MJ Bishop, Leading Researcher in Instructional Technologies, Named Director of USM Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT)

Adelphi, Md. (June 3, 2013) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) welcomes MJ Bishop, a leading researcher in how instructional technologies can improve learning, as the inaugural director of the recently formed USM Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT).

Bishop, who holds a Doctor of Education with a specialty in educational technology from Lehigh University, begins her position today. She comes to the USM from Lehigh, where she has served as an associate professor and program director of the university's Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLT) Program.

In November 2012, the USM Board of Regents approved the CIELT to secure and expand USM's leadership position in course redesign and other innovative teaching models for the benefit of its students. The Center will be housed in the USM Office of Academic Affairs and serve as the focal point for the System's efforts to incorporate technology and new learning methods into academic courses. The Center will examine student performance resulting from various teaching methods and serve as a resource for the development of best practices in higher education.

"I am very excited to have this opportunity help the USM continue its trajectory toward becoming a leader in the design of innovative learning environments and dissemination of best teaching practices," Bishop said. "I share USM's commitment to improving student learning at a lower cost. We must find ways to make post-secondary degrees more accessible and improve college completion rates."

"The USM institutions are already well-positioned to explore these issues in that they already clearly understand that learning occurs within a community of scholars, led by faculty who are lifelong learners themselves. That is the ‘value add' of providing a designed, intentional learning experience that higher education institutions must be prepared to articulate and make integral to their mission."

At Lehigh, Bishop has taught courses in tools for teaching and learning, instructional design, interface design, and web site and resource development. She has worked with colleagues on the development and delivery of online courses using a variety of technologies. In 2004, the university named Bishop to a Frank Hook Assistant Professorship for two years (2004-05, 2005-06) for exemplifying the scholar-teacher model and contributing significantly to the mentoring of students. She received the Lehigh Junior Award for Distinguished Teaching (2006) for distinguished teaching and mentoring during the 2005-06 academic year.

"MJ Bishop stood out in a national search for CIELT executive director because she is a collaborative and engaged leader, a woman who brings high energy and a strong sense of purpose to her work," said JoAnn Boughman, USM senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. "She will be a great asset to the USM in enhancing our efforts to facilitate campus activities in academic transformation."

Bishop was named by Lehigh University to a Class of 1961 Professorship for two years for distinction in research, teaching, and service and, most recently, received Lehigh's 2013 Stabler Award for Excellence in Teaching for leading students to "excellence in their chosen field" as well as "excellence as human beings and as leaders of society."

Bishop also was project director and a co-principal investigator of the Clipper Project, a five-year research project (funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) aimed at evaluating the short- and long-term costs and benefits associated with offering web-based courses to high-school seniors who had been "pre-admitted" to the university.

Bishop holds an M.A. in English from Millersville University and a B.A. in political science and English from Lebanon Valley College. Her other numerous honors and awards include the President's Annual Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) for work on The Handbook of Research for Educational Communities and Technology (October 2010).

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu