Kate Willink

Kate Willink​

Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs

Phone: 303-871-4970
Email: Kate.Willink@du.edu

I support DU with:

  • Policies and practices to support holistic faculty development at all career stages
  • Strategic vision to improve student learning, practices in teaching, course design, curriculum development, and assessment
  • Initiatives informed by research and promising higher education practices

My Job: In my roles as Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Director of the OTL, I advance and support campus-wide and unit-based programs that amplify the educational mission of the University; initiate and sustain partnerships with academic units to foster engaged teaching and learning; use innovative strategies to deepen the pedagogical knowledge and teaching effectiveness of DU faculty; and create and facilitate a holistic faculty professional development plan.

My Background: As a proud member of the DU community for the past 12 years and counting, I love engaging in initiatives that spark connection across students, staff, and faculty. During my past presidency of Faculty Senate (2016-2018), I collaborated with colleagues on strengthening faculty development initiatives and creating opportunities for faculty to lead institutional change. This experience kindled my love for leadership – an area that I never knew I would enjoy so much! As Associate Professor of Communication Studies, my research examines critical intercultural communication, and my teaching portfolio covers topics about education and change, cultural memory and imagination, and food culture. One of my greatest joys is bearing witness to the inspiring journeys of students and colleagueswho continually teach me how to learn, grow, and thrive.    

When I’m not at work: I am a flavor-forward foodie, home-making homebody, perennial and veggie gardener, flower paparazzi, and pleasure-seeking nerd. Depending upon the season and the mood, I love experimenting with recipes (especially fresh ingredients from my garden), practicing Yin yoga, finding adventure and beauty through travel, and enjoying the company of friends and family.       

Photo of Leslie Alvarez

Leslie Cramblet Alvarez

Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning

Email: Leslie.Alvarez@du.edu

I support DU with:

  • Leadership of the Office of Teaching and Learning
  • Promoting excellence in teaching, learning, and assessment across DU
  • Cultivating a strategic vision for the OTL

My Job: As Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning, I report to the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs whose office promotes faculty success and well-being in four key areas: faculty development, teaching and learning, faculty relations, and faculty life cycles. As OTL director, I provide strategic guidance for the office and nurture the OTL team’s growth and success. A thriving OTL serves faculty as life-long learners which, ultimately, supports student achievement. Critical to my work is promoting initiatives that advance the university’s educational mission and dedication to inclusive excellence. I represent the OTL at all levels of the university through collaborative relationships and committee service (CFAB, ITAC, OTL Advisory board).

My Background: As a new member of the DU family, I am excited to join this vibrant and productive community of scholars.

I have a PhD in Educational Psychology, Learning and Instruction from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I spent the last 13 years as a faculty member, earning full professor, in the psychology department at Adams State University, a Hispanic-serving Institution in rural southern Colorado. As an Educational Psychologist, my interests generally focus on the confluence of psychology and educational practice. This led to a part time administrative appointment which culminated in founding a Center for Teaching and Learning funded by a Title V grant.

My early research agenda focused on achievement motivation and goal orientation. Since, my interests have broadened to include replication, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and gender and diversity, in particular the representation of women in the psychology curriculum. I have served as a Faculty Senator and a department chair and had a leadership role in a number of campus wide initiatives including Faculty Handbook policy reform, HLC reaffirmation of accreditation, and general education curriculum redesign. My service commitments have ranged from Faculty Senator, to President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, to Regional Vice president for Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

As an educator and researcher I am passionate about advancing inclusion and equity, open science practices, and interrogating the inclusivity of the psychology curriculum.  Now, as the OTL Director, I am enthusiastic about drawing from my identity as a scholar to support faculty growth and development full time.

When I’m not at work: I’m enjoying my husband and son, skiing, playing outside, or planning a trip. I am a lover but inconsistent practitioner of yoga and meditation and have been a yoga instructor since 2013. 


Virginia Pitts

Virginia Pitts

Director of University Teaching

Phone: 303-871-3291
Email: Virginia.Pitts@du.edu
Portfolio: http://portfolio.du.edu/vpitts

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Designing for significant learning
  • Student motivation and engagement
  • Student-faculty partnerships
  • Project-based learning
  • Design thinking

My Job: I support faculty, students and other DU community members in learning and working together to create more engaging, inclusive, learning-rich experiences for DU students. As part of that work, I facilitate DU’s student-faculty partnership program, in which students and faculty members work together to explore student learning and engagement in the classroom.  I also lead DU’s Course Design Institute, which bring faculty members together to learn from and with each other as they design courses to have a lasting, meaningful impact on students’ lives.

My Background: I’ve had an eclectic career-path, but the common thread is learning, motivation, and design. It started with a degree in Industrial Engineering, followed by 11 years as a change management consultant with Accenture, followed by a PhD at Northwestern University in Learning Sciences (which focused on learning and motivation in social contexts and the design of innovative, research-based learning environments). After receiving my PhD, I did a two-year post-doctoral fellowship studying instructional leadership in schools and the ways in which it is shared among members of a school community. I then spent four years working with National Geographic Education Programs as a professional development consultant, and teaching courses at Regis University and CU-Denver for educators pursuing their master’s degrees.  I came to DU in February 2013.  

When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending as much time as I can outdoors – taking long walks with our dog Molly, relaxing in the backyard with a good book, or exploring a mountain trail.  My partner Brian and I also really enjoy exploring the neighborhoods around Denver and discovering new coffee shops, breweries, or restaurants (there’s so much here!). 

Other Links:
My DU Portfolio page

Christina Paguyo

Christina H Paguyo

Director of Academic Assessment

Phone: 303-871-6012
Email: Christina.Paguyo@du.edu
Portfolio: http://portfolio.du.edu/

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Accreditation
  • Curricular renewal
  • Program assessment
  • Program evaluation

My Job: is an academic DJ who choreographs assessment in harmony with the everyday work of faculty and staff. On any given day, you will find me delivering consultations and facilitating Meetups about meaningful and manageable assessment, or designing institutes to help units develop a strategic plan for curricular renewal, or training faculty to serve as assessment consultants. I enjoy collaborating with colleagues to amplify the amazing work we do at DU, and I love helping staff and faculty discover the transformative potential of assessment!

My Background: Over the course of my 15-year career, I have led equity-oriented initiatives in student affairs units, coordinated PR campaigns for government agencies, acquired over $2 million dollars in education research grant monies, and co-authored publications about designing robust learning environments. From the University of Colorado Boulder I earned my PhD in education policy, and from Colorado State University I attained my MEd in counseling and BA in English. Notwithstanding the diversity of my work experiences, the ballast of my professional trajectory is composed from a long-standing passion to help people thrive and learn with their head, hands, and hearts.  

When I’m not at work: In my moonlighting hours, I am the principal investigator and founder of Data Luminaries, a small boutique firm through which I conduct external evaluations. My hobbies include singing karaoke, practicing yoga, traveling with my life partner of 20 years, and cuddling with Licorice, my 100-lb spirit animal we adopted from a non-profit organization.

Other Links:
My DU Portfolio

Karen Weller Swanson

Karen Weller Swanson

Director of Faculty Learning Groups & Scholarship

Phone: 303-871-2993
Email: Karen.Swanson@du.edu
Portfolio: http://portfolio.du.edu/Karen.Swanson

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Faculty learning communities
  • Teaching consultations

My Job: My position supports the development of and support for faculty learning communities on a variety of topics. I consult with faculty to design courses which are based on evidence-based best practices.

My Background: I have an Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University as well as a Master’s in Secondary Education and a Bachelor’s in Biology. I have been a teacher for 25 years with 15 of those in higher education. I was an Assistant Professor at George Mason University teaching in the Initiatives in Educational Transformation Program. I most recently was an Associate Professor at Mercer University in Atlanta where I was the director of the PhD Curriculum and Instruction Program and the chair of four regional academic centers for the Tift College of Education.

When I’m not at work,  I enjoy spending time with my family in Colorado Springs, writing on Cognitive Apprenticeship, and planning trips home to Montana.

Other Links:
See upcoming OTL Events
My Google Scholar
Connect with me on LinkedIn

Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave

Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices

Phone: 303-871-4437
Email: Valentina.Iturbe-LaGrave@du.edu

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Comprehensive research-based faculty consultations to assess, design, and implement inclusive pedagogical practices across all disciplines of study and learning environments.
  • Creating and providing formative resources aligned with best practices in inclusive pedagogy to faculty and academic administrators following critical incidents in learning environments.
  • Addressing critical aspects of course design, classroom management, and assessment of teaching and learning to best align with best practices in inclusive pedagogy.
  • Real-time collaborations with academic leaders and partnering offices across campus (e.g., ODI, EOIX, CLIE) to develop and/or update faculty supports around specific campus incidents that may arise, and for which there are no existing up-to-date resources.
  • Serving on and consulting with search committees related to the advancement of Inclusive Excellence at DU.

My Job: I provide proactive and responsive leadership, direction, and programming that advances the University of Denver’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence and Inclusive Pedagogy. I create, implement, and assess strategic faculty development opportunities; online resources; and consultations for faculty members, academic administrators, academic departments, and allied offices.

My Background: I hold two bachelor’s, a masters, a PhD, and a Certificate in College Teaching from the University of Colorado Boulder; and a Certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business. My work is deeply rooted in critical pedagogy, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, cognitive science, the whole-self and well-being. 

When I’m not at work, I am cooking and baking recipes from around the world, reading non-fiction, traveling with my husband and our four children, playing piano, raising awareness about pediatric cancer, and doing Bikram yoga!

Other Links:
Visit my website
National Science Foundation

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Director, Faculty Development & Career Advancement

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Terri Johnson

Faculty Developer of Learning Initiatives

Phone: 303-871-7884
Email: Terri.Johnson@du.edu
Portfolio: http://portfolio.du.edu/Terri.Johnson

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Online teaching and learning
  • Course design and development
  • Teaching strategies

My Job: As an instructional designer, there are a number of ways I support faculty. I share best practices by facilitating the Teaching Online Short Course several times a year. I also co-teach Teaching@DU: A Short Course for New Faculty, which helps faculty that are new to campus learn about the resources available at DU as well as offering effective teaching strategies. I design our OTL newsletter so that faculty and staff across campus are informed about the variety of events and resources we offer here at the OTL. I am also available to meet with faculty for consultations around designing their courses and improving student outcomes.

My Background: I have a BA from Smith College and a MPS in Organizational Leadership from the University of Denver. I have worked at the University of Denver in a variety of both student- and faculty-focused roles since 2006. My experiences as a student, staff member, and instructional designer have given me a unique and well-rounded perspective on effective teaching practices.

When I’m not at work, I’m often playing with my son and my cats. I also like to discover new restaurants in the Denver area.

Other Links:
View upcoming Teaching Online Short Course sessions
Check out the Course Design Repository

Heather Tobin

Faculty Developer of Integrative Learning

Phone: 303-871-2951
Email: Heather.Tobin@du.edu
Portfolio: http://portfolio.du.edu/htobin3

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Integrative learning
  • High Impact Practices (HIPs)
  • Reflective ePortfolios (and DU Portfolio)
  • General course design
  • Teaching strategies
  • Visual design for learning

My Job: I collaborate with OTL staff members and university faculty to develop and lead trainings, workshops, and integrative learning programs and initiatives. I consult with faculty members and departments providing tools to improve student experiences and learning outcomes. I also manage the departmental website and create branding and marketing materials to enhance campus awareness of the OTL.

My Background: I have been working and teaching in higher education settings both online and face-to-face since 2002. I hold an MS in Higher Education with a specific focus on teaching and learning. As supplements to my Master’s degree, I completed additional graduate level coursework in General Psychology in Chicago, and a graduate certificate of completion in Organizational Training and Instructional Design at CSU. I am currently pursuing my EdD in Curriculum & Instruction with Morgridge College of Education at DU.

When I’m not at work, I’m typically either camping with friends and family, checking out a new craft cocktail spot, or watching Sci-Fi movies.

Other Links:
View my DU Portfolio
Check out the OTL ePortfolio Project site
Connect with me on LinkedIn

Tobin, H. (2018). Five Ways to Use ePortfolios for Reflection. The Teaching Professor.

Lexi Schlosser

Faculty Developer of Online Learning

Email: Lexi.Schlosser@du.edu

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Canvas
  • Online & Remote Teaching and Learning Strategies

My Job: As the Faculty Developer for Online Learning, I provide an array of support around online and remote teaching and learning. I work closely with our team of Instructional Designers to provide quality support for faculty. I share best practices by facilitating online teaching and learning workshops, webinars, and short courses. I am also available for faculty consultations around instructional design, canvas support, and online teaching and learning strategies for engagement and beyond.

My Background: I have a BS in Human Development and Family Sciences and M. E.D. in College Student Services Administration, both from Oregon State University. While at OSU, I worked in student support roles as well as faculty focused support and organizational roles. These experiences have provided me unique perspectives regarding online teaching and learning. My pedagogical approaches align best with Universal Design for Learning, Backwards Course Design, and Reflective Practice. 

When I’m not at work, I am often outdoors enjoying hiking, camping, rock climbing, snowboarding, or walking my sweet and ever so feisty Yorkie Aspen. Indoors you can find me deeply engaged in a new creative outlet including writing poetry, drawing, painting, or collaging. 

Other Links:
Visit the Canvas Instructor Guide
Check out the OTL Teaching Tool Kit


Alex Martinez

Academic Technology Specialist- IT

Phone: 303-871-4879
Email: Alex.Martinez@du.edu

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Kaltura Video Management
  • ZOOM Video Conference
  • Instructional Video
  • Interactivity Design
  • Website Design

My Job: My new position as an IT consultant is very focused on instructional video design and technologies. I serve as the primary Kaltura administrator providing support and training. 

My Background: I have worked at DU since 2002. 

Other Links:
Check out my upcoming Kaltura or ZOOM training sessions
My DU Portfolio page
OTL Ed-Tech Knowledge Base


Photograph of Christine Hood

Christine Hood

Instructional Designer

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Canvas
  • Course development
  • Educational technologies
  • Teaching resources

My Job: Our instructional designers work with academic directors, faculty developers, and subject matter experts to provide support for online, hybrid, and hyflex courses. They are well-versed in the best practices for online pedagogy and instructional technology. Instructional Designers are available for 1:1 training consultations, as well as providing course development and technology assistance for faculty.

My Areas of Expertise:

  • Supporting faculty new to teaching online
  • Using Zoom for teaching
  • Interactive online pedagogies

Jeffrey Schwartz

Instructional Designer

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Canvas
  • Course development
  • Educational technologies
  • Teaching resources

My Job: Our instructional designers work with academic directors, faculty developers, and subject matter experts to provide support for online, hybrid, and hyflex courses. They are well-versed in the best practices for online pedagogy and instructional technology. Instructional Designers are available for 1:1 training consultations, as well as providing course development and technology assistance for faculty.

My Areas of Expertise:

  • Hybrid course design
  • First year experiences
  • Creative and reflective writing assignments

Paula Kretschmann

Instructional Designer

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Canvas
  • Course development
  • Educational technologies
  • Teaching resources

My Job: Our instructional designers work with academic directors, faculty developers, and subject matter experts to provide support for online, hybrid, and hyflex courses. They are well-versed in the best practices for online pedagogy and instructional technology. Instructional Designers are available for 1:1 training consultations, as well as providing course development and technology assistance for faculty.

My Areas of Expertise:

  • Universal Design & Accessibility
  • Designing for Diversity & Inclusivity
  • Virtual Tools (Teams, Zoom, WebEx), Assistive Technology & Disability Access Best Practices

Vincent Tango

Instructional Designer

I support DU faculty and staff with:

  • Canvas
  • Course development
  • Educational technologies
  • Teaching resources

My Job: Our instructional designers work with academic directors, faculty developers, and subject matter experts to provide support for online, hybrid, and hyflex courses. They are well-versed in the best practices for online pedagogy and instructional technology. Instructional Designers are available for 1:1 training consultations, as well as providing course development and technology assistance for faculty.

My Areas of Expertise:

  • Creating cohesive and inclusive course experiences
  • The Community of Inquiry framework 
  • Training for new technologies and  methods
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Instructional Designer



Nicole Perez

Graduate Assistant

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Lindsey Kline

Graduate Assistant


Paul Michalec

Paul Michalec

2018-2019 Faculty Fellow
2019-2020 Faculty Fellow

Clinical Professor in the Morgridge College of Education

In his role as OTL Faculty Fellow Paul brings many skills and accomplishments to the goal of building and sustaining collegial networks on campus, especially in the formation of aFaculty Learning Community (FLC). His 25 years of teaching experience and mentoring new teachers with an emphasis on project-based learning, effective instruction, educator self-care, and experiential forms of pedagogy will provide a solid base of theory and practice for the FLC. In 2015 Paul was awarded the Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the University of Denver. He is a teaching mentor for graduate students in Curriculum and Instruction and clinical faculty in the College of Education. He is a nationally certifiedCourage to Teach facilitator and an experienced retreat leader using a professional development framework developed by Parker Palmer that highlights the role of the heart and calling when considering forms of effective instruction and paths to professional renewal. 
Paul has an established record of scholarship in the area of curriculum and instruction focusing on the inner-life of educators. His 2017 article on Deep Curriculum was awarded the Hunkins Distinguished Article of the Year in the area of curriculum by the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum. Paul has an ongoing blog (IN:SIGHT blog) where he writes essays and commentaries on the heart of education, the impact of standardization on teaching and learning, and ways for educators to recover and sustain their calling to teach. Paul can be reached at paul.michalec@du.edu for questions, conversation, and one-on-one meetings around teaching, learning, and professional trajectory questions. 
Paul will spearhead four main initiatives intended to foster a culture of community-building and greater collegial engagement on our campus: 1) monthly Heart of Higher Education conversations during the lunch hour in the OTL conference room; 2) promotingPeer to Peer Conversations–a faculty-initiated developmental opportunity entailing a deliberate conversation around professional development, career changes, and work-life balance; 3) facilitating a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) exploring the inner life of teaching and professional renewal; and 4) creating and sustaining collegial networks that allow faculty to thrive and promote a sense of belonging on campus. (See the OTL events calendar for dates and times of these initiatives).
Paul will host monthly Heart of Higher Education conversations during the lunch hour in the OTL conference room on the second Thursday of each month throughout the winter and spring quarter. These gatherings are low-key, not share or die experiences. They are intended to create a space where faculty can come together to establish mutual connections and community, share the joys and concerns of teaching in a non-threatening format, and renew the heart of teaching by slowing down and listening to each other share stories from the classroom and our campus experiences more broadly. 
He will provide quarterly how-to workshops on hosting a Peer to Peer Conversation (P2P). The intention of the P2P conversation is to promote deep professional engagement that is often missing from higher education communities because of current political, economic, and social constraints. The P2P conversations differ from other higher education conversations in that they are formally structured around key moments in the life of a faculty, focused on professional development, and are bounded by norms of confidentiality. P2P conversations are not intended to replace other forms of faculty to faculty conversations which occur in less formal settings or gatherings. Paul worked with the P2P sub-committee of the Faculty Senate Professional Development Committee on the development of the process including the writing of the manual (P2P Manual) guiding faculty through the process. 

Christine Vega

IRISE Post-Doc

I support DU faculty and staff with: 

  • Collaborative research projects with and for IRISE & OTL 
  • Teaching and course development  
  • Research 
  • Inclusive pedagogies & implementations

My Job: I am a creative collaborator who enjoys dreaming big! As a postdoctoral research fellow, I work directly with the directors of Inclusive Teaching Practices and Academic Assessment to implement inclusive pedagogies, critical theories in teaching and learning and contribute innovative lenses of analysis and praxis. also enjoy being a sounding board for ideas and implementation and bringing projects into fruition. I love teaching and mentoring one-on-one or with groups of people. As a teacher-scholar-activist, I am passionate about employing innovative pedagogies of action to empower folks to see their own agencybecome excited, and grow inquisitive about conducting thoughtful and ethical work. I enjoy engaging folks in critical bodies of literature, course assignments, and community-based research wrapped with a creative twistIn my role as an educator, I will be teaching Inclusive Pedagogies and other courses for the Morgridge College of Education and conducting research and writing projects with IRISE and my postdoctoral cohort mates.  

My Background: I am a first-generation, Chicana-Indigena Feminista from Pacoima, CaliforniaLast year I earned my Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with formal training in the fields of Social Science and Comparative Education of Race and Ethnic StudiesThis accomplishment although very personal, is a major feat for my community and family. I am an interdisciplinary teacher-scholar-activist specializing in Critical Race Theory and Chicana/Latina Feminisms. I hold an A.A. from Los Angeles Mission College, B.A.’s in Chicana/o & Women Gender Studies from UCLA, and an M.Ed. from the University of UtahMy research is centered on Motherscholars of Color movidas (hustles) while co-leading two collectives: Chicana M(other)work Collective and Mothers of Color in Academia (MOCA) de UCLA.  

When I’m not at work: I am working on collective publications with my comadres about Motherscholars in the academy. As a creative, I am the artistic eye for design for collaborative or personal efforts. I love to reimagine what a topic looks like as a design or art! I love creating LEGO’s cities with my son or going on walks/bike rides out in nature with him. I am an avid indoor cyclist and represent the #LAChicana hashtag with Peloton. I enjoy cooking, exploring/tasting pastries, and fervor a freshly roasted and brewed cup of coffee. 

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