As the CTE’s Executive Director, Dr. Stacy Grooters champions teaching at Boston College, driving campus conversations about teaching excellence and advocating for a strong culture of reflective, inclusive, evidence-based teaching at the University. She provides strategic leadership for the Center for Teaching Excellence, ensuring that the CTE’s programs and services align with faculty needs and are responsive to campus priorities.
Stacy gained her first experience in the classroom teaching English to secondary school students as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bayanhongor, Mongolia, a small town on the northern edge of the Gobi Desert. She went on to pursue an MA in English from Miami University in Oxford, OH and a PhD in English (with a concentration in Women Studies) from the University of Washington, where she taught in the departments of English, Ethnic Studies, and Women’s Studies. At UW, she also worked as an Assistant Director in the Expository Writing Program and an instructional consultant in the Center for Instructional Development and Research.
In 2007, Stacy joined Stonehill College as the Founding Director of their Center for Teaching and Learning, where she also oversaw the establishment of the Office of Community-Based Learning. She taught as an Assistant Professor in the English department and was Co-Director of the Gender & Sexuality Studies program. She also chaired the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Diversity for three years. In 2015, Stacy was hired as the Director of Faculty Programs for BC’s newly established Center for Teaching Excellence and was then named Interim Director of the CTE in 2019. She was promoted to Executive Director in 2020.
Stacy is an active member of the POD Network, the national organization of teaching centers, and has twice served on POD's Board of Directors. Her research examines the roles of instructor and student identity in the classroom, as well as broader questions of diversity, equity, and social justice in higher education. Her most recent publication examines the POD Network's scholarly engagement with diversity in its publications and conferences.
Sarah collaborates with CTE colleagues and with faculty to develop programs inviting them to explore pedagogical questions and innovations, and foster community centered around reflective teaching. She coordinates the CTE’s support for instructional technologies, and serves as CTE liaison to campus partners such as the Academic Technology Advisory Board, and Faculty Technology Contacts. She has taught Core courses in BC’s Theology Department and co-taught a Cross-currents seminar, “Thinking about Mindfulness and Meditation.”
Sarah holds a B.A. in History from the University of Durham, UK, an MA from Andover Newton Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Theology from Boston College. She began working in BC’s Instructional Design and eTeaching Services as a Graduate Assistant while completing her studies. She joined the staff full time as an Instructional Designer in 2004, and has been at the Center since its beginning in 2014.
Matthew leads operations and program planning in the Center for Teaching Excellence, develops and implements the marketing of CTE programs and events, and contributes to the CTE's strategic direction. In addition, he designs and facilitates intercultural workshops for instructors.
Prior to joining the CTE, Matthew managed a global network of courses at Harvard Business School and led a portfolio of Executive MBA programs at the University of Minnesota, working closely with faculty in both roles. He also serves as a cross-cultural trainer and has published research that examines the role of faculty and staff in cross-cultural education, as well as a model of individual cross-cultural interactions.
In addition to his work in the CTE, Matthew has taught courses on intercultural competence for both BC undergraduates and adult learners in the community, as well as an online course for BC students who are studying abroad for the semester. He is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Matthew earned his B.A. in English literature from Carleton College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education from the University of Minnesota.
Kim is honored to work at the CTE where she gets to support faculty and graduate student instructors as they reflect on their teaching practices and pedagogical philosophies. Through program management, consultations, and resource development, Kim is in regular conversation with campus instructors and the literature on college teaching, with a special emphasis on questions of equity, justice, and inclusion in college classrooms.
Her investment in promoting the well-being of students and instructors is also informed by her other work on campus: Kim taught in the Theology core program, staffed the campus Sexual Assault Network, and co-taught a course for graduate students on responsibly, compassionately responding to sexual assault disclosures in their role as future faculty. She earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and English Literature from Denison University and her M.T.S. from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. She is currently working on a dissertation in systematic theology on the intersections of shame, sin, and antiblack racism in the U.S. Catholic Church.
Francesca oversees the CTE’s graduate student programs, services, and resources, in order to support graduate students in their current teaching roles at BC and prepare them for future teaching roles in higher education. As part of this work, she collaborates with individual faculty as well as with all of BC’s schools and colleges and other university offices. Francesca also supervises the center’s Learning Technology Assistants, helps support all of the CTE’s programs, and provides assistance with CTE-supported technologies, in particular Poll Everywhere. At BC, Francesca periodically teaches college writing courses in the Woods College of Advancing Studies, most recently in an asynchronous online format.
Francesca holds a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Anthropology from Oberlin College, an M.A. in Mediterranean Studies from Middlebury College, and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures – Italian from the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Francesca worked at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching as an Instructional Technology Graduate Teaching Consultant and workshop facilitator.
Nirmal Trivedi is Assistant Director for Teaching, Learning and Technology at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Boston College. For the past 10 years, he has worked closely with faculty from various universities and institutions to improve teaching practices for students at the undergraduate level. A graduate of BC’s English PhD program, Nirmal went on to teach at Georgia Tech where he led the university’s First-Year Seminar program for several years. He went on to lead Kennesaw State University’s award-winning First-Year Seminar program for five years, where he was awarded a national teaching award and received statewide recognition for curricular innovation.
Core to Nirmal’s approach is the assumption that students are willing and excited to learn from faculty that they trust. Building that trust takes time and patience as well as an awareness about the prior learning experiences of students.
As a researcher, he has a unique profile that integrates his work in the disciplines of English and American Studies with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL). As an American Studies scholar, he focuses on race and American imperialism, World Literature, and narratives of trauma in wartime. He has published in the Journal of Transnational American Studies, borderlands, and the Journal of Asian-American Studies.
As a SOTL scholar, he writes about improving retention and graduation rates through high-impact practices, which require applied, hands-on learning experiences and have positive “compensatory” effects for students from historically underserved populations. He has published in eSource for College Transitions, Improve with Metacognition, and the Journal of Effective Teaching in Higher Education.
Learning Technology Assistant
Melissa is a first year MSW candidate in BC’s School of Social Work. Melissa’s intention throughout the pursuit of her MSW is to investigate and immerse herself within the mental health field with the eventual goal of giving back to and supporting her own community. As a member of the LatinX Leadership Initiative cohort at BC, Melissa plans to utilize her opportunities for high-caliber education and specialized LatinX training to foster the development and access of resources for LatinX communities in Boston.
Previously, Melissa completed her bachelor’s degree as a non-traditional adult learner at the Harvard Extension School (HES), which is where she currently serves as a Teaching Assistant for graduate and undergraduate courses in the subjects of public speaking and professional presenting. As inspired by her upbringing in San Salvador, El Salvador, Melissa focuses her pedagogical and instructional efforts on supporting non-native English speaking students to gain confidence as speakers.
At the CTE, Melissa aims to empower and scaffold the development of instructors who seek to learn more about technology in support of learning/teaching advancement. In her spare time, Melissa devotes many walks and fetch sessions to her husky, Luna, and enjoys the ever-thrilling hunt for vegan ice cream hubs.
Graduate Programs Coordinator
Megan is currently pursuing her PhD in English in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. At the CTE, she spends most of her time working with graduate students as the coordinator for the Apprenticeship in College Teaching program.
Megan holds an MA in English from Boston College, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (English and Theology) from Southeastern University in Florida. When not studying or working, she enjoys exploring New England, going to the theatre, and watching BBC novel adaptations.
Hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Luis Melgar is a third-year Master of Divinity student at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He earned his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Scranton, concentrating in Latin American studies & Peace studies. Just before arriving at Boston College, he served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Andahuaylillas, Peru where he was a religious education teacher.
After two years as a graduate assistant in Boston College's Campus Ministry team in the Arrupe International Immersion Program, Luis is looking forward to learning about the administrative side of Boston College with the Center for Teaching Excellence as an Operations Coordinator. After graduation, he hopes to work in higher education in mission, ministry and formation work with students, faculty and administration. Outside of class and work, Luis enjoys watching and playing sports (Basketball and Soccer), playing guitar, and hosting bonfires.
Learning Technology Assistant
Hilary is a Catholic priest and a chartered mediator. He holds a BA in Philosophy (Ibadan), B.Phil. in Philosophy (Rome), B.D. in Theology (Rome) and STL in Theology (Maynooth). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Theological Ethics at Boston College. His research interests revolve around the common good ethics and strategic peacebuilding, where he reflects on multiculturalism, identity, recognition, and ecological justice.
At the CTE, Hilary assists instructors with the learning management system (Canvas) and other tools like lecture capture (Panopto), personal response systems (iClicker, Poll Everywhere), and virtual communications (Zoom). He also assists with individual consultations and group training sessions for instructional technologies and pedagogies. When not working or studying, he likes traveling, learning new languages, and watching detective movies.
A Nigerian by birth, Catholic Clergy by vocation and educator by interest, Paulinus Nweke is currently an MA student in Theology and Ministry. At CTE, Paulinus assists in the coordination of office operations – specifically, the management of office emails, phone calls, and other roles that facilitate the smooth running of the office.
He holds bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Theology, which were obtained from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Pontifical Urban University, Rome, respectively. Paulinus also holds a professional Diploma in Education, Nsukka, Nigeria. Prior to his studies at Boston College, he worked as a Pastor, an Administrator and a School Manager. During this time, Paulinus saw in the education of the underprivileged a profound way to uplift those at the margins. With passion, he does his best to translate this into action, and today CTE offers him the needed space to nurture this passion. Paulinus loves to teach, read, listen to news, and play volleyball.
Faculty Programs Coordinator
Jenna is a Doctoral Candidate in the Biblical Studies track of the Theology department at Boston College’s Morrissey School of Arts and Sciences. Her research involves the intersection of early Christian martyrdom narratives, identity formation, and gender.
Jenna holds two masters degrees in Biblical Languages and Early Christianity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Bible and English from Cornerstone University. She has served as a Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow, and an adjunct instructor at Boston College. In the classroom and in her work at the CTE, Jenna is passionate about developing intercultural and inclusive pedagogical practices.
When Jenna is not working or studying, she enjoys traveling, playing with her cat, reading (often bad) novels, playing RPGs, and tending her ever-growing hoard of plants.
Learning Technology Assistant
A native South Carolinian, Byron Wratee is a doctoral student in Systematic Theology at Boston College. Byron earned his B.A. in English from Stillman College, his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and his M.Div. from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
His current research interests include black theology, political theology, mystical theology, and theological anthropology. Byron is also a lifetime gospel music singer and a classically tutored tenor. Byron has sung in multiple chamber choirs, directed choirs, and arranged liturgical music.