Provost's Fall 2021 Update

By Debra J. Liebowitz, PhD, Provost August 20, 2021

QUIP-RS and QSTEP participants smile together

In this inaugural Welcome to Fall Letter from the Provost’s Office, I share some updates from across the university. We also share resources to help ensure a successful academic year that prioritizes an excellent education and the health and safety of our community.

As we embark upon the start of a new academic year, I write to first express my gratitude to you, our faculty and staff, who surmounted personal and professional challenges to guide our students through a difficult year. The uncertainties associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic coupled with important calls to build a more inclusive campus present great demands and tremendous opportunities. Together we affirm that Quinnipiac University is a community of talented, caring, and committed educators who represent the best higher education has to offer.

It is exciting to be able to return to in-person learning, teaching and spaces of collaboration with the confidence that we will continue to build on last year’s success following health and safety guidance.

We have reinstated mask requirements for all indoor spaces on campus — including in classrooms and labs — and instituted a vaccine requirement for faculty, students and staff.

The safety of our campus community is essential, and we will continue to follow the guidance of our senior medical adviser, Dr. David R. Hill, professor of medical sciences, in concert with federal and state guidelines.

In this update, you will find: 


Resources for planning a safe start

A quick reminder about the many resources available to help support our students, faculty and staff in this new academic year. These resources, and the support we provide to our students, will be especially important this year.

We will continue to partner with The Learning Commons, The Counseling Center, Academic Support and Retention, Human Resources and other offices to help members of our university community thrive.

Please be sure to submit to the Thrive Alert system throughout the year.
Learn more and access a tutorial about Thrive

At the core of thriving is an intentional emphasis on the holistic health and wellness of our community:

COVID-19 and Vaccine Resources; Counseling and Wellness; CARE and Conduct ReportLiving Well; Center for Teaching and Learning; Fitness and Recreation; University Events Calendar; Center for Teaching and Learning; Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, and Bias-Motivated Acts and Behavior Policy; Bias Incident Report Form; Title IX Policy Against Gender-Based Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct; Title IX Report Form; Public Safety



We have four new Deans joining us, including three new to the university. Please join me in welcoming Phil Boiselle (School of Medicine), Lynn Byers (Interim, School of Engineering); Holly Raider (School of Business); and Adam Roth (College of Arts and Sciences). They join an impressive group of continuing Deans and Associate Deans who work across our nine schools.

Lisa Rebeschi, Associate Dean in the School of Nursing, leads the Associate Deans Council this year. We thank Corey Kiassat for his service as Chair of the Associate Deans Council last year, and welcome Nelson Alino (School of Business) to this year’s council.

Fourteen new full-time faculty members join us this Fall:

  • Chris St. Cyr (Graphic and Interactive Design)

  • Gladys Vallespir Ellett (Nursing)

  • Blythe Frank (Film, Television, and Media Arts)

  • Peter Longley (Nursing)

  • Philip Martinez (Nursing)

  • Jesse Mccoy (Health Sciences)

  • Deborah Morrill (Nursing)

  • Nils Pilotte (Biology)

  • Genevieve Quinn (Political Science)

  • Ivy Rentz (Occupational Therapy)

  • Mary Schmitt (Film, Television, and Media Arts)

  • Sara Silver (Journalism)

  • Elizabeth Stark (Nursing)

  • Frederick Yeo (Medicine)

Welcome to Quinnipiac!

We recognized the following faculty members for their distinguished years of service to the community by awarding them Emeritus/Emerita status: Denise Cameron (Physical Therapy); Mark E. Hoffman (Computer Science & Software Engineering); Christine Kasinkas (Physical Therapy); Edward J. Kavanaugh (Biomedical Sciences); Bruce M. Koeppen (Medicine); Suzanne H. Nathanson (Legal Skills); Kent S. Marshall (Chemistry); Christine Niekrash (Medical Sciences); Thomas Pruzinsky (Psychology); Bruce K. Saulnier (Posthumously-Computer Information Systems); Karin Schwanbeck (Journalism); and Kathy A. Simione (Accounting). Frederick W. McKinney was recognized as Director Emeritus for the People’s United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

In July, J.T. Torres, Assistant Teaching Professor of English, was named the new Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. J.T.’s deep commitment to innovation and high impact practices will help promote a sustained investment in rethinking our collective approaches to teaching, learning, and engagement that stretch across students and faculty. All faculty are invited to attend the learning session co-organized by the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Lab on August 24th from 10-11am in CCE 101 and via Zoom. The session, “Return to (Anything But) Normal” is designed to share strategies, raise questions, and build supportive communities of learning.

Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, Professor of Political Science, joins as the inaugural Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs. Khalilah oversees several important projects for the Provost’s Office including academic and curricular initiatives; Faculty Retention, Promotion, and Tenure; creating new collaborations across our campuses to address the future of inclusive teaching and learning; and Chairing the Sabbatical Committee. She also serves as the Provost’s representative to the Senate Policies Committee.

Terri Johnson, Associate Vice President for Operations, leads timely, multi-unit projects and serves as liaison for the Provost’s Office across the university. She offers operational support for faculty navigating Galaxy and operational aspects of the RPT Process while also serving as a resource for the Faculty Appeals and Grievance Committee, on the Senate Compensation and Benefits Committee, and as part of the university’s COVID-19 Task Force committee.

Annalisa Zinn, Vice-President for Academic Innovation and Effectiveness, leads academic strategic planning, compliance, and academic support and resource planning. Her team also oversees academic compliance for the university. Joining that team this year is Claude Mayo, the Director of Academic Integrity and Pre-Law Advisor. He will help continue our commitment to academic integrity as the cornerstone of learning. Claude is also an instructor in the First Year Seminar.

Inclusion and Belonging

The Department of Cultural and Global Engagement (DCGE) partners with faculty and staff to assist with creating inclusive spaces of learning and development. DCGE executes and benchmarks university-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion curricula delivered online and in person. These workshops are offered regularly throughout the semester. DCGE staff also serve as consultants for classroom issues that arise and assist faculty outside of the formal training offerings. 

In Summer 2020, DCGE introduced Quinnipiac’s “Actions to Advance Racial Justice,” a 10-point plan that serves as a long-term roadmap to advance racial justice for everyone. This first report tracks the progress made against the components of the plan, as well as other key initiatives for creating a lasting culture of inclusive excellence. This report will be updated twice a year. 

The Provost’s Office will continue to work with Faculty and Staff Senates, DCGE, Student Government, and other campus partners to promote greater inclusion and belonging.

Faculty and Staff Innovation
Staff Council

The newly formed Staff Council is designed to build a positive environment for staff members to engage in open and equitable deliberations. The constituency includes all professional administrative exempt and non-exempt, non-union staff employed by Quinnipiac University (excluding Management Committee, Leadership Council, Senior Associate Deans, and Associate/Assistant Vice Presidents). This year’s Council will be led by Chair Katherine Pezzella (Student Affairs) and Vice-Chair Daymyen Lane (DCGE) with representatives from across the university. Feel free to contact them for more information about getting involved.

Distinctiveness in Experiential Education and Career Design Working Group

The Distinctiveness in Experiential Education and Career Design Working Group developed recommendations for how approaches to experiential education can be a differentiator for Quinnipiac. These recommendations identify synergies between the initiatives in the Strategic Plan currently called the Quinnipiac Center for High-Impact Practices (Q CHIP) and the Quinnipiac Academic and Career Advising Center (QACAC). They include innovative approaches to curricular and co-curricular learning, student employment, internships, and mentoring. A report of the working group’s recommendations will be shared soon. The Working Group members are: John Bau; Charles Brooks; Melanie Burkett; Lynn Byers; Ewa Callahan; David Charron; Vincent Contrucci; Alexandre de Lencastre; Rick DelVecchio; Sean Duffy; Jill Fehleison; Kristina Galligan; Gary Giumetti; Margaret Goralski; Hillary Haldane; Kimberly Hartmann; Dale Jasinski; Jesse Kalinowski; Maureen McCarthy; Courtney McGinnis; Rita Offiaeli; Tuvana Rua; Erin Sabato; Wendy Sewack; Casey Stark; David Tomczyk; Tracy Van Oss; and Michael Vieth.

Inclusive Excellence Summer Assembly (IESA)

Led by the fellows of the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Lab, the IESA brought together over 100 faculty and staff members for two days of engagement to promote greater inclusivity. The Assembly keynote was given by Dr. Tracie Marcella Addy, author of the book, What Inclusive Instructors Do.

Thank you to the Lab Co-Chairs Marcos Scauso and Teresa Twomey and Fellows: Wasim Ahmad; Carol Awasu; Iddrisu Awudu; Cindy Kern; Corey Kiassat; Angela Robinson; and Anna-Leila Williams.

The Lab is a collaboration between the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Department of Cultural and Global Engagement, and the Provost’s Office to be a resource for faculty, staff, and students.

Inclusive Excellence Transformation Grants

Over the Summer six inclusive excellence transformation grants were awarded in partnership with the Department of Cultural and Global Engagement. These grants are designed to support student, faculty, and staff collaborations that advance the priorities of the Strategic Plan and the 10 Point Plan. Join me in congratulating: Victoria Adigolo (Student, Mechanical Engineering), Michelle Ane (Student, Biology), and Timothy Dansdill (English); Kara Breen (Education); Nancy Burns, Linda Iadarola, Catherine Takizawa, and Michael Vieth (Biology); Shobhna Gupta and Nathan Petropoulous (Human Resources); Hanna Hejmowski (School of Business Centers); and Amber Kelly (Social Work).

Curriculum Innovation Grants

Curriculum Innovation Grants for the Fall were awarded to faculty from across the University to develop innovative curricular initiatives that will be piloted during the 2021-22 academic year: Carol Awasu; Mary Dunn; Ruby El Kharboutly; Julia Fullick-Jagiela; Margaret Goralski; Linda Iadarola; Dale Jasinski; Lisa Kaplan; Amber Kelly; Keith Kerr; Jason Koo; William Logue; Angela Mattie; Courtney McGinnis; D’Lisa McKee; Barbara Nadeau; Shawna Reed; Frederick Scholl; and David Tomczyk. We look forward to sharing the results of these innovations with the community.

Innovation Fellows

Twenty-five faculty innovation fellows were selected in Summer 2021 to support efforts to create an interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial ecosystem at QU. These faculty members will work with the Director of the People’s United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Patrice Luoma, to create co-curricular student opportunities for social, environmental, artistic, and business pursuits. The faculty fellow are: Luis Arata; Elena Bertozzi; Ben Bogardus; Abigail Copeland; Grant Crawford; Ruby Elkharboutly; Greg Garvey; Mary Ho; Linda Iadarola; Dale Jasinski; Erin Lampron; Alexander Laskin; Angela Mattie; Bernadette Mele; John Reap; Tuvana Rua; Frederick Scholl; Mary Schramm; Jason Scozzafava; Michele Tarantino; John Thomas; Emre Tokgoz; Dave Tomczyk; JT Torres; and Jonah Warren.

Center for Research and Scholarship

Near the turn of the fiscal year, the university was awarded six new grants totaling $654,313.00. This brought the total grants portfolio for the Center for Research and Scholarship to $1,742,674.30 for FY 2021 and provides an exciting launch into FY 2022. Many thanks to Maureen McCarthy for her tremendous work in support of faculty scholarship and research. I have so enjoyed reading through the amazing grant proposals that faculty, staff, and administrators have submitted; it has been a terrific way to learn about your areas of scholarly expertise. Our success in winning grants is a testament to the expertise and important work being done in our community.

Pending: $3,896,385.02
Total CRS Portfolio
FY 2019 5 awards worth $684,590
FY 2020 23 awards worth $1.1 million
FY 2021 28 awards worth $1.7 million
FY 2022 Q1 22 awards worth 1.9 million


Quinnipiac University Interdisciplinary Program for Research and Scholarship (QUIP-RS)

QUIP-RS offers undergraduates the opportunity to conduct funded research with Quinnipiac faculty mentors over an 8-week period. This year fifteen students conducted original research on fourteen projects. These students represented five schools and twelve different majors and were joined by six students from the QSTEP program – an externally sponsored program that funds summer research for under-represented undergraduate students in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry. The program will conclude with the Fall QUIP-RS symposium during Parents’ Weekend. Thank you to the members of the QUIP-RS Faculty Committee, co-chaired by Alexandre de Lencastre (CAS) and Katie Place (Communications), and the Faculty Mentors: Adrienne Betz; Lynn Byers; Tilottama Chowdhury; Scott Davies; Kimberly DiGiovanni; Christian Eggers; Ruby ElKharboutly; John Greenleaf; Joshua Lewis Haight; Hillary Haldane; Robert Hansen; Sarah Lawson; Alex de Lencastre; Courtney McGinnis; Katie Place; Marcos Scauso; Emre Tokgoz; and Annalisa Zinn.

One Stop

The new One Stop office provides tailored concierge services to students. In its first month of operations, One Stop staff have cleared over 2,000 holds on student accounts! This is a tremendous feat that will help ensure we all have access to a more efficient, consistent, and meaningful interaction with key functions of the student experience. One Stop includes cross-functional student solutions for records and enrollment services (e.g. interpreting AP test results; adding/dropping a minor; or registering for courses), managing finances (formerly the Bursar) and parking. The One Stop works closely with and can provide preliminary information about financial aid, Q-Cards, housing and dining. Advanced registrar functions such as degree conferrals, dean’s list and diplomas will continue to be administered through the Registrar. Faculty and administrators who need assistance with accounts receivables (study abroad charges, student fees, invoicing third parties, scholarship refunds, etc.) should contact co-directors, Celia Cruz Young (Director of Student Administrative Services) and Elizabeth Brown (Director of Business Operations).

Many thanks to Josh Berry, Liz Brown, Jason Burke, Tom Ellett, Celia Cruz Young (welcome to QU!) and all who made this much needed transition possible.

New Programs and Partnerships

Faculty and staff from across the university continue to earn distinction in their fields by taking on new roles in professional associations, earning support for their teaching and scholarship, sharing their expertise with media outlets, and building innovative high-impact practices for our students.

We successfully launched three new on-campus summer pre-college programs that provide engaging enrichment experiences to a diverse range of middle and high school students. Leveraging Connecticut State Department of Education Grants and our partnership with New Haven Promise, 56 underrepresented students were provided full scholarships along with daily transportation by the New Haven Public Schools District. Plans for Summer 2022 are already underway. Learn more about summer programs or contact David Charron, Director of Summer Programs and Planning.

Other exciting high-impact learning opportunities include a new partnership between the provost’s office and the QU Polling Institute to develop signature academic experiences related to polling and public opinion in Political Science, Communications, and Business. These opportunities are now being planned for a launch in the spring 2022 semester. The Connecticut Public Health College Corps and the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program (ConnCAP) unite faculty, staff, and students to address pressing challenges in public health and public education. Other exciting developments include the Ability Media partnership and the Prison Project.

Academic Space Scoping

We continue to implement short term and more permanent plans to address academic space needs on the Mount Carmel Campus. A new 6,000 square foot temporary modular building is located in the parking lot adjacent to the CAS buildings. It will provide four new science teaching lab spaces and a central prep lab space. Two teaching lab spaces in Buckman have been renovated to complement course offerings including a new environmental science course in the Spring. Refreshes to the School of Communications lobby will promote greater engagement and space for students to meet, study, and collaborate.

Models of classroom, lab, research, and office spaces for the new academic building were shared during a summer townhall with chairs and others. We continue this exciting work on academic space planning this year. Watch the town hall.

Fall Instruction and Flexibility in Learning
Classroom capacity

In most cases, our classrooms will return to typical capacity. Each course’s modality—in-person, hybrid or online—is listed on students’ course schedules and in Self-Service. Students and faculty should check Self-Service for any modality or room changes for their courses. 

Mask Policy

Effective August 2, 2021, everyone must wear a mask on campus regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required while outdoors (except at particular events that require them) or in a private office/workspace, living area, or eating. Masks must continue to be worn at all other times in the dining halls. We will continue to monitor the data to ensure our policies are consistent with the latest state policies and CDC recommendations.

Faculty may not ask a student whether they are vaccinated.

Attendance Policies and Flexibility in Learning Mode

As with previous semesters, attendance is crucial to students’ success in a course. Faculty may create policy that best fosters learning in your class environment. All syllabi should include a clear attendance statement in line with department or program attendance policies. This may include language about what counts as an “excused absence” versus an “unexcused absence” for your class. Faculty should be specific about the consequences for each type or absence, and what types of documentation are required to count an absence as excused. Further, each course syllabus should include specifics about attendance expectations should a student need to utilize virtual learning. Faculty should establish attendance policies for their courses that detail how students are able to meet the learning outcomes of the course if they are unable to attend in person Sample attendance policies are available for faculty on the Center for Teaching and Learning Blackboard site. Please remember that we still expect some cases of COVID isolation quarantining in the fall (although significantly fewer cases than this academic year). Your educational plan should include alternative pathways for when this occurs.

Role of Student Affairs in Student Absences

If one of Quinnipiac’s health providers in Student Health Services sees a student and believes he/she/they should not be in the classroom for an extended period, they will send a notification out to the faculty. However, notifications are not sent out to faculty for every student who is seen at Student Health Services. Additionally, when Student Affairs is made aware of personal circumstances that may impact attendance or course requirements, a note will be sent to faculty from Student Affairs. In all cases, Student Affairs defers to the faculty to make the decision for each student depending on how this interruption effects the advancement toward the course learning outcomes. Students should submit medical documentation from outside providers to the health center and not the faculty. Student Health Services will send notification to faculty that will reflect the recommendations and information provided in the documentation. This will allow all medical documentation to be housed in the student’s medical record and be consistent with notifications.

Class Recordings

Faculty may record class meetings when there is a pedagogical reason to do so, or to accommodate students who cannot attend class for an approved reason. Individual student recording of classes or meetings is prohibited. This includes photographing, screen capture or other copying or sharing methods of all video (pre-recorded or live) or Zoom Chat exchanges during classes or meetings. Circulating such recordings, including via the internet, email and social media, is also prohibited. All students’ privacy, and instructor copyright, must be properly protected in the online learning environment. Instructors and staff may not grant individual student requests to record class sessions or meetings. Students seeking accommodations must contact the Office of Student Accessibility (OSA). Students already registered with the OSA are required to meet with OSA staff to discuss accommodations each semester. They are also required to submit an accommodation letter to the professor leading the course in which the accommodation applies. It is a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy to make unauthorized recordings without approved accommodations and doing so may result in sanctions against the student.

Remote Learning

For Fall 2021, the default course modality will be on-campus, in-classroom instruction (except in online degree programs). Dean’s Offices have been evaluating student requests for remote study. To be eligible for remote study, a student must be registered for all WEB and/or Hybrid courses. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the courses required in their program’s progression are available as WEB and/or Hybrid. If a WEB or Hybrid course on a remote student’s schedule flips to 100% in-person prior to the start of classes on Monday, August 30, 2021, the student must change their schedule by the end of add/drop period (Friday, September 3) to include only WEB and/or Hybrid courses.

Showing consideration for others

We recognize that individuals will have different comfort levels as we make these transitions. We also realize that many of our students are navigating two years of education disruptions amid other challenges. We ask that everyone be respectful and supportive of others’ choices within the bounds of campus requirements. We encourage you to attend the August 24th teaching townhall to share strategies and ask questions.

Instruction and Academic Support

The staff of Academic Technology is committed to providing ongoing training and refreshers for faculty. All faculty using projectors in classrooms will need to access a Zoom Cart to do so. Academic Technology’s August newsletter provides information about upcoming sessions on topics such as Zoom Carts, Room Technology, and Blackboard. These sessions will be offered in person and virtually.

Future Plans

This Fall we embark on several pursuits that advance the academic mission of our university. From a targeted effort to more fully show on our website the strength of our academic programs, to launching a Faculty Futures Committee that will brainstorm strategies for future learning, to beginning to build a university center focused on experiential education and career design.

Thank you again for all you do to make Quinnipiac such an important space for learning and engagement. You remain committed to our students while inspiring our community to stretch beyond the limits of our comfort. Your extraordinary dedication, engagement, and innovation are foundational as we work together to become the University of the Future. Even against the backdrop of growing divisiveness in our country, you show up every day to model for our students the values of academic freedom, civility, and respect.

Finally, I invite you to join us for Faculty and Staff Convocation Friday, August 27 at 11am on the Quad. It will be a wonderful time to connect while welcoming new faculty, staff, and students during the lunchtime BBQ. Dress casually in your favorite QU gear as we welcome the Class of 2025! (Registration is no longer available.)

Wishing you the very best for a safe, healthy, and enjoyable semester.

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