Open SUNY Mentoring Program
Open SUNY Online Teaching has a unique opportunity for Open SUNY Fellows to engage in supporting online teaching peers through the design and development of their online courses.
With the growth of exciting professional development opportunities, mentors are needed to participate in discussion forums with faculty completing the new to online teaching course (N2OL), or those exploring blended learning. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please click the Volunteer button above and complete the brief survey to help us best match your interests and skills with our goals and professional development needs.
If you are not yet an Open SUNY Fellow, please consider joining this dynamic network of online practitioners!
Open SUNY Exemplar Coaches and Mentors have:
- identified themselves as having recent experience or expertise in online teaching and learning, or supporting faculty in the design and development of effective online teaching and learning environments
- indicated a willingness to coach and mentor other faculty
- indicated a willingness to participate as a course reviewer
- identified a willingness to contribute to the Community of online practitioners
Open SUNY Exemplar Coaches and Mentors will be expected to:
- participate in and discussion forums related to course content and activities
- encourage engagement of course participants in discussions
- contribute experience and expert guidance to participants in the course design process
- conduct online course reviews for new online teaching faculty
Current Open SUNY Mentors
Deborah Raines, University at Buffalo
Strengths: I have experience teaching about online learning, mentoring faculty and working with others in course development.
Mary Seel, Broome Community College
Strengths: I am interested in encouraging faculty as they develop their courses and as they begin to teach them, to share experiences and what has worked well and what has not.
Stephanie Affinito, University at Albany
Strengths: I feel that I can take my experience of teaching on-campus, blended and online courses, pair it with the new information and connections that I have gained and share that learning with other faculty. I am continually trying new things in my courses to better my teaching and my students' learning. My biggest strength is my willingness to take instructional 'risks' and try something new in the classroom. I use student feedback and self-reflection throughout all phases of course development and collaborate with other faculty often. I feel that I could positively impact other faculty by building relationships, offering support, showcasing my own practices and collaborating online. My research on literacy coaching has taught me a great deal on how to work with adult learners and coach others in a positive, effective manner and I am looking forward to working with other faculty.
Kamil Hamaoui, Westchester Community College
Strengths: I have helped other faculty discover useful tools in Blackboard and assisted with technology-related questions. I can help online faculty develop a rigorous course with high standards and a personal connection with students, without it involving an overwhelming amount of work for the instructor.
Bill Pelz, Herkimer County Community College
Jeremiah Grabowski, University at Buffalo
Strengths: One of my strengths is that I come from a very strong ID background. My M.Ed is in Instructional Design & Development. A lot of IDs come from other backgrounds (instructional technology, information technology, etc) and don't have a depth of ID knowledge. I must have taken over half a dozen ID related classes in grad school. I focus my course designs from the ground up and follow a strict ADDIE-like model. I would be happy to be paired up with a new ID and work with them, answer their questions, be someone they can bounce ideas off of, etc.
Donna Simiele, Niagara County Community College
Strengths: At NCCC I run the Quality Peer Review Project. In the past we used the Quality Matters Rubric but we now use an adjusted version of the OSCQR Rubric. Also, as part of our refresh process for WAVE 2 I have had the opportunity to review courses for accessibility issues. At NCCC we have started an initiative that will check accessibility issues on our campus and devise a training schedule based on these findings. Over the past several years I have worked with new faculty in course development. I would be comfortable working with faculty to build a course from the ground up or as part of a refresh process.
Ellen Sidey, Alfred State College
Strengths: My strengths lie in my own experience teaching online, writing online courses, and instructional design. I have seen online courses from all angles and can guide faculty based on my experience with good and bad online courses and practices. I know the anxiety first-time online instructors feel because I have written and facilitated training courses for that very group. I can address common issues they will come up against and how to handle them. I have also taught in the traditional classroom so I can field any questions they may have about the differences between the two formats.
Patrice Torcivia Prusko, Cornell University
Strengths: International collaborations / Designing and teaching synchronous sessions / MOOCs learning theories / Building community
Vicky Sloan, Clinton Community College
Strengths: New course design is an area in which I feel qualified to mentor. I especially like to help faculty create effective discussion forums that can serve as a learning activity as well as an assessment tool.
Madeline Crocitto, SUNY Old Westbury
Strengths: I have been teaching on-line since 2001 and am very aware of the benefits and pitfalls of on-line learning. My strengths are a commitment to effective learning and access via technology and public education. I have effectively monitored faculty and doctoral students, finding the process a positive learning experience for me and, according to my partners, equally as beneficial to them. I have published and presented in the field of management education for over ten years and am told I am creative in finding ways to present material effectively and interestingly to students, increasing their engagement. This is especially helpful in drawing on-line students into the class community.
Denise Passero, Fulton-Montgomery Community College
Strengths: I am currently serving as the campus ID for FMCC and I have completed the Open SUNY COTE N2OL course. I also mentored one of our faculty members while he took N2OL. I am very interested in having faculty be not only technically competent but to be able to develop quality courses. I am strong with urging faculty to stick to the best practices and I have the patience to guide and encourage.
Michele Forte, Empire State College
Strengths: Online teaching experience since 2011 / Classroom teaching experience since 1997 / Interests include reduction of conflict between instructor/students in asynchronous, increasing clarity of instructor expectations and establishing instructor presence, increasing opportunities for student engagement and participation.
Gregory Phelan, SUNY Cortland
Strengths: I have a lot of experience developing online materials, courses, activities for a variety of subjects including chemistry, science for non-majors, innovation, entrepreneurship and social innovation/entrepreneurship. I would enjoy the opportunity to help others with similar interests. A secondary motivational factor would be to find others interested in potentially publishing work related to these kinds of activities.
Danielle Plass, Westchester Community College
Strengths: I have several years of experience in online education, particularly training faculty. I am currently mentoring someone within my institution and I am finding it very rewarding. My goal has always been to make the online experience less intimidating and more approachable and to share what I have learned from my own experiences. In addition, I find training faculty often causes me to learn something new.
Andrea Nikischer, Buffalo State College
Strengths: I am particularly interested in working with graduate faculty members teaching small courses online. I have been teaching a full course load of small graduate classes online since 2012. Many of these courses involve "sensitive" topics, and I would embrace the opportunity to work with other faculty members teaching emotionally challenging material in an all-online format. I am most interested in mentoring faculty members who seek to build strong learning communities with their students.
Mindy Kole, Ulster County Community College
Strengths: I have been teaching online for several years and understand that it is very different from traditional face-to-face teaching and therefore, traditional classes need to be revamped (i.e. start from scratch) to be effective online. Additionally, I am in a doctoral program in Management Education with Capella University, currently in the dissertation phase, and have taken doctoral level classes in curriculum development and online education. I am a fan of online education and the opportunity it provides for learning and for students needing that format.
Roberta (Robin) Sullivan, University at Buffalo
Strengths: I have nearly 18 years as an instructional designer for UB. For the past 3 years I have been involved in the SUNY TOEP online social-network community with the goal of faculty professional development relating to the use of emerging technology tools for teaching and learning.
Antonia (Tonka) Jokelova, Empire State College
Strengths: Teaching presence / motivational strategies / feedback
Tom Capuano, Monroe Community College
Strengths: My strengths are in online course organization & design and how to best use the tools of the LMS for student engagement, facilitation & interaction.
Raul Zevallos, SUNY Old Westbury
Strengths: Versed on several LMS and experienced trainer. Heavy user of Open Source software. Instructions writer of different topics, as per need or request.
Mary Jane Masiulionis, Buffalo State College
Strengths: I love to interact with students via the discussions, integrating both textual and visual information for students to respond. My strengths are working with students in group projects, allowing them to form chats and discussions where they are engaging in their creative process. Also, I have a strong area of expertise in synthesis dialogue, and also blogs. I have experience in both theater and communication, so I feel I also have a strong strength in creating interdisciplinary approaches to online assignments.
Arthur Finkle, Empire State College
Strengths: 15 years of online teaching / Mentored others at Thomas Edison State College (New Jersey)
David Richards, Tompkins Cortland Community College
Strengths: Initial course design, course design to best accommodate online students, strengthening student participation and engagement, leveraging discussion fora/groups, and clearly communicating academic honesty requirements to students in all-online courses.
Jung-Whan Marc de Jong, Fashion Institute of Technology
Strengths: I have strong experience (5+ years) teaching a variety of social science courses online, using Angel and Blackboard. I am excited to show other faculty that online learning rivals face-to-face learning and that with the right pedagogical and online tools, it can even best it.
Elizabeth Pratt, SUNY Delhi
Strengths: I am organized, supportive, able to provide constructive criticism in a positive light, open to new ideas, accessible during a variety of times, energetic, demonstrate professionalism, and scholarly traits. My interests include helping decrease stress level of teaching in the online environment, updating courses to reflect current information, encouraging self-development of teaching methods effective in the online environment.
Christine Leake, Empire State College
Strengths: Advanced Degree in Instructional Design / Knowledge of Instructional Systems' Designs / Knowledge of Quality Matters Rubric and Peer Review Process / Passion for learning opportunities that are designed with quality in mind / Student Centered approach / Dedicated to the field
Alex Bitterman, Alfred State College
Strengths: I've been teaching online for several years in a variety of formats: design studio, large lecture, small seminar, so I've "seen it all" and can advise on everything from course planning and set up to course management to navigating problems when they arise.
Elizabeth Balko, Cornell University
Strengths: I have extensive experience designing and teaching online and blended courses.
Elissa Baker, Hudson Valley Community College
Strengths: I have been working with online learning and faculty training for 9 years. I've also been teaching online for at least 7 years and on campus. Currently, I'm teaching a Technology in Education course fully online that was recently submitted as an exemplar to COTE and a Computer Applications course on campus. I've been developing online training materials on how to use tools in Blackboard and the Internet for HVCC's online instructor training course and for other members of the community.
Renee Funke, Jamestown Community College
Strengths: I have been teaching online for about 6 years. I know it can be challenging and frustrating, especially if colleagues are not comfortable with online courses. I have experience mentoring online faculty face-to-face.
Michael Phillips, SUNY Potsdam
Strengths: Instructional design, usability, compliance issues, quality-assurance, organization and presentation of content, interactive/participatory/engaging elements (student-student, student-content, student-instructor), visuals/graphics.
Steve Keeler, Cayuga Community College
Strengths: I started online teaching in 1998 and have taught online in every academic year since then. I hold a Certificate in Online Teaching from UCLA. I worked with SLN in introducing new online instructors to their online practice site. I have training and expertise in curriculum development. I have special expertise in online media production instruction.