Teaching is at the very core of our Holy Cross tradition of academic excellence. 

Students benefit from an active and rigorous learning environment that is constantly refined toward a common goal — to inspire to think, learn and grow beyond expectations.

Our History

Established in 1991, the Center for Teaching Excellence grew from the desire to continually elevate the learning experience for students at St. Edward’s. Through the center, faculty members come together to share ideas and strategies for successful teaching. They learn practical and inventive ways to improve teaching methods and respond to the various learning needs of students.

Our Goals

The Center for Teaching Excellence focuses on a variety of activities designed to maximize the St. Edward’s educational experience, which include:

  • Supporting effective and innovative teaching that enables student learning
  • Advancing new initiatives in teaching and learning
  • Facilitating a culture of continuous teaching improvement
  • Building communities of teaching and learning among departments, colleges, career stages
  • Offering recognition and rewards for demonstrated excellence in teaching
  • Providing career support for faculty at all stages of their St. Edward's career

Our Mission

The Center for Teaching Excellence fosters a diversity of teaching and learning styles. It assists faculty in developing courses, offers resources for teachers and collaborates with professors to utilize technology in the classroom. Teachers gain creative insights for sharing their knowledge — and teaching students how to learn.

The Center for Teaching Excellence promotes effective, innovative, and evidence-based college teaching that cultivates significant learning for St. Edward's students. The center fosters a campus culture that values a diversity of learning, teaching, and disciplinary styles; assists St. Edward's faculty in developing courses and assignments; and facilitates the exchange of ideas about teaching and learning among faculty.  

We support faculty work in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and we offer resources, drawn from the research about teaching and learning, to enable faculty to use scholarly teaching approaches.  With the Department of Instructional Technology and the Munday Library, we support a culture of innovation in teaching and help faculty learn about teaching technologies that support rich student learning experiences. 

We also support new faculty with orientation and ongoing programs and assist the departments, schools, and university with teaching initiatives.  Finally, we recognize outstanding teachers with teaching awards.  

Faculty Fellows, Staff, and Advisory Board

Faculty Fellows

Faculty Fellows consult with instructors about relevant teaching issues, organize workshops, develop resources, facilitate communication about effective practices, and serve on committees related to teaching international students. To schedule a consultation or to brainstorm ideas about a workshop for your area, please email the faculty fellow best suited to your needs. 

Selin Guner, Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Political Science

Faculty Fellow in Global Engagement 

Selin E. Gunner teaches Middle East Survey, Middle East Politics & Government, International Political Economy, International Relations, Seminar on Development, and Political Theory. Her research interests include social movements in Turkey and the Middle East, political economy and democratization, and the impact of international systemic factors on democratization. Her work on these topics were published in many scholarly and policy journals. She is the faculty advisor for the Behavioral and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Scholars Program, allowing top students to pursue an interdisciplinary curriculum. She is also the faculty advisor of the Model UN Student club which have participated in a nationwide Model UN Conference in San Francisco. 

Don Unger, Assistant Professor of English Writing & Rhetoric

CTE Faculty Fellow in Community-Engagement Teaching and Learning   

This academic year, the CTE Faculty Fellowship for Community Engaged Teaching & Learning (CETL) will focus on issues related to incorporating community-based learning in coursework at St. Edward’s. These issues include working with the Director of the Office of Community Engagement to document CETL at St. Edward’s; hosting faculty workshops that address best practices for developing, carrying out, and assessing the impact of CETL projects; offering one-on-one consultations for instructors immersed in CETL projects; and serving on committees related to CETL. In summary, Dr. Unger plans to facilitate a campus conversation about how St. Edward’s defines and implements CETL.

Sara Villanueva, Professor of Psychology

CTE Faculty Fellow in Diversity  

In her role as Diversity Faculty Fellow, Sara Villanueva’s primary objective is to increase faculty support related to the St. Edwards University Operating Principles around understanding and promoting diversity. Villanueva will help faculty create courses that prepare students to enter an increasingly diverse world with its corresponding opportunities and challenges. She will further support faculty by providing professional development workshops and will lead programs and provide services to: assist faculty in broadening the scope of their course materials, assignments, and activities to be more inclusive of issues related to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ability status, social class, and/or sexuality; structure their course materials, assignments, and activities with a diverse student body and mind. The goals for this diversity fellowship reflect the fundamental principles embodied in the university’s Holy Cross mission and support the university’s devotion to social justice by educating minds and hearts in the way of all Holy Cross educators.


Melodee Lujano, Administrative Coordinator

Advisory Board

Mike Disch, Assistant Professor of Psychology 
Kathleen Wilburn, Professor of Management
Alex Barron, Assistant Professor of University Studies
Mary Brantl, Associate Professor of Visual Studies
Michael Saclolo, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Danney Ursery, Professor of Philosophy
Anna Hoskinson, Student Government Association representative
Jackie Schicker, Student Government Association representative


The Center for Teaching Excellence offers a variety of programs to improve teaching at the university, including:


Conversations on Teaching: Xenophobia Workshop
With Faculty Fellow, Selin Guner
Wednesday, March 29
Noon-1 p.m., Fleck 305
Lunch will be served. Please RSVP.

Books & Coffee
Thursday, April 6
3:30–4:30, Location TBD

Faculty Fellow Showcase
Friday, April 7
2:30–5 p.m., Fleck 305

Faculty Recognition Gathering
Thursday, April 27
4–6 p.m., Mabee Ballroom

Books & Coffee
Thursday, May 4
3:30–4:30 p.m., Location  TBD

Teaching Awards and Innovation Fellows

Teaching Awards

Given annually, teaching excellence awards at St. Edward's University honor faculty for their exceptional talents and dedication to promoting learning in meaningful, engaging and innovative ways. The selection process is rigorous, evaluating candidates' course offerings, curricular designs, instructional methods, classroom performances, and interactions with students.

Four awards are given annually:

2015-2016 Teaching Winners

Laura Baker

Laura Baker
Distinguished Career Award

Kim Garza

Kim Garza 
Distinguished Teaching Award

Daniel Glenn

Daniel Glenn
Distinguished Teaching Award

James Gaston
Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty

Innovation Fellows

Innovation fellowships support faculty who need time, resources and expertise to include pedagogical experimentation in their courses by providing a $1,200 stipend, participation in the Summer 2017 Innovation Institute, and a community of faculty fellows focused on pedagogical innovation.

Learn about our 2016-2017 Innovation Fellows

Read about past fellows.