Past Program Staff

Past Directors

Dr. Joy Connolly, Former Principal Investigator

Provost Joy Connolly

Dr. Joy Connolly was the Provost and Senior Vice President at the Graduate Center. As the institution’s principal academic officer, she ensured the quality and performance of all degree-granting programs. Before joining the Graduate Center in August 2016, Connolly was the Dean for the Humanities and Professor of Classics at New York University, where she was responsible for about 400 faculty in close to 30 departments, programs, centers, and institutes. Previously, as the Director of NYU’s College Core Curriculum, she put in place a post-doctoral program that featured workshops for graduate students on pedagogy and practical preparation for the job market. Connolly is the author of Going on the Market (NYU, updated 2014), a handbook that helps students navigate graduate school as well as the job-application and post-doctoral fellowship processes.

Cathy N. Davidson, Former Director

Photo of Cathy Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson is director of the Futures Initiative and a distinguished professor in the Ph.D. Program in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a renowned scholar of cultural history and technology, including the history of the book, the history of industrialism and postindustrialism, digital humanities, and the impact of new technologies on culture, cognition, learning, and the workplace. Her forthcoming book is The New Education:  How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, September 2017).

Bret Eynon, Former Director

Photo of Bret Eynon

Bret Eynon was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at LaGuardia Community College. He also directed the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which oversees a wide range of faculty programs aimed at enhancing pedagogy and practice. Dr. Eynon was also the founding director of the Making Connections National Resource Center on Inquiry, Reflection and Integrative Education. FIPSE funding enabled Making Connections to provide sustained guidance and support to 32 New York City metropolitan-area colleges as they develop ePortfolio initiatives designed to help students achieve success and rethink their identities as learners.

Past Staff

Elizabeth Alsop, Former Humanities Scholar

Photo of Elizabeth Alsop

Elizabeth Alsop was the Humanities Scholar for the CUNY Humanities Alliance and the Assistant Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of English and Film at Western Kentucky University. She received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Graduate Center, where she also earned a certificate in Film Studies.

Dr. Alsop’s current book project, Making Conversation: The Poetics of Talk in Modernist Fiction, examines the evolving function of character dialogue in the Anglo-American modernist novel. In addition to her academic work, she has written about books, film, and TV for publications including The Atlantic, The LA Review of Books, The TLS, Salon, and The New York Times MagazineShe also serves as the managing editor of Visible Pedagogy, a digital platform for discussions about teaching and learning at CUNY.

Kitana Ananda, Former Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo of Kitana Ananda

Kitana Ananda was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for the CUNY Humanities Alliance, and based in the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center. In this role, she conducted qualitative research to understand the communities served by the Humanities Alliance and contributes to program development. She also co-managed the development of the program’s digital platform,, and collaborates with program staff to develop tools and strategies for communications and public engagement.

Dr. Ananda’s scholarship and teaching examines the culture and politics of war, migration, and diaspora in North America and South Asia, with a focus on Tamil refugees and immigrants from Sri Lanka. She believes strongly in the mission of public colleges and universities, and has a deep interest in digital communications for scholarship, collaborative learning, and public engagement. She has served as a Contributing Editor for the website of the open-access journal, Cultural Anthropology, and as a Communications Associate intern with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. She earned a Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, and an honors B.A. in History and Anthropology with a minor in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto.

Past Affiliated Staff

Jade Davis, Former Digital Program Staff 

Photo of Jade Davis

Jade E. Davis was the Associate Director of Digital Learning Projects in the Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She has a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Communication Studies with a focus on media, technology, and culture. Her research looks at how digital media affects how society makes, understands, and accepts knowledge and culture. More specifically she is interested in spaces that make digital information into knowledge and culture and the ethics and ownership of the data traces that are left behind.  She is a former member of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke University, Program Coordinator for the Digital Media and Learning Competition at HASTAC, and PhD Intern with Microsoft Research New England’s Social Media Collective. You can find some of her work on her website and you can follow her on twitter @jadedid.

Eric Hofmann, LaGuardia Community College

Eric Hofmann is Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. He leads the coordination of the Humanities Alliance’s pedagogy seminars at LaGuardia. In 2000, Eric helped launch the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University, where he served as Assistant Director for Planning and Development, working across disciplines and leading campus-based and national professional development programs focused on inquiry pedagogy, curricular transformation, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Immediately prior to joining LaGuardia, Eric was the University Director of CUNY Collaborative Programs, where he guided large-scale programs focused on strengthening college preparation (dual enrollment and developmental ed), first year transition, advisement, and partnerships among campuses, high schools and community-based organizations. Eric has a strong commitment to innovation and education for social justice.

Professor Jacqueline Jones

Jacqueline Jones is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She earned her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in African American Studies in 2010. Her research interests include 20th and 21st-century African American literature and media studies, Black Women’s Literature, and Literature of the Civil Rights Era. Publications include “It Still Matters: The Cosby Show and Sociopolitical Representation on Television (The 25 Sitcoms that Change Television, ABC-CLIO 2018), and “We ‘the People:’ Freedom, Civics, and the Neo-Slave Narrative Tradition in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean” (Modern Language Studies, Summer 2016).

Demetri Kapetanakos

Photo of Demetri Kapetanakos

Demetri Kapetanakos is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College. He serves as a program liaison between departments and faculty mentors at LaGuardia and the CUNY Graduate Center, in addition to serving as a faculty mentor to two fellows, and he looks forward to continuing his work with the Humanities Alliance in the upcoming year. His full Humanities Alliance bio is available here.

Michele Manoukian Piso

Michele Piso is Associate Director for Scholarship and Publications at LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She serves as editor of In Transit, The LaGuardia Journal of Teaching and Learning, the forthcoming issue of which will publish papers on justice-in-education for LaGuardia’s formerly incarcerated students. Dr. Piso co-facilitates several CTL-housed campus projects, among them the Humanities Alliance, the Carnegie Seminar on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the Gender and Diversity seminar. She received her doctorate in film studies from the University of Oregon, where additional studies included Latin, Milton, and art history of the French Revolution. Current research interests include public housing, stigma, and incarceration. At LaGuardia, Dr. Piso regularly serves as adjunct professor of critical thinking within the Humanities Department’s philosophy program.

Priscilla Stadler

Priscilla Stadler is the LaGuardia Professional Development Seminar Co-Lead.