One of the primary reasons Penn State is recognized around the world as a distinguished university is the academic excellence of its faculty. As a World Campus student, you will learn from the same instructors who teach classes on Penn State's twenty-four resident campuses around Pennsylvania.
Brett Bixler, Ph.D.
Brett Bixler has more than twenty-five years of experience in the instructional design field. He is the lead instructional designer with Education Technology Services (ETS), a unit of Teaching and Learning with Technology and part of Information Technology Services (ITS) at Penn State. He received both his doctorate and master's in instructional design from Penn State, and his bachelor's in music from Susquehanna University.
In his current position Dr. Bixler is working with the latest educational technologies and learning theories to produce learner-centered active and collaborative learning environments. He works with peers from across Penn State and other universities to discuss common issues and provide advice and guidance on a wide range of issues. He is responsible for a variety of other tasks, including project coordination and management; faculty and staff development; curriculum development; educational technology training and assistance; formative and summative evaluation of projects; and Internet and Web 2 expertise.
Dr. Bixler is actively investigating the use of games, simulations, and virtual worlds for educational purposes. He is in charge of the Educational Gaming Commons to support collaboration and initiatives in these areas throughout Penn State.
Gary Heberling, M.S.
Gary Heberling has been an instructor of IST at Penn State New Kensington since the fall of 2000. He teaches a wide variety of undergraduate courses ranging from 100-level through writing-intensive capstone courses, and serves also as lead IST faculty. His academic focus is on the areas of database management and enterprise resource planning. Heberling developed IST 402, an emerging technologies course that provides extensive hands-on experience with the use of SAP ERP. He is active with SAP University Alliance and advisory boards with local high schools and community colleges.
Heberling began his career in IT as a project leader and programmer with R. Shriver Associates. He spent twenty years with Oberg Industries where he held many positions including programmer, systems analyst, database administrator, budget coordinator, acting controller, manufacturing control supervisor, and director of information services.
Heberling holds a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master of science in information science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Robert Lipton, Ph.D.
Robert Lipton is an educational technology administrator at the Berks County (PA) Intermediate Unit (BCIU), which services students and professional staff in the eighteen school districts of Berks County. His duties include developing and delivering technology programs to the Berks County public school community, as well as managing several Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) programs and initiatives in those schools districts.
A certificated educator in Pennsylvania, Dr. Lipton holds a Pennsylvania Instructional Technology Certificate and several industry certifications, including Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Academy Instructor (CCAI).
Dr. Lipton earned his doctorate in computer science from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and his master's in computer information science with a minor in information systems from Kutztown University. He holds two undergraduate degrees — one in computer science and the other in the social sciences — from Penn State. He has been an adjunct instructor in the Penn State system for twenty years, teaching graduate and undergraduate computer science, IST, and information systems courses at the Schuylkill, Berks, Lehigh Valley, and Harrisburg campuses. He has also taught graduate and undergraduate resident and online courses at ten different colleges and universities and has developed several online courses used by Wilkes University and the University of Maryland.
Gerald Santoro, Ph.D.
Dr. Gerald Santoro was the recipient of the EDUCOM Joe Wyatt Challenge Award in 1991 for innovative use of computers in the university curriculum. He also earned the Catherine Ofeish Orner Award at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983 for excellence in information science research. He is the past chairperson of the Human Information Technologies interest group of the Eastern Communication Association. He is an associate editor for Critical Studies in Mass Communication and a contributing editor for Interpersonal Computing and Technology (IPCT-J), an online journal.
In addition, Dr. Santoro has developed numerous publications and conference presentations dealing with computer-mediated communications and instructional applications of client/server technology. Santoro researches social informatics, computer-mediated communication, artificial intelligence, human-machine interfaces, legal issues, telecommuting, client/server systems, group decision support systems, communication technology, instructional technology, security and computer viruses, software engineering.