About Us

The Office for Faculty Advancement supports faculty development through in-person and online programming, a robust website, and a variety of faculty development workshops. Current programs include High Impact Course Redesign, bi-annual teaching conferences, reading groups on diversity, equity and inclusion, and programming to support faculty scholarship.  The Office for Faculty Advancement is supported by the Provost’s Office and is located on the first floor of Sprague Library.

Executive Director

Dr. Emily Isaacs, Professor in the Department of Writing Studies, has a long record of teaching, scholarship and service at Montclair State University, most recently as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Science and Mathematics, Assistant to the Provost for Special Projects, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  Previously she served a term as English Department Chair and for some years as Director of the University Writing Program where she led the Program to national prominence.

Dr. Isaacs has recently published Writing at the State U: Instruction and Administration at 106 U.S. Comprehensive Universities (2018) and Intersections: Writing Academically with Catherine Keohane (2017). In addition to another book, she has published numerous articles and delivered many conference presentations on teaching writing, writing programming in public higher education, and challenges in higher education.  She represents MSU to the APLU Personalized Learning Collaborative which is exploring the application of adaptive teaching methodologies to a range of undergraduate courses nationwide.

Associate Director

Julie Dalley is Associate Director, Program Manager, and Faculty Development Specialist for the Office for Faculty Advancement (formerly the Research Academy for University Learning). She holds a BA in History from Vermont College, Norwich University and an MA in English Composition from Montclair State University. She is a current doctoral candidate at Old Dominion University, with a concentration in narratology and literature studies.

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 and the Creative Research Center. Ms. Dalley is also an Adjunct Professor in the First-Year Writing Program at Montclair State University. Her current research includes analyzing the experience of real readers of fictional narratives and investigating active and engaged learning interventions in student learning through the use of PLCs. She directs the Professional Learning Community (PLC) for the STEM Pioneers program, an NSF-funded project that seeks to improve the retention, recruitment, and science literacy skills of first-generation college students in the STEM majors, by aligning faculty development and student learning communities. She also works in facilitating programs including contemplative pedagogies, bi-annual book club groups, workshops on active learning, engaging discussions in the classroom, using new strategies and technologies to improve student study and reading skills, using Open Education Resources (OERs) in higher education, and more.

Program Coordinator and Website Developer

Anthony Knowles comes to the Office for Faculty Advancement and higher education from a career in design, working in the areas of graphic, environmental, and exhibit design. Originally from Mississippi, Anthony holds a BFA in graphic design with a minor in psychology from Mississippi State University.  Anthony has a keen eye for aesthetics and functionality, and has worked on a wide range of corporate, civic, and institutional projects as a consultant and in-house expert.  In recent years he has worked as the founder and principal of AK.Design Lab.

At OFA Anthony deploys his strong attention to detail and his experience with managing complex projects involving many people and moving parts. He works with these OFA initiatives: TAC: Teaching in the Age of COVID, a HEERF grant, the High Impact Course Redesign program; the Department of Education multi-institutional grant, At Home in College in the Age of COVID-19: Improving Instruction, Access, and Engagement in Minority-Serving Institutions; and, the creation of asynchronous faculty development content for the OFA website. Anthony recently moved to Montclair where he enjoys time with his family and the community after many years in Brooklyn.

Graduate Student Assistant

Nikita Kumbhani is an international graduate student in the Computer Science program. She is a Java developer with strong analytical, problem-solving, and technical skills. Nikita takes care of updating the website, designing and managing surveys, coordinating and organizing events, sending email confirmation, along with many other administrative tasks.

Undergraduate Student Assistants

Daine Ocampo Martinez is a federal work study student in OFA, with a major in Linguistics and minor in Sociology. They hope to pursue a Masters degree in Social Work. Daine helps with daily administrative tasks.  federal work study student in OFA, with a major in Linguistics and minor in Sociology. They hope to pursue a Masters degree in Social Work. Daine helps with daily administrative tasks.


Malachi Abernathy, a Federal Work Study student pursuing their undergraduate as a part of the Class of 2025. Currently enrolled as undecided, yet seeking to audition for the John J. Cali School, where they hope to be enrolled as a Music Education major for Fall of 2022.


Carolina Perez a first generation college student is currently in her first year studying Business Administration with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Currently running her small business Sweet Snax by Lina as well as being a part of OFA.


Janae Owens, is a first year undergraduate student majoring in Early Childhood Education. Janae plans to become an elementary school teacher and hopes to network while working at OFA. Janae worked as a Teacher’s Assistant at a local Childcare Center. Her interests outside of school include singing, learning new skills, and cooking.
Luis Tiru is a graduate student finishing his last semester in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program. He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with his BA in Forensic Psychology. His interests include Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness. Luis is currently working on the OFA’s Adjunct Faculty Toolkit to improve the accessibility of resources for our adjunct faculty.



Andrew Ciechanowski is currently completing his final year in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program at MSU. He holds a BA in Sociology and a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice from William Patterson University. Andrew is currently working to further develop the OFA’s leadership training and development platform for academic department chairs.

Former Graduate Student Interns and Staff

Hannah Wieselthier is currently in her second year in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Currently working on creating a leadership development training program for department chairs, Hannah’s research interests include training and development, assessments, selection, and personality.

Steven Langer is currently in his second year in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program. He earned his BA in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, with minors in neuroscience and military science. Steven is currently developing a leadership training and development platform for academic department chairs. His interests in his field include training and development, performance assessment systems, employee and organization member morale and motivation, and leadership development.


Matthew Giuliano is currently in his first year in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program. He earned his BA in Psychology from The College of New Jersey with a minor in economics. His interests in the field include leadership development, personnel selection and placement, training and development, employee motivation, and performance assessment systems.

Nnamdi Chuka-Maduji is a graduate student in the M.S. in Computer Science at Montclair State University.  Nnamdi is the office organizer, edits the webpage, manages the database, and contributes to data analysis.  Beyond that, Nnamdi does everything he possibly can — and more — to help give the OFA ship afloat in good times and bad.