Diane Filion Center for
Advancing Faculty Excellence

CAFE Faculty Fellows 2023-24

For Faculty, By Faculty. Each year a cohort of new fellows lead topical projects with a priority based focus.

Research and Creativity

Clancy martin photograph

Clancy Martin

Public Scholarship

Clancy is helping faculty and graduate students design book proposals for large public-facing publishers, develop opinion pieces and articles for major newspapers and magazines, and refine writing projects for other major public-facing publication venues. Clancy is also brining experts like award-winning New York Times op-ed editor Peter Catapano to UMKC to help with their work on these topics.

Faculty Life and Leadership

picture of Arif Ahmed

Arif Ahmed

Leadership Development

Arif leads the UMKC Leadership Development Program (LDP). LDP is designed to bring together faculty from across the university to enhance leadership skills within the institution, build and strengthen relationships across units and roles, and increase academic leaders' capacity to transform lives.


photo of Kylie Barnes

Kylie Barnes

Faculty Mentoring

Kylie is working on the CAFE Pilot Mentorship Program. The vision is to establish a leading mentorship program for faculty members that promotes university engagement and empowers faculty to reach their fullest potential. The mission that was established states, "To provide faculty from all ranks with a support system focused on both personal and professional development. The goal of the program is to embody engagement in everyday practices through building relationships and creating an opportunity for connection." We kicked off the program this semester with a total of 12 mentor/mentee pairs.

photo of Gwen Nally

Gwen Nally

Faculty Vitality and Fun

Gwen is the CAFE fellow for faculty engagement and vitality. In her time with CAFE, she has been studying how to better connect faculty on and off campus through activities and events. Gwen has developed a faculty yoga series, in addition to casual networking opportunities and happy hours. 


Teaching and Learning

photo of Tara Allen

Tara Allen

Peer Teaching Observation
The Peer Observation Program is in its second year at UMKC. After the success of the pilot program in spring 2023, where 15 class observations occurred, the program was expanded so that faculty have the opportunity to have their class observed in either the fall or spring semester. The program is designed to promote teaching development through the creation of a collaborative partnership between the faculty member being observed (the Observee) and a trained Observer. We have a team of 19 faculty from a variety of different disciplines who serve as trained Observers. Observees can choose to identify a specific area of focus for their observations or ask for a more generalized observation.

Service and Engagement

Photo of David Trowbridge

David Trowbridge

Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Service
Community Engaged Learning (CEL) is a curriculum-based educational experience. Dr. Trowbridge is working with UMKC faculty and administrators to identify and certify CEL courses while also working to create new opportunities for students and faculty to blend their academic work with the needs of Kansas City's diverse communities. During a CEL-certified course at UMKC, students complete assignments and participate in activities that align with the learning objectives of the course while also meeting community-identified needs.
Photo of Amanda Grimes

Amanda Grimes

Faculty Engagement with Athletics
In the CAFE Fellow position for faculty engagement, Dr. Grimes is leading the Roo Champion project. Roo Champions will work collaboratively with coaches and academic staff to advance the academic mission of UMKC and Kansas City Athletics by enhancing student-athletes’ academic performance, faculty and community engagement, and the reputation of the UMKC Athletics program across campus.
Photo of Peter Morello

Peter Morello


Peter Morello, a part-time CAFE fellow and current CAFEGlobal activities coordinator, works with faculty who are interested in applying for international awards. As UMKC's Fulbright Program Liaison, Peter primarily assists faculty members with the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Awards application process. Peter has served both as a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Specialist in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa Graduate School of Journalism - two appointments), Russia (Tolyatti State University), and Eswatini (University of Eswatini). He also conducted U.S. State Department-sponsored workshops for practicing journalists in those countries. During the past two years, Peter has facilitated on-campus meetings for UMKC faculty with scholars, educators, and ministry officials from the Middle East, South America, and Ukraine. Peter encourages faculty to contact him directly about Fulbright opportunities. During the past several years, UMKC faculty have been successful in winning Fulbright Scholar awards. Peter believes that with the high levels of national and international scholarship at UMKC, many more members of the faculty would win Fulbright Scholar awards if they applied.