About Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty, like their students, learn by reading, experiencing, reflecting and collaborating with others” (Fulton & Licklider, 1998, p. 55)

The goal of a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is enjoyable scholarly exchange among peers, but these groups can also create positive change.  At other universities and colleges, faculty learning communities have been shown to enhance faculty perception of teaching as an intellectual pursuit, strengthen scholarly interests, improve teaching skill, and support experimentation in the classroom (Cox, 2001; O’Meara, 2005).  They can also build a sense of community and promote cross-disciplinary conversation.

The Faculty Learning Community program was inaugurated in Fall 2012. At St. Thomas, Faculty Learning Communities are year-long cross-disciplinary groups with 8-14 members; they are organized around a particular topic related to faculty life and have a reading and discussion agenda. A faculty leader organizes monthly meetings; he or she plans the format, the details of the meeting situation, and goals for each meeting.

Participate in a Community

We announce a call for proposals to lead a Faculty Learning Community in the late spring. A call to participate in a Faculty Learning Community is announced in late summer or early fall. All St. Thomas faculty, adjunct and full-time, are welcome to participate in an FLC. Announcements are posted on our OneStThomas site and via email. Be sure to contact our office if you have questions about leading or joining a FLC.

Faculty Learning Communities by Academic Year

2018-19 (View the descriptions)

  • Academic Community Engagement: Engage your Teaching and Scholarship (Jessica Hodge, Theresa Ricke-Kiely, and Kelly Sardon-Garrity)
  • Aligning Teaching and Research: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) (Lance Peterson)
  • Building Your Online Academic Presence (Olga Herrera and Kari Fletcher)
  • Committing to Racial Consciousness in our STEM Classrooms (Rebecca Glover and Melissa Loe)
  • Community of Inquiry on Online Teaching (Kevin Henderson and Colin Martin)
  • Encouraging Quantitative Literacy (Matthew Kim and Chip Small)
  • Professors Practicing Mindfulness (Vanessa Cornett-Murtada and Bill Brendel)
  • Strategic Scholarship (Lesley Scibora and Kari Zimmerman)
  • Toward and Beyond Sustainability (Elise Amel, Maria Dahmus, and Amir Nadav)
  • Your Next Chapter? For Faculty Over Fifty (Ann Johnson)

2017-18 (View the descriptions)

  • Aligning Teaching and Research: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Uta Wolfe)
  • Building a Changemaker Campus: How to help students, staff, and faculty create lasting social change (Adam Kay and Cynthia Sarver)
  • Chairing a Department (Cathy Cory and Andy Scheiber)
  • Hybrid and Online Learning in STEM Education (Erin Curran and Dalma Martinovic)
  • Multiple Lenses on Information Literacy (Wendy Wyatt, Peter Gregg, Dan Gjelten, Heather Shirey, Erika Scheurer, Talia Nadir, Marc Isaacson, and John Abraham)
  • Racial Justice Pedagogy (Colin Martin and Salina Renninger)
  • Survive & Thrive in the Pre-tenure Years (Ann Johnson and Lawrence Chui)

2016-17 (View the descriptions)

  • Aligning Teaching and Research: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning lev by Uta Wolfe (Psychology)
  • Being Mortal led by Teresa Collett (School of Law)
  • Chairing a Department led by Andy Scheiber (English) and Cathy Cory(Theology)
  • Contemplative Practices in Higher Education led by Vanessa Cornett-Murtada (Music)
  • Curiosity led by Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman (Engineering)
  • Intercultural Learning and Education Abroad Learning Community led by Deb Besser (Director, Center for Engineering Education) and Sarah Spencer (Director, Office of Study Abroad)
  • Strategic Scholarship led by Kari Zimmerman (History), Lesley Scibora(Health and Human Performance), and Bryana French (Graduate School of Professional Psychology)
  • Racial Justice Pedagogy and Intersectionality Colin Martin (Biology), Bryana French (Graduate School of Professional Psychology), and Lucia Pawlowski(English) 
  • Teaching Squares led by Melissa Loe (Mathematics) and Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman (Engineering)
  • Tenured, Now What? led by Eric Fort (Chemistry) and Kari L. Fletcher (School of Social Work)

2015-16 (View the descriptions)

  • Introducing Race, Racism, and Racial Intersections in Predominantly White Classrooms - Led by Consuelo Cavalieri (Graduate School of Professional Psychology), Stephen Brookfield (Leadership, Policy and Administration), and Rama Hart (Organization Learning and Development)
  • Creating Meaningful Classroom Discussions - Led by Angela High-Pippert (Political Science)
  • Creating Self-Regulated Learners - Led by Chip Small (Biology)
  • Embracing Our Role in the Global Church - Led by Gerald Schlabach (Theology; Justice and Peace Studies)
  • Increasing Student Success, Self-confidence, and Engagement Through Classroom Public Speaking Exercises led by Ryan Bremner (Psychology)
  • Strategic Scholarship - Led by Kari Zimmerman (History), Lesley Scibora (Health and Human Performance), and Bryana French (Graduate School of Professional Psychology)
  • Teaching, Sharing, and Learning - Led by Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman (Engineering)
  • Technology, Innovation and Design - Led by Debasish Mallick (Operations and Supply Chain Management)
  • Survive & Thrive in the Pre-tenure Years - Led by Ann Johnson (Psychology and Faculty Development) and Buffy Smith (Sociology & Criminal Justice)
  • Chairing a Department - Led by Andy Scheiber (English) and Cathy Cory (Theology)

2014-15 (View the descriptions)

  • Chairing a Department - Co-led by Lisa Waldner and Andy Scheiber
  • Flipping the Classroom - Led by Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman
  • Helping Students Become Better Speakers & Presenters in Class - Led by Ryan Bremner
  • Mindfulness Meditation and Teaching - Led by Bill Brendel
  • Social and Mobile Learning - Led by Candace Chou
  • Survive and Thrive in the Pre-Tenure Years - Co-led by Buffy Smith and Ann Johnson


  • Chairing a Department - Led by Lisa Waldner (Sociology) and Andy Scheiber (English)
  • Corporate Responsibility - Led by Ken Goodpaster, Ron James, and David Rodbourne (Ethics and Business Law, Center for Ethical Business Cultures)
  • Effective Teaching and Learning in the Sciences, Math, and Engineering - Led by Melissa Loe (Mathematics)
  • Inclusiveness, our classrooms, and beyond - Led by Ann Johnson (Faculty Development)
  • Mindfulness Meditation and Teaching - Led by Bill Brendel (Organization Learning and Development)
  • Survive and Thrive in the Pre-Tenure Years - Led by Buffy Smith (Sociology)
  • Sustainable choices and your health: Connecting people, places and planet - Led by Jennifer McGuire (Biology) and Dalma Martinovic-Weigelt (Biology)
  • Teaching First Year Courses - Led by Colin Martin (Biology)
  • Wholehearted Teaching - Led by Pat Hedberg (Management)


  • Generation Me: Understanding Today's Students - Led by Tom Connery (COJO)
  • Diversity issues in Higher Education - Led by Buffy Smith (Sociology)
  • Harnessing Writing's Power for Critical Thinking - Led by Erika Scheurer (English)
  • Meditation, Mindfulness, and Teaching - Co-led by Bill Brendel (Organizational Learning and Development) and Carol Bruess (COJO)
  • Midcareer Issues: Negotiating the Next Step - Led by Marty Warren (English)
  • Surviving and Thriving During the Pre-Tenure Years - Led by Ann Johnson (Psychology)
  • Effective Teaching and Learning in the Sciences, Math, and Engineering - Led by Melissa Loe (Mathematics)
  • Enhancing Scholarly Productivity - Led by David Deeds (Entrepreneurship)
  • Sustainability Issues in the Classroom - Led by Elise Amel (Psychology)