Jeffrey L. Bernstein, Director

Professor of Political Science and Director of Bruce K. Nelson Faculty Development Center

Welcome to the Bruce K. Nelson Faculty Development Center at Eastern Michigan University.  I'm Jeff Bernstein, and I have been director of the Center since the summer of 2021, and on the faculty at Eastern in political science since 1997. I hold a B.A. from Washington University and an M.A. and Ph. D. from the University of Michigan. My research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly on how to foster my students' effective civic engagement.  I also study collaborative teaching, and how to enhance the role of teaching in the academy.  My most formative professional experience was as a 2005-06 Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Palo Alto, California. I am the co-author of Vital Statistics on American Politics (CQ Press, 2022), and am co-editor and contributing author of Citizenship Across the Curriculum (Indiana University Press, 2010), Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Collaborative Structures (Jossey-Bass, 2016), and Teaching Research Methods in Political Science (Edward Elgar, 2021).   Some of my favorite research projects have been those done with my remarkable students, who make being a professor so much fun, and so rewarding. I am particularly honored to have been named a recipient of the Ronald Collins Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching II in 2020.


Sarah M. Ginsberg, Lead Faculty, Student-Faculty Partnership Initiative

Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

I have been on the faculty at Eastern Michigan University for over 20 years. I have a B.A. and an M.A. in communication sciences and disorders from Case Western Reserve University and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership-Higher Ed from EMU. My research has focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), within my field and across higher education. In addition to serving as the Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders (2016-2021), I have co-edited and/or co-authored Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: Evidence- Based Education (Plural Publishing, 2012), Xerostomia: An Interdisciplinary Resource for Practitioners (Slack Incorporated, 2020), Evidence-Based Education in the Classroom: Examples from Clinical Disciplines (Slack Incorporated, 2021), Simulated Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Moving from Theory to Practice (Slack Incorporated, In Press), and Clinician’s Guide to Applying, Conducting, and Disseminating Clinical Education Research (Slack Incorporated, forthcoming). I rely on collaborative approaches to education and it has become the focus of much of my work in both my teaching and my research. I have had the privilege of working with the FDC supporting faculty interested in engaging in evidence - based education as well as SoTL numerous times over the years and look forward to working on this initiative with student colleagues and faculty colleagues to create stronger partnerships between students and faculty both inside and outside of the classroom.

Audrey Farrugia, Faculty Fellow for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

I have been a part of the Eastern Michigan University community for 21 years. All three of my degrees are from EMU. My Bachelor’s degree is in elementary education (’06), my Master’s degree is in speech-language pathology (’09) and my Doctoral degree is in educational studies (’16). I became a faculty member in the Special Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders department in 2015.

During my time here, I have participated in many Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) initiatives across campus. I have been actively involved in the College of Education’s RAIJE (Representing Antiracism, Inclusivity, Justice, and Equity) committee first as a general member, then as secretary, and currently as chair. I was featured in the Culture of Belonging video series where I shared inclusive teaching and learning practices with faculty. I was a team lead in creating the modules for the 2022-2023 faculty development on DEIJ and I facilitated the sessions for two departments on campus. This year, along with serving as the Faculty Fellow for DEI, I will also serve as the Michael G. Morris endowed chair where I will focus on DEIJ in the College of Education. Outside of EMU, I am special education advocate for P-12 families who are in need of guidance through the special education process.

I am married and a mother to four children. I identify as a White woman with an invisible disability and ally. I am committed to change and eager to learn and share with my fellow colleagues in this role.

Courtney Lewis, Lead Faculty, Clinical Education Learning Community

Associate Professor, Health Promotion and Human Performance 

I have been a part of the Eastern Michigan University community for over 10 years. I began my time at EMU as a doctoral fellow in the Department of Leadership and Counseling as I pursued my PhD in Educational Leadership. Prior to EMU, I obtained my bachelor's degree in Athletic Training from the University of Michigan and my master's degree in Education with an Athletic Training emphasis from the University of Georgia. I became a faculty member in the Athletic Training Program in the College of Health and Human Services in 2014. 

My research has focused on the athletic training clinical experience and gaining an understanding of how students experience the concept of clinical integration. I am interested in how students combine the didactic knowledge they are gaining in the classroom with the tactic knowledge they are developing in their clinical experiences, and make this information their own. What I have found is relationships are key to a student’s success so I strive to create an environment in my classroom where students are heard, appreciated, and given space to form these professional relationships. I am so fortunate to teach courses within the athletic training program that allow me to dive into this idea of clinical integration; as well as work with students to prepare for transition to practice and life beyond the classroom and EMU. 

Last year I had the privilege of being a member of the Teaching and Learning Together (TaLT) community. This experience expanded my perspective on how I can engage with and form relationships with students in the classroom and in the clinical setting. TaLT serves as a springboard for Student-Instructor Partnerships in Clinical Education and I am thrilled to be working on this initiative with Alivia English as we strive to enhance clinical education experiences for all parties involved. 

Outside of EMU, I serve on the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS) Professional Education Committee and the MATS ATs Cares Committee. I am married to my wonderful husband and we have three children. We live on a small lake and enjoy spending time outside swimming, fishing, and ice skating in the winter.

Alivia English, Graduate Assistant; Lead Student, Clinical Education Learning Community

Hello! I received my BA in Linguistics from Oakland University in 2022 with a minor in Speech-Language Pathology. Currently, I am a graduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders MA program here at EMU. I grew up in West Michigan, so I have enjoyed exploring the Ann Arbor area more! I am passionate about learning, and something the FDC does that I love is encouraging strong partnerships between students and faculty. I look forward to supporting those partnerships in my role here at the FDC.

Trinity Perkins, Undergraduate Assistant

Hi! I am Trinity Perkins. I am a freshman here at Eastern and I am studying Criminology and Criminal Justice pursuing a career in law enforcement specifically in the FBI. I am new to Eastern, I am originally from West Michigan, specifically the Grand Rapids area, but I already feel welcomed by the FDC to my new town, and new school.  I am immensely appreciative of this opportunity to work here and get to know the school, the faculty, and help with improving the learning experiences that we as students have. 

Alivia Overbee, Undergraduate Assistant

Hi! I am Liv Overbee (she/her/hers). I am a third year student studying Neuroscience and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. During my time here at Eastern, I have been involved in many departments on campus, and absolutely love working with the faculty here. After graduation, I plan on pursuing my Medical Doctorate and my PhD in Neuroscience in hopes of teaching one day!

Rylin Reynolds, Undergraduate Assistant

Hi! I am Rylin Reynolds (she/her). I am a sophomore here at Eastern and I am currently majoring in Health Administration. I’m from Rossford, Ohio originally but moved up to Michigan for a chance to spend my college career surrounded by the wonderful staff and students of Eastern. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to improve the staff and student relationships and have a chance to further engage in the Eastern Michigan community. 

Elena Parshall, Undergraduate Assistant

Hello! I am Elena Parshall (she/hers/hers.) I am a third year student studying Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Histotechnology track. I transferred to EMU at the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester from Biomedical Engineering at Trine University in Angola, Indiana. I am currently a member of the Living Learning Community TRIO SSS on campus. I am incredibly excited for this position working with the FDC. I am excited to further improve student - faculty relations at EMU, including my own, while ensuring all voices are heard equally and fairly within this opportunity. After receiving my degree and certifications, I intend on going to medical school with the intention of becoming an anatomic pathologist.

Shay Morrison, Lead Student, Collaborative Course (Re)Design Learning Community

I received my BA in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016, and I am currently a graduate student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders here at EMU. I am looking forward to fostering partnerships between students and faculty as they work together to redesign a course and learn from one another’s perspectives. I am excited for students to become more involved in their education, and for instructors to expand their understanding of student learning. In my free time you can find me gardening, trying out new restaurants, and cycling around Ann Arbor.

Skip Section Navigation