HIGHER EDUCATION PROFESSIONAL | EDUCATOR | DOCTORAL STUDENT
My interest in education dates back to my days in high school when I wanted to become an English teacher. Over the years, my professional and educational experiences have shaped and expanded my vocation to higher education. During the last 8 years at LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning, I have been engaged in multiple initiatives and working closely with both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs colleagues to promote student success. Now, as the Associate Director of ePortfolio and Digital Learning my role is primarily devoted to overseeing the ePortfolio programming and development across the College expanding across four key areas: ePortfolio use and curriculum integration; digital learning programming; faculty and staff professional development; and data reporting for assessment and program outcomes. These are areas that I’ve been involved in for the last three years and they’ve shaped my career in higher education.
Although I was always interested in working in education since my younger years, my journey has taken me through different stages and career choices. Shortly after moving to New York City, I enrolled at LaGuardia Community College where I completed my Associate’s Degree. It was at LaGuardia where I chose to pursue Psychology as a career and so I moved to Hunter College where I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. It was around this time when I started working at LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning teaching students how to build and develop electronic portfolios. Serving such a diverse student population, with various levels of academic needs, made me re-discover my growing interest in education and the complexity of the higher education system. I wanted to learn more so I decided to complete my Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology at Hunter College. By this time, my work at LaGuardia had exposed me to other areas of administration and collaboration with both faculty and staff in professional development settings. I was part of a college-wide Task Force that implemented a re-designed first year seminar course; took part in the design, plan, and delivery of the professional development seminar for faculty teaching this new course; took part in the training and supervision of a newly-established peer mentoring program; co-led a seminar for faculty teaching capstone courses across different disciplines; and was actively engaged in collaborating with staff from different areas of the college. It was then when I decided to pursue a doctoral degree in higher education.
Now, I am a doctoral student in the Higher and Postsecondary Education (HPSE) program at Teachers College in Columbia University. My program prepares future scholars and higher education practitioners to become critical thinkers and active members of the community. My training involves an in-depth look at higher education as an enterprise, considering the many layers involved and impact such as the student, the organization, and the society. Being part of this program while working at a community college allows to integrate knowledge and theory in meaningful and practical ways. I find that what I learn in the classroom directly impacts my working environment and optimizes my performance and decision making process. My current research interests in higher education include: community colleges, minority students accessing higher education, the transfer experience, and curriculum development for inclusiveness.
Areas of my work
My work also involves working with faculty who teach the first year seminar and capstone courses. My goal is to create spaces for integration, collaboration, feedback, and environments conducive to developing pedagogical tools for teaching and learning in and outside the classroom.
I am actively engaged in collaborations with different offices, departments, and divisions to design initiatives and projects aimed at student success and ePortfolio development. These collaborations also include providing support in the planning and implementation of ePortfolio programming and curriculum among other Academic Affairs-related initiatives.
Data & Assessment
Numbers make a difference. I currently manage the student satisfaction survey data administered to students who take the first year seminar course. Moreover, I work on developing additional data collection sources for assessment purposes for two peer mentoring programs. My work involves both qualitative and quantitative data.
Over the years, I've developed a strong body of work around peer mentoring particularly with first-year college students. In my previous role, I supervised a team of 40 peer mentors that work with faculty teaching a first year seminar course across 8 disciplines at the College. Now, I oversee a program of full-time and part-time staff members with a strong peer mentoring commitment to all students we serve.