Faculty Assessment Fellows

The UNC Faculty Assessment Fellows serve as liaisons between the Assessment Office and their respective colleges. Assessment Fellows provide consultation, guidance, and professional development on program-level assessment of student learning.  During their inaugural year in 2011/2012, the Assessment Fellows conducted a listening tour of faculty perceptions regarding assessment and developed and taught workshops on various assessment related topics. 

Higher Learning Commission Assessment Academy

Working with the Director of Assessment, the Assessment Fellows authored a successful application to the Higher Learning Commission’s Assessment Academy, a four-year program for institutions seeking to improve assessment practices on their campuses.  A description of UNC’s HLC Assessment Academy project is available here.

Assessment Leadership Institute

The Assessment Leadership Institute (ALI) was created by the Faculty Assessment Fellows as part of UNC’s HLC Assessment Academy project.  The ALI is a professional development program created by faculty for faculty focused on improving program-level student learning outcomes assessment.  The program started in 2012-2013, and 16 programs have participated to date.

2012-2013 Cohort

Counseling Psychology
Environmental & Sustainability Studies
Modern Languages
Music Education

2013-2014 Cohort

Audiology and Speech Language Sciences
Communication Studies
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Sport Pedagogy
University Libraries

2014-2015 will be the final year of the ALI.  Applications for participation are currently being accepted through May 31.  Details about the application process are available here: ALI Call for Applications.


Meet the Faculty Assessment Fellows

  • Jason Byrnes, Associate Professor of Music, College of Performing and Visual Arts
  • Lyda Ellis, Instruction Librarian/Associate Professor, University Libraries
  • Heng-Yu Ku, Professor of Teacher Education, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • Jay Lightfoot, Professor of Computer Information Systems, Monfort College of Business
  • Christine Marston, Associate Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Julie Sexton, Research Associate, MAST Institute, College of Natural and Health Sciences, Assistant Director of Assessment

Jason Byrnes

In addition to teaching in the applied tuba and music education areas, Jason Byrnes is director of the Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, and performs with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rough Riders Dixieland Band, and the 101st Army Band. Before coming to UNC in 2003, Dr. Byrnes taught at the State University of New York-Potsdam, Murray State University, and in the public schools of Indianapolis. Dr. Byrnes earned degrees from Tennessee Technological University, Pennsylvania State University and Indiana University. Dr. Byrnes has been the chair of the UNC School of Music Program Assessment Committee for the past two years, and a member of the University Assessment Council since it was formed in 2010.  He was active in UNC's recent NCATE accreditation process and currently serves as the chair of the Professional Education Council. His interest in assessment derives from his desire to improve instruction throughout the College of Performing and Visual Arts. (back)
Contact Jason Byrnes

Lyda Ellis

Lyda Ellis is an Associate Professor for University Libraries where she works in the Instructional Services Department.  She earned her BA from Meredith College and her MA and MLIS from the University of Alabama.  In addition to teaching research courses for undergraduate and graduate students, Professor Ellis serves as the subject liaison to the Criminal Justice Program.  Professor Ellis also serves as the Faculty Fellow for the Office of Undergraduate Research.  Her current assessment focus is the assessment of student learning in library instruction.  After hours you can find Professor Ellis in North Hall, where she lives as the Faculty-in-Residence.(back)
Contact Lyda Ellis

Heng-Yu Ku

At UNC, Dr. Heng-Yu Ku served on the performance-based assessment committee for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) programs and wrote the Education Unit Assessment Reports. Currently, he serves on the program review committee to review annual as well as the comprehensive program reports. In addition, he was appointed to serve on the University Assessment Council in 2010. Furthermore, he served as the assessment co-coordinator on UNC's NCATE leadership team to analyze institutional data and prepare for the Institutional Report. UNC's education programs received full and unconditional re-accreditation from the NCATE in 2011. (back)
Contact Heng-Yu Ku

Jay Lightfoot

Jay M. Lightfoot graduated with a Ph.D. in management science/information systems from the University of Colorado in 1990.  His current research interests include web-based education systems, assurance of learning curriculum design, and computer forensic methodologies.  Dr. Lightfoot is the Assessment Coordinator for the Monfort College of Business and was involved in the college’s successful reaccreditation by the AACSB in 2007.  His current efforts in the assessment realm are focused on working to develop University assessment processes and improving the Assurance of Learning system within the Monfort College. (back)
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Christine Marston

Dr. Marston is an associate professor with a joint appointment to the Economics Department and the Social Science Program.  She teaches Understanding the Contemporary Economy, Labor Economics, as well as Social Sciences for our elementary teacher candidates.  Dr. Marston received her Ph.D. in economics from Colorado State University.  Dr. Marston has served on the University Assessment Council, HSS’s Program Review and Assessment Committee, and her departments’ program review committees.  Assessment continues to be an interest of hers and she looks forward to the opportunity to serve as an Assessment Fellow. She has been married for over 15 years and she and her husband are the proud parents of Espen and Ingrid.  All feel very fortunate to call beautiful Colorado their home. (back)
Contact Christine Marston

Julie Sexton

Dr. Julie Sexton is an educational researcher, evaluator, and adjunct instructor in the Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) Institute at UNC. She has developed and facilitated a professional development program to help university professors assess learning outcomes in their classes. She also researches how university professors change their teaching practices and beliefs. The assessment fellow position complements her professional development and research experiences. She sees is as a great opportunity to expand her skills and knowledge by helping professors develop assessment plans at the program level.  In fall 2012, she joined the Assessment Office as Assistant Director of Assessment. (back)
Contact Julie Sexton