Nexus Team Recognized for Excellent Faculty Support

July 14, 2021

by Cj Pettus

The University of Michigan College of Engineering recently recognized Nexus team members for their excellent faculty support throughout the past year. Six members of Team Nexus received the 2021 Staff-Team Excellence award for their critical frontline assistance, innovation, and adaptability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the conditions during the pandemic were challenging, the Nexus Faculty Support Team is always prepared to execute high-quality delivery of a portfolio of programs. Everyone on Team Nexus worked diligently to meet changing needs during the pandemic, but key functions and programs continued thanks to the outstanding contributions of these six team members: Samy Ali-Khodja, IT Applications Specialist and Systems Administrator; Dru Bartos, Program Manager; Kirk Lawrence, Senior Television Engineer; Paul Nucci, Program Manager; Mary Reilly, Instructional Production Specialist; and Brandon Sandusky, Instructional Production Specialist. 

Throughout the uncertainty of the pandemic, Team Nexus ensured that faculty and students could teach and learn in an educational environment designed for their success. Professor Andrew DeOrio, an award-winning instructor from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science said,

Brandon Sandusky accepted the award on behalf of  the team. He said, “Even though it was the six of us that collected the award, we all agreed that it could just as easily have been anyone from Nexus receiving the award. Everything we were able to do during the pandemic took a full team effort.”

Because Nexus is the home for online and professional education at the College of Engineering, the Faculty Support Team is well-prepared to provide full-service support for the design and delivery of online credit courses and degrees (as well as for professional education) in all modes of delivery. The team’s skills, combined with their innovative spirit, allowed them to quickly adapt to unprecedented circumstances. As Nexus Executive Director Diane Landsiedel noted, this cross-functional team “…has deep expertise in broadcast engineering, digital educational technology and online course design, media production, and program management.”  

When the College began using Zoom in the spring of 2020, the Faculty Support Team integrated the platform into their production process and taught instructors how to properly use the technology. They played an integral role in the successful design and launch of a new professional development certificate—Foundations of Mobility taught by 10 different faculty members from across campus (multiple CoE departments, Law, A&UP, Public Policy, and a UMOR unit). The team also supported three EECS instructors in the online delivery of a course for approximately 1,200 students. 

But the possibilities don’t end here. Moving forward, Team Nexus will continue to provide support for faculty members who either already teach classes online or are considering taking that step. The College features some of the brightest minds in top engineering fields, and Nexus is here to support their work and take on the next challenge, regardless of the circumstances. With this award-winning team’s support, there are nearly endless possibilities for online and professional education from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. 

To learn more about online and professional education from Nexus, contact us at [email protected].

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