JT Torres Selected as Next Director of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning The current director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac University will begin his new role effective June 1.
JT Torres, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and assistant teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University, has been selected as the next director of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning at Washington and Lee University.
The Office of the Provost announced Torres’ appointment, which is effective June 1, 2024. Torres is the center’s second director, succeeding Paul Hanstedt, who left in June 2023 to become vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Minnesota Rochester.
“We are delighted to welcome JT to W&L in June,” said University Provost Lena Hill. “I was truly impressed by JT’s knowledge of the field of teaching and learning as well as his record of building programs and championing this work. His warmth and enthusiasm about joining the W&L community make me eager to work with him as he leads the Harte Center.”
Leslie Wingard Cunningham, associate provost for faculty development added “JT is energizing when he communicates about supporting faculty and staff at all stages of their careers as well as supporting student-centered learning in inclusive classrooms. He comes to us with high-level academic leadership experiences, a compelling story about his research in Cuba and a deep commitment to being a collaborator on our campus. The excitement about a hire like JT was palpable when he visited for his job interview — and that excitement is still bubbling at W&L right now. He is most definitely coming to the right place at the right time.”
Torres has served as the director for the Quinnipiac Center for Teaching and Learning since 2021, creating a dynamic learning environment for students. He was responsible for leading diverse programming such as the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Lab, the New Faculty Academy and Semester Spark, a program that offers faculty the opportunity to share and celebrate breakthrough teaching practices, engaging classroom activities, transformative mentorship experiences and equitable strategies.
“Teaching is all about relationships and so for me, collaboration is everything,” said Torres. “I am excited for the opportunity to bring this approach to the Harte Center where I look forward to working with W&L’s talented students, parents, advisors, faculty or whoever impacts a particular learning environment.”
Before directing the Center for Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac, Torres held several faculty positions, including serving as associate professor at Colorado Mountain College and assistant professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. As a graduate student, he also held a variety of roles in instructional writing, teaching and advising.
Torres earned a Bachelor of Science in film from Full Sail University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida. He also obtained a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Georgia College & State University and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Washington State University.
Torres is the author of 18 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and he has either authored or co-authored 11 books and book chapters. “Situated Narratives and Sacred Dance,” a book he co-authored with Jill Flanders Crosby in 2021, is recognized as one of the 20 Best Cuba History Books of All-Time by BookAuthority.
Throughout his professional career, Torres has performed a variety of committed and ad hoc service work, and he is a frequent speaker and presenter on college campuses and at peer-reviewed conferences.
The Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning was first created in 2019 as the Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence (CARPE) and was renamed in memory of alumnus Houston H. Harte ’50 whose generous bequest supported a reimagination of the center’s physical space in 2021. Located in Leyburn Library, the Harte Center offers W&L faculty the opportunities and resources to help them be the best possible teachers. It also provides students access to experts and resources that will enhance the skills necessary for success in a rapidly changing world.