2019 Institute Faculty

Participants work with nationally recognized scholars and practitioners. Each team will have a faculty liaison and cluster with other teams working with the same liaison. In addition to attending Institute sessions, teams schedule consulting appointments with an array of Institute faculty. 

cuomo.pngMichele CuomoSeminole State College of Florida 

Michele Cuomo proudly serves as the new Dean of Arts and Communications at Seminole State College of Florida. In her role as dean, she plans to promote awareness of the transformative power of the arts and of communication studies. She previously served as the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Montgomery County Community College. She also served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York, leading the Freshman Academies and its High Impact Practices. Previous positions include Head of Acting at The University of Mississippi and Interim Head of Acting at the University of Georgia, where she was also a member of the Graduate Faculty. Michele holds an MFA in acting from Ohio State University and an Educational Doctorate from Benedictine University.

Areas of Expertise: project-based learning; first-year experience; innovative pedagogy through technology; guided pathways; curriculum development; community college student engagement and success


Timothy K. Eatman, Syracuse UniversityTimothy K. Eatman, Rutgers University - Newark

Tim Eatman currently serves as the Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community and Associate Professor of Urban Education at Rutgers University - Newark. He has served as a member of the higher education faculty in the School of Education and faculty co-director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA) at Syracuse University. He is co-author of Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University, a seminal research report on faculty rewards for engaged scholarship. His passion for  research that  explores transformational institutional policy making and culture change is buttressed by a research agenda replete with critical questions about equity issues in higher education. Most recently Eatman was elected to the IARSLCE board of directors.  Tim sits on the editorial board of The New Public Scholarship book series (University of Michigan Press), Diversity and Democracy (AAC&U), and Urban Education (Sage). He also reviews for several scholarly journals and publications. The recipient of the 2010 Early Career Research Award for the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, Eatman regularly consults with higher education associations and institutions for collaborative research, keynotes, and workshops. 

Areas of Expertise: educational equity; publicly engaged scholarship; faculty rewards; institutional transformation; P-16 partnerships; diversity; STEM success


finley.jpgAshley FinleyAAC&U

Ashley Finley is the Senior Advisor to the President and Vice President of Strategic Planning and Partnerships at AAC&U. She was previously the associate vice president for academic affairs and founding dean of the Dominican Experience at Dominican University of California and also national evaluator for Bringing Theory to Practice. In her current role, Dr. Finley guides strategic initiatives and planning across AAC&U’s program offices in collaboration with association leaders and member campuses. Dr. Finley’s research and campus engagement focuses on connecting effective implementation of high-impact learning, assessment, and equity with institutional outcomes for student success and strategic planning. A significant component of these efforts has been the highlighting of students’ intrapersonal growth and development with their learning and civic engagement. Her publications include Civic Learning and Teaching; Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices; and “Well-Being: An Essential Outcome for Higher Education.” Finley received a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MA and PhD, both in sociology, from the University of Iowa.

Areas of Expertise: integration of HIPs within general education; assessment of quality HIPs; assessment of learning outcomes (including student well-being); community engagement; strategic planning for institutional change


David Hubert, Salt Lake Community CollegeDavid HubertSalt Lake Community College

Dr. David Hubert is Associate Provost for Learning Advancement at Salt Lake Community College. He led the development and implementation of SLCC's ePortfolio requirement in its general education program. Professor Hubert has developed one hybrid and three online political science courses. He has served as the director of SLCC's Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, led four study abroad trips to London, taught two learning communities, and led SLCC's Giving Community College Students a Roadmap initiative. His current work centers on how best to use student ePortfolios for general education assessment.

Areas of Expertise: ePortfolio implementation and pedagogy; general education; assessment with VALUE and other rubrics; faculty development; effective teaching practices; study abroad; learning communities; reflective pedagogy


mcnair.pngTia Brown McNairAAC&U

Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC.  She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact educational practices, and student success, including AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal series of yearly working conferences.  McNair also directs AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Educational Practices and Student Success. McNair serves as the project director for several AAC&U initiatives: Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation , Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success, Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence , and directed AAC&U's projects on Advancing Underserved Student Success through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning, Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success, Developing a Community College Roadmap.McNair chaired AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that was part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represented a large-scale, systematic effort to provide “design principles” for 21st-century learning and long-term student success. She is the lead author of the book Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success

Areas of Expertise: underserved student success, engagement, and inclusion; assessing high-impact practices and intentionality; inquiry-based analysis; cross-divisional collaboration; equity-minded data analysis and decision making; institutional planning; project development and implementation


cnavia_0.jpgChristine N. Navia, University of Wisconsin System Administration

Dr. Christine Navia is Associate Vice President for Student Success for the University of Wisconsin System Administration. The Office of Student Success is committed to ensuring the academic success of all UW students through the creation of a strong educational pipeline from the K-12 system to college; the promotion of student-centered retention and graduation initiatives; and the development of a more seamless system of transfer for those moving between UW institutions.  In a previous role, Chris worked intensively with UW System institutions in their efforts to establish learning environments that were more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.  As a first-generation college student and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Chris possesses a deep affinity for students that higher education has yet to serve to the fullest. 

Areas of Expertise: educational equity and inclusion; pre-college programming and assessment; strategic planning and implementation; student success program development and coordination; collective impact theory


Thomas F. Nelson Laird, Indiana UniversityThomas F. Nelson LairdIndiana University

Tom Nelson Laird is an associate professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program and directs the Center for Postsecondary Research within the Indiana University School of Education. Since 2003, he has worked on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and its related surveys. Currently, he is the principal investigator for the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) and studies teaching and learning issues using data from both NSSE and FSSE. Tom's research and courses focus on effective teaching practices, connections between diversity and learning, deep approaches to learning, assessing differences in collegiate environments, and curricular issues.

Areas of Expertise: effective teaching practices; student experiences with diversity; the VALUE Institute; National Survey of Student Engagement; incorporating diversity into student experiences across the curriculum


bpackard2.pngBecky Wai-Ling Packard, Mount Holyoke College

Becky Wai-Ling Packard is professor of psychology and education at Mount Holyoke College. Her work focuses on the mentoring, advising, and persistence of first-generation college students, students of color, and women in science and technical fields. Previously she served as the Associate Dean of Faculty where she worked extensively on integrative learning, was the founding director of Teaching and Learning where she supported new faculty and department chairs, and the director of the Weissman Center for Leadership where she promoted community engagement, writing, and internship initiatives. She has served as a speaker, workshop leader, and resource to numerous campuses. The PI of numerous NSF-funded research projects, Packard also was recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Currently she is a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst working on several equity and inclusion initiatives.  

Areas of Expertise:  Faculty development; STEM persistence and learning; facilitating difficult conversations and dialogue; mentoring and advising initiatives; success of first generation college students and students of color; integrative learning, leadership, career development; creating sustainable department and cross-division initiatives


lynn_web.jpgLynn Pasquerella, AAC&U

Lynn Pasquerella has been president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities since July 2016. A philosopher whose career has combined teaching and scholarship with local and global engagement, she has continuously demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring that all students have access to excellence in liberal education, regardless of their socioeconomic background. Pasquerella joined the faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rhode Island in 1985, rising rapidly through the ranks to the positions of vice provost for research, vice provost for academic affairs, and dean of the graduate school. In 2008, she was named provost of the University of Hartford. In 2010, she was appointed the eighteenth president of Mount Holyoke College. Pasquerella’s presidency of Mount Holyoke was marked by a robust strategic planning process; outreach to local, regional, and international constituencies; and a commitment to a vibrant campus community.

Areas of Expertise:  Faculty development; STEM persistence and learning; facilitating difficult conversations and dialogue; mentoring and advising initiatives; success of first generation college students and students of color; integrative learning, leadership, career development; creating sustainable department and cross-division initiatives


Vijay Pendakur

Vijay Pendakur, Cornell University

Dr. Vijay Pendakur is the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students at Cornell University.  Pendakur previously served as  Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University – Fullerton. While at CSUF, he created elements of the institutional strategic plan, with special focus on the equity and graduation goals for our low-income college students, first generation students, and students of color.  Prior to CSUF, he led a department at DePaul University dedicated to promoting student success for higher-risk and underserved college students, with special emphasis on graduates of the Chicago Public School system. In addition to being an experienced student affairs administrator, he is also a scholar of diversity and inclusion work and recently edited the book, Closing the Opportunity Gap: Identity-Conscious Strategies for Retention and Student Success

Areas of Expertise: retention and student success strategy, equity-minded practices, cross-divisional collaboration, critical multiculturalism, student affairs, organizational development


Perez2.pngEyra A. Pérez, Excelencia in Education

Eyra A. Pérez is Technical Assistance Coordinator for Excelencia in Education. She has more than 25 years of experience in Latino student access and success that encompasses student development, student support services, financial aid, transfer, and student leadership. Her professional experience includes work in program development, building collaborative efforts in higher education, K-12 education, and the non-profit community base organization sector. Most recently, she served as executive director of the San Antonio Education Partnership where she led the development, implementation and coordination of San Antonio’s college access and opportunity center, cafécollege, and the city-wide collective impact Latino Student Success effort, Diplomás.

Areas of Expertise: Hispanic Serving Institutions; Latino student access and success; student leadership and development; building collaborative efforts; student transfer; student financial support; equity-centered practices; STEM; collective impact; P-20; college and career readiness 


Judith Ramaley, AAC&UJudith Ramaley, Portland State University

Dr. Judith A. Ramaley (pronounced Rah may' lee) is president emerita and distinguished professor of public service at Portland State University in the College of Urban and Public Affairs, and president emerita of Winona State University in Minnesota. She served as president of Winona State University (WSU) from 2005 to May 2012. Prior to joining WSU, she held a presidential professorship in biomedical sciences at the University of Maine and was a Fellow of the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy. She also served as a visiting senior scientist at the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. From 2001-2004, she was assistant director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate at The National Science Foundation. Dr. Ramaley was president of The University of Vermont and professor of biology from 1997 to 2001. She was president and professor of biology at Portland State University from 1990-1997.

Areas of Expertise: Higher education reform; curricular reform; the changing nature of work and the workforce; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; civic responsibility and the role of higher education in promoting good citizenship and community development; leadership of change; grant-making and fundraising; university/community collaboration and engaged research and learning


George Sanchez, University of Southern CaliforniaGeorge SanchezUniversity of Southern California

George J. Sanchez is professor of history and American studies and ethnicity at USC, where he also serves as vice dean for diversity and strategic initiatives. His academic work focuses on both historical and contemporary topics of race, gender, ethnicity, labor, and immigration. He was president of the American Studies Association from 2001-2002, and he currently serves as director of the Center for Diversity and Democracy at USC, which focuses on issues of racial and ethnic diversity in higher education, as well as on issues of civic engagement. 

Areas of Expertise: Faculty recruitment and retention; undergraduate research; diversity in the context of disciplines; Ph.D. mentorship and diversity; first generation college students; civic engagement


Gordon Uno, University of Oklahoma Norman CampusGordon UnoUniversity of Oklahoma Norman Campus

Gordon Uno joined the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology at the University of Oklahoma in 1979, was appointed a David Ross Boyd Professor of Botany in 1997, and recently stepped down as the department’s chair after 15 years.  He has authored or co-authored several textbooks including Principles of Botany, the Handbook for Developing Undergraduate Science Courses, and Inquiring About Plants.  He was a program officer in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation (1998-2000), was president of the National Association of Biology Teachers in 1995, and served on the board of directors for the American Institute of Biological Sciences for nine years. He is principal investigator for the NSF-funded Introductory Biology Project, which focuses on freshman biology course issues, is co-PI of a new NSF-funded project on Faculty Professional Development, and is chair of the committee that revised the Advanced Placement (AP) biology curriculum, course, and exam.  He was chair of the first Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research in the summer of 2015, and he was recently elected President-elect of the Botanical Society of America.

Areas of Expertise: science education; biological and scientific literacy; inquiry-based pedagogy; science curriculum development; faculty development; grant proposal writing; undergraduate research


whitehead.jpgDawn Michele WhiteheadAAC&U

Dawn Michele Whitehead is the Vice President in the Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers at AAC&U.  Dr. Whitehead’s work focuses on advancing practices, strategies, and projects for integrative global learning across the undergraduate curriculum. Her work combines an emphasis on thematic local and international experiences to provide students with globalized learning opportunities throughout their educational experiences to prepare them to function and thrive in the modern world.  Whitehead also collaborates across AAC&U to advance global learning. 

Areas of Expertise: campus, course, and curriculum internationalization; education abroad; global learning; global service learning; integration of multicultural and international perspectives; global and international studies