Campus Fountains

About Online Learning and Services

The Office of Online Learning and Services provides a wealth of support for St. John’s faculty. Through workshops, consultations, and online resources, faculty members are offered a variety of ways to improve their online and hybrid courses, teaching skills, and pedagogical approach.

Meet our Team

Elizabeth (Liz) Ciabocchi currently serves as Vice Provost for Digital Learning and Executive Director of Online Learning & Services at St. John’s University.  


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Laura is responsible for the day-to-day administrative and support duties needed for the overall operation of the Online Learning and Services office.  She started working at St. John’s University in 2008 in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In 2014 she joined the office of Online Learning and Services. A double alumna of St. John’s University, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Laura also graduated from the Vincentian Mission Certificate program and is a strong advocate for the University's mission.

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An instructional designer at St. John’s since 2014, Tara King collaborates with faculty to design and develop engaging online courses that promote best practices for teaching and student learning in the online environment.  Tara is the lead instructional designer responsible for working programmatically with the Ph.D. in Literacy and Library and Information Science programs.  Additional projects include the co-design of Online Teaching Essentials and the design of Advanced Online Teaching Strategies.  She creates and delivers workshops on emerging learning technologies, educational theories and instructional design topics for St. John’s University faculty community.

King earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Photography from the School of Visual Arts (NY) and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from LIU-Post, focusing on information and digital literacy, instructional design, and emerging technologies that enhance teaching and learning.

King is an active member of the Association of College and Research Libraries/ Greater New York Metropolitan Area Chapter (ACRL/NY).  She currently serves on the Executive Board and as the co-chair of the Information Literacy | Instruction Discussion Group for that organization.  Previously, she served as co-chair of the distance learning discussion group.

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Gina Robinson joined the Online Learning and Services team in 2016 as a New Media and Communications Specialist.  In this role, she works with faculty to design and integrate media into their online and hybrid courses, and assists them with finding technologies that can enhance their teaching.  Additionally, Robinson is responsible for designing all departmental media including tutorials, the departmental website, and all departmental social media.

Prior to accepting this position, Robinson worked at St. John’s University for seven years as an Educational Technology Specialist in the SJU Library.  She holds a B.S. in Childhood Education from Molloy College and M.S. in Instructional Technology from New York Institute of Technology.  She is an active member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council, where she runs a special interest group focusing on free and open resources.  Her research interests include fostering students’ information communication technology skills and designing technology training programs that meet the needs of learners at every techno-comfort level.  Robinson has presented at various professional conferences about these topics.

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Yi Zhang joined St. John’s University as an instructional designer in May, 2016. She brings fourteen years of professional experience to her current role, having served as an instructional designer and instructor at Vaughn College of Aeronautics (2002-2010); instructor at FasTracKids (2010-2013) and KG CompuTech, Inc. (2013), and instructional designer and instructor at Broward College (2013-2016).  Zhang has extensive experience in designing and developing hybrid, online and competency-based courses, and in academic technology training. She is also an experienced web designer, having previously worked as a training specialist and web designer at St. John’s from 1998-2002.

Zhang earned her B.S. in Economics (1993) from Zhejiang University and her M.B.A. in Computer Information Science (1999) from St. John’s University. She also holds a Multimedia Specialist Certificate (2003) from New York University and an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Touro College (2015). As an alumna and previous employee, she is delighted to return to St. John’s as a member of the instructional design team in Online Learning & Services.

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Ian August joined St. Johns University as an instructional designer in June 2017 and works with faculty designing interactive and student centered online learning experiences. He brings 12 years of higher education experience to his current role, having served as an instructional technologist at SUNY Old Westbury College (2005 – 2013), and an instructional designer and educational technologist at SUNY Maritime College (2013 – 2017). August has extensive experience collaborating with faculty in the design and development of online and hybrid courses, facilitating workshops and integrating technology into online learning environments.

August earned his B.S. in Political Science from SUNY Old Westbury College and his M.S. in Education from the University at Albany. His research interests include the role of student motivation in achievement, how interaction and engagement impact learning, exploring creative pedagogies, and change management.

Caroline Fuchs is the Learning Design Librarian and subject specialist for literature, languages, writing, public speaking and naval/military history at St. John’s University.