and other
university academic partners on graduate student professional development workshops
and events. Hardee received her B.S. in Zoology at Texas A&M in 1995, an M.S. in Marine
Biology at the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Laboratory, and her Ph.D. in Marine
Science from the University of South Carolina. Additionally, Hardee teaches the Honors
section of the Marine Science Program’s Oceans and Society course every semester.
Helena Johnson, Web and Multimedia Developer
Helena Johnson is CTE's Web and Multimedia Developer. She is responsible for developing,
editing, and delivering information about the Center's programs and services through
Internet-based communications, multimedia, and print. With degrees in Media Arts and
Computer Programming, Johnson began her career in corporate communications. Prior
to joining CTE, she worked for creative and production companies as a producer and
Sharon Flenniken, Administrative Coordinator
Sharon Flenniken is the Administrative Coordinator for the Center of Teaching Excellence.
She is coordinates the general administrative activities for CTE. She is responsible
for maintaining the databases regarding CTE events, activities and assist in preparation
of reports and other informational documentation. She also serves as the hiring manager
and Human Resources liaison for CTE and, in coordination with the Director, manages
and monitors the CTE budget.
Prior to joining the University of South Carolina and CTE, Flenniken earned her Bachelor’s
of Science in Business Administration and her Master’s in Business Administration
degrees from Southern Wesleyan University. She has 13 years of experience in Accounting,
Financial Reporting and Office Administration.
April Zendejas, Program Assistant
April Zendejas is the Program Assistant at the Center for Teaching Excellence at the
University of South Carolina. She assists with and coordinates professional development
activities for CTE clientele, which includes faculty and graduate teaching assistants.
Her responsibilities include CTE purchases, procurement, and oversight of travel reimbursements.
Additionally, April provides program development and administrative support for CTE
staff. Prior to working at CTE she taught 9th grade World Geography at her alma mater,
Southwest High School. She earned a B.A. in History with a Social Studies concentration
at University of Texas at San Antonio. April enjoys working with passionate educators
and aspires to be a secondary educator. April is known for her bright, bubbly, animated
personality and always welcomes everyone with a smile.