Team

Christina Cestone, PhD, received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she conducted research on faculty learning communities, instructional methods, and interprofessional education. For 25 years, teaching and learning has been her passion, leading a variety of initiatives in graduate and professional education and workforce development. Her interests are in program evaluation, assessment, and curriculum and instructional design involving active learning methods. Dr. Cestone spent the last eight years in science and medical education, most recently as Associate Dean of Assessment and Evaluation for Drexel University, College of Medicine. At Drexel, she was responsible for overseeing medical student assessment and program evaluation in an integrated medical curriculum. Prior to leaving industry for higher education in 2006, she earned a Master’s degree in Human and Organizational Learning from The George Washington University. Dr. Cestone is an active member of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network and the American Education Research Association (AERA) and her most recent papers appear in Medical Science Educator and Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity: Research, Education and Policy.

Kevin Engler, MDE, is a senior instructional designer with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. In collaboration with University of Maryland, Baltimore faculty, he provides design and development solutions for online graduate courses. Kevin guides individual and small teams of faculty through a structured course design and development process using new and established evidence-based tools and practices. He also offers individualized training to developing instructors for improving online course facilitation and promoting student engagement and learning. His current areas of focus include online course design, project management, MOOC development, and online pedagogy. He is certified in the Quality Matters quality assurance methodology. Kevin joined UMB in 2014. Previously, he developed training solutions for the Department of Veterans Affairs and for the health insurance industry. Kevin also served as a K-12 special educator and led a data management team at an information services start-up. Kevin earned a master's degree in Instructional Systems Development from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2010.

Erin Hagar, MA, MFA, is a senior instructional designer who has worked in higher education for over twenty years. After teaching Spanish at American University, she held instructional design positions at the World Bank Institute, Montgomery College, and Johns Hopkins University before finding her home at UMB. 

At UMB, Erin has supported the expansion of the Masters of Science in Health Science degree, as well as the launch of new programs such as the the Masters of Science in Hospice and Palliative Care and the Masters of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. She is a member of the Physician's Assistant Leadership and Learning Academy executive board, in which she helps design the curriculum for the PALLA fellows and provides input on faculty development activities for PA educators across the state. Her passions include helping faculty discover active learning strategies that work for their courses, designing authentic assessments that mirror the real-world application of knowledge, and the impact of the social and emotional environment on learning.

Sharon Gillooly,leads media production for the faculty center. Her main focus is producing videos that support academic instruction. Sharon also consults with stakeholders in schools across campus to address their media needs. Sharon came to UMB after serving as a Media Production Specialist at the R. H. Smith School in College Park. Sharon’s previous career was producing and editing documentaries for cable television where her favorite challenges included quickly learning new subject matter and communicating complex ideas to a large audience in an engaging way. Sharon turned her attention to higher education where she saw similar challenges existed 

Sharon completed a Master’s Certificate in Online Instructional Development from Florida State University. Her work there focused on instructional design and emerging technologies. She holds a BA from Hunter College where she studied Communications and Film. Sharon is especially interested in the use of media to enhance learning. 

Eric Belt, MA is a senior instructional designer and currently an Educational Technology doctoral student at Boise State University. His research interests are in communication, interaction, and engagement in online courses. He holds a M.A., Distance Education & E-Learning from UMUC and a B.S., Business Administration from Towson University. Prior to joining UMB, Eric was the Director of Learning Technology at the College of Southern Maryland and, formerly, the Assistant Director of eLearning at Howard Community College. Eric has served as an Instructional Designer both virtually and on-campus for various community colleges across the U.S. Eric brings a passion for advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning through course design, instructional communication, and faculty professional development to the center. 

Becky Menendez, MA, M.Ed, is an instructional designer and educational technologist who joined the FCTL on January 6, 2020 as an Academic Innovation Specialist. Becky holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art, with concentrations in Graphic Design and Digital Productions. She also holds master’s degrees in Elementary Education, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Educational Technology. Becky brings a deep understanding of educational practice and design in higher and postsecondary education, particularly with English language learners, and has supported online course design for the International Baccalaureate, the Community College of Baltimore County, and Penn State University. Becky is a trained Quality Matters peer reviewer, providing feedback and guidance to institutions on improving the quality of their online courses.

Michelle Pearce, PhD, is faculty in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Pearce directs two graduate certificate programs: Integrative Health and Wellness and Science Communication. She is also a Faculty Liaison in the UMB Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition, Dr. Pearce is a clinical psychologist who studies the relationship between religion/spirituality, coping, and health, as well as the integration of spirituality into the practice of psychotherapy. Her current research is on spiritually integrated cognitive processing therapy for moral injury and PTSD, as well as the development and evaluation of spiritual competency training for mental health professionals.  She received her Ph.D. from Yale University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at Duke University Medical Center and a second fellowship in Spirituality and Health at the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health. She is the author of the book Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christians with Depression: A Practical, Tool-Based Primer and coauthor of Religion and Recovery from PTSD.