SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2021: New Paltz – Rachel Rigolino
Rachel Rigolino teaches in the English Department at SUNY New Paltz, where she is the Coordinator of the Supplemental Writing Workshop Composition Program for developmental writers. She has been teaching online since 1999—back in the days of Lotus Notes, Web Board, and dial up modems. Over the past two decades, she has focused much of her professional energies on remaining current with educational technology and online pedagogical best practices, particularly in the area of online writing instruction. Rachel is currently co-chair of her campus’ Committee for Educational Technology, a SUNY OER Lead, and a Peer Instructional Design Mentor Teacher for SUNY New Paltz.
Looking back, I must credit my mother, Odessa Elliott, for motivating my interest in educational technology. Because she was almost totally deaf, my mother quickly realized the revolutionary impact of computer-assisted communication, and she spent most of her final years as a grants officer funding distance-learning programs across the world. Whenever I revise or create new course materials, I often imagine my mother standing behind me and looking over my shoulder at the monitor. Sometimes I can hear her asking, “Are you sure a deaf person can understand that video?” or “Does your Alt-text description make sense?” I will remain forever thankful to her for introducing me to the transformative possibilities of educational technology.
View Rachel’s video testimonial.