The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) has announced the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Faculty Teaching Fellows for 2017-18: Dr. Léonie Karkoviata and Zishang (Cathy) Liu (Marilyn Davies College of Business); Dr. Yuan Yuan (Connie) Kang and Kendra Mhoon (College of Sciences & Technology), Dr. Maria Bhattacharjee and Jace Valcore (College of Public Service); and Dr. Elizabeth Hatfield and Susan Henney (College of Humanities and Social Sciences).
These distinguished educators all share a desire to improve student success through practicing and promoting teaching excellence. They will serve as a liaison between CTLE and their respective colleges and departments while also filling a unique role based on their skills and interests. Fellows apply in a competitive process and are chosen by a committee of their peers from within their colleges.
Dr. Greg Dement, Director of CTLE, emphasized that the Faculty Teaching Fellows program is a joint venture between the CTLE and academic colleges. College-level committees select fellows for their college from a list of applicants based, in-part, on alignment of the fellows’ proposed goals with priorities of the college. The program directly addresses a major CTLE goal of providing discipline-specific support to faculty within the various colleges and departments at UHD.
During the pilot year (2016-17) of the program, the first cohort of fellows—Drs. Elizabeth Hatfield (CHSS), Stephanie Karas (CPS), Léonie Karkoviata (COB), and Eszter Trufan (CST)—played a pivotal role in ensuring that CTLE met needs of the colleges and departments. Their effort and input have contributed to improving and expanding the program to now include two teaching fellows per college.
As Faculty Teaching Fellows, members receive: a course release for time spent on related activities; a travel stipend to attend a pedagogical conference or workshop; the opportunity to improve and share best practices relevant to teaching and learning; recognition for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service; networking and collaboration opportunities with peers from across the University; and dedicated support and resources for related activities.
“As a Faculty Teaching Fellow, I can bring initiatives to my department and improve my own teaching simultaneously,” noted Hatfield, Assistant Professor of Communication in CHSS. “Entering my second year as a fellow, I am excited to build on the work completed during my first year including leading a teaching circle on media artifacts and completing a research article on narrative learning in the classroom. The program creates a useful way to connect the CTLE with the individual departments across our growing campus.”
In addition to attending regular meetings with other Fellow and the CTLE staff, Faculty Teaching Fellows will communicate with their departments and colleges about CTLE initiatives, programs, and resources, and help complete a profile of their department’s specific programs and needs. Fellows are also called upon to provide professional development through workshop facilitation, classroom observation, and/or consultation, particularly for new faculty.
Each Faculty Teaching Fellow chooses their own unique role in support of teaching and learning.
“As we move closer to the beginning of their appointments, our fellows will work with us to articulate how they will choose to either: develop and implement a CTLE initiative (Teaching Circle; Course Innovation Initiative redesign; HIPs Award, etc.); engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning by proposing and conducting an educational research study that leads to publication or presentation; or implement a unique plan that benefits teaching and learning at the University,” said Georges Detiveaux, Assistant Director of CTLE.
The Faculty Teaching Fellows begin their service fall 2017.