Executive Leadership

  • Dr. Richard Novak has been with the Division of Continuing Studies (formerly the Division of Continuous Education and Outreach) since its inception in July 1996. He has been engaged with online learning at Rutgers since 1998. He most recently served as Associate Vice President for Continuing Studies and Distance Learning and also Director of Special Projects for Academic Affairs at Rutgers.

    He is also an associate member of the graduate faculty in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, teaching face-to-face, hybrid and fully online courses beginning in 1993. Dr. Novak is Past-President of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the principal US organization for professional and continuing higher education. At Rutgers, Dr. Novak directs RutgersOnline, the centralized home for Rutgers University online degree programs using the Pearson eCollege course management system.

    Dr. Novak provides executive leadership for a large and diverse University-wide division at Rutgers University that includes over 125 employees in 14 distinct units at over a dozen locations, that coordinate hundreds of credit and non-credit programs, enrolling thousands of participants, reaching audiences from youth to retirees and providing various support services across the University.

    In 2004, Dr. Novak was presented the Walton S. Bittner Service Citation for Imaginative Leadership in the Advancement of Continuing Education and Distinguished Service to the Association by UPCEA. In April 2011 he was awarded the national Excellence in Online Administration award.

  • Antonius Bittmann serves as Associate Vice President of Online Programs at Rutgers, where he oversees the Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT), and IT at Continuing Studies (IT@CS). Moreover, he is the principal Rutgers point person for the university’s strategic partnership with Pearson to deliver fully online degree programs on a large scale. Previously, Dr. Bittmann, a tenured professor, served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Mason Gross Online (2010-2013), after completing two consecutive three-year terms as Chair of the Music Department of the Mason Gross School of the Arts (2005-2011), Rutgers University. He holds two doctorates from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)--a Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance, and a Ph.D. in Musicology.


  • Rick Anderson is Director of Virtual Worlds for Rutgers University, and Trustee at Fair Use Building and Research Labs. As a member of Fubar Labs, Rick has worked to provide programs on soldering, basic electronics, Arduino and 3D printing to the New Jersey community. As Director of Virtual Worlds he has created World Manager for LMS compatible game technology, and web accessible learning scenarios.

  • Kate recently graduated Rutgers with a degree in Information Technology and Informatics.  Prior to finding a niche in technical support, she worked with the Rutgers Recreation and Intramural Sports group as a referee, camp counselor, and social media marketer.  Kate brought her experience to COHLIT when she joined in 2015 a valuable asset in the planning, marketing, and execution of the Rutgers Online Learning Conference.  Her organization and prompt attention to details has led to her current position as a help desk agent assisting faculty and students with the Learning Management Systems and Educational Technologies provided by our office.  Compiling large reports for data analysis utilizes her ITI degree and the streamlines the process for quick turnarounds.  She also assists with the planning and coordination of local events, such as office challenges and monthly gatherings that create a comradic office environment.

  • Roy joined the Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT) in 2012 serving as a User Support Services Specialist. With extensive knowledge about the Canvas, eCollege, and Sakai learning management systems (LMS); he is committed to providing technology-focused support, training, and consulting for all campuses. Roy is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelors in Economics and is currently pursuing his Masters of Business and Science in User Experience Design.

    Since his time at COHLIT, Roy has been directly involved with streamlining processes for the UMDNJ and Rutgers merger, Continuing Education Programs, LMS Course Migrations, and Rutgers Fully Online Degree Programs. His other responsibilities include data analytics and reporting for online and hybrid courses, as well as developing support documentation. He is also the content manager for the Online Learning Help Desk Support Center website.

  • Kenny Chen holds the position of Instructional Support Specialist for On Line and Hybrid Learning & Instructional Technologies (COHLIT), where he has conducted more than 300 individual video conferences for distance learning classes, and other events. His role has since expanded to include working as a Web Designer and Developer, which has allowed him to apply his skills to the Content Management Systems that are used all across the division’s websites.

  • Gabe graduated Rutgers in 2014 with a major in Sociology. He joined the Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies in June 2016 and is currently providing support for students and instructors who use the learning systems and external technologies offered by COHLIT.  Gabe’s previous experience as a Discrepancy Resolution Analyst at Telesoft working in collaboration with Bloomberg and has helped bring a new perspective to the team’s operations.


    Outside of COHLIT, he is an aspiring photographer, and also an avid car enthusiast. He likes to get his hands dirty, solving issues that come up and heading off upcoming ones before they start. He plays strategic computer games as well. Which lets him employ his problem solving skills in a much more relaxed and creative environment.

  • Priscilla is an Instructional Technology Specialist and has been a member of COHLIT  since 2013.  Previously she has served as a Lab Coordinator in the Rutgers Department of Plant Biology & Pathology where she aided faculty in using both Sakai & eCollege's Learning Management System & Smart Classrooms, and was responsible for various departmental and curriculum websites (in addition to coordinating introductory biology labs for over 900 students).  She provides pedagogical support for faculty interested in using instructional technologies to enhance their students' online learning experiences. Her focus includes course design & revision in various LMSs and the use of edTech tools (VoiceThread, Google Aps, online proctoring solutions). Priscilla excels at technical writing and ensuring online courses have necessary “Getting Started” information. She is a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer, Quality Matters Coordinator, and a VoiceThread Certified Educator. She has a B.S., Horticulture, from Penn State University, and a M.S., Plant Biology, from Rutgers.

  • Mary Labrada is an Instructional Designer at the Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT). She earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Rutgers University and her M.Ed. in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts Boston Online. Before joining COHLIT, she spent 8 years supporting students and faculty in medical education at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

  • Eric Leupold has been involved in Online Learning at Rutgers University since 2003 when he started as an Online Course Design Consultant working in Learning Studio(eCollege).  In 2009 he joined the School of Management and Human Relations as an Online Course Coordinator to assist in the development of their online programs providing training and support to faculty and students while assisting in course development.  In 2012 Eric rejoined COHLIT allowing the Online Learning Help desk to expand its hours to include weekends and evenings. He currently works with faculty, staff and students supporting Learning studio, Canvas and Learner Community LMSs along with associated third party technologies. He is currently the point agent for ClassLive, and Virtual World training and support and specializes in Campus Pack, VoiceThread, BigBlueButton and Kaltura integrations.  His dedication and experience have also proved instrumental in developing and maintaining our Online Learning Knowledge base and support systems.

  • Marie Li serves as the Senior Instructional Designer with the Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies at Rutgers. Marie assumes the role of the team lead for the Instructional Design group, supporting Rutgers faculty in designing and developing online and hybrid courses as well as providing faculty with support on various LMSs and educational tools. She is also the coordinator for MOOCs at Rutgers which partners with Coursera.

    Marie has 15 years’ experience of providing Academic Technology Services and online education for higher education. Prior to joining the team of COHLIT, she worked for Ellucian (formerly known as Sungard Higher Education) and served over 35 client universities/colleges nationwide, and assumed a variety of roles and responsibilities (e.g. Startup Academic Technology Director, Instructional Technology Manager, Instructional Designer and LMS administrator). Marie has a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology as well as a Master’s degree in Teaching.

  • After earning his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and History at Indiana University, John relocated to New Jersey to take a job in the Global Pharmaceutical Industry.  He enrolled in Rutgers Business School while working as a professional Chemist, and transitioned to the international business side of his company just prior to earning his MBA.

    When the Pharmaceutical Industry entered a troubling period of ongoing reorganization, John took the initiative to design and deliver several corporate training programs to help his colleagues stay up-to-date in the ever-changing environment.  Seeking to build upon this opportunity, he began working on his Doctorate in Education at Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education.  Today, John is an instructional designer at COHLIT, and has nearly completed his Doctoral Degree.

  • In Wook Park, also known as Paul, graduated Rutgers in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Communications.  His degree comes into practice when he is developing and updating tutorials or informative pages that detail the technologies provided through COHLIT.  It is also a useful skillset while crafting user-friendly support responses that assist both faculty and students in through their use of the learning management systems and third-party technologies provided by our office. Paul has also used his creative skills to establish a green screen method, that has been featured at Rutgers Day, for visually placing people in locations and time periods they may never be able to visit. His passion shows in both the video and graphic design that he uses in his own personal life for livestreaming to a worldwide audience through Twitch. Aside from enjoying video games Paul is also learning how to make video games.

  • Bernadette is a Senior Program Coordinator and joined the Division of Continuing Studies in 2007. She is a proud graduate of Rutgers Newark College of Arts and Sciences in Information Systems. Her love of lifelong learning has led to a Certificate in Educational Technology from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education where she is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education for Adult and Continuing Education. As a member of the Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies Bernadette oversees the day to day administration of programs, projects and or processes regarding all aspects of project management. She also is responsible for COHLIT event programming such as the annual Rutgers Online Learning Conference.

  • Emily Ravenwood is a Senior Instructional Designer for the Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies. She coordinates faculty training and supports Rutgers faculty in developing hybrid and online courses. Before joining COHLIT’s Office of Instructional Design, she taught for nine years at Wittenberg University, and another eight before that at the Ohio State and Eastern Michigan Universities, and she is a certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. Her M.A. and A.B.D. are in Language and Literature, and she has taught writing, business communication, and literature in both hybrid and online formats, giving her insight into the challenges facing online faculty. Her professional research has focused on effective online pedagogy and accessible design, supported by ten years experience as a website designer and programmer. Working with both front- and back-end design has given her considerable experience in how users interact with online material, and how to create effective information architecture.

  • David is an Instructional Technology Specialist, and has been a part of the Division of Continuing Studies since 2008. He is a proud Rutgers alumnus (LC’07) with a passion for learning, and a dedication to providing outstanding customer service. Certified in ITIL® Foundations, Quality Matters (QM) trained, and a VoiceThread Certified Educator, he strives to foster best practices in service management in order to achieve a welcoming environment to both engage and energize faculty and student success. He also brings his knowledge of web, graphic and multimedia design to on-demand training and documentation. Serving as the University’s administrator for many technology tools, David offers a unique blend of knowledge in Kaltura, Turnitin, Voicethread, Campus Pack, Canvas, and eCollege.

  • A Loyal Son (LC, SCI ’99), Christopher Valera is responsible for the technical operations and system administration of Rutgers Online, the Instructure Canvas Learning Management System, and the Pearson eCollege Learning Management System.  His areas of responsibility include IT staff leadership, instructional technology, vendor management, IT project management, application development, data management, and the help desk. Christopher works closely with University leadership, central administration, academic units, and strategic partners in new product discovery, system integration, and delivering tools to the online learning community at Rutgers.  Christopher was previously the Assistant Director - IT of IT @ Continuing Studies (IT@CS), Rutgers University.

  • Linda started working at Rutgers University in 2000 and joined the Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS) in February 2010. She is the receptionist and provides administrative support to Information Technology at Continuing Studies (ITaCS) and the Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT).

  • Kyle Whitmus joined COHLIT in August 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Washington State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing – Fiction from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. At UMass—Amherst, Kyle taught College Writing in the Writing Program and supported faculty in digital pedagogy and the use of instructional technology as part of the Instructional Media Lab. His responsibilities as an Instructional Designer at COHLIT include collaborating and consulting with University faculty in the migration, conception, development, and refinement of their online and hybrid courses. Kyle lives in Red Bank and in his free time enjoys beachgoing, downtowning, creative writing, DIY furniture, mixed media visual art, plastic music, paper books, and Oxford commas.

Student Staff

  • Sagarika is currently a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Environmental Policy. She conducts quality assurance audits and support for Game Research & Immersive Design (GRID).

  • Eric Zhuang joined the Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies team as a developer. He is majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Economics at Rutgers University. Eric is currently developing and maintaining various internal website applications within the Rutgers network.