About“Julie Schell's innovations are changing the landscape of education.”
Eric Mazur, Harvard University

Julie Schell

JULIE SCHELL is the Executive Director of Learning Design, Innovation, and Effectiveness and Clinical Assistant Professor at the School of Design and Creative and Technologies at UT-Austin. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Program in Higher Education Leadership, where she teaches graduate courses in education design, technology, innovation, and design thinking. She is a prominent learning experience designer and internationally sought-after speaker, who draws on over 20 years of experience in higher education. She has held appointments at the nation's top research universities including Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Harvard and most recently UT-Austin. In 2014, Teachers College, Columbia University identified Julie as an Early Riser in Higher Education for her original contributions to the field.


Educational Background

Julie completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, under Professor Eric Mazur, where her research and scholarship focused on pedagogical and learning innovation in STEM education. Julie received her doctorate in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University where she studied with Professors Anna Neumann, Aaron Pallas, and David Hansen. She won the Dissertation of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association, Higher and Postsecondary Division: Venturing Toward Better Teaching: STEM Professors' Efforts to Improve their Introductory Undergraduate Pedagogy at Major Research Universities.

Launching and Scaling Startups in Higher Education

Julie is regarded for her ability to design and scale thriving start-up organizations in higher education. From 2013-2018, she was the Director of TEXAS OnRamps and Strategic Initiatives at UT-Austin. Her creative vision led OnRamps from an organization with one course, three staff, and 150 student enrollments in 2013 to a prominent, statewide initiative with 13 staff, 15,000 student enrollments and 30 staff members in 2018. Schell began her journey at UT Austin as the lead instructional designer for TEXAS OnRamps. While at UT Austin, Schell also won a grant from the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (2013), where she co-designed a collaborative, web-based learning game called ConceptQuest.

Speaking Experience

Julie is known for charismatic and powerful keynotes and workshops, many of which have sparked the uptake of pedagogical innovation among faculty in a variety of disciplines. Julie's work with Cornell Weill Medical Center in 2012 led to a six-year learning experience design project with the Department of Rheumatology. And from 2015-2018, she has worked with the Provost's Academy for Teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio to diffuse active learning across campus through collaborative, project-based, and game-based learning. She has spoken at colleges and universities in Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Germany and throughout the United States. And she has designed and delivered online learning projects for universities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa.