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From FIGs to Grants and Everything in Between: CETLS Currently from the Perspective of Advisory Board Members and Team Leaders

Jan Stahl, English, and M. Claire Pamplin, English

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FACULTY FOCUS: The TLC underwent a recent structural change and you joined as a CETLS advisory board member or team leader. Can you tell us something about the work you do?

PROF. JOHN BEAUMONT, Developmental Skills: I serve as team leader for CETLS Administration. That means that I work with Dr. Tori Mondelli and Prof. Douglas Kilts, Nursing, on CETLS operations. This semester we have drafted a new succession plan for the CETLS board to ensure smooth transitions of institutional knowledge and talent from semester to semester. Currently I am also working on coordinating the 16 FIGs [Faculty/Staff Interest Groups] for next semester. I also serve as the recording secretary at CETLS board meetings.

PROF. FRIEDRICH HOFFMANN, Science: I joined the new CETLS advisory board two months ago, and am presently advisory board member for Event Planning. My current responsibilities are supporting Dr. Mondelli and Event Planning team leader Debra Greenwood, Social Sciences, to coordinate CETLS events and update the BMCC web calendar.

PROF. DOUGLAS KILTS, Nursing: As a CETLS advisory board member in charge of Administration, it has been very exciting to be involved in the reorganization of the TLC under the guidance of Dr. Mondelli. I had worked on TLC prior to the change to CETLS so I was aware of the function of the group. At present we are organizing activities, schedules and mailing lists.

PROF. GABRIELLA MORVAY, Developmental Skills: I am the team leader of the Grants Committee, and my job is to identify potential grants, write letters of inquiry and eventually grants.

PROF. ALICIA PERDOMO, Modern Languages: I am an advisory board member and I work very closely with Dr. Mondelli and Prof. Gabriella Morvay to research grant opportunities for potential CETLS activities and programs. Our concern involves inquiry into teaching, engagement, feedback and reflection on teaching and learning, and sharing results so others can review, critique and build on the work.

What I want most to achieve is the assessment of the position and potential of the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education. The scholarship of teaching and learning must be held to the same rigorous standards, relevance, peer review, and dissemination as other forms of disciplinary research and creative activity. The synergy between this research and teaching will advance the way we think about our profession and it will enhance student learning.

PROF. MARY SEPP, Developmental Skills: I am a CETLS advisory board member for Technology, working with Team Leader, Prof. Colin Persaud, Computer Information Systems. We, with the help of Dr. Tori Mondelli and Public Affairs, put together and launched the new CETLS website. Currently we are working to maintain the site. The website contains information about CETLS and its activities. I will also be involved in the CETLS-sponsored Technology Day event in the spring semester of 2012.

PROF. CHIAKI YANAGISAWA, Science: I am the team leader of Pedagogy, and I work together with Prof. Elisa Pigeron, Developmental Skills, who is a member of the advisory board.  We promote CETLS and FIG events related to teaching and learning and to plan events. We are in close contact with CETLS Director, Dr. Mondelli.

FACULTY FOCUS: What is the most exciting thing happening now at CETLS?

PROF. BEAUMONT: There are several exciting aspects of the current CETLS. First and foremost are the FIGs [Faculty/Staff Interest Groups]: Faculty are taking their shared interests and diving into them for personal, professional and institutional purposes. The Wellness FIG is helping faculty and staff maintain a balance in their approach to life and work through yoga, exercise and other educational programs. The Language, Society & Culture FIG is sharing its knowledge and interest in linguistics and intercultural communication with the campus. They have organized conferences and brought in presenters from other colleges. These are just two of the exciting FIGs at CETLS.

PROF. HOFFMANN: I am excited about the changes brought on by the new structure. The reinvigoration of TLC / CETLS is reflected in the sheer number of new FIGs, which has substantially increased in the recent year. This is also reflected in the breadth of activities sponsored by the new FIGs, for example, Game-based Learning, Children’s Studies, Technology and Learning.

PROF. KILTS: I think the most exciting thing right now is that I am often overwhelmed by the offerings each month and wish I could go to each one.

PROF. MORVAY: CETLS is more streamlined now and it is easier for participants to focus on just one goal and hopefully achieve it; as opposed to being caught up in many different projects.

PROF. PERDOMO: CETLS provides, workshops, open FIG sessions, conferences, and presentations by guest speakers. Faculty and staff can count on the fact that the workshops given by CETLS will include a diversity of voices, experiences and perspectives.

I have noticed that FIGs provide active, supportive mentoring. Additionally, FIGS allow faculty and staff to use the resources of the members of the group, and to develop motivation for further learning.

PROF. SEPP: Faculty/Staff Interest Groups (FIGs).

PROF. YANAGISAWA: I am happy to see that after Dr. Mondelli came to the helm of CETLS as director, a wider range of activities were organized for our Center.

FACULTY FOCUS: How are you encouraging participation among faculty?

PROF. BEAUMONT: I haven't needed to really. My colleagues in Developmental Skills at least are very involved in CETLS at various levels.

PROF. KILTS: In order to involve faculty to a greater degree, we are asking for a liaison from each academic department with whom we can communicate. We are also hoping to find liaisons who are involved in the wider professional community of their discipline in hopes of bringing in new speakers and community members, who in turn will learn who we and our students are. Recently, the Administrative team has assembled an email list for all adjunct faculty so we can involve them in CETLS as well on a more personal level.

PROF. MORVAY: I don't actively "campaign" for faculty involvement. Those who want to participate in or attend an event will do so without being nudged.

PROF. PERDOMO: Along with other board members and team leaders, I engage in pro-active publicity, sending emails and flyers to ensure that faculty and staff know about and feel a part of this project called FIGs. After all, this is a project for them as it enhances their ability to teach well and to find ways to improve the learning process.

PROF. SEPP: Through word of mouth and also by keeping the website up-to-date.

PROF. YANAGISAWA: Sometimes I tell my colleagues in my department [Science] about upcoming events. And when there is an opportunity I announce CETLS events and/or distribute flyers. In the spring, advisory board members and team leaders look forward to working more closely with each academic department through its liaison.