Graduate Lab

Graduate Lab Staff

Left to right Ryan Keller, Hameed Mirza, Sarah Canatsey, Michelle Loo, Phillip Ward, Lipika Arif, Yolany Lagos (2018-2019)


The Graduate Lab is a unit within the Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) consisting of instructional design graduate students who are well versed in USAonline, third party tools, higher-education teaching pedagogy and techniques for better learning, as well as many other avenues to assist in teaching and learning.

Graduate Assistantships
The ILC offers graduate assistantship opportunities to students on campus,  international, local or non-local students are welcome to apply,  these are awarded on a competitive basis throughout the academic year.

Each assistantship provides a tuition waiver up to 10 semester credit hours each term of the appointment. Additionally,  the assistantship includes a competitive academic-year stipend.  Interested students click here to learn more about the application process, for more information, please email

 Our Services

Throughout the year, the Graduate Lab hosts USAonline workshops catered to USA Faculty and Staff; these workshops provide professional development opportunities for novice and veteran professors, including topics such as USAonline Fundamentals, Advanced Gradebook, Advanced Lessons Builder, and many more.  These workshops are facilitated by our graduate student staff.

We also work with USA faculty by appointment, providing one-on-one consultations to help set up courses, work on specific tools within USAonline, provide pedagogical support, or provide support for a third party tool.  Additionally, the Graduate Lab staff is available to answer USAonline questions over the phone or via email.

Our Graduate Assistants take the world

 After completing their programs of study our Graduate assistants go into different jobs around the world.  We are proud to present successful stories for some of our Graduate Assistants who are now thriving in the workplace. 

Dan Guo, PhD worked as a Graduate assistant, facilitating workshops and creating a variety of resources to aid USAonline faculty.  She is now a post-doctoral research trainee in the New Orleans Area.

Em Thongsawat, PhD worked as a Graduate assistant and held the lead designer position for a year, he developed several workshop initiatives  He is now the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Program Design and Development, C.P. Leadership Institute (CPLI) at Charoen Pokphand Group in Thailand.  

David Williams, PhD  started as a Graduate assistant,  after a year he became part of our full time staff and works as the Distance Learning and Assessment Analyst at the ILC.

Gurupreet Khalsa, PhD worked as a Graduate assistant from 2011-2015 and held the lead designer position.  Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Education and Professional Studies here at South.

Joel Lewis Billingsley, PhD worked as a Graduate assistant for several years.  Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Professional Studies here at South.

Stasia Weston worked as a Graduate assistant. For several years, she was part of a variety of development and integration teams.  She is now an Instructional Designer for Sears MSO.

Shelitha McKissick started as a Graduate assistant,  after two years she became part of our full time staff, working as a Distance Learning Specialist II.   She is now in Orlando, FL working at  Valencia College as Faculty Development/Instructional Designer (FDID)

Sylvia Rogers, PhD worked as a Graduate assistant .  Currently, she is a Curriculum Administrator in the office of Teaching, Learning a d Assessment at Auburn University.

Willette Brye worked as a Graduate assistant.  She is the founder of Extraordinary! by Design - an instructional design and performance improvement consulting firm based in Mobile, AL.  Additionally, she teaches face-to-face, blended and online Sociology courses at the University of South Alabama.  

These are only a few of those that have held a graduate assistant position at the ILC. There are many others that have worked within the ILC that have gone on to earn important positions in the field of instructional design.