NIC Faculty Spotlight: Milena Cuellar, Faculty Facilitator
Faculty Facilitator, Milena Cuellar, is a driving force in Statway implementation and scaling efforts at LaGuardia Community College. As a Statway Lead at her campus, Milena organizes ongoing professional development opportunities for new LaGCC faculty to learn the Statway pedagogy. She has been pivotal in helping LaGCC maintain its success rates as it scales, training over 40 LaGCC faculty members to teach Statway. Due to an ambitious scaling effort in 2015-2016, LaGCC offers over 20 sections a term, making it one of the largest NIC colleges in terms of number of students served.
Milena was first introduced to the Pathways when she attended a Winter Institute with other LaGCC faculty in 2013. She was incredibly motivated by the focus of the Winter Institute on improving mathematical learning. She started teaching Statway in Fall 2013 and has found teaching Statway to be a deeply valuable experience: “I feel like I am accomplishing something and it is a never ending opportunity for learning. Interesting things always come up in class. There is a lot of food for thought.”
She was inspired to take a leadership role within the NIC because she says, “I have seen how students change in Statway classes. It helps them to become better students. I know that they are more successful.”
Additionally, Milena co-led a joint fall 2016 LaGCC Improvement Project with the Carnegie team that systematically tested three interventions that aimed to improve students’ homework completion rates. Thanks to her efforts, faculty across the NIC have a better understanding of the teaching practices that support student engagement and learning.
Thank you, Milena, for all of the work that you do!