New Network Director to share the UDL Story

Ruben Watson brings both passion and experience in supporting students to his new role as Network Director for the College STAR program.   Ruben joined the College STAR team in July after four years as program director of the Michigan State University College Advising Corps.

Michigan State University is one of the partner universities of the College Advising Corps which is based in Chapel Hill.   The program works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation colleges, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education.

This work is a nice complement to his new mission to expand some of the shared learning of the College Star program beyond the anchor campuses to other schools in the UNC system, the state and the nation.   

“We want to collaborate with others to enhance and increase the use, access and knowledge of UDL principles which can benefit students with learning differences as well as others who can benefit from having information presented in multiple ways,” Watson said. 

As part of his networking, Ruben was recently accepted as a presenter at the 2017 Lilly Teaching and Learning Conference in Austin, and he is creating opportunities for faculty members to share their UDL experiences on-line by creating interactive modules.

A new project is the development of STAR Learning Communities.  The first community is being led by Dr. Lindsay Masland at Appalachian State and is focusing on tiered feedback.   It will be College STAR’s first project-wide virtual learning community.

Interested faculty members can learn more about this community and suggest other topics at

“I’m excited about the potential of these new learning communities to break down silos and enable faculty to learn and collaborate with peers across campuses,” Watson said. 

Watson has a Master’s degree in K-12 Education Administration from Michigan State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Western Michigan University.  He and his wife Latisha have a daughter Savannah who is in the 1st grade and a son Zaire who is 1 year old.