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

Frost Library

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 serving as the research advisor for productions 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

Assoc Dir for the Center for Teaching & Learning,STEM Spe

Sarah Bunnell is the Associate Director and STEM Specialist for the Center for 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, Delaware, Ohio. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods from the University of Kansas. She is the current Treasurer and past US-Regional Vice President for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning  and is currently on the steering committee of a three-year Mellon Foundation grant examining interdisciplinary team teaching practices in the liberal arts, focusing on the intersection of the Sciences and the Arts/Humanities.

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 interdisciplinary and team teaching, the development of students’ metacognition, and best practices in faculty development broadly defined. Recent pedagogical publications:

Bunnell, S.L., & Bernstein, D.J. (2018). Helping university teachers embrace threshold concepts in scholarly teaching using a problem-based learning approach. In M. Savin-Baden & G. Tombs (Eds.), Threshold Concepts in Problem-Based Learning (Chapter 7). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. 

Anderson, L.J., Bunnell, S.L., & Yates, J.R. (2017). Improving Student Learning through an Interdisciplinary Case Study: Exploring Eutrophication in Lake Erie. Case Studies in the Environment.

Bunnell, S.L. & Bernstein, D.J. (2014). Improving Engagement and Learning through Sharing Course Design with Students: A Multi-level Case. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 13.

Bunnell, S.L., & Bernstein, D.J. (2012). Overcoming Some Threshold Concepts in Scholarly Teaching. The Journal of Faculty Development, 26(3), 14-18. 

Her CV is located here.

Lisa G. Aiken

Lisa G. Aiken

Administrative Assistant

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.