Teaching Academy Fellows

Teaching Academy Fellows regularly teach multi-session workshops, thus extending the reach of the staff.  We thank them deeply.

Michaela Burkardt Dr. Michaela Burkardt is a college professor in the Department of Physics. Her teaching includes introductory physics in large and small classes, laboratories, or in Supplemental Instruction (SI), both in-person and online. Michaela designs learning opportunities that actively engage students and that provide feedback to support their learning. Student learning is structured as a combination of individual preparation, active classroom instruction, peer learning, and individual practice. She has been recognized with four outstanding faculty awards from the College of Arts and Sciences. From 2009–2010, Michaela worked at the Teaching Academy focusing on promoting evidence-based teaching in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). She has lead a college-wide peer learning assistant (PLA) program and still uses peer assistants as partners in teaching. Michaela teaches a multi-session workshop at the Academy about teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines.

Rene Guillaume
Dr. Rene O. Guillaume is a faculty member in the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership in the College of Education. Prior to his faculty appointment, he worked in numerous student services roles, most recently serving as the Director for the TRiO Upward Bound Program. Rene’s research is guided by social justice philosophies, with a focus on the lived experiences of students, faculty, and staff in P-20 settings. His primary line of inquiry focuses on Faculty of Color. He has been involved with the Teaching Academy for over a decade, having attended numerous workshops on a yearly basis. In 2018, he was recognized as the Most Distinguished Member of the Teaching Academy, an award presented for the most regular participant. As a Fellow at the Teaching Academy, his workshops focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza
Dr. Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza is a Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at New Mexico State University. Patricia serves as the P&T fellow for the Teaching Academy. She has guided multiple revisions of her department’s Function and Criteria policies. Patricia has served as Chair of the P&T Committee for her department and for two additional departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has also served as an outside member for departmental promotion and tenure committees in Arts and Sciences as well as on the promotion committee for the College of Education. She has mentored faculty across NMSU at different stages of their promotion and tenure process. Outside of NMSU, Patricia has served as an external reviewer for a number of faculty in her discipline. Recently, she initiated a recurring panel at an annual conference to provide information, advice, and mentoring regarding promotion and tenure to graduate students on the job market, pre-tenure faculty, and tenured faculty seeking promotion. Patricia has written a book manuscript, Survive the five:  Strategies and advice for achieving promotion and tenure. 

Laura Madson
Dr. Laura Madson joined the faculty of the Psychology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences in August 1996. Shortly thereafter, she learned about Team-Based Learning at the Teaching Academy. Laura has been a dyed-in-the-wool practitioner of TBL ever since. She uses TBL to teach 300–400 Introduction to Psychology students every academic year. Laura has written a textbook specifically for use in her TBL Introduction to Psychology classes. She has learned how to approximate in-class discussions by using Zoom and pre-assigned break-out rooms. Laura serves as a TBL Fellow for the Teaching Academy, co-leading regular workshops on Team-based Learning. She also offers occasional book discussion groups and panel discussions on provocative publications in higher education. She has been honored with several NMSU and Teaching Academy awards. She is delighted to serve as a Teaching Academy Fellow because, in her words, “Everything useful that I know about teaching I learned at the Teaching Academy.”
James McAteer Dr. James McAteer is a professor in the Astronomy Department in the College of Arts and Sciences. He carries out research in studies of the Sun and its influence on Earth, funded by NASA and NSF. Like many others, he had no prior background in teaching when he started on his first lecture course at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, in 2008. Upon realizing he knew little about the research in effective teaching, he came to NMSU in 2010 with a new and open mind to focus on how students learn, rather than how professors teach. James completed the Teaching Scholars course and a Team-based Learning (TBL) course. As a result, he began to incorporate new ideas in his astronomy courses at all levels. These ideas include teamwork, clickers, and you-you’all-us [think-pair-share]. In 2012, James threw himself headfirst into adopting TBL into one of his classes. With this approach he won a NSF-Career award in 2013 that focused on developing the TBL environment to maximize student learning in classes with a large diversity of student backgrounds and expectations. James co-teaches TBL workshops for the Teaching Academy.

Martha Mitchell
Dr. Martha C. Mitchell is a professor of chemical and materials engineering in the College of Engineering. Martha has served as department head of Chemical Engineering and associate dean for research in the College of Engineering. She was a mentor in the Teaching Academy’s one-on-one and Advancing Leaders mentoring programs and now co-teaches Team Mentoring for Faculty New to NMSU. In 2015, Martha received the Teaching Academy Outstanding Mentor Award for her work mentoring faculty at NMSU. She is currently the co-principal investigator for two NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grants, one for the College of Engineering and one for NMSU and Dona Ana Community College. In both programs, she leads the student/faculty one-on-one mentoring programs. She was the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE PAID grant that disseminated the diversity initiatives from the NSF ADVANCE grant at NMSU to New Mexico Tech, the University of New Mexico, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Niki Mott
Niki Mott is an English instructor with NMSU and NMSU-Alamogordo. Her first career was in journalism, with newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The Denver Post. She returned to school to become an educator when she felt public schools were not engaging her sons, who were “different learners.” Niki earned an M.Ed. in Missouri and an M.A. at NMSU. Her quest to learn methods for effectively engaging a variety of learners led her to the Teaching Academy, where she focuses on Team-Based Learning, active learning, equity, and diversity among many other strategies offered at her “second home.” A facilitator-trainee with Speaking Circles International, founded by Lee Glickstein, she continues her focus on engaging and connecting with each student. At the Academy, she teaches the multi-session workshop, How to Teach and Speak with Ease and Impact.

Michele Shuster
Dr. Michèle Shuster is a professor in the Biology Department. She teaches courses including introductory biology for non-majors, upper division introduction to cancer, and a graduate course for K-6 teachers seeking a STEM credential. She regularly uses innovative approaches in her teaching, including classroom flipping and case studies. Michèle has earned an ACUE credential in effective college instruction. In addition to this recognition, she has been honored to receive the NMSU Roush award (twice) and the Westhafer award for excellence in teaching. She has also won multiple Teaching Academy awards for teaching outstanding and innovative courses and workshops. Michèle offers workshops at the Academy on using case studies in the classroom and other innovative student-centered teaching strategies. She is also available to carry out in-person and online course reviews for STEM disciplines.

David Smith
Dr. David Smith is Associate Provost, Office of Academic Affairs. He previously served 21 years on the faculty of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Throughout his teaching career, David was a leading proponent of classroom assessment on the NMSU campus and a mentor to numerous graduate student and faculty instructors. He received the Teaching Academy Innovation Award in 2009 and Outstanding Workshop Award in 2011. David provides resources, support, and feedback for faculty and staff across campus in their efforts to improve the learning and the overall experience of our students. He has also served as a member of the statewide steering committee for the reform of general education and is currently chair of the General Education Course Certification Committee (GECCC). As a fellow, David facilitates occasional book discussion groups and teaches a multi-session workshop on Using Assessment to Document and Improve Learning (and Teaching!).

Monica Torres
Dr. Mónica Torres serves as President of Doña Ana Community College. She previously served as DACC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs from 2013 to 2019. Prior to that, she was a faculty member and a department head at NMSU. While in the English department, Monica’s research and teaching focused on the ways in which institutional discourses are used to shape knowledge about race, class, and gender in the U.S. She has been involved with the Teaching Academy for much of her career. Mónica has served as a workshop leader, panel member, and mentor for several programs organized or sponsored by the Academy including Teaching Scholars, Advancing Leaders, and the Department Head Academy, and as well as the Writing Across the Curriculum Seminar and the Promotion & Tenure Workshop. As a fellow, she co-teaches various short courses on diversity and equity issues in higher education. Mónica has received two awards from the Teaching Academy: Outstanding Mentor (2017) and Outstanding Workshop (2018).

Graciela Ungues
Dr. Graciela Unguez is a professor in the Department of Biology. Her research interests focus on studying mechanisms responsible for the formation and plasticity of neural circuits underlying animal behavior. Since 2014, with support from the NIH-funded NMSU RISE to the Postdoctorate Program, she has spurred networking between graduate students and faculty in a multi-session workshop entitled, Getting a Job in Academe—A Ph.D. is Not Enough. This workshop provides a forum for professional interactions between faculty and graduate student protégés. It helps students progress professionally by actively sharing information on funding, publication, networking, written and oral communication, and job/postdoc opportunities.

Graciela Ungues
Dr. Patti Wojahn retired after serving as department head of Interdisciplinary Studies for seven years. Previously, she served 15 years in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program in the Department of English, where she led campus-wide efforts related to Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Disciplines. For seven years, she served as writing program administrator overseeing NMSU’s general education writing program, designing curriculum, and teaching writing instructors. In 2015, she earned the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Outreach, based primarily on her work in the Borderlands Writing Project, a National Writing Project site that engages K–12 teachers with college-level instructors with an eye to improving all as writers as well as teachers of writing. At the Teaching Academy, she facilitates Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, a multi-session workshop based on a book by the same name.