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Meet the Officers of NEean's Board of Directors

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!

Carina Self, Vice President and Chair of the Membership Committee

Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Effectiveness, Granite State College

Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, Curriculum and Instruction; M.A., Bowling Green State University, College Student Personnel; B.A. University of Florida, Sociology

Assessment Interests:  Assessment practices in open access institutions; online assessment and assessment as a form of professional development for adjunct faculty; strategies for assessing civic engagement and experiential learning; assessment in graduate education; epistemological foundations of assessment.

What does NEean mean to you?   I think the primary value of NEean has been in the final “n”, network. I believe all the best forms of knowing are developed in open, democratic, and inclusive communities and through NEean, I have found a professional organization that aligns with this approach and where assessment professionals at all levels of experience contribute generously to their colleagues and the field of assessment.  

Gavin Henning, Treasurer

Professor of Higher Education and Director, Master of Science in Higher Education and Doctor of Education Programs, New England College

Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; M.A., University of New Hampshire, Sociology; M.A., Michigan State University, College and University Administration; B.S., Michigan State University, Psychology and Sociology

Assessment Interests:  My career started in student affairs and I spend a number of years coordinating assessment for divisions of student affairs. Of particular interest to me is assessment of learning outside of the classroom as well as building cultures of assessment in student affairs. My current scholarship relates to the use of assessment for furthering equity in higher education.

What does NEean mean to you?  NEean is more than just a network. It is a collective of like-minded individuals who want to improve student learning and success through the use of assessment. We share resources, professional development, and support each other in our individual work.

Dennis (Denny) Frey Jr., Communications Director

Associate Dean of Curricular Integration and Director of the Rosemary B. Fuss Teaching & Learning Center, Lasell University

Ph.D. and M.A., Syracuse University, History; B.S., Carnegie Mellon University, Social History

Assessment Interests:  Assessment of the humanities; utilizing assessment to engage colleagues in meaningful conversations about teaching and learning that result in pedagogical change; moving assessment practices away from deficit-based approaches to education and towards more equitable, asset-based approaches; and developing more holistic approaches to assessing the entire student experience. 

What does NEEAN mean to you:  I have gained, over the years, a tremendous amount of knowledge from NEEAN.  My Lasell colleague, Steve Bloom, first introduced me to it back in the mid-2000s.  As our Dean of Undergraduate Education, he encouraged many of us to attend and participate in the Fall Forum.  In addition, he led teams from Lasell to multiple Summer Institutes.  From all of those experiences, I gained much, and so when Steve suggested that I join the board (as an affiliated member) in 2018 in order to give something back to the network, it was a no-brainer.  This network of colleagues from across New England has inspired and enlightened me when it comes to applying assessment techniques to improve higher education pedagogy for students and instructors alike.

George Michna, Program Director
Director of Assessment, Accountability, and Accreditation, the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut; affiliated faculty member,

Department of Educational Psychology
Ph.D. Fordham University, Educational Psychology

Assessment Interests:  I am particularly interested in working with faculty to create a culture of assessment that views assessment activities as a means for continuous self-improvement through recognition of our strengths and weaknesses and for supporting diversity, equity, and instructional improvement.  I also am engaged in work that focuses on classroom assessment literacy among educators and effective models of teacher evaluation.

What does NEean mean to you?   I became involved with NEean in 2018 as a member being drawn to the idea of a regional network of colleagues interested in educational assessment and sharing best practices.  I view NEean as a community where members can offer insight, learn new ideas, and support each other as we undertake the various assessment challenges across our institutions.  My involvement grew as participant at various NEean events and then being provided the opportunity to serve as an Affiliated Board Member in 2019.  In 2020, I was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors.  As Program Director, I work to broaden NEean’s initiatives that support our mission and values.    

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 NECHE!” 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.

New England Educational Assessment Network 

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