Get to Know: Michael Wright & the Academic Technology Department

There’s more to technology services at NEOMED than you might realize, says Michael Wright, the senior instructional technologist in the Academic Technology Department. Seated in front of a green screen in the Aneal Mohan Kohli Media Production Studio, Wright was talking about how he and Rey Notareschi, director of the department, can assist with a wide variety of needs from student, faculty and staff. Offerings by the department have been bolstered by a recent gift establishing the Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic Technology Endowment.

When Wright and his wife, both English majors, got a dog, they named him Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley—a reference to the manly hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. With Wright’s background, it’s not surprising that he enjoys telling stories through videos. Six years of teaching English and computer science in the Jackson Local Schools before joining NEOMED a year ago provides him insight into how students learn –and how all clients can get the most out of the Department’s services.

How Academic Technology Services Can Help

A few recent examples of solutions Academic Technology has found for NEOMED clients:

  • When Marcus Julius, M.D., was preparing to teach the history of the X-ray,) he came to ATS. Dr. Julius livened up the lesson by putting on a fake beard and costume while Wright used the green screen to its Hollywood potential, creating a replica of a 19th-century German research lab.
  • When there was a need to recruit clinical faculty to volunteer to evaluate students taking part in training at the Wasson Center for Clinical Skills Training, Assessment, and Scholarship, Wright made a video.
  • To enhance student learning and understanding, AT has partnered with the Learning Center to create online self-paced pre-matriculation course for incoming first-year medicine and pharmacy students that contributes to building a foundation of knowledge and awareness regarding curriculum and technologies. In addition, AT worked with doctors Gill and Johnston to create five M3 OB/GYN Clerkship self-paced modules containing interactive programming with drag-and-drop knowledge checks, interactive reflections, videos and quizzes. These modules enrich student understanding of the psychological aspects of early pregnancy loss.
  • When Janice Spalding, M.D., led a group training second-year medicine students in motivational interviewing techniques, ATS created four vignettes to illustrate what students might encounter.
  • To illustrate the experiences of a person who participated in cognitive enhancement therapy offered at NEOMED’s Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center, ATS created a short documentary video.

Everyone at NEOMED—whether faculty, staff or student—can receive technology training, whether it’s on video production, live streaming or how to set up an online course. Wright can guide people in developing a story board or using a script, in addition to the more technical aspects of production.  

Modules or learning path? If you could use advice on best practices to use these curriculum-building tools, Wright can help you there, too. “Training is one of the best ways to use my skills, because of my teaching experience,’’ he says.

Student Services

Any day, at any time, students can access class lectures—not to replace going to classes, but to supplement the material by allowing them to review it—by logging on to the AIMS system. (Access is restricted to the classes in which students are enrolled, and students must log in.)

There’s more. Let’s say four medicine students are doing their third-year OB/GYN clerkship, each at a different hospital. If they want to compare notes on their experiences, the students can meet up for online discussions through Zoom, a web conference portal.  Wright can coach students on best practices, like when to mute microphones and when to open them for discussions.

If you’re not sure whether your question is related to Information Technology or ATS, just ask Wright, director Rey Notareschi, Learning Management System administrator Sharon Combs-Eisenbarth, media support specialists Pat Grealis and George Mackey, or instructional technologist Terri Miller; they’ll steer you in the right direction. As the new website is developed, additional information on ATS resources will be added. Email questions or requests to

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