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COLUMBUS, Miss.-- Russell Brandon has been named the new director of Mississippi University for Women’s Connie & Tom Kossen Center for Teaching and Learning (KCTL).

Brandon previously served as a public associate and as a data services librarian at The W’s Fant Memorial Library. He will begin his new duties June 1.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to help my colleagues,” said Brandon, who is pursuing a master’s degree in library science at the University of Southern Mississippi. “I’ve always appreciated the efforts of Centers for Teaching & Learning to support professors in their teaching practice, and I think the KCTL can be a valuable resource to ensure staff and faculty receive what they need to create exceptional and inclusive learning experiences for our students.”

The KCTL promotes teaching excellence at The W by stimulating reflection and conversation about teaching and encouraging the adoption of practices that enhance learning. It values evidence-based practices that promote active learning in and out of the classroom with the ultimate goal of creating curious, self-motivated, lifelong learners.

“I am excited by the experience, perspective and knowledge Russell brings to the role,” said Dr. Scott Tollison, provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor and management information systems. “I look forward to working with him and our campus community to grow and develop a vibrant, robust KCTL.”

Brandon earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2009. He received a Cognitive Science Certificate from the University of Memphis in 2011, and went on to earn his master’s degree in psychology (cognitive science) from Arizona State University in 2013.

Brandon said his work in the Science of Learning & Educational Technology (SoLET) Lab at Arizona State University gave him a diversity of experience working in computer science and research related to the learning sciences -- managing data, performing statistical analysis, coordinating undergraduate assistants and developing educational materials for reading and writing. He said the lab allowed him to collaborate across a number of different disciplines, which enabled him to learn a variety of perspectives. Brandon said he hopes to develop similar collaborations across departments at The W.

As director of the KCTL, Brandon plans to leverage his experience as a professor, researcher and librarian to continue and expand the KCTL’s current support and collaborations with faculty and staff. He also said he plans to bolster existing professional development opportunities and expand The W’s offerings to aid professors in creating accessible and engaging content for their online and in-person courses.

“The KCTL will prioritize the needs of the university’s teaching mission, and it is my plan to work closely with all the departments on campus to ensure faculty and staff have everything they need to provide the high-quality and personable education that The W is known for,” Brandon said. “I will start by investing in building communities and resources for new and experienced professors, providing a rich orientation experience for those new to The W and offering increased online and in-classroom support.”


May 11, 2022