"Technology in Higher Education in Support of Innovation for Student Success,” or THESIS for short, is a collaboration of colleges and universities to make educational content and software easier and more efficient to use in various combinations within the teaching and learning process. The goal of THESIS is to achieve broad adoption of “efficient IT” practices that make the sharing of data from various sources easier, and more actionable, thus supporting the efforts to scale educational attainment from 40 to 60% by 2020. In essence, the THESIS initiative will help institutions align IT investments with the strategic mission to advance the innovative use of technology to improve student success while keeping costs under control.
The THESIS Advisory Group works closely with IMS to provide guidance in the development and promotion of the THESIS initiative and provide leadership to encourage higher education institutions to:
Participants in the advisory group are appointed by IMS based upon their interest and commitment in leading the adoption of open standards in higher education. Members will rotate off the advisory board periodically. For more information about how you can support THESIS, please contact us.
Members of the THESIS Advisory Group
Jack A. Chambers, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Office of Learning Research and Development, Florida State College - Jacksonville
Jack A. Chambers holds a Ph.D. degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Michigan State University. He currently serves as Associate Vice President of the Office of Learning Research and Development and as an adjunct professor of psychology at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He has over 20 years of experience directing university and college computing centers at such institutions as California State University, Fresno, Duquesne University, and Loyola College in Maryland. His research fields include the psychology of creativity and higher education learning involving technology; he has published and spoken widely in these areas. He currently serves on the editorial board of the British Journal of Educational Technology and is the chair of the Jacksonville Higher Education Consortium for Mathematics and Science.
Sean DeMonner has worked in the technology field for over 20 years in settings ranging from universities to commercial startups to established publicly-traded corporations. His professional experience includes functional management, organizational development, strategic planning, product development, and project and portfolio management. His broad technical background spans general IT applicationsand infrastructure, web and multimedia design and development, and delivery of related services.
Mr. DeMonner is currently responsible for enterprise academic technology and directs the Teaching & Learning organization for the University of Michigan’s Information Technology Services division. He holds a BA in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara and an MA in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and two children.
Bob DeWitt has over 30 years of higher education, including over 18 years of senior executive experience managing information technology for colleges and universities. Mr. DeWitt serves as a CIO and Executive Director for new client startups for Ellucian and is currently the interim CIO for Antioch University. Mr. Dewitt previous experience includes, IT Director for Zebra Technologies Europe, IT Director for Thames Valley University, and IT Director for Maryland European Division. Mr. DeWitt holds a Ph.D. and a M.B.A from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.
Patrick Laughran has over a decade of diverse experience within Higher Education, including senior administration positions at both private and public institutions, as well as two stints as founding Chief Technology Officer for companies within online media and e-learning industries. He is also an instructor for an online MBA program, teaching courses on strategies for information resource management and enterprise growth through innovation. Mr. Laughran holds an M.B.A. from Babson College and B.S.B.A. from Northeastern University. He is currently Chief Information Officer at Framingham State University with responsibility for the oversight of all information technology and services, including educational technology and distance education support.
Michael L. Mathews has over 24-years experience as a senior-level executive bringing creative solutions that value the end-users of technology and business process management. These solutions have benefited the end-users of manufacturing, higher education, and high technology company products.
Mr. Mathews has a deep and rich work history including 12-years at Cray Research, as well as 10-years at SunGard Higher Education where he served as chief information officer, and vice president of business process management services. In these two roles he has influenced 100s of research, energy, chemical, and manufacturing companies, as well as over thirty of the nation’s leading community colleges, universities, and statewide systems. Mr. Mathews’ dual experience in business and education along with working knowledge of seven Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems has allowed him to quickly assess business process and technology innovation that creatively impacts products, process, people and society.
Mr. Mathews has recently accepted the position of Chief Strategist for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Lone Star College System (LSCS). In this role, Mr. Mathews will initiate new forms of creativity and innovation whereby LSCS will embrace, facilitate, and broker the untapped mind-share that resides in students, alumni, business partners, and educators. LSCS will reach out into this mindshare for the triangulation of business, education, and modern-day invention to bring innovation and entrepreneurship through the minds and doors of LSCS -- out into the pathways of society; locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Mr. Mathews has earned associate and bachelor degrees, as well as many certificates from institutions ranging from Dunwoody Institute of Technology, UW-Madison, UW-Stout, UCLA, Harvard Business School, and Global University. Mr. Mathews has been trained on computer systems ranging from PCs to Cray Supercomputers. In addition, he has specialized training and certification on business processes management, and is trained to work on seven major ERP systems including SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, MAPICS, Oracle, Banner, and Datatel.
Robbie K. Melton, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Mobilization and Emerging Technologies, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR)
Dr. Melton serves as the chief system level administrator to oversee the system’s mission and initiatives for the Strategic Mobilization Planning and Business Models, Mobilization Quality Assurances, Faculty and Student Use of Mobile Devices related to teaching, learning, training, and workforce development, and the coordination of research, product testing, pilots and security safety networks. She has published and presented around the nation the impact and value of mobilization for education and the workforce and has acquired a new distinction as an “Appologist”, due to her study of the pedagogy and best teaching practices with mobilization, quality standards for the utilization of mobile apps, and for her creation of the Mobile App Education and Workforce Resource Center (50,000+ Apps that have been aligned with over ninety-five subject areas from PreK to Ph.D., including workforce careers, professional development and life-long-learning; according to one’s mobile device of choice). Dr. Melton curerntly serves on the Sloan-C Board of Directors, WCET Executive Board, Tennessee MERLOT Project Director, IMS Global Learning Solution Higher Education Co-Chair, and Co-Chair Global Educational Center.
Terence (Terry) N. O'Heron is the program manager for Penn State’s Course Management System (ANGEL). He's responsible for coordinating services provided by various administrative and academic units supporting the successful development and deployment of ANGEL functionality which facilitates teaching, learning, and research for 100,000+ faculty and students. This encompasses education technologies, faculty development, training, and user support. Terry also oversees the daily performance of ANGEL and interacts with other computing organizations to ensure a dependable and reliable computing environment. Terry came to Penn State University in May 2004 after serving 21 years in the United States Air Force. Terry completed his master's degree in Public Administration at Central Michigan University. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and an associate's degree in Computer Science from Southeast Missouri State University.
Jeff focuses on fostering the adoption of new educational technologies through investigation, teaching and support. He helps to identify the pedagogical advantages of specific technologies and work to help faculty incorporate them into their teaching repertoire.
Jeff is also working on his Ph.D. in the field of education. He is an ethnographer who explores the impact of the social web on community and identity. His dissertation research focuses on a community of endurance athletes as they experience notions of identity, community, and knowledge sharing in the age of the social web where the audience is no longer segregated.