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MemberMary Ann Tobin

…“Universal Design for Learning: It’s Just Good Design!” The Schreyer Conference 2020. The Pennsylvania State University. 9 January 2020.

“Create a Pedagogically-Inclusive Classroom with the Universal Design for Learning Framework.” Bridging the Praxis Gap: Tools for Early Career Teaching. Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Boston, MA. March 2020….

Mary Ann Tobin, Ph.D., is Assistant Research Professor and Instructional Consultant with Penn State’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (SITE), where she shares her expertise on classroom and course assessment techniques, student engagement techniques, outcomes-based course design and curriculum development, inclusive and equitable teaching strategies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and other instructional matters with faculty throughout the university system. Before joining SITE in December 2016 she served as Triton College’s Director of Teaching and Learning, where she oversaw the college’s Office of Curriculum and Assessment and its Center for Teaching Excellence. There, she worked with faculty and administrators to develop student-centered pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment techniques. She has taught English composition, literature and business writing, in both traditional and online classrooms, since 1994 when she was a Teaching Fellow at Indiana State University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in English Literature. She then taught for Duquesne University, where she earned a doctoral degree. She also taught for the Community College of Allegheny County, DeVry University Online, and Triton College. Beyond her pedagogical interests, her professional interests  and scholarship include 19th-century British culture and literature, particularly the life and work of Charles Dickens, marital law and custom, and women’s education.  She has presented on these topics at national and regional conferences, and her work on them appears in Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice (McFarland, 2012) and Critical Insights: Great Expectations (Salem Press, 2009). Most recently, she has explored the intersections of Neo-Victorianism and innovative pedagogy as chair of a Dickens Society Sponsored Panel entitled “Neo-Dickens for a New Audience: Reading, Watching, and Teaching Dickens in the 21st Century” at the Northeast Modern Language Association’s 50th Anniversary Conference, in which she presented “A Christmas Carol: The Gift Book We Keep on Giving …  And Should Give More Often!”

MemberJulia Voss

Research Interests:

My current and past work examines how literacy learning and performance take place across spaces and modes ranging across classroom and community settings. Informed by an emphasis on modality, my research focuses on the affordances and constraints of different social, technical, and institutional settings to examine possibilities and call for changes that support more equitable participation of all members.

Professional Interests:

My research on classroom design and writing in the disciplines has increasingly drawn my attention to the institutional and infrastructural work of writing program administration. As writing specialists, we need to continue our decades-long work with colleagues across the university to design effective writing curricula based on our own disciplinary knowledge. However, as (unacknowledged) experts in active learning pedagogies, writing specialists and WPAs also have considerable expertise to contribute to learning space design initiatives, involving stakeholders outside academic departments at the level of the university’s physical facilities.

Teaching Interests:

I teach classes in digital and print composing with an emphasis on (multi)modality, technical communication, writing studies, digital culture.

MemberGrace Afsari-Mamagani

I’m a project manager and learning experience designer pursuing a PhD in literature. I’m particularly interested in digital pedagogy and technology integration in the humanities in higher ed. Professionally, I’ve worked with learners in K-12 environments, as well as college and graduate students, to make concepts like data, networked devices, and digital surveillance accessible and actionable. My literary criticism focuses on contemporary literature, the urban environment, and embodiment as a means of theorizing human-computer interaction, “play,” and experiential learning.

MemberJon Jaramillo

Jon Jaramillo is a native of California, but his father is from Guaranda, Ecuador and his mother is from Iowa. Jaramillo is a PhD candidate in Romance Languages at the University of Oregon. He expects to complete his dissertation and complete the oral defense towards the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022. Jon Jaramillo seeks to balance his research/academic pursuits with his creative endeavors and political activism. Jaramillo studies queer articulations of Latino American identity, within the coloniality of power, gender, and sexuality, to theorize a transformative enlightenment of human consciousness as it struggles to create meaning, identity, kinship, and community. While challenging left and right politics, he examines how the queer becomes the site of utopian resistance of biopolitical control.

MemberAureliano M. DeSoto

Aureliano Maria DeSoto is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Chair of the Department of Ethnic and Religious Studies at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. He is former Chair of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) and has also served on the organization’s Board of Directors as Chair-Elect, Conference Program Chair, Immediate Past Chair, and At-Large Representative. He was also appointed to the Committee on the Literatures of People of Color in the United States and Canada of the Modern Language Association, where he was committee co-chair for two years.   DeSoto has broad teaching and service experience at a variety of different institutional types, including the small/selective liberal arts college, and Research 1, Research 2, and regional comprehensive universities. Subsequently, he has worked with and taught a variety of student constituencies, including non-traditional adult learners, New Americans, and traditional students at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), as well as students at Hispanic-Serving (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving institutions (AANAPISI).  At Metropolitan State University, he teaches Comparative Ethnic Studies and Latinx Studies courses in the Department of Ethnic and Religious Studies, has taught LGBT Studies and the theory and methods seminar for the Program in Gender Studies, as well as supervised Capstone projects in both Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies. He also serves as faculty in the Master of Liberal Studies Program. DeSoto specializes in online education and pedagogy, and has pioneered asynchronous online and hybrid preparations in Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies, as well as presented on the topic of online course development, pedagogy, design, and best practices at campus and regional gatherings and by invited lecture. He has completed advanced training seminars through the Center for Online Learning at Metropolitan State, including four Teaching Online Institutes and Quality Matters (QM) standards training, and has served multiple times as a QM course reviewer.

MemberSimone Bregni, Ph.D.

I am an associate professor of Italian language, literature and culture with twenty-six years of teaching & leadership experience at the university level. Since July 1st, 2020, I serve as Chairperson of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Saint Louis University. My areas of specialization are Medieval & Renaissance Italian literature and foreign (F/L2) language acquisition. Currently, my focus is on the applications of technology and digital media to language acquisition, in particular video game-based learning (VGBL). In fall 2016, as a recipient of the Saint Louis University (SLU) Reinert Center for Innovative Teaching, I developed Intensive Italian for Gamers. The course was successfully taught in the SLU state-of-the-art Learning Studio in spring 2017. I have presented my research and results in workshops and presentations, at conferences and in publications (in print and forthcoming). I have an extensive and eclectic background in Classics (Greek and Latin, Philology, Literature), Ancient and Medieval History, Theology, Philosophy; but also in Cinema Studies, International Studies, Communications and Journalism. I definitely enjoyed the variety of my studies. I am a firm believer in multidisciplinary approaches to both learning and teaching.

MemberJorge Rodriguez

Teaching professional with fourteen years experience originally from New York City. I believe that learning to writing well is an important life skill that can cut across all career tracks and help one achieve success in their given field. Specializing in creative aspects of writing such as poetry, short story writing, play-writing, and creative non fiction. Proficient in preparing upper level students for the rigors of thesis writing, preparation, and presentation. Secondary Specialization in web based magazine Editing and layout design. Fluency in conversational Spanish