Under the wire or Nathalie’s Bio

Hello all.  It’s Nathalie Zarisfi.  I was the last one in the classroom last week, and probably the last post up for the bio.  I am hoping to shake that trend.  So I work in the technology and pedagogy realm, as a Director of a Teaching and Learning Center at a private college in Long Island.  I am interested in technology as it relates to equity in higher education.  My day is mostly spent putting out fires and helping folks with their courses.  But I sincerely believe in personal project time, being creative, building and tinkering and failing.  And this class is my laboratory, my way of building safe space for me.  Not because I want to do it undercover or away from my team, or my faculty.  But because I don’t seem to carve out that time for myself at work.  And I need it.  I am desperate to experiment, and learn and explore.

I may have said this in class: I am a firm believer in failure.  Its how our brains are wired.  It has served me well.  I remembering interviewing for a position at a large public institution, and one of the interview questions was something like, “Could you share with us your teaching philosophy” or the equivalent.  And I have to tell you that I completely and totally blew that interview when I told that I encourage failure.  Crickets, blinking stares.  And then just like that, the interview was over.  Discouraging but not unexpected.  They will come around.

I don’t get a profoundly different response in my workshops or consultations.  I work with a core of highly motivated brilliant people, who don’t feel like they have the option of failing at teaching, and most of the time haven’t even had the chance to learn how to teach.  I try to make it more of a misstep, an act of humility, versus a free fall.   Failure is a tactic that works, knowing and forgetting, and learning it all over again.

I am looking forward to learning from you, with you, and failing forward.

Jeff’s ITP Bio


Jeffrey Suttles is a graduate student at The City University of New York Graduate Center. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature, Arts, & Communications from City College of New York. Jeffrey is a self-taught musician that decided to go back to school to fulfill his aspirations to excel in music, media, and life. He is currently employed with the New York City Department of Education as a substitute teacher.

Jeffrey created a Social Justice blog called Humanities Heart as a member and employee of the New Media Lab. He recently completed his Digital Capstone project about BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, which dissects what it will take to create sustainability in urban communities. He incorporates is musical ability by writing and performing in various venues in New York City. His goal is to engage people through multimedia platforms about the injustices that continue to plague our communities. In this way he believes that he will lend his voice to the movement, as part of the solution, instead of accentuating the problem.