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T&OD Team

E-Mail:training@ufl.edu
Phone: – (352) 392-4626
Fax: – (352) 392-1055
Mail: – PO Box 115006, Gainesville, FL 32611


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Bob Parks

Director, UF Training and Organizational Development

  • Ph.D., Religious Studies, Boston University
  • Master of Divinity, Yale University
  • B.A., Northwestern University

As director of Training & Organizational Development (T&OD), Dr. Parks works with the T&OD team to create a significant competitive advantage for UF through great leadership, team effectiveness and individual employee excellence. He has worked at UF as a trainer and OD consultant for more than ten years. Before joining UF, he taught or trained in both university and corporate environments for more than five years.

In his current role, Dr. Parks facilitates several of UF’s Leadership Development programs as well as courses in the Managing at UF certification program. He also provides strategic planning and other organizational development services to departments and work units across campus. He has lived in Chicago, Jacksonville, New Haven, Providence and Boston—and now lives in Gainesville with his wife, son and daughter.

 


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Scott Blades

Assistant Director, UF Training and Organizational Development

  • M.Ed, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Florida College of Education
  • B.A., Secondary Education English, La Salle University

As assistant director of UF Training & Organizational Development, Scott brings over 20 years of teaching, educational technology, instructional design, and multimedia production experience to his role. Scott’s position requires him to interface with UF subject matter experts to produce first-rate professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, oversee numerous campus-wide training programs, manage a team of talented instructional designers and trainers, and teach a series of business communications and leadership courses. As a professional who wears many hats, Scott is passionate about teaching the importance of prioritizing, planning, and communicating as key skills for effective professionals and leaders.

Prior to joining T&OD, Scott served as the coordinator of instructional design for UF’s College of Pharmacy where he worked with faculty to translate their subject matter expertise into instructionally sound lesson plans and learning materials that included presentations, animations, live action video, longitudinal case studies, and alternate reality gaming. Scott has also worked in the corporate world as an instructional designer, most notably for the medical company, Regeneration Technologies, Inc. Scott began his career teaching high school English in Pennsylvania.

 


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Irma Alvarez

  • M.B.A., Human Resources, George Washington University
  • B.A., Economics and French, Wellesley College

Irma recently returned to HRS to support the Training and Organizational Development team as facilitator and trainer. Her human resources experience includes ten years as a generalist with involvement in recruitment, compensation, benefits and training. Irma moved to Gainesville from Washington, DC where she was employed by the Meridian International Center, Unisys Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank. She first joined HRS in 1993 as a member of the Employee Relations staff at both the IFAS and PPD Satellite Offices.Irma is an active community volunteer and currently serves on the Board of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra.

 


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Tricia Bachus

  • B.S., Graphic Design, University of Florida

Tricia is Senior Leadership and Organizational Development Specialist for the T&OD team. She has experience in strategic planning and assessment, organizational and team development, and leadership strategies. With more than 30 years of experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, she recently moved back to Gainesville after being gone for eight years to work as an executive for a national youth development organization.

She has lived in Connecticut, Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri, and Philadelphia. Tricia has successfully launched two children who are confident, joyful, and well-adjusted adults.

 


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Gwynn Cadwallader

  • M.S. Ed., Learning Design and Technology, Purdue University
  • B.A., Theatrical Design, New Mexico State University

Gwynn is the Training Manager for Gator Business Administrator Services (GBAS) and she brings experience in instructional design, facilitation, evaluation and graphic design to the role. Through her corporation, she has worked in industry and education producing products for K-12 education, a natural health certification exam, Bike Florida, and several county and state organizations. With a deep passion for creating learner-centered professional development, she works to established systematic processes to ensure implementation of best practices.

Gwynn loves to hike in mountains of her native state, New Mexico. She is involved with local natural health groups, Buchholz Band and enjoys running and biking on the beautiful Hawthorne trail.

 


Verlissa Ford

Verlissa Ford

Verlissa is the Education and Awards Coordinator on the T&OD team. In this role, her primary responsibilities include managing the Employee Education Program (EEP), the Higher Education Opportunity (HEO), Meritorious Service Awards and the Service Recognition Program. Prior to joining the T&OD team, Verlissa served as a Human Resources Business Administrator with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

With more than 20 years expertise in the corporate sector, Verlissa enjoyed a successful career where she excelled at leading teams, training and development and customer service. Verlissa has a passion for helping people grow personally and professionally.

Verlissa is a Gainesville native. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in Organizational Management and Human Resources. She enjoys hiking, Gator games and spending time with her family and two dogs.

 


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Sarah Hanson

  • B.A., Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Sarah is an Instructional Designer on the Training and Organizational Development Team. In this role, her primary responsibility includes working with the core offices on campus to develop training for the Campus-wide Modernization Program to Advance Student Services (COMPASS) project. She also works with the team to develop and update a variety of the online and instructor-led classes offered by T&OD. She has over 14 years of experience in the areas of teaching, instructional design, and training program coordination and implementation. In her previous role as an Education and Training Specialist and Education Coordinator at the Physical Plant Division, she was responsible for coordinating the Career Progression Program, assisting employees with career advancement, and designing and delivering a variety of training classes including New Employee Orientation, New Supervisor Training, and Customer Service Training. She has also worked as an Instructional Designer in a non-profit setting and as a classroom teacher prior to joining UF.

Sarah is passionate about creating interactive and engaging learning experiences to help employees improve their skills and advance their careers. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, especially her twin girls. She also enjoys DIY projects, crafts, sewing, and spending time at the beach.

 


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Nikki Lyons

  • M.A., Instructional Technology, University of Northern Iowa
  • M.Ed., B.S, Early Childhood Education, Albany State University

Nikki is an Instructional Designer for the Training & Organizational Development team. Prior to joining T&OD, she assisted with teaching Educational Technology to teacher candidates at the University of Northern Iowa.

Nikki has taught Science and Social Studies to students in K-8 settings, and spent time facilitating leadership and career exploration programming to youth across the United States. She has experience with professional development and curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation. She has participated in research focused on strategies and best practices for designing instruction, integrating technology while creating engaging learning environments, and the ways students use technology for education and entertainment.

 


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Ronda Mitchell

  • M.Ed., University of North Florida
  • B.A., Liberal Studies, Thomas Edison State College

With more than 12 years of technology and professional development training experience, Ronda is an accomplished trainer in the arena of higher education with a passion for educational technology and distance learning development.Ronda works with the e-learning program, assists with organizational and professional development initiatives throughout campus, and facilitates several instructor-led courses on leadership and communication. Ronda lives in the Alachua area with her husband and two young sons.

 


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Courtney Moon

  • B.A., History, University of Florida

Courtney is a professional skills trainer for the Training and Organizational Development team. In her role, she is responsible for the development and facilitation of business communication and management skills training. Courtney also serves as an organizational development consultant, is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People instructor.

Prior to joining T&OD, she was a human resource manager with a Fortune 500 company. Courtney is a native Floridian and alumna of the University of Florida.

 


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Jenny Seitz

  • M. ED., Curriculum and Instruction, Florida Atlantic University
  • B.S., Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida

As the Training System Administrator, Jenny brings over 16 years of experience in program development, instructional design, and evaluation to the team. Her work in the nonprofit, county government, and university settings enforced her passion for empowering others to expand their knowledge.

Jenny enjoys trail running, fossil collecting, and eating quality chocolate.

 


Brandon Telg

  • M.S., Leadership Development, University of Florida
  • B.A., Stage Management, University of Central Florida

Brandon is an Instructional Designer on the Training and Organizational Development Team. He has over 6 years of experience at the University of Florida in the Instructional Technology space and more than 5 years of experience as an instructor. In addition, Brandon has worked as an event manager for festivals, conferences, concerts, and storytelling events throughout Gainesville.

Brandon strives to help people grow through understanding and developing their stories, personally and professionally. He combines his experience in communication with a hands-on mentoring approach to work with people and organizations to achieve their goals.

 


Rebecca Younglove

Becky recently joined the Training and Organizational Development team in a new role as Leadership Development Specialist. Prior to this, she was a Program Coordinator for Leadership Development as well as a school- based administrator and educator with Pasco County Schools for 17 years. She has worked collaboratively with stakeholders across the system to elevate leadership through the development of robust and inclusive learning pathways for all. Her work to create a strong leadership pipeline has resulted in a culture of shared learning and a greater sense of collective responsibility. Becky believes in the value of each individual person and strives to provide targeted feedback and personalized growth opportunities in an honest and supportive manner. Becky attended Saint Leo University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She enjoys spending time with her family including her husband, three children and a new grandbaby.