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Keynote & Special Presenters 2014

Morning Keynote Topic: The Problem(s) of Innovation

Innovation occurs at the edges.; resource management is centralized. Innovation works by experimentation; resource management is basically risk management. Shall ever the twain meet? Can a university system produce more than what might look like random acts of innovation — or, more crucially, find sensible, productive ways of supporting them? The answers likely lie in different constructions of risk and of consolidation than we are used to using, ones that ultimately make the distinction between centralization and decentralization a false dichotomy.


Keynote Speaker:


George Otte is University Director of Academic Technology at the City University of New York (CUNY), a position he has held (with a slight modulation in the title) since 2001. He is also on the doctoral faculties in English, Urban Education, and Interactive Technology and Pedagogy at the CUNY Graduate Center, and he has been, since 2008, the chief academic officer of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, home of CUNY¹s fully online degrees.


Interactive Lightning Session: Gamed-based Learning in Higher Education

Games are known for leveraging enthusiasm, engagement, energy, knowledge, and passion on gamers; areas that are fundamentally important in higher education.  Our panelists will share their perspectives on how Higher Education can take advantage of the potential of game based learning to  create a more engaging student learning experience.



Linda Ridley is a Lecturer at CUNY’s Hostos Community College, where she teaches Principles of Management (BUS 201), and Introduction to Business (BUS 100). Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor and Industry Expert at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies in the M.S. for Business Management and Leadership, where she teaches Organizational Behavior and Leadership (BUS 600), and Managing Diversity in a Global Economy (BUS 633). As a complement to her teaching, Linda is CEO of Edgar J. Ridley & Associates, Inc., an international management consulting firm specializing in change management. Linda has been designated an Expert Consultant by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) out of Tokyo, Japan, and she services global clients, conducting workshops and training seminars in workplace effectiveness. Linda has conducted training for women entrepreneurs from companies and organizations throughout Southeast Asia. Linda has the additional prestige of being on the faculty of the American Management Association, where her portfolio includes corporate training in analytical topics such as Critical Thinking, High- Impact Decision Making, and High Performance Accountability. Linda studied at Virginia Commonwealth University; she earned her Masters in Business Administration from the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary. She and her husband, Edgar, reside in Harlem, New York City.



Maura Smale is Associate Professor/Coordinator of Library Instruction at New York City College of Technology. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the CUNY Games Network, a group for faculty, staff, and students interested in game-based learning, and co-organized the first annual CUNY Games Festival conference in January, 2014. In addition to using games in teaching and learning, Maura’s research interests include undergraduate academic culture, open access publishing, and critical information literacy.

Rees Shad is Associate Professor and currently acting chair of the Humanities Department and coordinator of the Media Design Programs at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College in the South Bronx of New York City. Over the last seven years he has developed over fifty classes at the college in order to create three separate associates degree programs in digital music, game design, and design & animation. The 2012 Carnegie Foundation’s New York professor of the year, Shad and his colleague Catherine Cannon are the Principle Investigators in the NSF/ATE grant Designing Futures With Games which involves a multi-disciplinary initiative to engage students with math and science by introducing the subjects through compelling game play and design.  He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Skidmore College, an M.S. in Technical Communication from RPI (with certificates in graphic design and usability studies), and an MFA in design and technology from Parsons The New School for Design.


Joe Bisz is an Associate Professor of English at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Borough of Manhattan Community College and a part-time educational game designer. In the past 8 years, Joe has published 25 papers, including 9 on games or pedagogy in journals such as Computers and Composition and Transformative Works and Cultures. He has given more than 50 presentations outside his home college, and co-founded the interdisciplinary faculty group The CUNY Games Network. Additionally, he was awarded 11 grants, including most recently a 90 thousand dollar Title V Federal E-Learning mini-grant to build Levelfly, an achievement-based learning management system ( Joe has spoken to many instructors and librarians who desire high-impact pedagogies and technologies that can lead to better engagement with this new era of college students. Game-based learning is the best tool he’s found for this mission.