Maricopa Institute for Learning Research Fellowship: 2019-2020 Cohort

Alex Arreguiin, Mesa Community College



Alex Arreguin is a residential faculty of first-year composition/technical writing at Mesa Community College. As a current PhD. student in Arizona State’s Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacies doctoral program, his current research interests include classical and contemporary notions of ethos and their relevance to how technical communicators negotiate notions of access, credibility, and authority in the workplace.

The goal of his fellowship is to explore how writing instruction is conceptualized and discussed by disciplinary faculty outside of first-year composition courses. Situated within past and current scholarship on writing-knowledge transfer that has taken place over the last decade, the study seeks to extend such scholarship by shifting the research lens to sites outside of first-year composition contexts. Through the use of multiple qualitative methods, the study will place the principal investigator within interdisciplinary conversations about writing instruction to obtain a more nuanced understanding of the role that writing plays across an array of disciplines. Ultimately, one implication of this study is to articulate the need to expand research sites for writing-knowledge transfer to sites outside of FYC classrooms. Additionally, another implication would be for the data gathered to inform current and future curriculum development initiatives within our local MCC English Department and Writing Program.


Ryan Cluff, Rio Salado College



Ryan graduated with a BS in dental hygiene from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 1997.  He worked as a dental hygienist in rural AZ until 2013. He later moved to Show Low, AZ and began working for Navajo County Department of Public Health as the program manager of both the oral health program and the public health emergency preparedness program.  He graduated with a M.E in 2015 and then in April of 2016 he became the clinic coordinator at Rio Salado College’s Dental Programs.

The goal of his fellowship is to research the use of virtual reality (VR) technology to help teach the concepts of dental radiography.  Students will practice placing films and taking radiographs virtually, by using a headset and hand controls. The goal of the research is to determine whether any changes in grades, comfort level, or reduction of retakes occurs due to implementing VR into the curriculum.  Students’ perception of the value of VR technology in meeting course competencies will also be assessed.



Miguel Fernandez, Chandler-Gilbert Community College



Miguel Fernandez has taught since 2005 for the Composition, Creative Writing, and Literature Division at Chandler Gilbert Community College, and is the Faculty Liaison for Student Veterans. Fernandez graduated New York University's Comparative Literature Master's program with a focus on Literature and Technology.  He graduated from the Valley Leadership Institute in 2017, Class 38, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the FBIPCAAA, a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI. Fernandez frequently presents at conferences on Technology and Security, the Socio-Technical, and on best practices for working with the student veteran population. He completed a Spring 2019 ISPP Fellowship partnered with U of A's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Fernandez is a co-author of the 2019 edition of " Achieving Knowledge Advantage in the Information Age,” a book on OSINT research techniques.

The goal of his fellowship is to research the impact of requiring a formal active interrogative instrument for vetting and deciphering a source’s credibility before allowing student choice of sources used in support of ENG102 argumentative research papers.  Students will be polled on what previous ways (if any) they use to consider, judge or annotate a source for credibility before deploying them in support of research paper arguments. An active interrogative instrument for scoring credibility is then assigned that requires researching the research, with a cut off score minimum for bias or low accountability, to increase credibility literacy: awareness of the ecosystem of ‘fake news’ markers and problems with source choice.  This will strengthen freshman student research paper source choice awareness, used in support of arguments and thesis, agnostic of topic.


Dianne Miller, Phoenix College



Dianne Miller is residential faculty at Phoenix College where she teaches developmental reading courses and CRE 101 for honors and healthcare majors. She holds a master’s degree in reading education and a doctorate in instructional leadership. For the past ten years Dianne has served as the Department Chair for Communication, Reading, ASL, and Education. She has also worked for several years as the Faculty Developer on her campus, mentoring new adjunct and first year faculty.  During her leisure time, Dianne is passionate about traveling and the outdoors. She and her husband frequently camp and kayak in northern Arizona, as well as, spending time hiking in Colorado. 

The goal of her fellowship project is to support the district transformation of Developmental Education by providing research data regarding the impact of learning communities on student success and retention. Students are more motivated and  successful when they can learn within the context of their interests and chosen degree pathway. Learning Communities which pair a discipline-specific course with RDG 100, allow students to learn contextualized reading and study strategies.  


Rudy Navarro, Phoenix College



Rudy Navarro earned his Master of Arts in Art History from Arizona State University and his Doctor of Philosophy in Art History from Stanford University. He is residential faculty in art history at Phoenix College where he studies.

The goal of his fellowship is to examine the effects of assignment feedback delivered through screencapture video on instructor presence and student engagement. Research suggests that moving images of instructor and students can improve a variety of classroom variables that, in turn, predict learning success. Analyses will assess the strength of effects between variables and on course completion and success.  




Stacy Wilson, Mesa Community College



Stacy Wilson is a residential faculty of English at Mesa Community College. She has a Master’s in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English from Northern Arizona University and is completing a Master’s degree in Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies at Arizona State University. Her research interests include knowledge transfer and threshold concepts specific to composition. 

The goal of her fellowship project is to investigate the ways students perceive writing tasks and affordances in discipline-specific (non-FYC) classes. Such findings could ultimately inform the decision making on learning context (FYC) activities and framing, interdisciplinary conversations surrounding writing-transfer climate, and department and college-wide discussions on the culture of writing.