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Researchers

About the Researchers

  • Vicki Stieha

    Dr. Vicki Stieha

    Principal Researcher

    Vicki Stieha, Ph.D. is an experienced educator/trainer, researcher, and academic leader with over 20 years of experience in higher education. She has developed and led innovative and award-winning educational programs, provided leadership on organizational boards, and consulted for a variety of educational organizations. Her current research and collaborations include designing and evaluating innovations with a focus on diversity in STEM and transitions from college to professions. Dr. Stieha holds an M. Ed. from Xavier University in English Education and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in Educational Studies. She teaches in the Boise State Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) Program and is an affiliated faculty member in the Engineering Plus Program.

    Areas of Expertise Include:
    training and facilitation | planning and development | organizational effectiveness | curriculum development | assessment design and delivery | program evaluation | grant writing | change management | active learning design | adult learning | fostering organizational learning | team dynamics | community-based research | action research | developmental evaluation

    Vicki Stieha, Ph.D. is an experienced educator/trainer, researcher, and academic leader with over 20 years of experience in higher education. She has developed and led innovative and award-winning educational programs, provided leadership on organizational boards, and consulted for a variety of educational organizations. Her current research and collaborations include designing and evaluating innovations with a focus on diversity in STEM and transitions from college to professions. Dr. Stieha holds an M. Ed. from Xavier University in English Education and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in Educational Studies. She teaches in the Boise State Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) Program and is an affiliated faculty member in the Engineering Plus Program.

    Areas of Expertise Include:
    training and facilitation | planning and development | organizational effectiveness | curriculum development | assessment design and delivery | program evaluation | grant writing | change management | active learning design | adult learning | fostering organizational learning | team dynamics | community-based research | action research | developmental evaluation

  • Mary-Nicole-Barber

    Mary Nicole Barber

    Associate Researcher

    Mary Nicole has worked in the corporate and non-profit world for 15 years before deciding to make a career shift towards instructional design and human performance improvement. While teaching a re-entry workshop at a prison in Arizona, a few of the inmates encouraged her to follow her passions. She is a natural strategic and creative thinker who loves solving problems. She has a talent for creating deep personal connections, empowering, and empowering others. Throughout her career she worked in international television, sports marketing, the energy sector, finance, the legal field, engineering, and nonprofits. The OPWL Master’s program allows her to pair her professional skills of technical writing, project management, and design with her personal passion to help others learn and grow. She started the OPWL Master’s program in January of 2020. Mary Nicole was a 2020 OPWL Scholarship recipient. She holds a Bachelor of Art from the University of Utah in English.

    Mary Nicole has worked in the corporate and non-profit world for 15 years before deciding to make a career shift towards instructional design and human performance improvement. While teaching a re-entry workshop at a prison in Arizona, a few of the inmates encouraged her to follow her passions. She is a natural strategic and creative thinker who loves solving problems. She has a talent for creating deep personal connections, empowering, and empowering others. Throughout her career she worked in international television, sports marketing, the energy sector, finance, the legal field, engineering, and nonprofits. The OPWL Master’s program allows her to pair her professional skills of technical writing, project management, and design with her personal passion to help others learn and grow. She started the OPWL Master’s program in January of 2020. Mary Nicole was a 2020 OPWL Scholarship recipient. She holds a Bachelor of Art from the University of Utah in English.

  • Catherine Bates

    Catherine Bates

    Associate Researcher

    Catherine Bates received a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Creative Writing from Florida State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction from Arizona State University. She has taught courses in English composition, creative writing, literature, ethics, and science communication for the past ten years at Arizona State University and Boise State University. Since 2011, Catherine has been dedicated to ensuring equitable learning opportunities for underrepresented undergraduate students. As the Educational Specialist for the TRIO Student Success Program, she served as an advisor and advocate for 180 first generation and limited income Boise State students. In her current role as Assistant Director, she strives to expand research and experiential learning opportunities for students historically underrepresented in higher education. She also manages several academic support programs funded through the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health.

    Catherine Bates received a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Creative Writing from Florida State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction from Arizona State University. She has taught courses in English composition, creative writing, literature, ethics, and science communication for the past ten years at Arizona State University and Boise State University. Since 2011, Catherine has been dedicated to ensuring equitable learning opportunities for underrepresented undergraduate students. As the Educational Specialist for the TRIO Student Success Program, she served as an advisor and advocate for 180 first generation and limited income Boise State students. In her current role as Assistant Director, she strives to expand research and experiential learning opportunities for students historically underrepresented in higher education. She also manages several academic support programs funded through the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health.

  • Luke Jones

    Dr. Luke Jones

    Associate Researcher

    Dr. Luke Jones serves as the Executive Director for Housing and Residence Life and Assistant to the Vice President for Retention Initiatives and leads the division’s Student-Centered Design Team.

    Dr. Jones is an adjunct faculty for the College of Innovation and Design where he teaches leadership and design thinking courses. His professional experience includes work in broadcasting, advertising, higher education, international education and nonprofit management. His student affairs background consists of work in campus recreation, residence life, admissions, fraternities and sororities, campus involvement, and new student programs.

    Luke writes about organizational change and building the creative capacity of teams. He consults with international companies and local nonprofits to help them integrate design thinking in their work and create cultures that encourage innovation. His research focus is on the intersection of undergraduate education and the development of meaning, purpose, and community at public institutions of higher education. Luke has traveled extensively and has built transformative international education opportunities for college students.

    Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, a Master’s degree in Student Affairs, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.

    Dr. Luke Jones serves as the Executive Director for Housing and Residence Life and Assistant to the Vice President for Retention Initiatives and leads the division’s Student-Centered Design Team.

    Dr. Jones is an adjunct faculty for the College of Innovation and Design where he teaches leadership and design thinking courses. His professional experience includes work in broadcasting, advertising, higher education, international education and nonprofit management. His student affairs background consists of work in campus recreation, residence life, admissions, fraternities and sororities, campus involvement, and new student programs.

    Luke writes about organizational change and building the creative capacity of teams. He consults with international companies and local nonprofits to help them integrate design thinking in their work and create cultures that encourage innovation. His research focus is on the intersection of undergraduate education and the development of meaning, purpose, and community at public institutions of higher education. Luke has traveled extensively and has built transformative international education opportunities for college students.

    Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, a Master’s degree in Student Affairs, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.

  • Michele Konechny

    Associate Researcher

    Michele Konechny is a graduate student in Boise State University’s OPWL program and is on track to receive her Masters Degree in May of 2021. Originally from Boise, Michele recently relocated to Pocatello, Idaho to be where she can spend more time with family and enjoy watching her grandson grow up. While completing her undergraduate work at Boise State in 2018, she earned a certificate in Dispute Resolution and volunteered as a mediator in Ada County’s small-claims and evictions courts. Michele’s work experience is varied and includes 10 years in landscaping and 13 years as a massage therapist and massage instructor. Although they seem worlds apart, these experiences, and the desire to contribute to the well-being of others, are what led her to the OPWL program where she could gain more skills to help others solve problems and reach their goals.

    Michele Konechny is a graduate student in Boise State University’s OPWL program and is on track to receive her Masters Degree in May of 2021. Originally from Boise, Michele recently relocated to Pocatello, Idaho to be where she can spend more time with family and enjoy watching her grandson grow up. While completing her undergraduate work at Boise State in 2018, she earned a certificate in Dispute Resolution and volunteered as a mediator in Ada County’s small-claims and evictions courts. Michele’s work experience is varied and includes 10 years in landscaping and 13 years as a massage therapist and massage instructor. Although they seem worlds apart, these experiences, and the desire to contribute to the well-being of others, are what led her to the OPWL program where she could gain more skills to help others solve problems and reach their goals.

  • Jazlyn Olmedo

    Jazlyn Olmedo

    Associate Researcher

    Jazlyn Olmedo is Dr. Vicki Stieha’s Graduate Research Assistant for the school year 2020-2021. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in OPWL here at Boise State and is the OPWL Graduate Dean’s Fellowship recipient. Originally from Mission, Texas, Jazlyn has been enjoying her last 8 years here in beautiful Boise, Idaho. Jazlyn received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Human Resources in May of 2020 at Boise State University. Throughout her undergrad, Jazlyn worked as a Resident Assistant where she led and assisted with the training and hiring process of other housing staff and created safe, secure, and inclusive living communities campus. Upon completing her undergrad, Jazlyn has been working as an HR Assistant at an Idaho startup cosmetics company. During her time there, she will be working closely with the CEO to design and create the HR department as the company continues to grow.

    Jazlyn Olmedo is Dr. Vicki Stieha’s Graduate Research Assistant for the school year 2020-2021. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in OPWL here at Boise State and is the OPWL Graduate Dean’s Fellowship recipient. Originally from Mission, Texas, Jazlyn has been enjoying her last 8 years here in beautiful Boise, Idaho. Jazlyn received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Human Resources in May of 2020 at Boise State University. Throughout her undergrad, Jazlyn worked as a Resident Assistant where she led and assisted with the training and hiring process of other housing staff and created safe, secure, and inclusive living communities campus. Upon completing her undergrad, Jazlyn has been working as an HR Assistant at an Idaho startup cosmetics company. During her time there, she will be working closely with the CEO to design and create the HR department as the company continues to grow.

  • Don Winiecki

    Dr. Don Winiecki

    Associate Researcher

    Don Winiecki is a hardware and software technologist, an instructional technologist, and a sociologist who has never been far from engineering and the engineering workplace. His research and reports of instructional innovations have been published and presented in over 148 journal issues and academic and professional conferences spanning Computer Science, Engineering, Blindness Studies, Instructional Technology, Performance Improvement, Sociology, and Anthropology. Don has a Master of Science (ed) degree in Industrial Arts & Technology (State University of New York, College at Oswego) where he focused on visualization techniques in design and development, a Doctor of Education degree in Instructional Technology (Texas Tech University) where his research focused on designing performance improvement innovations into computer-based tools, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology (Central Queensland University), where he studied how modern workplaces are regulated by technologies, and how resistance to poor regulation and poor technologies can influence improved accomplishment of organizational goals. He is author of “Discipline & Governmentality at Work” published by Free Association Books. He is certified by the U.S. Library of Congress in braille transcription and proofreading, and an expert in tactile graphics for STEM. Don is “Professor of Ethics and Morality in Professional Practice” in the BSU College of Engineering, a Professor in the BSU Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) Department, “Sociologist in Residence” in the BSU Department of Computer Science, and Adjunct Faculty in the BSU Department of Sociology and Department of Anthropology. His teaching is currently focused on improving the orientation of computer science and engineering students to the professional and societal benefits of inclusion, diversity, and equity in the workplace.

    Don Winiecki is a hardware and software technologist, an instructional technologist, and a sociologist who has never been far from engineering and the engineering workplace. His research and reports of instructional innovations have been published and presented in over 148 journal issues and academic and professional conferences spanning Computer Science, Engineering, Blindness Studies, Instructional Technology, Performance Improvement, Sociology, and Anthropology. Don has a Master of Science (ed) degree in Industrial Arts & Technology (State University of New York, College at Oswego) where he focused on visualization techniques in design and development, a Doctor of Education degree in Instructional Technology (Texas Tech University) where his research focused on designing performance improvement innovations into computer-based tools, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology (Central Queensland University), where he studied how modern workplaces are regulated by technologies, and how resistance to poor regulation and poor technologies can influence improved accomplishment of organizational goals. He is author of “Discipline & Governmentality at Work” published by Free Association Books. He is certified by the U.S. Library of Congress in braille transcription and proofreading, and an expert in tactile graphics for STEM. Don is “Professor of Ethics and Morality in Professional Practice” in the BSU College of Engineering, a Professor in the BSU Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) Department, “Sociologist in Residence” in the BSU Department of Computer Science, and Adjunct Faculty in the BSU Department of Sociology and Department of Anthropology. His teaching is currently focused on improving the orientation of computer science and engineering students to the professional and societal benefits of inclusion, diversity, and equity in the workplace.

Who might benefit from participating in this virtual research lab?

  • If you want to build your research skills and credentials by working on an ongoing research project led by a faculty member or another student
  • If you’ve started a project and would like collaborators to join you to complete your work.
  • Those who have an idea and want help getting it started

Regardless of the reason that brings you to the lab, please come with the intent of giving and receiving support in our community of researchers. All team members are required to complete the CITI Training for ethical human subjects research (no cost for students, faculty, and staff).

Student Commitment options:

Independent study credits (counts toward MS. Degree in OPWL) for engaging in research activity that is related to the OPWL curriculum and learning goals. One credit = approximately 45 hours* per semester.

*45 hours may consist of individual and collaborative time working on a project.

Volunteer participation is also welcome and this option requires no costs to the researcher and also makes alumni participation possible.

How to get involved:

Contact Dr. Stieha directly for more information and to set up a meeting to discuss your goals and interests. VickiStieha@boisestate.edu or 208-426-4584