Our Mission

The Center for Teaching and Learning facilitates Amherst College’s ambition to provide a rigorous liberal arts education in a vibrant, inclusive learning community. The Center collaborates with faculty, instructional staff and other campus partners, drawing on evidence-based practices, to embrace the challenges of teaching and learning in a complex, globalized and digitized world.

We support course and curriculum design and assessment through individual and departmental consultations, teaching observation and feedback, mid-term and end-of-course evaluation planning and interpretation, and many other pedagogical questions and concerns.


Riley Caldwell-O'Keefe

Riley Caldwell-O'Keefe

Director of Center for Teaching and Learning

Please contact Riley if you need pedagogical support for curricular initiatives at the individual, departmental, and institutional level including consultations on assignment, course, and curriculum design, “Reimagining the Commons” Mellon proposals, and assessment of student learning at all curricular levels.  Please see the consultations page for more specifics about the ways that Riley can work with you to support teaching at Amherst College.  Riley is the point person for inquiries about the operations and functions of the Center.

She has taught since her graduate days in Santa Barbara teaching introductory and advanced theatre and gender studies courses as well as first and second-year experience courses.  Ask about her "Performance of Identity in the Classroom" course!  It has been, so far, the best teaching experience of her career.

She has a background in performance studies and completed her doctorate at UC Santa Barbara in Theatre Studies with a Feminist Studies doctoral emphasis .  She continues that scholarship, most recently giving a presentation on the military plays of Owen Dodson and, in the distant past, serving as the research advisor for a production of the World War II "Blueprint Specials" produced on the aircraft carrier Intrepid with Waterwell Theatre January 6th - 11th, 2017.

Riley's current SOTL research projects focus on implicit bias in course evaluations, students as pedagogical partners, and teaching and learning at small liberal arts colleges. Recent pedagogical publications:

Caldwell-O'Keefe, R. & Recla, M. (2020). “Slowly changing the world”: Embedding experiential learning to enhance ethics and diversity. In Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P. and Makhanya, M. (Eds.), Integrating community service into curriculum: International perspectives on humanizing education (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 25) (147-164). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Caldwell-O'Keefe, J. R., Boyd, D.E., Ashe, D., Bach, D., & Diede, M. (May 2020).Turning off the firehose and fostering community for the new professoriate: Five institutional perspectives on new faculty orientation." The Journal of Faculty Development. 34 (2)59 - 68.

Click here for her Curriculum Vitae.

Sarah L. Bunnell

Sarah L. Bunnell

Associate Director; STEM Specialist

Sarah Bunnell is the Associate Director and STEM Specialist for the Center for Teaching and Learning. She is the Past President of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining Amherst, she was an Associate Professor of Psychology and Great Lakes Colleges Association Teagle Pedagogy Fellow at Ohio Wesleyan University. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods from the University of Kansas.

Please contact Sarah if you would like to discuss assignment, course, or departmental curricular design, assessment of student learning, or other areas of teaching and learning in the Sciences. She welcomes all scope of conversations, ranging from how to redesign a single class activity to rethinking the structure of departmental curriculum. She is also available to support faculty and staff in scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) research projects.

Sarah’s SOTL research interests include inclusive teaching practices in STEM, the role of empathy in learning, and best practices in faculty development broadly defined. Recent pedagogical publications:

Bunnell, S.L. (2021). A Whole Person Model of Student Success Advising in the Liberal Arts. In M. Kek & H. Huijser (Eds.), Student Support Services: Exploring impact on student engagement, experience and learning. Springer Nature. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-3364-4_14-1

Bunnell, S.L., Lyster, M.B., Greenland, K.B., Mayer, G., Gardner, K., Leise, R., Kristensen, T., Ryan, E., Ampiah-Bonney, & Jaswal, S.S. (2021). From Protest to Progress through Partnership with Students: Being Human in STEM (HSTEM). International Journal for Students as Partners, 5(1), 26-46. doi: https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v5i1.4243

Anderson, L.J., Dosch, J.J., Lindquist, E.S., McCay, T.S., Machado, J.-L., Kuers, K., Gartner, T.B., Shea, K., Mankiewicz, C., Rodgers, V.L., Saunders, P.A., Urban, R., Kilgore, J.S., Powell, A., Ramage, B., Steinweg, M., Straub, J., Bunnell, S.L., & Witkovsky-Eldred, M. (2020). Assessment of student learning in undergraduate courses with collaborative projects from the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN). Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, 4(1), 15- 29. doi: 10.18833/spur/4/1/2

Her CV is located here.

Theresa Ronquillo

Theresa Ronquillo

Associate Director; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Specialist

Frost Library Room 203

Theresa Ronquillo is the Associate Director; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences Specialist for the CTL. Prior to joining Amherst, she worked at the teaching and learning centers at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Washington, providing pedagogical and curricular support to faculty and departments across the disciplines. At the University of Washington, she co-founded and co-directed Theater for Change UW, a program that uses social justice theater techniques to promote community dialogue, problem solving, and multi-level change in teaching and learning environments. 

Theresa received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Washington. She has taught interdisciplinary students in a diversity of subjects ranging from social work macro practice, social justice arts and theater, and teaching and learning preparation for graduate students entering academia. She has also presented at a range of educational conferences including POD Network, Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Engagement Scholarship Consortium, and the 2022 Experiential Commons Scholar Summit: Community-Engagement Pedagogy and Practice as a keynote speaker.

Please contact Theresa if you would like to discuss assignment, course, or curriculum design, assessment of student learning, or other areas of teaching and learning in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. She would also enthusiastically welcome conversations about innovative, creative, and embodied/movement-based pedagogies, and strategies for integrating these approaches in your teaching and classroom practices. 

Her CV is located here

Lisa G. Aiken

Lisa G. Aiken

Administrative Assistant

Frost Library Room 230A

Lisa provides support for the CTL including maintaining our digital and analog resource materials and budget and program logistical management. She can set meetings for Riley, Sarah and Theresa and provide guidance on available CTL resources and programming.

Exterior of Frost Library at Amherst College

Find Us

We are located on the 2nd floor of the Frost Library.  We share space with the Center for Humanistic Inquiry.