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Keynote & Special Guests 2016

Showcase Theme: Ready or Not? Student Preparedness into and out of our institutions

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Darcy W. Hardy, Associate Vice President for Enterprise Consulting at Blackboard

Institutional and Student Readiness for Online Learning – It’s All About Quality

As institutions ramp up their online programming, questions about quality still loom.  What does it mean for a student to be ready for these programs and how does an institution prepare?  In most cases, it all boils down to quality.  Whether it’s the way the institution is organized to support faculty and students in these endeavors or how well the courses are designed, both can be contributors or obstacles to learner success.  Does it matter if the students are enrolled in remedial or degree credit courses?  This session will take a look at what makes an institution successful in offering high-quality courses, and what we can do to ensure that all students achieve their academic goals.


About Dr. Darcy W. Hardy

Dr. Darcy W. Hardy is Associate Vice President for Enterprise Consulting at Blackboard Inc.  In this role, she leads a team of nationally-recognized experts in higher education, K-12, e-learning and distance education, information technology, open source technologies, outcomes and assessment, and analytics.  The practice works with colleges, universities, systems and other higher education and K-12 organizations as they design, develop and grow their educational programs, and provides expertise in driving transformation and managing institutional change.

Prior to her position with Blackboard, Dr. Hardy spent over 25 years in public higher education, most recently serving as Assistant Vice Provost for Technology Education Initiatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  During her tenure with UTSA, she completed a two-year (January 2011-December 2012) Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment at the US Department of Labor, where her work primarily focused on the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, and the use of online and technology-enhanced education to reach adults and the workforce.  She also completed a one-year IPA appointment with the Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE) at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC in 2013, where she provided expertise and guidance in the area of online higher education and the opportunity it provides to low-skilled and other adult workers, while continuing her work with the TAACCCT grant program at the Department of Labor.  READ MORE

Interactive Lightning Session: Online Learning @ CUNY: A Status Update

This panel will discuss the results of a needs assessment survey about Online Learning at CUNY conducted by the DIGITAL CUNY Task Force to learn about current challenges and opportunities around the adoption, creation, and expansion of online courses and programs at CUNY.



Stephen Powers, Ph.D., began his career as a junior high school teacher, served as an elementary school principal and a high school assistant principal for academics.  Appointed to the Department of Education and Reading at Bronx Community College (BCC) since September 2000.  Has worked on numerous BCC and CUNY committees, and currently mentors BCC faculty who are learning how to develop distance learning courses. He spends a great deal of time on an initiative to provide support to academically distressed students at BCC.

Steve represents BCC to the CUNY Committee on Academic Technology (CAT) and serves as chair for the CUNY CAT sub-committee for Blackboard (Bb), as well as on the University Steering Committee for Bb.  He continues an affiliation with after-school programs in New York City, and recently had a chapter entitled “Role Models in Urban Communities” published in Race in Urban Communities, edited by Teresa Booker of John Jay College.



George Otte was named Director of Instructional Technology for The City University of New York in 2001, and renamed the University Director of Academic Technology in 2008, the year that the CUNY Committee on Academic Technology (CAT) was first convened. That same year he became the chief academic officer of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, home of CUNY’s first fully online degrees. An English professor for decades, he is on the doctoral faculty of the programs in English, Urban Education, and Interactive Technology and Pedagogy at the CUNY Graduate Center. This April saw the publication of Change We Must: Deciding the Future of Higher Education, a collection of essays he co-edited with CUNY Chancellor Emeritus Matthew Goldstein.


Luke Waltzer is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center and on the doctoral faculty in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program. At the TLC he supports GC students in their teaching across the CUNY system and beyond, and contributes to a variety of pedagogical and digital projects. He previously was the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Baruch College, where he developed the college’s hybrid course initiative, co-directed the Writing Across the Curriculum program, and led two educational technology projects, Blogs@Baruch and Vocat. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the CUNY Graduate Center, serves as the Director of Community Projects for the CUNY Academic Commons and on the editorial collective of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and has contributed essays to Matthew K. Gold’s Debates in the Digital Humanities and, with Thomas Harbison, to Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki’s Writing History in the Digital Age. His research examines the shifting roles of technology in liberal arts pedagogy and the structural evolution of American higher education.



Lisa Brundage is Director of CUNY Advance, an initiative that supports high-impact, campus-based digital project pilots at CUNY. Lisa has a long history of working on innovative educational events and digital learning projects at CUNY, with a focus on pedagogically appropriate integration of technology in the classroom. She has taught at a number of CUNY campuses, including courses in English, gender studies, and pedagogy. Prior to moving into her current position, Lisa held an Instructional Technology Fellowship and then a Postdoctoral Digital Learning Fellowship, both at Macaulay Honors College. Lisa holds an MA from the New School for Social Research and a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, and was recently appointed to the GC’s Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program faculty.