MemberAlicia Jenner

  Unapologetic Yooper. Foodie. Dog lover. Complexity Buster + Empath. Alicia is a Learning Experience Designer at the MSU Hub for Innovation. She contributes to Hub projects focused in areas of program development and process improvement. Her current work in online program development demonstrates the significance of establishing effective learning solutions for online programs. Her academic interests include faculty development, change management, program development, and online learning. Her previous work experience stems from Iowa State University as an Instructional Support Specialist where she worked closely with faculty to improve online course design and development with specific emphasis in online pedagogy. Alicia earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instructional Technology with a certificate in Instructional Design from Iowa State University. Alicia enjoys spending time outside biking and hiking with her family, trips to the dairy store, music, visiting the U.P., and traveling. “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.” – Leslie Knope

MemberPetra Dierkes-Thrun

I primarily work on the literature and culture of the European and Transatlantic fin de siècle and modernism, with special interests in Oscar Wilde and his circle as well as in New Woman writers of the period, and in larger problems and questions pertaining to feminist, gender and sexuality studies. Recently I’ve also become very interested in questions of digital pedagogy in the Humanities. I am an advisory editor for Gender and Sexuality for boundary 2 (Duke University Press) and an editorial board member for the Dialogue Series at Rodopi/Brill. I was also the founding editor of The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies.
Over the last two AY, I’ve been teaching the following classes at Stanford:
Introduction to Comparative Queer Literary Studies

Queer Literature and Film
Oscar Wilde and the French Decadents
Literature and Transgression
Literature and Social Online Learning
Literature in the Age of Digital Culture

I blog at, where you can also find links to all my course websites.

MemberAureliano M. DeSoto

Aureliano Maria DeSoto is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Chair of the Department of Ethnic and Religious Studies at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. He is former Chair of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) and has also served on the organization’s Board of Directors as Chair-Elect, Conference Program Chair, Immediate Past Chair, and At-Large Representative. He was also appointed to the Committee on the Literatures of People of Color in the United States and Canada of the Modern Language Association, where he was committee co-chair for two years.   DeSoto has broad teaching and service experience at a variety of different institutional types, including the small/selective liberal arts college, and Research 1, Research 2, and regional comprehensive universities. Subsequently, he has worked with and taught a variety of student constituencies, including non-traditional adult learners, New Americans, and traditional students at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), as well as students at Hispanic-Serving (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving institutions (AANAPISI).  At Metropolitan State University, he teaches Comparative Ethnic Studies and Latinx Studies courses in the Department of Ethnic and Religious Studies, has taught LGBT Studies and the theory and methods seminar for the Program in Gender Studies, as well as supervised Capstone projects in both Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies. He also serves as faculty in the Master of Liberal Studies Program. DeSoto specializes in online education and pedagogy, and has pioneered asynchronous online and hybrid preparations in Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies, as well as presented on the topic of online course development, pedagogy, design, and best practices at campus and regional gatherings and by invited lecture. He has completed advanced training seminars through the Center for Online Learning at Metropolitan State, including four Teaching Online Institutes and Quality Matters (QM) standards training, and has served multiple times as a QM course reviewer.

MemberJeanne L. Gillespie

Dr. Jeanne Gillespie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Purdue, a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Anthropology and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in Spanish with a concentration in Colonial Latin American Literature from the Arizona State University.Gillespie has published in peer-reviewed venues on Spanish colonial literary and cultural studies as well as in several areas related to innovative pedagogies and interdisciplinary inquiry. Her current research passion is the documentation of plant materials and healing practices in indigenous Mexican documents, especially poetic and dramatic texts that were collected during the Spanish colonial administration. In conjunction with that research avenue, she is preparing an article on women’s voices in the Iberian colonial record that examines Native American women whose words and accounts have been recorded in Spanish documents.Gillespie is also working on an article examining the letters to and from the Duchess of Aveiro, Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre, a driving force in the Jesuit missionary endeavors in Latin America and Asia. She is preparing a book manuscript Performing Spanish Louisiana: Isleño Décimas and the Narratives of St. Bernard Parish, an analysis of Isleño texts, images, and folklore from this Spanish-speaking community in south Louisiana. Gillespie exhibits a passion for finding fascinating stories and rendering them into accessible narratives for reflection and further investigation. She also actively participates in the dissemination of innovations in teaching and learning, including collaborative and integrative learning, online learning, digital initiatives, study abroad and other experiential learning pedagogies. She has taught courses at all levels of Spanish language and cultures. In addition, she teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies program and in Interdisciplinary Studies. Gillespie is married to musician, John Palensky and is the mother of three vivacious children. Her home is filled with good food, great music and much love.

MemberDonald F. Larsson

I am now a Professor Emeritus, officially retired in May 2015; however, my academic interest continue:

Film studies, narrative studies, 19th and 20th century American literature, interdisciplinary humanities
Professional interests: Accreditation issues, shared governance, assessment and learning outcomes, developments in online course offerings
I have served as Chair of the English Department and as Director of the small Humanities Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I have also served as campus and statewide President of the Inter Faculty Organization, the collective bargaining unit for faculty members teaching in the seven state universities of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU) system. I am a continuing Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits higher learning institutions from West Virginia to Arizona. My most recent activities have included participation in certificate programs in online teaching, publication of annotated bibliographies on Orson Welles and on Narrative for Oxford Bibliographies Online (Film), a presentation at the 1st Global Conference on Hollywood & the World, in Sydney Australia, organizing and leading an MLA Convention panel on director Michael Haneke, and book reviews for Film Quarterly, Film Criticism, and other journals.


Richard Carlin is a dynamic, skilled, professional with over 30 years’ experience as a publishing executive and published author.  His work has encompassed all aspects of editorial work, from basic copy editing, proofreading, and indexing to manuscript development, rewriting and ghost writing, development of interactive etexts and online learning materials, authoring marketing and sales materials, writing social media posts, presenting books at sales conferences and academic meetings, working with in-house and traveling reps to build sales, and interfacing with all other departments (marketing, sales, manufacturing, online product development, and finance and administration).  He specializes in building lists based on a publisher’s established strengths, while recognizing new opportunities both within his area of specialization as well as ways to work across other lists.  He has successfully helped authors develop their manuscripts, from the proposal stage to published books.  He also has a strong track record working with younger academics who have enjoyed long and successful publishing careers in their fields.  As an author, he has written over 20 nonfiction works, several of which have been named to top 10 lists and won high recommendations from critics and academic journals.  He is a Grammy Winner for Best Liner Notes in 2017 along with coauthor Ken Bloom.

MemberLaura Sanders

In addition to teaching as an adjunct for community colleges in Oregon and California, I currently serve as teaching learning center coordinator, online English faculty mentor, and community-based learning coordinator. I have taught composition and rhetoric at private research institutions, small liberal arts colleges, state universities, and community colleges. In recent years, I have served as co-editor of an accreditation self-study, interim grants officer, and academic department assessment coach. Combining my passions for professional development and social justice, I continue to seek the sweet spot between digital humanities and online community-based learning.