Doctoral Students


Missy Ball

Missy Ball is a PhD student at Georgia State University. Her current research focuses on attitudes and beliefs of teachers and administrators toward technology integration in a private school setting. Missy’s research interests include culture, educational policy, and K-12 technology integration. Missy serves as the President of GSU’s Graduate students in Instructional Technology (GrITs) group. Missy plans on graduating with her degree in December 2015.

Erica Bass-Flimmons

Erica Bass-Flimmons is a first year doctoral student in the Learning Technologies Division at Georgia State University. She completed her MS degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Georgia State University. Her BS degree is in Business Marketing from Tennessee State University Nashville, TN.She is mostly interested in analyzing the mobile cellular device in culturally sensitive settings, which will result in the development of content specific training tools to aid local and international digital natives necessary to impact various cultures, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

Jamie Bernhardt

Jamie Bernhardt earned his B.A. in philosophy and M.S. in instructional design here at Georgia State. He views education in terms of active learning experiences, and he enjoys designing multimedia-enhanced learning experiences. His research interests include principles and guidelines for designing interactive multimedia experiences to facilitate learning, cognitive training, and a better understanding about the relationship between the two. The Learning Technologies Division awarded him the 2013 Outstanding M.S. Student Award.

Shabana Figueroa

Shabana Figueroa is a Ph.D. candidate in the instructional technology program at Georgia State University. She also works as an instructional designer at Georgia Tech Professional Education. Her research interests include: cross-cultural instructional design, educational technology in higher education, and technology-enhanced learning environments. Figueroa’s current research focuses on how instructional designers use their personal background and experiences to diversify their instructional design process. Her dissertation defense is scheduled for Summer 2014.

Ayesgul Gok

Ayesgul Gok completed a MS in Instructional Technology at Georgia State University. She earned her BA degrees in the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology at Hacettepe University in Turkey. She was awarded NSU Award for Best Practices by a Graduate Student in Instructional Design for 2013 at the AECT conference. Her research interests are game-based and online learning, and mobile technologies. She has made numerous presentations about game-based learning at various professional conferences.

Firat Sarsar

Firat Sarsar is a Fulbright Fellow from Turkey. He earned his BA and MS degrees in the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology in Turkey. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for his Ph.D. studies, and he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Instructional Technology at Georgia State University. He was awarded the outstanding Ph.D. Student in Instructional Technology in 2013 by the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University.His research interests are motivation, online learning, mobile technologies and online feedback strategies. He has published a number of papers in different professional journals and conference proceedings.

Eric Sembrat

Eric Sembrat is a doctoral candidate in Instructional Technology at Georgia State University, with a research focus on social knowledge construction in sandbox video game environments. He completed his BS in Computer Science at Georgia Tech and his MS in Information Systems at Kennesaw State University. Eric serves as the Vice President of Communications & Member Services of GSU’s Graduate Students in Instructional Technology (GrITS). Eric currently is employed at Georgia Tech as the Web Manager for the College of Engineering.

Johnathan Yerby

Johnathan Yerby is a PhD candidate at Georgia State University. Yerby earned his MBA and Master of Management Information Systems from Georgia College & State University and a BS in Information Technology from Macon State College. He has published in multiple journals and presented at numerous professional conferences. He is a program associate for a NSF Advance CyberForensics Grant, and has been a full-time faculty member since 2009. His research interests include employee monitoring, information technology law, instructional technology, network security, online learning, video-based instruction, quality and effectiveness of online learning, teacher presence, and emerging technologies.