Laura Hendley

Executive Director

Laura Hendley (she/her/hers) joined the Office of Online Education in July 2023. As Executive Director, Laura engages with online stakeholders from across campus to understand their needs and develop the resources to meet those needs.  In this role, she draws on over fifteen years of online leadership experience to provide practical and strategic expertise in the areas of online program development, program management, and online teaching and learning.  Laura’s experience includes guiding campus online strategy as Assistant Provost for Educational Innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, leading online operations for the University of Alabama as Director of Bama By Distance, and managing the online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program at Cumberland School of Law, a program she helped launch in 2016. Laura earned a Juris Doctor from Hamline University, and a Master of Science in Education from Samford University.

Melvyn Brown

Assistant Director for Distance Education Compliance
ZSR 658

Melvyn (he/him/his) joined the Office of Online Education in the Spring of 2017. As Assistant Director he works to shape, monitor, and advise the institution’s distance education compliance efforts in accordance with the standards and expectations established by its multiple regulatory and reporting bodies in alignment with the University’s stated mission, vision, and values. Melvyn works closely with offices across the University to document existing regulatory and compliance requirements, monitor appropriate resources for changes in the same, and collaboratively establish and implement industry best practices. He also has extensive experience supporting the creation of video and other media. Melvyn earned his Master of Arts in Educational Media from Appalachian State University and a Master of Studies in Law from Wake Forest University.

Donohon Abdugafurova, Ph.D.

Instructional Designer

Donohon (she/her/hers) joined the Office of Online Education in August 2020. As an online instructional designer and pedagogy specialist with Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Wyoming her primary responsibilities include one-on-one teaching consultations on developing synchronous and asynchronous learning solutions and facilitating faculty development offerings for online education. She helps faculty in course mapping and design by prioritizing learning goals and ensuring that course curricula and learning activities reflect students’ learning abilities. She earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Civilizations Studies from Emory University.

Sidney Beeman

Senior Media Editor

Sidney (she/her/hers) joined the Office of Online Education in July 2020. With nearly a decade of experience in video storytelling, she has lent her creative talents to a diverse range of projects, most recently with her directorial debut of the film Finding Home, which follows the journey of a young Burmese immigrant, Cing Khek, and her family as they search for opportunities to build a new and better life in the conservative stronghold of West Virginia. For Online Ed, she serves as a producer, director, videographer, and editor, working closely with professors and staff to bring their courses to life through a variety of mediums from video series to podcasts. She earned her MFA in Documentary Film from Wake Forest University.