Director, Strategic Learning

Andrea Sherrel Ellis has been building the Kansas City Digital Media Lab (KCDML) since May 24, 2012.  That’s the day she joined the Kansas City Public Library  (KCPL) to manage the $100,000 Learning Labs grant from the MacArthur Foundation and IMLS.  Within a week she was in San Francisco mingling with other Connected Learning advocates from around the country.  Our mission: use the principles of Connected Learning and HOMAGO to create a dynamic, teen centered, production focused, Library experience.

Since then it has been a wonderful whirlwind of research, teen engagement, community collaboration, fundraising, and program development.  All of which has culminated in the renovation of the Southeast Branch of KCPL, which houses the permanent home of KCDML in The Goppert Media Center.

Although a KC native, prior to joining the library Andrea was a media educator and producer in New York City and Washington, DC.  In those roles she worked at large corporations (HBO, BET), as well as independent and community production houses ( American Montage, Inc., MHz NETWORKS, and Arlington Independent Media). Ms. Ellis received her bachelor’s from Rockhurst University and a master’s of Media Ecology: Communication and Film Production from New York University.

She’s looking forward to the next iteration of KCDML as it grows into a production hub for Kansas City teens.


KCDML Lead Facilitator

Marcus Brown has worked in the field of education and multimedia for more than 15 years.  He served as the Math & Media Instructor at The Genesis School and was responsible for producing weekly live radio shows, KC Teen Talk on 1590 and Genesis On The Air on KKFI 90.1 FM. Students participating in this program produced live in-studio and field productions. In addition, Mr. Brown has worked in the area of virtual/online learning, facilitating small group and one on one learning over the web.  He has conducted multimedia and/or writing workshops at WEB Dubois Learning Center, ACE Schools, Cristo Rey High School, American Jazz Museum and The Boys and Girls Club. Currently, Mr. Brown is the lead educator for KCDML, which provides a hands-on environment for youth to engage in the latest technologies. He graduated with his bachelors from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


Although new to her role as the KCDML Youth Services Librarian at the Southeast Branch, Miss Collins is not new to the Library. She has been a Southeast Branch team member for the past three years. During her tenure at the branch, she served as a mentor for The Kansas City Digital Media Lab’s Pharobots robotics team, assisted in multiple teen engagements, and fulfilled the KCDML’s 2018 AmeriCorps VISTA position. As a VISTA she focused on: developing relationships with community partners, managing KCDML social media, website development, and building capacity. Before joining the Library, Miss Collins attended the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. While there she served as a student mentor for St. Louis Public Schools and completed her Bachelor of the Arts.  In her new position she intends to build strong relationships with the surrounding community and families; and plans to create programming that will bring families back into the Southeast Branch while helping young people explore their creativity by engaging in something new.