Two UW-Waukesha faculty were named co-directors of the Virtual Teaching and Learning Center (VTLC) of the UW Colleges. Dr. Julianna Alitto was appointed Resource Director and Dr. Jill Rinzel as Program Director. Dr. Joe Foy, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, made the announcement, calling them “two truly exceptional scholar-educators.” The VTLC (www.uwc.edu/vtlc) supports faculty in their roles as teachers and teacher-scholars promoting teaching excellence that enhances student learning. Each will have a 25% reduction in their teaching load in order to perform their new duties.
Dr. Julianna Alitto earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Northern Illinois University and serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Education. During the 2015–2016 academic year, Dr. Alitto participated in the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars program. As a Faculty Fellow, Julianna immersed herself in research related to pedagogy and learning theory, faculty development, and high impact practices. Dr. Alitto has served as both campus and department assessment coordinator, and has focused research efforts on student perseverance toward long-term goals, fixed/growth mindset, HIPs, and student achievement. She is a regular participant in regional and national conferences focused on teaching practices and general education programming, and has a background in inclusive excellence work and teaching technology. As the Resources Director, Julianna is responsible for gathering, posting and maintaining currency of resource materials on Inclusive Excellence, Pedagogy and Learning Theory, Teaching Tech and Tools, High Impact Practices, and Faculty Development. She will also work with a variety of higher education leaders and practitioners to facilitate the inclusion of an interdisciplinary and innovative array of materials.
Dr. Jill Rinzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Education. With a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UW-Madison, her background is in learning theory. Dr. Rinzel's research focuses on various scholarship of teaching and learning areas, including work in service learning, grit, and academic enablers. Additionally, Jill has taught courses on education within pluralistic contexts and has participated in the UW Colleges and UW Extension Multicultural Awareness Program. A recipient of several teaching awards and fellowships, Dr. Rinzel has done comprehensive redesigns of online courses and has online teaching experience. She also participated in Faculty College, and has served as both campus and department assessment coordinator. As the Program Director, Jill is responsible for collaborating on, developing, coordinating and overseeing professional development opportunities and programs like new faculty and instructional staff on-boarding, reading circles, and online professional development resources such as webinars, and professional development related podcasts.
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