Boston University Distance Education Staff

All members of the Distance Education team collaborate to design, build, and deliver engaging and exciting learning experiences for Boston University’s online students. From course development to learner support, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure that every course meets the highest standards of quality and learner satisfaction.


Eric Friedman, Director

Susan Diesel, Assistant Director of Student and Faculty Support

Emily Heffernan, Assistant Director of Educational Technology and Production
617-358-6444 or 888-835-5334

Dan Hillman, Assistant Director of Instructional Design

Andrew Ullrich, Administrative Coordinator
617-358-1960 or toll-free 888-883-0218 (main number)

Proctored Exams and State Authorization

Charlotte Hodges, Exam and Compliance Manager
617-358-1969 or 888-883-0168

Faculty and Student Support

Shannon Rose McAuliffe, Senior Faculty and Student Support Administrator
617-358-1979 or 888-745-8400

Patti McDonnell, Senior Faculty and Student Support Administrator
617-358-1980 or 866-361-1618

Jen Sullivan, Senior Faculty and Student Support Administrator
617-358-1978 or 888-524-2200

Alison Watts, Senior Faculty and Student Support Administrator
617-358-4569 or 855-261-5255

Jeffrey Behn, Faculty and Student Support Administrator
617-358-1985 or 888-883-0178

Lawson Daves, Faculty and Student Support Administrator

Samantha Orsagh-Yentis, Online Student Engagement Manager
617-358-5340 or 888-883-0158

Dave D’Onofrio, Online Services Administrator

Instructional Design

Elena Garofoli, Senior Instructional Designer

Nicole Sanderson, Senior Instructional Designer

Fawn Thompson, Senior Instructional Designer

J-Jay Araullo Instructional Designer

Kris Ferrario, Instructional Designer

Erin Sisk Hawkins, Instructional Designer

Ye Liu, Instructional Designer

Annica Schjott, Instructional Designer

Daisy Wizda, Instructional Designer

Media Production

Ed Wozniak, Senior Media Producer
Summer Garrard, Media Producer


What We Do

Faculty and Student Support Administrators (FSSAs) are always ready to answer questions and provide guidance to faculty and students in currently running courses. Experts in the use of the learning management system and its integrated technologies, FSSAs enroll students, monitor group interactions, troubleshoot, train, and make recommendations based on their extensive experience and broad knowledge of each program. Each FSSA maintains a close relationship with the faculty and facilitators in the programs they support, and pays close attention to each student’s needs and performance in every course. FSSAs provide numerous reminders and updates to students on a daily basis, while working in close collaboration with the instructional designers to ensure that student feedback is incorporated into course revisions.

Instructional Designers (IDs) work in close partnership with the faculty and other subject matter experts to build BU’s award-winning online courses. Along with expertise in the capabilities of the learning management system and other integrated technologies that BU employs, our IDs have a deep conceptual understanding of how adults with different learning styles experience online courses. Putting themselves in the shoes of the instructor and student, they design content with an intuitive sense of what will—and will not—work in an online environment in terms of pacing, interactivity, and presentation. Boston University’s IDs work collaboratively with each other, with the faculty and student support administrators, and with the media team to develop innovative instructional approaches. They are always learning, and they make decisions with the faculty about how best to deliver the content in each course they support.

Media Production works with the faculty and instructional designers to create well-rounded and highly interactive learning experiences. The media team creates video content and interactive, multimedia learning objects that enrich BU’s online courses. They review scripts, shoot video in our studios and on location, and spend countless hours editing video content to make sure it is aligned with each course’s learning objectives. In addition, the team uses animations and other visual material to ensure that videos are interesting and engaging—delivering the message concisely and effectively.