Vincent Coletta, PhD, Director

Professor Vince Coletta began his work as Director of the LMU Center for Teaching Excellence in June, 2017. He plans to provide a broad array of programs and resources to LMU faculty striving for excellence in teaching.

Professor Coletta continues to teach in the LMU Physics Department, where he has taught since 1969. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in theoretical physics. His graduate research advisor was Gerald Jones, an academic descendent of Uhlenbeck and Boltzmann. Professor Coletta served as Chair of the Physics Department for 11 years, and created the Interactive Physics Classroom, a technology rich classroom that facilitates research-based interactive pedagogy. During the past 20 years his primary research focus has been Physics Education Research, with work published in Physical Review, American Journal of Physics, European Journal of Physics, and The Physics Teacher.

He is the author of the textbook Physics Fundamentals,and he has authored a book for physics instructors describing a new curriculum: Thinking in Physics, published by Pearson as part of their Educational Innovation series. His website supports this curriculum. Professor Coletta's most recent published paper, Reaching More Students Through Thinking in Physics (TPT, Feb., 2017), describes how TIP helps those students who have the greatest difficulty learning physics. One of his current research studies is on the effects of sleep deprivation on students' performance on exams, which has as its primary goal improving students' sleep habits.

Vincent Coletta headshot

Paulina Antounian, Senior Administrative Coordinator

Paulina Antounian joined the LMU staff in the spring of 2018 as Senior Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Teaching Excellence. Providing comprehensive administrative support to the Director for CTE, she facilitates office operations, monitors and analyses departmental budgets, and organizes special events, committee meetings, and conferences. She also manages the upkeep of the CTE classroom, maintaining the audio and visual equipment in working order.

Paulina Antounian graduated from LMU in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.

Paul Harris, PhD, CTE Faculty Associate, 2017-18

Paul Harris, Professor of English has taught at LMU since 1992. His teaching and scholarship both emphasize interdisciplinary inquiry, challenging theoretical thinking, and connecting concepts to practice. He has published in areas including chaos theory and philosophy, topology and fiction, French theory, and concrete poetry, and taught courses on Nothing, Wonder, and Chaos. His scholarly expertise on The Watts Towers of Los Angeles, constraint-based writing, and contemporary author David Mitchell is reflected in course design and assignments. He is co-editor of the renowned theory journal SubStance and maintains a rock garden and blog called The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin.

Slow Time Exercises

My project centers on developing programming at CTE to explore contemplative pedagogies and mindfulness in the classroom, with a specific purpose to design and implement 'slow time exercises' in courses.

This project grows out of work for the 2016 Bellarmine Forum "The Values of Time," (Harris and Brad Stone, Directors) and a SLOW LMU initiative, which resulted in CTE sessions on Contemplative Pedagogy during the 2016-17 academic year. Programming will bring together LMU faculty already practicing contemplative pedagogy with invited experts, in order to create slow time exercises for students. The project will explore how the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises may be used as a model for developing 'slow time exercises.' Site-specific exercises will be developed for use in 'slow time zones' installed on campus (The Garden of Slow Time, The Displacement Garden).

Einat Metzl, PhD, CTE Faculty Mentor Associate, 2017-18

Einat Metzl, PHD, LMFT, ATR-BC is a licensed marital and family therapist (MFT) and a registered art therapist (ATR). She is an associate professor at Loyola Marymount University's graduate Marital Family Therapy / Art Therapy program and a therapist in private practice. Einat is committed to expanding art therapy research, teaching, and applications, weaving our collective knowledge of wellness in ways that benefit the diversity layers between and within each of us. Einat's publications include the meeting place of art therapy and sex therapy, art therapy with young children, art therapy and music therapy in hospital settings, creativity and resilience post disasters, and cross cultural art therapy. Einat is the editor of a peer reviewed, open access journal "The Journal of Clinical Art Therapy", and the director of the art therapy summer program in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

As a licensed clinician, an art therapist, and a professor of graduate students at LMU's Marital and Family Therapy / Art Therapy program, she focuses on applying expressive and creative instruments in teaching and considers layered students' needs when planning a class. She grew up in a very different culture and went through her higher education as an international student - an experience that might benefit both international faculty she mentors and students for whom the cultural norms at LMU are new. Overall, her teaching philosophy is similar to her mentoring philosophy and her philosophy as a clinician and artist: She is interested in people, in the world around us, and forever curious about the myriad understandings we have of it. She approaches most things with a dialectic frame, looking consciously through her specific frame, and then attempting to step away from it to observe it anew, from the frame of the other. In this case, she hopes to maintain the curiosity, clarity of observation, and empathy for those observed, as well as the students in their classes, when we explore what works and what could be improved in any of our teaching.

Nina Reich, PhD, CTE Faculty Associate, 2017-18

Nina M. Lozano-Reich, as a teacher-scholar-activist, is a political consultant and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Upon completion of her B.A. and M.A. from CSULB, she earned her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Reich has published numerous journal articles and book chapters pertaining to critical rhetoric and social movements concerning issues of race, class, gender and sexuality. She is a former "Service-Learning for Political Engagement Faculty Fellow" of the prestigious Carnegie Foundation, and a regular contributor to the "Huffington Post" and other international media outlets. As a LMU designated "Master Teacher," Dr. Reich's classes have been featured as first-year seminars, as part of the honors' curriculum, and cross-listed across numerous majors. She has co-lead numerous LMU student alternative break trips focused on human rights issues including human trafficking, border issues, gendered violence, immigration and LGBTQ rights. Her current book project, addressing theories of new materiality, "!Ni Una Mas!: Femicide Matters in Ciudad Juárez," is forthcoming with "Ohio State University Press." Dr. Reich is on Twitter at: @DrNinaMReich.

Pedagogies of Community-Based Learning for Just Social Change

Central to our Jesuit three-fold mission is "the service of faith and the promotion of justice." At LMU, although there has been a concerted effort to embody this mission's tenant through the embodiment of community-based learning (CBL) courses and academic projects, many obstacles still exist in ensuring the successful enactment of such courses. In order to achieve transformation learning that benefits faculty members, students and community-partners alike, this program, through a year-long series of workshops, guest lectures, dialogues and activities, affords faculty members tips, strategies and support mechanisms to overcome common CBL pedagogical challenges including, but not limited to: logistics of community-placements, advocacy with and not for others, volunteerism versus solidarity, community sustainability in lieu of "hour-logging," and questions of political engagement versus indoctrination. These meta-level questions will be tangibly addressed through activities such as syllabi construction, class assignments, readings, reflections and assessment.

Nina Lozano-Riech Headshot 9/5/17