From the Director: Behind the Scenes at Faculty Development

April 13, 2017 / By: Dr. Ann Johnson, Director of Faculty Development & Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement

From left to right: Elizabeth Smith, Roxanne Kendle, Mary Reichardt, and Ann Johnson.As I prepare to exit gracefully (that’s my goal, anyway) from my role as Director of Faculty Development, I’ve been thinking a lot about how grateful I am to work each day with three fantastic colleagues who don’t get the attention they deserve for all they do. Faculty Development is a pretty complex operation, yet these three, with their amazing organizational skills, make it appear easy and seamless. As the new director comes in, that person can feel confident about getting strong, collegial support, smart advice, and strategic feedback from the FD team:

If you’ve had a grant lately, you’ve been corresponding with Program Coordinator, Roxanne Kendle. Her background in Accounts Payable has given her awesome grounding in the financial skills and wizardry necessary to operate our faculty grants system. She is also the organized mind behind our event planning, attending to every detail, from registration to food to name tags. Roxanne’s composed demeanor and positive outlook keep us all on an even keel; faculty facing even dauntingly complex paperwork find her calm presence reassuring. She has a wonderful assistant this year, our student intern Madeline Hill, a psychology major who is on her way to grad school and will be greatly missed.

Dr. Mary ReichardtMary Reichardt, Associate Director for Grants and Writing, is beloved by many faculty who have benefited from her outstanding writing consultation and assistance; I know because I hear from grateful clients regularly. As a faculty member and prolific publisher, she knows well the challenges inherent in being a productive faculty writer, and also the strategies needed for success in publishing and grant writing. In addition, she manages the public side of our grants program, communicating with applicants, organizing the review process with the Faculty Development Committee, and planning workshops to help prepare faculty for writing their proposals. Mary’s keen editing eye helps us all to be better communicators and her sense of humor adds a dose of fun (if you’ve visited our offices, you know we have a good time up here).

Elizabeth SmithElizabeth Smith – I hardly know where to begin. As our Associate Director of Programs, she combines amazing talent in visual design, instructional design, and technology. She is the creative eye behind our communication and outreach efforts, publishing Synergia, organizing our website and crafting our marketing. Her passion for integrating technology in the classroom in sustainable ways grounds our efforts in that area; she now serves as our collaborative representative with the STELAR center, working with the creative folks there to serve our ever-innovating faculty. Elizabeth combines her scientific talent with a vital commitment to our mission, promoting evidence-based programs like our “Transparency” workshops that contribute to the common good. Finally, she is my go-to person for brainstorming; her grounded wisdom and pragmatism keep us all on the right path.

I also want to acknowledge with deep gratitude the faculty members who serve as inspired and inspiring program leaders or facilitators:

  • Angela High-Pippert (managing our Classroom Consultation program)
  • Susan Callaway (designing and providing faculty writing retreats)
  • Buffy Smith (developed our Mentoring for Success program; she is off to other projects now)
  • Stephen Brookfield (facilitating workshops on adult learners, fostering discussion, race and privilege in the classroom)

And finally, it’s been a joy to work with all the classroom consultants and the rotating crew of Faculty Development Committee members. Thanks to all of you.

“Your life becomes the shape of the days you inhabit. Days enter us” – writes poet John O’Donohue.

I feel very lucky to have spent my days with these people, this work, for the past 6 years. May your work days be similarly blessed.