Foundational Course Initiative (FCI) Staff

Denise Galarza SepĂșlveda

Denise Galarza Sepúlveda
Director, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 615-9281
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
galarzad@umich.edu

Denise Galarza Sepúlveda was a member of the faculty at Lafayette College for twelve years in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures where she also chaired the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. She received her Masters from Purdue and her Ph.D. from Emory University. Throughout her career she led various initiatives designed to promote transformative learning and has received awards for her teaching and course design. At Lafayette, she was awarded the Excellence in Diversity Education Award and the Woman of Distinction Award by the Association of Black Collegians “in recognition for the immeasurable hours dedicated to the continued success of marginalized groups on campus.” Her research focused on the forging of eighteenth-century proto-national identities during periods of economic and social instability and has appeared in the top journals in her field, including Revista de Estudios Hispánicos and Revista Iberoamericana. Prior to joining CRLT, Denise was the inaugural director of the office of Community-Engaged Academic Learning, where she built strong collaborations with faculty, students, and departments around high impact learning opportunities for LSA undergraduates. As Director of the Foundational Course Initiative she provides strategic leadership for this campus-wide presidential initiative, which aims to create a 21st century model for teaching at scale in ways that are inclusive and innovative. A native of Puerto Rico, she volunteers as a teacher in En Nuestra Lengua, a Saturday Spanish school dedicated to promoting Spanish literacy, cultural enrichment and the academic success of Latino children in Southeast Michigan.

Blair Beuche

Blair Beuche
Student Support & Classroom Climate Consultant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 936-3839
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
bbeuche@umich.edu

Blair Beuche earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in education from the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. After completing her undergraduate degree, she taught high school, served as a Program Director for Teach For America, and also was a school administrator. Through this work, she gained experience in course design, class climate, assessment design and use, instructional coaching, and supporting instructional improvement efforts. She then attended the University of Michigan for her graduate studies where her research interests centered on large-scale and systemic approaches to instructional improvement. During this time, Blair trained K-12 teachers at the University of Michigan, supported educational innovation and access through work in the Center of Academic Innovation’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and mentored first-year undergraduate students.

Andy Burkhardt

Andy Burkhardt
Instructional Technology Consultant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 764-3613
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
andyburk@umich.edu

Andy Burkhardt’s focus is to bring a human-centered perspective to technology in the design of learning experiences as an Instructional Consultant for the Foundational Course Initiative. Before joining CRLT Andy consulted with, trained, and supported faculty and staff at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health in the use of educational technologies. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, he was the Assistant Director for Digital Strategy at the Champlain College Library in Burlington, VT where he managed library technologies and taught numerous inquiry-based information literacy sessions as part of the undergraduate Core Curriculum. He received his M.A. in Library and Information Studies from UW-Madison and his B.A. in Philosophy at St, John’s University in Collegeville, MN.

Claudia Cameratti-Baeza

Claudia Cameratti-Baeza
Pedagogy & Instructional Design Consultant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 764-3615
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
ccamerat@umich.edu

Claudia Cameratti-Baeza earned her B.Sc. at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile) in Educational Psychology in 200. Following that she completed her M.Sc. in Cognitive Development at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile). During the first years of her professional life, Claudia focused her work in teacher education and the creation of different resources to support the learning of teaching at different levels. In 2006 she became the associate director of faculty development at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Engineering, where she led initiative oriented to improve instructional practices in engineering education. In 2011, she went to complete a Ph.D. in teaching and teacher education at the University of Michigan School of Education. During her Ph.D., Claudia enjoyed teaching and instructional design at the Ann Arbor Languages Partnership (A2LP), as well as participating in research groups exploring teacher learning and development. At CRLT, Claudia works with the Foundational Course Initiative (FCI) as Pedagogy & Instructional Design Consultant. In this role, she partners with departmental instructional teams and fellow FCI consultants to support the University’s large introductory courses, create productive teaching and learning experiences, and improve equity across the institution.

Susan J. Cheng

Susan J. Cheng
Instructional Consultant for Analytics and Assessment, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 764-1314
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
chengs@umich.edu

Susan J. Cheng earned her B.A. in Environmental Science at Columbia University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, where she was also a graduate student mentor for the Program in Biology. Her research interests falls within two parallel, but related, themes: 1) Understanding how ecological interactions shape theoretical and computational models of Earth’s climate, and 2) identifying how classroom climate influences student interactions, constructs of course content, and learning outcomes. Prior to joining CRLT, Susan worked in environmental consulting, urban environmental education program development, and as a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University. She has also served on the 500 Women Scientists leadership team, the Cornell University Graduate School Diversity Advisory Council, and the American Geophysical Union Publications Committee and Education Section Communication Working Group. At CRLT, Susan works with the Foundational Course Initiative as a data analytics and course assessment consultant to better understand student success in large, introductory courses.

Mishelle DimitrovaMishelle Dimitrova
Administrative Assistant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 936-3837
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
mdimitro@umich.edu

Mishelle Dimitrova earned her B.A. in Communications and Hispanic Studies with a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Michigan- Dearborn. She has nearly seven years of work experience with managing both large and small events. During her college years, Mishelle worked at the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Industrial Engineering department where she planned department events, managed social media accounts, and supported faculty and staff. She was also a part of Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority where she was the Vice President of Programming and handled both academic and social events.

Anthony King
Instructional Technology Consultant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 764-3616
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
arking@umich.edu

Anthony King earned his BS in Secondary Science and Math Education in 2003, and after spending time as science and math teacher, he earned his Masters in Digital Media and Education in 2012, both from the University of Michigan. His research during graduate studies included curriculum and game development for teaching about the climate system and climate change’s impact on biodiversity, with scaffolded support around critical thinking, argumentation, and complex systems for students. Prior to joining CRLT, he worked as a network consultant for Network Services Group, LLC, and in the UM College of LSA as a Senior Instructional Consultant and member of the UM Teaching and Technology Collaborative committee and the Enriching Scholarship planning and keynote committees, and chaired the LSA Technology Services Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as the DEI Advocate. Anthony’s past consultation has focussed on issues around the use of technology in large courses, including alternative assessment tools, in-class active learning assignments, and on and offline discussions, as well as evaluating and piloting scalable, equitable, and inclusive options for instructional tools, and general instructional technology training, support, and documentation. With the FCI team, Anthony consults and collaborates with large foundational course faculty and GSIs about their technology issues as part of the course redesign process.

Elizabeth Mann Levesque

Elizabeth Mann Levesque
Student Support & Classroom Climate Consultant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 764-1248
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
manneliz@umich.edu

Elizabeth Mann Levesque earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan. After completing her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth taught middle school social studies in Miami, FL as a Teach for America corps member. She returned to Michigan for her graduate studies where she specialized in American politics and political institutions and engaged in research on early childhood education and K-12 education policy. Her dissertation on presidential policymaking at the state level was recognized with a Rackham ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, and as a Graduate Student Instructor Elizabeth received a John W. Kingdon Teaching Award from the Department of Political Science. Subsequently, as a fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, she studied a wide range of education policy issues, including civics education, employer and community college workforce development partnerships, and federal regulation related to the Every Student Succeeds Act. At CRLT, Elizabeth works on the Foundational Course Initiative as a student support and classroom climate consultant.

Kairos Marquardt

Kairos Marquardt
Pedagogy & Design Consultant, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 936-3848
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
kairosm@umich.edu

Kairos Marquardt works with the Foundational Course Initiative (FCI) as one of the Pedagogy & Design Consultants. In this role, she partners with departmental instructional teams and fellow FCI consultants to support the University’s large introductory courses, enrich student learning experiences and improve equity across the institution.  Kairos' professional trajectory spans ethnographic research, teaching, and design consulting. At the University of Michigan, she taught in the Residential College and the Department of Anthropology (where she was recognized with an Innovative Teaching Award). Prior to joining the CRLT, she worked in applied research and design consulting for a wide range of organizations and industries. Kairos has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan, with a graduate certificate in Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Her ethnographic research in post-civil war Peru focused on citizenship, inequality, and participatory governance, especially around the socio-political regulations of nightlife and urban order.

LaVonne Maxwell

LaVonne Maxwell
Project Manager, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 615-8056
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
yuillel@umich.edu

LaVonne Maxwell is excited to be providing support for the Foundational Course Initiative. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Cleary University. Her addition to the CRLT staff brings more than 17 years of administrative support and event planning experience. She is thrilled to be a member of a groundbreaking team that is finding ways to revolutionize foundational courses to positively impact the educational goals of each student.

Heather Rypkema

Heather Rypkema
Instructional Consultant for Analytics and Assessment, Foundational Course Initiative
(734) 764-7868
1071 Palmer Commons • 100 Washtenaw Ave.
hrypkema@umich.edu

Heather Rypkema earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics, M.A. in Chemistry, and Ph.D. in Chemical Physics, all from Harvard University. After her postdoc at Stanford University, Heather went on to hold a tenure track faculty position in Chemistry at University of Louisville as well as research faculty positions at Purdue University (Chemistry) and University of Michigan (Dept. of Climate and Space Science and Engineering), with areas of research focus including the physics of radical-molecule interactions, ultrafast spectroscopy, laser photochemistry with applications to renewable energy, quantum chemical analysis of atmospheric reactions, and the development of new spectroscopic methods for the analysis of archaeological soil samples in the field. She has more than 20 years’ experience as an instructor in higher education, having taught as an undergraduate, graduate student, postdoc, and faculty member. At CRLT and as a member of the FCI team, Heather specializes in analytics and assessment.

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