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.

Alivia English, Graduate Assistant 

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.

Jessi Kwek, Undergraduate Assistant

Hello! My name is Jessi Kwek, I'm in my third year as an undergraduate at EMU. I'm majoring in Political Science and Sociology and I'm interested in work related to social justice and community organizing. Throughout my time here I've had positive experiences with almost every single one of my professors, whether in my department or outside of it, and I'm grateful to be a part of the important work that the Faculty Development Center does here at Eastern.

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!

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