Staff Spotlight: LJ Varghese

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LJ VargheseMeet LJ, a quiet but unstoppable force on the eCampus instructional design team. They have helped shape open education at UAF through AlaskaX, the edX platform that provides free courses to anyone in the world.

Q: What do you do at eCampus?

A: I’m an Instructional Designer, and most of my work is with the AlaskaX program. I work with UAF faculty who are developing MOOCs for AlaskaX and help manage the whole program. 

Q: How do you work with students?

A: Right now, I don’t get to work with students very much; most of my interactions are with faculty or staff. 

Q: How can students connect with you?

A: Email is probably the best way:

Q: What do you like about working at UAF eCampus?

A: My co-workers! It’s really cool to hear about and get involved in all of the different projects we have going on. I love that there’s always an opportunity to learn something new and develop new skills. 

Q: Outside of work, what are your hobbies?

LJ's dog Shakira
LJ’s dog Shakira

A: Does hanging out with my dog Shakira count? I love to read, and I’m getting back into a regular writing practice again. Outside of that, I’m constantly cycling through and trying new (mostly creative) hobbies: right now, it’s eraser stamp carving/printmaking, and I just ordered embroidery supplies. This isn’t exactly a hobby, but I’ll also be starting a doula training certification  in the spring and I’m really excited about it! 

Q: Did you always plan on becoming an Instructional Designer?

A: Nope! I majored in English and Biopsych, Cognition, & Neuroscience (a mouthful of a major) in college and originally planned on going into psych research. I ended up working in Student Affairs at my school’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center after graduation, went to grad school for Library & Archival studies, and then worked as a librarian before joining the CTL/eCampus team. 

Q: What is the biggest takeaway from the work you do?

A: With the AlaskaX program, I think it’s about making quality courses that anyone can take – there are often so many barriers to accessing higher education, so creating learning experiences that are open to everyone is really important. In general, that it’s important to be thoughtful and intentional about the work you’re doing, whatever that may be. 


  • UAF eCampus Staff

    eCampus is a tight-knit group of people who are educators, readers, artists, gamers, bakers, writers, knitters, builders, adventurers, runners...we're adding to this list every day! There's usually laughter in our department meetings, and our potlucks are pretty epic.

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