Center Staff

Deandra Little Assistant Provost & Director (336) 278-5205 dlittle@elon.edu
Image of Deandra LittleDeandra Little directs the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and is 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 festle@elon.edu
Image of Mary Jo FestleMary Jo Festle is professor of history and 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.
Derek Lackaff  Associate Director (336) 278-6492 dlackaff@elon.edu
headshot of associate professor, Derek LackaffDerek Lackaff is associate professor of communication design and associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Lackaff teaches primarily in the Interactive Media MA program, and his scholarship focuses on new opportunities afforded by digital communication technologies. He was a 2018-2019 Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bergen, and also been a visiting lecturer at DIS Copenhagen and the Singapore Institute of Management. Lackaff is interested in a range of teaching and learning topics, including global education, curriculum and assignment design, collaborative work, intercultural competence, and civic engagement.
Kelsey Bitting  Assistant Director (336) 278-5188 kbitting@elon.edu

Headshot of assistant director of CATL kelsey bittingKelsey Bitting is Assistant 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.

Chris Sulva  Program Coordinator (336) 278-5100 catl@elon.edu

Image of Chris SulvaChris Sulva is the Program Coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and the Center for Engaged Learning. He graduated from Elon in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a minor in Communications. In 2017, he received a Master of Education degree from the University of Vermont, where he also held a job in Student Financial Services, and an internship with the Office of Student and Community Relations. At Elon, he worked at the Moseley Student Center, and was a Writing Center consultant. While he enjoys reading and writing, he has a particular interest in how they can be integrated across a curriculum and in different disciplines in education.

See a list of previous CATL Directors & Associate Directors.