Meet Our Team

We are passionate about teaching, learning, and faculty development.
We welcome the opportunity to partner with you.

Nick Balster

Professor, Soil Science; Faculty Co-Director, MTLE

Dr. Nick Balster is a Professor in the Department of Soil Science and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His lab, “Collaborations in Ecosystem Science and Environmental Education”, is constantly seeking innovative ways to combine research, teaching, and outreach both in education and the physical sciences. Nick co-founded MTLE and is grateful to serve the teaching community here at UW-Madison

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Rosemary Russ

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction; Faculty Co-Director, MTLE

Dr. Rosemary Russ is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison. She is interested in how students reason about the physical world and how teachers make sense of that reasoning. An alumnus of the MTLE program, Rosemary is now part of the MTLE leadership team.

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Naomi Salmon

Naomi Salmon

Interim Program Director & Facilitator

Dr. Naomi Salmon joined MTLE as an instructional consultant and facilitator in January 2019. Prior to joining MTLE, Naomi was involved in a range of teaching assistant professional development initiatives within the UW-Madison English department, the College of Letters and Science, and L&S Learning Support Services. Naomi spent five years working both as a teaching assistant and instructor of record in literary studies and composition classrooms at UW-Madison and is particularly interested in writing across the curriculum. 

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Christian Castro

Former Program Director

As of January 2022, Dr. Christian Castro is the Inaugural Associate Dean for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity at the UW-Madison College of Engineering. Chris joined Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence in the fall of 2015; he assumed the role of program director in January 2019. In his time with MTLE, Chris worked as a core facilitator and mentor for fourteen cohorts, including over 150 faculty fellows. Chris is a recognized national thought leader, scholar, and facilitator in equity, diversity, and inclusion in teaching (NSF/ASPIRE).

Learn More About Christian Castro