Trailblazer Spotlight: Dr. Tasha Brown, Associate Director
“Throughout your journey, you will be helped by many. Remember to return that favor and help someone else along the way.”
That’s Dr. Tasha Brown’s life motto. She lives by it every day and encourages students to do the same.
It’s a mindset she applies both at home and at work. Brown is the Associate Director of Educational Design & Technology at USF Health College of Nursing. She started at the college in 2020.
“Higher education has always been my passion,” she said. “It’s where I can help people.”
“That’s my calling.”
Prior to her role at the college, she worked at Mississippi State University. While there, she achieved her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Services and her master’s degree in Instructional Technology. In 2009, she started working as an Instructional Designer for the University of Alabama, where she achieved her doctor of philosophy in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Technology. In 2014, she moved to Florida and worked in the private sector for six years before starting at USF.
In her current role, she leads a dynamic team focused on integrating the latest, cutting edge technology into the College of Nursing’s educational courses. Brown and her team collaborate with faculty and staff to design engaging, high-impact courses and digital assets to ensure students have positive and meaningful learning experiences. She provides strategic leadership and implements processes that will enable students to achieve educational excellence while fulfilling the mission and vision of the college.
She describes the design process as ‘taking a course for free’ because with each course, she learns something new!
At the end of the day, her favorite part is being able to make an impact and directly help students become knowledgeable and skilled.
Brown’s team describes her as a ‘model for all to follow’ as she leads with passion and joy. Media Technologist Vicente Saadeh said, “She brought new life to EDT. She listens to our needs and is always ready to help.”
Senior Instructional Designer Pranam Parsanlal said, “Her door is always open, and she’s always willing to help.”
“If she doesn’t know something, she will make sure she researches and finds a solution, or will find you someone who has a solution,” he said.
Looking ahead, Brown hopes to increase her research and grow her team of instructional designers. She dedicates her free time to identifying gaps throughout her industry and researching best project management practices for instructional designers.
In February 2020, Brown had her first book chapter published in Handbook of Research on Adult Learning in Higher Education. Her chapter, The Role of Management in Instructional Design, examines the knowledge, skills and abilities of instructional designers from different sectors and the importance of management in the design process. Her next book chapter is set to be published in 2022.
Her dedication to research comes from her lifelong passion of helping people.
“That’s how you contribute back. Somebody helped me get where I am today and the least I can do is help someone else.”
Throughout her career, Brown has mentored many students. Right now, she’s mentoring six PhD students, simply because she wants to see them be successful.
“After speaking with her, you feel the urge to take on the world,” Parsanlal said. He says when someone comes to Brown for advice, she motivates and encourages each person to be their best.
Story by Cassidy Delamarter