UHD Appoints Greg Dement Director of New Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) this week named Greg Dement director of its new Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, set to launch in the fall 2014 semester.
As director of the new Center, he will play a key role in improving the infrastructure for pedagogical training, support and faculty development. He also will partner with the UHD Library and Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness to increase faculty resources and regularly evaluate the effectiveness of Center initiatives and services.
The mission of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to facilitate innovation, collaboration, and scholarship among faculty for the purpose of enhancing learning environments and supporting a variety of ongoing initiatives aimed at increasing overall student success at the University. These initiatives include improving the first-year experience for students, enhancing the quality of online and blended courses, and expanding the use of Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) high-impact practices, such as service learning, learning communities and capstone courses.
The Center will provide all faculty at UHD - whether full-time professors or part-time instructors - access to a variety of services and resources that address differences in teaching styles and disciplinary pedagogy. These offerings include, but are not limited to, individual faculty consultation, classroom observation, resources and support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, and professional development workshops.
"The Center is focused on promoting continuous improvement and expanding the use of evidence-based and innovative instructional strategies in order to enhance the already vibrant teaching culture at UHD," said Dement.
Dement first joined UHD in 2010 as an adjunct professor of general microbiology and immunology. He became a learning strategies instructor in natural sciences in 2011 and established a curriculum for student-centered instruction in freshmen barrier courses in the sciences. Last year, UHD named Dement director of the Comprehensive Student Success Program Grant, in which he redesigned courses, renovated classrooms to better facilitate team learning, and managed student services to improve student success and retention.
Prior to joining UHD, Dement served as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) post-doctoral trainee and NIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) teaching scholar at Baylor College of Medicine. Through this program, he conducted biomedical research, trained graduate students, participated in teaching workshops and taught undergraduate science courses at UHD.
Dement received a doctoral degree in microbiology from Washington State University and a bachelor's degree in biology from Northwest Nazarene University.