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ThinkAchieve Faculty Fellows 2013-2014


We are pleased to announce three new ThinkAchieve faculty development programs for 2013-2014. These programs are year-long faculty cohorts led by selected UTC faculty who are experts on a teaching strategy or approach that promotes student critical thinking and active learning.  With this program, faculty participants attend a half-day workshop on May 2, 2013 and at least three meetings with the cohort during each semester of the 2013-2014 academic year.  The program culminates with a campus-wide presentation by each cohort in May 2014. 

Faculty may apply for their cohort of interest by Friday, February  22nd. Selections for each cohort will be made by the ThinkAchieve Awards Selection Committee; up to five faculty members will be accepted to each cohort.  A broad representation from the colleges will be a priority in the selection process.  Cohort participants will be paid  $500 for participation. Active  involvement in all components of the program (workshop, academic year meetings, and campus-wide  presentation) is required


The 2013-2014 Faculty Fellows  Programs are:         


Bringing Creative Energy into the Research Process

Priscilla Seaman          

Reference/Instruction Librarian, Lupton Library          

This Faculty Fellows program focuses on the  topic of how to convert research anxiety and dread into research creativity and  ‘flow state.’ Although 21st century students have access to a vast  information landscape, they often begin their college education with a “Google  mindset” and a linear thesis/conclusion research model. This program will  introduce faculty to a cyclical research approach called the  Information/Research Life Cycle which begins with the formulation of a good,  researchable topic/question, and takes the researcher through 12 stages of  research process.  At the completion of  the program, faculty will be able to help students construct researchable  questions, understand and use controlled vocabulary and keyword search  techniques, identify tools and databases for the exploration of research  questions, evaluate sources within databases, incorporate the research life  cycle into course materials.

Cohort Participants are: 

Susan McDonald, Occupational Therapy

Carrie Meadows, English

Will Stern, Health and Human Performance

Alice Tym, Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography


Creating Meaningful Connections: Pop Culture in the Classroom

Ralph Covino

Assistant Professor, History Department

Scholarly attention has focused on  millennial students’ resistance to ‘old school’ lecture formats, their  technology-dependence, and what happens when they get to college; however, a  key aspect of the way these students actually process information in their  out-of-class lives -and how it can be used in-class- has yet to receive much  notice. Many on the teaching front-lines have noted how students react  positively to in-class references to film, television, and other media such as  The Hunger Games, 50 Shades of Gray, superhero films, and the like; but how can  we best harness our students’ ‘referential culture’ to promote logical and  coherent critical thinkers? This cohort seeks to explore best practices for the  use of popular culture in the classroom and train faculty to develop exercises  that have students communicate and articulate connections between pop culture  and their subject matter in a meaningful way.

Cohort Participants are: 

Jessica Auchter, Political Science

Jennifer Boyd, Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences

Lindsay Irvin, History

Hope Klug, Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences

Craig Laing, Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography

Jessica Peacock, Health and Human Performance


Using Problem-Based Learning as a Tool for Critical Thinking  

Cheryl M. Robinson

Associate Professor, School of Education

Problem-based  learning is an instructional approach by which student learning centers on a  multi-level problem that cannot be answered with a single correct answer.  Much of the literature in regards to  problem-based learning suggests that by having students learn through the  experience of problem-solving, both content and thinking strategies are learned.  In this Faculty Fellows program, faculty will learn to create a problem-based  learning course in their own discipline. They will learn how to meet each of  the 8 instructional principles of problem-based learning that will be shared  during the workshop and cohort meetings. The culminating activity will be a  presentation of their instructional plan. Come enjoy the creativity and fun as  you enhance your teaching techniques.

Cohort Participants are:

Angela Ballard, Communication

Claire McCullough, Computer Science and Engineering

Madonna Kemp, English

David Witt, College of Business, Management

Kelli Hand, Nursing