HomeResearch SeminarsMentoring Meaningful Learning Experiences Seminar Participants Share: Section NavigationSkip section navigationIn this sectionMentoring Meaningful Learning Experiences Call for Applications Seminar Leaders Seminar Participants Seminar Logistics Jennifer Aumiller – University of Maryland School of Medicine (United States) Jennifer Aumiller is currently the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars and the Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Career and Professional Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine as well as a PhD student in the Health Professions Education program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her primary research interests are mentoring professional development for students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff in creating inclusive and enriching mentoring experiences in addition to considering multiple models of mentoring. Hannah Bellwoar – Juniata College (United States) Hannah Bellwoar is an associate professor of English and the director of General Education and Writing at Juniata College, a small liberal arts college and primarily undergraduate institution in central Pennsylvania. In these roles, she has used frameworks of mutual-mentoring and students-as-partners to shape mentoring relationships as networks and constellations, particularly in the capstone, as well as between faculty and students in a variety of teaching and administrative collaborations. In her research, she has focused on reciprocity in collaborative mentoring relationships through interviews and observations of undergraduate researchers and faculty mentors, and through her co-authoring of four publications with five of her students. For the Center for Engaged Learning research seminar, she is interested building on the frameworks of pedagogical partnerships and critical participatory action research to explore how partnerships feel productive for faculty, staff, students, and others (community members, for example), particularly those from marginalized communities. Olivia Choplin Elon University (United States) Olivia Choplin is Associate Professor of French and Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University. In addition to her teaching and faculty development roles, she is also serving on the Mentoring Design Team (MDT), a campus committee of faculty, staff, administrators and students at Elon. The MDT is charged with creating an institutional infrastructure for sustainable models of mentorship permitting all students, faculty and staff to engage in high quality mentoring relationships. As a member of the research seminar, she hopes to research questions related to creating professional development opportunities and resources for students, faculty and staff members who wish to create sustainable and sustained mentoring relationships within and outside their own groups. Krista Craven – Carleton University (Canada) Krista Craven is an Equity and Inclusion Learning Specialist at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. In this role, Krista supports faculty members, contract instructors, TAs, and staff in creating more inclusive, equitable, and anti-oppressive learning environments for students. Previous to her role at Carleton, Krista was an Associate Professor of Community and Justice Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina where she collaborated closely with undergraduate students to co-design and co-teach courses and/or engage in participatory research projects around anti-oppressive/liberatory principles and practices in higher education spaces. For the CEL Seminar, Krista is looking forward to exploring how sustained professional development (e.g., communities of practice, etc.) could provide meaningful opportunities for faculty, staff, and/or students to learn about key equity-oriented frameworks and reflect on how these relate to/inform their mentoring relationships. Sarah Burns Gilchrist – The University of Baltimore (United States) Sarah Burns Gilchrist is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at The University of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland. Before becoming a librarian, I taught in the k-12 world as a Montessori Teaching Assistant and as an Art Outreach Educator. I was the Librarian for visual arts and education at Towson University for seven years, where I participated in communities of practice focused on gamification, Universal Design for Learning, and InterGroup Dialogue. I’m currently pursuing a doctorate in Information and Interaction Design focused on service design. I’m interested in investigating ways to support instructors, staff, and students through mentoring. I’m hopeful that our research will help integrate our campus and show the importance of mentorship for faculty and staff. Student-centered instruction is at the core of my praxis; supporting other faculty and staff by connecting with the community and with each other will help support student engagement and promote other high-impact practices. Diana Gregory – Kennesaw State University (United States) Diana Gregory is a Professor of Art Education at Kennesaw State University’s (KSY) School of Art and Design. From2021-2014 she served as Fellow for Creativity and Innovation at KSU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, 21st-century leadership, the use of mandalas in art and healing, and advocacy for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Because meaningful mentoring relationships need to adapt over time, she is interested in professional development for all stakeholders that forges stronger links between knowing the world and living creatively in it (Palmer & Zajonc, 2010,2) She is interested in examining: the role mentoring plays in students-as-partners (Healey, Flint, & Harrington, 2016); technology and mentoring relationships; and best practices for professional development of faculty/staff and students focused on mentoring within higher education in a global context. Karina Hamamouche – Butler University (United States) Karina Hamamouche is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is dedicated to studying high impact mentorship practices that empower faculty to develop important relationships with their students. In particular, Karina aims to identify both formal and informal models to increase mentorship opportunities for students and faculty alike. She is also committed to introducing a culture shift in higher education where mentorship is prioritized to the same extent as teaching and scholarship. Karina is thrilled to be a part of the Research Seminar on Mentoring Meaningful Learning Experiences. D. Alexis Hart – Allegheny College (United States) D. Alexis Hart is Professor of English and Director of Writing at Allegheny College, where she previously served as the Director of First-year Experience and has been engaged in numerous retention and advising initiatives on campus. Winner of the 2017 Braddock Award for the outstanding article on writing or the teaching of writing in CCC, her work has also appeared in SPUR, Pedagogy, Composition Forum, and several edited collections. She is co-author of Writing Programs, Veterans Studies, and the Post-9/11 University: A Field Guide and editor of How to Start an Undergraduate Research Journal. As Allegheny considers how to adapt in the context of national conversations about the role and value of liberal arts colleges and the increasing emphasis on preparing students for the workplace while also supporting their mental health, she is interested in how peer mentoring and/or faculty mentoring influence students’ post-college success. Yujie Huang – William and Mary (United States) Yujie Huang, Ph.D. currently serves as the Learning Assessment and Applied Research Program manager with Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation at William & Mary. In this role, she develops programs and professional development opportunities for faculty, graduate students, and postdocs to support their instructional excellence. Additionally, she conducts research related to teaching and learning in higher education. Prior to joining W&M, she served as a faculty consultant with Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Yujie earned her Ph.D. in agricultural sciences education and communication from Purdue University. Her research interests include student-centered teaching, faculty development, and cross-cultural mentoring in higher education. Gabriel Kwek – Singapore Institute of Technology (Singapore) Gabriel Kwek is a Senior Professional Officer at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), where his academic focus circulates between facilitating hands-on skills workshops, Clinical Practice Education (CPE) coordination/supervision, and supervising Honors Thesis projects in areas such as collaborative learning for CPE. He currently acts as Team Coordinator for Professional Officers in the Health and Social Science Cluster, and is the incumbent President of the Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists (SAOT). The amalgamation of these roles led to his involvement in student leadership bodies such as the SAOT Student Committee and SIT Student Management Committees, providing a rich context for exploring touchpoints and mentoring identity formation within peer-led mentoring relationships. He eventually hopes to build a model and continuum of student-workforce engagement, from culture setting/mindset transfer at the macro/mesa level during a student’s learning journey, down to increasing the accessibility of micro-interpersonal transactions and resource-sharing across the diverse student population. Katia Levintova – University of Wisconsin (United States) Katia Levintova is a professor of Political Science and Global Studies in the Department of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and co-director of the Center for Civic Engagement. She teaches and supervises First Year Seminars, regular political science courses, internships, independent studies and teaching assistantships. Katie’s interests for the multi-institutional research seminar include investigations of personal and institutional characteristics of mentoring that improve students’ learning. belonging, and persistence in higher education. She is also interested in the strategies for empowering students and faculty/staff mentors, particularly from marginalized communities, to envision mentoring as productive relationships worth pursuing. Dr. Julie Mooney – University of Calgary (Canada) Dr. Julie Mooney is a Canadian settler of Irish and Scottish ancestry, living and working in Treaty 7 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation. A member of the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Dr. Mooney has 18 years’ experience in higher education teaching, research, and educational development. She is currently serving as an Educational Development Consultant with the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary. Dr. Mooney’s current research interests include collaboration between Indigenous and settler scholars engaged in decolonizing and centering Indigenous Ways in postsecondary educational contexts, mentoring relationships between Indigenous students and settler academics, and learning communities that support student, staff, and faculty lifelong personal learning and professional growth. Doris Munoz – Methodist University (United States) Doris Munoz is the Assistant Provost for Student Retention and Persistence Initiatives at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her higher education portfolio has consisted of administrative responsibilities within Student Affairs and Academic Services. She has experience working with student activities, fraternity and sorority life, student clubs and organizations, student conduct, academic and career advising, academic support, and student employment. In addition to her current role as Assistant Provost, she is also serving as the project manager for Methodist University’s Moving the Needle Initiative to lead the university through various success initiatives focusing on student retention and persistence. Munoz was recently elected to serve as the 2023-2025 Chair for NACADA’s Mid-South Region 3 Steering Committee. She wants to research the impacts of mentoring meaningful learning experiences because as a leader of student success initiatives she has seen firsthand the power of meaningful relationships and truly believes in this work. Janet Myers – Elon University (United States) Janet Myers is Professor and Associate Chair of English at Elon University. Her mentoring expertise spans several arenas: as the former founder and director of Elon’s Office of National and International Fellowships, she mentored students working on applications for nationally-competitive awards ranging from Fulbright grants to the Rhodes Scholarship; she regularly mentors undergraduate research projects related to her disciplinary expertise in Victorian literature and culture and Jane Austen; she has taught the capstone course in the English Literature major; and she mentors students through Elon’s Teaching and Learning Apprenticeships. She was recognized for this expertise with the Ward Family Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2014-2015. For the CEL Seminar, Janet is interested in researching the quality characteristics of mentoring that contribute to student success, especially the ability to navigate change and setbacks, as well as how to make mentoring relationships, including undergraduate research, accessible and equitable for all students. Subethra (Su) Pather – University of the Western Cape (South Africa) Subethra (Su) Pather is currently the Teaching & Learning specialist in the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She plays an important role in enhancing UWC’s student success initiatives. Prof Pather is UWC’s Siyaphumelela Lead for the Student Success project funded by the Kresge Foundation. She is Deputy President of HELTASA and forms part of the co-ordinating council working collaboratively with scholarly project managers to enhance teaching and learning in higher education. Prof Pather is manager of UWC First Year Experience (FYE), First Year Peer Mentoring and Tutor Enhancement Program at institutional level. Her research interests are located within the higher education field with particular focus on first year student transition, student mentoring, retention and success. Her extensive academic publications and academic presentations are located in this field. She is also involved in several national and international networks in first-year experience to advance student success in South Africa and her research agenda. Gabriela Pleschová – Comenius University (Slovakia) Gabriela Pleschová leads the Centre for Scholarship and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts at Comenius University in Bratislava where she also serves as an associate professor in the Department of Pedagogical Sciences and Andragogy. She is a graduate of Oxford University (2012, MSc. in Education) and the co-editor of the books Teacher Development in Higher Education: Existing Programs, Program Impact, and Future Trends (Routledge, 2013), Early Career Academics’ Reflections on Learning to Teach in Central Europe (SEDA, 2018) and Internationalising Teaching in Higher Education. Supporting Peer Learning (TU Delft, 2022). Her research interests include scholarship of teaching and learning, mentoring, student-centred learning, internationalisation, pedagogical conversations and issues of trust in higher education. Gabriela is the member of the Council of the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED). In 2019, she was awarded a Principal Fellowship from the AdvanceHE. Nira Rahman – University of Melbourne (Australia) Nira Rahman is an academic specializing in Educational Design and Student Engagement in the Arts Teaching Innovation (ATI) in the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne. Her work is focused towards developing a more inclusive, applicable, transformative and internationalized Arts and Humanities Education. Through extensive teaching experiences with students from different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds, she has developed a thorough understanding of cross-cultural teaching and learning styles, varying language and learning needs and goals of diverse students. Her specific interests lie in SaP and co-creation in higher education; student voice and agency; intercultural communication and competencies in inclusive diverse classrooms; student employability and articulating transferable HASS skills. Dr Rahman’s passion for her work in education, music and community inspires her to find ways to start and continue the robust discussion around the various diverse and intersectional identities present within the community and how that can be more inclusive. She is a published author in Bangla Language and also regularly writes for international media (in English and Bangla) on various topics that connect her academic interests to her personal insights around culture, language and identity. Maggie Safronova – University of California, Santa Barbara (United States) Maggie Safronova is the Associate Director at the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning at the University of California Santa Barbara. Dr. Safronova is involved in projects that explore the role of pedagogical innovations on students’ sense of belonging in large universities. Her research focuses on the intersection of student academic and social experiences within the context of R1 institutions. Dr. Safronova works with faculty and students across the university to implement large-scale online innovations that help with the development of successful learning behaviors of undergraduate students in large gateway courses. In collaboration with faculty in Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dr. Safronova co-teaches a course for future peer mentors. This year, Dr. Safronova is collaborating with faculty and staff to create a more centralized and supportive space for the development and implementation of mentoring programs at the University of California Santa Barbara. Mariano ‘Mario’ R. Sto. Domingo – University of Maryland (United States) Mariano ‘Mario’ R. Sto. Domingo is a trained community and applied social psychologist. He received his PhD from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where he currently serves as the Associate Director for Evaluation & Research of the Meyerhoff Scholars’ Program (MSP) . He also studied Social Change and Development at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advance International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. Mario’s contributions to education include his research over the past 24 years documenting the MSP at UMBC, a national model to enhance the academic success of minoritized students in science majors, which has had a national impact in the US both in terms of model program development and contributions to theory and research. His primary research interests are in program adaptation and replication, and on the roles of non-cognitive factors such as sense of community, science self-efficacy and science identity in achievement and attainment in STEM. Dominique Verpoorten – University of Liege (Belgium) Liz Vine – Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (United States) Liz Vine is the Director of Student Employment as Engaged Learning at the IUPUI University Library. She holds a PhD in Literary Studies and a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies, and has worked in academic libraries since 2017. Her work focuses on developing student employment in academic libraries as a high-impact co-curricular learning experience, and building communities of practice with others engaged in similar work. Her research interests include questions around equity and engaged learning in an employment context, and how to transition pedagogies oriented to care and social justice to the academic library as a workplace. In terms of mentoring meaningful learning experiences, Liz is interested in what effective professional development looks like for participants in mentoring relationships, particularly for student employees and non-academic campus staff. Matt Wittstein – Elon University (United States) Dr. Wittstein uses principles of biomechanics and motor control to understand how people move and control their movements. He regularly teaches in the core Exercise Science curriculum, including Biomechanics and Neuromotor Control. His scholarly work includes the use of Virtual Reality to assess and improve gait and balance, electroencephalography (EEG) to understand brain activity in the context of physical rehabilitation and training, and using a dynamical systems approach to evaluate the patterns and rhythms in movement and physiological functions (such as stride patterns and cardiac rhythms). Much of Dr. Wittstein’s current scholarly work reflects his enthusiasm for mentoring undergraduate students and supporting their research ideas. In addition to working at Elon, he has also been involved as a youth swim coach and still has a passion for sport. Vanessa Woods – University of California, Santa Barbara (United States) Vanessa Woods, Ph.D. is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. Vanesa is a passionate teacher who strives to have every student succeed, and their teaching style and philosophy are designed to give students the resources they need to perform well in challenging courses and to motivate them to dedicate the time and effort necessary to reach their potential. Vanessa’s research has three main focus areas: (1) the role of mentorship in promoting college student success, (2) best practices for fostering disciplinary access to promote student success, and (3) psychological factors (e.g. attitudes, identity, stigma consciousness) affecting the leaky STEM pipeline for students who identify with groups that have been historically marginalized. Vanessa’s goal is to be an agent of change for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion by serving as a voice for all students.