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

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Cynthia Phillips is an Associate Professor in the Department of Accountancy in the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University and director of the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Phillips holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership and an MBA in Finance from St. John’s University, a BBA in Accounting from Hofstra University, and a post-doctoral certificate in Accounting/Finance from the University of Florida’s Warrington School of Business. Prior to her faculty appointment, Dr. Phillips served as Associate Dean for Planning, Accreditation, Finance, and Business Programs. Prior to joining St. John’s, she held various accounting positions in the investment banking industry. Dr. Phillips has numerous conference presentations and several peer-reviewed journal publications.

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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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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.