Meet the Excelsior OWL Team

Photo of Francesco Crocco Francesco Crocco, Director of the Excelsior Online Writing Lab
Frank led the Excelsior OWL team into unchartered territories with the development of the new  Online Reading Comprehension Lab. He is ushering in an exciting era of animation and gamification for the Excelsior OWL.
Photo of Mark Oppenneer Mark Oppenneer, Director of Web Systems
Mark is the former Director of the Excelsior OWL. He is an open source innovator with a passion for creating enterprise web resources. He is the technical architect and lead developer of the new Excelsior OWL platform.
Photo of Lori Aldrich Lori Aldrich, Instructional Designer and Multimedia Developer
Lori is a dedicated and detail-oriented team member who provides essential instructional design and multimedia content development skills. She also ensures content consistency and tracks project development.
Photo of Michelle Abeyta Michelle Abeyta, Outreach Coordinator
Michelle was previously the Learning Services Coordinator and Lead Instructional Designer for the Excelsior OWL. She created video assets, interactive activities, and content while managing key areas of the Excelsior OWL project. She is soaring to new heights as the coordinator for the Excelsior OWL national outreach campaign.

Past Team Members

Darren Walsh, past AVP – Center for Online Education, Learning & Academic Services
Darren was our fiercest champion, tirelessly making behind the scenes magic happen (grants, awards, staffing, opportunities, etc.).

Crystal Sands, past Director of the Excelsior Online Writing Lab
Crystal is the fairy godmother of the Excelsior OWL — bringing in several large grants and many national awards. She was also our resident subject matter expert.

David Seelow, founding Director of the Excelsior Online Writing Lab
David was the creative genius behind the Excelsior OWL and several other projects at Excelsior, including the former Center for Gaming & Simulation. He spearheaded the development of the ESL WOW resources before the official Excelsior OWL took flight.

Erin Blauvelt, past Senior Multimedia Instructional Designer
Erin created multimedia learning resources for the Excelsior OWL, wrangled content and ensured that we adhered to accessibility guidelines. She is an Associate Faculty member at Excelsior College

Marina Suarez, past Concept Artist and Visual Designer
Marina is an accomplished artist who helped give the Excelsior OWL new wings. She freshened up the original Excelsior OWL designs and created assets for instructional animations.

Claire Bradin Siskin, former Project Director for ESL WOW
Claire provided expertise and leadership as Project Director for the development of the innovative ESL WOW resources, which went on to win a NUTN award and become part of the Excelsior OWL. Her efforts helped disseminate the ESL WOW to a broad range of national and international users.


Honorary Team Members

The Excelsior OWL would not be what it is today without the amazing contributions of these folks.

Patti Croop, former Director of Grants & Research

Bethany Totaro de Barros, former Director of Grants Management

Al Faller, former Senior Web Server Administrator

Steven Seagraves, Jr., Technical Writer and Multimedia Content Guru at Tec-Masters, Inc.

Christie Allred, English Instructor, San Diego Mesa College

Michael Winters, Manager of Learning Support Technology, Valencia College


The Reading Lab Advisory Committee

Dr. Elizabeth Johnston, Associate Professor of English, SUNY Monroe Community College

Judy Salsburg Taylor, Professor, SUNY Monroe Community College

Dr. Jamie Sindell, Associate Professor of English, SUNY Onondaga Community College

Stephanie Putman, Reading Instructor, SUNY Onondaga Community College


The ESL WOW Advisory Committee

Christie Allred, Chair, ESOL Department, Mesa College

Ethan Joella, Director, ESL Program, Albright College

Carla Meskill, Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice, University of Albany, State University of New York

Howard Pomann, Director, Institute for Intensive English, Union County Community College

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