Transformative Learning Conference

About the Speakers

Bryan Dewsbury

bryan_dewsbury.jpgBryan Dewsbury, Ph.D is a Gardner Institute Fellow and an Assistant Professor in Biology at the University of Rhode Island. He is the Principal Investigator for the SEAS (Science Education And Research) program. Their research focuses on questions relating to identity constructs, bias, relationships, and the effects of those variables on learning in students (from K-PhD). He is ultimately interested in helping to re-frame the education discussion to better address questions of equity and community-building. His work addresses pressing issues such as student retention in STEM fields (especially in higher ed), the under-representation of minority groups in certain STEM fields, and the role of affect (instructor and student) in promoting student learning gains. He also uses the results of those efforts to help faculty develop inclusive curricula and sense of community in the classroom.


Maryellen Weimer


In 2007 MARYELLEN WEIMER retired from Penn State as a Professor Emeritus of Teaching and Learning.  For the last 13 years of her career at Penn State she taught communication courses, first year seminars and other courses business students at one of Penn State’s regional campus colleges.  In 2005 she won Penn State’s Milton S. Eisenhower award for distinguished teaching.

Before returning to full time teaching, Dr. Weimer was the Associate Director of the National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning and Assessment, a five year, $5.9 million, U. S. Department of Education research and development center.  The Center, a consortium of six universities, was part of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State University where Dr. Weimer was a senior research associate.

Dr. Weimer has a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Penn State which she received in 1981.  For the next ten years she directed Penn State’s Instructional Development Program.

Dr. Weimer has numerous publications including articles in referred journals, book chapters, books reviews, and service on the editorial boards of journals.  She has consulted with over 700 colleges and universities on instructional issues.  Dr. Weimer regularly keynotes national meetings and regional conferences.

Since 1987 she has edited the Teaching Professor, a monthly newsletter on college teaching, now appearing as a website (  Her widely read blog can be found at on that website.  She edited or authored eight books including a 1990 book on faculty development, a 1993 book on teaching for new faculty, and a 1995 anthology edited with Robert Menges, Teaching on Solid Ground.  She was primary author of a Kendall-Hunt publication, Teaching Tools, a collection of collaborative, active and inquiry-based approaches to be used in conjunction with Biological Perspectives, an NSF-funded introductory biology text, created by Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies (BSCS).  Over 35,000 copies of the first (2002) and significantly revised second edition (2013) of her book, Learner-Centered Teaching:  Five Key Changes to Practice have been sold.  Her book, Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning, was published in February 2006 and Inspired College Teaching:  A Career-Long Resource for Professional Growth was released by Jossey-Bass in March, 2010.


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