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Diego Hernandez headshot

Faculty Spotlight

Diego Hernandez, MHM, MBA
Professor Hernandez is Tiffin University’s Assistant Professor of Management, Department Chair of Online Undergraduate Programs for the School of Business and a civil rights investigator.

What do you like about teaching online?
I enjoy teaching online because it gives me the opportunity to influence students who might have difficulties attending class on campus. I teach them concepts not only to pass tests and the course, but to deal with real-world situations. In this way, students feel capable and successful.

What advice do you give online students?
I recommend students keep their goals in mind, work hard and persevere in their education no matter what. Don’t let anything get in your way!


Lacy K. Ellis, Ph.D.

Lacy Ellis headshot
Lacy K. Ellis, Ph.D.

Dr. Ellis is Tiffin University’s Assistant Dean of the School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Internship Coordinator for the School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences and the Faculty Department Chair for School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences.

What do you like about teaching online?
I love the online learning environment because it brings together students from all over the country in various stages of their lives who are working in diverse areas toward a common goal: a degree!

How do you relate to online students?
I can relate to our online learners because I, too, was an online student. I received my graduate degree online while raising a family and working full-time. I understand the challenges online students face and the hard work that goes into reaching their goals. My background is in law enforcement. Having this real-world experience allows me to better understand the perspectives of students coming from the field and/or the field they are going into.

What advice do you have for potential online students?
Take a chance, you won’t regret it! It will be hard work but, in the end, it will be worth it. Tiffin University provides a plethora of student support services to help you along the way. If you’re willing to put in the effort, we can get you to your goal!


Dr. Stephanie Opfer

Stephanie Opfer headshot
Stephanie Opfer

Dr. Opfer is an Assistant Professor and the Chair of Graduate Humanities at Tiffin University.

What do you like about teaching online classes?
I like teaching online for the same reason students like online classes: they’re asynchronous. However, that can also be a problem. It’s easy to put off work until later, especially with a full-time job and family demanding attention.

What advice do you have for potential online students?
My advice to future students is to realize that online classes are not easier than in-person classes; they’re harder. Everything you do in an online class is reading and writing, and you are responsible for your own learning. Instructors guide you through your journey, but it isn’t passive learning (i.e., sitting in a classroom absorbing a lecture). You have to do a lot of work to get anything out of the class. Therefore, online classes require very efficient time management skills.


Michelle L. Meadows, Ph.D.

michelle meadows headshot
Michelle Meadows, Ph.D.

Dr. Meadows is an Assistant Professor of Education and the Faculty Department Chair of Graduate Education at Tiffin University.

What do you like about teaching online classes?
I enjoy teaching online because I can help students complete their degrees when a seated environment may not be possible. In online graduate level courses with adult learners, it is important they understand how the content in their courses and program will apply to their current and/or future jobs. I add curriculum materials and share resources that demonstrate the usefulness of the courses and how they relate to real-world experiences.

What advice do you have for potential online students?
If a student is considering the online avenue, I encourage them to engage with the material as much as possible, from discussions to communication with peers and faculty outside the classroom. It is easy to feel isolated when working from your computer, but you can make the experience more interactive through collaboration.

I also think this dialogue written by J.R.R. Tolkien in, The Fellowship of the Ring, is good advice for all of us. “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

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