Our Story » Why Etudes» Board 

Eric IchonEric Ichon


Eric Ichon recently retired as Dean of Distance Learning & Instructional Technology for West Los Angeles College (WLAC), a position he held for over 20 years.  He has deep experience in distance learning, including instructional delivery via satellite, videoconferencing and, of course, online. Ichon joined the faculty of WLAC as the Instructional Media Specialist in 1997 and founded their Distance Learning Program in 1999. Under Eric Ichon’s leadership, WLAC now has the largest Distance Learning Program in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and one of the online learning stronger programs in the Sate.

Eric Ichon received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and his Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1990 he moved to Los Angeles to work as the Reader Services Manager for the Braille Institute. In 1995 he joined the Immaculate Heart College Center as the Center Librarian. 

Dean Ichon has served on numerous leadership committees, including the LACCD Distance Education Committee, the LACCD Technology Planning and Policy Committee, and West LA College’s Technology Committee. He was also the Administrative Co-Chair for West’s Distance Education Committee. Dean Ichon was one of the original members of the Etudes Advisory Board and currently serves as the Chair of the Etudes Board of Directors.

Matt CoombsMatt Coombs


Matt is currently Vice President of Business Development at CidiLabs. He has spent his career marrying technology with learning by overseeing strategic education software projects, partnerships and institutional improvements. Matthew has provided leadership both inside of education institutions and as part of organizations supporting and providing services to K20 institutions throughout the world.

Matt is dedicated to providing, for all students, regardless of situation or background, the opportunity to succeed in academic endeavors. He has contributed to the building of a student academic performance platform, an open source Student SIS, the most prolific higher education portal in use today and a community-wide adaptive virtual desktop environment for students.

Prior to joining Cidi Labs, Matthew was COO of eLumen, CTO of Hartnell College, Director of IS at Delta College, and Strategic Architect/Snr. Product Manager at Ellucian. He has also been active in multiple open source projects, such as Kuali, Etudes, Drupal and Sakai.

Matt holds an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Utah State University and was raised by his wife and 5 children. When not talking to an institution, you can find Matt being walked on the beach by his dog or nearly drowning in the nearby pacific ocean attached to a boogie, surf or paddle board.

Margie WhiteMargie White


Margie White is an educational consultant, trainer, and online instructor. She has worked in the California Community College system since 1995. She has taught a variety of Business and technical online classes for over ten years and also provides instructional and technical support to online instructors at College of the Siskiyous. She had been an Etudes certified trainer since 2006 and is completing her Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning.

Vivie SinouVivie Sinou

Officer (non-voting)

Vivie leads, manages, and supports the Etudes organization, in addition to her primary role as Dean of Regional & Distance Education at San Joaquin Delta College. She is responsible for the strategic planning and vision of Etudes, as well as product development and management. Vivie formed the ETUDES Consortium in 2002 and extended LMS services and support to California Community Colleges. In 2004, Vivie led the adoption of the Sakai platform for Etudes, and was a founding member of the Sakai Board, representing community college needs. 

In May of 2008, Vivie founded Etudes, Inc., and led Etudes from a campus project to a non-profit 501(c)(3), public charity organization that leads open source development and offers e-learning services to higher education institutions. Vivie also spear-headed the Sofia initiative for undergraduate education, and is helping shape the vision of both open source and open education resources. Vivie also spear-headed the Sofia initiative for undergraduate education, and is helping shape the vision of open source software and open education resources.

Vivie was the recipient of the 2002 Technology Leadership Award from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. She also received the League Innovator of the Year Award for Foothill De Anza Community College District (2002).