Main menu (IT)

Academic Technology Fellows

Academic Technology Fellows are CSUN faculty who are working closely with Academic Technology and the Faculty Technology Center to support university initiatives and special projects that involve technology and pedagogy.

2023 - 2024 Academic Technology Fellows

Li Liu

Dr. Li Liu

Li Liu, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering & Computer Science. He is passionate about enhancing user experience in human-computer interaction with emerging technologies, especially for people with disabilities and other minorities. So, everyone-regardless of ability-can perceive, understand, and contribute to information and knowledge in the digital age.

His research on building a tongue-machine interface is the first reported assistive technology of using the tongue as a computer input device in a non-contact way. He recently received a U.S. patent for his work in incorporating social cues in texting with AI and machine learning.

At CSUN, Dr. Liu also serves as the Academic Lead for the Master’s in Assistive Technology Engineering program that prepares graduates to become innovative and cross-field team leaders in assistive technology fields. As a Faculty Fellow, Dr. Liu will work with IT to prioritize digital accessibility challenges at CSUN and develop a comprehensive training program with Academic Technology for students interested in learning digital accessibility and remediation.


Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco

Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco

Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco is an instructor in Family and Consumer Sciences, Child and Adolescent Development, and also teaches University 100.

"I have always been an early adopter of technology personally and professionally. Over the last 10 years at CSUN I have enrolled in many Faculty Technology workshops. I attended the summer eLearning Institute, I was early to transition from WebCT to Moodle then to Canvas, and I was a faculty user as part of the pilot for Canvas Insights. I use Canvas Insights as an early alert tool to reach out to students individually.

As I learned the tools CSUN provides for faculty I slowly adopted them into my classes. Early on I was using Zoom to record lectures and meet with students virtually. Now I use Panopto to record lectures and Zoom to teach online in realtime. I also use Portfolium for student assignments to help build the student's online presence, and Pronto to chat with students offline. I did not adopt all these technologies all at once. I have taken years to adopt them with small classes and then larger classes as part of my instruction. My advice is to try out one or two technologies a semester, adopt which tool feels comfortable, and attend FTC training.

I am thrilled to be an Academic Technology Fellow by providing training to help other faculty feel comfortable using technology in the classroom as part of the virtual learning environment. I believe we can create a sense of belonging for our students using technology."


Gretchen Macchiarella

Gretchen Macchiarella

Gretchen Macchiarella is an assistant professor in the Journalism Department teaching multimedia storytelling and emerging journalistic practices.

"Teaching digital media skills classes means that I am constantly working with new technologies. I never get to be really comfortable, and I always have to stumble through new platforms, often with the audience of a classroom. I hope that means that I can be a support for others who might find the tools intimidating or just new.

There are so many tools that have made teaching easier for me, whether it is tricks in the Canvas gradebook or polls during a Zoom class. Some came from FTC workshops, and some from experimentation. I have built out my Canvas pages and improved assignments one small step at a time - a video description here, a resource page there, an interactive activity for class. Adding technology can help us see our material with fresh eyes and inject fun - not just for the students but for the faculty. It can solve problems we often thought we were stuck with. I love to try to find exactly the right tool for the job, and I am hopeful I can connect many other people with the teaching tools that fit them.

I am excited to be an Academic Technology Fellow to help add digital tools that make CSUN classrooms fresh and deeply connecting."

Previous Academic Technology Fellows

 Professor Wendy YostProf. Wendy Yost

Prof. Wendy Yost has taught a variety of courses over the last thirteen years at CSUN in Educational Psychology, Recreation and Tourism Management, Queer Studies, and the Tseng College's partnership with the International School of the Americas.

“Befriending technology in new ways has been a long-standing goal of mine. And if I’m honest, I actively avoided making progress on it for years, content with a dry erase board, markers, and a dedicated approach to experiential learning.

Becoming an Academic Technology Fellow arose from the realization that I needed to take advantage of the help being offered through the Faculty Technology Workshops last summer – and upon doing so, finding myself genuinely interested in learning how to translate what I naturally do in person into virtual instruction and student engagement. While the CSUN educational technologies I use most regularly are Zoom and Canvas, how I use them has evolved significantly since first relying on them to teach last March, especially after seeing how positively students respond to things like Polls, Breakout Rooms, and Annotations on Zoom, and Rubrics with detailed feedback on Canvas. I found prefacing what I am about to do with something along the lines of, 'Today I’m going to try a new feature that Zoom offers, let’s see how it goes,' gives me space to experiment without the pressure of having to do so perfectly out the gate, while also modeling for students the value of being willing to try new things.

The words of encouragement I’d like to share with fellow faculty are three-fold:

(1) To consider the technology learning curves we find ourselves in as paid internships, where we get to build skills and receive help navigating technology in new ways that can support and enhance both our professional and personal lives.

(2) To be willing to ask for and receive help from the Institutional Technology, the Faculty Learning Center, Faculty Development and from colleagues, friends, and family, including those who are younger than us.

(3) To celebrate our willingness to experiment. I’ve found that these three approaches can move us from 'have to' to 'get to' mentally short cut the amount of time spent spinning our wheels trying to figure things out on our own and remind us of how sometimes the simple act of acknowledgment has a way of replacing energy that’s been expended, allowing us to keep moving forward with all that current circumstances are asking of us."


Kaitlin Bahr
Health Sciences


Mariano Loza-Coll


John Kephart III
Communication Studies


Kenneth Luna
Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures


Li Liu
Computer Science

Academic Technology Fellows Emeriti

Academic Technology ribbon.  Cecile Bendavid, Computer Science

Academic Technology ribbon.  David Blumenkrantz, Journalism

Academic Technology ribbon.  Sloane Burke, Health Sciences

Academic Technology ribbon.  Sandra Chong, Family and Consumer Sciences

Academic Technology ribbon.  Barry Cleveland, Theatre

Academic Technology ribbon.  Stefanie Drew, Psychology

Academic Technology ribbon.  Ovande Furtado, Jr., Kinesiology

Academic Technology ribbon.  Virginia Huynh, Health Sciences

Academic Technology ribbon.  Aimie Kachingwe, Physical Therapy

Academic Technology ribbon.  Greg Knotts, Liberal Studies

Academic Technology ribbon.  Melissa Lalum, Journalism

Academic Technology ribbon.  Beth Lasky, Special Education

Academic Technology ribbon.  Gretchen Macchiarella, Journalism

Academic Technology ribbon.  Bonnie Paller, Philosophy

Academic Technology ribbon.  Jeannie Robertson, Biology

Academic Technology ribbon.  Talin Saroukhanian, Political Science

Academic Technology ribbon.  Mary Schaffer, Cinema and Television Arts

Academic Technology ribbon.  Lori Baker-Schena, Journalism

Academic Technology ribbon.  Ashley Skylar, Special Education

Academic Technology ribbon.  Mary-Pat Stein, Biology

Academic Technology ribbon.  Carla Valdez, Health Sciences

Academic Technology ribbon.  Cheryl Van Buskirk, Biology

Academic Technology ribbon.  Paul Wilson, Biology