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Faculty Institute

Keynote Presenters and Sessions

Keynote Presenter

Dr. Kristen Betts is a Clinical Professor in the School of Education at Drexel University. Dr. Betts has over 20 years of experience in higher education serving in key leadership positions within private, public, and for-profit institutions as a program director (MS, EdD), Senior Director for e-Learning, Director of Online & Blended Learning, and Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Betts’ expertise is in higher education, online and blended learning, curriculum development, instructional design, and faculty development. Dr. Betts publishes and presents on online and blended learning, student/faculty recruitment and retention, Online Human Touch/high touch, online pedagogy, accessibility, metacognition, transfer of learning, Brain-Targeted Teaching, accreditation, eStudent Affairs, and eAdvising. Dr. Betts is a peer evaluator with the Middle States Commission for Higher Education, a Quality Matters certified peer reviewer, and an instructor for the Online Learning Consortium Advanced Certificate program. Dr. Betts serves as a National Faculty Academy Coordinator for an Urban Special Education Leaders of Tomorrow (USELT) grant, and a grant reviewer for the Research Grants Council in Hong Kong.

Dr. Betts is a conference reviewer for several national and international associations. She has been a reviewer for 12 journals/publishers and been a guest editor for two special issues of a refereed journal. Dr. Betts has received distinguished national awards for her work in higher education and online learning including the CITE 2015 Award by Pearson for Excellence in Online Administration. Dr. Betts has also been a keynote speaker at conferences and government-supported events in Sweden, South Korea, Canada, and across the United States.

Keynote Session

Innovative Strategies to Foster Critical Thinking & Transfer Knowledge and Skills to the Real World

With advancements in technology and a focus on deeper learning, educators are able to align course design and instruction to meet course outcomes through differentiated instruction, critical feedback, and innovative assessment. What faculty know about neuroplasticity and metacognition can create new opportunities to engage students in learning experiences across all educational formats (face-to-face, hybrid/blended, online) that foster critical thinking, support learning and promote the transfer of knowledge and skills to real-world situations.

Dr. Kristen Betts will share pedagogical innovative strategies for scaffolding assignments to support transfer of learning, facilitating discussion, teaching metacognition, and integrating reflection. This presentation will provide current and emerging research from the neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences as well as data and qualitative feedback paired with several examples and demonstrations to showcase innovative approaches to formative and summative assessment that can be used across course formats and disciplines.

Keynote Presenter

Dr. Mara Lee Grayson is a Lecturer of English at Pace University. Dr. Grayson holds a PhD from Columbia University and an MFA from the City College of New York and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in composition, teacher education, and interdisciplinary studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, the City University of New York, and Long Island University. She sits on the executive board of the Walter K. Hoerning Endowment Fund and serves as Secretary and Treasurer for the New Jersey College English Association (NJCEA).

Dr. Grayson’s research focuses are equitable teacher education and racial literacy as a paradigm for critical writing instruction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in English Education, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, English Journal, and Fiction. Dr. Grayson’s new book, Teaching Racial Literacy: Reflective Practices for Critical Writing, provides conceptual framing and practical suggestions for instructors seeking to implement antiracist pedagogies in composition classrooms.

Keynote Session

Who We Are Is How We Teach

As educators, our multiple roles and identities contribute significantly to elements of classroom instruction, from curriculum development and pedagogical choices to in-class discussion and teacher-student rapport. In order for us to provide equitable instruction to a diverse population of students, we must first consider how our own positionalities influence our understandings of education, our instruction, how we respond to our students, and how our students respond to us. 
Dr. Mara Lee Grayson will use personal narrative and draw upon existing and original research to provide a dimensional, complex understanding of experience, perspective and instructional positionality. This presentation will suggest tools for reflective and collaborative learning and discussion through which individuals – faculty and students – may begin to explore how their positionalities influence their experiences and the choices they make in the classroom.