Digital Learning Team

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Maria Parés-ToralMaría Parés-Toral
Director of Online Pedagogy and e-Learning Production

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Phone: (414) 288-5453

As the Director of Online Pedagogy and e-Learning Production, María has primary responsibility for the development and implementation of online programming at Marquette. She also coordinates educational development opportunities for faculty related to instructional technology and course design.
Before joining the Department of Digital Learning, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at Marquette University. Over her career, she has integrated her skills as a graphic and instructional designer and her knowledge of pedagogical principles to create educational materials, such as instructional modules, animations, and illustrations to enhance learning in various subject areas.

María's interests include culturally responsive course design, educational development, and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). María enjoys presenting at national and international conferences and coordinating, developing, and facilitating workshops and seminars for professional development, implementing diverse modes of face-to-face, blended, and online delivery.

María holds a doctorate in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master's in Foreign Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Graphic Design from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte.

Design Team

Dan FreerDan Freer
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-6358

Daniel Freer is an Instructional Designer at the Department of Digital Learning. He comes to Marquette from Michigan State University, where he was as an Educational Technology Specialist in the College of Education's Design Studio. There, he worked with research faculty to help facilitate the implementation of D2L and other new technologies in their classrooms. In addition, at Michigan State University he consulted with faculty one-on-one on how best to use educational technology to meet their learning goals. Dr. Freer has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Education, both online and face-to-face. His research focuses on cognitive development as it relates to students' learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Dan provides consultation on course design and the implementation of educational technology in the classroom. He is available for one-on-one meetings to help facilitate the course design process for online, blended, and traditional courses.

Dr. Freer received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University.

Kathy AuchterKathy Auchter
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-3453

Kathy Auchter is an Instructional Designer for Marquette University in the Department of Digital Learning. Kathy enjoys collaborating with faculty and the design team to develop rigorous and meaningful online courses that support authentic learning outcomes in a timely manner. Additionally, Kathy’s role includes developing and hosting faculty development sessions.

Combined Kathy has nearly twenty years of teaching and instructional design experience. Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Community Education from UW-Milwaukee, Kathy served one term in AmeriCorps in the Urban Education Fellowship Program while earning her Master’s degree in Education from Alverno College. During her AmeriCorps service and beyond, Kathy taught middle school students English and religion. Kathy earned a Professional Certificate in Online Education from UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. She developed computer-based course training for a host of Microsoft Office Suite products for large corporations. Most recently prior to joining MU, Kathy served as an Instructional Designer at Concordia University where she enjoyed collaborating with faculty and administrators in the Office of Continuing and Distance Education developing comprehensive online courses in graduate education programs.

Janna WrenchJanna Wrench
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-1470

Janna Wrench is an Instructional Designer for the Department of Digital Learning at Marquette University.  She enjoys working with faculty one-on-one to develop their courses in multiple modalities to free up the learning experience.  Taking the traditional course and exploring new ways of authentic learning and assessment, Janna works with faculty to reimagine their courses for the best possible outcomes for the learners utilizing instructional technology.

Janna is a Marquette alumna three times over, holding a bachelor’s degree in history and education, a master’s degree in Nineteenth Century history, and doctoral work in educational policy and leadership. She has almost 20 years of teaching experience at the high school and college level, and over 10 years of instructional design work. She is an adjunct associate professor of writing and humanities at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design as well. Janna has created and facilitated a wide range of faculty development programs for the Center for Teaching and Learning over the last 10 years revolving around online learning and educational technology.

Lisa ChaseLisa Chase
Instructional Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-3514

Lisa Chase is an instructional designer for the college of engineering. Lisa comes back to Wisconsin from Montana State University-Billings. Lisa appreciates the knowledge that the faculty bring to their curriculum and their individual style in their D2L. Lisa works with faculty to help them reimaging their D2L course, assessments and utilize instructional techniques to enhance their already stellar curriculum.

Lisa is a UW-Eau Claire alumna holding a bachelors and master’s degree both in history, specializing in Native American history. After not feeling fulfilled Lisa continued their education by obtaining a master’s degree in education from St. Catherine’s university in St. Paul, MN. Lisa is currently working on their Doctor of Education through Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Lisa is excited to take her teaching experience both in K-12 and college academics to Marquette university.

Christina JohnsonChristina Johnson
Instructional Technologist

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Phone: (414) 288-4991

Christina provides D2L training and consultation in educational technologies.

She completed her Master’s degree at UW-Milwaukee in Administrative Leadership with a focus in educational technology and instructional design. Previous higher education experience includes teaching, advising and instructional design.


John BlandinoJohn Blandino
Media Production Specialist

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Phone: (414) 288-1567

John moved from Madison to Milwaukee to join the Marquette community in 2014. He has 17 years of experience in video production and over 10 years of experience in news production. Enjoying creative and challenging video projects as well as meeting new and interesting people, John happily accepted his position at Marquette feeling it balanced his professional interests and faith. He graduated from MATC, Milwaukee campus, with a degree in television and video production and enjoys movies, rock climbing, and working on his house when he has free time. John feels fortunate to be able to do what he loves everyday.​​​

Katelyn StamasKatelyn Stamas
Media Production Specialist

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Phone: (414) 288-5168

Katelyn graduated from Marquette University in December 2017 with a B.A. in Digital Media. During college she worked as a student employee at the Academic Media Center and then worked in news following graduation. In her downtime she enjoys playing with her dogs, crafting and traveling. She is glad to be back at Marquette and continue her passion for video production in her professional career.


Nick BarbeauNick Barbeau
Media Production Specialist

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Nick graduated from UW Oshkosh in December of 2019 with a B.A. in Radio TV Film (RTF). Through his academic career he worked multiple video production internships and assisted on as many outside productions as possible. In his free time, he enjoys movies, road trips, painting and writing. Nick is excited to bring his enthusiasm and love for video production to his professional career, at Marquette.


Emily NewellEmily Newell
Graphic & Web Designer

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Phone: (414) 288-1659

Emily joined the Department of Digital Learning after 12 years experience in advertising agencies. She is designer of branding, identity, advertising, web and digital, and interactive spaces. She is excited to bring this knowledge to Marquette and use it to design more visually engaging online experiences for students and faculty. Emily has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.