Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

catherine sybrant

Catherine Sybrant is the Director of Online Programs and Academic Partnerships. In this role, Catherine oversees all HPU distance learning programs, collaborating with diverse stakeholders across the university to advance online program excellence. Central to this role is the design and delivery of faculty development opportunities that support online instructors to explore and advance their online teaching practice.

Prior to becoming the director in 2024, Catherine served as an Instructional Designer, assisted faculty in all phases of planning, designing, developing, producing, and evaluating online courses. She encouraged faculty to design online courses using backwards design, universal design for learning, and evidence-informed course quality rubrics. She has designed and delivered beginner to advanced individual and group workshops via Zoom on teaching and technology, and the pedagogy/andragogy used to inform choices. In this collaborative, educational, and supportive role, she listened openly, asked questions to learn more, and offered tailored suggestions and resources.

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Hawaii Pacific University, a Master of Arts degree in Adult Education and Training from University of Phoenix Online, and certifications in human resources and Quality Matters.

Prior to joining HPU, Catherine partnered with faculty, clinicians, technicians, staff, and leadership in education, healthcare, and business to create program and course objectives, authentic assessments, creative learning activities aligned with workplace competencies, rubrics, and facilitator guides. From 2020-2022 Catherine coached health sciences university faculty through the transition from face-to-face instruction to emergency remote teaching, then to formal online and hybrid teaching using online course templates based on evidence-informed best practices. She then supported them through the transition from Moodle to Canvas. 

Joan Holmquist Headshot

 Joan Holmquist joined the Online Programs and Academic Partnerships team in March 2024. As an Instructional Designer, Joan will collaborate with faculty to design, develop and evaluate online and hybrid courses and programs. She will also develop and present professional development workshops that support online instruction, assist in program evaluation and quality assurance, and support continuous improvement initiatives for online and hybrid courses and programs. As an advocate for accessibility and inclusion for all learners, Joan enjoys collaborating with faculty on implementing backward design and UDL (Universal Design for Learning) strategies to design and develop engaging and effective, student-centered courses.

With a BA in Justice Administration from American University and a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Higher Education Leadership from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!), Joan has collaborated with faculty on the development, design and production of high-quality online courses, trained instructors on learning management systems and instructional tools, designed and evaluated learning spaces, managed academic technology departments and designed and developed two Faculty Centers for Teaching. She has provided professional development workshops for faculty on course design, engagement strategies and building community, and accessible and inclusive course design for hybrid and online courses.

Before joining HPU, Joan worked in the Higher Ed, Healthcare and Technology industries for over 20 years. Having worked at the intersection of pedagogy and technology in public higher education for the last decade, Joan is passionate about using research-based pedagogical best practices to craft learning experiences that engage students and propel them to deeper levels of understanding.

Ayla Moore Headshot 

Ayla (Eye-la) Moore is an Instructional Designer with HPU’s Online Programs and Academic Partnerships team who has more than two decades of dedicated service in higher education. She joined OLAP in March 2024 after working at Fort Lewis College, a Native-American Serving Non-Tribal Institution and rural public liberal arts college, located in Durango, CO.

As a former faculty member, she understands the challenges of designing a “perfect” course where all students feel empowered to be successful, engaged, and connected, particularly in distance learning environments. In her role as an instructional designer and faculty development specialist at the Center for Teaching & Learning at Fort Lewis College, she crafted accessible, inclusive course offerings, designed and facilitated faculty professional development, and conducted collaborative faculty course reviews resulting in improved learning outcomes and faculty expertise. Her journey from faculty member to instructional designer underscores her deep understanding of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) that leverages the highly personal nature of teaching with best practices, learning analytics, educational technologies, faculty contexts, and student voices. She authored the "Instructional Design at Under-Resourced Institutions" article for the 2023 Educause Horizon Report and was selected as a panelist for the accompanying webinar, reaching more than 200 professionals.

She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in Journalism from University of Maryland, College Park. Combined with her own commitment to ongoing professional development, she embraces a multi-disciplinary approach to academic excellence and learner success with an unwavering commitment to equity and inclusion in all learning environments.

han nee chong


Han Nee Chong is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education and program chair for the Master of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDEL). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Studies from the University of Hertfordshire, a Master of Arts degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. 

She is an experienced instructional designer, skilled in curriculum development, assessment and teaching in the higher education industry. Han Nee has designed multiple, successful online courses in collaboration with faculty teams, and was named a winner of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course for 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017. This award recognizes faculty and course designers who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning. Her research interest in innovative technology for education stems from a firm belief that while technology is a tool, which in and of itself, does not promote learning, it can be integrated purposefully into instruction to help students achieve student learning outcomes and learn in ways that are most meaningful to them. Han Nee teaches courses in educational leadership, instructional design, and training and development.