Education & Experience
While I didn't originally aspire to be a college administrator, I've had progressively increasing leadership and administrative roles. I am currently the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development and Postdoctoral Affairs at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I dedicate my time to constructing and coordinating meaningful professional development opportunities for graduate students and postdocs. In addition, I am the Director of the AGEP PROMISE Academy Alliance, a program that leverages the state university system to recruit postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented minority groups and support them through transitioning to tenure track faculty roles within the state. Prior to this role, I was the Director of the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching at Goucher College where I worked with faculty to construct and implement a novel general education program (based on interdisciplinary, collaboration and problem-based learning) and supplied workshops to help faculty re-tool their teaching and employ innovative and effective practices.
Before coming to Goucher, I served a myriad of roles at Nevada State College (NSC). A highlight for me was being elected Faculty Senate Chair at Nevada State College (NSC) two years in a row during a critical time of transition for the college as we faced changes in leadership and an economic recession that threatened the institution's future. I was later elected by my peers to be the Department Chair of the Physical and Life Sciences, a tremendous opportunity to hire and mentor junior faculty, consider various data sources to make enrollment management decisions, and build out undergraduate research . Later, as NSC's Vice Provost of Scholarship and Experiential Curriculum, I balanced a mixture of academic affairs and student affairs responsibilities as I worked with faculty across the arts and sciences to build internships for credit, course-based undergraduate research, and opportunities to showcase student creative works and scholarship. Finally, I served as Interim Provost for six months and got to work closely with the college president, other senior vice presidents, regents, legislators, system administrators and campus leaders from across the state.
Summary of Qualifications
I am a committed higher education administrator dedicated to providing an excellent and relevant liberal arts education to all students, particularly historically under-served and diverse populations. In the realm of student affairs, I promote the professional and personal development of undergraduates. I spent many years building and supervising undergraduate research, and have overseen the following units related to student affairs: the Dean of Students, Student Government, Career Services, the Student of Concern Committee and the Internship-for-Credit program. I am committed to fostering greater grit, improved literacy, and developing a sense of self-efficacy to enact social change in all students, both undergraduate and graduate. In academic affairs, I work to cultivate opportunities for improved teaching, scholarship and innovation among faculty - I've administered a seed program for small research grants, run summer institutes to build research-based and project based curriculum or create scholarship of teaching and learning projects. I have run faculty development workshops, organized many speakers, and led new faculty institutes (monthly meetings with new faculty focused on community and pedagogy). I credit my success in these areas as stemming from a clear commitment to:
- Teaching Excellence – I have taught courses at private, selective liberal arts colleges with traditional students and public open-access institutions with non-traditional, low-income, and first generation students. I have consistently received outstanding student evaluations, which I credit to my hard work to learn about and incorporate evidence based practices that make learning fun, relevant, and lasting. I've taught courses ranging from non-majors introductory courses through advanced senior-level courses for biology majors in online, in-person and hybrid modalities. See my Teaching Page for more information.
- Transparent Leadership and Shared Governance – I was elected Faculty Senate Chair twice by colleagues and was subsequently elected Chair of the Counsel of Faculty Senate Chairs for all Nevada System of Higher Education institutions (the first NSC Chair ever selected for this role). This occurred at a critical time when the recession led to drastic cuts for Nevada's higher education system and high faculty concern for the future. I worked with the Nevada Faculty Alliance to ensure that NSC faculty were actively engaged, providing communication regularly and soliciting faculty input (through phone banking and online surveys) prior to critical decisions and public forums. I presented her work on faculty senate strategic planning and shared governance at the AAUP State of Higher Education Conference in 2011. My novel outreach to the college's Foundation to discuss important issues established what is now a tradition of discourse between that body and the faculty. I specialize in bridging administrative and faculty interests with diplomacy to build productive, positive campus culture. Today, as I lead a team across multiple campuses to build a state-system model for diversifying faculty, I remain committed to transparency, collaboration and relationship building.
- Relevant, Inclusive and Accessible Education – I am committed to advocating for personal, institutional and structural changes that will advance racial equity and provide excellent education to students from all backgrounds, particularly those that have been historically marginalized and traditionally underserved by common teaching approaches and educational systems. I have regularly participated in workshops to stay abreast of pedagogical and technological tools that help to maximize learning, reduce bias, build sense of belonging, and have been responsible for bringing such workshops to faculty. I am dedicated to experiential learning to ensure students build relevant skills that prepare them for the workforce and expose them to realities of careers in which they are interested. I built NSC's first undergraduate research program in the sciences, securing funding through a Nevada NIH INBRE grant (Ideas Network for Biomedical Research Excellence). I have sought out opportunities to personally grow in knowledge and skill to be a more culturally aware colleague, mentor, teacher and advocate.
Download a copy of Robin Cresiski's CV here.