The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning serves as a catalyst for effective teaching and engaged learning at Elon University. Learn more about CATL’s Mission & Values or our current Strategic Plan, 2016-2021.

Center Faculty and Staff

Deandra Little Assistant Provost & Director (336) 278-5205
Image of Deandra LittleDeandra Little directs the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and is a professor of English. She teaches courses on US literature, memoir and autobiography, and has also taught in the Honors program. Her scholarship focuses on educational development in higher ed, scholarship of teaching and learning, and teaching with images. Deandra serves as Vice President for the International Consortium of Educational Development (2017-2020), and is a former president of the POD Network in Higher Education, the North American association for university teaching and learning centers. In 2011-2014, she was associate editor of the International Journal for Academic Development. Though happy to discuss most teaching and learning topics, she is particularly interested in course and assignment design, discussion leading, grading and feedback, and supporting faculty across their careers.


Mary Jo Festle Associate Director (336) 278-6423
Image of Mary Jo FestleMary Jo Festle is a professor of history and an associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Festle’s scholarship has been in U.S. women’s history, oral history, medical history, and social movements. While she enjoys discussing most issues related to teaching and learning, she is especially interested in inclusive classrooms, course design, disciplinary thinking, mentoring, and linking day-to-day class work to course goals. Festle received the university’s 2011 Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching, and she was named the Maude Sharpe Powell Professor of History in 2014.
Kelsey Bitting  Associate Director (336) 278-5188

Headshot of assistant director of CATL kelsey bittingKelsey Bitting is an Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Elon University. Dr. Bitting’s research interests include exploring the impact of inquiry-based learning experiences on students’ understanding of the nature of science, examining conceptual learning outcomes of student exploration in virtual field environments, and understanding how teaching assistants’ beliefs and practices develop and evolve over time. Dr. Bitting has mentored dozens of faculty from a wide range of disciplines as they design, carry out, and present or publish scholarship of teaching and learning projects. She regularly offers workshops on evidence-based course and program design, inclusive teaching theory and practice, and intentional student mentoring.

Olivia Choplin Associate Director (336) 278-5815

Olivia Choplin is an Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and an Associate Professor of French in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Her disciplinary research has focused on contemporary French and Francophone theater and Haitian diaspora literature, particularly in Québec. She is happy to discuss and troubleshoot all sorts of teaching questions related to the design and assessment of courses and assignments. Her own particular SoTL interests include intercultural development and student reintegration to campus after study abroad, “ungrading,” and “students as partners” work for intentional course and assignment design.

Christina Wittstein Program Coordinator (336) 278-5100

Christina Wittstein is the Program Coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and the Center for Engaged Learning. 





See a list of previous CATL Directors & Associate Directors.


The CATL Faculty Advisory Board provides insight and guidance regarding mission, programs and services.


The Center is located on the Elon University main campus in the William Henry Belk Pavilion near the corner of Haggard Avenue and N. Antioch Avenue in the Academic Village.

The campus map provides easy directions.

Mailing Address:
2610 Campus Box
Elon University
Elon, NC 27244

Phone:  336-278-5100
Fax:  336-278-5108


Find out more about CATL’s work through our recent annual reports: