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Photo of O’Leary, Erin Sanders

Erin Sanders O'Leary

Executive Director

Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Building & Room:

Teaching Excellence Building (TEB 689)


Dr. Erin Sanders O’Leary is the Executive Director for UIC's Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE), an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences in UIC's College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and an Associate Adjunct Professor in Microbiology & Immunology in UIC's College of Medicine.  In her capacity as the CATE Executive Director, she collaborates with faculty across the campus to support inclusive, learner-centered innovation in instructional practices. Dr. O'Leary also serves as the Administrative Co-Leader for UIC’s Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL@UIC) program, which provides pedagogical training opportunities for UIC graduate students and postdocs in support of their academic career development.

Dr. O'Leary joined the UIC community in July 2020, coming from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where she served for six years as the founding Director of UCLA’s Center for Education Innovation & Learning in the Sciences (CEILS). As a faculty member in UCLA's Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics Department and the Life Sciences Core Education Department, Dr. O'Leary dedicated more than 15 years to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, experiences that shaped her approach to instructional development.

Dr. O'Leary earned her B.S. in Chemistry at DePaul University in Chicago and her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at UCLA in Los Angeles.