Aaron Nunes-Zaller

Curriculum Design, GATHER

AJ Nunes-Zaller has several years of experience teaching and studying cultural, political, economic, and social paradigms. He has traveled, worked, and volunteered throughout Latin America, Asia, Europe, and East Africa. AJ is an Instructor within the Integrated Studies Department at FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University). As an Instructor, he creates collaborative atmospheres for learners, challenges students to connect theory with practice, and creates interactive activities that deepen students ability to analyze and evaluate theoretically sophisticated material. Previously, he was the Elementary Department Chair at N.I.Y.C. (New Image Youth Center) in the Parramore area of Orlando, FL. In this position, he provided leadership and support to staff, volunteers, interns and at-risk youth. He also created, developed, and implemented programming for youth, oftentimes centered around social justice themes.

During the 2019-2020 school year AJ co-created, with Brandon McDowell, a year-long pilot (The Move: Civic Design and Community Leadership Program) with fourteen FGCU students in collaboration with Dr. Ceasar McDowell at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). AJ is currently the lead curriculum designer for the UCF’s GED Program at PEID (Parramore Education & Innovation Districts). He has integrated non-traditional educational methods that incorporate students’ lived experiences into the classroom in order to create a unique shared-learning GED program.

AJ’s background is truly interdisciplinary and he has leveraged his skill set to develop several mixed-media pieces to engage people with dense content. Also, AJ studied filmmaking, one of his passions, and continues to produce films. His graduate research focused on analyzing the institution of prison and methods used by the education system that supports a school to prison pipeline. He has a Master of Arts in Teaching for Social Justice (Marlboro College) and a Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management (SIT Graduate Institute).

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