LAPT Advisory Board

UMBC’s Learning and Performance Technology Advisory Board is comprised of working professionals in the field of instructional design, training, instructional technology, performance improvement, eLearning, workplace learning and more.  They represent a variety of organizations such as IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, National Security Agency, Oracle Software, CitiFinancial, Aerotek, McCormick & Company, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and more.

Their role is to provide the university with ideas and feedback concerning the program curriculum, marketing, students services, employer needs, emerging trends in the field, and more.  The board also provides students with coaching and mentoring, internships, applied learning opportunities and career guidance.

Rafi Ahmad | Director of Instructional Design/Adjunct Instructor
M.S., Johns Hopkins University
B.S., University of Maryland University College

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Rafi Ahmad has over 20 years experience in corporate training. He is currently the Director of Instructional Design for OneMain Financial (formerly CitiFinancial) in Baltimore, Maryland. In his role, he manages a team of Instructional Designers responsible for developing online and in-person training for employees within their branch, corporate and centralized locations throughout the US and Canada.

Prior to working for OneMain Financial, Mr. Ahmad worked as a Lead Designer for a Telecommunications training consultant company called Novations. As a Lead Designer, he was responsible for leading projects teams in the design and development of online training solutions for clients such as Verizon, Concert, and XO Communications. Before Novations, Mr. Ahmad worked for Zurich Insurance as a Training Consultant where he was responsible for designing and facilitating instructor-led training, and developing computer-based training solutions in support of the company’s underwriting personnel.

Since 2001, Mr. Ahmad has served as an adjunct faculty member in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Learning and Performance Technology Graduate program, teaching LAPT/EDUC 683, which is a class that focuses on the design and management of multi-media design projects.


Zane Berge, Ph.D. | Professor of Education
Ph.D., Michigan State University
B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
Certification in Distance Education, Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Berge has been affiliated with the LAPT (previously known as ISD) program since 1995. He served as the director for the Training Systems Graduate Programs through 2001. Previously, he directed the Center for Teaching and Technology at Georgetown University, where he also worked as the Assistant Director for the Academic Computer Center. Dr. Berge’s chief research interests are related to distance education and online learning. He is a prolific and widely published author of books and journal articles on these topics. Recent publications include Virtual schools: Planning for success. (2005); Sustaining distance training: Integrating learning technologies into the fabric of the enterprise (2001); Wired Together: Computer-Mediated Communication in K-12, Volumes 1-4 (1998); and Distance Training: How Innovative Organizations are Using Technology to Maximize Learning and Meet Business Objectives (1998).

In 1999, Dr. Berge was honored with the Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Publication by the University Continuing Education Association.

Phone: 410-455-2306

Todd Brace | Director of Leadership and Organizational Development, Anne Arundel Medical Center
M.A., Instructional Systems Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
B.A., Education, Salisbury University

Todd Brace has been involved in Workplace Learning for over 25 years, helping small businesses on the Eastern Shore create structured On the Job Training programs funded through the Job Training Partnership Act.

After spending ten years designing, delivering, and evaluating federally funded training programs through Maryland’s Community College network, Mr. Brace moved to the private sector, ultimately delivering workplace learning in manufacturing, distribution, graphic arts, high tech, finance, retail and legal industries.

Earning his B.A. in Education back when Salisbury University was known as Salisbury State College, he enrolled in the ISD program at UMBC in 2000, completing his coursework in 2003. He has created, deployed, managed and evaluated workplace learning in manufacturing, distribution, finance, legal, high tech, graphic arts, hospitality, sales, food manufacturing and service fields.

He is currently the Director of Talent Management at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

John Buelow | Director of Learning and Development/Adjunct Instructor
M.S., Organizational Development and Human Resources, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Psychology, Providence College

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John Buelowis the Director of Talent Development – Deputy Potentiometrist at Skyline Network Engineering in Baltimore, MD. John consults with Fortune 500 companies to develop creative, customized solutions to establish negotiations skills as a core competency. He has designed systems to assess business processes and culture to maximize the impact of training and consulting engagements with SNI.

John’s career began in 1988 as a Special Education Teacher at the New England Center for Autism in Southborough, MA and at NYNEX Information Resources Company a Manager in Labor Relations. This teaching and negotiating experience is reflected in his course design and positive approach to classroom facilitation.

John relocated to New York City to work in sales with the Allegis Group. He established the Telecommunications Training Center program where over 300 unemployed technicians updated their technical skills and were placed at companies throughout the metro NY/NJ region. In 1995 John accepted a position with Allegis as a Training Director and over the next seven years he developed and delivered sales, leadership and management training to over 10,000 Allegis employees.

In 2002, John joined Sylvan University, the training and development organization for Sylvan Learning Centers. Under his direction, Sylvan University increased training output over 300% and increased customer satisfaction with SLC training by 29%. John also successfully introduced a distance learning strategy for re-certifying Sylvan’s full time staff across the United States and Canada.

John holds a B.A. in psychology from Providence College and a Master’s in Organizational Development and Human Resources from the Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, he presented The Direct Path to Training ROI,a white paper at the World Negotiations Forum in New York.


Keith Curran | Chief Operating Officer, Harkcon Inc./Adjunct Instructor
M. A., University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)
M.A.L.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
B.S., U. S. Coast Guard Academy

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Mr. Curran currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Harkcon, Inc. a training and human performance improvement company providing comprehensive organizational and workforce performance analysis, training development & delivery, and comprehensive performance support with a variety of customized, innovative solutions in the public and private sectors. He has been affiliated with UMBC’s LAPT (and ISD) program since 1999 when he began work on his Master’s. He has taught at the undergraduate level at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy from 1989-1993 and at UMBC from 2001 to the present. He has been a lecturer in the LAPT (and ISD) program since 2004. He is a retired Coast Guard Officer, primarily serving underway on ships and in performance improvement and training jobs when ashore.


Carol Erdman | President in SITE Training and Development/Consultant
M.A. Instructional Systems Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Carol Erdman is CEO of inSITE Training & Development, Inc., a consulting firm that uses instructional systems design and human performance technology at the heart of every project. Carol has lead multi-million dollar projects that improved performance, morale, compliance, and other measurable targets for organizations around the world. Using ISD principles, Carol and her team design and deliver professional development, leadership, and technical training courses, both web-based and classroom-based with the highest quality and some of the lowest costs. Using gamification, Carol’s courses are fun, engaging, and tied to work place performance. You can measure the improvement in performance from a web-based or classroom-based in SITE course.

Some of her accomplishments include creating a safety program (policy update, training, management tools for enforcement, etc.) to improve safety by 32%; creating a leadership development program that moved mid-level and senior managers from managing tasks to leading people; moving a culture to become more respectful (reduced bullying, EEO charges, etc.); creating a new culture of coaching, development, and life-long learning through a movement called “Leaders Growing Leaders”; and successfully implementing major workplace change in many organizations. Her satisfied clients have included DC Metro, the Department of the Treasury, Verizon, Homeland Security, the Navy, CareFirst, and over a hundred more. Carol can be reached at

Gabe Hamda, Ph.D. | President, Owner and CEO, ICATT Consulting, Inc.
Ph.D., Instructional System Design, Florida State University

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Gabe Hamda is President and CEO of ICATT Consulting, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in Instructional System Design from Florida State University and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources.

Dr.Hamda founded ICATT Consulting in 1994. ICATT ( improves organizational performance through customized training, strategic recruitment, organizational effectiveness consulting, IT Training and IT Solutions.

Dr. Hamda’s career experiences include human capital consulting in a health care organization, learning consulting in a financial services firm, human resource consulting in various state agencies and professor of human resources in a graduate school. As a senior executive, his roles include: strategic direction setting, managing client relations, providing project oversight, talent management, leadership coaching and mentoring, financial management, continuous quality improvement, and team development.

Projects that Dr. Hamda managed include: national training program implementation for a housing & urban development agency, international home schooling program support for a defense agency, program evaluation for a state agency, strategic direction setting for a community organization, e-learning development for a health care agency, diversity program implementation for a fire service agency, and employee training implementation for a local government, leadership development for a transportation agency, team development for a pharmaceutical company, customer relations management system development for a human resource firm.

Dr. Hamda’s special talents include: strategic direction setting, project management, leadership development, coaching & mentoring, facilitation, program evaluation, needs assessment, conflict resolution, business development, strategic thinking, problem solving, instructional design, talent development, cultural competency, best practice research, market research, executive coaching, employee motivation, training & development.

Rick Humphress, Ph.D. | Project Manager, Oracle Corporation
Ph.D., Public Policy and Administration, Walden University
M.B.A., Portland State
P.B.C., Instructional Systems Development, UMBC
B.A. Stanford University

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Dr. Rick Humphress has over 30 years experience serving in a variety of individual contributor roles at such companies as Xerox, Motorola, INTERSOLV, and Oracle. He currently serves as an Oracle Project Manager advising international, federal, and state & local public sector organizations on human resources, risk management, and internal controls for improved efficiency and effectiveness. He coauthored a journal article on human performance improvement in Performance Improvement magazine. Dr. Humphress also teaches public policy and administration at Strayer University.

Dr. Humphress received a B.A. from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Portland State, an Instructional Systems Development Certificate from UMBC and completed a Ph.D. from Walden University in Public Policy and Administration.

Smith Kalita | Partner and Co-founder – Tyche Group LLC
M.A., Instructional Systems Development, UMBC
M.A.S., Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems, Embry Riddle University
B.S., Business Administration, Bucknell University

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Mr. Smith Kalita is an experienced program/project manager analyst with over 17 years of experience. He is a Project Management Institute certified Project Management Professional (PMP), an International Society for Performance Improvement Certified Performance Technologist (CPT), and is certified in Saba, Incorporated’s Peak Performance System Optimizing Human Performance Front-End Analysis, Training Design, and Training Development methodologies. He is also a certified Kirkpatrick Principal Evaluator. In addition, Mr. Kalita served as an Adjunct Instructor at Booz Allen Hamilton’s Learning and Development Center in McLean, Virginia, and also facilitates project management training workshops for some of his Government clients.

Prior to joining Booz Allen, Mr. Kalita retired from active duty as a U.S. Coast Guard Aviator with 23 years of aviation experience and over 4,500 operational flying hours with a specialization in safety program management, aircraft mishap analysis, and aircrew training. While assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, he served as the HH-65A Safety Program Manager, and managed the Coast Guard’s Flight Safety Officer professional development and Crew Resource Management training programs.

Mr. Kalita currently holds a Master of Arts degree in Instructional Systems Development from University of Maryland Baltimore County, a Master of Aeronautical Science Degree in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School Aviation Safety Officer Course, and completed the Aviation Safety Certificate Program at the University of Southern California School of Engineering.

Paul Kellermann | Adjunct Faculty
M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County
B.A., University of Delaware

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Mr. Kellermann is an alumnus of the ISD-TS Graduate Program, and has taught LAPT/EDUC 681 since 2001. A teacher at Mount Saint Joseph High School since 1993, Mr. Kellermann is the computer science department chairperson. In addition to teaching Web Design and E-Learning, Visual Basic, and MATLAB, he advises on the integration of technology for the school, supports training in technology for faculty, and is a moderator for the school’s online newspaper, The Quill

When not working, he enjoys running, reading, playing the drums, and making chainmaille. He loves visiting Ocean City, MD, and Vermont, and lives in Catonsville with his lovely wife, awesome son, and four friendly cats.


Sardek Love | President and Founder, Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions
B.S., Virginia Tech

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Sardek P. Love is the President and Founder of Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions (ICTS), a management consulting and customer service training provider to an array of global customers. A dynamic speaker and international business consultant, he possesses over 20 years of professional experience in leadership development, training and development, association management, customer service, management information systems, and production and operations management.

Mr. Love is a highly sought after consultant, delivering training programs, Keynote speeches, seminars, and consulting services to clients throughout the United States as well as international locations.

As Chief Executive Officer of Sardek Love International, Mr. Love has worked in 30 countries inspiring, developing, and educating managers in Fortune 100 companies, high tech organizations, local/state/federal government agencies, and global brands on how to become more effective leaders in their workplace. His contributions as a leader are extensive and ongoing. He is a former President of the Virginia Tech College of Human Sciences Alumni Association and a past President of two different ATD chapers. He is one of eleven experts globally who facilitates ATD’s Master Trainer designation course.

Mick Magill | Managing Consultant, HCL Axon
M.B.A., Human Resources, Rutgers University
B.S., Mathematics, Montclair State University

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Mr. Magill has over 20 years of success in human performance improvement and organizational transformation . He has worked with major pharmaceutical, diversified, service, finance, and staffing companies to identify and implement performance improvement initiatives. He has expertise in business process reengineering, training management, end-user adoption, change management, and performance consulting. Mr. Magill has led process improvement and training practice change efforts for over 15 clients.

Some of his project highlights include:
– Designed process reengineering methodology (format, conventions, toolset, training) for a consulting company and served over a dozen clients. Process modeling conventions follow a modified IDEF/ICOM standard.
– For 2 large banks, led the training function with full responsibilities for annual strategy/plan, budget, curriculum, vendors, staff, and reporting.
– As a consultant, hired to improve training practices to industry standard for 2 national clients.
– Frequent speaker at ASTD, ISPI, and SHRM professional events.

His academic background includes an M.B.A. in Human Resources and his undergraduate work was in Mathematics.

Ryan McShane | Human Resource Officer at Baltimore County Department of Aging and Principal/Founder HRevolution, LLC
M.A., Instructional Systems Development, UMBC
M.S.A., Human Resources Administration, Central Michigan University
B.A., Penn State

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Ryan McShane is the Founder/Principal of HRevolution, LLC, a resume writing and HR Consultancy in addition to his role as the Human Resource Officer for Baltimore County Department of Aging. He has created and implemented various Human Resource Development programs such as Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management for Project Management, The Continuous Learning Committee (CLC), career coaching and other organizational development initiatives.

His professional affiliations and interests are serving as President Elect for Chesapeake Human Resource Association (CHRA), State Director of MD SHRM’s Workforce Readiness, Member to UMBC’s Learning and Performance Technology Advisory Board.

Mr. McShane enjoys preparing organizations to create Mature Workforce Solutions to include capturing institutional knowledge, phased retirement, cross-training, job redesign and succession planning.

Linda Raudenbush | Consultant and Coach/Adjunct Instructor
B.A., St. Joseph College
M.S., Johns Hopkins University
Ed.D., George Washington University

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Dr. Raudenbush brings a diverse educational background to her work at UMBC, where she has worked as an adjunct instructor since 1990. She earned her undergraduate degree in math, science and secondary education; a master’s degree in applied behavioral science, as well as a doctoral degree in human resource development. She also earned a Certificate of Professional Development/Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.

Dr. Raudenbush has more than 30 years’ experience in training, consulting, and leading programs to increase organizational effectiveness through improved communications and staff development. Her research interests include the study of leadership principles, human resource development, women in the workplace issues, action learning, and international human resource development. Professional interests include coaching certification, teaching online, and international work.


Mike Thorpe | Program Director – Training at Serco
M.Ed., Adult Education and Distance Learning, University of Phoenix
M.A., Organizational Management, The George Washington University
B.A., Economics, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

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Mike Thorpe is a seasoned Learning and Development professional with over twenty years of work experience in Project/Program Management, Training, eLearning, and Employee Development. He has extensive experience in leading efforts in producing learning materials in various formats including; Instructor Led (ILT), Web Based (WBT), and other Computer Based (CBT) training tracks and certification courses. He is thoroughly versed in SCORM, S1000D, Section 508, and has extensive experience in development methodologies including SELC (Software Engineering Life-Cycle), Agile/SCRUM, ADDIE, and others.

As an eLearning and training consultant in the Washington DC Metro area Mr. Thorpe has worked with Fortune 500 firms and Federal and State agencies to provide training, course design, certification, accreditation, coaching, and facilitation. He works as a Sr. Training Program Manager for Serco where he currently develops learning strategies and manages teams of learning professionals.

Mr. Thorpe currently holds a Master of Education degree in Adult Education and Distance Learning from University of Phoenix, a Masters certification in Organizational Management from The George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from University of North Carolina –Greensboro. He also has completed numerous certifications in Project Management, technical certifications from Microsoft, and Leadership and Coaching and Myers-Briggs type indicator.

Greg Walsh | Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, University of Baltimore
Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park
M.S., Bloomsburg University
B.A., Bloomsburg University

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Dr. Walsh is an e-learning designer and developer who has designed and developed training products that include interactive multi-media exercises, games and other simulations. He has experience developing instructional technology products for international corporations and has created multimedia learning activities for government agencies.

For the last several years, Dr. Walsh has led University of Baltimore’s intergenerational design team, KidsteamUB, through which children and adults work as partners to design new technologies for children. He realized that it was difficult for parents and children in the city to get to campus and that new design technologies needed to be developed to enable communication, elaboration and evaluation between kids and designers in the city. The need for research into this topic was recognized by Google, who awarded him a Google Faculty Research Award in order to continue this work in an online environment.

Catherine Zaranis | CEO and Co-Founder of Perform-Link LLC/Adjunct Instructor
M.A. University of Maryland, Baltimore County
B.A. Franklin and Marshall College

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Catherine Zaranis is an award winning Performance Consultant, Instructional Designer and Educator. In 2012, she founded, Perform-Link, LLC. Perform-link enables individual and organizational excellence by continuously improving quality, systems and leadership to support the mission and the bottom line.

Catherine has led the re-design of instructional content for over 100+ courses for public and private sector clients, government, non-for-profits and higher education. Her high quality and high energy programs are well researched and delivered in a memorable down-to-earth style.

Catherine teaches LAPT/EDUC 689 Connecting ISD and HPI. Prior to joining the UMBC Learning and Performance Technology Faculty, Catherine was a successful Senior Leadership Development Consultant with Management Concepts, in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia.

She is recognized by industry thought leaders for her expertise in Human Performance Improvement, Consulting, Leadership, Coaching, Learning Technologies, Instructional Systems Development, Training and Inter-Cultural Sensitivity.

Selected to participate in the highly competitive NSF DC I-Corps Program (2014); Received top honors (#1) during the Annual ISPI European Conference Business Simulation (2013); Received an ISPI Chapter of Excellence Award during her term as President (2011); Received the prestigious “UMBC Dr. Marvin Cook Award” for Outstanding Academic Excellence, Service and Entrepreneurship (2010).