Meghan Hallihan Joins the Center for Experiential Pedagogy and Practice as Program Manager

Expanding in both operations and personnel, Syracuse University School of Education’s Center for Experiential Pedagogy and Practice has hired Meghan Hallihan as its new Program Manager. Hallihan joins a team that also includes seven undergraduate and graduate assistants, led by Center Director Professor Benjamin Dotger.  

Meghan Hallihan headshotAmong Hallihan’s broader duties in supporting experiential learning, she will handle logistics for CEPP’s various clinical simulations, offered both across campus and outside the University; administer current grants and contracts; develop new opportunities, such as teacher professional development contracts with local schools; and manage the recruitment, scheduling, and orientation of actors. 

“I am so proud of our CEPP community, and I’m thrilled to hear them supporting, teaching, and learning from each other,” says Dotger. “They are excellent stewards of the community, sharing opportunities with their CEPP peers, showing up in a presentation audience or poster session, or helping digest external reviewer comments. We are excited to welcome Meghan to the team, and we very much look forward to her logistical and managerial expertise!” 

Hallihan notes that CEPP has created more than 75 clinical simulation scenarios so far, which address professional challenges for student teachers, educational leaders, military veterans transitioning to campus life, mental health counselors, art therapists, financial advisors, and others. 

During a simulation, an actor portrays a standardized individual who interacts with a student or other subject. For a student teacher, a typical scenario might be a parent challenging the curriculum or a case of physical assault on school grounds. Students in finance might address the unethical behavior of a colleague, while challenges developed for counseling students include issues of sexual assault or sexual orientation. 

The interaction between subject and actor is videoed, allowing the subject to review and reflect on the simulation both individually and with colleagues who interacted with the same protocol. 

“Our goal is to keep adding more simulations, including more financial SIMS collaborations with the Whitman School of Management, so a large roster of actors will be needed,” notes Hallihan. “We often recruit retired teachers or acting students. Although some acting experience is helpful, we don’t ask our actors to follow a script. However, they are expected to mention certain verbal triggers in a conversation so that subjects taking the simulation all get a standardized experience.” 

Hallihan comes to CEPP from the Onondaga County Health Department, where she worked as a public health educator. Before that, she was a teacher in Syracuse and Cambridge, MA.

“When I returned to Syracuse, I was looking for work in education but not necessarily in the classroom,” Hallihan says. “I’m so grateful to have joined such a positive team doing meaningful and interesting work. I am excited to have joined the Center during this time of growth, and I can’t wait to see where this work will take us.” 

Meet the CEPP Team Members

Chaitanya Arora headshot Chaitanya Arora ’27

Chaitanya Arora is a freshman from Boston, majoring in Social Studies Education and Political Science. She is currently working on researching experiential learning exemplars for an Institute for Educational Sciences civics education grant proposal and contributing to gathering sources for an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) proposal.

“I’m also analyzing my own SIM-Physio data from the simulations I participated in as a case study for a Syracuse University SOURCE poster presentation,” says Arora. “I’m excited to work on these projects because I get to engage in meaningful research that aligns with my interests in education. Having experienced SIMS as a student in class last semester, it’s now interesting to see all of the work that goes into them from the team that designs and runs them.”

ParKer Bryant headshot ParKer Bryant

Originally from Jacksonville, FL, ParKer Bryant is a doctoral student focusing on literacy education. “I am advancing my skills as an educator-researcher through research-based experiential learning,” says Bryant. “From teacher preparation programs to paradigm-advancing research, education writ large benefits when higher education and professional development curricula mirror day-to-day operations in education settings. Increased awareness and capacity to make swift, deliberate, equitable, and socially just decisions are fundamental to our effectiveness as practitioners.” 

Bryant engages CEPP’s data-informed pedagogical strategies to provide “valuable insights into the interplay between data literacy and praxis, which contributes to my research in critical literacy.” 

Jessica Fundalinksi headshot Jessica Fundalinski G’13

Syracuse native and SOE master’s degree graduate Jessica Fundalinski is a doctoral student in SOE’s Teaching and Curriculum program. For CEPP, she has worked on the design and implementation of two clinical simulation protocols that center around issues of social justice for multilingual learners. 

Julie Harnett headshot Julie Harnett ’18, G’19

Julie Harnett is a doctoral student in SOE’s Teaching and Curriculum program. She is a CEPP graduate assistant and the teaching assistant for EDU 304: The Study of Teaching, taught by Professor Dotger. 

Harnett is currently working on several research projects: planning a research study around how preservice teachers engage a student who is not completing their academic tasks; writing a grant proposal to support student veterans in their transition to college; and supporting the SIM-Physio project’s use of SimIQ software. 

Ashley Robles headshot Ashley Robles

Originally from Rochester, NY, Ashley Robles is a full-time doctoral student in science education. She is a graduate assistant with CEPP, taking the lead on a project focusing on faculty-student interactions, particularly with first-generation college students. 

Zachary Setzkorn headshot Zachary Setzkorn ’26

Zach Stezkorn is a sophomore from Kansas City, KS, studying Social Studies Education, Geography, and History. “At CEPP, I work on three projects: the SIM-Physio project, professional development outreach, and the development of a simulation about anti-censorship in secondary education classrooms.” 

Minna You headshot Minna You ’24

Senior Minna You is originally from Nanjing, China (“a beautiful and historical city; it has history of more than 2,400 years and has been the capital of nine dynasties.”) You is doing her Selected Studies in Education internship through CEPP, helping with the IMLS grant proposal by researching universities that have programs to train librarians.

Janie Hershman ’24 contributed to this story.