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Center Staff

Daryl Parks, director

St. John's Hall 308B

Daryl joins the Center for Faculty Development in his 16th year at Metropolitan State. An award-winning instructor, he has taught across multiple disciplines including literature, linguistics, education, writing, film, and gender studies.

Daryl has lengthy experience in professional development. His research and publications have centered on topics of identity in teaching and learning, especially on the influences of race and social class in classrooms and curriculum. Starting college at age 25, he is well-acquainted with the many strengths and challenges of returning adult students in urban contexts.

Daryl is committed to community engagement, believing such relationships to be a critical part of Metropolitan State’s mission. He has served on numerous local boards, including Hmong American Partnership, Adoptive Families of America, and The LIFT CDC. He is also works closely with local K-12 schools to encourage faculty growth and leadership teams.

In the Center for Faculty Development, Daryl collaborates with other stakeholders to establish opportunities for faculty growth in teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. He is passionate about improving opportunities and outcomes for our diverse students by supporting and coordinating the work of the Center.

Travis Sands, associate director

Library and Learning Center 218a

With a background in queer studies, critical ethnic studies, and U.S. literatures and cultures, Travis approaches faculty development as a collaborative process undertaken with the goal of ensuring that all students can learn in environments where their unique histories are valued as sources of knowledge and empowerment. Travis has taught at Metro since 2015—first as community faculty and currently as fixed term faculty in the Gender Studies program. In his role as associate director of the Center for Faculty Development, Travis organizes orientations and other forms of support for new and continuing community faculty members, and coordinates programming on antiracist pedagogies and publicly-engaged interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Driven by the conviction that effective teaching is underwritten by active scholarship, he also works to support faculty in their scholarly activities by facilitating writing groups and interdisciplinary research clusters. Beyond the university, Travis coordinates the nascent East Side Study Collective, runs on the streets and trails of the Twin Cities, and is regularly amazed and inspired by the young people in his life.


Mary Wright, office coordinator