Our Staff

The center is designed to provide leadership and support for cultivating environments and relationships for innovative and successful learning, for building networks and communities of practice learning, and for communicating and creating opportunities for professional and staff development.


Meet the Staff



Jenny Marcinkiewicz headshot

Jennifer Marcinkiewicz, PhD.  Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning 

jmarcink@kent.edu, 220D Cartwright Hall

Jenny (she/her/hers) is also an Associate Professor, Biological Sciences.  She has over 30 years of experience in research and teaching. Jenny has taught over 5,000 undergraduate students in biology and has served on more than 70 graduate student thesis and dissertation committees, including 10 as primary research mentor. The most rewarding part of her academic career has been supporting others in their personal and professional growth. Jenny appreciates opportunities to work with faculty on all aspects of teaching and learning, and particularly enjoys topics related to inclusive teaching, active learning, student belonging, STEM instruction, and university processes related to the evaluation of teaching effectiveness.  


Photo of Nicole Willey

Nicole L. Willey, Ph.D.  Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning 

nwilley@kent.edu , 220A Cartwright Hall 

Nicole (she/her/hers) is a Professor of English who taught at the Tuscarawas Campus for 20 years prior to starting this position. As a professor she specialized in service-learning pedagogy, particularly as related to social justice issues and public education. She is interested in how the sharing and shaping of stories can lead to community, healing, and empathy. Nicole also serves as Coordinator of Faculty mentoring at KSU Tuscarawas, where she has provided programming and mentorship for faculty in all streams of service. She is excited to begin working with faculty throughout the system on issues related to teaching and professional development. She has published in the areas of mentoring and program creation, as well as in her specialty areas of mothering studies and memoir.  Her collections Feminist Fathering/Fathering Feminists: New Definitions and Directions and Motherhood Memoir: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives are both available from Demeter Press. She also serves on the Executive Board of IAMAS (The International Association of Maternal Action and Scholarship). Nicole enjoys watching her two sons’ activities, currently musical performance for one and basketball and soccer for the other, and spending time at home with her husband and pets. 


LeighAnn tomaswick headshot

LeighAnn Tomaswick, M.S., M.A., Innovation Learning Design Specialist

ltomaswi@kent.edu, 220B Cartwright Hall

LeighAnn (she/hers) has spent over 10 years supporting current faculty and future faculty designing curriculum and helping instructors find instructional strategies that work for their unique courses.  While she will always be a bioanalytical chemist at heart, the thing she enjoys most about her job is the ability to work across all units at KSU.  Her research experience in the laboratory and the classroom has helped KSU faculty design, implement and analyze research on teaching and learning.  In addition to a fondness of the scholarship of teaching and learning, she is an advocate for the flipped classroom approach; engaging students inside and outside the classroom.  She enjoys the process of helping faculty think through what they want, time commitments, student needs, and what might work for their classes.  



Headshot of Sarah Beal

Sarah Beal, Ph.D.Professional Development Specialist

sbeal5@kent.edu, 220C Cartwright Hall

Sarah (she/her) is the Professional Development Specialist in a joint appointment with Graduate College at Kent State University. She holds a PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Cincinnati, where she studied dining practices in the city of Athens during the mid-3rd century CE. In addition to being an award-winning instructor, Sarah has given over 50 presentations in classrooms and retirement communities throughout the greater Cincinnati area as part of UC Classics’ award-winning Outreach Program. Sarah’s teaching focuses on designing student-centered learning environments that are active and inclusive, and she is interested in incorporating gamification and game-design principles into the classroom. She also has experience with online and hybrid pedagogies. 


Nancy Daczko-Krestan

Nancy Daczko, Specialist Assistant

ndaczko@kent.edu, 205A Cartwright Hall

Nancy has been with Kent State University and the Center for Teaching and Learning since 2008, both part-time and now full-time managing the budgets and other logistical needs for both CTL and the University Teaching Council.  Nancy began her career in the medical field as an office manager for a large family practice which led her to launch her own business managing a federally mandated drug and alcohol testing program for the local hospital and area private industry.  Nancy is the Co-Founder of Blue Star Family Counseling Services, Inc.  Blue Star is a mental health agency established to honor her son, Spc Adam S Hamilton, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011.  The agency’s mission is to serve Military members, their families, first responders and law enforcement.  Along with Adam, Nancy has two other sons living in the Kent area.  Nancy enjoys traveling, mostly to the sunshine, and spending time with her family.