About Us

The Office for Faculty Excellence supports all faculty – adjunct faculty to full professors – in teaching & learning excellence, career advancement, and academic leadership, through in-person and online programming, a robust website, and faculty development programming designed for sustained impact on faculty excellence and student success.

The Office for Faculty Excellence (OFE) promotes faculty excellence in teaching and learning through education and coaching on a variety of teaching and learning topics, developmental programs, and specialized services developed for faculty groups seeking support for specific classes or students. OFE provides guidance on teaching for both new and seasoned instructors, and for teachers on every track. OFE integrates the University’s determination to support all students’ success through efforts that bring data and evidence-based practice to faculty seeking to advance their teaching to inspire and meet their students’ needs.

The Office for Faculty Excellence offers support for faculty beyond teaching and learning:

  • Support for research and career development, through writing groups and workshops, that aid faculty in learning systems and strategies for doing the hard work of an independent scholar. OFE also serves as a clearinghouse to guide faculty to the many programs, offices, and informational sources that join OFE in supporting their excellence.
  • Support for academic leaders, from department chairs to course coordinators through resources that make it easier to do the job well. Resources such as the Chairs Tickler File, Best Practices in Faculty Hiring and the Chairs Dashboard (in Tableau) equip leaders with information, data, and resources that can help faculty leaders support excellence in their programs and faculty.

The Office for Faculty Excellence is part of 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. Dr. Isaacs published Writing at the State U: Instruction and Administration at 106 U.S. Comprehensive Universities (2018) and Intersections: Writing Academically with Catherine Keohane (2017). She has published numerous articles on teaching writing, writing programming in public higher education, and challenges in higher education.

Associate Director for Teaching and Learning

Dr. Catherine Keohane has a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University. She She has designed and taught upper- and lower-division literature, humanities, and composition courses, and has experience teaching in multiple modalities. She has presented on student engagement at MLA, and has developed open-educational resources that work to mitigate financial barriers to students’ success while also serving students’ sense of belongingness.

Program Coordinator

Dalilah Smith-Santos joined the OFE in January of 2023 after seven years working for the MTA in the Real Estate Department where she served in several capacities, most recently as the Facilities Management Administrator.  Prior to working at the MTA, Dalilah worked for the Children’s Aid – Next Generation Center supporting this NYC organization in providing services to help children in poverty succeed and thrive.  Ms. Smith-Santos received her B.S in Public Administration from John Jay College.

Faculty Developers

Vera Senina is a Ph.D. Candidate in Slavic Studies at Columbia University. Her teaching and scholarship spans across disciplines, including critical theory, medical humanities, computational linguistics, and second language acquisition. Vera has experience teaching in diverse modalities, designing innovative student-centered courses, and organizing conference panels and workshops on inclusive curriculum development, assessment strategies, and project-based and experiential learning. She also has top-company industry experience in project management and staff development.

Dr. Courtney Glore Crimmins is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, where she teaches German. Her approach to teaching is based in collaborative, project-based learning. In both the face-to-face and online courses she teaches, students work together in small learning groups, explore authentic digital resources, and use technology to learn the language. Courtney has a Ph.D. in Germanic Language and Literature from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Patricia M. Virella, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, has joined OFE as a Faculty Leader for AY24.  Dr. Virella’s research focuses on implementing equity-oriented leadership through leader responses, programmatic interventions, and preparation. Dr. Virella also studies equity-oriented crisis leadership examining how school leaders can respond to crises without further harming marginalized communities. She seeks to answer research questions to enable transformation and liberation in school leaders, districts and policies.

Graduate Assistants

Hajar Ismailzada is a graduate assistant for the OFE.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a School Psychology certification.  Her future goals consist of working as a school psychologist and receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology.