Barnard College is excited to announce Melissa A. Wright as the executive director for the Center for Engaged Pedagogy (CEP). She was previously the senior associate director of the CEP and the associate director of assessment and evaluation at Columbia University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).
In Wright’s new role, she oversees the daily operations for the CEP and provides thought leadership on the principles and practices of post-secondary teaching and learning across the Barnard community.
The CEP serves as a hub for student learning by providing them with tutorials on study strategies and an extensive learning resources library that includes how best to use new technologies and engage with relevant pedagogical topics.
For faculty, the center offers programming on such teaching topics as anti-oppressive teaching practices, course design, the best way to use digital tools in in-person and virtual classroom instruction, active learning strategies, and assessment.
“I am thrilled that Melissa will lead the Center for Engaged Pedagogy, which is a crucial learning Center of the College for students and faculty alike,” said Linda A. Bell, provost and dean of the faculty. “A dedicated educator, Melissa will further guide the CEP, deepening its already strong commitment to forwarding research on best practices in pedagogy, supporting student learning, and helping faculty make their classrooms equitable and rigorous spaces."
“I am thrilled to step into the role of executive director and provide leadership for this extraordinary center and College,” said Wright. “I look forward to learning more about the community’s teaching and learning needs and curiosities and building meaningful relationships along the way. I am particularly excited to continue growing the CEP’s student-faculty pedagogical partnership program and supporting productive and mutually enriching dialogue between students, faculty, and teaching staff. We are living in a moment of profound change and crises on local and global scales, and I am honored to support this remarkable community in honing and developing our collective capacities to teach, learn, reflect, and act.”
Wright also supports educational grant research and evaluation, consults on curricular development, and promotes dialogue among faculty, students, and teaching staff on a range of topics — from equitable grading practices to AI in the classroom. She is also affiliated with the English Department and teaches a First-Year Seminar on food and politics.
Wright earned her bachelor’s degree in English and German from Canisius College and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in English and comparative literature, respectively, from the University at Buffalo. Her work has appeared in AEM Education and Training, The Black Scholar, Penumbra: A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Modernity, and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).