Martina G. Ramirez, CTE Director

Martina Giselle Ramirez, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Professor of Biology at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.  She previously served as Biology Department Chair (2006-2007); Director of Undergraduate Research (2014-2015); Special Assistant to the Provost for Technology-Enhanced Learning (2015-2018); and Co-Director of the McNair Scholars Program (2017-2018).  Dr. Ramirez received her B.S. in biology from LMU in 1981, and her Ph.D. in biology from U.C. Santa Cruz in 1990.  Prior to LMU, Dr. Ramirez was a professor at Pomona College, CA (1991-1993); Bucknell University, PA (1993-1996); Denison University, OH (1996-1998); and East Stroudsburg University, PA (1998-1999).  Dr. Ramirez received the Rudinica Award for Student-Faculty Research from LMU’s Seaver College of Science and Engineering (2012); a Biology Mentor Award from the Council on Undergraduate Research (2013); and an LGBTQ+ Mentor Award from LMU’s LGBT Student Services Office (2016).

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Jessica M. Lee, CTE Associate Director

Jessica Lee, Ed.D., is the Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and a part-time faculty member for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Lee's areas of research and instruction include online learning and education, instructional design, educational technology, and digital teaching, learning and scholarship. Dr. Lee received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership in K-16 Education from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation and research focused on the perspectives of learning from the student and instructor in a synchronous online environment. After starting and successfully running a private K-16 learning center in Santa Clarita for 10+ years, Dr. Lee joined higher education after teaching at the University of California Riverside. Dr. Lee now focuses on faculty development at LMU and pedagogically sound approaches to teaching and learning through hybrid and online modalities that enhance student engagement and active learning in a meaningful way.

Emily Jarvis, CTE Faculty Associate, 2018-19

Emily Jarvis is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at LMU.  Her main area of teaching includes thermodynamics, kinetics, and quantum mechanics, but she also enjoys teaching the Chemistry of Wine and other special topics.  Emily received her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from UCLA.  After graduate school, she worked as a science policy fellow in the U.S. Senate on a variety of issues including the space program, antimicrobial resistance, organic and food safety standards, wireless technology, communicating science topics, promoting STEM and reading skills in K-12 education, and research funding.  She worked as a research scientist funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and later at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  She was a professor on the East Coast prior to joining LMU in 2010.  Her research involves developing fundamental understanding of materials and molecules for clean, alternative energy applications employing first principles quantum mechanical calculations collaborating with experimental scientists and engineers domestically and internationally.  Her experience in science policy, collaborative research, and teaching technical subjects has made her particularly interested in developing courses that draw on expertise from varied disciplines and promote student engagement and critical thinking.  These topics will be the focus of her CTE events as a Faculty Associate.  Emily lives in Santa Monica with her husband Jason and sons Lincoln and Peter and enjoys swimming, running, biking, travel, reading, food and wine, art and music.

Faculty Associate
Patricia Oliver, CTE Faculty Associate, 2018-19

Professor Oliver, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, currently teaches courses in communication studies on pro-social behavior and the rhetoric of women.  These focus on the values inherent in building relationships and communities for individual and collective growth.  Emphasis is on understanding behaviors that promote effective and cooperative communication and developing a working knowledge of the communication theory behind pro-social behavior.  Professor Oliver is an experienced evaluator of the communication skills of student teachers.  She has taught intercultural communication in urban settings and courses on mainstreaming children with disabilities into regular classrooms. She was the first female chair of LMU’s Communication Arts Department (School of Film and Television), and former chair of LMU’s Communication Studies Department.  Professor Oliver served as LMU’s first University Sexual Harassment Compliance Advisor, Vice President and Member of the Executive Board of the Faculty Senate, and member of the Sexual Harassment Committee and Racial Discrimination Mediation Panel.  She has served on the LMU Committee on Excellence in Teaching.  Last year she served as Chair of the University Grievance Committee.  Professor Oliver received the LMU Teacher of the Year Award, the Crimson and Blue (student) Outstanding Teacher Award and the Michael Mulvilhill Difference Maker Award.   Professor Oliver's research is on developing mentoring to facilitate learning and build communities, particularly among the underprivileged. Her research has taken her from religious communities in Northern California to villages in rural Namibia. She has mentored countless students, student organizations, and faculty. However, her mentoring focuses on the classroom and the encouragement of collaboration through shared assignments, group research and reporting, and small group discussions within class.  These approaches are designed to promote community building in and out of the classroom and to contextualize scholastic achievement within a community setting.  Professor Oliver’s work documents successful mentoring and peer mentoring strategies for students and instructors. Her research aims to identify teaching methods that help students build academic skills and foster classroom interaction.   She continues to gather data from participant observations and interviews at WLAC (West Los Angeles College) and LMU and to theorize about those aspects of interpersonal and instructional communication, central to mentoring, that improve students’ confidence, performance and grades, especially for students struggling with academic success.  She also examines how exposure to underrepresented students can provide insight and understanding to more privileged students about underrepresented communities and their struggles for representation and power. 

Patricia Oliver