ATD Bay Colonies Chapter

Exploration into Active Learning

  • October 17, 2017
  • 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
  • Amica Mutual Insurance, 100 Amica Way, Lincoln, RI 02865
  • 19


  • This is for Bay Colonies Chapter Members who register in advance.
  • Members of other local ATD Chapters (other than Bay Colonies) are welcome to join us for the member rate.
  • This is for individuals who are not ATD Chapter Members who register in advance.
  • This rate is for full-time students who register in advance of the session.

Registration is closed

Join us for a facilitated panel discussion with key leaders from both higher ed and corporate to explore the changing world of learning, both from the student’s and the facilitator’s perspective. What do students expect? How are we adapting the way we design and deliver learning? What can corporate learning and higher ed learn from each other? Listen to their perspectives on the future of learning and how learning professionals can be prepared to meet the changing needs of their organizations.

Panel Members

Tom Thibodeau

I am an Assistant Provost at New England Institute of Technology and the Director of the Faculty Resource Center. My responsibilities include faculty development, the use of academic computing resources, classroom A/V resources, online resources (especially Canvas) and a variety of administrative tasks. I started at New England Tech 27 years ago as an adjunct faculty member and progressed to an associate professor in video production. Along the way, I helped create and chaired a new Multimedia and Internet Communications program and worked as the college’s first educational technologist. I also have twenty years of experience in the video production industry as a videographer and online editor.

Last year, I co-authored a book called UDL in the Cloud, published by CAST Publishing on the integration of Universal Design of Learning in an online environment. I live in Seekonk, MA. When I have some free time, I love to create stained glass panels for my home.

Dr. Robert Shea
Associate Provost for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Roger Williams University

Dr. Robert Shea currently serves as the Associate Provost for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Roger Williams University. His portfolio of responsibilities includes oversight of the Center for Student Academic Success, Center for Career & Professional Development, Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching & Technology, Community Partnership Center, and the Feinstein Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement, and the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs. Included in these Centers are the Tutoring Center, Writing Center, Advising & Peer Mentorship Office, and the Accessibility Services Center. Dr. Shea has recently assumed oversight responsibility for the RWU General Education and CORE programs, Study Abroad and Global Programming, and also serves as the institutional lead for the First-Year Experience program, success and retention initiatives, and interdisciplinary programs.

Prior to joining Roger Williams University in July 2015, Dr. Shea served as the Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning at Bryant University. Dr. Shea has also held posts at the University of Rhode Island where he served as the Director of the Office Student Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Accreditation, as well as the Assistant Director of the Instructional Development Program. Previously, Shea held the position of Dean of the First-Year Experience at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He also served as the Director of Faculty and Leadership Curriculum Development at PMC’s Center for Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility. In addition, he was an Associate Professor of Sociology.

Dr. Shea earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brown University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia.

Karen Freedman
VP of Enterprise Learning, FM Global

Karen serves our chapter as President Elect and works to create awareness of our chapter and building relationships with key organizations and individuals.

Karen is VP and manager of enterprise learning at FM Global, one of the world's largest commercial property insurers. Karen is responsible for the education and training of 5,500 employees and thousands of clients worldwide. As FM Global's youngest female VP, Karen has transformed the company's entire approach to learning since 2005, both for employees as well as clients. Her innovative learning approaches for clients has recently earned her Risk and Insurance magazine's 2010 Risk Innovator award for the insurance industry - an award that recognizes those who demonstrate innovation and develop creative, out of the ordinary solutions for risk mitigation. Karen was also named to Providence Business News 40 under 40 class of 2010, which recognizes forty business and community leaders under the age of 40.

FM Global's learning management system, which was approved and implemented under karen's leadership, was highlighted in the 2010 release of Joel Kurtman's latest business book: Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary. Karen joined FM Global in 1996 as an associate training specialist.

Michelle O'Brien
Chapter President and Associate Director of Human Resources, Community College of RI.

Elected as President in March, 2015, Michelle oversees the leadership of the Board of Directors and the operations of the Bay Colonies Chapter. Michelle has previously served our chapter as VP of Communication as well as VP of Volunteers.

Michelle is an accomplished HR professional with over 20 years' experience in higher education and workforce development. She currently serves as the Associate Director of HR at CCRI. Adjunct Professor for CCRI's Business Department, and Faculty for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 SMall Business Program. In addition to ATD Bay Colonies, michelle serves on the board of the Center for Innovative Teaching Learning and Assessment at CCRI and as board member of the RI Higher EDucation Training Consortium. Michelle is certified to deliver Achieve Global and MBTI training.

Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Johnson and Wales University and a Master's degree from the University of RI.

She resides in Cumberland with her husband, Jamie O'Brien.

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