Graduate Faculty Focus | Marisel Torres-Crespo
"I studied my Ph.D. with a former faculty member of Hood College, and every time I visited her, she would take me to see the campus. I fell in love with it. The small college setting makes it easier for me to get to know many people who still make my life happy at Hood College."
Marisel Torres-Crespo, Ph.D.
- Curriculum and Instruction (M.S.)
Marisel Torres-Crespo, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Hood College and the Coordinator of Online Instruction. Her research interests include art, gender roles, STEM in early childhood, multiculturalism, and technology and coding in the early years. Originally from Puerto Rico, she received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from the University of Puerto Rico and her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction Early Childhood Education from Penn State University. In 2012, Dr. Torres-Crespo moved to Maryland to teach at Hood College.
As a faculty member, do you have a certain mindset, theory, or teaching style?
My teaching style is a collaborative one, in which every member of the learning community has something important to add and share. Everyone will learn from everyone. Relationships are essential in the teaching profession.
Also, the learning process has to be a creative and concrete one and, if possible, done through playful activities. I love seeing my students engage in all the class activities.
What would you like your students to take away from your classes?
I constantly focus on the importance of being good people and compassionate towards others. We need more love, kindness and positivism in this world. Especially my students that are going to be teachers and will be dealing with students from diverse cultures and socioeconomic status.
Don’t get me wrong. I want them to get a solid foundation in what they need to learn to be teachers nowadays. But, if they understand the socioemotional part of my class, they will get the educational theories more easily.
Why Hood College - What made you choose to teach here?
I studied my Ph.D. with a former faculty member of Hood College, and every time I visited her, she would take me to see the campus. I fell in love with it. The small college setting makes it easier for me to get to know many people who still make my life happy at Hood College!
Also, I was hired as the Director of the Lab School, and that was a unique element that nobody else in the area had. I was lucky enough to be the director for seven years until the college created a partnership with a private organization.
As the coordinator of online instruction at Hood, tell us about Hood’s transition to online instruction in the last year.
After finishing my journey as the lab school director, I became the Coordinator of Online Instruction, which was an adventure during the pandemic. This role allowed me to learn a new dimension in the teaching/learning process from two different perspectives: faculty and students.
The faculty were very responsive, incorporating new strategies in their new online classes. I was also lucky enough to have April Boulton, Ph.D. and George Dimitoglou, Ph.D. by my side, collaborating with me during this whole process. I have learned a lot and have many ideas to keep the online program growing.
Any other interesting information that you would like to share?
During previous years, Hood College awarded me grants that allowed me to develop different summer camps for the children at the lab school. They were exposed to various topics like STEM, STEAM and iPads. What added an extra layer of excitement was that I could do it with great Hood College students. It was a win-win situation for the lab school kids, the Hood College students and myself!