Morris Thomas, Ph.D., PMP

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Director of CETLA and Assistant Provost for Digital and Online Learning

Dr. Morris Thomas is responsible for providing visionary, strategic, and operational leadership for the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment (CETLA) by providing learning-centered professional development initiatives that ultimately foster dynamic learning environments and experiences. He also serves as the Assistant Provost for Digital and Online Learning. Dr. Thomas has an extensive background in facilitating learning across modalities (face-to-face, hybrid-blended, and online). Dr. Thomas teaches in Howard University’s School of Business and School of Education. He is also a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  Dr. Thomas employs Quality Matters, a global recognized, peer-review process used to ensure the quality of online and blended course design. He holds several Quality Matters certifications, including Master Reviewer, Peer-Reviewer and Quality Matters Coordinator. He is also certified to facilitate the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric workshop face-to-face and online.  Dr. Thomas serves as Chair of the Quality Matters Academic Advisory Council (QMAAC). He also serves on the Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) Advisory Panel (CAP), Echo360 Advisory Board, and McMillan Learning Micro-Credential Advisory Board.

Dr. Thomas is an established scholar, his research focuses on instructional dynamics which encompass instructional domains, design, and delivery. He has developed a conceptual framework called the E.N.H.A.N.C.E. Learning Model. This conceptual framework provides seven strategies to inform intentional course design and delivery. Dr. Thomas is also the creator of the framework, “The W.H.O.L.E. Experience,” a model to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in learning environments. Dr. Thomas serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of African American Males in Education, the Journal of Innovative Higher Education, the  American Research Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, and as reviewer for the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and for webinars.

Dr. Thomas received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Morgan State University, a M.A. in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University, a M.S. in instructional technology management from LaSalle University, a M.M. in classical vocal performance from New Jersey City University and a B.A. in music from Fisk University. He has completed post graduate studies at Cornell University and Georgetown University in project management and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification with the Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI). He has also completed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace and the Inclusive and Ethical Leadership Certificates from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.  



Cindy Philpot, M.Ed.

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Associate Director

Ms. Cindy Philpot serves as Associate Director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (CETLA). Her responsibilities include planning, designing, and delivering training opportunities that support teaching, learning, and assessment at Howard University and beyond. Ms. Philpot assists the Assistant Provost/Director in facilitating CETLA's instructional support, professional development, and assessment activities. Ms. Philpot participates in instructional technology and instructional design initiatives and also responds to faculty requests for assistance in implementing technologies to support their learning environments. She also actively engages faculty in identifying instructional best practices and conducts professional development workshops on various teaching and learning topics.  Ms. Philpot serves as a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for Howard University’s College of Medicine Faculty Development and Diversity Committee as well as a member of the Howard University Assessment Committee. Ms. Philpot is not only an experienced trainer and instructional designer but actively teaches courses as an adjunct professor she teaches Computer Concepts and Ethical Considerations and Advanced Excel courses.  

Ms. Philpot has completed several Quality Matters (QM) training and certifications such as Applying the QM Rubric, Applying the QM Rubric Online Facilitator certification, and the QM Peer Reviewer certification. She comes to Howard with a background in learning theories, instructional design, and expertise in multiple creative design applications and web 2.0 tools. Ms. Philpot completed a bachelor's in Communications with a concentration in Media Studies from Virginia Wesleyan University, a Masters in Instructional Design and Technology, and a graduate eLearning Certificate from George Mason University. 

Thandiwe Gibson-Hunter, B.A.

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Administrative Coordinator

Ms. Thandiwe Gibson-Hunter serves as CETLA's Administrative Coordinator. Ms. Gibson-Hunter provides administrative support to the CETLA's Director in all matters pertaining to CETLA. She also oversees the registration processes for CETLA's professional development and training opportunities. Ms. Gibson-Hunter facilitates helpful resources regarding all matters pertaining to CETLA. Ms. Gibson-Hunter assists all Howard University's faculty with their general questions. In addition to her computing and administrative skills, she brings to CETLA experience in accounting and event-planning. Thandiwe received a B.A. in Psychology from Spelman College.

Brion Long, M.A.

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Programmer Analyst/Webmaster​

Mr. Brion Long serves as the Program Analyst and Webmaster for CETLA. Mr. Long’s major responsibilities at CETLA include developing and maintaining web applications by utilizing ASP.NET. Brion earned a B.S. & M.A. in Computer Science at Wayne State University. In addition to his programming duties, Mr. Long is responsible for the analysis, design and administration of the Registration and Syllabus Databases. Mr. Long is also responsible for testing and troubleshooting any technical problems that occur with the CETLA website.

Robin Wilford, B.S.

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Instructional Support Specialist

Ms. Robin Wilford serves as an Instructional Support Specialist at CETLA. Her responsibilities include providing instructional support and delivery of training that supports teaching, learning, and assessment activities. She assists faculty via CETLA's helpdesk. Ms. Wilford participates in instructional support and technology projects and responds to faculty requests for assistance in implementing technologies to support their learning environments. She actively engages faculty in identifying instructional best practices, providing support for instructional technology, and responds to CETLA patron requests. Ms. Wilford serves as the liaison with the university's learner engagement and lecture capture tool, Echo 360.

Ms. Wilford has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Computer Science. Ms. Wilford retired from the military as a System Analyst and brings to Howard University experience in technology, instructional strategies, and technical training.