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Innovative Teaching Fellows

Current Innovative Teaching Fellows

Flannery Burke, Ph.D., Spring 2019Flannery Burke

Flannery Burke is Associate Professor of History at Saint Louis University where she teaches courses in U.S. history, borderlands and the history of the American West, environmental history, and the history of women and gender.  She is the author of two books about the history of the American Southwest and several articles that span topics from the history of the late twentieth-century natural childbirth movement to regional arts communities.  She is currently at work on a book entitled “Back East,” a history of how westerners have imagined the American East.  Flannery first became involved in history education through federal Teaching American History grants and the Carnegie Teachers for a New Era initiative.  She has published several articles in the scholarship of history teaching and learning including the co-authored, “What Does It Mean To Think Historically?” commonly cited as the 5 C’s of historical thinking.  Most recently, she has explored the role of activism in student history learning.  

For her Spring 2019 Learning Studio course, she will be working with Assistant Professor of English Juliana Chow to lead a group of students on a place-based study of the relationship between humans and nature.  The course will encourage students to reflect on the meaning of places that might be thought of as “natural,” “wild,” “undeveloped,” or even “unknown” and how we might understand those places through literary and historical texts.  Students will work together to use the Learning Studio’s technology to investigate and share keywords of places, and then experiment with identifying and researching keywords to “text” and "map" their own explorations of particular places in St. Louis.  

Juliana Chow, Ph.D., Spring 2019Juliana Chow

Juliana Chow (Ph.D. English, University of California, Berkeley 2015) is an Assistant Professor of English at Saint Louis University where she teaches courses on American literature, the environmental humanities, and writing.  Her research focuses on literary engagement with the environment in nineteenth-century America, constellating around topics such as natural history, regionalism, vitalism, labor, and ecology.  For example, her most recent publication is an essay in Anthropocene Reading: Literary History in Geologic Times (2018) that considers Henry David Thoreau’s method in his late nature writings as a way to critically approach our current geological epoch named the “Anthropocene” due to the extent of human activity shaping the earth.  She is completing a book that examines how the American regionalist sketch form perceives environmental and biological change amidst the mid-nineteenth-century discussions of species transmutation, racial degeneration, and nascent concepts of ecology that continue to shape our sense of nature today.

For her Spring 2019 Learning Studio course, she will be working with Associate Professor of History Flannery Burke to lead a group of students on a place-based study of the relationship between humans and nature.  The course will encourage students to reflect on the meaning of places that might be thought of as “natural,” “wild,” “undeveloped,” or even “unknown” and how we might understand those places through literary and historical texts.  Students will work together to use the Learning Studio’s technology to investigate and share keywords of places, and then experiment with identifying and researching keywords to “text” and "map" their own explorations of particular places in St. Louis. 

Jalil Kianfar, Ph.D., Spring 2019Jalil Kianfar

Jalil Kianfar (Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Missouri, 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. Dr. Kianfar’s specialization is transportation engineering and his industry experience and research interests include connected and automated vehicles, smart cities, and multimodal transportation safety. Dr. Kianfar is a registered professional engineer in the state of Missouri.

Dr. Kianfar’s course for the Learning Studio is Transportation Engineering. This course introduces civil engineering students to the design and analysis of transportation systems. Dr. Kianfar will re-design the course to include active and collaborative strategies to enhance student learning. Emerging technologies such as connected and automated vehicles are expected to transform transportation systems in the near future. Throughout the semester, the students will explore how emerging transportation technologies might influence current practices for the analysis and design of transportation systems. The technology-rich learning environment and flexible layout of the Learning Studio will facilitate active and collaborative learning and discussion of future transportation technologies.

Scott Sell, Ph.D., Spring 2019Scott Sell

Scott A. Sell (Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2009) is currently an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering in Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology at Saint Louis University. Dr. Sell’s Tissue Engineering Scaffold Fabrication Lab focuses on the fabrication and evaluation of tissue engineering scaffolds capable of replicating both the form and function of the native extracellular matrix (ECM). Of principal interest is the fabrication of scaffolds capable of promoting wound healing and the filling of large tissue defects, as well as orthopaedic applications such as bone and intervertebral disc repair. Dr. Sell is also heavily interested in engineering and entrepreneurship education; having worked closely with both the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) and the Coleman Foundation, and been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2016. Dr. Sell has over 65 peer reviewed publications, over 150 conference abstracts, and 3150+ citations of his work. He has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards during his time at SLU: the Association of Parks College Students Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award, Saint Louis University’s Junior Faculty Grantwinner Award for Excellence in Research, the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award for Parks College, and Saint Louis University’s Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award.

In the Learning Studio, he will be conducting a redesign of one of his senior-level elective courses, Quantitative Physiology II. The primary takeaway for the students will be an understanding of how human physiology works from an engineering perspective, and how the things that we do as biomedical engineers integrate with the human body. He plans to create a blended-style class structure that would employ the lecture capture and digital technologies of the Learning Studio to create interactive lectures for students to view as homework, and then use the unique layout possibilities afforded by the Learning Studio to provide in-class active learning experiences and hands on learning opportunities.

Upcoming Innovative Teaching Fellows

Liz Burke, M.A., Fall 2019Liz Burke

Liz Burke (M.A., Teaching English as a Second Language, Southern University of Illinois-Edwardsville, 2008) is an Assistant Professor of English as a Second Language in the INTO-SLU department. For over twelve years, she has taught English language skills to high school, undergraduate, graduate, and adult learners both here at Saint Louis University as well as at Washington University in St. Louis. Her courses taught range from general beginning English to general undergraduate and graduate English courses to English for Specific Purposes for international graduate students entering diverse fields such as law, social work/public health, engineering, and hard sciences. She has also been a part of several curriculum revisions at the departmental level and currently chairs the Pathway Curriculum Committee. For the next step in her career, Ms. Burke plans to begin her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration here at Saint Louis University in the summer of 2019.

Her Fall 2019 Learning Studio course will be an undergraduate reading course designed to give international students an introduction to a flipped reading classroom. International students often understand language skills but encounter difficulty when applying them to new contexts. One goal of the course is to bring students together collaboratively in class to apply their reading skills to difficult yet engaging texts that encourage them to create meaning through discussion. The course will take advantage of the Learning Studio’s multi-source projection capabilities that allow students to collaborate with texts, project them in real time, and discuss them alongside reading skills and vocabulary simultaneously.

Colleen McCluskey, Ph.D., Fall 2019Colleen McCluskey

Colleen McCluskey (Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Iowa, 1997) is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy. Her areas of specialization include medieval philosophy, philosophy of feminism, and philosophy of race. She teaches a wide range of courses, including Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Symbolic Logic, Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy of Feminism, Philosophy of Race, and Disaster Narratives, which she has co-taught with Toby Benis, Professor in the English Department. In additional to a number of articles, she has written two books: Aquinas’s Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context (co-authored with Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung and Christina Van Dyke; Notre Dame Press, 2009) and Thomas Aquinas on Moral Wrongdoing (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her current research includes projects on pacifism, contemporary whiteness studies, and the use of racial terms in medieval Latin texts.

In the Learning Studio, she will teach a revised version of the core philosophy course on ethics. This course introduces students to four major philosophical accounts of morality: relativism, utilitarianism, deontic ethics, and virtue theory. In redesigning this course, she will investigate how to use technology effectively in illustrating how these often abstract ethical theories illuminate ordinary moral experience. Her goal is to deepen students’ understanding of relevant moral concepts in their daily decision making processes. She will also explore how to enhance student engagement in learning through the use of the flexible physical space of the Learning Studio.

Recent Past Innovative Teaching Fellows

Amy Cooper, Ph.D., Fall 2018 Amy Cooper

Amy Cooper (Ph.D., Human Development, The University of Chicago, 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She is a cultural and medical anthropologist whose research focuses on the politics and meanings of health across cultures. For over a decade, Dr. Cooper has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in urban Venezuela, Cuba, and North America. She is completing a book project titled In Excess of Medicine that examines the pleasure associated with Venezuelans' use of socialist health care, based on her research as a Fulbright Scholar in Caracas. Dr. Cooper teaches four-fields anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, qualitative research methods, and social theory.

Dr. Cooper's course for the Learning Studio, Global Mental Health, introduces students to the cross-cultural study of mental health, mental illness, and psychiatry. She plans to use the Learning Studio to promote team-based learning focused on urgent and unanswered research questions in the anthropology of mental health. One goal of the course is to rethink the standard student research paper so students can follow their research interests just as an anthropologist would: by assessing existing research and preparing a feasible research plan. The course will draw on digital technologies in the Learning Studio that enable anthropologists from other institutions to participate remotely as research consultants and guest speakers.

Kelly Lovejoy, Ph.D., Fall 2018Kelly Lovejoy

Kelly Lovejoy (Ph.D., Spanish, Rutgers University, 2015) is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. She is a specialist in second language acquisition, and her primary area of research is linguistic pragmatics with a focus on the development of conversational ability in Spanish as a second language. She is also working on a project that focuses on cultural experience and the emergence of intercultural competence among learners of Spanish.

Dr. Lovejoy's course for the Learning Studio, Language in use: Interaction and intercultural communication in Spanish, will introduce students to Spanish pragmatics, the study of language in the context of its use, as approached from a linguistic and sociological perspective. Students will develop an awareness and understanding of cross-cultural differences (and similarities) in communication among different Spanish-speaking groups, and between American English speakers and Spanish speakers. The course will draw on the flexibility of the Learning Studio, engaging students in a variety of activities, such as comparative analysis of interactions, participation in simulations, and reflection, that will support their ability to apply their newfound contextual and sociocultural knowledge to their own communication in Spanish.

Pascale Perraudin, Ph.D., Spring 2018Pascale Perraudin

Pascale Perraudin is Associate Professor of French at Saint Louis University where she teaches courses on Francophone literature, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and Algeria. Her courses focus on postcolonial literature, violence and memory, women and global issues, nation and identity, contemporary memory of the French-Algerian War. Dr. Perraudin published a variety of articles and book chapters on Francophone authors as well as pedagogy. She co-edited an issue of Postcolonial Text entitled "Transnational Inquiries: Representing Postcolonial Violence and Cultures of Struggle." She is currently working on a book project Family Secrets: Contemporary French-Algerian Fiction and the Struggle for Memory where she examines how contemporary narratives become active exploration and reformulation of political legacies. She serves as Assistant Editor for The French Review, the journal for the American Association of Teachers of French. She is also a Board Director at the Alliance Française of St Louis. Beginning academic year 2017-2018, she will serve as Associate Chair in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

In the Learning Studio, she will be introducing an updated and redesigned version of one of her favorite courses: French and International Relations, which culminates in global simulation projects-students organize International conferences following a model-UN, putting into practice the linguistic and intercultural competencies they have acquired over the course of the semester, at an advanced level of proficiency in French. The approach to this course is to place and immerse students in real-life global situations/conflicts through role play. Language students learn best when they are immersed in a meaningful situation where they have to negotiate, transform and integrate input, as well as convince. In this performance-based course, students immerse themselves in the world of International Relations as it pertains to the Francophone world and become familiar with key historical events, institutions and actors of International Relations (state, international organizations, NGOs) which have shaped our current political landscape. Students learn to participate and function effectively in a variety of international settings and current global challenges.

Katie Devany, M.S., Fall 2017

Katie DevanyKatie Devany, M.S. is an Instructor and Director of the Hospitality Management program in the School for Professional Studies. Her research interests include online pedagogy, adult learning theory, and guest service. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University. Prior to her current role, Ms. Devany spent nearly a decade in the lodging industry serving in management positions at resort, limited-service, and boutique properties in various cities within the United States.

In Fall 2017, Ms. Devany used the Learning Studio to teach a new class for students across disciplines that provided foundational framework necessary to evaluate the feasibility of an innovative business concept. Students worked collaboratively to identify customer pains and gains through integration of market research, and assess potential product features using the lean business canvas. They also interacted with current entrepreneurs throughout the term to learn from their challenges and successes. Ms. Devany is a Coleman Fellow and charged with extending the reach of entrepreneurship beyond the scope of the business school and into disciplines campus-wide. The course is designed to apply to an inter-disciplinary audience and will provide students with resources available not only on SLU's campus but also within the city of St. Louis to develop, nurture, and launch a business concept.

Simone Bregni, Ph.D., Spring 2017

Simone BregniDr. Simone Bregni, Ph.D is an Associate Professor of Italian and the Coordinator of the Italian Studies Program in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures. His research interests and publications include Dante and Medieval literature; Renaissance Italian Theater, with a focus on representation of sexual alterity; the Classical Tradition; and the application of media and technology to second/foreign language acquisition, and the teaching of literature and culture. His eclectic background in Classics, Theology, International Studies and Communications/Media has deeply influenced his interdisciplinary approach to scholarship.

In Spring 2017, Dr. Bregni will use the Learning Studio to teach ITAL 1200, Intensive Italian for Gamers. The course, which will provide two semesters of language requirement in one, will be re-designed to specifically attract, and respond to the interests of, video game players. Dr. Bregni began learning foreign languages (English) and playing video games (Pong) in 1975. Other interests, such as comics and music, also helped bolster his language learning, but it was his passion for video games that most aided his language acquisition. Video games quickly transitioned to complex textual and graphic adventures in the latter ‘80s. His foreign language skills rapidly improved while reading in a foreign language, applying reading comprehension to problem solving, and using writing to attain goals and solutions, while having fun doing so.

Video games became a mass phenomenon around 1998 and this led him to explore the full potential of gaming as interactive multi-media narratives for the language classroom. At the time, he was also a freelance writer for the leading Italian video game magazine, Super Console. The experience further stimulated him to pursue the potential use of games in learning. Games have evolved into a medium that is a fully-interactive multimedia experience combining real-time animation, speech/dialogue and textual interaction. Students can even learn about the history and everyday life of the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance, using the excellent Assassin's Creed series, as well as learn everyday activities, engage in conversations and even acquire friends across continents while exploring virtual worlds.

Amber Knight, Ph.D., Spring 2017

Amber KnightAmber Knight (Ph.D., Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Louis University. She is also an affiliated faculty member with the Women's and Gender Studies department at SLU. Her research puts the disciplines of political theory and disability studies in conversation with one another in order to examine the political nature of disability and the disabling nature of our political arrangements. She is currently working on a book project tentatively titled Disability and the Politics of Parenthood, which examines political policies, social practices, and bioethical issues surrounding the experiences of disabled parents and parents of children with disabilities, including: the history of state-sponsored discrimination against potential and actual parents with disabilities; the selective abortion of disabled fetuses; the politics of paternalism; motherhood and fatherhood as practices of political activism and advocacy; the ethics of care; children's rights; and, the role of the state in regulating the family.

Dr. Knight's course for the Learning Studio- Disability Theory and Politics- will introduce students to the history of the disability rights movement and the discipline of disability studies. Throughout the semester, Knight will challenge students to critically engage with their own educational environment to assess its (in)accessibility. Students will collaboratively envision how to create a classroom environment that adheres to the principles of "universal design" so that participation in educational institutions can occur in as inclusive a setting as possible, regardless of one's (in)ability to see, hear, walk, etc.

Dyan McGuire, Ph.D., J.D., Spring 2017

Dyan McGuireDyan McGuire is an Associate Professor in the Criminology & Criminal Justice Program in the School of Social Work. Her research focuses on the intersection between law and practice with an emphasis on systemic race and gender bias, eyewitness identification and Miranda issues. In the Learning Studio, Dr. McGuire will be teaching "Multiculturalism for Criminal Justice Professionals." The purpose of the course is to allow students to grapple with their own biases and gain an understanding of how systemic injustice influences the criminal justice system. We explore how race, gender and cultural differences shape the lived experiences of people who come into contact with the C.J. system with special emphasis on how these differences may adversely affect law enforcement's response to these citizens, proper ways of dealing with difference while still recognizing the duty to enforce the law and an appreciation of the ways in which normative differences may impact upon both perpetration and victimization. The ultimate goal is to help students on their way to being C.J. professionals who truly work for, and perhaps more importantly with, others regardless of who those others may be. The course will be taught using experiential learning, collaborative problem-solving and narrative construction/destruction.

Jeffrey Wickes, Ph.D., Spring 2017

At Saint Louis University, Wickes has taught the Theology survey, an introduction to Christianity in the Middle East, a course on Jerusalem, a course on Women and Gender in Early Christianity, as well as graduate seminars on Early Christianity, and the Syriac poet Ephrem. In Spring 2017, he will use the Learning Studio to lead a course entitled "Music, Poetry, and Theology." The course will explore a phenomenon in the history of the relationship between music and Theology: since antiquity, music has been seen as a potential threat to one's ability to find truth, because it seduces one's reasoning faculties. At the same time, religious rituals have almost always used music. The course thus asks a simple question: why is music so important in religious life, but simultaneously so mistrusted? The students will use the Learning Studio to explore this question in a trans-historical, trans-geographical way.

Click here to see a full list of all former Innovative Teaching Fellows