University Teaching and Learning Showcase

Registration is now open

for the

6th Annual University Learning and Teaching Showcase -

May 8, 2015

Featuring key note speaker

Dr. Patrick Blessinger, Chief Scientist, and Executive Director

International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL).


Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.

The Research Academy for University Learning, with the support of the Office of the Provost, is proud to announce that full sessions registration will is now open for the 6th Annual University Teaching and Learning Showcase. Please view the full schedule of sessions below, and click on the image or the following link to register today!

2015 University Showcase Schedule


Please register here:

Please download the full session titles and abstracts here:  2015 University Showcase full titles and abstracts (PDF download).

**Note that certificates of attendace are available to any person who request them. Please send your request to, and be sure that you have officially registered and checked in on the day of the Showcase.**

The Research Academy is extremely proud of and grateful to all the Montclair State faculty and staff who will be presenting sessions and otherwise contributing to this once-a-year faculty development event. We would like to thank the following partners and co-sponsors of this event:

Office of the Provost

Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

The Engaged Teaching Program Fellows and Mentors

The Women & Gender Studies Program (WMGS)

Center for Writing Excellence (CWE)

Center for Advising and Student Transitions (CAST)

ADP Center for Learning Technologies

Sprague Library

Center for Community Engagement

Center for Career Services and Cooperative Education

6th Annual University Showcase Preview of Sessions:

8:30AM - Sign-In, Breakfast, and Opening (University Conference Center, 7th Floor University Hall)

9:00AM - 10:05AM - Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis, Goucher College, presents "Transformative Pedagogies: Intersectionality and Critical

Feminist Instruction as Social Justice Praxis," co-sponsored by the Women & Gender Studies Program. Jump to full talk description!

10:05AM - 10:20AM - Catered break and Poster Session #1 (University Conference Center, 7th Floor University Hall) 

10:25AM -11:15AM Morning Sessions A, B, C, D, and E (Conference Center break-out rooms, see full program titles and abstracts here: 2015 University Showcase full titles and abstracts (PDF download).

11:20PM - 12:10PM -Morning Sessions Two A, B, C, D, and E (Conference Center break-out rooms, see full program titles and abstracts here: 2015 University Showcase full titles and abstracts (PDF download).

12:15PM - 1:00PM - Networking and Lunch (University Conference Center, 7th Floor University Hall)

1:05PM - 2:20PM - Keynote Presentation: Dr. Patrick Blessinger presents "Creating Meaningful Learning Environments with Student Learning Communities."   Jump to full talk description!

2:20PM - 2:35PM - Catered Break and Poster Sesssion #2 (University Conference Center, 7th Floor University Hall) --- please note that all door prizes and raffle awards will be handed out during this break and session. This year, the Research Academy will be awarding:

2:40PM - 3:30PM - Afternoon Sessions A, B, C, D, and E (Conference Center break-out rooms, see program titles and abstracts here: University Showcase Abstracts and Titles (PDF download).

Please contact the Research Academy at 973-655-3276 or by emailing to learn more about this teaching and learning event. Please check back often as we update this web page with new and exciting information about the Annual Showcase

Plenary Keynote Talk and Description:

Dr. Patrick Blessinger, Chief Scientist, and Executive Director

International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL).

Creating Meaningful Learning Environments with SLCs

Student learning communities (SLCs) have the power to reshape student learning experiences. When properly integrated with course objectives and student learning activities, SLCs can provide an effective framework through which to create a community of shared and co-created learning experiences.  Because SLCs are fundamentally social in nature due to their community framework, they provide the necessary scaffolding to make learning more active, more integrated, and more experiential, as well as more interesting and engaging.  SLCs are good mechanisms to more effectively and more coherently link course content with higher order learning objectives (e.g., Bloom’s Taxonomy) through shared peer learning that spans one or more semesters. One outcome of this process is to shift learning from separate, isolated learning experiences to coherent, integrated learning experiences. Creating this type of holistic social learning environment not only requires the involvement and commitment of leadership, faculty, and staff but also careful and purposeful planning (and on-going assessment) to create appropriate policies and strategies that align with the institution’s mission, vision, and values. This talk will provide an overview of the essential elements and principles needed to create more meaningful learning environments using SLCs.

Follow-up Workshop with Patrick BlessingerDesigning Effective FLCs to Improve Student Performance

This workshop will cover the basic steps and design principles to design, develop, and implement a Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) within a university setting. This workshop will begin with a brief overview of most salient current research on FLCs and the basic principles and factors behind effective FLCs. Guided by the workshop facilitator, the participants will then have the opportunity to apply this foundational knowledge by working in small groups to step through the initial steps of planning process for designing an FLC.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Patrick BlessingerDr. Patrick W. Blessinger is the Founder, Chief Research Scientist, and Executive Director of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), a global nonprofit educational association whose vision is to advance the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning in higher education around the world. Previously, Dr. Blessinger held positions in academia and business: Program Manager and Senior Lecturer at Niels Brock College in Copenhagen, Denmark and Senior Analyst for MCI Communications and Hitachi Telecom in Atlanta, among others. Dr. Blessinger has degrees from Auburn University and the Georgia Institute of Technology and a doctorate in education from St. John’s University in New York City. He has received several educational awards, including: Fulbright Senior Scholar to Denmark and Governor’s Teaching Fellow for the State of Georgia, USA. He resides in New York City with his wife and two cats.

Since founding HETL in 2010, Dr. Blessinger has become widely known for his academic innovations, international outreach, and learning community development. His theories, models, and concepts have influenced the way educators think about teaching and learning in the twenty-first century.  For example, Dr. Blessinger is an internationally recognized scholar and leader in the democratization of higher education and a pioneer in the use of internet-based professional social networking platforms to develop global online communities of practice for academic professional development. He has made significant contributions in educational theory, policy, and practice and he is an expert on the topics of leadership, innovation, teaching, learning, student engagement, faculty development, learning communities, and international education, and their intersections. Dr. Blessinger convenes an annual international conference on different themes related to teaching and learning and he is a contributing writer for various education media outlets like The Guardian.

Dr. Blessinger is a regular keynote speaker as well as the co-editor and co-author of many scholarly publications, including, Engaging and Retaining Students Using Cutting-Edge Technologies series, Meaning-Centered Education, Inquiry-Based Learning series, and Democratizing Higher Education. His forthcoming books include, University Partnerships series, Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education series, Academic Learning Communities series, Open Education, Inclusive Leadership, and Creative Learning. Dr. Blessinger is the editor-in-chief of two international academic journals and two international book series on teaching and learning. Dr. Blessinger is a mixed methods researcher with a special interest in leadership, human experience and meaning-making. His vision is to create effective and meaningful models of education that work for all by working at the nexus of theory, policy, and practice. Dr. Blessinger can be followed at and

Featured Guest Speaker Talk and Description:

Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis
Assistant Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Goucher College

Transformative Pedagogies: Intersectionality and Critical Feminist Instruction as Social Justice Praxis

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary exploration that utilizes feminist frameworks to examine the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, age, ability, nation, colonialism, culture, religion, and other dimensions of identity and experience. Critical feminist pedagogical projects illuminate systems of power, privilege, and oppression, and consider the material impact of those constructions on the lives of individuals and communities. This talk surveys best practices for transformative teaching and learning in the field, and elucidates the application of feminist social justice frameworks for teaching and learning using intersectional analysis as a pedagogical mechanism.

 Speaker Bio:

Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis, Goucher CollegeDr. Mel Michelle Lewis and is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. Her teaching and research center the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, specifically addressing Black queer feminist thought, identity and performance, and feminist and critical pedagogies. Dr. Lewis completed her M.S. at Towson University in Women's Studies and Public Policy, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in women's studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Lewis is the author of "Pedagogy and the Sista' Professor: Teaching Black Queer Feminist Studies," (Sexualities in Education, 2011), Body of Knowledge: Black Queer Feminist Pedagogy, Praxis, and Embodied Text, (Journal of Lesbian Studies, 2011), "Corporeal Presence: Engaging the Black Lesbian Pedagogical Body in Feminist Classrooms and College Communities," (Contemporary Black Female Sexualities, 2015); and a forthcoming chapter "Pedagogical Pleasures: Teaching Gender and Sexuality Studies Through Queer Femme Embodiments" (The Pleasures of Identity: Living Queer). Dr. Lewis was a 2014 Beatrice Bain Research Group affiliated scholar in residence at the University of California, Berkeley while producing her book manuscript, Sexualized Subjects: Race, Performance, and The Disruptive Potential of Queer Feminist Pedagogies. In addition to her teaching and research, Mel is as an aquarist assistant at the National Aquarium, Baltimore. Originally from Bayou la Batre, on Alabama’s gulf coast, she has a passion for conservation, aquaculture, and the preservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.