Tyler Ritter

Director/Chief Operating Officer

Tyler was formerly Director of Communication and Instructional Design at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Center for Continuing Education. Prior to joining the University, she held key leadership positions in several advertising agencies. Tyler has an MA in Digital Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill, a master’s certificate in Communication and Technology from UNC-CH, and a BA in Communication Studies from UNCG. Tyler grew up in the NC mountains and, second to sitting in front of a computer, feels most at home hiking in the woods.

Roger Hobbs

Creative Services Manager

Roger has been in the world of creative services since 2000 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University. He was an Emmy Award-winning broadcast marketing producer for a decade. Prior to joining the COOL, Roger directed and developed marketing and training videos for software, non-profits, education, local businesses, and international corporations. Outside of the COOL, Roger enjoys playing piano and songwriting, spending time with his family, and sneaking desserts whenever possible.

Katie Meersman

Katie Meersman, PMP

Operations Manager

Katie previously worked as an instructional designer at the Friday Center and is a founding member of the COOL. She works closely with the COOL team and campus partners to plan and facilitate project success, and she holds a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. Katie has a BA in history from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Technical and Professional Communication from Auburn University. When she’s not working, Katie enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband and son.

Jack Rodenfels

Assistant Director of Marketing

Jack was previously the Marketing Manager for the Friday Center and is a founding member of the COOL. He is a creative and strategic marketing professional who has spent the last decade working in various communications roles. Jack has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Elon University and a Master of Arts in Digital Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill. When not at the COOL, you can find Jack searching for golf balls he hit into the woods or curled up in a hammock reading a good book.

Paul Wolff, Ed.D.

Instructional Design Manager

Paul is a highly motivated educator and a lifelong learner. Paul holds a BA in History, an MA in Teaching, and an MS in Information Science, all from UNC-Chapel Hill.  He recently earned an Ed.D. with a focus in Educational Technology from the University of Florida. Paul’s research interests include gamification, game-based learning, and distance education. He spends his free time hiking and camping with his wife, two dogs, and cat. Paul also enjoys playing music, singing, painting, and playing table-top games with his friends.

COOL Gigi Dillon

Gigi Dillon, Ph.D.

Senior Instructional Designer

Gigi has been working in educational technology and learning design since 2005 in higher education and performance improvement contexts. She has experience teaching in the classroom and online. Gigi has a Ph.D. in art/architectural history from Duke and is in the master’s program in instructional systems technology at Indiana University-Bloomington. In her free time, Gigi enjoys flanneuring, playing music, and winning board games.

Brett Freese

Web Designer

Brett has designed and programmed engaging interactive experiences for well-known media companies. Games, interactive holograms, and virtual reality applications are some of the cutting edge technologies he has enjoyed working on. Brett received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute. When not at work he is dreaming up new software applications or spending time with his wife and daughter.

Denys Hannon

Operations Coordinator

Quin Jernigan, Ph.D.

Instructional Designer

Quin has a variety of higher education experiences including enrollment management, academic support, institutional assessment/effectiveness, and instructional design. She holds a BA in Psychology from East Carolina University, an M.Ed. in School Psychology from Georgia Southern University, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from North Carolina A&T. In her spare time, Quin enjoys spending time with family, exploring new travel opportunities with friends, and volunteering in her community.

Rob Lucas, Ph.D.

Instructional Designer

Rob has worked in education since beginning his career as a teacher in eastern North Carolina. More recently, he has worked as a history curriculum designer at an educational technology company and as a faculty member at East Carolina University. He holds a BA in Social Studies and an MEd in Technology, Innovation, and Education, both from Harvard, and also a Ph.D. from Stanford in Learning Sciences and Technology Design. He enjoys playing tennis and piano as well as hiking around the Triangle.

Joey Schenkenberg


Joey is a self-proclaimed “movie geek” ever since his dad took him to see Ghostbusters when he was 3. With a degree from Appalachian State University, Joey has created movies for nearly 20 years. His stop-motion video work has won a number of awards, including screening for Academy Award consideration in the “Best Animated Short” category. He has teamed up with PBS Digital Studios to create a DIY video web series which has won a Webby Award. Joey, his wife, two young daughters, and a 65-pound lap dog live in Chapel Hill.

Andy Wells


Andy has been part of the production industry for over ten years, his most recent work includes two broadcast shows, “Love It Or List It” and “FLW”, a bass fishing series. He has a BA in Broadcast and Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro along with a BS in Biochemistry from East Carolina University. Andy is a native North Carolinian and likes to spend his free time laughing with friends and writing film scripts.

Jessa Bliss

Graphic Designer

Jessa was previously an instructional designer and the eLearning Manager for the Friday Center. With over ten years of experience in graphic design, she has worked in higher education, for national publications, and with independent clients. She has a BA in journalism and mass communication, with a concentration in visual communication and graphic design, from UNC-Chapel Hill. Jessa is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with her husband, her sons, and her grumpy cat, Moose.