About Us

Who We Are

If you are a member of the faculty at Montclair State University, or a staff member concerned with teaching and learning issues, you are potentially a part of the Research Academy for University Learning. We are a community of scholars who care about the learning of our students and recognize that learning is an enormously complex process. We regard the learning of our students as an appropriate subject of scholarly inquiry: what does it mean to learn; how do we best foster its development; how do we and our students best come to understand the nature and progress of their learning; and how do we evaluate our own efforts? We expect to contribute to the emerging scholarship of learning and teaching, to create powerful learning environments for our students, to address many of the most troublesome social and personal forces that often keep highly talented students from realizing their full potential, and to contribute to a learner-centered, researched-based approach to higher education that has the potential to transform colleges and universities.

Some of us come from disciplines that study human learning; most of us do not. But as college educators we are all concerned with helping other people to learn, and we realize that there is a vast and growing body of research and theoretical literature on learning and motivation that can inform our practices. We realize also that we can learn from one another, pooling the rich insights and best practices of many people to create richer insights for all of us.

Fellows of the Academy
The Research Academy will have both Junior and Senior Fellows. More information will be forthcoming on the selection and appointment of Junior and Senior Faculty Fellows.

Faculty Advisory Board
A board of distinguished scholars at Montclair State will help guide the activities and policies of the Research Academy.

International Board of Visitors
An International body of distinguished leaders will form our board of visitors to help us keep broader perspectives in mind.

Director and Associate Director
The Director and Associate Director (position currently vacant) have special responsibilities to contribute vigorously and extensively to the conversation about teaching and learning, to assist with faculty research projects, to coordinate activities and services that faculty members will offer one another, to advance university learning, and to pursue the scholarship of learning and teaching in higher education, but they are not the Research Academy. They are part of a larger community of Montclair State University faculty members who constitute the Research Academy for University Learning.

Interim Director, Research Academy for University Learning; Associate Professor, Psychology

Dr. Milton Fuentes received his MA in Psychology with a concentration in Latino Mental Health from Montclair State University and his Psy.D in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. He completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in clinical and community psychology at Yale University and directed a one-year epidemiological study at Columbia University.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Interim Director of the Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair State University, a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and New York as well as the Director of the Clinical and Community Studies laboratory in the Psychology department.  He is a founding member and former president of the Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey and the immediate Past President of the National Latina/o Psychological Association.  Dr. Fuentes' interests are in the areas of teaching and learning, motivation, and diversity.  He serves as a consultant to several schools and community-based programs, including the Puerto Rican Family Institute.  

Assistant Director, Research Academy for University Learning; Adjunct Professor, First-Year Writing
Julie Dalley is Assistant Director and Editor for the Research Academy for University Learning. She holds a B.A. in History from Vermont College, Norwich University and an M.A. in English Composition from Montclair State University. She is chief writer and editor for The Teaching Times in Higher Education, a regular blogger at Tumblr and Wordpress, and has co-authored articles for the Huffington Post. Ms. Dalley is also an Adjunct Professor in the First-Year Writing Program at Montclair State University. She brings a strong background in education to the Research Academy, with experience as a high school history teacher, debate club mentor/coach and historical researcher of women in antiquity. Her Master's Thesis work explored the statistical and cultural representation of women in the critical literary establishment. Her current research includes active participation as a team member delivering, developing, and analyzing the new Creative Thinking course at Montclair State University, a first-of-its-kind course that seeks to immerse students in the creative process through exposure to myriad interdisciplinary approaches to creative ideas, expression, and innovation. She is also working and researching the application of contemplative pedagogy in higher education as a teaching and learning approach that fosters and nurtures student engagement through a holistic concern with student well-being: mind, body, and spirit. For more information on her work in Contemplative Pedagogy, please visit: http://www.montclair.edu/academy/contemplative-pedagogy/

Program Coordinator

Livia Lazzaro joined the Research Academy team in April 2012 and has brought a rich background in communications and technology.