Teaching and Learning Center Staff

Luke Waltzer

avatarLuke Waltzer is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he supports GC students in their teaching across the CUNY system and beyond, and works on a variety of pedagogical and digital projects. He previously was the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Baruch College. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the Graduate Center, serves as Director of Community Projects for the CUNY Academic Commons, is a faculty member in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program, and directs the development of Vocat, an open-source multimedia evaluation and assessment tool. He serves on the editorial collective of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and has contributed essays to Matthew K. Gold’s Debates in the Digital Humanities and, with Thomas Harbison, to Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki’s Writing History in the Digital Age.

Elizabeth Decker
Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Decker is a graduate of the PhD Program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation research focuses on non-canonical modernist writing by women and the visual arts. She has taught literature and composition courses at Queens College, New Jersey City University, and the Madrid Campus of Saint Louis University. She also holds a Teaching Fellowship at the Frick Collection, allowing her to actively develop pedagogical learning practices across disciplines.

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, Post-Doctoral Fellow

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.

Laurie Hurson
Open Educational Technologist

Laurie Hurson is a PhD Candidate in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center. Her work explores students’ learning ecologies and how these resource networks shape student learning processes and engagement. She teaches “Principles of New Media” at Baruch College and has a background in faculty development programming and open source educational technology support and development. Previously, Laurie was a Graduate Fellow at the GC TLC and a Hybrid Coordinator at Baruch College’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She was the Coordinator for Planning and Development for OpenCUNY.org, and collaborated with Dr. Shelly Eversley (English, Baruch College) to develop EqualityArchive, an OER focused on the history of sex and gender equality in the United States.

Mei Ling Chua
TLC Fellow

Mei Ling Chua is a doctoral student in Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center with research and pedagogical interests that include human-environment relationships, and the role of aesthetics and embodied experience in shaping our habitats and interactions. Her current research focuses on embodiment, engagement, and making in the contexts of digitization and the physical environment. Mei Ling comes to Environmental Psychology and the Teaching and Learning Center from a prior practice in Architecture. She is a Registered Architect and LEED-Accredited Professional, and holds a B.Arch. from Pennsylvania State University.

Ryan Donovan
TLC Fellow

Ryan Donovan is a PhD candidate in the Theatre and Performance program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research on the casting practices of Broadway musicals since 1975 sits at the intersection of disability studies, fat studies, LGBTQ+ studies, and theatre studies. Ryan was a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at the School of Professional Studies, and he has taught at Baruch College, Hunter College, Queens College, The New School, and Saint Mary’s College of California. He holds a BA in Liberal Studies from The New School and an MPhil in Theatre from The Graduate Center and will defend his dissertation in February 2019.

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.

Sakina Laksimi-Morrow
TLC Fellow

Sakina Laksimi-Morrow is a Doctoral student in the Urban Education department and the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate program. Sakina received her BA in Political Science and Communication Arts from the College of New Rochelle, and her MA in Media, Culture and Communications from NYU. Her academic interests have spanned a number of interdisciplinary topics and issues with a social justice perspective. She is interested in charting out historical relationships between social inequality and systems of power and governance, and their mechanisms of reproduction. Sakina has worked as an educator in a number of colleges in New York, gaining experience both in and out the classroom with curriculum development, assessment and pedagogical development. She joined the Urban Education program at the Graduate Center to pursue her research interests on the ways that students of color fit into institutions of education. Her other interests include postcolonial theories, gender and disability issues, documentaries, films, food, and travel.

Sarah Litvin
TLC Fellow

Sarah Litvin is a doctoral candidate in U.S. History at the The Graduate Center where she studies gender, visual culture, and parlor pianos. Additionally, she is the Interpretive Planner for the Reher Center for Immigrant History and Culture, a new museum and center for civic engagement in Kingston, New York. Sarah’s curatorial expertise is digital exhibits; she has developed interactives for the New-York Historical Society, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and also holds a certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Prior to coming to CUNY, Sarah was Senior Education Associate at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where she directed accessibility and living history programming from 2008-2013.

Avra Spector
TLC Fellow

Avra Spector is a doctoral student in Comparative Literature. Her research interests include silence and translation in 20th century literature. She currently teaches at Baruch College and The Cooper Union where she is also the Director of the Summer Writing Program and a Writing Associate in the Center for Writing. She’s also taught at City Tech, Queensborough Community College, Parsons and Holy Names University, California.

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, udlforteachers.com, 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.

Former Staff Members

Andrew McKinney
Anke Geertsma
Elizabeth Alsop