Internal - Faculty & Staff

CFE Staff

Jennifer H. Herman

Executive Director
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Jennifer H. Herman has over 15 years’ experience leading faculty development in higher education and has been serving as the first permanent director of the Center for Faculty Excellence since 2013. In addition to facilitating or overseeing 150-200 CFE programs and consultations each year, Dr. Herman has supported Simmons strategic initiatives, including the development of PLAN, teaching for inclusive excellence, and the pivot to online learning.

She has been a principal investigator or curriculum designer on multi-institutional projects related to curriculum development, assessment, and teaching strategy, including partnerships with NILOA, the U.S. Department of State, the NYS Small Business Development Center, and Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on Creating Engaging Discussions, instructional technology, and online education. In her faculty role as Associate Professor of Practice in Health Professions Education, Dr. Herman teaches courses on teaching, assessment, learning theory, and curriculum development for doctoral and CAGS students.

Before joining Simmons, Dr. Herman was the founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship, Teaching, and Learning at Niagara University. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University at Buffalo and a MA in International Training and Education from American University.

Kristi Mukk

Projects and Events Coordinator
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Kristi Mukk holds a BA in Rhetoric & Communication Studies from the University of Richmond, where she researched and created digital projects and publications about critical theory, archives, digital humanities, and public history.

Kristi is currently pursuing a MS in Library & Information Science at Simmons University with a concentration in Archives Management. Before joining Simmons, Kristi interned at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, where she worked on event planning and marketing for events sponsored by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative and assisted with collections management and cataloging in the Military History division.

Her other past roles have included working as Content Curator and Assistant Editor for Bunk, doing archival research for the University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, and serving as Communications Director for Ngoma African Dance Company.

Matthew G. Schwartz

CFE Faculty Fellow
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Matthew G. Schwartz is the CFE Faculty Affiliate and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. He has been a full-time member of the Simmons faculty since January 2018. He currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology and Human Development & Genetics at Simmons and has previously taught at Clark University, Emmanuel College, and Harvard University. He also serves as a PLAN advisor to first year students.

Dr. Schwartz received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics from Harvard University in 2016, where he directed independent and collaborative research in limb development and vertebral patterning. He received his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Northwestern University in 2009. Dr. Schwartz is passionate about science education and science communication and decided to pursue a career in undergraduate education because he loves inspiring others to be passionate about science and learning. He loves to see the spark of inspiration in students when they understand a scientific concept and see the relevance to their own lives.

While teaching, Dr. Schwartz emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and communication over memorization to facilitate significant learning and to instill students with the essential capacities they need to be lifelong learners.

Ritamarie Hensley

Instructional Designer
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Dr. Ritamarie (Re) Hensley brings many years of experience teaching and designing courses for both k12 and higher education.  She is committed to supporting faculty and building courses that are inclusive, equitable, and innovative.

Before joining the team at Simmons, Re taught face-to-face, hybrid, and asynchronous courses in English at the high school level.  After receiving her Ed.D in Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, she worked in the School of Education as an adjunct instructor where she designed and taught asynchronous courses within the Ed.D program.

She has also been a student in many online courses and earned a postgraduate certificate in online teaching and designing from VCU, so she has an understanding of what works and what does not in a virtual environment.  In her previous role as the LMS Transition Coordinator at VCU, she provided faculty with tools, resources, and workshops on how best to enhance student learning and build community so that all students have a similar experience.

Suzanne Edmonds

Instructional Designer
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Suzanne Edmonds holds a Master of Arts in Educational Media from Appalachian State University. Suzanne is passionate about both learning and technology, and has years of experience combining both to build engaging experiences for students. Prior to joining Simmons, Suzanne was a Learning Technology Specialist at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where she collaborated with subject-matter experts to create interactive materials and develop graduate courses online.

Her past roles have also included working as a Lead Instructional Technologist at NC State University, and teaching multiple grades in the K-12 environment before making the transition to higher education.

Colin Rhinesmith

Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Scholarship and Research
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Colin Rhinesmith (pronouns: he/him) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Community Informatics Lab (CI) in School of Library and Information Science and the Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Scholarship and Research at Simmons University. He is also a Senior Faculty Research Fellow with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society and the Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Community Informatics.

Rhinesmith’s research is focused on the social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital inclusion and broadband adoption. As Director of the CI Lab, he and his team work to better understand and co-design community responses to local information challenges. Toward this goal, the CI Lab engages in research initiatives that promote digital equity and social justice. Rhinesmith is affiliated with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, as a member of its Scholars Council.

Previously, Rhinesmith was a Google Policy Fellow and an Adjunct Research Fellow with New America’s Open Technology Institute and a Faculty Research Fellow with the Benton Foundation. He was also a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.