Synergia - Latest News

For three years, Bethany Timmerman has been helping undergraduates develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and discussion skills in St. Thomas' English department. Looking for extra support, guidance, and incentive to put her new ideas into practice, Bethany applied for and was awarded the Adjunct Professional Development Grant in Fall 2015. The grant includes an opportunity for faculty to work with instructional designers to help plan for and achieve teaching and learning goals.
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Dr. Ann Johnson, Director of the Center for Faculty Development, Professor of Psychology
Wishing you a wonderful, relaxed, rejuvenating summer full of good reading and plenty of downtime.
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Newsroom - University of St. Thomas

To help professors keep up with a changing educational environment, the Center for Faculty Development (FDC) fosters strong communication among professors through the Open Classroom Project.

The Open Classroom Project encourages professors to learn teaching techniques by observing each other in the classroom. FDC director and psychology professor Ann Johnson said the idea came about partly because she took a French class, and discovered she learned a lot more than language skills.

“I was just blown away by how much I could learn from my colleagues by just sitting in class and watching how they teach,” Johnson said. “Even though we teach very different subjects, I really picked up a lot of good ideas, and it was just very inspiring.”

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Do you have a topic that you would like to explore in depth with colleagues next year? Consider applying to lead a Faculty Learning Community next year.‌
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Spend time with Faculty Development this summer! Registration is open for the summer seminar and workshops. Seats are limited.
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Newsroom - University of St. Thomas

Fifteen plastic, purple swivel chairs fill a Murray-Herrick Campus Center second-floor classroom on a Tuesday afternoon. A St. Thomas faculty member works her way through a slideshow in the hour-long class, calling for participation and feedback at different points.

“Does anybody have an example they would be willing to share?” she asks about 10 minutes in. A few seconds of silence drag out. “Hmm, quiet group.”

A hand reluctantly makes its way into the air, and a comment that kicks the conversation forward follows. Over the next 50 minutes the room flits from lecture and questions to general and small-group discussions, gaining momentum and openness before it adjourns at hour’s end.

This scene plays out countless times each semester across St. Thomas, but this session was noteworthy in that the 15 chairs weren’t filled by students. They were filled by faculty members, who – in this particular workshop – were being schooled on how better to gain and understand formal feedback from students.

Teachers being taught is a common theme for the Center for Faculty Development (FDC), which, through its wide range of offerings, supports faculty in becoming better at everything they do.

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Center for Faculty Development
Congratulation to faculty awardees of the Teaching Enhancement Grant and the Research Grant for 2016-17.
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New! Faculty-led Interdisciplinary Group Grant: Supports interdisciplinary faculty groups who wish to study a particular topic, learn a new skill, or pursue a project of mutual benefit to the teaching or scholarly life of the participants. Applications due April 1.
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Dr. Ann Johnson, Director of the Center for Faculty Development / Professor of Psychology
I recently attended the IDEA Center-sponsored annual training meeting with Angela High-Pippert, our Coordinator of Classroom Consultation services, and we were impressed with the positive changes taking place – both in the content of IDEA tools and format of reporting to faculty.
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Dr. Ann Johnson, Director of Faculty Development, Professor of Psychology‌‌
I am excited to announce that UST has established an institutional membership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), as part of our strategic initiatives related to diversity. That means we can provide you with a free membership and access to a variety of its benefits.
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