TLC Staff Announcements for 2018-2019

The Teaching and Learning Center is pleased to announce several new staff members for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. In August, we welcome Asilia Franklin-Phipps and Kaitlin Mondello as the inaugural Lauder Post-doctoral fellows; Luis Henao Uribe as the new Mellon Humanities Scholar; and Lais Duarte and Louis Olander as TLC Graduate Fellows. We will also bid farewell to two staff members — Elizabeth Alsop and Anke Geertsma — who have contributed much to the growth of our Center.

Please join us in welcoming Asilia, Kaitlin, Luis, Lais, and Louis to their new roles, and in thanking Elizabeth and Anke for their contributions to the TLC!

Asilia Franklin-Phipps, Lauder Post-Doctoral Fellow

Asilia Franklin-Phipps is originally from Los Angeles but has lived in Oregon for the past 7 years.

Photo of Asilia Franklin-Phipps

After several years of teaching Asilia became interested in exploring how to better facilitate students in thinking and being in relation to race and racism in the particular context of Oregon. This ongoing and predictable pedagogical challenge became the focus of Asilia’s dissertation, which explored how arts practices and aesthetic experiences happen in relation to shifting racial discourse, political events, and digital culture, allowing future teachers to differently encounter race. Asilia continues to wonder about the possibilities of teaching and becoming more ethical in relation to new knowledge. In her time in Oregon, Asilia has learned to appreciate walks in the woods, home-brewed kombucha, maligned rituals, and swimming in lakes and rivers. Asilia has a PhD in Critical Sociocultural Studies in Education from the University of Oregon.

Kaitlin Mondello, Lauder Post-Doctoral Fellow

Kaitlin Mondello received her Ph.D. in English from The Graduate Center, CUNY in 2018.Her dissertation focuses on proto-environmentalist literature, science, and philosophy in the nineteenth century and their relevance to current debates about climate change and the Anthropocene. Her teaching and research interests include the Environmental Humanities and the intersections of race, gender, and animal studies.

Photo of Kaitlin Mondello

She has over ten years of teaching experience. As a former TLC fellow, she will continue her work in her new role with a focus on interdisciplinary teaching and research, pedagogy in the environmental and public humanities, experiential learning, and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC). Within CUNY, she has taught at Hunter College and Guttman Community College. She served as a WAC Fellow for the Environmental Justice Program at John Jay College and The School of Professional Studies at CUNY. She taught previously at Stern College for Women (Yeshiva University); Stetson University, where she also served as Co-Director of the Writing Center; and Daytona State Community College in Florida, where she is from originally.

At The Graduate Center, she founded the Ecocriticism Public Working Group through The Center for the Humanities. She has been a Mellon Interdisciplinary Science Studies Fellow, a New York Botanical Garden Humanities Institute Fellow and an Early Research Initiative Fellow in Interdisciplinary Research in the Service of Public Knowledge. Her scholarly work has appeared in Romantic Ecocriticism and Essays in Romanticism and she has blogged about teaching on HASTAC and Visible Pedagogy.

Luis Henao Uribe, Mellon Humanities Scholar

Luis Henao Uribe is a graduate of the Ph.D. program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Photo of Luis Henao Uribe

His recent research explores the role of novels in the establishment of national imaginaries and the legitimization of theState in Mexico and Colombia. He also writes about how Latin American cultural objects circulate in the United States. He has been teaching both language and literature courses at CUNY since 2009, most recently at LaGuardia Community College as a Humanities Alliance Fellow.

Lais Duarte, TLC Fellow

Lais Duarte is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center’s Cultural Anthropology Department. Lais’ dissertation project engages the works of Afro-Descendant and Indigenous scholars aimed at decolonizing the academic traditions to which they belong. Her research interests include decolonization processes, experiences of solidarity, and post-colonial circuits of inequality.
Photo of Lais Duarte
She has been a teacher since 2008, when she began to pursue a B.A in Education at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a B.A. in Anthropology. Since the Fall of 2014, she has taught undergraduate seminars at Lehman College which examine the experiences of gender violence, resistance and activism that take place in Latin America. Lais’ pedagogy is informed by the works of bell hooks and Paulo Freire who have taught her Feminist and Anti-Colonial strategies for teaching critical thinking and social justice.

Louis Olander, TLC Writing Fellow

Louis Olander is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Education Ph.D. program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Photo of Louis OlanderHis dissertation is a case study of an action research project that uses appreciative inquiry and critical participatory methods to better realize the promise of inclusive education in an urban school. His website,, is an ongoing project which is supported by the TLC that seeks to to introduce educators to Universal Design for Learning through accessible cartoon videos and concrete teaching strategies. He has also taught graduate and undergraduate students in the teacher education programs at Hunter College and City College. Before beginning his doctoral studies, he worked as a teacher in special education settings in New York City for seven years. He now lives in Yonkers with his wife and two kids.