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Open Touro OER Initiative: OER Faculty Fellowship

This guide provides information about Open Educational Resources for professors, students, and self-learners.

Touro University OER Faculty Fellowship

Touro University Libraries, in collaboration with The Office of the Provost, are pleased to offer the Touro University OER Faculty Fellowship. This fellowship is intended to support faculty to develop Open Educational Resources (OER) to replace a previously required commercial textbook, for one of their classes.  

Fellows receive a stipend of $500 for their full participation in the fellowship program and finished OER to be used in their course within the next calendar year. The fellowship period is six months long. 

Participants will

  • Develop an open educational resource for a specific course; completing the work by the end of the fellowship and publishing the finished work via Touro Scholar 

  • Retain copyright to their materials and all resources will be released under a Creative Commons license allowing derivatives 

  • Use their OER project materials in their course within the next calendar year 

  • Attend meetings with the OER librarian as needed and meetings with the cohort of OER Fellows monthly, during the fellowship term; these meetings will be held via Zoom 

  • Complete trainings and short assessments during the fellowship term 

  • Present their work to the campus at a to-be-determined event/date 

  • Engage in OER advocacy efforts at Touro, as an OER ambassador during the fellowship term and beyond 

  • Receive faculty development digital badges


  • Any full-time faculty member in the Touro University System with anticipated teaching responsibilities for the following academic year 

Application - due June 16th, 2023

2023 OER Fellows

Gena Bardwell, MFA 

Director, General Education  

Chair and Assistant Professor, Speech and Communication 

Touro University NY, NYSCAS 

Project: Exploring Human Communication: at School, at Work and at Home. Textbook for Survey of Human Communication. 


David Nussbaum, MA 

Assistant Professor, Speech and Communication 

Touro University NY, NYSCAS 

Project: Exploring Human Communication: at School, at Work and at Home. Textbook for Survey of Human Communication. 


Michelle Buccinna, OTD, OTR/L 

Director, Long Island Campus, Occupational Therapy MS 

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy MS 

Touro University NY, School of Health Sciences 

Project: Lab manual for OTHN 334 Human Movement, Behavior, and Occupation. 


Regina Burch, AB, MSA, JD  

Interim Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence and Bar Success   

Visiting Professor of Law 

Touro Law Center 

Project: Navigating Business Organizations: Cases, Statutes, and Practice for Law Students. Textbook for Business Organizations I


Stephanie Klinesmith, MS  

Instructor of Anatomy and Neuroanatomy 

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Middletown 

Project: BSCI-619-M Neuroanatomy. 


Jacqueline Randa, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS, OCS 

Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy 

Touro University Nevada 

Project: Evidence-Based Practice 1: An introduction to research methods and statistics.  


Deborah Ratti, PhD  

Assistant Professor, Sociology 

Touro University NY, NYSCAS 

Project: Intro to Sociology. 


Tom Rozinski, JD, MA 

Associate Professor and Deputy Chair for Lander College for Men 

Department of Political Science 

Touro University NY 

Project: Selected Readings in American Political Theory. 


James Van Rhee, MS, PA-C 

Associate Professor and Chair of Assessment and Remediation  

Physician Assistant Program 

Touro University (all locations with PA program: NY, Chicago, CA) 

Project: MPAN 690 Knowledge Integration for Clinical Practice I. 

2022 OER Fellows

Michele Bunker-Alberts, DNP, APRN-FNP-BC, IBCLC 

Assistant Professor, Chair and Clinical Preceptor, FNP Program 

School of Nursing, Touro University of California 

Project: Pharmacology for Interprofessional Use


Virginia E. Koenig, OTD, MSA, OTR/L 

Associate Professor and OT Academic FW Coordinator-Touro University, Manhattan  

Executive Chair/President:  Alpha Eta Honor Society, Chapter 83 

Member:  The Metropolitan Occupational Therapy Education Council-NY/NJ (MOTEC-NY/NJ) 

Project: Optimizing Your Capstone Experience: A Guidebook for Allied Health Professionals


Michelle Zakarin, JD

Associate Professor of Legal Process 

Touro University, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center 

Project: Legal Writing 

2020-2021 OER Fellows

Fernando Bruno, MD, MPH

Associate Professor  

Department of Anatomy / Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Project: Histology and Cell Biology Question Banks


Judithe LaBarge, DC

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anatomy  

Biology / Touro School of Health Sciences, Middletown  

Project: Human Anatomy & Physiology 


Neil Normand, M.S. 

Lab Director, Instructor

Biology / Touro College- Lander College for Women 

Project: The Human Microbiome


Olalekan Ogunsakin, MD, PhD, MBA, MPH 

Assistant Professor of General and Systemic Pathology  

Basic Biomedical Sciences / Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine  

Project: Evaluation and Assessment of Public Health Interventions to Chronic Diseases in East Harlem; A Historical Perspectives of Population Utilization of Health Education and Awareness. 


Tanupreet Suri, PhD, LMHC, LPCC, NCC

Assistant Professor  

Behavioral Sciences / Touro School of Health Sciences

Project: Multicultural Counseling and Consultation in Schools. Toolkit for Teaching Communication Skills in Social Work. 


OER at Touro University

The Touro University OER Initiative is an effort by Touro Libraries to support faculty across the Touro system in adopting, adapting, and authoring open educational resources for their teaching. Touro’s OER Initiative is tied directly to the University’s mission to operate “In the service of knowledge, compassion, and social justice.” 

Faculty will be supported through workshops, one-on-one consultations, technical support, and instructional support. 

This initiative is committed to: 

  • Expanding awareness of OER and the benefits of OER 

  • Improving student performance and retention at Touro University

  • Lowering the cost of a quality secondary education by lowering the cost of materials for students 

  • Supporting faculty as they engage in meaningful and sustainable pedagogical practices 

  • Empowering Touro University members to collaborate in the service of student success 

With this statement, the Touro Libraries affirm the importance of equity in education and commit to helping faculty utilize free and low cost open educational resources through the Touro University OER Initiative. 

OER Training for Fellows

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