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Graduate Certificate: Information Accessibility Design and Policy, 2018

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.Ed. Bilingual/Bicultural Education, 2012

DePaul University, Chicago, IL

  • Capstone: “Speaker Legitimacy and Identity in Adult English Language Learners”
  • Certificate: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

B.A. Spanish, 2005

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Areas of Concentration: Latin American/Caribbean Studies and Anthropology
  • Study Abroad Programs: Language and Culture in Cáceres, Spain; International Studies in Agriculture and Natural Resources in Peru

Teaching Experience

AL 101: Arts & Letters Freshman Experience

Michigan State University

Freshman seminar to improve students’ transition from high school to college, and enhance students’ undergraduate experience couched in the study of the arts and humanities.

AL 491: Special Topics in Arts & Letters

Michigan State University

General course code covering a variety of topics: 2-credit Study Away program in Silicon Valley that will focus on accessibility in the tech industry (Summer 2018); 1-credit course focused on ePortfolios for personal and professional growth (Spring 2018); 2-credit Study Away program in Los Angeles focused on the creative industry and local culture (Spring 2017); 4-credit independent study focused on accessibility and applying the WCAG 2.0 guidelines (Fall 2016).

IAH 231C: Roles of Language in Society

Michigan State University

Interdisciplinary humanities course that examines language as a medium of culture, power, and social identity. Taught in Chengdu, China as part of an MSU study abroad program, this course focuses on language acquisition, Global English, and China English.

WRD 103X: First Year Composition for Non-native English Speakers

DePaul University

First-year composition course specifically designed for non-native English speaking students. Explores basic tenets of composition and rhetoric with a focus on the unique writing needs of students.

Using American English and Culture for Foreign Language Instruction

Vilnius, Lithuania

Integrative month-long course designed to explore language and pedagogy for K-12 English teachers in Lithuania. The course incorporated reading, writing, speaking, and listening using authentic materials that participants could take back to use in their own classrooms.

Professional Experience

Assistant Director of Academic Technology

Michigan State University

Work with Assistant Dean to provide strategic vision for academic technology office in the college. Support faculty and instructional staff on using technology for teaching and learning. Coordinate experiential aspects of academic technology in collaboration with faculty and undergraduate office/Excel Network. Oversee College accessibility 5-year plan and implementation. Collaborate and develop relationships with other college and university level partners. Lead CAL Instructional Design network to advance and support use of technology among faculty. Conduct research on best practices in teaching and learning with technology. Manage daily operations of Academic Technology support team. Develop and implement high impact pedagogies for CAL courses. Contribute to College of Arts and Letters initiatives around faculty and graduate student development in active/technology enhanced teaching and learning. Teach Integrative Studies and Arts and Letters courses.

Executive Director

Teach Access

Responsible for general management and oversight of the Teach Access organization. Guides Task Forces and their co-leaders in moving projects from ideation to implementation. Develops and oversees annual budget. Recruits and maintains membership among industry, academia, and disability advocacy organizations. Creating marketing and outreach messaging for public-facing website and other communications.

Academic Specialist

Michigan State University

Developed and implemented high impact pedagogies for Integrative Arts & Humanities courses. Contributed to College of Arts & Letters initiatives around faculty and graduate student development in active teaching and learning with technology. Acted as a mentor and advisor to undergraduate students on various technology, research, and entrepreneurial projects.

Instructional Technology Consultant

DePaul University

Supported faculty in learning, adopting, and adapting effective instructional strategies and technological tools to enhance their teaching and research.

Graduate Assistant

DePaul University

Assisted faculty with research projects and literature reviews. Conducted analysis on teaching effectiveness for select faculty as part of the university tenure and promotion process.

International Sales and Marketing Manager

Dickson Company

Maintained and developed relationships with distributors throughout Latin America and Europe. Created growth-oriented sales and marketing plans. Managed team of inside sales representatives.


  • An Integrated Approach to eAccessibility. Panel member at DT&L Conference. K. Sonka, H. Pettyjohn, & M. Wuebker (2018).
  • The Whole Spartan: New Collaborations for Accessible Learning. Michigan State University AAN Spring Conference. K. Sonka, J. Van Hof, & S. Thomas (2018).
  • A11y Allies: Building A Culture of Integrated Accessibility On Your Campus. OLC Innovate Conversation. K. Sonka, J. Van Hof, & S. Thomas (2018).
  • From Accommodations to Inclusion: Shaping A Universal Design Mindset. OLC Innovate Innovation Lab. K. Sonka & A. Nemeroff (2018).
  • #SquadGoals – Creating Collaborative Professional Networks That Rock. OLC Innovate Career Forum Roundtable. K. Sonka, B. Scragg, A. Gunder, C. Shah-Nelson, J. Knott, K. Riddick, J. Stewart, J. Moore, J. Buban, T. Joosten (2018).
  • Are You WCAG 2.0 Compliant? Designing for Accessible and Inclusive Learning Environments. OLC Innovate Workshop. K. Sonka, K. Garrett, & J. Rafferty (2018).
  • Tackling Large Scale Accessibility. Panel member. Loyola University Chicago Digital Accessibility Conference. K. Sonka, C. Scherer, K. Wilson, J. Hori, T. Leamy, & D. Ritz (2018).
  • Adopting Accessibility Through Cultural Shift: Creating Your Own Plan. Educause Learning Initiative. K. Sonka & S. Schopieray (2018)
  • Applying the Technology Test Kitchen to Your Institution: A Space for Testing, Learning, and Innovation. K. Sonka, P. Banner, F. Tomsic, C. Shah-Nelson, A. Musgrove, & A. Gibson. OLC Accelerate (2017).
  • MSU Educational Technology Series: Universal Design for Learning. Panel member. K. Sonka, P. Deaton, S. Gretter, and G. Plantegenest (2017).
  • ‘Best Practices’ for Online Teaching. Workshop presented at Michigan State University to visiting faculty from Sichuan Normal University. K. Sonka & Thomas, S (2017).
  • Brainstorming: How to Foster the Adoption of Accessibility Criteria?. Session facilitator for round table discussions at M-Enabling Summit. K. Sonka, B. Beaumon, R. Garcia Bahamonde, & R. Johnson (2017).
  • MAP: A Holistic Approach to Student Engagement. Presented at CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. P. Deaton & K. Sonka (2017).
  • The Teach Access Project – 2017 Update. Presented at CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. L. Goldberg, M. Bellard, K. Sonka, J. Wieland (2017).
  • Designing Accessible Online Course Materials: A Basic Checklist. Presentation and facilitated discussion for the Center for Language Teaching and Advancement (CeLTA) Lunch & Learn Series. K. Sonka (2016).
  • Developing a Conference Poster. Presented to students in Spring 2016 AL 491: Islamophobia course. S. Schopieray & K. Sonka (2016).
  • Involving Students in Accessibility Work. Facilitated discussion at the Spring 2016 MSU Instructional Technology Showcase. K. Sonka (2016).
  • Teaching IAH Online. Full day workshop presented to IAH faculty at Michigan State University. E. Moll & K. Sonka (2016).
  • Accessibility Policy and Implementation Across Units at Michigan State University. Presented at the annual conference of Association on Higher Education and Disability. P. Deaton, N. Evans, J. Jackson, & K. Sonka (2015).
  • ePortfolios @ MSU: Present and Future. Presented at Michigan State University’s Explorations in Instructional Technology Series. P. Dickson, T. Gustafson, S. Schopieray, & K. Sonka (2015).



  • Member of Ingham County Family Center Board of Directors (2017-present)

Michigan State University

  • Proposal reviewer for EDUCAUSE 2018 Conference
  • Co-facilitator MSU Instructional Designer Network (2017-present)
  • Co-chair OLC Innovate Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2018)
  • Co-chair OLC Accelerate Technology Test Kitchen (2017)
  • Proposal reviewer for EDUCAUSE 2017 Conference
  • Selection committee judge for MSU AT&T Awards in Instructional Technology (2017)
  • Proposal reviewer for AHEAD 2017 Conference
  • College of Arts & Letters Alumni Board of Directors (2010-present)
    • Currently serving as President, with past appointments as Vice President and Secretary
  • Member Web Accessibility Working Group (2014-present)
  • Director of Accessible Learning Conference (2015-present)
  • Co-facilitator of Colleges Online Working Group (2015-present)
  • Member of Teach Access consortium (2016-present)
    • Co-chair of Driving Academic Engagement task force
  • Web Accessibility Policy Liaison for College of Arts & Letters (2016-present)
  • Convener of ad hoc Quality Matters Working Group (2016)
  • Co-chair and Affirmative Action Coordinator for Creativity Exploratory Director search committee (2016)
  • Member of search committee for Editor III position in College of Arts & Letters Marketing & Communications office (2016)
  • Member of ad hoc ePortfolio Working Group (2015)
  • Member College of Arts & Letters Entrepreneur Working Group (2015)
  • Member of CeLTA advisory board (2015)

DePaul University

  • University Staff Council & Chair of Effectiveness Committee (2013-2014)
  • College of Education Staff Council (2012-2014)

Professional Memberships

  • Michigan Association on Higher Education and Disability (2017-present)
  • Teach Access (2016-present)


  • English – native language
  • Spanish – high proficiency
  • Mandarin, French, Portuguese, and German – limited competence

Additional Skills

  • Project management
  • Student mentorship
  • Social media
  • International travel