by Dr. Tricia Ritschel-Trifilo
Distance Learning Specialist, Virtual Campus
As the wife of a retired Air Force Colonel, I have made 15 moves from state to state and country to country teaching college-level Biology, and Anatomy and Neuroanatomy (degrees earned at University of Iowa and St. Louis University respectively). While some think it was my study of pain synapses in the brain that brought me to online learning in 1995, it was actually my curiosity in those new-fangled computers, innovative teaching strategies available through technology, and the different learning styles of my students.
I expanded my online teaching abilities with UMUC (University of Maryland University College) while in South Korea, then landed in Abilene Texas in 2004. Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) employed me as a Biology professor but also asked me to establish an online program which began in 2006. In 2009, I completed a PhD in Education with a specialization in Instructional Design in Online Learning (a true American IDOL) at Capella University.
My research involves the effects of following learning style pathways on learning and satisfaction in online classes. Active in the distance learning community in Texas and nationally, I sit on the board of the Texas Distance Learning Association as the Higher Ed representative, and am the president of the Texas Blackboard Users Group.
My husband of 34 years is a physician in Abilene. I have two children in their twenties: A son who is a family practice physician in the Air Force, and a daughter who is an attorney and mediator in the St. Louis area. I love to read, play various musical instruments and sing, play golf and tennis, snow ski and travel. I am very active in my church in Abilene, and I sit on three community boards: the Abilene Zoo, the Abilene Symphony, and the Cultural Affairs Council.
Always looking for new and exciting challenges I have accepted the position of Distance Learning Specialist here at WBU. I will be working both onsite and virtually for you. I am looking forward to the opportunity to assist you in using Blackboard, developing new strategies for your teaching, and making your online teaching experience enjoyable.