Jesse Stommel, Ph.D.

Internationally Recognized, Award-Winning Teacher and Education Expert

Jesse Stommel, Ph.D. is executive director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington, co-author of An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy and co-editor of Disrupting the Digital Humanities. He is best known for his work as a champion of teachers and students in higher education. An award-winning teacher, Stommel has taught for 18 years in humanities disciplines in seven departments at five institutions, and he has designed over 30 courses in a range of subjects, including literature, writing, documentary film, and digital studies. Stommel’s work has drawn national and international attention: he has been invited to give keynotes and plenary talks by the Higher Education Academy, Coventry University, Duke University, Stanford University, BCcampus, Open University, and presented workshops at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), Lewis and Clark College, Guilford College, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore, University of Warwick, and more. Stommel has also published over 15 articles in peer-reviewed books and journals.

In 2011, Stommel founded the Hybrid Pedagogy 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition to acting as executive director, his work for Hybrid Pedagogy has included creating educational outreach and professional development opportunities for new and experienced teachers. In 2015, he co-founded Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL), a series of on-ground intensives focused on critical digital pedagogy. Through DPL, he has offered 2-, 3-, and 5-day pedagogical development events at the American University in Cairo, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Delaware, University of Mary Washington, University of Colorado, University of Warwick, Open University, and more.

An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy (with Sean Michael Morris), considers how technology (both digital and analogue) changes the work of education. Ultimately, the book argues that education should look to community over content delivery, dialogue over algorithms, human teachers over teaching machines. Along the way, it explores the history of educational technology, innovative teaching practices in higher education and beyond, education as a social good, and the need for inclusive pedagogies. Stommel co-edited with Dorothy Kim Disrupting the Digital Humanities. It includes academic and non-academic writing about the intersections and frictions between the digital humanities, inclusive pedagogies, accessibility, feminist theory, queer theory, and critical race theory.

Stommel has taught undergraduate and graduate students at large research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and a community college, as well as non-traditional adult students and teachers at all levels of education. He has taught face-to-face, hybrid, online, and several MOOCs, including a Coursera MOOC with over 25,000 students from 161 countries.

Stommel has done faculty development work since 2003. Most recently, he has taught courses for teachers, technologists, and administrators in higher education pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, writing about teaching, and assessment. He has an extensive background in education administration beginning in 2003. He has designed and worked to implement several new undergraduate and graduate programs.

Jesse Stommel was most previously a faculty member at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has a Ph.D. from University of Colorado Boulder.

Praise for Jesse Stommel 

“For at least a century now, we’ve been told stories that machines are poised to ‘revolutionize’ education. The rationale for this revolution has remained largely unchanged: machines will make education more efficient … Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel teach towards a different future—one in which dignity is prioritized over efficiency, one in which agency and freedom are prioritized over compliance and control … In the face of the urgency of machines—Morris and Stommel want us to agitate instead for An Urgency of Teachers. In positing pedagogy—critical pedagogy specifically—as a lever for change, they ask us to join them in resisting the stories that machines have wants and needs and that their logic dictates the shape of the future. Instead they urge us to center care and justice in our practices—to center humans—knowing that this will require a radical re-ordering of the priorities of our institutions and ideologies as well.”

—Audrey Watters, from the Foreword to An Urgency of Teachers

“As keynote speaker Jesse’s contribution to ALT’s Annual Conference 2019 was one of the highlights for many participants. Jesse’s talk acted as a catalyst for discussion and debate both on the day and following the event online, which is reflected in the strong social media engagement and blog posts which have been posted since. Jesse’s generous engagement with every aspect of the conference gave participants a valuable opportunity to explore questions, develop their thinking and be inspired by Jesse’s work and the approach he embodies. It’s been our pleasure to host Jesse and we are grateful for the intellectual rigor and the heart he contributed to our community.”

—Dr. Maren Deepwell, Chief Executive, Association for Learning Technology (ALT)