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Faculty Development Committee Report

Members with terms ending in 2014: Mike Jacobson and Ann Swinker

Members with terms ending in 2015: John Tooker and Kathy Kelley (Chair)

Members with terms ending in 2016: Mark Brennan and Dave Sanford

 

Members with terms beginning in 2014 (Terms ending in 2017):

Surojit Sarkar, Veterinary and Biomedical Science

Burt Staniar, Animal Science.

 

Dates of Meetings:

November 6, 2013 and April 15, 2014 (new chair will be elected)

 

November 6 meeting minutes

The Faculty Development Committee met with Tracy Hoover and Dan Hagen and discussed the group's interest in pursing development activities other than the P and T workshop that has been held in the past.  This was based on the 2012-2013 committee's discussions. 

 

Tracy and Dan were very supportive of the FDC's interest in exploring other ways to help faculty develop skills and learn about new and innovative teaching techniques. 

 

Prior to the meeting, Tracy provided a link to a resource that described mini-symposiums held at Florida.  At the meeting, the group talked about "starting small" and gradually working toward hosting a full-day symposium, similar to what Tracy shared. 

 

The outcome of the November 6th meeting was as follows: Beginning spring semester 2014, members of the FDC will host a monthly brown bag lunch series with each session focusing on a particular topic.  A presenter/panel will be invited to share experiences with the group and invite the attendees to ask questions, share their experiences, etc.  It is hoped that these sessions will also allow faculty to interact and meet newer faculty and those in departments other than their own.

 

Potential Faculty Development Brown Bag Discussion Topics:

 

  • Flipping the classroom (invite faculty who have been successful at implementing this strategy)
  • Academic integrity (policies, what to do when X happens, etc.)
  • Civility in the classroom (perhaps someone from the Student Conduct office could lead the discussion)
  • Undergraduate research (invite a few faculty, who have been recognized as providing rewarding experiences, to discuss their strategies)
  • Invite Gary Thompson to discuss the “mini” grants (RAIN Grant programs and other)
  • Look though the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence site.  They will develop custom workshops, examples can be found here.
  • Session on Promotion and Tenure
  • Blannie Bowen could be asked to speak about a timely issue, or two
  • Using social media in the classroom
  • Deanna Behring could speak about her office, talk about international opportunities, and funding resources. 

 

Strategy for planning: Though there will always be a conflict for teaching faculty – we propose to hold the sessions every month but to stagger the day.  For example, in January we could hold the session on a Tuesday, then on a Wednesday in February.  Hopefully interested faculty will be able to attend the sessions that do not conflict with classes they teach during the lunch hour.

 

Session I: Using Social Media Tools in the Classroom

 

Melanie Miller-Foster, Office of International Programs, Daniel Foster, Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education, and Kathy Jackson, Senior Research Associate, The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, shared their experiences with using social media in the classroom and provided resources and encouragement for using tools in the our courses.

 

The session was held on February 26, Wednesday, from noon until 1 p.m. in room 118 Ag. Sciences Building.  Twenty-six members of the college attended.

 

Session II: Agriculture at Penn State: A discussion of our academic culture and what we can do to make it better

 

Burt Staniar, Associate Professor of Equine Science, and Marc McDill, Associate Professor of Forest Management, along with others led an open discussion on approaches to improve and cultivate the strong culture within our college. 

The session was held on March 18, Tuesday, from noon until 1 p.m. in room 118 Ag. Sciences Building.  Thirty-two members of the college attended.

 

Session III: International opportunities in the College of Ag. Sciences

 

Deanna Behring, Director of International Programs, and Ketja Lingenfelter, Study Abroad Coordinator, will provide resources and discuss their experiences working with faculty interested in developing or expanding their international programs.  The Session will be held on April 16, Wednesday, from noon until 1 p.m. in room 118 Ag. Sciences.