University Strategy Advisor
Dan Sarofian-Butin, PhD, is a Full Professor in, and was Founding Dean of, the School of Education & Social Policy at Merrimack College. Dr. Sarofian-Butin has a B.S. in Management Science from MIT, an M.A. in Liberal Education from St. John's College, and a Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Sarofian-Butin has been named as one of the top 200 "Public Presence" Education Scholars five years in a row and blogs at the Huffington Post and InsideHigherEd. Dr. Sarofian-Butin has consulted for, among others, the US Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), been a visiting scientist at MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, and has been the keynote speaker at institutions such as Duke University, the University of Toronto, and the Ohio State University.
Dr. Sarofian-Butin is the author and editor of almost one hundred academic publications, including eight books, several of which have won prestigious awards and been translated into three languages. He is the editor of Palgrave’s series Community Engagement in Higher Education, an Associate Editor of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning and a board member of the Journal of College and Character.
Dr. Sarofian-Butin's scholarship focuses on engaged learning, community engagement, educator preparation and policy, higher education policy, and, most recently, the rise of digital learning technologies and their influence on high impact pedagogical practices. From 2009 through 2016, Dr. Sarofian-Butin founded and was the Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Democracy, which served as a central hub for developing, coordinating, and supporting academic programs – majors, minors and certificates – focused on community engagement, broadly defined. In 2020 Spring, he won the award of 2020 Writing Advocate of the Year. This award is given to one professor each year who strongly supports student writing at his university.
Dr. Jeffrey Fast has been a teacher and administrator in America’s leading independent schools for almost 40 years. After graduating from Oberlin College, he served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines teaching English at both secondary and collegiate levels. He received his MA in English Literature fromYork University in Toronto, then moved on to receive his PhD from the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, England. Upon his return to America, he took on both teaching and administrative positions at The Webb Schools in California, serving for 15 years as English department head, Dean of Students, Director of Curriculum, and Director of the Summer Studies Program. He also taught English to Japanese students at The Toin Gakuen School outside Yokohama in one of his sabbaticals. After Webb, Dr. Fast moved to Boston, and took on teaching and administrative positions at Belmont Hill School, serving as English department head, Director of Curriculum, and Form Head for the past 22 years. He currently teaches sections of 9th grade English, as well as several advanced English electives — Shakespeare, Faulkner and the Southern Tradition, Search For Faith, Literature of Social Reflection.