About IDEA


The mission of the University of Maryland School of Social Work IDEA (Instructional Design E-Learning and Assessments) team is to support quality teaching, learning and research. We provide services and resources related to instructional design, eLearning, pedagogy, educational technology, assessment and evaluation. We partner with SSW faculty to design high quality, accessible and impactful online and hybrid courses. We put our knowledge of research-based practices, assessment and alignment of curriculum, tools and technologies for teaching and learning, innovation and experimentation to work for the School of Social Work. Reporting to the Sr. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the IDEA Team is led by the Associate Dean of Instructional Design and Technology.  

Meet the Team

Dr. Clark Shah-Nelson, DBA, MA

Assistant Dean of Instructional Design and Technology

IDEA Team leadership, Blackboard and documentation support, instructional design, and training oversight

Bike commuter, Boomers Bar and Grill BrewMaster, papa to two fine fellows, husband to an MSW Macro Education Community Coordinator

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) 

Burrito master, electronic musician, retired actor, hiker,  fairly fluent in Norwegian and German

Research interests include virtual teams and collaboration, knowledge management, mindfulness, and leadership and synchronous communications 

Dr. Clark Shah-Nelson, DBA, MA

Colin Fagan, MS.

Sr. Instructional Technology Specialist

Sr. Instructional Technology Specialist with expertise in Blackboard, Course Evaluations, and Competency Data Support. 

Enjoys golfing, lacrosse, and is a father of three. 

Holds a Master's degree in Financial Management and Information Systems and is interested in research related to business analytics and competency data collection methods.

Colin Fagan, MS.

Rodney Urand, MS.

Instructional Technologist 

Instructional Technology and Learning Management System support.

Masters in Learning Design and Technology 

Research interests include: online student engagement, blended learning, microlearning, QM, multimedia production, AI and VR.

Father to five girls, certified Public Speaker, Reverend and Wedding DJ, originally from Australia. Enjoys NASCAR, baseball, football, music, technology, traveling and happy hours (just not all at the same time).

Rodney Urand, MS

Cathy Hanssens-Passeri, MA.

Instructional Designer 

Online/Hybrid course design and redesign, training and faculty development, and orientations

Helping you develop the best courses for your students 

Masters in Instructional Systems Development. Bachelors in Digital Media and Web Technology

Interests in different design elements, love of the outdoors, sports, and gardening. She loves to travel, especially back to her home land of Australia.

Cathy Hanssens-Passeri, MA

Alexis Guethler, MT.

Instructional Designer 

Online/Hybrid course design and redesign, training and faculty development, and orientations.

Masters in Teaching with a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Design.

Student, mom of four, technology enthusiast, craft supply collector, amateur naturalist, audiobook devotee, and cat herder.

Research Interests include humanizing the online learning environment for students and faculty, adult student success and support, instructional technologies,  and faculty development.

From the History Vault

Date Last Reviewed/Update: 3/14/23