Staff Bios

Photo of Kerrie Kephart
Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

Kerrie L. Kephart, Ph.D.
Interim Director
Kerrie Kephart currently serves as the Interim Director of the Faculty Development Center. Prior to this role, she was the Associate Director for Pedagogical Innovation, Research, and Assessment in the FDC, supporting faculty to innovate in their teaching and investigate issues of teaching and learning in their classrooms and disciplines. Her interests in faculty development include the scholarship of teaching and learning, pedagogies of reflection such as journaling and portfolio development, active learning and inquiry-based pedagogies, writing across the curriculum/in the disciplines, and discourses of teaching and learning. She holds a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a specialization in advanced academic literacy development. Prior to joining the FDC staff, she was Director of the Engineering Communication Program at the University of Washington, Seattle, and prior to that, she was Assistant Professor of ESL/Bilingual Education at the University of Texas at El Paso. In her previous positions, she conducted research studies in innovative teaching methods in the STEM fields and presented a workshop series in writing across the curriculum for faculty across all disciplines. She has also taught a variety of courses in language and literacy development, including academic writing for educators, writing the scientific article, technical communication, English as a second language pedagogy, principles of bilingual education, and discourse analysis.

Photo of Jennifer Harrison
Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.


Jennifer M. Harrison, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Assessment
Jennifer M. Harrison, Associate Director for Assessment in the Faculty Development Center, specializes in helping faculty develop effective assessment practices. She has expertise in accreditation, institutional effectiveness, student learning assessment, critical pedagogy, curriculum mapping and development, educational technology, and online and face-to-face active learning. An experienced speaker, she has created workshops, programs, and presentations for a range of higher education audiences, including AALHE, The Assessment Institute, and Educause. She is currently co-authoring a book on curriculum mapping for Stylus Publishing. She holds a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UMBC, an MA in English from the University of Maryland College Park, and a BA in English from Washington College. Before joining the FDC, she was Associate Professor of Writing & Director of Learning Assessment at the National Labor College, where she taught literature, writing across the curriculum, and interdisciplinary research courses; directed the Writing Center; developed learning and institutional assessment processes; and led the prior learning assessment program.

Photo of Tory Williams
Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.


Tory H. Williams, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Tory Williams, Research Assistant Professor, supports the design, analysis, and interpretation of pedagogical research projects at UMBC through the Faculty Development Center. Beyond her involvement in the scholarship of teaching and learning, she has a lead role in the data compilation, analysis, interpretation, and results dissemination for the UMBC NSF IUSE grant. Tory holds a Ph.D. in Biology from UMBC and a B.S. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining the FDC, she studied molecular physiology as a postdoctoral fellow at NIH, served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at UMBC, and supported the NSF-funded INSPIRES educational research project as a Research Assistant Professor. Recent involvement in the INSPIRES project fostered Tory’s expertise in pedagogical strategies aligning to STEM educational reform, integrating engineering principles and practices with science content, and the handling of educational data with quantitative statistics. Another special interest of Tory’s is to advocate that equity has a central role in making pedagogical shifts at UMBC and in the greater community.

Photo of Sarah Swatski
Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

Sarah Swatski, M.S.
Programming and Operations Administrator
Sarah Swatski, Programming and Operations Administrator in the Faculty Development Center, manages FDC programming, services, communication, financial processes, and assessment of the Center’s work, serving as the first point of contact for inquiries. She takes a leading role in planning, organizing and supporting over 45 yearly programs, new faculty orientations, the Provost’s Teaching and Learning Symposium, Certificate programs, Faculty Learning Communities, and Teaching Circles. As the FDC webmaster, she creates new web and email content to market FDC services and respond to changing faculty needs. She leads the assessment of FDC programming and services and contributes to research by analyzing data and collaborating on presentations and publications on the FDC’s work. Sarah serves on several university-wide committees and co-facilitated a year-long professional development opportunity for faculty and staff. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, both from UMBC. She transferred to UMBC after completing an Associate’s degree in Mathematics from Harford Community College, where she also worked in the College Life Office.

Emeritus Staff

Photo of Linda Hodges

Linda C. Hodges, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Director Emerita
Linda C. Hodges served as the Director of the Faculty Development Center from 2010 through 2023. Prior to this role, she was Director of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University before relocating to Maryland. She holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Kentucky. Before transitioning to the field of faculty development and the learning sciences, she was a tenured faculty member for over 20 years at two different institutions. In 1999 she was one of 28 faculty chosen nationally to study new pedagogical approaches as a Carnegie Scholar of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. During that time she had the opportunity to work under the guidance of Lee Shulman and Pat Hutchings. She has published widely on her work in faculty development, engaged student learning, and effective teaching practices, including her book, Teaching Undergraduate Science: A Guide to Overcoming Obstacles to Student Learning (Stylus, 2015). She remains professionally active in consulting and writing about concerns in teaching and learning.

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