About Us


The Trefny Innovative Instruction Center is the place that supports evidence-based practices for teaching and learning on campus.  We provide a variety of services to ensure that Mines offers a distinct and unique student learning experience.  Contact us today for help designing, delivering, and assessing instruction in your face to face classes, flipped, hybrid, and online courses.

The Trefny Innovative Instruction Center is located on the Colorado School of Mines Campus, in Green Center building #211. The Green Center is located at 924 16th Street Golden, CO 80401, on the corner of 16th and Arapahoe.
Trefny Innovative Instruction Center
Colorado School of Mines
924 16th Street.
211 Green Center
Golden, CO 80401
Office phone: (303) 384–2678
Trefny Center Organizational Chart

jvelloff@mines.eduJennifer Veloff:
Ana Lopez: aclopez@mines.edu
Amy Hermundstad Nave: ahnave@mines.edu
Rebecca Reese: rmreese@mines.edu
Sarah Bodbyl Roels: bodbyl@mines.edu
Megan Sanders: sanders@mines.edu
Susannah Simmons:simmons@mines.edu
Sam Spiegel: sspiegel@mines.edu
Deb Jordan: djordan@mines.edu
Ariana Vasquez:vasquez@mines.edu
Susan Ciriello:sciriello@mines.edu 


Sam Spiegel, Ph.D – Director

Sam leads the Trefny Innovative Instruction Center in proactively supporting faculty to advance the quality of students’ learning experiences, advance campus discussions on pedagogy and innovative teaching, and advocate for and support faculty in their use of empirically proven innovative teaching approaches.
​Prior to joining Mines, Sam served as Chair of the Disciplinary Literacy in Science Team at the Institute for Learning (IFL) and the Associate Director for the Swanson School of Engineering’s Engineering Education Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. He previously served as a science educator at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS); as Director of Research & Development for a multimedia development company; and as founding Director of the Center for Integrating Research & Learning (CIRL) at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University. Under Dr. Spiegel’s leadership, CIRL matured into a thriving Center recognized as one of the leading National Science Foundation Laboratories for activities to promote science, mathematics, and technology (STEM) education. While at Florida State University, Dr. Spiegel also directed an award winning teacher enhancement program for middle grades science teachers entitled Science For Early Adolescence Teachers (Science FEAT).

His extensive background in science education includes experiences as both a middle school and high school science teacher, teaching university-level biology and science education courses, working with high-risk youth in alternative education centers, working in science museums, designing and facilitating online courses, multimedia curriculum development, and leading and researching professional learning for educators. The Association for the Education of Teachers of Science (AETS) honored Dr. Spiegel for his efforts in teacher education with the Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers award (1997). Dr. Spiegel’s current efforts focus on educational reform and in the innovation of teaching and learning resources and practices.

Megan Sanders, Ph.D – Senior Assessment Associate

Megan is the Senior Assessment Associate. Before coming to Mines, Megan worked at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Instructional Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, where her role focused on supporting instructors in conducting research about student outcomes in their courses. Megan’s disciplinary background is in educational psychology. She earned her doctorate from the Ohio State University, and her research focused on the idea of relevance in higher education—how we define it, how students perceive it, and how to measure it—an interest that continues to inform her work.

Ariana Vasquez, PH.D – DeVries Post-Doctoral Fellow

Ariana Vasquez is the DeVries Post-Doctoral Fellow. She earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. Ariana’s research focuses on motivation, learning, and achievement.  Her research is driven by a desire to find solutions to educational problems in the classrooms. Her work experience while at UT Austin, included time at the Charles A. Dana Center, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and as a project manager for a large scale longitudinal research study in high school science classrooms. Prior to joining Mines Ariana was a Survey Team manager at GLG in Austin, TX. Ariana is excited to conduct in-depth research around teaching and learning at Mines!

Rebecca M Reese, Ph.D – Online Learning Experience Designer

Rebecca is an Online Learning Experience Designer. She earned her doctorate from the University of South Alabama in Instructional Design and Development. Rebecca’s experience includes teaching graduate courses in educational psychology and instructional design, and designing educational materials for non-profit organizations. She implements emerging technologies in the online environment and uses best practices to enhance and enrich students’ learning experiences. Rebecca enjoys collaborating with faculty to design online and flipped courses.

Susannah Simmons, MA – Online Learning Experience Designer

Susannah is an Online Learning Experience Designer helping to lead campus through the transition to Canvas and in our efforts to develop fully-online programs at Mines. Susannah is passionate about partnering with faculty to determine, develop, and implement pedagogical solutions that engage student learning. Through a collaborative effort, Susannah also co-created an online community, Pedago.me, to facilitate the continued education, support, and education technology tool conversations around exceptional learning experience design. Susannah’s 10+ years of diverse educational experience includes instructional design, corporate training, program administration, and project management.

Ana Lopez, M.A, M.Ed – Online Learning Experience Designer

Ana will be joining the Trefny Center team in June as an Online Learning Experience Designer (OLED). She is joining us from Pasco-Hernando State College in Florida. Ana brings a strong background in online instructional design and instructional technology.

Jennifer Veloff, PMP, M.ED – Online Program Manager

Jennifer is the Online Program Manager assisting departments in their efforts to provide a strong foundation for the online initiative at Mines. She earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida and also has her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. She has experience in higher education teaching as an adjunct professor and has practical hands-on experience with multiple instructional modalities. During the last 10+ years, she has provided leadership for online and distance education programs as well as managed resources and personnel for several large government contracts and an instructional design team.

Rudy Rico, Ph.D. – Online Learning Experience Technologist

Rudy is the Online Learning Experience Technologist. He earned his doctorate in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University, where his research focused on facilitating problem-based learning and the use of digital badges for K-12 teacher professional development. While at Purdue he also consulted with faculty redesigning face-to-face courses for online delivery and taught the Introduction to Educational Technology course. Rudy also has extensive experience with educational technology integration and media development from his time as Technology Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools.

Amy Hermundstad Nave, PH.D – Faculty Developer

Amy is a faculty developer in the Trefny Center. Originally from Colorado, she earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State before going on to earn her Ph.D. in Engineering Education and MEng in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Amy’s research interests include engineering students’ professional development and efforts to support underrepresented students within engineering, primarily using qualitative research methods to investigate a variety of perspectives on these topics. She has also done research on conceptual understanding in engineering courses and studied the variation in cultures between engineering departments and disciplines. In addition, while at Virginia Tech, Amy taught first-year engineering courses, worked in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, and worked with graduate students to incorporate contemporary pedagogical practices in a variety of fields. Amy is excited to work with faculty at Mines to engineer learning. Outside of the office, Amy enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring new places (both locally and internationally), and working on various art projects.

Sarah Bodbyl Roels, PH.D – Faculty Developer

Sarah is a faculty developer, assisting Mines educators with professional learning to achieve classroom learning goals. She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas where she studied plant mating system evolution. Sarah most recently hails from Michigan State University where she managed a STEM communication and outreach project at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (GK-12 BioEnergy SusTainability) and was a senior scientist on two NSF-funded education research and curricula development projects: Carbon TIMETeacher Education Department and ELeVATE Energy—CREATE for STEM InstituteOutside of the office, you might find Sarah bird watching, hiking with her husband and dog, fishing, running, or riding her horse.

Deb Jordan, M.A – Faculty Developer

Deb is a Research Associate working on an NSF-funded grant, Carbon Transformations in Matter and Energy (Carbon TIME) as well as working with the Trefny Center as the lead Faculty Developer. Prior to joining Mines, Deb served as a Senior Fellow on the Disciplinary Literacy in Science Team at the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh. She previously served as a Science Educator at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and as a Senior Consultant at McREL International. Her extensive background in science education includes K-12 Science Coordinator as well as years as a science teacher. 

Susan Ciriello, MBA – Program Assistant

Susan is the new program assistant at the Trefny Center. She will provide guidance and support to faculty and staff, and coordinate much of the behind the scenes details of the Center’s work. Susan looks forward to meeting and collaborating with Mines faculty, staff, and students. Her background includes teaching as well as academic program management and support. Susan received her B.S. in Education from Boston University and her MBA from Argosy University. Outside of the office, she enjoys cooking, hiking with her dogs, and traveling.

Dr. John and Mrs. Sharon Trefny, Founders

The Trefny Innovative Instruction (I²) Center was named in honor of Dr. John and Mrs. Sharon Trefny for their many contributions to Mines. Dr. Trefny served as Mines’ 15th President, as well as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Department Head of the Physics Department, and a Professor of Physics.  Mrs. Trefny is a retired systems engineer, and served as the First Lady of Mines during Dr. Trefny’s presidency. The Trefnys remain active members of the local education community and are valued ambassadors for the institution. Listen to the Trefny’s thoughts about Mines and education in the interviews below.


HIVE stands for Help develop Instructional resources, Video & Educational media. The HIVE is a student-employee support team within the Trefny Center who help faculty develop instructional media for their courses at Mines.

Lead Instructional Media Developers

Molly Brogden

Major: Chemical and Biological Engineering Engineering, 2021
Minor: Biomedical Engineering
Specialties: Video Editing, Graphic Design, Website Design
About Me: I am a junior at Mines studying chemical and biological engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering.  I enjoy thinking on the creative side and am excited to help you think outside the box on your project.

Nick Capra

Majors: Computer Science and Economics, 2020
Specialties: Video Editing and Website Development
About Me: Nick is a senior pursuing dual degrees in Computer Science and Economics. He is interested in a wide range of technologies, including web development, audio/video, programming, and more. He has experience creating content for a YouTube channel as well as developing websites. He has been with the HIVE for three years thus far.

ChuFu Xiong

Major: Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, 2020
Specialties: Video Editing
About Me: I am a senior studying Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. I am interested in driving and working on cars, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and film. At the Trefny Center, I am able to use the creative side of my mind and help faculty and students through video editing.

Instructional Media Developers

Dante Ramirez

Major: Mechanical Engineering, 2020
Specialties: Video Editing
About Me: I am currently a Junior studying Mechanical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. I have interests in photography, film, the outdoors, and being active. The Trefny Center allows us to tap into our creative side and learn something different than the Engineering curriculum. I am glad to help you with anything you need and to produce great content for your class.

Eli Webb

Major: Mechanical Engineering, 2020
Minor: Electrical Engineering
Specialties: Video Editing
About Me: I am a fourth year at Mines studying Mechanical Engineering, I have built my own computer and enjoy television, movies, video games, and the occasional picture. Working in the HIVE has allowed me to be more creative, expressive, and get to know our faculty on campus better.

Ethan Park

Major: Mechanical Engineering, 2022
Specialties: Video Editing
About Me: I am currently a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at Mines. While I like spending most of my free time building things I also greatly enjoy letting my artistic side out through drawing and video editing. I am excited to be part of the team at the HIVE.

Kyle Webb

Major: Mining Engineering, 2021
Specialty: Video Editing
About Me: I am a junior student studying Mining Engineering. Although video production is a stretch from my major, I picked editing up as a hobby and now am happy to be putting it to good use. Although I am relatively new, I’m happy to learn and help in any way I can.

Nadia Scharunovych

Major: Mechanical Engineering, 2021
Specialty: Video Editing and Graphic Design
About Me: I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering with a focus in robotics. In my free time I like to express my artistic side through painting. Working with the HIVE gives me the opportunity to implement my creativity through a new medium. I am excited to work with you on making videos to enhance the learning experience. 

Forrest Long

Major: Mechanical Engineering, 2020
Minor: Advanced Manufacturing
 Video Editing
About Me: I am currently a Senior at Mines majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Advanced Manufacturing. Working at the HIVE has been a new experience that has allowed me to use more of my creativity and help support the campus and its faculty.

Caleb Farnie

Major: Computer Science, 2022
Minor: Computational and Applied Mathematic
Specialty: Video Editing
About Me:  I am currently a sophomore studying Computer Science and specializing in robotics and intelligent systems here at Mines. I have had a little media production experience prior to HIVE and I am excited to broaden my experience here at the Trefny Center and help the citizens of Mines with their video editing needs.

Ian Lau

Major: Computer Science, 2022
Specialty: Video Editing
About Me: I am an undergraduate at Mines studying Computer Science. With my free time I love finding new things to learn, such as a new language or an interesting instrument.  Working at the HIVE has given me the exciting opportunity to work on more artistic and design oriented projects with an excellent group of friendly, hard-working people.

Tony Capra

Major: Chemical Engineering, 2023
Specialty: Video Editing
About Me: I am an undergraduate studying at the Colorado School of Mines. I enjoy movies and television. At the Trefny Center, I am able to use the creative side of my mind to create a better educational environment for both faculty and students.

Student Data Assistant

Mikayla Dennis

Mikayla is a student at Colorado School of Mines and the Data Assistant for the Trefny Center. She is majoring in Mathematics with a Statistics emphasis and minoring in Computer Science. Mikayla is interested in analyzing data and identifying areas where improvements can be made in order to keep pursing a better, more informed future. Outside of school and the office, she is a huge dog lover, practices calligraphy, and enjoys spending time outdoors.