Lilly Conference book display

Alumni Teaching Scholars Community for Early-Career Faculty

Purpose and Description

Miami University established the Alumni Teaching Scholars Program in 1978 with the support of a three-year grant from the Lilly Endowment. The Program won the 1994 Hesburgh Award, given to the best faculty development program that enhances undergraduate education in the United States.

The community assists selected early-career faculty in developing their teaching abilities and interests by enabling them to participate in a two-semester series of special activities and to pursue individual projects related to teaching. The Teaching Scholars receive financial assistance for their projects and reduced teaching assignments during one semester. They select and work with experienced faculty who agree to be mentors and with students who are involved as consultants.

Each Teaching Scholar selects an experienced faculty member to partner as his or her mentor. The mentor can be from the same department or from another department. The structure of the Teaching Scholar-mentor relationship is flexible. For example, mentors and protégés may attend one another’s classes, discuss teaching philosophies, and explore University issues together.

Each participant selects one or two student associates who provide student perspectives on the topics and practices covered in the Program.

The objectives of the Alumni Teaching Scholars Community are to provide participants with the following:

  • Information on teaching and learning
  • Opportunities to observe, assess, and practice innovative teaching and uses of technology
  • Time and financial support for individual investigations of teaching and learning problems, opportunities, and projects
  • Development of syllabi, including articulation of clear learning objectives
  • Strengthening of basic teaching skills, for example, leading class discussions, testing, and balancing both lecture and active learning
  • Clearer communication with students
  • Ways to build a course around assessment of learning, for example, determining that students achieve stated learning objectives
  • Investigation and incorporation of ways that difference can enhance teaching and learning
  • A multiplicity of ways to gather and provide information for both formative and summative evaluation of teaching
  • Opportunities to share ideas and advice with faculty mentors and student associates
  • Awareness of teaching as an intellectual pursuit and exploration of ways to engage in the scholarship of teaching
  • Interdisciplinary colleagueship and support from current and former teaching scholars and mentors
  • Opportunities to share, via outreach, their enthusiasm, and experience with other new faculty

Activities

The Teaching-Learning Community activities include the development of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching. First, participants are introduced to the literature through several readings and seminars. Recent seminar topics include the evaluation of teaching, enhancing the teaching/learning experience through awareness of students’ intellectual development, the effect of gender on the teaching/learning process, sharing student and faculty views of teaching and learning, and the scholarship of teaching. In November, participants attend the Lilly Conference on College Teaching, where they interact with nationally known teacher scholars.

Assessment/Outcomes

The Teaching Scholars pursue self-designed learning programs, including a teaching project, for which they receive financial support. Past projects have included developing expertise and courseware for computer-assisted instruction, redesigning an ongoing course, and learning and trying a new teaching method. Each Teaching Scholar assesses changes in student learning as a result of his or her project. Finally, in March at the ATS Teaching and Learning Symposium, the teaching scholars present to the campus what they have learned followed by a presentation in May at a National Lilly Conference in Washington, DC. Through these activities, the teaching scholars become involved in the scholarship of teaching.

Conclusion

If you are interested in applying, discuss your participation with your department chair. You must obtain the endorsement of your chair and dean when you apply. You will need to plan for release time from one course for fall or spring semester; your department will receive funds for course replacement coverage at the casual rate.

Recent Recipients

2017-18

  • Hakam Alomari, Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • Stephanie Baer, Art
  • Rhett Brymer, Management
  • Milt Cox, CTE; Co-Facilitator
  • Amélie Davis, Geography and Institute for the Environment and Sustainability
  • Hannah Lee, Marketing
  • Eyad Musallam, Nursing
  • Amy Roberts, Family Science and Social Work
  • Banafsheh Seyed-Aghazadeh, Engineering Technology
  • Brooke Spangler Cropenbaker, Psychology; Co-Facilitator
  • Todd Stuart, Arts Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Sarah Watt, Educational Psychology
  • Marly Wooster, Theatre

2016-17

  • Michelle Buchberger, Integrative Studies
  • Milt Cox, CTE, Co-Facilitator
  • Scott Dust, Management
  • Michael Hatch, Art
  • Elizabeth Hoover, Music
  • Peter Jamieson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Co-Facilitator
  • Mary Kovach, Business Technology
  • Claire McLeod, Geology and Environmental Earth Science
  • Jane Richey, Educational Psychology
  • Scott Sander, Teacher Education
  • Aaron Shield, Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Jing Wang, Marketing

2015-16

  • Michael Conger, Farmer School of Business
  • Michelle Cosmah, Teacher Education
  • Milt Cox, CTE, Co-Facilitator
  • Stephanie Danker, Art
  • Greg Fisher, Farmer School of Business
  • Saffron Henke, Theatre
  • Peter Jamieson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Co-Facilitator
  • Ziying Jiang, Geography
  • Dara Marshall, Accountancy
  • Lucinda Parmer, Business Technology

2014-15

  • Mazyar Amin, Engineering Technology
  • Neil Brigden, Marketing
  • Dennis Cheatham, Art
  • Milt Cox, CELTUA, Facilitator
  • Krishnendu Ghosh, Computer Information Technology
  • Jennifer Rode, Nursing
  • Mahauganee Shaw, Educational Leadership
  • Madhu Sinha, Integrative Studies
  • Chris Sutter, Management
  • Mary Elizabeth Thompson, Finance

2013-14

  • Milt Cox, CELTUA, Facilitator
  • Heidi Ewen, Sociology & Gerontology
  • Keith Fennen, Philosophy
  • Kristina Gehrman, Philosophy
  • Jonathan Grenier, Accountancy
  • Yasmin Jessa, Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Thomas Mays, Business Technology
  • Stephen Quaye, Educational Leadership
  • Damon Scott, Geography; American Studies