Craig Pepin, President
Assistant Dean for Assessment and Associate Professor, Core Division, Champlain College
Ph.D., Duke University, History. B.A., Bates College
Assessment interests: General Education outcomes, interdisciplinarity and integrative thinking. I particularly relish the challenge of assessing complex thinking skills and habits of mind, and even more importantly, translating those results into pedagogical and curricular improvement. I’m also increasingly fascinated by the power of competency-based education to turn students’ attention away from grades and towards what they are actually learning.
What does NEean mean to you? I first discovered NEean in 2009 at the dawning of my interest in measuring student learning, and what I found was a supportive group of practitioners free of elitism, dedicated to improving their own institutions and learning from others. Over the intervening years I have returned to NEean events again and again for inspiration and guidance. What I particularly love about NEean is that it offers a network of colleagues and friends who provide advice, experience and support for the tough assessment challenges at my institution. Although the conferences feature nationally known keynote speakers who keep us up to date on current trends and research, the regional aspect of NEean makes conferences approachable and not overwhelming. Supportive, cutting edge, community – that is what NEean means to me!
Steven Bloom, Immediate Past President
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Undergraduate Education, Professor of English, Lasell University
Ph.D., M.A., Brandeis University, English & American Literature; B.A. University of Rochester, English.
Assessment Interests: Creating a “culture of assessment” that regularly engages faculty in interesting and practical conversations about teaching and learning; valuing assessment on the institutional level; assessing core learning outcomes; using assessment for core curriculum revision; transitioning from a course-based curriculum to an outcomes-based, integrative curriculum.
What does NEean mean to you? I began attending NEEAN events in 2006, and Lasell has sent faculty and administrators to just about every NEEAN event since then. I joined the Board of Directors in 2009. The resources and support provided by NEEAN have been instrumental in building a culture of assessment at Lasell and in the recent innovative revision of our Core Curriculum. I value the colleagiality of the organization and of the Board. NEEAN brings together professionals from across the broad spectrum of higher education in New England to network, collaborate, and challenge each other to develop and engage in best practices that will improve the teaching and learning that takes place on all of our campuses.
Linda Bruenjes, Communications Director
Director, Center for Teaching & Scholarly Excellence, Suffolk University Boston
EdD, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Leadership in Schooling
Assessment Interests: Assessment from an educational development perspective to support inclusive pedagogical practices that are student centered, considerate of the diversity of student preparedness, and aligned with program and institutional goals; collaboratively designing opportunities for institutional stakeholders to engage in conversations about teaching and learning; and creating mechanisms from which to facilitate conversations about how learning works, how to collect evidence of learning, and how to improve learning.
What does NEEAN mean to you: In 2006, I attended the NEEAN Summer Institute as one of many department chairs. This experience was instrumental in helping me define assessment as a way to improve learning. More recently, my colleagues and I from the Learning Assessment Research Consortium (LARC) were invited to share our open source Learning Assessment Modules with NEEAN Conference attendees. I was honored to be invited to become a board member in 2018. This is a network of colleagues with complimentary areas of expertise and interests who tirelessly devote their energy to offer insightful, meaningful and varied opportunities for colleagues from institutions of higher education across New England to engage in dialogue, learn from experts and from experimenters, and put time aside to discuss how we can best support student learning.
Ed Morgan, Program Director
Director for Academic Assessment at a higher learning institution devoted to communication and the arts, in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, at the southeast end of Boston Common; Emerson College.
Ph.D. University of Arizona, Curriculum Change in Higher Education; M.Ed. College Student Services Administration, Oregon State University; B.S. Keene State College.
Assessment Interests: Recent opportunities bring me to think about questions such as these: how do curricular learning and co-curricular experiences support student learning? How is creativity defined within a discipline? Can we recognize, document and directly support the development of creative abilities? With small groups of faculty members, I also promote explorations that involve collaborating as they examine their own courses, and degree programs. Members gather new ideas about teaching, learning, and assessment. And offer constructive feedback and support to each other. I am wondering; how can I create this form of engagement for part-time instructors who are full-time professionals? Can technology enable peer-to-distant-peer engagement enough to result in the same enthusiastic response from participants?
What does NEean mean to you? I am passionate about student learning and supporting colleagues who seek to understand more about their own student’s learning. NEean is thus an opportunity to support a tighter focus in learning assessment for increasing student learning and success. And ensuring the wide diversity of students in our courses are learning equally well. As NEean's Program Director, I work to create new initiatives to promote NEean’s vitality in achieving it’s mission. We aim to promote quality assessment of student learning and development, and thus to enhance the effectiveness of institutions of higher education. Thus I have led the NEEAN Board collaboration to offer an additional learning opportunity in the Summer Institute.
Richard Allan Gerber, Parliamentarian
Professor Emeritus of History, Southern Connecticut State University and Adjust Professor of History, Charter Oak State College
BA, MA, PhD. American History, University of Michigan Primary fields in U.S. Constitutional History and Law, Civil War and Reconstruction, English Common Law, Intellectual History, Historical Methods and Materials.
Assessment Interests: Particular interest in Outcomes Budgeting, using the results of self-studies/consultant analyses to determine budgetary priorities for units Schools, Academic Departments, Programs and Administrative offices) within a university. Budgets rest on outcomes data, rather than across-the-board financing or political issues. Requires an institution-wide commitment to regularly scheduled assessments.
What does NEean mean to you? As a twenty year member and past President, I regard NEEAN as the primary assessment resource for institutions of higher learning across the region. Its future lies in strengthening itself in qualitative as well as quantitative techniques of assessment.
Raymond Shaw, JAIE Editor
Associate Professor, Psychology, Merrimack College
Ph.D., University of Toronto, Psychology. B.S., Georgetown University
Assessment interests: My primary interests in assessment stem from two previous roles at my college: Vice Provost, and then Director of General Education. As Vice Provost, I worked with faculty across the college on assessment, and became interested in identifying meaningful learning goals that speak to faculty members’ deepest passions for student learning – what I have referred to as “assessing the ineffable.” I am also interested in the impact on faculty after they have engaged in assessment work – and how the disciplines differ in assessment methodology. As Director of General Education, I developed an interest in clearly identifying – and measuring – what faculty members believe is most important for all college students to learn.
What does NEean mean to you? For me, NEean is the forum in which “assessment for accreditation” became “assessment for learning.” Through my administrative trajectory from Assistant Dean to Vice Provost, accreditation was an overriding concern: “We have to assess for NEASC!” Attendance at NEean events has taught me not just how to do assessment, but why. Interest in assessment can be unpopular on campus, and the community of people involved with NEean who are interested in assessment, in improving what we do in higher education, is extremely encouraging, and gives energy to continuing the work.