Our Story » Why Etudes» Board 

Eric IchonEric Ichon


Last year, Eric Ichon retired as the Dean of Distance Learning & Instructional Technology for West Los Angeles College (WLAC) where he founded and led the program for over 20 years. Eric recently joined Los Angeles Pierce College as a Distance Education Support Specialist. West and Pierce were founding members of California’s Online Education Initiative (OEI) and previously partnered on a Quality Matters Initiative for the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD).

Prior to joining the LACCD Eric worked at the Immaculate Heart College Center and the Braille Institute. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Information and Library Science from the University of Texas.

Eric serves as the Chair of the Etudes Board of Directors and was one of the original Advisory Board members.

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).