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Part of Western Governors University

Center for Applied Learning Science.

Our team

Matt Sanders

Senior VP of University Development, WGU

Master of Public Policy

Matt leads new strategic initiatives at WGU including  the Center for Applied Learning Science at WGU Labs. Prior to WGU, he was GM at Deseret Digital Media, where he led new, disruptive innovations in the media group as well as global partnerships. In previous positions, Matt  advised the governments of Egypt, Macedonia, Mexico, and USA, as well as companies like American Express, Ford, Mitsui, Disney, IBM, Sears, and UPS. Away from the office he enjoys reading, hiking, skiing, college sports, and serving in his local community

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Jason Levin

Executive Director, CALS
Vice President of Institutional Research, WGU
M.B.A., University of Miami

Jason was appointed executive director of CALS based on over 14 years of experience in data analytics, business intelligence, and an innovative approach to online education. Jason focuses on student success based on the best use of technology, research, and data. In his free time, Jason spends time enjoying Utah's famous snow with his family.

Jennifer Talevich, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Ph.D., Computational Behavioral Science
M.A., Social Psychology
University of Southern California

Jennifer brings research expertise to CALS in both computational and experimental methods. Prior to joining CALS, Jennifer was a Principal Investigator at USC, where she won a $300K research grant to expand her neural network of learning and chronic decision-making frameworks. In her spare time, Jennifer likes making lists, such as the 100 hobbies she dropped for grad school.   

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Amanda Johnson

Learning Expericence Designer
M.S., Educational Technology
Carnegie Mellon University

Amanda is passionate about helping people learn. Her process applies academic research and learner-centered design, developing experiences that target cognitive and non-cognitive learning. Before joining CALS, was a Research Specialist at the Education Policy Center, University of Virginia.  Away from the office, Amanda enjoys dancing, yoga, and playing with her dog.

Kyle Clements

Learning Experience Designer

M.S., Instructional Psychology and Technology, Brigham Young University  

As a Learning Experience Designer, Kyle designs educational products and experiences. Prior to joining CALS, Kyle worked as a User Experience Designer at Brigham Young University (BYU) where he created instructional websites and mobile applications. When he’s not designing learning experiences, Kyle spends his time geocaching, dating his wife, and wrestling his kids.

Brian Tillman

Learning Experience Designer

B.S., User Experience Design
of Utah 

Brian continually strives to maximize each student’s educational experience. He created and was the first graduate in UXDesign at the University of Utah. Prior to joining CALS, Brian redesigned and doubled the usability ratings of a mobile platform at a local company, and developed an innovative online presence for the US Forest Service. Brian is also a rock climber, skier, and hiker.

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Eyal Shafran, Ph.D.

Data Scientist

Ph.D., Physics
University of Utah

Eyal comes to CALS with 12 years in computational analysis with large data sets, statistics, modeling, and simulations.  A native of Israel, Eyal completed both a PhD and Postdoc in Physics at the University of Utah. He is often cheerleader for his children at their games and maintains a sports analytic website.    

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Jess Stokes

Head of Product

M.S., Instructional Technology
Utah State University

Jess is passionate about the mission at CALS and the role higher education plays in social justice. Bringing over 12 years in EDTech experience, Jess managed the Technology Strategy team at Pearson, with engagements in learning-platform strategy, content management, process improvement, and implementations. Away from the office, you’ll find Jess communing with nature.    

Amy Jo Yates

Portfolio Manager

B.A., Organizational Leadership
Chapman University

Amy Jo joins the CALS team with over 15 years of project management, HR, and administrative experience. A Certified Scrum Master, she has led development teams within a Scrum environment, focused on improving process, mentoring, and facilitating team activities for a diverse product portfolio. Outside of work, Amy Jo spends time with her son, writes, reads, quilts, and dances. 

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Chad Adams

Principal Software Engineer  

As Principal Software Engineer, Chad is tasked with integrating our EdTech systems with 3rd-party systems. He brings 30 years of software and implementation experience, including developing IoT solutions and some of the world’s first client-server designs. Chad’s first language is Java software followed by English.  Away from the office, he enjoys his family and playing EVE Online.

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Christine McDonough

Learning Content Writer
M.A., Information Design
University of Reading (UK)

At CALS, Christine creates content that aligns with learning experience strategy. She draws upon her broad work experience in a variety of roles, including information designer, software trainer, and HR. Christine is a published author, working on collections of short stories. When not writing, Christine keeps busy with photography, archery, and Irish drumming.    

Nathan Stoker

Multimedia Designer

B.F.A., Illustration with animation emphasis
Utah Valley University
Nathan brings both visual and technical expertise to CALS, along with five years of experience in the e-learning space. He is passionate about producing high quality illustrations, animations, and graphic designs, meeting requirements for a diverse set of projects, including technical aspects of online deployment. When he is not working, Nathan likes to longboard, skate, and draw.    


Alex Tyler

Quality Assurance Engineer   

Alex brings 15 years of experience to CALS, ensuring a high level of quality on CALS products. He previously validated software for the US Air Force, as well as other large-scale clients. His process ensures all aspects of an application are repeatedly validated, and any defects are caught early. At home, he enjoys spending time with his family and working on his hobbies.    


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Omid Fotuhi, Ph.D.

Subject Matter Expert

Ph.D., Social Psychology
University of Waterloo, Canada
Omid studied social psychology at the University of Waterloo that developed into designing educational interventions during his postdoc at Stanford University. He is currently a Research Assoc at the University of Pittsburgh. Omid's research has focused on creating carefully designed interventions to improve important life outcomes. Away from the office, Omid spends time with his family.   

Diego Novarro

Diego Novarro

Subject Matter Expert
Master's Degree
Harvard Graduate School of Business

Diego has over twenty years of experience in the computer industry in research and management positions, and 16 years teaching at Cabrillo College. Diego is the founder of the Academy for College Excellence (ACE) program, after performing a year and a half of research studying the needs of underprepared students, and piloting various curriculum and pedagogy. Recently, Diego was a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford.