Dr. Nathan Whitley-Grassi is the Director of Digital Accessibility, Media, and Learning Environments at SUNY Empire State College He holds a PhD in education from Walden University and holds graduate degrees in biological anthropology and ecology, evolution and behavior from SUNY University at Buffalo as well as a bachelor’s degree in biology from Armstrong State University. 

Whitley-Grassi is a teaches Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies (MALET) program where he teaches courses on educational assessment, STEM education, instructional design, and advises graduate students at the Empire State College School of Graduate Studies. Whitley-Grassi also teaches courses in education, biological anthropology, primate behavior, conservation, and ecology and evolution topics at the undergraduate level. 

Whitley-Grassi’s research interests include increasing access to STEM experiences through innovative technology integration, educational assessment, and faculty development.



  • B.S. in Biology from University of Georgia
  • M.A. in Biological Anthropology & Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior from University at Buffalo - State University of New York
  • Ph.D in Education from Walden University
  • M.A. in Biological Anthropology & Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from University at Buffalo - State University of New York


  • Whitley-Grassi, N., Whitley-Grassi, B., Hoppel, S., & Zgliczynski, M., (In press forthcoming 2021) Medical vs. Social Models of Disability: Increasing Inclusion and Participation of Students in Online and Blended Learning in Higher Education. International Perspectives on Supporting and Engaging Online Learners. Blessinger, P., & Hoffman, J.. (Eds.).
  • Matias, A., Woo, K., & Whitley-Grassi, N. (2018). Expanding Access to Science Field-Based Research Techniques for Online Students through OER. International Journal of Open Educational Resources,1(1). doi:10.18278/ijoer.1.1.7
  • Matais, A., Whitley-Grassi, N., & Woo, K., (2016) Ecology and Earth Science Virtual Field Experiences OERs: Expanding Access to Field-Based Research Techniques for Students at a Distance. Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education. Ble
  • Sullivan, R., van Putten, C. & Whitley-Grassi, N. (2015). Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP): Discovering and exploring within a supportive professional development community. In S. Carliner, C. Fulford & N. Ostashewski (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: Wor
  • Sullivan, R., Tysick, C.A., Pilawski, B., Shi, S., van Putten, C., & Whitley-Grassi, N. (2014) Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP): Online Professional Development through Structured Inquiry and a Virtual Community. Inquiry Based Learning for Faculty and I
  • Whitley-Grassi, N & Hoefler, P. (2013). Technology Approaches to Final Papers and Projects. In C. Wankel & P. Blessinger (Ed.s) Increasing Student Engagement and Retention using Social Technologies: Facebook, e-portfolios and other Social Networking Whitley-Grassi, N & Bazer, J.S. (2010). Comparison of Effectiveness of Class Attendance vs. Online Lecture Viewing in Learning Human Physiology, The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Online Learning. Oct. 7(10). P. 31-38