Creating a taxonomy that can be embraced across the field of digital badging is critical for shared meaning, transparency, and transferability.
Dr. Sherri Braxton Castanzo currently serves as the inaugural Senior Director for Digital Innovation at Bowdoin College. She not only partners with stakeholders throughout the college while leading efforts to identify, prioritize, and pursue other opportunities for digital innovation, but she also lead efforts to partner and collaborate with peers and other institutions on these digital learning initiatives. In her role, she is active in both NERCOMP and the Liberal Arts Collaborative (LACOL). Dr. Braxton Castanzo is also one of the inaugural mentors of the Next Leaders Fellowship which focuses on building a supporting framework to identify, develop, and advocate for talented Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) information and technology professionals in higher education.
Dr. Braxton Castanzo also currently serves as a consultant for the University System of Maryland under the direction of the Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation. In that role, she supports strategic programs in the areas of alternative credentialing, online learning and other areas as needed. She is also a member of the Governing Body for the Trusted Learner Network, co-chair of the 1EdTech Digital Credentials Innovation Leadership Network (ILN), past co-chair of the 1EdTech Open Badges 3.0 working group and a member of the 1EdTech Digital Credentials working group. She currently serves as a member of the EDUCAUSE Nominations and Leadership Development Committee.
Prior to joining Bowdoin College, Dr. Braxton Castanzo served as Senior Director of Instructional Technology at UMBC where she was responsible for leading the Division of Information Technology’s (DoIT) strategy for end-user support of instructional technologies including online, hybrid, and traditional, “face-to-face” technologies. With over 20 years of experience in traditional classroom instruction and adult education strategies grounded in instructional design models, she also possesses years of experience using learning technologies in higher education settings, including the design and facilitation of online and hybrid courses.
Dr. Braxton Castanzo also served as a representative on the University System of Maryland (USM) Academic Transformation Advisory Council, a group spearheaded by the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation. Dr. Braxton Castanzo has crafted a national presence through her participation in educational technology associations like EDUCAUSE, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the 1EdTech (formerly the IMS Global Learning) Consortium; in addition to presenting at national, regional, and local conferences, she has also served as an EDUCAUSE proposal reviewer, Instructional Technology Constituent Group leader, and Learning Technology Leadership Program faculty. Dr. Braxton Castanzo has also served as both task force leader and working group participant for IMS on initiatives related to digital credentialing and badges.
Before joining UMBC, she served as the Director of Course Redesign at Bowie State University (BSU) for 3 years overseeing its first USM Course Redesign activities and representing BSU on the USM Academic Transformation Advisory Council. Prior to this position, as the Director of Distance Education within the Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals Program, Dr. Braxton Castanzo led the online development team in the design and implementation of courses while continuing to support the existing online programs, partnerships, and traditional classroom faculty engaged in supplementing their traditional courses with an online component. She served as the subject matter expert in the area of distance education and worked with faculty, chairs, and senior management to ensure quality was at the forefront of their online offerings, leading the program through their first Quality Matters course reviews and certifications. Prior to that role, she served as a Senior Instructional Designer to the program.
As a Collegiate Associate Professor at the University of Maryland University College in the Computer Information Technology Program, Dr. Braxton Castanzo served as a lead faculty for the Common Exam Initiative, participated in the Common Syllabus Initiative and was actively involved in the Cross-Curricular Initiative, acting as a technology consultant to other disciplines in the university to ensure those disciplines effectively implemented technology-enabled instructional activities.
Dr. Braxton Castanzo has also previously served as a Distance Learning Subject Matter Expert, Program Manager, Training Manager and Principal Consultant within the government sector for a defense contractor overseeing the design, development and execution of traditional/platform-based, web-based, hybrid, mobile and computer-based training and education initiatives including the implementation of formative and summative assessment and certification strategies.
Dr. Braxton Castanzo earned a Doctor of Science in Computer Science with Minors in Educational Leadership and Management Science from the George Washington University. She also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science with a Math Minor from North Carolina State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Wake Forest University.
In her spare time, Dr. Braxton Castanzo has served as a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI), Certified Equine Services for Heroes Instructor,
PATH International Certified Mentor, and a Special Olympics Equestrian Coach.
Four learning technology leaders discuss how they take care of themselves and avoid burnout during the pandemic.
Digital badges are validated indicators of skills or competencies, often representing the completion of a microcredential.