The Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative is proud to announce that Hannah (Hounsell) Mallon has accepted a new position on our team. Starting on November 13th, Hannah will be the CoLab’s new Learning Developer. This position will combine her current work for Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) with new duties for the Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative (CoLab).
In this new position, Hannah will continue working in our Interdisciplinary Studies program, advising students, supervising peer leaders, developing curriculum and learning experiences, and coordinating program events. IDS Director, Dr. Matthew Cheney, says, “So many IDS students know Hannah as a trusted guide and mentor through every aspect of our major and of life at PSU. But a tremendous amount of her work happens behind the scenes, as she keeps her eyes on the details of students’ paths toward graduation, the ins and outs of obscure policies, and the significant amount of paperwork that allows students to create and thrive in an individualized major. Her knowledge is immense and matched only by her passion and compassion for students.” Working with IDS and with students has always been Hannah’s first love, and the line of students outside her office shows how beloved she is by our majors. Senior IDS major Shelby Goodell-Spooner, who has built a program in Language and Human Development (and who just today secured a position as a Parent Child Center Program Specialist that begins when she graduates from PSU this winter!), says “Hannah became my learning advisor, supervisor, and mentor three years ago when I became an Interdisciplinary Studies major and student worker in the CoLab. She has supported, encouraged, and provided endless advice to me throughout my time here at PSU from daily office tasks to academics to life after college. I truly couldn’t have done any of it without her!”
Since Hannah began her position here, she has earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from PSU, and as a result, Hannah’s new role will now have her assisting faculty with course design and professional development around teaching and learning. Hannah is stepping into a lead role in the CoLab supporting “Tackling a Wicked Problem” faculty and co-leading the CoLab’s Design Forward series of modules that help faculty focus intention on their pedagogy. About her new position, Hannah writes, “For years, it has been my professional goal to enter the field of instructional design; however, traditional instructional design often reduces the human experience to an oversimplified series of measurable metrics. Instructional design in the CoLab couldn’t be more different. Through our learning communities, we call for a critical instructional design model that centers humans, social justice, care, and love. We seek to support faculty by listening to and leveraging their stories, contexts, and expertise. We model the kind of community engagement that we encourage faculty to cultivate in their own classrooms. I am overjoyed to be empowered to do this work in a community that I have been a part of for ten years as a student and professional staff member.” Martha Burtis, Associate Director of the CoLab, agrees, saying, “It’s so exciting to have Hannah moving into this new role in the CoLab where she’ll be able to work more directly with PSU faculty, in particular bringing her expertise on student agency to the instructional design work we do.”
Hannah’s new role will also partner her with our colleagues in Lamson Learning Commons as we work to shape our library to better serve our community, support student success, and be an welcoming space for everyone. Senior Librarian Anne Jung-Mathews says, “Hannah works collaboratively with all residents of Lamson Library and has played a key role in planning major outreach events such as ‘Overnight in the Library’ last spring. Lamson is fortunate to have such a dedicated team player in the Learning Commons.”
Hannah is a 2017 graduate of Plymouth State University. After graduating, she worked for the USNH Open Education initiative, where she was one of the early champions who helped kick off our Open Educations Resources (OERs) program which has resulted in more than $1.7 million in savings for PSU students so far. She has been in her current Learning Advisor role with IDS since 2018, and we are so excited that this new position will allow her to continue her work with IDS while also deepening her engagement with the CoLab and the Learning Commons. Everyone who works with Hannah is grateful for the care and dedication that she shows: to her students, her colleagues, her advisees, and to the PSU community. She is a warm and creative presence on campus, an innovative educational leader, and someone whose entire mission is squarely focused on making learning a more positive and joyful experience for students and faculty. We are thrilled to welcome her to her next chapter at PSU!