E-Mail: – email@example.com
Phone: – (352) 392-4626
Fax: – (352) 392-1055
Mail: – PO Box 115006, Gainesville, FL 32611
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Ronald Leon Grant Jr
- M.S., Forensic Psychology, Walden University
- B.S., Criminal Justice, Walden University
Ron is a Human Resource Assistant in the Training and Organizational Development Team. Before this, he worked as a Human Resource Specialist in the United States Military. During his time in service, Ron aided the 1st Armored division 1st Brigade with the future weapons of America. He has earned 1 Army Commendation Medal, 2 Army Achievement Medals, 1 Good Conduct Medal, 1 Superior Unit Award, 1 National Defense Service Medal, 1 Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 1 Army Service Ribbon, 1 National Defense Service Medal, and 1 Driver and Mechanic Badge.
The International Library of Poets has included Ron in The Best Poems & Poets of 2007. He is the author of A Lovebirds Morning Star. Ron enjoys reading the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Tao Te Ching, writing, exercising, cooking, mastering video games, and learning inspirational quotes from ancient philosophers and scholars. Above all, he adores his wife and six children.
- 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.
- M.S. Ed, Secondary Education with Focus on Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University
- B.S., Secondary Education in Mathematics, Ball State University
Over the past 25 years, Dianne has lived many exciting professional lives, from problem-solving computer software and hardware issues, teaching students and adults about technology integration, to authoring instructional resources online. She has been a full-time instructional designer, LMS manager, eLearning developer, corporate trainer, technology integrator, helpdesk supervisor, and classroom educator. She was worked in the K-12 schools, logistics & warehouse management, technology consulting, and flavor manufacturing industries. Dianne offers a strong background in project and program management and a demonstrated commitment to gap analysis and performance management. Dianne is an innovative and energetic leader dedicated to helping people excel and prides herself on her ability to motivate and inspire those around her.
Before joining the T&OD team in Florida, Dianne has lived in the Midwest for the majority of her life. She is passionate about children & animal welfare as well as mental health issues. She enjoys spending time with her family, two rescue dogs and progressing in her yoga practice.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- MA, Instructional Technology and Learning Science, Utah State University – In Pursuit
- BS, General Studies in Arts and Humanities, Music Theory emphasis, Utah State University
Kara is an instructional designer on the T&OD team. She relocated to Gainesville from Logan, UT, where she worked in training at a local utility management company for five years. Kara’s expertise includes new-hire training, classroom training, online curriculum development, client training, and multimedia production. She is particularly passionate about building strong teams and helping individuals set and reach their personal goals. Outside of work, Kara loves spending time with her family and can often be found playing board games or riding roller coasters. She works closely with the youth organization at her church, looking to develop the next generation of young women into strong leaders and citizens. She also speaks Tagalog fluently and loves eating Filipino food!
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.