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 has designed and taught upper- and lower-division literature and composition courses, and has experience teaching in multiple modalities. She has presented on student engagement at MLA, and recently has begun to develop open-educational resources that work to mitigate financial barriers to students’ success.

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.

Kate Kelly, LSW, uses the pronouns she/her/hers and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes as an adjunct in the Social Work and Child Advocacy Department. Her experience in higher education includes teaching in person and asynchronous classes, advising students and instructing students in fieldwork at various institutions. Her specific interests include designing courses and developing and adopting strategies and activities that promote classroom engagement and student success.

Throughout her professional career in the nonprofit sector in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Kate focuses on strengthening and creating more integrated communities and improving access to affordable housing and ending homelessness. Her expertise includes project management, public policy, organizing, advocacy, and communication, working to expanding access and organizing. She holds an MSW from the University of Connecticut and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. She lives in Verona with her family.

Digital Assistant

Stephanie Rim is an undergraduate pursuing a degree in Public and Professional Writing with a minor in Business Administration. Throughout her academic career, she has received many awards and scholarships and is a member of multiple honor societies. She specializes in writing, editing, social media management, graphic design, and web development. Her responsibilities include administrative tasks, maintaining the OFE website, and assisting the Faculty Developers.

Graduate Student Assistant

Daine Ocampo Martinez (they/them) has been working with OFE since 2020 and recently graduated at Montclair State University this past spring. They received their undergraduate degree in linguistics with a minor in sociology and is now currently pursuing a Master in Social Work. They’re expected to graduate in Spring 2024 and is also interning at the Boys and Girl Club of Newark. Their future endeavor is to become a school social worker.

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Brunella Vasquez is majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Spanish and Child Advocacy & Policy. She is expected to graduate in 2026 as part of the honors program and plans to continue her graduate studies to pursue a masters/doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in pediatrics. She loves to read books of all genres and enjoys playing multiple sports especially, volleyball and soccer. Lastly, her friends would describe her as a friendly, open-minded, outgoing, and down to earth person.

Past Interns

Luis Tiru graduated from Montclair State University in 2021 and received his graduate degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. He previously graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with his BA in Forensic Psychology. His interests included Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness. Luis worked on the OFE’s Adjunct Faculty Toolkit to improve the accessibility of resources for our adjunct faculty.


Carlos Salvador is a student and tutor at Montclair State University. He is also an educator at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. But, most importantly he is a writer.


Andrew Ciechanowski graduated from the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program at Montclair in 2022. He holds a BA in Sociology and a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice from William Patterson University. Andrew contributed developing the OFE’s leadership training and development platform for academic department chairs.

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.

Former Graduate Student Interns and Staff

Nikita Kumbhani was an international graduate student in the Computer Science program. She was a Java developer with strong analytical, problem-solving, and technical skills. Nikita used to take care of updating the website, designing and managing surveys, coordinating and organizing events, sending email confirmations, and assisted with other administrative tasks.


Hannah Wieselthier was a graduate student in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She contributed towards creating a leadership development training program for department chairs. Hannah’s research interests included training and development, assessments, selection, and personality.


Steven Langer was a graduate student in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program at Montclair. He earned his BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, with minors in Neuroscience and Military Science. Steven helped develop a leadership training and development platform for academic department chairs. His interests included training and development, performance assessment systems, employee and organization member morale and motivation, and leadership development.


Matthew Giuliano was a graduate student in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program at Montclair State University. He earned his BA in Psychology from The College of New Jersey with a minor in economics. His interests in the field included leadership development, personnel selection and placement, training and development, employee motivation, and performance assessment systems.


Nnamdi Chuka-Maduji was a graduate student in the Computer Science Masters Program at Montclair State University. Nnamdi assisted in editing the webpage, managing the database, and contributing to data analysis. Beyond that, Nnamdi did everything he possibly could — and more — to help give the OFE ship afloat in good times and bad.