Adobe Catalysts

Adobe Catalyst Program: Meet the Mentors

Launched in 2019, BU’s Adobe Catalyst Program (ACP) welcomes its second cohort this month. A CTL-faculty partnership, ACP provides a virtual learning space for experienced Adobe users (catalysts) to mentor colleagues who wish to use Adobe Creative Cloud in their classes.

“Sharing” is the key word for this program. Twelve faculty mentees—from both BU campuses and a range of colleges, departments, and programs—will share their pedagogical goals for incorporating digital design into their teaching and student projects. Four catalysts—from COM, CFA, and CAS Writing Program—will share their expertise with specific Adobe applications to help their mentees reach these goals. Just as importantly, the catalysts will also share their experience of learning the tools, exploring the affordances of different tools, and teaching with these technologies, too.

At the end of the semester, mentees will share what they have learned and developed for their classes. Throughout the semester, we will also be sharing news of our online community’s learning journey through regular updates.

Stay tuned to hear more about this program!

Deb Breen and Jason Prentice

Co-Coordinators of the Adobe Catalyst Program


Meet the Adobe Spring 2020 Mentors

Nick BarberNick Barber, College of Communication (COM)

Nick Barber is a COM lecturer and alumnus (’06) who has been telling stories since he got his first video camera at age 8. In addition to his work at BU, he’s an industry analyst at Forrester Research where he advises companies on content technologies and strategies. Prior to Forrester, he worked as a video journalist at IDG and produced global content for PC World, Macworld, CIO, and Computerworld. His work has also appeared on ABC News, People, and in a major motion picture.

Q: As a mentor, what do you hope your colleagues take from their experience?

I hope they discover the connected experiences that they can create across Adobe Creative Cloud; starting with an image in Photoshop that they can bring into a video in Premiere, for example. It’s also not as scary or intimidating as they might think.

Nick Barber QuoteQ: What is a powerful mentoring experience and how will you pay it forward to your group of mentees?

Great mentoring means guiding mentees toward a goal, but also challenging their thought process and helping them ask the right questions. For me, a great mentor is someone who serves as both a guide and a coach.

Q: What, in your mind, are the benefits of faculty-to-faculty learning?

It creates a safe space for faculty to learn new tools and techniques that they can bring to their classes.


Joshua DuttweilerJoshua Duttweiler, Colleges of Communication and Fine Arts (COM and CFA)

Joshua is a designer, photographer, and educator. He holds a MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University and a BFA in Visual Communication and Applied Design from Houghton College. He currently lectures at Boston University at the Colleges of Fine Art and Communication as well as Simmons University. His work experience ranges from commercial to fine art working on projects including visual identity design, marketing campaigns and gallery curation.

Q: As a mentor, what do you hope your colleagues take from their experience?

I hope that my colleagues are able to not only understand the Adobe tools but also the design thinking that makes these programs so useful to solve all sorts of problems.

Joshua Duttweiler QuoteQ: What is a powerful mentoring experience and how will you pay it forward to your group of mentees?

A good mentor is someone who helps you reach your goal but also asks good questions in order to help you find the best possible solution. I’m excited to guide and challenge my mentees to success!

Q: What, in your mind, are the benefits of faculty-to-faculty learning?

I think we all have something to learn from each other and programs like the Adobe Catalyst give us time and focus to do just that.


Pary FassihiPary Fassihi, College of Arts & Sciences Writing Program (CAS)

Pary Fassihi is a lecturer in the CAS Writing Program and a Faculty Consultant on Digital Learning Modules within CAS. Pary’s primary focus is teaching academic writing to non-native speakers of English with the most innovative and effective methods, ones that would foster student learning and interaction both inside and outside of class. Pary’s most recent project in the Writing Program is to collaborate with faculty in designing and producing Flipped Learning Modules to be used by the entire BU community, and in doing so, she has gained experience with the Adobe programs.

 Q: As a mentor, what do you hope your colleagues take from their experience?

I hope I can be of assistance to my colleagues in successfully implementing the Adobe programs into their projects and courses, and pass along some of what I have learned over the years in regards to embracing technology, putting the fear away, and sometimes even learning from our own students.

Pary Fassihi QuoteQ: What is a powerful mentoring experience and how will you pay it forward to your group of mentees?

I believe a successful mentoring experience is achieved when both the mentor and mentee learn from one another. As a mentor, I look forward to being challenged, and as a result learn and share those results with my mentees.

Q: What, in your mind, are the benefits of faculty-to-faculty learning?

The past few years, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with numerous faculty throughout the university, and every single time, I came out of it learning something new and innovative. This type of faculty-to-faculty learning creates a more relaxed professional development environment to support faculty learning. It’s a safe place to share experiences, receive feedback and come up with innovative ideas.


James GradyJames Grady, College of Fine Arts (CFA)

James Grady is a designer and educator with nearly two decades of broad-based experience. He is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Boston University and Principal of Design Axl, a graphic design consultancy with clients across the country. James has taught Undergraduate and Graduate Graphic Design students at Boston University for the past 2.5 years. He also co-teaches Product Innovation with the Computer Science Department at BU. Previous to BU he taught Information Design at MIT. James has lectured at numerous Universities and Conferences such as metaLAB Beautiful Data at Harvard University, Visualized in New York City, and the Themed Entertainment Association SATE conference at Carnegie Mellon University.

James Grady QuoteQ: As a mentor, what do you hope your colleagues take from their experience?

I hope my colleagues who are new to Adobe programs will feel less intimidated by technology, and for colleagues that have used Adobe programs, I hope to provide some tips and tricks to advance their concepts and pedagogical practice.

Q: What is a powerful mentoring experience and how will you pay it forward to your group of mentees?

Demystifying technologies so mentees can build their skills and then teach others in the near future.

Q: What, in your mind, are the benefits of faculty-to-faculty learning?

Knowledge share between different departments, research, and practice.


About the CTL: The Center for Teaching & Learning collaborates with faculty and graduate students and offers individualized consultations, workshops, seminars, and institutes designed to promote critical reflection and experimentation in teaching and support core initiatives across the University. The Office of the Associate Provost for Digital Learning & Innovation was established in 2016 to strengthen Boston University’s position as a world-class higher education institution devoted to learning innovation. The CTL is a partner in this initiative.