Employee Spotlight October 2021

Tawana Washington

Associate Instructional Designer

Get to know Tawana, who’s busy helping instructors develop their courses in CarmenCanvas. She originally wanted to design spaceships, but lucky for us she appreciates the challenge of excellently crafted courses. Tawana enjoys her team in ODEE and getting to work with the amazing faculty at Ohio State. Born and raised in Ohio, she knew the university was a leader in distance education and that she had to be a part of it. Outside of work, she’s a travel bug who actually loves to drive! (Roadtrip, anyone?!)

Q: What is your role at the university? I am an associate instructional designer with the Office of Distance Education and eLearning.

Q: How long have you worked at Ohio State? I have been in this role a little over a year and a half.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you? Each semester I work with instructors in various disciplines to develop their courses to run online in CarmenCanvas. I typically am working on 4-5 courses at a time and meet with faculty for an hour once a week. In between meetings I work in CarmenCanvas and coordinate with stakeholders in and outside of ODEE. Things can can get hectic, but I really enjoy the work.

Q: What do you like best about your job? Well, there are actually many things I like about my job. Working with my coworkers in ODEE has to be at the top of that list. A close second would be the work I get to do with the faculty.

Q: Did you always know this is what you wanted to do as a career? When I was a kid, instructional designer wasn’t on the career list. I wanted to be an aerial space engineer. I guess you could say I’ve long dreamt of designing things. Instead of spaceships, I get to design courses.

Q. How did your career path bring you to work for us? I was teaching middle school in the Bahamas and began developing courses for civilian employees on a U.S. Naval detachment. I enjoyed it so much, that when I moved back to Ohio, I enrolled in a master’s program for instructional design.

Q. Why did you choose to work at Ohio State? I was born and raised in Ohio, so Ohio State is just a part of life as an Ohioan. Also, this university is in many ways is a leader in distance education and I wanted to be a part of that.

Q: Where did you go to college? My undergraduate degree is from Youngstown State University. Yes, I am a proud penguin.

Q: What is your favorite place to visit? I don’t really have a favorite place to visit. I just really like traveling and experiencing different parts of the world. Traveling reminds me how we humans are far more alike than different.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Australia. I would make it an epic trip and spend time in Europe and parts of Asia along the way.

Q: Can you tell us about your family? I am the middle child of three. I have an older sister and a younger brother. My mom still lives in northeast Ohio in the house we all grew up in. I have an adult daughter who is in grad school at Ohio University, her alma mater.

Q: What is something most people might be surprised to know about you? I love to drive.

Q: Best concert you’ve ever been to? Prince at the Schottenstein Center

Q: Favorite quote? “Believe you're the best in the world -- and back it up with talent and hard work -- and you will be.”  --Robert Andrews

Q: Give three adjectives that best describe yourself. Calm, funny and genuine