About the ILC

Our Staff


The Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) and USAonline, both part of the University of South Alabama's Academic Affairs Department, are in essence the same organization with two discrete purposes. 

Our goal is to improve the quality of learning at USA by promoting a culture of innovation in which faculty, staff, and students participate collaboratively in creative teaching and learning experiences. The ILC promotes innovation through coordinated professional development initiatives and integrated instructional technologies for the traditional classroom, blended courses, and fully online learning environments. Our overall vision is to serve as a hub for faculty members, scholars, and researchers from all over the world to brainstorm, promote educational research, and improve upon pedagogy and develop innovative learning opportunities. 

ILC History 

Founded in March 2011, when the University of South Alabama's Online Learning Lab (OLL) and the Program for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (PETAL) pooled personnel and resources to form a new department under the auspices of Academic Affairs. 

The Online Learning Lab (with Dr. Jack Dempsey and four Instructional Design grad students) began offering faculty development and technology training in 1998. 

The Program for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning began in 2003 and was originally housed at the University Library. 

The ILC provides faculty and staff at USA with a host of resources and professional development opportunities to assist them with developing sound pedagogical skills, incorporating technology into teaching, and gaining proficiency with the University's Learning Management System. 


USAonline is the University's virtual campus that houses the learning management system and a number of other e-learning tools. The University of South Alabama has an open-source learning management system (LMS), known as Sakai CLE. USAonline is a combination of the LMS and a variety of third-party tools. USAonline helps to deliver content, create assessments, and provide a collection of course communication tools. It also contains a gradebook tool and media gallery. 

 Click here to view our Staff at Glance

ILC Staff

                 Raj Chaudhury

Dr. S. Raj Chaudhury - Executive Director

Dr. S. Raj Chaudhury joined USA in August 2016. As Executive Director, he provides strategic oversight and direction for the teaching, learning and support functions of the ILC and USAonline. He also holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor of Physics. His research has focused on faculty and graduate student professional development as well as designing and assessing new learning technologies and research based pedagogies. Past projects to improve the learning of science by future scientists and future educators have received funding from NASA, National Science Foundation, U.S. Dept. of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chaudhury served as a 2003-04 Carnegie Scholar through the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. An avid musician, he has founded and directed university based Indian Music ensembles that specialize in the classical and semi-classical traditions of North Indian vocal and instrumental music. A native of Kolkata, India, Dr. Chaudhury is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College and received the Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Sue Mattson 

 Dr. Sue Mattson – Assistant Director, Course Development

Sue Mattson – Assistant Director, Course Development
Dr. Sue Mattson supports course design and development at USA, including new and existing courses.  Sue received a B.A. in Biology from UC Berkeley, and an M.S. in Biology and Ph.D. in Science Education from Florida State University.  More recently, she earned professional certificates in Project Management (UCLA), Non-profit Management, and Mediation and Conflict Resolution (Cal State Northridge).  Previously, she worked in the Science Media Group at the Harvard -Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics where she designed multimedia professional development programs in science and math education.  At USA, Sue coordinates the launching of the ALISA project (Active Learning Initiative at South Alabama), Fall 2015. 


 Jennifer Yates

 Dr. Jennifer Yates - Assistant Director, Faculty Development

Dr. Jennifer Yates joined the ILC in July 2017 as the Assistant Director focused on Faculty Development. A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Yates spent 16 years as a faculty member teaching courses in Neuroscience and Psychology. She was funded by a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant to train undergraduate students. Dr. Yates will oversee the New Faculty Scholars Program launching in September 2017 and the Innovation in Learning Center Certificate in College and University Teaching which will start in January 2018. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Biology at the University of Dayton and earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


 Jason Smith

Jason Smith - Manager, Learning Technology Services

Jason is responsible for overseeing USA’s learning management system and all third-party tools and services used to deliver online learning.  He received a B.S. in Computer and Information Sciences from USA, and has over 14 years of experience in educational technology.


 David Williams

Dr. David Williams - Distance Learning & Assessment Analyst 

Dr. David S. Williams provides support to faculty, staff, and students on matters pertaining to online, blended and web-enhanced courses for all colleges and departments at the University of South Alabama. He also provides assessment support for ILC program activities and assists faculty in designing evaluation of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and course improvement projects.  David received his PhD in Instructional Design and Development here at USA with research focusing on program evaluation theory. He received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his Bachelor of Arts in social science from the University of Mobile. He has nearly ten years experience in teaching, course design, and coordination of K-12 and higher education programs.


 Dave Walker

 Dave Walker - Multimedia Learning Designer

Dave develops instructional video content for blended and online courses at USA.  He holds a B.A. in Communications from Baylor University, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Development.   Before coming to USA, he served as Director of Video Production at Habitat for Humanity International, and Communications Director for Habitat’s affiliate in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.  He has more than 25 year’s experience producing award-winning video programs for corporate, commercial, and non-profit clients.


 Danielle's pictures


Danielle Swindle - Secretary V

Danielle serves as assistant to the Executive Director of the Innovation in Learning Center and USAonline to include planning, initiating, and carrying to completion complex administrative duties.




 2018-2019 ILC Graduate Assistants

Hameed Mirza, Lipika Arif,  Michelle Loo, Phillip Ward, Ryan Keller, Sarah Canatsey, Yolany Lagos

Click here to learn more about the graduate lab.