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Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence
550 Bird Library
ctle@syr.edu

Meet the CTLE Team

Margaret Usdansky Portrait

Margaret L. Usdansky, Ph.D. | Interim Director
mlusdans@syr.edu

Margaret Usdansky is the founding director of the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), which opened in 2017, and a Research Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science in Falk College. A sociologist and demographer, Dr. Usdansky is interested in the sometimes surprising cognitive science research on how human learning does—and does not—work. She studies how academic support programs can help students use research-based study strategies to meet their academic goals, including in subject areas they’ve previously found challenging. Dr. Usdansky also teaches in the Honors program. She enjoys running, swimming, sailing, yoga, reading, cooking and honing her math and Spanish skills.


Jeanine Irons Portrait

Jeanine Irons
315.443.1551
jairons@syr.edu

Dr. Irons is the faculty developer for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). She collaborates with colleagues across the University to implement and support instructional methods supportive of and inclusive to a diverse student body. She also consults and strategizes with individual faculty members and instructional teams about inclusive pedagogical and climate goals and needs specific to program, department, and course contexts.


Nicholas Bennett PortraitNicholas Bennett
315.443.1208
nsbennet@syr.edu

Mr. Bennett is the program support coordinator for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). He coordinates workshops and events for the CTLE and assists the director with resource development. He also manages the CTLE website and assists with various faculty award and recognition programs including the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence and the Teaching Recognition Awards.


Headshot of Laurel WillinghamLaurel Willingham-McLain
Consulting Developer
lwilling@syr.edu

Dr. Willingham-McLain is a consulting faculty developer at the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). She supports faculty in planning and teaching courses that draw on learning science research, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when we face major adjustments. She consults on a broad range of topics including course and syllabus design, assignments, group work, learning assessment, and feedback to students. She also supports faculty in analyzing and making public their teaching through the scholarship of teaching and learning.