Menaka Navaratna is an associate professor of Mathematics at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he has served as the department chair of mathematics division. His terminal degree is in the area of applied mathematics where real-life applications are modeled using differential equations. Since joining FGCU, he has served on many committees and teams. He was a member of CAS Peer Review and Support Committee (PRSC), University Curriculum Team (UCT), FGCU Senate and the chair of the CAS Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (CAS UCC). He has completed several Lucas Center Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) which are devoted to enhancing teaching, learning, and the university experience.
Alayde Barbosa (Alli) started teaching at Florida Gulf Coast University as an instructor of Geology in 2014. She is now an instructor II who has been an active participant of the Lucas Center Programs to improve her teaching. She is a geologist with a masters and a PhD in Geochemistry. She is very passionate about Geology and teaching. She is originally from Brazil and enjoy the opportunity to be helpful to other faculty with their teaching.
Angel Taylor is an Instructor II of English in the Department of Language and Literature at Florida Gulf Coast University. Angel has participated in several Course Design Academies with the Lucas Center for Faculty Development, and many other workshops provided there. She believes in the benefits of actively engaging in the process of refining and improving her pedagogy to best accommodate her students’ varied learning styles. Angel has attended several conferences about student centered learning, and has presented at several conferences, locally and nationally, regarding the successes of incorporating student centered learning into her curriculum. She is also actively involved with several assessment initiatives here at Florida Gulf Coast University.
A native of France, Tatiana Schuss teaches French courses of all levels and actively works on the development of the French program in the Department of Language and Literature in CAS. She serves as faculty adviser to the French Club whose objective is to promote French language and culture on campus. She studied at the Université de Bourgogne, in Dijon France where she obtained her Master 1 in the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language. She also holds a Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages, with dual emphases in French and TESOL, from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she has worked as an interpreter for a private company and the US Department of State.
Her formation in pedagogy has led her to focus on various areas surrounding foreign and second language teaching, such as second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, communicative-language teaching, and language learning strategies. She has presented on teaching pedagogy in various conferences. She is strong believer of collaboration with peers in teaching and pedagogy development.
Brenda Thomas is the Director of the University Colloquium program and an instructor in the Department of Integrated Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. Though her education centered around environmental science, specifically disturbance ecology, her recent research interests have focused on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Brenda has participated in many Lucas Center Academies and Faculty Learning Communities devoted to student-centered learning. She was a participant in the launch of the Lucas Center’s Student Faculty Partnership Program.
Lynn Jaffe is program director and professor of occupational therapy at Florida Gulf Coast University. She began mentoring faculty through the Educational Innovation Institute at the Medical College of Georgia (part of Augusta University) before transitioning to FGCU. Her research focus is teaching strategies to promote critical thinking. She also has background in evidence-based practice and educational games.
Erik Insko is an associate professor of mathematics at Florida Gulf Coast University. He has been a faculty mentor for the Lucas Center's New Faculty Academy since 2016, and he regularly participates in peer observations of teaching. He is dedicated to scholarly teaching and regularly attends Lucas Center Programs to improve his pedagogy. Dr. Insko also maintains an active research program in mathematics and computer science that actively incorporates undergraduate and master's students. He has won several university-wide awards for his efforts in research and mentoring including: FGCU's Junior Faculty Scholarship Excellence Award 2015-2016, FGCU's Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award 2015-2016, FGCU's Aquila Award for Outstanding Student Scholarship Support 2017-2018, and FGCU's Student Success Champion Award 2018-2019.
Tanya Huffman is a Level III Mathematics Instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University where she has been teaching undergraduate mathematics and statistics courses since 2007. She is the coordinator of business calculus sections and the recipient of the 2015 FGCU Senior Faculty Teaching Award. Tanya is a member of The FGCU Whitaker Center for STEM Education Leadership Team and a co-PI on NSF Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms (WIDER) Grant for STEM Professional Academy to Reinvigorate the Culture of Teaching (SPARCT) at FGCU. Her research interests are in mathematics education with specialty area in project-based learning. She regularly presents her innovative teaching techniques at the faculty professional development workshops and conferences. Since 2014, she has been directing enrichment summer programs for middle school students.
Roderick L. Rolle is a third-generation teacher that has been practicing his craft since 1998. While attending Florida A & M University, Roderick began teaching through a teaching assistantship grant. He received this grant from 1997-2000 to pursue a master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. As partial fulfillment of that grant, Roderick was trained and was required to teach Biology classes at Florida A & M University. From 2000 until 2004, Roderick was awarded an additional teaching assistantship to pursue a doctoral degree in biological sciences at Tennessee State University. As partial fulfillment of that grant, he was again trained extensively in how to teach science effectively at the collegiate level. While pursuing that degree, Vanderbilt University recruited Dr. Rolle to help pioneer a new teaching fellowship program that would teach science to non-college. In 2003, Dr. Rolle and 15 fellow graduate students were awarded the (National Science Foundation) NSF grant to be trained and to teach science to middle school kids in the greater Nashville area. Rolle graduated in 2004 and did a brief Postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience within the college of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science at Florida A & M University. Dr. Rolle was hired as a visiting assistant professor at Florida A & M University in 2006 where he both taught numerous courses and did research for the College of Pharmacy. In 2007, he was granted the Junior facility HBCU-RISE award to train 3 undergraduates in Microbiology. Rolle taught for the duration of that contract and in 2016 was hired to teach in the Biology department at Florida Gulf Coast University.