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.
When I’m not at work:
I can help you with:
- Understanding the mission and strategic direction of the Office of Teaching and Learning
- Learning more about campus-wide initiatives supported by the OTL including the Teaching Excellence domain of the Advancing Equity in Faculty Workload and Rewards Project
- Developing strategies or faculty development programming that advance your department or program’s teaching excellence goals
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 leadership and 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.
My Background: I have a PhD in Educational Psychology, Learning and Instruction from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I spent 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. At Adams State this led to a part time administrative appointment in which I served as the founding director of a Center for Teaching and Learning funded by a federal Title V grant.
My early research agenda focused on achievement motivation and goal orientation. Since, my interests have broadened to include impacts of faculty development on student experience, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and gender and diversity, in particular the representation of women in the psychology curriculum. In my former life as a faculty member, I served as a Faculty Senator, interim 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.
As an educator and researcher I am passionate about advancing inclusion and equity, open science practices, and interrogating the inclusivity of the psychology curriculum. As the OTL Director, I enthusiastically draw 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 of yoga and meditation but an inconsistent practitioner and have been a yoga instructor since 2013.
I can help you with:
- Designing for significant learning
- Student-faculty partnerships
- Design thinking/human-centered design
- Student motivation and engagement
- Project-based learning
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!).
My DU Portfolio page
I can help you with:
- Designing assessment practices that promote your growth as a teacher-scholar.
- Creating program and course outcomes that help align your assessment process for curricular review.
- Developing feedback loops to enhance high-impact, inclusive, and accessible pedagogy.
- Ensuring your assessment practices not only help you meet accreditation but also engage all your community members in the reflection process for growth and realized potential.
My Job: I support faculty and students at all levels of program and academic units by listening carefully to how we want to tell our stories of academic success. Assessment, at its core, is the process of articulating what we want to accomplish and then figuring out ways to learn from our journey toward accomplishing our goals. As part of my work, I help facilitate the clear stating of outcomes for programs in order to help us align our curriculum with DU’s mission. Then, I work alongside members of our community to look for points of reflection on our outcomes to learn from our progress. As we reflect together, we can tell our transformative narrative. Specifically, I do this through consultations with faculty and program directors, leading collaborative workshops, and publishing the various data and stories that our academic sectors report annually.
My Background: I arrived at DU from a faculty position in Religious Studies at a university in Idaho. I had served for eleven years as a tenured professor. During my time at my previous institution, I taught in my field as well as the First Year Seminar and the Honors College. Additionally, I served as the chair of the General Education Council, the assessment director for my college, and a member of the Assessment and Accreditation Committee. I served in these roles for the past six years, assisting our university through the last accreditation cycle with the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
I received my Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University, and my research is primarily focused on ancient Near Eastern linguistics and rhetoric as well as interfaith leadership. I am a performative extrovert who enjoys conversations about a wide range of topics. I am interested in how institutions work through conflict and change.
When I’m not at work, I most enjoy spending time with my family. My hobbies include going to the movies, playing guitar, learning card illusions, and woodworking.
I can help you with:
- Promoting a culture of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (a systematic, data-driven, scholarly inquiry into student learning) at DU
- Assisting faculty and staff with all phases of SoTL research projects, from the development of project ideas and research design, selection of materials, analysis and interpretation of data, to presentation and publication of findings
- Collaborate with faculty partners and OTL staff on planning, delivering, and facilitating Faculty Learning Communities
My Job: As the Director of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Faculty Learning Communities, I work to shape a wide variety of programs that promote teaching, learning, and scholarly excellence across academic disciplines. In particular, I lead to inform and promote the culture of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at DU as a form of scholarly teaching, and support faculty with all phases of their SoTL research process. I also collaborate with faculty partners and OTL staff to deliver and facilitate programs for faculty learning communities in my work to support faculty members at all stages of their professional development.
My Background: My educational training is in psychological science. I received a BA in psychology from Yonsei University, Ed.M in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the OTL, I have been a faculty member in the department of psychology and education at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, and in the department of psychology at Tennessee State University.
My research expertise lies in the field of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and my work has focused on effective instructional practices, particularly on High Impact Practices (HIP), curriculum development and instructional technology, peer learning, and learning outcomes assessment. Most recently, my research efforts have been focused on trauma-informed teaching practices and best practices in online learning.
Over the years, I have actively led initiatives to promote inclusive excellence in leadership and support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion matters. As an educator, I am committed to advancing teaching excellence and promoting accessible, inclusive, and effective learning experiences for students. As a SoTL researcher, I am dedicated to continuing data-driven inquiries on equitable teaching and learning in higher education.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children. We pride ourselves on being eclectic foodies, and we are always doing one of these things – cooking, experimenting with recipes, eating, or watching all the cooking shows. I am also a ski bum and greatly enjoy visiting the snow-covered mountains with my family for some quality downhill skiing.
OUR INSTRUCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT TEAM
I can help you with:
- Online teaching and learning
- Course design and development
- Classroom community and engagement
My Job: As a Senior Faculty Developer 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 cat. I also like to discover new restaurants in the Denver area.
Faculty Developer of Instructional Accessibility
I can help you with:
- Canvas administration, individual or group Canvas training, and 1:1 Canvas support
- Faculty development with online teaching and learning
- Technology enhanced learning
- OTL short courses – like Teaching Online and Teaching with Canvas
- Accessibility, UDL, and inclusive teaching practices online
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-facing support and organizational roles. These experiences have provided me unique perspectives regarding online teaching and learning. My pedagogical approaches align best with Student-Centered Learning, Universal Design for Learning, 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.
I can help you with:
- Kaltura Video Management
- ZOOM Instructional & Tech Support
- Video Accessibility
- Instructional Video
- Multimedia Instructional Design
- Website Design & Management
My Job: My position as an IT consultant is focused on video management, digital accessibility, web technologies, and multimedia instructional design. I’m the primary Kaltura video administrator which means I provide tech support, establish metadata guidelines and training. I also provide instructors and staff training on ZOOM. I have conducted over 100 ZOOM training sessions and have written several ZOOM how-to articles.
My passion is instructional video production, video accessibility and management. A well-designed instructional video can improve learning and support adults with disabilities. I have authored many how-to articles for our OTL Ed-Tech Knowledge Base.
My Background: I have been teaching at DU for 15+ years. My courses include Web Application Development, Web Information Architecture, and Web Content Management. In my spare time, I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and going camping with my family. I graduated with a Masters’s degree in Organizational Learning & Instruction Technologies from the University of New Mexico.
I can help you with:
- Digital Accessibility Practices and the UDOIT Accessibility Checker
- Universal Design for Learning Framework
- Responding to student requests for accessibility needs (captions, alternate format texts, audio options, etc.)
My Job: As the Faculty Developer of Instructional Accessibility, I collaborate with faculty across the institution focusing on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as an inclusive teaching framework and accessible course design, both digitally and in person. I can support faculty in accessibility and the remediation of course content and materials, such as document remediation and captioning. This includes participating in one-on-one consultations, facilitating workshops, and developing resources to foster and support accessibility and the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
My Background: I earned a BA in Special Education with a focus in Learning and Behavior and a minor in Psychology from Illinois State University. I am receiving a Masters of Higher Education in the Morgridge School of Education here at the University of Denver (Fall 2023). I spent the beginning of my career as a Special Education teacher for students between 6th-12th grade. My time in the classroom was spent teaching a diverse population of students while utilizing low to high tech assistive technologies, disability-related accommodations, and alternate format texts. I am interested in furthering the connection of UDL to accessibility and inclusive practices in order to meet student diverse needs with greater ease.
In my previous role in the Disability Services Program (DSP), I supported students throughout the accommodation process. I have knowledge and experience in implementing student accommodations, utilizing assistive technologies and facilitating production and remediation of Alternate Format Text (AFT). Additionally, I can collaborate with faculty on the implementation of digitally-related accommodations across courses and disciplines. I look forward to continuing to connect with DU faculty, staff, and students all while supporting greater accessibility for all.
When I’m not at work, I like to enjoy time with family and friends, or cozying up with a good book and coffee.
I can help you with:
- DU Assessment
- DU Portfolio
My Job: Serving as Business Analyst for the Office of Teaching and Learning, I am responsible for primary system administration and configuration of various enterprise-level academic technologies. I also act as liaison between the OTL and Information Technology. I assist both the OTL and IT by using data analytics to evaluate processes, determine requirements and deliver data-driven recommendations and reports to leadership and stakeholders.
When I’m not at work,
OUR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN TEAM
Please email me at Jeff.Schwartz@du.edu if you would like to set up a time to meet/talk.
You can also book a consultation with me through the OTL Instructional Designer consultation booking system.
I can help you with:
- Course design
- Educational technology support
- Teaching resources
My Job: I work with academic directors, faculty developers, and subject matter experts to provide support for online, hybrid, and hyflex courses with best practices for online pedagogy and instructional technology. I am available for 1:1 consultations, course development, unit support, and technology assistance for faculty.
My Background: I have a BA and an MA in English from San Diego State University and am currently working towards an MA in Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado, Denver. I spent 5 years working as an English Instructor in California and Colorado and spent a year abroad teaching English and American Studies in Romania as a Fulbright ETA recipient. I have experience in designing and teaching both in-person, synchronous courses, and fully online, asynchronous courses, and am currently teaching online English courses with the Community College of Denver. Prior to my work at DU, I was employed part-time with CU Denver’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, where I facilitated workshops to support faculty in their teaching, and worked with faculty to design and develop courses, integrate in UDL and inclusive practices, and set up and organize their Canvas course shells.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time reading, cooking, climbing, hiking with my dog, and enjoying Colorado’s beautiful mountains!
I can help you with:
- Course design
- Educational technology support
My Job: As an Instructional Designer, I work with academic directors, faculty developers, and instructors to provide support for courses in all modalities. I am available for 1:1 training consultations, as well as providing course development and technology assistance for faculty.
My Background: I have a BA from Colorado State University and a MFA from Emerson College. I have been with the University of Denver since 2016. As Lead Faculty in University College’s Professional Creative Writing Program, I have designed, developed, and taught 23 online and hybrid courses. Before coming to DU, I taught in first year writing programs for five years at universities in Massachusetts. My other experience in higher education includes offering training and support first year faculty, giving conference presentations about research, instructional technology, and creative writing, and serving on First Year Writing Program assessment committees. I also write fiction, and my stories have been published in Mythic: A Quarterly Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, Wild Musette, and Beyond Imagination.
When I’m not at work, I am amusing my son with all manner of silly faces and voices, cooking, writing, and stargazing.
OUR ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT
My Job: As the Web Content Designer, I generate and maintain web-based content that is used for DU faculty educational and development resources. I also collaborate with the OTL and Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs offices on special projects that require creative problem solving for digital user needs.
My Background: I have a BFA in Design, Technology and Management for Theatre from CU Boulder and a certificate in User Experience and User Interface Design from DU. My intersectional arts and tech background allows me to take an empathetic and human based approach in everything I do. Complex problems require creative solutions, creative solutions require creative people.
When I’m not at work, you can find me in dark theatres playing with stage lighting or spending time with my loud Puerto Rican family.
My job: I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Criminology at the University of Denver. I am also currently the faculty chair of Faculty Senate’s Teaching Excellence Task Force and a Faculty Fellow of Teaching and Learning in the Office of Teaching and Learning. In these roles, I support Senate’s, OTL’s, and individual faculty members’ efforts to develop holistic, reflexive, and formative approaches to course and faculty evaluation.
My Background: I teach on and research a range of topics: violence and denial, classical social theory, and urban nature. No matter the topic, I try to work with students to cultivate learner-centered and humanizing courses. We use a range of strategies in pursuit of these types of courses, including structured and unstructured discussions, role-playing activities, pedagogical games, and outdoor learning.
When I’m not at work I enjoy bird-watching, gardening with native wildflowers, and nature writing. I’m also a volunteer with several Denver-area environmental and nature organizations, including the High Line Canal Conservancy, Denver Field Ornithologists, and 350 Colorado.
My job: I am a Teaching Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at DU. I received my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned undergraduate degrees Biology and Kinesiology, also from UC-Boulder. I joined DU in 2015 and have taught both Biology major and non-major courses throughout my 7 years here. I have had the opportunity to develop wonderful partnerships with OTL and CCESL to expand my teaching praxis to help students learn, appreciate, and apply what they learn to broader personal and societal interests and needs and grow as scientifically literate citizens. In addition, through OTL and CCESL collaborations I have had the good fortune to integrate community engaged educational opportunities into many of my courses. My current research interests include healthy aging, intergenerational impacts on health, integration of technology in undergraduate science education, and mentoring in STEM disciplines to increase diversity and opportunity.
My Background: As a Faculty Fellow of Teaching and Learning, I seek to collaboratively evaluate and innovate with others at DU to improve teaching excellence, teaching evaluations and opportunities to grow professionally in the teaching space. My goal in this position will be to collaboratively develop appropriate strategies with the VPFA, OTL and faculty in all lines and at all levels of experience, to generate informed, practical and useful feedback and ideas focused on improving the faculty teaching opportunities and evaluation experience at DU.
Laura E. Sponsler, Ph.D, is Clinical Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver and serves as the Resident-Scholar for Teaching and Professional Faculty. In her role, Dr. Sponsler integrates teaching, scholarship, and service in service of the institutional mission to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. Her work broadly examines the role of colleges and universities in creating more democratic practices for all constituents and institutionalizing the civic mission of higher education.
Previously, Dr. Sponsler served as the founding director for NASPA’s Lead Initiative, a civic learning and democratic engagement network, and as a practitioner in service-learning. Laura received her Ph.D. in Higher Education and M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, and has a B.S. in biology from Saint Joseph’s University.
- Preparing for tenure, promotion, and consequential reviews,
- Building capacity for meaningful academic, and personal wellbeing.
- Sharing clear resources and building community before, during, and after DU.
I joined DU at the start of 2021, so I’m still getting used to the air here.
In my prior academic life, I was a chair and Associate Professor tenured in Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where I also was a member of the Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies departments. My PhD is in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland (2013), and my subfields are political theory and public law. All my research interests are rooted in curiosity about what types of narratives and community-building might make democratic life possible— as a geopolitical reality, in the classroom, or at a workplace. My OTL related scholarship focusing on student reading practices, and building an inclusive classroom—including the co-edited volume Teaching in the Political Science Classroom. As I acclimate, I’d like to continue SoTL work, particularly on the metaphors students use for learning, and parallel students on how faculty conceptualize their own learning over their careers.