Faculty & Fellows

Dr. Jeff D. Borden - ICE Executive DirectoR (@bordenj)

In a career spanning 25 years, Jeff has spent more than 10,000 hours performing workshops, consultations, and creating other experiences to better tie life to learning.  Add that to his hundreds of hours keynote and plenary speaking in almost 40 countries and 49/50 states, and the more than 200 face-to-face and online courses he has taught, and Jeff has been trying to better connect learners to learning for a long time.  

As the Executive Director of the Institute for Inter-Connected Learning, Jeff is extraordinarily intentional about creating experiences and curricula that support “best” learning for all participants.  As a curator of people, Jeff continually seeks out new Fellows for ICE, assuring participants are taught or trained by genuine experts, grounded in research but highly pragmatic as practitioners.  been trying to make ‘learning innovation’ happen for over two decades.  At the ICE Institute, Jeff will merge his Innovation background with his expertise around education, communication, and change, and create professional development experiences that will drive skill development, new paradigm creation, and which will build a community of practice for all.


Steve rheinschmidt - ICE FACULTY

Steve is often referred to as the former, 10-year Executive Director of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC). In that role, Steve worked directly with 7 campus Presidents, Chief Academic Officers, and CIO’s, all while maintaining an agile, high functioning, innovation team.  But since leaving Iowa six years ago, Steve has wandered the Earth promoting program growth and innovation via a partnership platform from a commercial vendor, finally landing at Saint Leo University as the Director of Learning Innovation.

In this capacity, Steve was not only an implementation specialist for innovative strategies and initiatives, reporting up through the Chief Innovation Officer, but also utilized his project management and administrative skills to make tremendous headway on a campus-wide content strategy to reduce costs while maintaining quality, oversaw the data / learning analytics partnership initiative, and managed the innovation support relationships with commercial vendors.  Steve now provides implementation support and effective practice promotion to help administrators and staff promote management, communication, and change management planning for their portfolio of Learning, Innovation, and other initiatives.  

Steve Medium 2.jpg

theresa umscheid - ice fellow

A graduate of the Institute for Inter-Connected Education's Summer Leadership Academy, Theresa Umscheid is the Executive Director for the Iowa Community College Consortium, a collaborative partnership comprised of 7 of Iowa’s Community Colleges.  She has been part of the ICCOC since its inception in 1999 first acting as the Director of Distance Learning for Iowa Lakes Community College and the ICCOC Assistant Director. 

Theresa’s experience in online learning leadership finds her continually seeking new and innovative initiatives to challenge the ICCOC to continually deliver high quality online education and provide supportive student services for all students.  Theresa has successfully spearheaded several faculty development initiatives and grant-funded activities over the years and today leads the ICCOC team, working closely with its partner colleges, to drive their online learning program forward.


romana hughes – ICE Fellow

Romana (Romy) Hughes is the Assistant Provost of Educational Technology and Faculty Development and the Director of the Koehler Center for Instruction, Innovation, and Engagement at Texas Christian University. Her primary duties include oversight of the Koehler Center, managing a robust, multi-faceted professional development program for full-time, adjunct faculty and graduate assistants that support teaching and learning and addresses the changing needs of students, the intersection course design with student-centered learning and to pursue excellence in the use of technology.

Romy also works with Department Chair Leadership Training on campus.  Romy has twenty-seven years of higher education experience and nineteen years of faculty development experience. Romy has fifteen years of teaching experience in higher education. Romy holds two graduate degrees in Liberal Arts and Professional Development Organizational Communication.


Romy Hughes

Mike Vedders

Mike Vedders – ICE Fellow

With more than a decade of IT experience, Michael is passionate about using data and technology to transform higher education. As director of marketing at Bethel University, he has led projects to redesign websites, launch a new content management system, develop user experience workflows, create custom applications, and restructure institutional data. Some of his key strengths are strategy, modeling, architecture, project and change management, and communication. His most recent large-scale project involved leading a team of developers, designers, and content specialists to custom-develop a digital community space that provides a seamless user experience for prospective students, current students, and alumni. 
Michael is currently working to identify which marketing investments drive enrollment and enhance students’ academic experience. By infusing data and technology into the university’s marketing efforts, he is shaping the future of strategic spending and branding at Bethel.

Gretchen Bartleson – ICE Fellow

Gretchen Bartleson

Gretchen Bartelson is the "Queen of Disruption" at Northwest Iowa Community College (NWICC), where she formally holds the title as Dean of the Center for Teaching & Learning.  As an eLearning pioneer, Gretchen has been promoting best practices in online education for more than two decades now, having won numerous awards and recognition of her peers throughout her journey.  Using her vast experience and propensity for creative solutions, Gretchen now promotes academic programs as well as professional development for the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC) as well as her own school.

When not in her office or teaching, Gretchen presents at national conferences on eLearning, Grant Writing, and Professional Development.  Gretchen has won several Title III grants over the years which she has used for very innovative, high-impact initiatives.  In her off time, Gretchen loves to travel, play in the mountains of Colorado, and win baking contests.

Rob Letcher – ICE Fellow

Rob Letcher is the Sr. Director of Teacher Training and Education for K12, Inc. and was fortunate enough to be part of the infancy of this growing field.  During his 14 years in online education, Rob built and delivered some of the earliest professional development for online teachers, managed online school staff, and helped to design systems and services that made online learning for K-12 students a reality.   Rob's work with teachers, school administrators, and school authorizes focuses on the importance of having not just a student-centered approach to learning, but in taking a customer-centered approach to student engagement and growth.  In a time where choice abounds for learners, the importance of building and maintaining learner-instructor relationships - particularly at a distance - has not been lost on him.  

Rob can't help but see opportunities around him as they arise, but wishes he had more time to pursue them all.  You can learn more about Rob on LinkedIn.  Rob's undergraduate from Bloomsburg University is in Secondary Education with a focus on Earth and Space Science.  And while his Master's is in Instructional and Performance Technologies is from Boise State University, he'll proudly report that he never had to step foot in the state to earn it, as the program was delivered entirely online.  Rob lives just outside Philadelphia with his wife, three children, and their rescue dog, Jenny.

Robert Letcher

Dr. Errin Heyman - ICE FELLOW


Dr. Errin Heyman currently leads the Initiative for Advancing Leadership for and Visibility in Student Learning Outcomes Assessment at the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC); in addition to instruction, she serves as an assessment coach for the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and a facilitator for the Online Learning Consortium. She is a passionate educator who specializes in facilitation and assessment of student learning outcomes through faculty development and program/institutional review and assessment processes as well as building and running online programs. She has over twenty years of higher education experience, with extensive practical and theoretical knowledge of online and on-ground pedagogy, curriculum and instruction, and accreditation processes and requirements.

Errin is a native of Colorado and spent several years in Southern California. She and her husband (and two dogs) left the comfort of "home" over a year ago and are currently RV-ing across the country! 

Andrew Bergad - ICE FELLOW


Andy is a passionate leader skilled in developing and implementing strategies for organizations while enabling them to be successful.

Andy has spent time in formal, parallel, and non-academic settings alike.  The former COO at Vatterott Education, as well as the Vice President of University Operations with Pearson Education, Andy has promoted initiatives and strategies related to every meaningful metric an institution of higher education uses. Currently serving as the Chief Operating
Officer/Chief Financial Officer at Kohana Coffee, Andy has experience
working with product sets from vitamins to alcohol.    

Andy has experience in building new offerings, delivering rapid
operational turnarounds, and driving revenue. But Andy’s success stems
largely from a keen awareness of the most effective practice necessary
at the right time, aligning context, efficiency, and outcome together.  

Andy is successful due to his abilities to address ambiguous situations, to
make decisions quickly and most importantly, to build high performing cross
functional teams that excel.  

Always leading by example, Andy is not afraid of taking risks as an inspirational leader.  

Andy is currently “Keeping Austin Weird” for his 3 year old son, living in Austin, TX.  

The Institute for Inter-Connected Education is always on the lookout for Faculty and Fellows.  Exciting to us is when a participant returns as a mentor, facilitator, etc., but we are always on the lookout for experts and high functioning practitioners.  So in an attempt to curate the best educators, administrators, and technology professionals around, IICE is always looking for practitioners who can promote meaningful, implementable, replicable, and scalable transformation, innovation, or effective outcomes.  And of course, our practitioners need to be able to communicate effectively!  This is why ICE Faculty and Fellows are often returning members of the Institute, ensuring a commitment to Connectedness, as well as effective training practices.  (Our facilitators always try to promote Do-Show-Tell-Review-Ask learning.  As a result, our professional development is not boring while also staying highly relevant!)