June 04, 2012

Berry to lead Center for Teaching Excellence

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An educator with a diverse background that includes film and communication will become the new director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Karla Berry, whose experience includes teaching, media education and learning technology consulting, and producing and directing, joins the University community effective July 1, pending ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.  She also will hold an appointment as associate professor of radio-television in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

The Center provides assistance to faculty, teaching assistants and staff in sound teaching practices, instructional technology, and enhancing on-campus and distance education courses.

“With her classroom experience and expertise in the areas of communications and technology, Karla will provide strong leadership for the Center for Teaching Excellence,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.  “I look forward to the contributions she will make in enhancing our teaching and learning environment on campus and beyond.”

Berry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri, where she majored in art history and communication, and a master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was an Andrew Mellon Fellowship in Art and Technology recipient and a video major.

Most recently, she has been a consultant for a variety of corporations and colleges, including the Fordela Corp., where she acted as project manager for a pilot project using the corporation’s cloud-based media for international media education sharing and collaboration.  She also worked with the New Media Institute at the University of Georgia, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the Czech Republic; and with Dartmouth College, Champlain College, Boston University and the American University on projects including 3D video storytelling.

Berry has also been a faculty member, serving in various capacities, at Northeastern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and, at the University of South Carolina, as associate professor and coordinator of media arts.  She was dean of the School of Media and Communication at National University until 2011.

Berry has a substantial list of documentaries and dramas to her credit, as director and/or producer.  Among her many projects is a series of instructional videos designed for college faculty and administration pertaining to curriculum development.  Other projects, including the documentaries “River Planet,” “Road Trip Diaries,” and “Dear Calamity: A Cowgirl’s Journey,” garnered Berry more than half a dozen awards, including a 2011 Telly Award, and a first place award from the Broadcast Education Association Juried Faculty Interactive Multimedia Competition.