Keynote Speaker

ccrg-mellow_wordpressGail O. Mellow

Dr. Gail O. Mellow has served as President of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens since 2000. A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for achieving boundary-breaking success educating underserved students.

An expert on the history, development and future of the American community college, Dr. Mellow co-authored Minding the Dream: The Process and Practice of the American Community College (Rowman & Littlefield, 2nd ed. 2014) and the new book Taking College Teaching Seriously: Pedagogy Matters! (Stylus, 2015). She is frequently sought as a commentator on the changing landscape of higher education, strategies for improving the nation’s graduation rate and the important role community colleges play in growing America’s middle class and strengthening the economy. She has been quoted in a range of publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg BusinessWeek and has appeared on national radio and television broadcasts on NPR, MSNBC and PBS.

Dr. Mellow received an A.A. from Jamestown Community College, a B.A. from SUNY Albany, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and her M.A. and Ph. D. in Social Psychology from George Washington University.

Research Mentoring

ccrg-daniel_wordpressJanet Liou-Mark

Dr. Janet Liou-Mark is a Professor of Mathematics at City Tech and the Director of the Honors Scholars Program. She is a Co-Principle Investigator on three Read More

National Science Foundation grants: Math Science Partnership, Research Experience for Undergraduate, and Improving Undergraduate STEM Education GEOPATH and a Co-Principle Investigator on a Department of Education Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program grant. She presents at conferences and conduct workshops on best practices for underrepresented minorities in STEM. Her research interest in the implementation of the Peer-Led Team Learning instructional model in mathematics has won her the 2011 CUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Instruction and the Mathematical Association of America Metro New York Section 2014 Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics. She is also the director of the Peer-Led Team Learning Leadership Program at City Tech, and she has trained and mentored over 150 underrepresented minority students majoring in a STEM discipline.

ccrg-daniel_wordpressReginald Blake

Dr. Reginald Blake is a Professor in the Physics Department of the New York City College of Technology (City Tech). He is a geophysicist with a rich and extensive Read More

background in hydro-climatology, climatology, climate change and climate change impacts, hydrology, satellite and ground-based remote sensing, meteorology, physical oceanography, and air pollution. Dr. Blake is an active member of the Center for Climate Systems Research of the Earth Institute at Columbia University/NASA GISS and also a member of the Earth Institute’s Urban Climate Change Research Network. He is a hydro-climatologist with NOAA CREST and its associated CUNY CREST Institute, and he is currently serving his third consecutive term on the elite New York City Panel on Climate Change. For the past seven years he has chaired the Undergraduate Research Committee at City Tech, and for the past eleven years, he has directed City Tech’s STEM designated Black Male Initiative program.

ccrg-daniel_wordpressViviana Acquaviva

Dr. Viviana Acquaviva joined the Physics Department at City Tech in 2012. She received her bachelor degree in Theoretical Physics in 2002 from the University of Pisa, Read More

earned her doctorate in Astrophysics from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS) in 2006, and held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and Rutgers University. Her research focuses on solving complex problems using a mix of analytical and numerical methods. She has published papers on a variety of topics, ranging from the physics of the very early Universe to the nature of dark energy and gravity today, to the evolution of galaxies through cosmic time. Lately, she has been enjoying developing statistical techniques for predictive modeling, and using tools such as spectral energy distribution fitting and machine learning algorithms to study the physical properties of distant galaxies.

Mercer R. Brugler

Dr. Mercer R. Brugler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) and a Research Associate at the Read More

American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Brugler is a deep-sea evolutionary biologist that specializes in the phylogenetic systematics and molecular evolution of black corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria). He has participated in ten research cruises and two submersible dives in Alvin, and recently sent three minority City Tech students to the Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary (Gulf of Mexico) to collect black corals using the remotely operated vehicle Mohawk. He currently mentors eight underrepresented minority City Tech students in his deep-sea molecular lab at the AMNH. Dr. Brugler received his BS from the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL), MS from the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab (Charleston, SC), and PhD from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Lafayette, LA).

ccrg-daniel_wordpressJonas Reitz

Dr. Jonas Reitz is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at City Tech. He is the Project Director of the college’s current Title V grant (2015-2020), Opening Gateways: Read More

Open Digital Pedagogies for Student Success in STEM, a cross-campus collaboration that will introduce open-source digital technologies, open educational resources, and active learning pedagogies into the high-enrollment mathematics courses required for STEM disciplines. He served as Project Director of the college’s prior Title V individual development grant (2010-2015), A Living Laboratory: Revitalizing General Education for a 21st Century College of Technology. He has been an active member of the Undergraduate Research Committee since 2011. Dr. Reitz holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a PhD in Mathematics from CUNY. His research interests are in set theory and the foundations of mathematics, and include forcing, the set-theoretic multiverse, and set-theoretic geology.

Assessing Pedagogical Research

ccrg-daniel_wordpressMaria Bartolomeo-Maida

Maria Bartolomeo-Maida is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Behavioral Sciences and Human Services Department at Read More

Kingsborough Community College, where she teaches the following courses: Introductory, Developmental, and Abnormal psychology as well as the Psychology of Gender. She has published in the area of teaching and learning and continues to have research interests related to student success such as engagement with assigned reading, mentoring, and civic engagement. Dr. Bartolomeo-Maida is a NY State licensed psychologist and was formerly the Director of the Counseling Center at KCC. As such, she also has professional interests that focus on mental health and well being, particularly in two specific areas: LGBTQ students and decreasing the stigma of ADHD. Along with her teaching and research endeavors, she is a co-coordinator of both the Safe Zone program and Student Mentoring program on campus. Lastly, she is part of the Women and Gender Studies Faculty Interest Group.

Research on Student Centered Pedagogy

ccrg-daniel_wordpressDaniel Douglas

Daniel Douglas is Senior Researcher at the Education and Employment Research Center, Rutgers University. He received his PhD in Sociology from Read More

the City University of New York in 2016 and his MA in Sociology from St. John’s University in 2008. Daniel has extensive experience conducting and evaluating Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) and Quasi-experimental design (QED) studies in higher education. He was project manager for the CUNY Academic Momentum project at the City University of New York, which used QED and RCT methods to evaluate strategies for increasing retention and degree completion at CUNY community colleges. He was the primary data analyst for a separate CUNY study which assessed a co-requisite approach to developmental mathematics. His other research interests include the history and politics of educational assessment technologies and the nexus of education and employment.

Robin G. Isserles

Robin G. Isserles is Professor of Sociology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. Her current research focuses on first year community college students and the institutional factors that shape their initial experiences as college students. She has published on the Sociology of Teaching and Learning, most recently on research on student Read More

learning in the asynchronous online classroom, as part of the Bank Street Occasional Series #34, Constructivists Online: Reimagining Progressive Practice (2014). Robin contributed a chapter, “Creating Caring Communities at the Graduate Center”, in Women on the Role of Public Higher Education: Personal Reflections from CUNY’s Graduate Center (eds. Deborah Gambs and Rose Kim), Palgrave Macmillan 2015. And her chapter, “Cultivating Engagement and Deepening Understanding while Leaving the Textbook Behind” is included in Learning from Each Other (ed. Jeffrey Chin), University of California Press, forthcoming.

Roundtable on Online Learning and Pedagogical Research

George Otte

Starting in CUNY in 1986 as a faculty member and writing director at Baruch College, George Otte is University Director of Academic Technology for CUNY and chief academic officer of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, home of CUNY’s first online degrees. He is also on the doctoral faculty of the programs in English, Urban Education and Interactive Technology and Read More

Pedagogy at the CUNY Graduate Center. His most recent publication is Change We Must: Deciding the Future of Higher Education (2016), co-authored/edited with Matthew Goldstein, CUNY Chancellor Emeritus.

ccrg-conway_wordpressKatherine M. Conway

Faculty Senate (UFS) and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. She was elected in 2016 to a two-year term by the UFS. A Read More

member of the Business faculty at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), she is currently a co-Principal Investigator on a multi-year National Science Foundation grant on online education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on online education, and issues of accessibility and success of community college, minority, non-traditional and STEM students.

Prior to joining CUNY in 1996, Dr. Conway worked in finance for more than a dozen years, leading credit teams in both commercial and private banking.

Dr. Conway received her B.S. in Marketing, her M.B.A. in Finance, and her Ph.D. in Administration, Leadership and Technology all from New York University.

A resident of Manhattan, New York, she is married to Francis Conway and has a daughter.

Dr. Conway serves on the Board of Trustees’ Standing Committee on Fiscal Affairs, and the Subcommittees on Investment and Audit.

Maura Smale

Maura Smale is Chief Librarian and Professor at New York City College of Technology and faculty in Interactive Technology & Pedagogy at the CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from New York University and an MLIS from Pratt Institute. She served as Project Director for the U.S. Department of Education Title V grant-funded Living Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Read More

City Tech OpenLab, an open digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaboration. Her background in anthropology, archaeology, and library/information science is brought together in a multi-campus study of the scholarly habits of undergraduates at CUNY, with Prof. Mariana Regalado of Brooklyn College. Their book on how CUNY students use technology in their academic work, Digital Technology as Affordance and Barrier in Higher Education, will be published in 2017. Her research interests include using game-based learning, open scholarship and teaching, critical librarianship, and educational technology.