Staff Bios

Mendi Benigni, Instructional Technologist

Mendi is an Instructional Technologist and works primarily with the School of Education, Health & Human Performance.  She has a degree in International Relations from Roanoke College but has always loved computers.  So when an opportunity opened to become a Mac tech she couldn’t say no.  She’s been working in the computer/technology field since the early 90s and loves every minute of it, especially working with mobile and video technologies.  She is married to Vince Benigni, a professor in Communication, and has an awesome daughter who keeps her on her toes.

Zach Hartje, Director

Zach is the Director of Teaching, Learning and Technology.   Zach has a degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Dayton.  He has worked in multiple capacities within TLT over the past several years, serving as an Instructional Technologist and Assistant Director. He enjoys working with faculty to find ways to use technology to enhance the learning process. He has a 2 year old son who likes to keep him busy and on his feet outside of work. When he has free time he enjoys playing and watching a wide variety of sports and doing home DIY projects. Thanks to wonders of technology he has been able to watch every single Dayton basketball game over the past 8 years though being almost 700 miles away.  Goooooo Dayton Flyers!!!

Ashley Lee, Instructional Technologist

Ashley Lee works primarily with the School of Sciences and Mathematics. She is originally from Michigan where she attended Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and taught Biology labs at GVSU. After school she moved to a little town in North Carolina and taught high school science for two years. Her latest adventure has been her move to Charleston last August to teach at Wando High School.  Ashley lives with her black lab, Athena, and her cat.

Christopher Meshanko, Instructional Technologist

Chris Meshanko is an Instructional Technologist who works primarily with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has an education specialist degree in instructional technology, from the University of West Georgia, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Chris also has a master’s in school counseling and bachelor’s in psychology, with a minor in sociology, from Valdosta State University. He loves testing emerging technologies and helping faculty select tools that engage students and enhance the learning experience. At home, Chris enjoys photography and spending time with his family.

Amy Ostrom, Instructional Technologist

Amy Ostrom is an Instructional Technologist who works primarily with Distance Education.  She has a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Education and Theater from Erskine College.  She also has a Master’s plus 30 in Special Education, specializing in Educational Technology and Content Delivery from the University of South Carolina and is a Certified Distance Education Trainer.  She loves collaborating with faculty to find ways to integrate technology into the classroom and beyond to meet the needs of all learners.  At home, Amy enjoys hanging out with her husband, son, and two cats: Hawkeye and Honeycutt.

Laura Plotts, Instructional Technologist

Laura Plotts is an Instructional Technologist and works primarily with the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs.  She has a degree in English from the Ohio State University.  She started working with faculty as a sales representative for Harcourt Brace, where she helped integrate the publisher’s technology resources into their teaching.  She is married to Chris Warnick, an associate professor in English.

Chelsy Ratcliff, Instructional Technologist

Chelsy Ratcliff is an Instructional Technologist who works primarily with the School of the Arts.  She has a Master of Science in Instructional Design & Technology from Georgia State University.  While in Atlanta, she designed and developed online professional development courses for the Georgia Department of Public Health.  She also has experience in the classroom, teaching in multiple public school systems in Louisiana.  Outside of work, Chelsy enjoys spending time with her family, exploring Charleston, and traveling.

Jessica Smith, Instructional Technologist

Jessica is an Instructional Technologist who works primarily with the School of Business.  Jessica earned a Bachelors degree in Communication Studies from Longwood University followed by a Masters degree from Bowling Green State University.  After a year as a special events coordinator, Jessica entered the University of Tennessee to pursue her Doctoral degree which she received in 2010.  From 2012 to 2014, Jessica was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston.  She enjoys sharing her passion for tools and applications that will enhance engagement, deepen learning, and empower both students and professors.  She enjoys British television shows, books by David Sedaris, music by Counting Crows, “slow jogging” in James Island County Park, and visiting the Marion Square Farmers Market.

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