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The Equity Imperative: Open Education in New England

August 2, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

A group of college graduates toss their graduation caps into the air.

Thanks to everyone who joined our The Equity Imperative: Open Education in New England summit and webinar on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.


SPARC Director of Open Education Nicole Allen narrates her presentation Setting the Stage: Open Education:

NEBHE Open Education Fellow Lindsey Gumb narrates her presentation OER & Student Success: Data & Storytelling:

Plymouth State University Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative Director Robin DeRosa narrates her presentation Ten Things Senior Administrators Can Do to Move the Needle on OER:

Due to technical issues, we are only able to offer the two panel discussions in audio-only format.

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Assistant Commissioner for Academic Effectiveness Robert J. Awkward interviews a panel of students about Open Education. The panel includes Eastern Connecticut College’s Kiyana-Nicole Smith, the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Marcel Raisbeck, Eastern Connecticut College’s Nelly Gonzalez and Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s/Ouinsigamond Community College’s Jorgo Gushi:

Brock University Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning Rajiv Jhangiani and Roger Williams University Professor of Communication Studies and NEBHE Diversity Fellow Kamille Gentles-Peart engage in a freewheeling discussion about OER issues and solutions:


Click here to view the presentation Setting the Stage: Open Education by Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education, SPARC
Click here to view the presentation OER & Student Success: Data & Storytelling by Lindsey Gumb, Associate Professor, Roger Williams University and NEBHE Fellow for Open Education
Click here to view the presentation Ten Things Senior Administrators Can Do to Move the Needle on OER by Robin DeRosa, Director, Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative, Plymouth State University


Click here to view and download the brochure, agenda and panelist biographies for our Equity Imperative: Open Education in New England summit.

Other resources

About the panelists

Rajiv Jhangiani is Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning at Brock University. He is an international leader in open education and the architect of Canada’s first zero textbook cost degree programs. His scholarship focuses on open educational practices, student-centered pedagogies, and ethical approaches to educational technology. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert E. Knox Master Teacher Award from the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, the Award for Excellence in Open Education from BCcampus, and the Emerging Leader Award from Open Education Global. In 2020, he served as an Ambassador for the Global Advocacy of Open Educational Resources with the International Council for Open and Distance Education and in 2018 was invited to speak at the United Nations about how open education supports the sustainable development goals. A co-author of three open textbooks in Psychology, his books include Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (2017) and Open at the Margins: Critical Perspectives on Open Education (2020). Together with fellow panelist Robin DeRosa, he is a co-founder of the Open Pedagogy Notebook.

Kamille Gentles-Peart is a Professor of Communication Studies at Roger Williams University. Her areas of expertise include Black feminism, critical race studies, critical communication studies, Caribbean postcolonial studies, and beauty politics. Her current research agenda looks at the ways in which anti-black racism is perpetuated through the discourses and practices around Black women’s bodies and the embodied wellness strategies Black women use to disrupt racist and colonialist ideas. She has written and edited several books, including Romance With Voluptuousness: Caribbean Women and Thick Bodies in the United States. Her work has also appeared in academic journals such as Women’s Studies Quarterly, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, and Feminism and Psychology. She is committed to creating spaces in the wider community that amplify and uplift African-descended women and girls. She co-founded the Collaborative for the Research on Black Women and Girls, which creates restorative and healing spaces for Black women and girls globally. She is also a NEBHE Fellow for Faculty Diversity, where she co-created the North Star Collective to promote reparative justice and uplift BIPOC faculty.

Nicole Allen is the Director of Open Education at SPARC, a global coalition working to make open the default in research and education. A decade and a half ago, she was an undergraduate student frustrated with the cost of textbooks. Today, she is an internationally recognized policy expert, community organizer, and advocate for open education, educational technology, and higher education reform. Motivated by the belief that everyone, everywhere should be able to participate in shaping human knowledge, her work includes advancing effective open policies, supporting open education programming for SPARC’s network, and empowering emerging leaders in the open education movement.

Robert J. Awkward is the Assistant Commissioner for Academic Effectiveness for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. In this role, he directs two statewide programs for public higher education. He is also the Co-PI for a Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot federal grant program along with a consortium of six public institutions that is funding faculty to adapt and create inclusive, accessible and culturally relevant open textbooks that align with our marketplace needs. He is a tenured professor of business administration (currently on leave) at Middlesex Community College. He also serves as a visiting professor and program coordinator for the Masters in Human Resources program at Framingham State University.

Robin DeRosa is the Director of Plymouth State University’s Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative. An advocate for open and public architectures for higher education, she has worked with faculty and staff at dozens of institutions as they strive to make their learning environments more equitable and engaging. She was a high school English teacher and then an English professor for many years before she became the director of Plymouth State University’s student-driven customized major program. Today, Plymouth State’s Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative is a center for innovative pedagogy and critical instructional design.


August 2, 2022
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Open Educational Resources


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