Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

image of three women looking at a computer screen

Contact Us

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning staff consists of a director, faculty developer, assistant. Additionally, CETL offers yearly appointments to OU faculty in the role of Faculty Fellow and Chair Fellow.

Staff Directory
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is located in the 200 wing of Elliott Hall, near the connector hallway to Varner Hall. Where is Elliott Hall?

Learning Studio: 200A Elliott Hall
Faculty and Staff Offices: 200D-220G, 200J Elliott Hall

CETL Staff
Head shot of Judith AblesserJudith Ableser, Ph.D., is the Director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Her Ph.D. is in Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State University. She was an associate professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and served as the director of graduate programs in Education and as coordinator of the Master of Arts in Special Education. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor at the University of Windsor. Dr. Ableser's area of expertise, research and teaching, focuses on exemplary teaching and learning practices from preschool through graduate school.

You can reach Judy at:
(248) 370-2455
Head shot of Candace CampbellCandace Campbell is CETL’s office assistant. She has worked for OU’s School of Nursing Continuing Education Program and has previously worked in health care at McLaren Oakland Hospital and Foundation and in the community with AmeriCorps. She earned her bachelor’s in Media Arts & Studies at Wayne State University and is earning her master’s in Communication at OU.

You can reach Candace at:
(248) 370-2751
Head shot of Christina MooreChristina Moore is the virtual faculty developer for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. She is developing the expansion of CETL’s online presence and resources for faculty and supports Judy in program and resource development. Her scholarship focuses on educational technology, teaching writing, and online learning. Christina is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at OU, earned her M.A. in English from OU, and was a Special Lecturer in Writing and Rhetoric at OU. See Christina's CV.

You can reach Christina at:
(248) 370-2499

About CETL Faculty Fellows

In order to sustain a truly faculty-driven foundation for teaching and learning excellence at Oakland University, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning enlists two full-time faculty to help the Center progress in its services to faculty by facilitating Faculty Development Institutes, collaborating in center programming, and collecting and assessing data integral to CETL's annual report. Faculty Fellows receive one course release for the fall semester and one for winter.

2019-2020 Faculty Fellows
headshot of Roger ChaoRoger Chao
Assistant Professor in Writing & Rhetoric

Roger Chao completed his Ph.D. in English with a focus in Language and Rhetoric at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. His research interests include university-community partnerships and the teaching of writing in community-based contexts. He has taught first-year service-learning composition at the University of Washington as well as adult basic education at Literacy Source, a community organization in Seattle. Currently, he is working alongside The Dream Center in Pontiac and the Oakland Literacy Council in Bloomfield Hills to develop literacy and education programs in the Metro Detroit area. Contact Roger at
headshot of Jonathan YatesJonathan Yates
Special Instructor in Biological Sciences

Jonathan Yates received his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Cincinnati, and joined the Biology department at Oakland University in 2009. In 2016, Dr. Yates joined the Oakland University Michigan Gateways to Completion (MIG2C) Initiative, a three-year program tasked with developing mechanisms to help faculty improve student learning and success in selected "gateway" or foundational courses with historically high failure rates. Since that time, Dr. Yates has been the Co-Chair of the Biology 1200 G2C Redesign Committee, developing and utilizing evidence-based, effective teaching methods, along with data collection and analysis, to assist in the redesign of BIO 1200. He has presented findings from this work at local, regional, and national meetings and hopes to continue this campus-wide movement. Contact Jonathan at

Previous Faculty Fellows
2018-2019 Faculty Fellows
headshot of AdinaAdina Schneeweis
Associate Professor in Communication and Journalism

Adina Schneeweis teaches journalism, photo and video production, and diversity in storytelling in the Department of Communication and Journalism, where she encourages active and experiential learning, critical writing, and mindful storytelling. Her research focus is on the representation of race and ethnicity in communication and advocacy, at the intersection of the disciplines of cultural and critical studies, postcolonial studies, and international communication. A native of Romania, Dr. Schneeweis was a documentary writer, reporter, and editor, creating more than 50 documentaries for the national public television station TVR. As a CETL Faculty Fellow, Dr. Schneeweis will facilitate a multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary storytelling project that contributes to OU’s commitment to diversity and unity, will enhance understanding of the needs of our diverse student body, and will increase OU community’s preparedness for living in our increasingly diverse society. Contact Adina at
headshot of Kieran MathiesonKieran Mathieson
Associate Professor in Management Information Systems

Kieran Mathieson has taught information systems at OU since 1991. In 2006, Kieran started reading the learning science literature. He redesigned his courses, wrote short custom textbooks, and wrote software to, among other things, make personal formative feedback practical at scale. Since his courses are flipped, Kieran gets to know students, helps them individually, and cheers them on. He is also interested in how redesigning institutional workflow can improve student outcomes, while reducing costs. Contact Kieran at

2017-2018 Faculty Fellows
Head shot of Joanne Lipson FreedJoanne Lipson Freed
Assistant Professor in English

Joanne Lipson Freed teaches courses on twentieth-century American literature, U.S. ethnic literature, and world literature. Her research explores the ways that literary texts engage with readers from differing cultural backgrounds, and her forthcoming book, Haunting Encounters: The Ethics of Teaching across Boundaries of Difference, will be published by Cornell University Press in 2017. She has served on the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee, and has been involved in many CETL-sponsored workshops and events, including the annual Instructional Fair, New Faculty Orientation, and the Lilly Conference on Teaching and Learning.
Head shot of Thomas RaffelThomas Raffel
Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences

Tom Raffel currently teaches lecture and lab courses in Ecology and Parasitology, both of which involved working closely with teaching assistants. Dr. Raffel has always felt that active, hands-on learning experiences are the cornerstone of an effective science education, and he has embraced the recent movement to incorporate more active learning approaches into lecture classes. In 2011-2012, Dr. Raffel participated in a nationally recognized program designed to train post-doctoral researchers in the implementation of active teaching methods in science education (FIRST IV: Faculty Institutes for the Reform of Science Teaching), and he continues to be involved in a long-term study related to this program. Dr. Raffel makes extensive use of active learning approaches and formative assessment techniques in all his lecture courses, including his moderately large ecology course (~60 students), and he is eager to share his experiences with other faculty and graduate students.

2016-2017 Faculty Fellows
Head shot of Keith WilliamsKeith Williams

Keith Williams received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (Biopsychology Program) in 1998. After a post-doctoral fellowship, he became an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Grand Valley State University in 2001. He joined the Psychology Department at Oakland University in 2005. His research interests include the behavioral and biological components that modulate drug reinforcement and craving as well as the contribution of food intake mechanisms in alcohol self-administration. He frequently teaches OU courses in Introduction to Psychology and Physiological Psychology, but has also taught Animal Behavior, a seminar in Psychopharmacology, and a graduate class in Instruction in Psychological Science. Keith recently redesigned his large, lecture-hall Introductory Psychology course to include such approaches as group written assignments, early semester assessments, and an early alert approach.
Head shot of Amanda HessAmanda Nichols Hess

Amanda Nichols Hess is the eLearning, Instructional Technology, and Education Librarian at OU Libraries. In this role, she works with her colleagues to develop the Libraries’ diverse and user-focused online learning offerings; she is also responsible for delivering professional learning offerings aimed at equipping librarians to integrate instructional design and technology into their teaching. Amanda also serves as the liaison librarian to the School of Education and Human Services. Her research focuses on library instruction, instructional design / technology, and the intersection of these practices in faculty development.

Amanda received her Master’s of Science in Information (the terminal degree for librarians) from the University of Michigan, as well as an Education Specialist in Instructional Technology from Wayne State University. Prior to coming to OU in 2012, she worked as a school librarian and technology integration specialist in K-12 education.

2015-2016 Faculty Fellows
Head shot of John CorsoJohn Corso

Corso obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University, where he also completed and then co-taught a graduate-level course on Writing in the Disciplines. As an associate professor in Art History, John incorporates writing projects in all of his classrooms and subscribes to the "writing to learn" philosophy. He is an art critic whose essays and art reviews have appeared in Hyperallergic, ART21 Magazine, Art in America, Art Papers, BE Magazine and the Huffington Post, as well as in academic journals. His criticism relates contemporary art practice to social, political and global concerns.
Head shot of Kathleen SpencerKathleen Spencer

Spencer came to OU to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree after many years in clinical nursing practice in adult health. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree at Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in Journalism at Michigan State University. Her clinical interests are nursing care of veterans and care of the homeless. Her research interests relate to the use of imaginative literature in teaching students empathy, ethics, and professionalism. In her teaching as a special instructor in School of Nursing, Kathleen is interested in integration of the humanities into the sciences, technology in the classroom, using the newspaper in the classroom, and professional writing and editing.

2014-2015 Faculty Fellow
Head shot of Byungwon WooByungwon Woo

Byungwon Woo is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Oakland University. He joined Oakland after completing his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University in 2010. He teaches International Relations, International Political Economy, and International Organizations, and International Relations Capstone Seminar. He is particularly proud of his undergraduate students who have carried out independent research projects, presented them in professional conferences, and published them in academic journals. His main research focuses on international organizations and political economy. His articles have appeared in Economics and Politics, International Interactions, International Studies Quarterly, and Political Science Research and Methods.

2013-2014 Faculty Fellows
Head shot of Chris KobusChris Kobus

Chris Kobus is the Director for Outreach and Recruitment for the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Oakland University and Associate Professor. He taught his first class at OU in 1995, and has since taught 16 different courses. Dr Kobus has been very resourceful in obtaining funding for his teaching that includes K-12 Summer STEM Camps that he organizes, to new courses and programs in SECS such as those in alternative energy, to tech demos and others. Dr. Kobus won the Best Overall Paper Award at the 2001 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) North Central Section Annual Conference, the 2013 SECS Outstanding Faculty Award for Service, was recognized on Founder’s Day in 2012 for Teaching and Service, and won the Dr. Wilbert J. McKeachie International Poster Prize for the best poster at the Seventh Annual OU-Windsor Conference on Teaching and Learning in 2013.
Head shot of Dana DriscollDana Driscoll

Dr. Dana Lynn Driscoll is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, where she teaches courses in peer tutoring, global rhetoric, first-year writing, literacy and technology, and research methods. She has also taught in OU’s Bachelor of Liberal Studies program. Dana’s research focuses on understanding transfer of learning, or students’ ability to take skills and knowledge they’ve learned in university courses and adapt that learning to a wide variety of circumstances.   Using mixed methods, longitudinal, and multi-institutional approaches, she has investigated the role of student attitudes and dispositions, metacognitive awareness, and reflective writing on transfer.  Her secondary research interests are in research methodology, the scholarship of teaching and learning, writing centers, and writing assessment.  All of her research also directly informs her teaching, which emphasizes real-world connections, service learning, and student-centered activities. Her work has been published in Across the DisciplinesThe Journal of Teaching WritingWriting Program AdministrationThe Writing Center Journal and she frequently presents at regional, national, and international conferences.  Dana and Sherry Wynn Perdue, OU Writing Center Director, recently won the International Writing Center Association’s 2012 Outstanding Article award, one of the highest honors in writing center scholarship.

2012-2013 Faculty Fellows
Head shot of Eileen JohnsonEileen Johnson

Eileen Johnson graduated with her doctorate in educational psychology in 1998 from University of Houston. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in the School of Education and Human Services.  She has been at Oakland University since 2004 and has taught courses in action research, qualitative research methods, statistics and data analysis, program evaluation, learning theory, and the ethics and philosophy of leadership.  In 2005, Dr. Johnson was a fellow of the University of Delaware Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education, and in 2007 was selected to attend the Institute & Conference for Faculty Learning Community Directors, Facilitators, and Participants in Claremont, California with two other Oakland University faculty members.  Prior to coming to Oakland University, Dr. Johnson worked in medical education at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Statewide Campus System of graduate medical education as a faculty development specialist.  In this position, Dr. Johnson worked with resident and attending-level physicians in developing, implementing, and evaluating medical and educational research programs and developing clinical teaching skills.
Head shot of Barbara PenpraseBarbara Penprase

Barbara Penprase is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She earned a B.S. in Nursing at Oakland University. She received a M.S in Nursing, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology , both from Wayne State University. Her research focus is on clinical practice and outcome/evaluation of nursing practice. Her most recent research centers on empathy and its relationship with compassion fatigue.  Penprase is a recipient of several significant grants and is well published in her research areas. She has received many acknowledgements for her role in teaching and received the Teaching Excellence Award at Oakland University in 2009. Prior to beginning her teaching career at Oakland University, Penprase served in many administrative roles, including Vice President of Clinical and Surgical Services at Providence Hospital.  She has developed numerous programs including Open Heart, Neurotology, Cranialfacial, Chest Pain Center and Gerentology. At Oakland University, Penprase was one of the original faculty to develop and implement a completely on-line RN-BSN program. This was one of the first RN-BSN on-line programs offered in the U.S. and the first totally on-line program offered at Oakland University.  She also developed and implemented the Accelerated Second Degree Program at Oakland University and served as the Program Director for over five years.  She presently administratively oversees the Oakland University Riverview Institute located in Detroit where she serves as the Executive Director. This site offers nursing and nursing related programs to underserved populations as well as she works with the surrounding community to improve health behaviors in the population. She has developed many collaborative relationships with key businesses in Detroit to facilitate enhancing the opportunities for underserved populations in the Detroit area.

About CETL Chair Fellow

CETL recognizes and values the strong commitment toward advancing academic leadership among tour talented faculty. In order to support department chairs at Oakland University in the complexities of their role, CETL selected an OU faculty member who has previously served as a department chair to serve as a Chair Fellow. Each year, this Chair Fellow shared their expertise in academic leadership. The CETL Chair Fellow dedicated eight hours a week to facilitate chair-focused university events, assist in developing resources for chairs and mentor individual chairs in exchange for a fall and winter course release.

Head shot of Kris Thompson

2020-2021 Chair Fellow

Kris Thompson
Associate Professor, Department of Human Movement Science

Kris is serving in this role through Summer 2021.

Kris Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program, Department of Human Movement Sciences in the School of Health Sciences. Kris has been at Oakland University for 30 years.  She served as physical therapy program director for 13 years, followed by 3 years as the first chair of the Department of Human Movement Science. While at Oakland Kris has served on school committees including the SHS Executive Committee, the Faculty Personnel Action Committee and the Committee on Appointment and Promotion. Kris has served as a university senator, on Senate Steering and on the Senate Planning and Review Committee. She is currently a member of Graduate Council and the coordinator for the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree program.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) in the healthcare field is an area of research and professional interest. Kris is a member of the Oakland University IPE Taskforce and works with faculty from the College and the Schools of Health Sciences, Medicine and Nursing. The taskforce is working on developing faculty to facilitate IPE, curricular content and several research projects and grants. Kris recently led a learning community on developing quality IPE.

Contact Kris at

Previous Chair Fellows

  • Lisa Hawley, Professor of Counseling (2019-2020)
  • Jennifer Heisler, Associate Professor in Communication (2017-2018)
  • Jay Meehan, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice (2016-2017)
Do you have an idea for a workshop or other program to develop the quality of teaching? We want to hear about it.  If it engages faculty in productive thinking about and action in their teaching, we want to find a way to make it happen. Let us know!

Send ideas to Judy Ableser at