UC Blue Ash College

About the Learning + Teaching Center

Where We Put Learning First

The UC Blue Ash Learning and Teaching Center was created in 2001, and facilitated the first Ohio Teaching Enhancement faculty learning community in that year. The Center is funded through and reports to the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and coordinates closely with the Library and the Faculty Development Committee.

We believe in creating professional development experiences that are tailored to the needs and experiences of the particular group of faculty attending our offerings. We work to relate theory to practice with examples from real classes, and we design our workshops and seminars to engage participants in active learning and collaboration. When participants leave one of our sessions, they leave with plans for a direct application of the content to their teaching or research. Faculty comments suggest that we have been successful in meeting these goals. We also actively value and promote scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning both in practice and as evidence of excellence in teaching and research in the reappointment, promotion, and tenure process.

Our Mission

The mission of the Learning and Teaching center is to provide faculty with the skills and resources to honor the college’s student-centered approach to teaching that helps faculty support students from a wide array of cultural backgrounds. The Learning and Teaching Center also supports faculty in realizing their scholarship and creative works through collaboration, training, and access to university resources.

Our Vision

The Learning and Teaching Center will be a recognized hub of innovation in pedagogy, scholarship, and creative work in service to student, faculty, and staff success.

Meet Our Team

Headshot of Brenda Refaei, Ed.D.

Brenda Refaei, Ed.D.

Professor of English, Co-Director of the Learning and Teaching Center

Progress Hall 120J


Brenda is a professor of English in the English and Communication Department. She earned her doctoral degree in literacy education and master’s degree in multicultural education from the University of Cincinnati. She was inducted into Academy of Fellows for Teaching & Learning in 2011. Her research interests include equity in writing courses, eportfolios, problem-based learning, and faculty development. Brenda is co-editor of Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education: Strategies for Teaching

Headshot of Helene A. Harte, Ed.D.

Helene A. Harte, Ed.D.

Professor, UCBA Behavioral Sciences, Co-Director of the Learning and Teaching Center

Muntz Hall 275C


Helene is a professor of education in the Behavioral Science Department. She earned her doctoral degree in special education and master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Cincinnati. She has worked in the community as a classroom teacher, center director, coach, content expert and consultant. She was inducted into Academy of Fellows for Teaching & Learning in 2020. Her research interests include family engagement, engagement of young children in inclusive settings and the engagement of students in the college classroom. 

Headshot of Emma Farrow, M.Ed.

Emma Farrow, M.Ed.

Instructional Designer

Muntz Hall 275


Emma is the instructional designer at UC Blue Ash College. She earned her Masters of Education in Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Cincinnati and also has a graduate certificate in Assessment and Evaluation. Prior to working at UCBA, Emma worked for 8 years in K-12 education as an instructional designer, teacher, and technology coach. At UCBA, Emma offers individual technology support, course design consultations, and leads workshops on a variety of topics. She is particularly interested in the impact of AI and machine-generated content on education.

Emeriti of the L+TC

  • María I Ortiz: 2022-2023
  • Bradford Mallory: 2013 - 2021
  • Rita Kumar: 2015 - 2019
  • Pam Rankey: 2012 - 2019
  • Ruth Benander: 2012 - 2015
  • Robin Lightner: 2007 - 2012
  • Beverly Knauper: 2001 - 2007
  • Ruth Benander: 2001 - 2006

Contact Information

Brenda Refaei, Ed.D.
Co-Director, UCBA L+TC

Helene A. Harte, Ed.D.
Co-Director, UCBA L+TC

Emma Farrow, M.Ed.
Instructional Designer, UCBA L+TC