Meet CBU’s Teaching Chairs

University Teaching Chairs and Peer Learning

CBU is pleased to introduce our current University Teaching Chairs, who work with the CTL to support professional development. The goals of Teaching Chairs are three-fold: to provide faculty leadership in the development of a community of practice in the area of teaching and learning; to provide peer support to faculty members who wish to develop their research and practice in the area of pedagogy; and to engage in and share scholarship of teaching and learning research and best-practices across the university community and beyond.

Dr. Alison Grittner, University Teaching Chair in Disability Justice in the Classroom


Dr. Alison Grittner is an Assistant Professor in Social Work who brings over 15 years of experience in critical disability practice, research, teaching, and learning. Her work includes advocacy for socio-spatial accessibility policies, community-based disability research, and innovative teaching practices recognizing diverse bodyminds. Aligning with CBU’s Multi-Year Accessibility Action Plan 2022-2025, Dr. Grittner will advance teaching and learning scholarship that promotes awareness and disability justice within the CBU community.

Dr. Heather Schmidt, University Teaching Chair in Allyship and Decolonizing Educational Practices



Dr. Heather Schmidt is Chair of the Psychology Department and Assistant Professor of Psychology in the School of Science and Technology. She is also Chair of CBU’s Faculty Association committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigenization. As a Community Psychologist, Dr. Schmidt uses collaborative, decolonializing approaches to facilitate empowerment, inclusion and social justice for historically-marginalized communities, such as L’nu / Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+ post-secondary students, and individuals with mental health challenges. Dr. Schmidt looks forward to applying these approaches to inform educational practices and sharing her work through peer learning as Teaching Chair.


Dr. Jessica Whitehead, University Teaching Chair in Flexible Digital Instruction



Dr. Jessica Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Communication and Languages in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, is particularly interested in applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning within the realm of technology enhanced learning, whether that be online, hybrid, dual-mode, or more traditional on-campus courses. Through a commitment to student engagement and authentic assessment, Dr. Whitehead seeks to support the application of inclusive and accessible practices when considering digital teaching tools and methods.

Dr. Bishakha Mazumdar, University Teaching Chair in Culturally Responsive Learning Design



Dr. Bishakha Mazumdar, Assistant Professor of Organizational Management in the Shannon School of Business, recognizes the importance and value in understanding the fabric of a community. Her primary research interest is in the areas of diversity and equity with special focus on healthy and active aging, leadership-gender intersection and career challenges of immigrant women. During her two-year term as Teaching Chair, Dr. Mazumdar will explore ways to contribute her expertise to examine culturally responsive learning design.