Hi, I'm Zola!

I love to educate & create things that will help people learn!

How it started

My passion for design and analysis started when I was little; coloring, painting, and reorganizing my room. I distinctly remember my mom thundering into my room at 6 years old asking why in the world I was moving my bed and my wardrobe all by my self - well, because my room just didn't feel right, of course! This passion transformed as I explored art, interior design, and then started working in education; creating things like workshops, informational articles, infographics, and brochures, to name a few.

As I worked in education and started pursuing my masters degree in Sociology, my passion solidly became three pronged. I now thrive in environments where I am able to analyzing business needs a processes and coming up with solutions for improvement (which I have my M.S. degree to thank), where I am able to develop learning experiences to help adult learners actually learn, and using my creativity to designing visually pleasing things, whether it's a course, an infographic, a job aid, or even a website! This is when I found Instructional Design, and I quickly realized that this was the industry I would thrive working in. 

I strongly believe that effective learning cannot be achieved without the developer having a solid foundation in adult learning theories, which is also something that I studied intensely through my masters program. In my journey of exploring my passions, I have become creative, a micro and macro analytical thinker, a project planner, and incredibly fast at picking up new tech-tools. 

I love instructional design, because effective instructional designers can help adult learners acquire knowledge in meaningful and impactful ways, while being mindful of the learners time. 

Each learning experience is different because goals and learning objectives are different, but each learning experience should always be designed with the learner in mind! 

My Sociology Instructor & ID Resume

Link to my Sociology Instructor Resume on Google Docs

Link to my ID Resume on Google Docs

My Professional Development Outlook

My approach to personal professional development is dynamic, driven by a curiosity to stay at the forefront of emerging trends and enhance my skill-set continually. I regularly explore YouTube, because it's a treasure trove of resources, especially when it comes to new tech-tools - which I find incredibly useful in our rapidly evolving tech culture.

I also regularly use LinkedIn Learning, because it gives me a structured way to both refine existing skills and explore new ones. This is how I learned how to use tools such as Articulate 360, especially Storyline and Rise. 

I am an avid reader, and I also love audiobooks, and I read for pleasure and business. At the moment, you will find me reading A Wheel of Time, and Kirkpatrick's Four Level's of Training Evaluation. I also frequent professional articles,  participate in online Learning & Development communities, and enjoy contributing to discussions that will help me expand my knowledge and perspectives. 

Finally, I also enjoy attending webinars and conferences, which has become an important part of my professional development and network. These typically allow me to stay updated on industry trends and provide some insight to what other professionals in the industry are doing and best practices. 

How Diversity, Inclusion, and Ethics Impact my Work & Life

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

My commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) stem from both professional and real-world experiences. In my role as an educator and Sociology Professor, I've had a lot of opportunity to explore different sociological subjects, such as cultural dynamics, stereotypes, and media's impact on our biases and beliefs, to name a few. As my understanding of DEI expanded, I found myself wanting to contribute to creating equitable practices and inclusive environments, and help people understand their biases and how they might influence their decisions. So for the past 7 years, I have contributed to professional development committees, facilitated DEI trainings, and continuously strive to foster inclusive environments.

Serving on committees and workgroups dedicated towards DEI, I actively participated in initiatives towards equitable organizational practices, such as revising mission and vision statements with inclusive language and establishing safe spaces for open discussions to address potential discrimination issues. I actively participated in workshops, trainings, and I have also attended NCORE (The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity) twice for staying informed and engaged in advancing DEI principles.


In all of my work, I am committed to ethical standards, adhering to guidelines that prioritize integrity, respect, and responsible conduct. I recognize the significance of copyright and intellectual property rights, ensuring proper attribution for external resources, such as collaborative work, the research and written work of other's, voice talent, images, and audio - providing transparent documentation of content sources. Additionally, upholding data privacy and security in projects involving sensitive information is incredibly important in my work, stemming from many years of working in education where I handled sensitive personal information on a daily basis. My dedication to ethical conduct permeates every aspect of my work, reinforcing a foundation built on trust and accountability.

Technology Background:

Adobe Creative Cloud: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, & Acrobat

Microsoft Office Suite: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, & OneNote

Google Applications: Google Sites (what this website is build on), Drive, Sheets, Docs, Jamboard, Forms, & Slides

Authoring Tools: Articulate 360, Storyline & Rise

Learning Management Systems: Canvas, Google Classroom, & TalentLMS

Other: Camtasia, Articulate Replay & Peek, Canvas Studio, Canva Enterprise, WordPress, Zoom, Slack, Discord

Educational Background:

Masters of Science, Sociology - Higher Education
Grand Canyon University, AZ

This program included coursework specifically tailored towards developing effective learning environments for adult learners, including curriculum evaluation and instructional methods

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology
California State University, Fullerton CA

Associates of Science, Interior Design
Fullerton College, Fullerton CA

LinkedIn Learning Certifications:

My hobbies and interest areas include coffee & health, technology & the occasional games, writing & reading, painting, spending time with family & friends, and of course - developing and designing things

Watercolor and Digital Art Projects