UTRGV Teaching and Learning Symposium 2017


The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) hosted its first  UTRGV Teaching and Learning Symposium on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the UTRGV Edinburg campus. In this one-day conference, UTRGV faculty had the opportunity to participate in concurrent sessions, hear from peers sharing their experiences, and learn from a dynamic keynote speaker. CTE appreciates Faculty support and enthusiasm in taking advantage of this learning opportunity. This year’s theme was “Meeting the Needs of 21st-Century Learners.”

Breakout Sessions

Panel and Individual Breakout Session Interest Strands

-Experiential Learning

-Linguistic and Cultural Diversity

-Community Engaged Teaching



-Faculty Development

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Julie Schell

JULIE SCHELL is a prominent expert in pedagogy and learning innovation in higher education. Her current work focuses on the scaling and uptake of innovations that improve college access, affordability, and success. In 2014, Teachers College, Columbia University identified Julie as an Early Riser in Higher Education for her original contributions to the field. She has written widely on pedagogical innovation and is an expert in flipped learning and Peer Instruction. Julie's current research interest and scholarship focuses on the design and diffusion of easy-to-implement cognitive and brain science interventions to improve teaching and learning broadly defined.

Executive leadership at UT Austin

Julie is the Director of TEXAS OnRamps and Strategic Initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin's Office of Strategy and Policy. OnRamps, a statewide dual enrollment and teacher professional development initiative, is a signature educational innovation of the University. Her strategy and vision has led to the dramatic growth of OnRamps from 500 student enrollments in 2012 to over 7,900 in 2016. Julie also serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UT-Austin's top ranked College of Education, where she teaches two graduate courses: Problems of College Teaching and Learning and Technology and Innovation in Higher Education. Julie is a recipient of the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (2013).

Global and national design initiatives

An internationally sought after speaker and consultant, Julie has worked on educational innovation strategy and design initiatives with thousands of national and international faculty. She has led on site pedagogy and student learning projects in Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Germany and throughout the United States. She has also designed and implemented pedagogical innovation projects online for universities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa. Before joining UT Austin, Julie served as a postdoctoral fellow (2009-2014) under leading physicist and educational innovator, Professor Eric Mazur at Harvard University. As a fellow, Julie developed the Peer Instruction Network as a strategy for worldwide diffusion of Mazur's pedagogy, Peer Instruction; the network currently has over 5,250 global members.

Training and experience on American college campuses

Julie has over 20 years of experience in both public and private higher education. She has held positions at the nation's top research universities including Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Harvard and most recently UT-Austin. She received her doctorate in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University where she studied with Professors Anna Neumann, Aaron Pallas, and David Hansen. She received the Dissertation of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association, Higher and Postsecondary Division: Venturing Toward Better Teaching: STEM Professors' Efforts to Improve their Introductory Undergraduate Pedagogy at Major Research Universities. She has an MS in Counseling and Educational Psychology and a BS with Distinction from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Design practice

Julie loves designing strategy and interventions for improving teaching and learning at scale in higher education. Her design practice involves design thinking and she is adept at face-to-face, hybrid, and online modalities. Julie's design work integrates formal training, theoretical grounding and practice in educational psychology, cognitive science, technology-enhanced education, and innovative pedagogy.