Meet Our Team

On This Page

Meet Our Team

The Office of Digital Strategy of Online Learning provides support for all online graduate programs and courses at Fairfield University. From instructional design to online support, our team members work together to make your student experience outstanding.

Mary Kleps headshot

Mary Kleps

Learning Designer
Get to Know Mary

Mary Kleps
Learning Designer

Mary joined Fairfield University in 1995 as a technical customer service technician in Information Technology Services (ITS) before joining the Office of Continuing Education as a program assistant in 1996. In 2000, she returned to ITS as an instructional support specialist, where her primary role was to support online teaching and learning, as well as the University-supported learning management system. Today, Mary is excited to bring her 25 years of experience supporting faculty in teaching and learning to her new role as learning designer in the Office of Digital Strategy and Online Education.

Mary has earned several Blackboard certifications, including Blackboard Certified Trainer. She was honored as the recipient of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program’s Lucy Katz Award for “Person of the Year,” and received the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Friend of Nursing Award in 2015.

Mary is a past president of the Black Rock Community Council, a past board member of the Burroughs Community Center, and most recently, co-chair of Black Rock 375, the 2019 year-long celebration of the 375th anniversary of the settling of Black Rock, a historic waterfront community in her home town of Bridgeport.

Megan Lavalette headshot

Megan Lavalette

Learning Designer
Get to Know Megan

Megan Lavalette
Learning Designer

As a learning designer in the Office of Digital Strategy and Online Learning, Megan collaborates with program directors, faculty, subject matter experts, and the University’s Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) to assist faculty in creating and revising online and hybrid courses and materials. By applying best practices in pedagogy and learning design in the development and evaluation of online teaching materials, she helps develop instructional experiences that effectively target learning outcomes and efficiently portray the faculty member’s vision for the course or program.

Megan earned her MS in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern CT, and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and traveling.

Emily Pleszko headshot

Emily Pleszko

Associate Director, Special Projects
Get to Know Emily

Emily Pleszko
Associate Director, Special Projects

In her role as associate director for special projects, Emily is responsible for creating processes that support all aspects of Fairfield University’s Office of Digital Strategy and Online Learning. This includes project management, timeline development, budget management and billing, navigating compliance with University policies and procedures, and facilitating collaborations that foster the growth and development of Fairfield’s online graduate programs.

Emily earned a BS in Justice Studies, Crime, and Criminology and a minor in Family Studies from James Madison University. She is certified in Human Trafficking and Illegal Wildlife Trade, and has three years of case/project management and compliance experience in the financial sector. In her free time, Emily enjoys golfing, cooking, and traveling.

Heather Ulrich headshot

Heather Ulrich

Learning Designer
Get to Know Heather

Heather Ulrich
Learning Designer

As a learning designer in the Office of Digital Strategy and Online Learning, Heather collaborates with program directors, faculty, subject matter experts, and the University’s Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) to assist faculty in creating and revising online and hybrid courses and materials. By applying best practices in pedagogy and learning design in the development and evaluation of online teaching materials, she helps develop instructional experiences that effectively target learning outcomes and efficiently portray the faculty member’s vision for the course or program.

Heather is the team lead and course assistant for Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium and serves as a committee member for Fairfield University’s Graduate Student Orientation, Graduate Student Engagement, and LGBTQ Task Force. She earned a BA in Printmaking from the University of Hartford and enjoys drawing and taking care of plants in her free time.

Karl Uzcategui headshot

Karl Uzcategui

Student Success Coach
Get to Know Karl

Karl Uzcategui
Student Success Coach

As a student success coach, Karl provides individualized coaching to assist students in their transition to online learning. He is responsible for coordinating support services, activities, and outreach to all of the University’s online and remote graduate students, and his areas of focus include student life and leadership development; online support, retention, and engagement; justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; international student advocacy and programming; and community standards and conduct.

Karl is a member of NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education; JASPA, Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators; and Kiwanis and Rotary International. He earned an MS in Human Resource Management and a BS in International Business with a concentration in political science from Johnson and Wales University. In his free time, he enjoys learning, traveling, and playing video games.

Search Results