Meet the Staff

Karen Shader


Dr. Karen Shader, Associate Director

Karen is an accomplished learning expert, education system planner, instructional system designer, educator, applied researcher, and faculty and staff development professional with over thirty years of progressive education leadership roles earned in a variety of challenging environments. Her work with others has resulted in the Alabama Quality Award, the Top 100 in Training, The Chronicle: Great Colleges to Work for. She served as the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and as the Director of Instructional Design at Troy University Online.

Karen has directed and coordinated all activities of an Instructional Design team including course design & development, course readiness, faculty readiness. She has a strong technical background including technical infrastructure, course management systems, audio, visuals and other instructional technology and enjoys working with Faculty, Deans, Chairs, and Program Directors to assist with design and use of technology in curriculum and course. She is outcome-oriented and is collaborative in her work. She is pleased to join the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and to serve as the Associate Director of the newly formed Teaching & Learning Center .

In her role, Karen works with educators across programs to facilitate professional development opportunities, identify effective and efficient means through which to disseminate emerging literature and best practices related to specific educational innovations, and ensure the Center remains focused on supporting teaching and learning. She accomplishes this through working with academic and student affairs deans, faculty affairs deans, and faculty representatives and groups.

Veronia Reliford-Thomas

Veronica Reliford-Thomas, Administrative Specialist III

Veronica Reliford-Thomas is the Administrative Specialist III for the Teaching & Learning Center. She is a long time state of Tennessee employee in higher education. Reliford-Thomas began as an Office Coordinator (Grant Position) but immediately became the Executive Secretary to the Office of the Provost, Executive Vice President. This role enabled her to communicate easily and extensively with Faculty, Students, Tennessee Board of Regents and other Community Colleges in the region.

In her current position, she provides general administrative support to the Associate Director and Staff of Teaching & Learning Center.  She serves as the first point of contact to the patrons, faculty, and staff of UTHSC.  She is highly skilled, motivated and enthusiastic to be a part of our team.

Dwayne Butcher, Digital Media Specialist

Dwayne Butcher joins the Teaching & Learning Center after having spent the last three years at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  While there, Butcher ran commonvision, UMBC’s Print, Design, and Animation Studio. He managed a staff of 12 designers, animators, office and production room assistants that were tasked with conceptualizing creative content and facilitating marketing campaigns for the Division of Student Affairs.

He received his MFA from the Memphis College of Art in 2008. While at MCA, he developed a deep interest in the integration of Digital Media expression with traditional art forms. His personal art work wittily comments on his life as a citizen of the American South, often around issues of gender identity. He has exhibited work in Paris, Helsinki, Milan, Amsterdam, Washington D.C., New York City and Los Angeles, and Chonqing, China. He is represented by the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis.

He curated 100 exhibitions at the P&H Center for the Arts in Memphis, TN as well as numerous exhibitions at the University of Memphis and Cheekwood Museum in Nashville, TN. He is the former editor of Number: Inc and contributes articles for a variety of local, regional, and national publications. Butcher is also currently a contributing writer for the Memphis Flyer.  

He has been featured in articles focusing on his work and community art projects for the New York Times, The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, Art21, and Big, Red and Shiny. 

In his role, Dwayne helps facilitate communications in regards to the TLC’s events and professional development opportunities with the UTHSC community.

Samba Diop

Samba L. Diop, Academic Technology Application Specialist III

Samba has over 6 years experience working with educational technology in Higher Education. Samba provides technical expertise and direction in supporting academic technologies used in teaching and learning for face-to-face, hybrid, fully online, and distance education courses.
Samba is originally from Senegal. He received a B.S. in Information Systems and an MBA from The University of Tennessee at Martin. He begin his professional tenure at UT Martin as Web Developer and joined UTHSC in 2013.

Keedra Smith

Keedra Smith, Academic Technology Consultant II

Keedra joins the UTHSC family from UT Family Medicine where she held the position of Medical Office Assistant. She has over 3 years of experience teaching in higher education as an Adjunct Faculty member of Vatterott College in their Medical Assistant program. In her role as an Academic Technology Consultant, Keedra manages special projects and initiatives related to the use of academic technology in teaching and learning. She maintains knowledge of a range of academic technologies and appropriate/relevant pedagogical uses and participates in program-level, large group discussions of the uses of academic technology. Keedra is a key administrator for various technologies here on campus such as Adobe, ExamSoft, and Zoom as it relates to classroom learning. Keedra has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking from ITT Technical Institute. She also has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems from Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Master of Education degree with an emphasis in Computer Technology from Strayer University.


Contact us

Teaching and Learning Center
920 Madison Ave Ste 424