Synergia | Professional Development

SUMMER 2014 FACULTY DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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Summer is right around the corner but before you head out of town we hope you take a moment to look at the Faculty Development opportunities available this summer!

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UST Faculty Learning Communities

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Watch your email in May for a call for faculty or faculty teams to propose and lead new Faculty Learning Communities for the 2014-15 academic year. Follow the link below for more information about Faculty Learning Communities.

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WAC Workshops and Seminars

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Announcing spring 2014 dates for Writing Across the Curriculum workshops and the next five-day Writing Across the Curriculum Seminar with Dr. Chris Anson.

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Writers' Retreat

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The next Faculty Writers Retreats are June 2-6 and August 4-8, 2014. From adjunct faculty to seasoned tenured colleagues, the writing retreats have been essential.

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Grant Deadlines Spring 2014

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Feb. 3: Research Grant
Feb. 17: Faculty Partnership Grant
Feb. 17: Partnership-in-Learning Grant
March 3: Teaching Enhancement Grant
April 15: Faculty Partnership Grant
April 15: Partnership-in-Learning Grant

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Using IDEA data for year-end reporting, 3rd year review and promotion and tenure.

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A recent blog post on the IDEA Center web site explains how faculty can use IDEA data for year-end reporting, 3rd year review and promotion and tenure. The post explains how faculty might consider using IDEA data to identify trends over time and create a development plan with IDEA data and reflection statements.

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Loftus Diversity Grant Program

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The Loftus Diversity Grant program was established in 2006 by Bob and Mary Jo Loftus, and grants are available to University of St. Thomas current students, staff and faculty. The grants support programs and projects at the university that focus on either health/wellness or the traditionally underserved. Earlier Loftus Diversity Grants have supported research on first-generation students, and addressed the health care needs of English-as-a-second-language students and women in prison. Grants can be used to support efforts such as; student summer-research projects, faculty sabbatical work, and staff engagement initiatives for students.

For more information about the grant contact loftusdiversity@stthomas.edu or follow the link below to the program web site. 

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QPR Brown Bag

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On November 5, UST’s Counseling and Psychological Services office will hold two brown bag sessions for faculty on suicide prevention using the QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) strategy. St. Paul campus: noon-1pm. Minneapolis Campus: 3-4pm. Click for details and to R.S.V.P.

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Mid-Career Faculty Stories: Mel Gray

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Dr. Mel Gray describes his 35 year career teaching economics, strategy and nonprofit management to undergraduate and M.B.A. students and reflects on the ways in which he finds new "growthful" opportunities and uses UST's Faculty Development programs as a way to rejuvenate and get moving in a good direction.

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Mid-Career Faculty Stories: Jill Manske

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As a full professor with 17 years of service (and a Ph.D.) Dr. Jill Manske explored her options and decided to take the leap into a new field by enrolling in graduate school to earn a Master's degree in Public Health.

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Engaging the mid-career mystery: Our Faculty Learning Community experience

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By: Drs. Marty Warren (English), Lisa Lamb (Geology), Monica Hartmann (Economics), Lisa Waldner (Sociology), Amy Muse (English)
Last year the five of us, with Marty’s leadership, took on an exploration of mid-career issues, using a workshop curriculum designed by Parker Palmer and photographer Jim Brandenberg called “Courage and Light” Some of us were motivated by reading the Chronicle article “Why are Associate Professors so Unhappy?” Its tales of finding oneself adrift and searching for something more post-tenure resonated with some of us far more deeply than we cared to admit. Some of us are already full professors, but could easily relate to the description of mid-career malaise in that article.

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Mindfulness Matters: A project for mindfulness and contemplation.

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To create a safe space for supporting and educating the UST community in meditative and contemplative practices by:


  1. Offering free, weekly mindfulness and movement meditation sessions open to students, faculty, and staff. View upcoming events.
  2. Facilitating others in expanding their personal practice through a variety of resources, including: coaching, information sessions, and meditation media library.
  3. Coordinating meditation retreats. View resources.
  4. Serving as a resource for integrating contemplative practices into research and pedagogy.
  5. Serving as a community of practice, celebrating the growth and possibilities that have been actualized by UST members through mindfulness and contemplative practices.
  6. Maintaining close relationships with local initiatives that aim to awaken the mind, heart, and body to the present moment.
  7. Developing a rigorous, interdisciplinary academic curriculum related to contemplative studies.

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WORKSHOP ON GRANT WRITING AND PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT

January 30-31, 2014
Co-sponsored by Grants and Research Office & Center for Faculty Development

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This two-day workshop is designed for faculty who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge related to grant writing. Upon completion of the workshop, participants should be equipped to submit a proposal to an outside sponsor within 24 months.

Workshop participation is limited to 25 faculty and is open to both full-time and adjunct faculty regardless of rank. The deadline to apply to attend the workshop was Oct. 29.

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Publish & Flourish

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November 22: Publish & Flourish workshop with Dr. Tara Gray

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Apply for Midwest Faculty Seminar

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Each year the University of Chicago Center for Teaching and Learning organizes a number of seminars for faculty from a consortium group of 24 midwest colleges and universities. Faculty Development is able to send a small number of full-time faculty.

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Faculty Learning Communities for 2013-14

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Consider joining one of these faculty-led groups for a chance to delve into a topic of interest to you and make connections with faculty from a variety of disciplines.

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Blended Course Grant Awards

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On behalf of the Office of Academic Affairs we are pleased to announce the recipients of the Blended Course Grant initiative for AY 2013-14.

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Summer Seminar Call for Proposals

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Faculty Development announces summer seminar call for proposals. The proposal deadline is April 24, 2013 at 4pm.

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Spring 2013 Professional Development Opportunities

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Upcoming workshops, seminars and grant deadlines for spring 2013. Check back often as new opportunities are added!

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Work-Family Brown Bag Series

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Combining work and family as a faculty member can be challenging. Whether it's caring for children or caring for aging parents, juggling competing demands can be stressful and taking care of your own needs often comes last. Take a break once a month and meet with other faculty members facing the same challenges. This is an informal bring-your-own-lunch gathering intended to allow faculty to share experiences, resources and support. Brown bags will be held on both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses during spring semester.

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Accessibility on the Web and in Blackboard - webinars and resources

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The Sloan Consortium is sponsoring a series of (free!) webinars focusing on accessibility, including federal regulations, available resources, invisible disabilities, and effective practices for student and faculty success.

Did you know that content on the Web must be accessible in three ways, and that placing content in Blackboard, which is an accessible program, does not automatically make the content accessible?

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Synergia Spotlight: International Student Services

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Join International Student Services for a webinar on working with Chinese students in the U.S. Classroom. Learn more about the events and opportunities for you and your students to connect with St. Thomas international students.

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Math Anxiety — How Ridiculous!

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ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2012) — Mathematics anxiety can prompt a response in the brain similar to when a person experiences physical pain, according to new research at the University of Chicago.

This was the first paragraph of a short summary article that recently hit my Facebook page. The friend that posted it prefaced it with the comment that comprises the title of this piece. The short story is that anticipation of completing a math problem lights up the same portion of our brains that activates when we experience pain. The stronger your math anxiety, the more that part of your brain flashes on functional MRI (fmri) scans. This article isn’t about fmri scans or that study. It’s about my friend’s comment.

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2012 Fall Faculty Development Calendar

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Looking for professional development opportunities this fall? Check out the Faculty Development calendar for grants, workshops and more!

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Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum

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Integrating sustainability themes into courses can enrich teaching, student learning, and student engagement while fulfilling the mission of UST. During J-term, the Faculty Development Center will offer a faculty workshop on integrating sustainability into UST courses. Read on to find out more about this opportunity.

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Faculty Learning Communities

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Faculty Development announces new "Faculty Learning Communities" initiative.

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Faculty Development announces the "Open Classroom Project"

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We are excited to announce a new initiative this year, the Open Classroom Project, to encourage faculty to visit one another's classrooms and promote conversations about teaching among UST faculty, to permit faculty to gain exposure to new teaching strategies and approaches, to facilitate reflection on the teaching process. The faculty involved in the Open Classroom Project have a variety of instructional strategies that they can share when you visit their class, including discussion, lecture, small group work, and technology.

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Midwest Faculty Seminar Topics 2012-2013

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The Midwest Faculty Seminar is an opportunity to meet with colleagues from other liberal arts institutions for study, reflection, and discussion on issues that affect teaching and learning. Each year, Faculty Development is able to sponsor a small number of faculty to attend the seminars. This year's topics include J.M. Coetzee's novel "Disgrace", "Mind, Brain, and World: On Embodied Cognition", "Islam in/and the West" and "Climate Change Across the Disciplines." Click below for details and seminar dates.

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Death and the Politics of Life - Midwest Faculty Seminar Update

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As we have known for a very long time (since at least Plato), death and sex are two topics guaranteed to stimulate vigorous discussion among intellectuals. Politics and religion are close seconds. Paul Wojda writes about his experiences at the February 2012 Midwest Faculty Seminar.

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Missed some of the Synergia newsletters? Check out the 2011-12 archives.

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Faculty Development electronically publishes the Synergia newsletter from September to May, and all faculty automatically are subscribed.

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Save the date: Summer Seminars!

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Planning for the annual Summer Seminar is currently underway, and we are happy to announce that two seminars will be offered this summer. The popular Blended Course Design seminar with Jason Rhode will be back June 18 - 20. A second seminar focusing on Assessment will also be offered this summer. Watch for an email in the next few weeks from Faculty Development with seminar information, dates and registration information.

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On-Campus Writers' Retreat

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Registration is open! The Center for Writing and Faculty Development will be offering a 1-week on-campus retreat in June for faculty and staff to make substantial progress on their writing projects.

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April 20 Fabulous Friday

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The Spring 2012 Fabulous Friday series concludes with the April 20 session "What I did on my sabbatical" with Pete Parilla (Sociology & Criminal Justice) and Camille George (Engineering).

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Center for Catholic Studies Faculty Seminar

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The Center for Catholic Studies has invited J. Brian Benestad, professor of theology at the University of Scranton and author of the book Church, State, and Society: An Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine to come to the University to lead a faculty seminar on the topic of his book.

The seminar will be held on 11–15 June from nine to noon each day. Faculty will be expected to do some reading in preparation for each day’s session.

Faculty from all departments are invited, but participation will be limited to twenty faculty. Interested faculty should contact Kenneth Kemp (KWKemp@stthomas.edu, 2-5360) by Wednesday, 28 March. Late applications will be accepted if space is available.

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Midwest Faculty Seminar Update - Dr. Heather Shirey

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Each year the University of Chicago Center for Teaching and Learning organizes a number of seminars for faculty from a consortium group of 24 midwest colleges and universities. These are interdisciplinary scholarly symposia on topics of interest to those teaching in liberal arts environments. Heather Shirey writes about her experience at the January seminar, which focused on Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man and how she plans to incorporate the novel into her Arts of the African Diaspora (ARTH 284) course.

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Reception & book launch with Stephen Brookfield

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Faculty Development and the UST Bookstore are pleased to co-host a reception and book signing with Dr. Stephen Brookfield for the launch of his new book Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions.

Please join us on Friday, March 16 in St. Paul in OSF Library, Room 108 (the 'leather room') from 3:30 - 4:30. An R.S.V.P. for the reception is not needed.

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Issues for Faculty of Color Reading Group

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Spring 2012 sessions of the Issues for Faculty of Color reading group. For more information and to register contact Ann Johnson, Director of Faculty Development, at a9johnson@stthomas.edu.

Feb. 3 (St. Paul) noon to 1:00 in Room 102 OSF Library
Feb. 8 (Mpls) noon to 1:00 in Food for Thought

Feb. 17 (St. Paul) noon to 1:00 in ASC 367
Feb. 22 (Mpls) noon to 1:00 Food for Thought

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Workshops & Events

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  • Dec. 2: Fabulous Friday - The Ethics of Reality TV
  • Dec. 2, Jan. 20, Feb. 17: Reading Group on Issues for Faculty of Color
  • Jan. 9 - 13: On-Campus Writers' Retreat
  • Jan. 10 - 12: Introduction to Service-Learning Workshop
  • Feb. 9, March 8, April 12: Critical Thinking Series
  • Feb. 10: Join Dr. Stephen Brookfield, Distinguished University Professor, on Friday, February 10 from 3:00 - 4:00 in Terrence Murphy Hall, room 450 in Minneapolis for the launch of his new book Teaching for Critical Thinking.
  • Teaching Adult Learners - This Minneapolis workshop with Dr. Stephen Brookfield originally planned for March 13 is postponed.

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November Events

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    November 4: Knowledge Surveys As An Alternative Assessment Tool In The Classroom with Dr. Tom Hickson
    November 11: Conversation on Work-Family Balance led by Dr. Teresa Rothausen-Vange
    November 16: Getting Students to Participate in Discussion with Dr. Stephen Brookfield
    November 22: Preparing Book Proposals for Scholarly Publishers with Dr. Stephen Brookfield

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Try a Teaching Tune-Up

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Need a teaching tune-up? Revitalize your teaching with a visit from a trained Faculty Development classroom consultant.

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Blended Course Design - Summer Seminar Update

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Faculty Development held two seminars this summer: the Connecting Food with our Curriculum seminar led by Elise Amel and Tim Scully, and Jason Rhode's Blended Course Design seminar.

In a video update Carol Bruess highlights what she learned in the Blended Course Design seminar and takes us on a tour of some of the changes she made to her COJO 472 Blackboard course.

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The Importance of Sabbatical Leave for Scholarly Production

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John Holst writes about the importance of sabbatical leave and UST library resources which contributed to the development and publication of a new book with Stephen Brookfield.

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Connecting Food with Our Curriculum - Summer Seminar Update

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In addition to the Blended Course Design seminar offered this summer faculty also had an opportunity to attend Connecting Food with our Curriculum seminar led by Elise Amel and Tim Scully.

Debra Petersen (COJO) writes how this seminar has influenced her teaching and the ways in which it continues to enrich the UST community.

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Third Faculty Writers Retreat this June

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See what a quiet space and some colleagues in the room can do for you this June. Come to our next on-campus retreat.

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Two Summer Seminars this Summer!

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In June, FD will sponsor a seminar on Food and the Curriculum; in July, on Blended Course Design. Register soon online.

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IDEA Workshop this April

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Articulating and Incorporating IDEA Objectives into a Course
April 8, 3:30-5 p.m.
152 MHC
Led by Angela High-Pippert and Sherry Jordon, Classroom Consultants
Deadline for registration: April 1, 2011

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What’s Food Got to Do With It? Find out in Book Lunches this Spring!

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Food. It’s personal. It’s communal. It’s celebration. It’s comfort. It’s ritual. It’s fuel. It’s also…unsustainable. . . .

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"Hide and Write” on Fridays in the Center for Writing

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Every Friday afternoon of the academic semester from 1-4 p.m., writers can reserve a spot in JRC 361 to write. Again without distraction or interruptions, writers can make weekly progress on their projects and keep those projects alive.

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New Mid-Career Faculty Programming: Fabulous Fridays!

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Hear about the sustainability initiative on campus; suggestions for developing a successful research agenda; and how to plan your sabbatical - wine and treats provided.

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Faculty Writers Retreat—back by popular demand!

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Yes, Susan Callaway has been urged to hold another writers retreat January 10-14. Read why . . . .

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Multicultural Student Services will feature Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway for their 2011 January Book Club

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Interested faculty should contact Pam Nice in Faculty Development to participate and receive a free copy of this book while they last. The book club will meet in January in LIB 108, from 12-1 p.m.

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Feeling sick? You’re in luck if you’re on the Minneapolis Campus.

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The New Faculty Writers Program

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Are you working on a dissertation, book manuscript, article, grant application, or other writing project that you’d very much like to complete? Do you need a quiet space in which to write away from the distractions of your office, email, and cell phone? Would you like to gain the support of colleagues who are also writing and receive feedback on your work? Do you need to know more about how to publish or prepare a book proposal?

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The Writers Retreat Experience

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Do you ever have a scholarly project that you have been meaning to write up, in what feels like, forever? If you’re like me, you have at least one that’s always present. The Writer’s Retreat this past June was perfect timing for me in this respect.

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New Mid-Career Faculty Programming: Fabulous Fridays!

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This year Faculty Development will be offering a new series geared toward post-tenure faculty, called Fabulous Fridays. This wine-and-cheese series will showcase various research, teaching and service opportunities that might offer faculty some new ideas or help them connect with programs of interest.

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Midwest Faculty Seminars: University of Chicago

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The Deadline to apply to Faculty Development: September 24, 2010

This year the University of St. Thomas will support the attendance of six faculty at the Midwest Faculty Seminars sponsored by the University of Chicago. The seminars for this year are listed below.

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Of International Interest

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Faculty Travel Grants, CIEE seminars, and the upcoming Study Abroad course proposal deadline.

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Faculty Development Fall Workshops

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This fall we have workshops on articulating IDEA objectives, another Brookfield workshop on publishing for journals, and several Writing across the Curriculum workshops co-sponsored with WAC.

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Imagining their own Lives in Music

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“Much of what I teach is a hard sell to students, given their diverse expectations. Everyone loves music, so a course about it should be easy and fun; alternatively, it could be a boring monolithic chronicle of repertoire that has little bearing on their own lives. How well I know their pain; in college I once cut classes during an entire unit on opera! I recall what my horn teacher quipped, when I began student teaching: ‘The biggest mistake teachers make is, they think they are going forth to impart knowledge.’”

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Engineering a More Sustainable World

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“An engineer is a professional that is called to use their knowledge and skills to build useful devices in the service of mankind. What motivates me as a professor of mechanical engineering is the opportunity to introduce this idea to students. Most students think of engineering as a degree that will give them a good paying job. They see themselves as future employees- cogs in a wheel. They rarely see themselves as future professionals that can pro-actively use engineering skills to promote a peaceful and just existence for all people.”

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Spring Faculty Development Workshops

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Stephen Brookfield offers a workshop on Book Publishing, and Service Learning has one on Intercultural Communication.

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Summer Writing Opportunities

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A pilot Writers’ Retreat for faculty wanting time and space for scholarship is offered by Susan Callaway of the Writing Center. The popular Writing across the Curriculum seminar led by Chris Anson will be offered for faculty who want to teach WAC courses.

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2010 Summer Seminars

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In addition to the Faculty Development summer seminar on Teaching and Reaching Millennials, Service Learning and the Center for Catholic Studies are offering seminars.

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Female Faculty Retreat and Workshop - July

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Faculty Development and the Luann Dummer Center for Women are co-sponsoring both a workshop for all faculty and retreat on Work-Life Balance for female faculty, led by Dr. Susan Robison.

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