2020 Rising Star Award Recipient

Shannon Dunn

Shannon Dunn

For contributing to advances in instructional technology; for advocating for excellence in teaching and learning; for promoting student success; for championing diversity, equity, and inclusion; for being a supportive mentor and insightful leader

The 2020 EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award recognizes Shannon Dunn, Assistant Director at the University of Florida Information Technology (UFIT) Center for Instructional Technology and Training (CITT) for her exemplary growth and achievements in the areas of instructional design, educational technology, and staff leadership.

Since joining the University of Florida (UF) five years ago, Shannon has taken on increasing responsibility, moving from her role as an instructional designer at the CITT to her appointment as an Assistant Director in UFIT, managing instructional design and educational technology services and staff at the CITT. Shannon has been instrumental in expanding the role of instructional designers at UF. In addition to course-development services, UF instructional designers now offer teaching and technology consultations, training, and curriculum development services. Shannon has also implemented many technology-focused programs and services that have positively impacted the entire university. In 2017, she introduced a slate of instructional development workshops, including some of the university’s first training modules for asynchronous instructors. In 2019, she led the inaugural UF Teaching TechXploration, an event aimed at educating faculty about the tools, academic technologies, and services available at UF and advising staff on how faculty would like to leverage technology in their courses. She has also cultivated communities of practice around augmented reality / virtual reality (AR/VR) and 3D scanning/photogrammetry.

Shannon actively promotes collaboration and inclusion across the organization. She not only facilitates meetings and workshops to improve teamwork within her unit but also encourages staff from CITT to join committees and increase their representation. Among other things, she has encouraged CITT staff to participate in the LGBTQ+ Presidential Advisory Committee, the General Education Curriculum Committee, and the Provost’s Student Success Task Force. Shannon has also championed training programs to help faculty improve the accessibility and inclusivity of their online courses.

Always willing to take on new responsibilities and challenges, Shannon has served on a variety of councils and committees at UF and has progressed into leadership appointments. She served on the new faculty orientation work group and currently serves on the Teaching Innovations Committee. She is co-chair of the Teaching with Technology Faculty Learning Community and chair of the multi-institution Learning Technology Consortium. Because of her experience in academia and insights into the needs of UF faculty, staff, and students, she was asked to lead development of the UF Strategic Plan for IT 2020–2025.

Shannon has demonstrated a commitment to mentorship, professional development, and service to EDUCAUSE. She completed the EDUCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership Program in 2018 and has served as a proposal reviewer for EDUCAUSE and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). She has been a presenter at the ELI Annual Meeting and the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and has encouraged her colleagues to do the same. Because of Shannon’s recommendations and guidance, 80 percent of the instructional designers in the CITT have presented at an EDUCAUSE conference or completed an EDUCAUSE course or program. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of Shannon’s leadership style is her dedication to building up those around her. She actively encourages staff members to seek out professional development opportunities and mentors women who are pursuing careers in academia. She also started an internship program for undergraduate students who are seeking experience in academic technology.

Shannon has championed significant innovation at UFIT while maintaining a focus on access and inclusion. At the same time, she has established herself as a gifted instructional designer, an excellent mentor, and a compassionate leader. Through her contributions to UF and EDUCAUSE, Shannon Dunn has distinguished herself as a rising star in the higher education IT community.

This EDUCAUSE Award is sponsored by Moran Technology Consulting, Gold Partner.