The Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence (CTSE) was founded to ensure that Suffolk University delivers on its promise to provide quality education through outstanding teaching. To achieve this goal, the Center provides resources and tools to further develop teaching knowledge and skills among new and veteran faculty. The CTSE also supports the professional development of faculty as scholars. We offer programming and services to the College of Arts & Sciences, Law School, and Sawyer Business School and through departmental programs or university initiatives.

The CTSE staff are available to discuss teaching, learning, and scholarship in your courses, in your department or in your school. We work with you to achieve the goals and learning objectives that are important to you and your students. In anticipation of and in response to faculty needs, institutional goals, and changing higher education trends, our services range from one-on-one confidential consultations, opportunities to share effective teaching and scholarly practices, funding and grant opportunities, group programs (workshops and seminars) and ongoing assessment of our own effectiveness.

Furthermore, we offer a venue for collaborating with you on innovative approaches to strengthen and improve teaching, research/scholarship, creative endeavors, service, and leadership practices. The Center atmosphere encourages the dissemination and sharing of effective teaching and scholarly practices among individuals, academic departments, Suffolk’s three schools, and the higher education community.

Mission & Values

The Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence (CTSE) provides leadership for the professional development of members of the Suffolk community as teacher-scholars, administrators, mentors and leaders in three inter-connected areas:

  • Cultivating outcomes-based, student-centered learning through best practices and innovative teaching
  • Strategically integrating teaching, learning, and technology
  • Fostering scholarly productivity and collaboration


CTSE will provide a supportive space to cultivate communities, conversations, and collaborations within and across disciplines and colleges that simultaneously advance individual and group professional development opportunities while increasing the success of Suffolk’s students.

Our Values


Providing a space where collaborations are developed, cultivated, and encouraged within and across disciplines and colleges.


Fostering a sense of community for Suffolk’s teacher-scholars that promotes professional development and the sharing of best practices.


Supporting faculty in the cultivation of engaged student-centered learning through innovative, creative, and scholarly teaching.


Promoting the integration of teaching, research, and technology for improved efficiency, enhanced learning outcomes, and increased productivity.

Learner- and Learning-Centered

Encouraging student-centered approaches as well as life-long learning and professional development experiences for teacher-scholars at all career stages.

Research-Based Practice

Endorsing scholarly teaching and assessment, the use of proven best practices and rigorous methodologies in research, and the habit of informed decision-making for campus leaders.


Linda Bruenjes, Director

Email:  lbruenjes@suffolk.edu
Phone: 617-725-4137

Dr. Linda Bruenjes is the Director of the CTSE. Prior to joining Suffolk University, she was the Assistant Dean for Teaching & Instructional Technology and Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology at MCPHS University. During her 16-year tenure at Lasell College, she taught a number of undergraduate and graduate accounting, computer technology, and management information science courses. She also served as department chair, center director, and developer and facilitator of the College’s online faculty certification program. As founding Director of Online Learning and Academic Technology, Linda assisted faculty in the development, delivery, and assessment of online and hybrid courses. She earned her doctoral degree at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and her M. S. in Business Education at Suffolk University. Her research interests are strongly embedded in adult learning theory and are focused on faculty development, the use of technology as a teaching and learning tools, and the science of learning.

Heather Dwyer, Assistant Director

Email: hdwyer@suffolk.edu
Phone: 617-305-2576

Dr. Heather Dwyer earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis, she both coordinated and participated in the Teaching Assistant Consultant Program. Following graduate school, Heather worked as a teaching consultant at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, where she supported faculty and graduate students in their teaching. At the Eberly Center, she coordinated the Graduate Teaching Fellows program, the Future Faculty Program, and the Wimmer Faculty Fellows program. Heather has instructed or helped to instruct courses in introductory biology, ecology, evolution, animal diversity, plant systematics, and first-year seminars in the sciences. She is particularly interested in issues of diversity and equity in higher education. Heather joined the CTSE team at Suffolk University as Assistant Director in 2016 and has been involved in educational development since 2011.

Cassandra Scannella, Educational Development Specialist

Email: cscannella@suffolk.edu
Phone: 617-573-8222

Cassandra Scannella earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, concentrating in Adult Education and Training from Point Park University in December 2016. While at Point Park, Cassandra worked closely with the Instructional Designers as an Instructional Design Intern for Pitt Online, a division of the University Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. While interning at Pitt, Cassandra assisted faculty with improving course content for online courses and used Quality Matters to assist with evaluating course shells. Following graduate school, she worked with the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA) as an Online Course Developer Consultant to create, develop, and maintain online courses. Cassandra joined the CTSE in the fall of 2017. Prior to working for the CTSE, she worked in Suffolk’s ITS department as the Senior Administrative Assistant to the CIO.

Advisory Board

The CTSE advisory board provides suggestions and feedback to the director and staff to assist in shaping the direction of programs and initiatives. The board, which meets twice per semester, is tasked with:

  • Serving as liaisons on teaching and learning issues
  • Making suggestions on CTSE programs, policies, and resources
  • Reviewing and critiquing relevant written and online materials
  • Observing or participating in CTSE programs, workshops, or events

Advisory Board Members

  • Linda Bruenjes, Acting Director, CTSE
  • Krisanne Bursik, Professor, Psychology, and Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Andrew Cioffi, Director, Disability Services
  • Diane D'Angelo, Legal Research Librarian
  • Heather Dwyer, Assistant Director, CTSE
  • Rosa Kim, Professor of Legal Writing
  • Sarah Griffis, Acting Director, Sawyer Library
  • Leah Grinvald, Associate Dean, Law
  • Catherine McCabe, Associate Dean, Sawyer Business School
  • Arthur Perham, Instructor, Marketing
  • Pat Reeve, Associate Professor, History
  • Elizabeth Robinson, Assistant Professor, Sociology, CAS
  • Andrew Smith, Assistant Professor, Marketing

Affiliations & Memberships

We are proudly affiliated with the following organizations:

The New England Faculty Development Consortium
The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education