Who are we?
Through My Window is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was developed by faculty and staff at Smith College and Springfield Technical Community College.
Glenn Ellis (Principal Investigator)
Glenn Ellis is the project leader and an instructional designer for Through My Window. He is a professor of engineering at Smith College. Glenn received his doctorate in civil engineering and operations research from Princeton University and teaches courses in engineering mechanics, artificial intelligence and educational methods for teaching science and engineering. The winner of numerous teaching and research awards, Glenn received the 2007 U.S. Professor of the Year Award for Baccalaureate Colleges from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Glenn has worked extensively with K-12 teachers and college faculty, public and private school systems, and colleges and universities to support educational reform. His current research focuses on the use of narrative and knowledge building to encourage deep, intentional learning in engineering and science. He can watch a movie and not remember the name of one character, has a secret room ready in case he ever turns into a vampire, and is inspired by students every day.
Sonia Ellis (Author)
Sonia Ellis is the author of the Talk to Me and TimeTilter novels and the senior instructional designer for the Through My Window project. She is a professional writer, editor, and instructional designer whose published work includes fiction, feature stories, profiles, articles on science and engineering, marketing literature, and educational modules. Sonia received her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received numerous honors for academic achievement. She received her master's degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. Sonia has contributed to research and development projects in fields ranging from consumer products to veterinary medicine. She once caught a runaway donkey using a dog leash and carrots, wishes she could breathe under water, and believes people are basically good at heart.
Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh (Co-Principal Investigator)
Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh is a professor at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), where she teaches courses in physics, engineering mechanics, and structures. At STCC, she focuses on the development of meaningful educational strategies to recruit and retain a diverse student body in engineering. Beth earned her master's degree in civil engineering (structural) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a non-traditional student. As the project co-PI, she builds on her expertise in designing professional development and learning communities for K-12 teachers and leads collaborations with educators as well as participates in instructional design. Her favorite pastimes include books and the beach—preferably at the same time. An armchair student of Irish history, Beth wishes she could prove that an Irish saint discovered America. She is the 2014 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Massachusetts Professor of the Year.
Al Rudnitsky (Co-Principal Investigator)
Al Rudnitsky's research interests all revolve around teaching and learning for understanding. His recent work has focused on how teachers create learning communities, the role of discourse in deep learning, knowledge building pedagogy, the role of imagination in teaching and learning, and how creating and using videos can serve as a way to study learning and teaching. Math and science education at the elementary- and middle-school level are subject areas of particular interest. His outlook and philosophy of life have largely been shaped by the collected works of Bob Dylan.
Isabel Huff (Outreach Coordinator)
After participating in Through My Window during her four years as an undergraduate, Isabel is thrilled to be working full-time as the outreach coordinator. In particular, Isabel enjoys helping programs create effective plans to implement Through My Window in their unique settings. She graduated summa cum laude from Smith College with a double major in economics and Spanish in Spring 2014. Isabel is originally from Missoula, Montana, used to launch high-altitude weather balloons, plays tennis, loves to cook, thinks Thanksgiving is the best holiday, and is fascinated by game shows.
Evanleigh Davis (Artist)
A member of the class of 2016 majoring in studio art, probably, and concentrating in book studies, maybe. Evanleigh is Team Through My Window's primary artist. She has been drawing for the project since her freshman year. Evanleigh is from New Haven, Connecticut. She owns two pet potatoes both named Bellatrix and once ate a bee accidentally.