meet the team

Head shot of OCS Scarlet Program Manager Rita Arnold

Rita Arnold – Program Manager, ScarletCanvas

Rita Arnold is a Program Manager in the Office of Curriculum and Scholarship, where she coordinates the administration of the Scarlet Canvas LMS for The Ohio State University College of Medicine.


Rita has worked as a part of the COM LSI Mission for seven years. Rita helps learning institutions, educators and learners access and manage web-based courses through the Scarlet Canvas product. Rita is a classically trained mezzo soprano and a Japanese stationery aficionado from Columbus, Ohio. 

Jeff Barbee, DMA – Director

Jeff Barbee is the Director and a research specialist with the Office of Curriculum and Scholarship at The Ohio State University. In this role, Jeff works with faculty and researchers to design, implement, and disseminate educational research studies to improve student learning and outcomes. He finds great satisfaction in helping teams of researchers work through their studies and sharing their findings either through manuscripts, posters, or oral presentations. Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, watching football, and having a good laugh. He is always eager to work on a challenging project that will force him to further develop his skills. Prior to joining OCS, Jeff was an assessment and evaluation specialist for the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Angela Bower – Program Manager, Digital Accessibility

Angela Bower is a Systems Accessibility Senior Specialist who works with the Ohio State University, College of Medicine faculty, staff, and student employees to promote inclusive best practices in digital accessibility. Angela is former science and special education teacher and former small business owner of a supplemental education program.  The work that she does in digital accessibility is just the next step of her journey in creating a more fair and equitable learning experience for all types of learners and end users. 

Angela graduated from North Dakota State University, with a degree in science education, and continues to participate in many continuing education and certification opportunities.  

Jaclyn Gish-Lieberman, EdD – Instructional Designer

Jaclyn J. Gish-Lieberman, EdD is an Instructional Designer for the Office of Curriculum and Scholarship in the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University. She enjoys combining learning theory and learning experience design to create innovative, inclusive, and accessible learning artifacts. Her research interests include professional identity development, communities of practice, and case-based instruction.

professional headshot

Lisa Ibarra, MAT – Educational Technologist

Lisa has identified as an educator for her entire life: every job she has ever had has centered around teaching. She is grateful that her role as Program Coordinator for the Office of Curriculum and Scholarship followed this tradition, and that she will get to continue teaching others as OCS’s inaugural Educational Technologist.

Lisa holds a MA in Teaching in Literature degree from Bard College and a BA in English degree from Trinity University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, holds English teaching certifications in Ohio and North Carolina, and is an AP Reader. She is passionate about learning, being outside, and helping all those with whom she interacts achieve their goals.

Robbie McCord, MS – Instructional Designer

After receiving a BA in English from Michigan State University, Robbie taught middle school language arts for two years in Baltimore while attending Johns Hopkins University in order to obtain his teaching licensure. He then moved to Philadelphia where he completed a MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Robbie taught international students within the intensive language programs at Drexel University, UPenn, and Michigan State. As his interests evolved, he transitioned from the classroom to language assessment development at the University of Michigan. Upon moving to Columbus, Robbie worked first as an academic designer at McGraw-Hill Education and then came to Ohio State as an instructional designer in the Office of Business and Finance. During this time, he obtained an MA in Learning Technologies from OSU. Now at the College of Medicine, Robbie works with faculty to develop courses, primarily within the ScarletCanvas platform. He loves all aspects of instructional design: the meeting of minds, the breakthroughs, the challenges, the innovations. When he is not designing, Robbie is exploring Columbus with his wife and three-year-old son, or is out for a run.

Kerry Rubadue, MLT – Instructional Designer

Kerry Rubadue earned her master’s degree in Learning Technologies through the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, where she also received her Bachelor of Science in English Education and K-12 Reading endorsement.

Kerry works as an Instructional Design Senior Specialist in the Office of Curriculum and Scholarship at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Prior to working at Ohio State, Kerry planned and implemented the Medical Leadership Program for faculty. Prior to that experience, Kerry was a Project and Program Manager at all “big three” educational publishers, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, where she managed the development and production of hundreds of teacher higher education programs and K-12 print and digital product lines. There, Kerry worked with notable authors, such as Dr. Anita Woolfolk, Educational Psychology, 12th edition, recognized as one of the most widely read texts in the field of educational psychology. Additionally, Kerry taught English and Reading at Thomas Worthington High School, and taught adult personal finance at the local Office of the Chapter Thirteen Trustee.

Most recently, Kerry is collaborating with researchers in the College of Medicine as lead and senior author on the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME National) and Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA Regional) research conference papers, in addition to building several modular courses. 

Kerry is a proud wife and doting mother to three daughters, Emily, Rachel, and Abigail.  She and her husband, John, live in Powell, Ohio with their eighteen-year-old cat, Kit.

Lauren Smith – Research Assistant

Lauren Smith is a research assistant for OCS, working with members of the research team to provide The Ohio State University College of Medicine faculty and staff with program evaluation and educational research needs. 

Joanne Vakil, PhD – Research Specialist

Joanne Baltazar Vakil holds a PhD in STEM Education, a masters in Mathematics Education, and a masters in Learning Technologies. Her research has been informed by eighteen years as a K-12 classroom educator and six years as an adjunct instructor/lecturer. Her recent work explores teacher and learner well-being (in Education and Urban Society), the intersection of social media as critical pedagogical tools and anti-racist educational research (Lexington Books), virtual mentoring using a methodological focus of collaborative self-study and transitioning residential science camps to virtual formats (poster presentations for 2022 ASTE International Conference), and duo autoethnographies (2022 AERA Conference). Joanne has also presented a focused discussion on Breaking Barriers with the ‘New Normal’ of Virtual Interviews: Best Practices in Mitigating Bias at the 2022 AAMC CGEA conference and a 2022 Staff Track session on Onboarding at a College of Medicine: How Online Platform Practices Support Training and Retention. She holds appointments on the editorial review board for the Journal of Science Teacher Education and School Science and Mathematics and is the fiscal co-chair for the AERA SIG Critical Educators for Social Justice. As a Research Specialist with the College of Medicine’s Office of Curriculum and Scholarship, her research agenda examines practices that disrupt racial underrepresentation and inequities in health sciences education, and promotes curricular innovation that enhances the culture of humanism and professionalism. 

Joanne Baltazar Vakil holds a PhD in STEM Education and a masters in Learning Technologies from The Ohio State University, a masters in Mathematics Education from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a Bachelors in English from Florida Atlantic University.

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