The CTE Call for 2015-2016 Workshop Proposals Share Point site will open on April 15 and remain open through June 1, http://tinyurl.com/73jgg4n. Proposals should be on some aspect of teaching and learning. In addition, consider topics related to leadership, research, diversity, metacognition, effective use of instructional technology, and faculty/student wellness. Workshops will be scheduled for the August 18 Institute for Student Success and repeated later in the academic year.
We are also interested in creating a panel of faculty to co-operatively present a workshop in innovative or creative use of office hours. Please e-mail Mrs. Wheeler directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to share your successes in this area.
March 2015: The School of Religion partnered with CTE in welcoming Drs. Stephen and Mary Lowe to Liberty for "Exploring spiritual formation online: The ecology of spiritual formation." Two sessions were offered in the Scholars Lounge in the Jerry Falwell Library. Session one was: "Exploring spiritual formation online: Constructing a scriptural framework for understanding biblical ecology." The topic for Session was: "Examining online learning ecologies:Understanding how adults grow and develop through a defined learning ecology."
MARCH 2015: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was passed by Congress in 1974. It grants four specific rights to students when they enroll or register with an academic program at a college or university. David Corry, General Counsel for Liberty University, has created a video outlining the act and the rules associated with it. Faculty can view the video in the FCC CTE.
March 2015: Applications are now being accepted for the 5th annual "Teaching With Technology Bootcamp," a weeklong, intensive training session on integrating technology into the classroom. The application process is competitive and seating is limited. Lunch, mentoring, and stipends provided. Faculty applications are due April 17, 2015. To submit an application, log into tinyurl.com/TWTBootCamp.
UPDATE: Due to the disruption created by multiple snow days, combined with Spring Break, the deadline for the ILLUMINATE Grant for the Improvement of Teaching for the 2015-16 academic year is extended from Sunday, March 15 to Sunday, March 22 at midnight. The link to the application is: http://tinyurl.com/ILLUMINATEGrant.
Feb 2015: Faculty applications are now open for the "ILLUMINATE Grants for the Improvement of Teaching." Full and part-time residential faculty members, as well as online faculty teaching on-campus intensives are eligible to apply. Individuals or teams of two or three may apply for the grant to implement new pedagogical techniques, classroom activities, class trips, and/or purchase materials that foster learner-centered active learning* experiences for students. Visit the Grants page for more information.
*Active Learning: In order to learn, students must do more that just listen: They must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. In particular, students must engage in such higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Active learning engages students in two aspects - doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.
Feb. 2015: The President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching has gone through a transformation under the leadership of our new Provost, Dr. Hawkins to include peer nomination, Dean, faculty and student input. Please note the following changes from the previous process:
Feb. 2015: Sharon Wheeler, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, will be leading a Faculty Round Table on February 27 at 10 a.m. The focus of the round table discussion will be on the work-life balance. Sign up for this in the Pro Dev Portal under the CTE tab.
Feb. 2015: The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) welcomed faculty to Publishers’ Week, Feb. 10-12, 2015. Multiple publishers set up inside the CTE (DeMoss Hall 3032) each day to welcome the over 300 faculty members that stopped by. Faculty took time to out of their busy calendars to come down and learn about new the technologies, e-books, textbooks, course packs, publishing opportunities, and more. Many vendors provided refreshments and giveaways.
Jan. 2015: Dr. Willmington's Coffee Cup Briefs can be found on the FCC_CTE in Blackboard. Just navigate to the FCC_CTE in Blackboard and click on the Workshop Resources by Topic menu link on the left side of the page.
Jan. 2015: The Institute for Military Reslilience is hosting a webinar on Thursday, January 8 at 8 p.m. The webinar is entitled "National Spiritual Renewal in the New Year: Can America Bounce Back?" and will be led by Major Bob Dees, Associate Vice-President for Military Outreach. Major Dees will be drawing from his recently published book, Resilient Nations (www.ResilienceTrilogy.com). You can register for this webinar at the IMR website - www.LUonline.com/IMR.
Jan. 2015: The All-Faculty January Professional Development Day is scheduled for January 7, 2015 in Towns Alumni Hall. Continental breakfast, sponsored by the Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement and the Center for Teaching Excellence, begins at 8:30 a.m. Sharon Wheeler, Director of the CTE, will offer a welcome followed by a message by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Provost Dr. Ronald Hawkins. A panel discussion entitled "Preparing Our Students to Engage the Post-Modern World" will follow. Tom Hinkley, Manager of IT Communications, will close with important information about new Blackboard features and other IT updates. Note-The panel presentation will satisfy a Faith Learning Integration requirement for Early Career Faculty.
Faculty should register in the Pro Dev Portal, CTE tab. Questions? Contact the CTE at 434-582-3032 or email@example.com.
Jan. 2015: With the anticipated Blackboard upgrade occuring during the Christmas Break, CTE is offering walk-in support January 7, 8, and 9 from 1-3 p.m. in the CTE classroom, DeMoss 3032. Educational Technologists Cory Anderson and Sue Crabtree will be there to walk you through several new features, as well as to assist you with any other Blackboard issues.
Jan. 2015: The CTE is excited to welcome faculty to semester-long book study. Book studies meet monthly on select Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in DeMoss Hall 3032. Participation is limited and advance registration is required. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the book and be asked to help facilitate one of the sessions. Please email CTE@liberty.edu for more details or to secure a spot.
Spring 2015: "Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning." Led by Shawn M. Bielicki.
Dec. 2015: CTE was excited to welcome over 150 faculty members for Carols & Cocoa. Administrative Assistant Tom Doss showcased his talent on the keyboard while faculty sampled delicious holiday treats. CTE wishes all a wonderful and blessed Christmas season.
CTE is proud to announce the recipients of the ILLUMINATE Grants.
College Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Taste Preferences of Conventionally and Organically Grown Fruit
Kate Reinsma, Public and Community Health
Criminal Justice Crime Scene Grant
Mike Milnor, Joel Cox, and George Buzzy, Helms School of Government
Facilitating Active Learning in ENGR - Intro to Engineering and Problem Solving
James Long and Robert Rich, School of Engineering and Computational Sciences
Forensic Identification of Biological Agents
J. Thomas McClintock and Randall Hubbard, Biology and Chemistry; Stephen M. Parke, Helms School of Government
Integration of Ultrasonography in Human Anatomy Education
Ben Kalu, Mark Blais, and Kimberly Mitchell, Biology and Chemistry
Renewing Our Passion through Arts Integration
Kristina DeWitt, Glen DeWitt, and Ruth Beveridge, School of Education
The Center for Teaching Excellence will host the Spring Book Study "Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching" by Mary E. Hube and Jann E. Freed. Dr. Shawn Bielicki, Teaching Advisor in the CTE, will lead the study. Book studies meet once per month on a Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the CTE, DeMoss Hall, Room 3032. The dates for the study are: January 13, February 17, March 17, and April 14.
Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the book. Space is limited to 12 faculty members. Please email the CTE at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
Please mark your calendars for the Center for Teaching Excellence's annual Carols & Cocoa event on December 5 from 10 a.m. til 2 p.m. This event is open to all faculty and will feature food, fun, fellowship, and great Christmas music. The CTE staff is looking forward to seeing you. Stop by, say hello, and have some cocoa.
Fall 2014: The Virginia Deparment of Health and the Campus Suicide Prevention Center of Virginia are providing free access (until December 2014) to a 30 minute training simulation with the goal of creating a more veteran-friendly campus. Kognito, in collaboration with Student Veterans of America, created the content. For more information, to gain access, and to learn how to obtain the certificate of completion, please view the attached flyer.
Fall 2014: Join us this Fall on a journey into God's story as we seek to connect the dots between the Bible, our role as educators and how our disciplines and departments can connect with the culturally diverse world of the 21st century. This is an 11-week discussion group that will meet from 12:00 - 1:00 PM on Mondays at CTE, DH 3032. We will study several articles before meeting each week and will discuss what we have read. Lunch will be provided but space is limited to the first 20 people who commit to participate for the 11 week study. Contact the Center for Global Engagement at email@example.com for more information.
Sept. 2014: This three-part faculty workshop series is provided to assist faculty in using video in the classroom. Faculty members are welcome to attend one or all of these sessions. Certificates of completion will be provided to faculty who attend all three workshops. Presented by Cory Anderson, Educational Technologist, CTE.
Register in the Pro Dev Portal (CTE tab).
Aug. 2014: The Center for Teaching Excellence welcomed 20 new faculty into its Koinonia Mentoring program. The term "koinonia" originates from Greek and is found in the New Testament to mean communion by intimate participation. Koinonia is designed to help new faculty better assimilate into our unique Liberty University culture, provide effective training and guidance, and create an environment rich in constructive influence that results in collegial interest and peer investment. CTE Teaching Advisor Shawn Bielicki understands that a critical part of the program involves matching mentors and mentees based on backgrounds, experience, and interests. The mentor and mentee relationship is a nurturing one. In essence, the mentor assumes the roles of a guide, role model, friend, advisor, and cheerleader; the mentee assumes the roles of a listener, learner, friend, advisee, and colleague.
This class of Koinonia mentees includes Kate Reinsma, Elizabeth Whorley, Katherine Morehouse, Bret Hamilton, Chris Seitz, Samantha Miller, Gabriel Miller, Jared Hornsby, Connie Hecker, John Coots, Hector Medina, Steve Keith, Woori Kim, Michael Gibson, Benjamin Esswein, Matthew Brynteson, Christine Fulmer, Olubukola Ojuuola, Kristen Hark, and Pei Zhang.
Aug. 2014: The Center for Teaching Excellence's workshop series continued with "Current Legal Issues in Education." Mr. David Corry, General Counsel for Liberty University, spoke to faculty members in the CTE classroom on issues that that they might encounter and the legal environment that surrounds those issues.
For a complete list of CTE workshops, please click here.
Aug 2014: The Center for Teaching Excellence welcomed over 50 new faculty to campus this year. CTE hosted New faculty Orientation where these new faculty members learned the ins-and-outs of life here at Liberty University. Highlights included an opening talk by Dr. Godwin and Dr. Hawkins.
Aug. 2014: The CTE is pleased to announce the release of the 2014-15 Calendar of Professional Development Workshops. Click to view and/or download.
Aug. 2014: The Center for Teaching Excellence offers six workshops targeted to online faculty each year. These workshops are recorded and can be accessed using the ProDev Tracking feature inside the Faculty Portfolio tool. Online faculty members are required to view these workshops and encouraged to view other recorded trainings.
Fall 2014: The CTE is pleased to announce the winners for the “ILLUMINATE Grants for the Improvement of Teaching”:
To see past winners, visit the ILLUMINATE Grants Implementation Gallery.
Fall 2014: The CTE has planned a series of brown bag lunches centered on the topic of faith learning integration for the 2014-15 academic year. The format resembles a roundtable discussion with audience input and participation. This year's presentations include:
FLI Brown Bag Luncheons are scheduled on select Tuesdays from 11 a.m.-noon in DeMoss Hall 3032. Register in the ProDev Portal (CTE tab). Faculty are encouraged to bring their own lunch. CTE provides snacks and drinks.
The CTE also expanded their “Faith Learning Integration Gallery” on their website. The gallery showcases several successful examples of Liberty University faculty seamlessly integrating faith and learning. The additions welcomed examples from faculty from various departments. Anyone interested in reading more about integrating faith and learning should stop by the CTE and borrow one of several new books on the topic.
Aug. 2014: Dr. Stephen Chew presented "Improving Student Performance by Addressing Student and Teacher Misconceptions about Learning. Chew discussed and demonstrated key cognitive principles that must be addressed for effective pedagogy to take place.
About the speaker: Stephen L. Chew has been a professor and chair of the psychology at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama since 1993. Trained as a cognitive psychologist, one of his primary research areas is the cognitive basis of effective teaching. His interests include the use of examples in teaching, the impact of cognitive load on learning, and the tenacious misconceptions that students bring with them to the classroom. He is the creator of a groundbreaking series of YouTube videos on how to study effectively in college (http://www.samford.edu/how-to-study). The videos are now in use worldwide at institutions ranging from high schools to a medical school.
Chew was selected as a Carnegie Scholar in 1998 as part of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). He was awarded the Buchanan Award for Classroom Teaching Excellence from Samford in 1999. In 2005, he received the Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as the outstanding teacher of psychology at four-year colleges and universities. He was named the 2011 Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He regularly serves as a keynote speaker and workshop leader at conferences on teaching in general and on the teaching of psychology in particular.
Aug. 2014: Dr. Linda Mintle presented, “The Assault on Christianity: A Strategy for Cultural Engagement."
About the speaker: Dr. Lintle Mintle is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker and national expert on relationships and the psychology of food, weight and body image with 30 years of clinical experience. She is a best selling author with 19 book titles to her credit, winner of the Mom’s Choice Award, a national news consultant, and featured writer for Beliefnet. Her academic appointment at the new College of Osteopathic Medicine, Liberty University, keeps her abreast of current research in her areas of expertise. Her media experience includes seven years as the resident expert for ABC Family’s Living the Life television show and regular appearances on network television and radio.
The ease she has with people, coupled with her clinical training and experience makes her a sought after speaker on college campuses, conferences and special events. Whether she is doing a TV skit with Tim Conway or discussing teen violence with Queen Latifa, Dr. Linda will entertain, educate and integrate faith and mental health in every day living.
July 2014: Liberty University’s Center for Teaching Excellence garnered additional exposure recently as its staff presented at various educational conferences. In June, Director Sharon Wheeler and Educational Technologist Sue Crabtree presented on the coaching model used in the Teaching with Technology Boot Camp at the Teaching Professor Conference in Boston, MA. In Feb., Teaching Advisor Shawn Bielicki co-presented with Donna Donald and Troy Matthres on strategies and techniques for student engagement in large classes at the Higher Education Pedagogy Conference in Blacksburg, VA. In Jan., Bielicki presented on mentoring new faculty at the International Academic Conference in Orlando, FL.
Fall 2014: The CTE hosts four workshops in a series specifically designed around teaching large classes: Active Learning, Effective Lecturing, Classroom Management, and Making Personal Connections. All workshops take place in the CTE Training Classroom, DeMoss 3032 from 10 a.m.- 11 a.m. Faculty are encouraged to register for the workshops in the Pro Dev Portal (CTE tab).
Certificates of completion will be awarded to faculty who attend all four workshops. Teaching Advisor Shawn Bielicki presents the topics, along with Donna Donald and Troy Matthews. Last year's presentations were well received. One faculty member put it this way, "I wanted to tell you that Shawn did an excellent job with this very interactive workshop. It was well organized, got us 'connected', and sharing about a variety of ways that we connect with students. I learned a lot from this. He certainly set an excellent example of how to connect!" If any faculty member is unable to attend, but is interested in learning more about the topic, he/she is encouraged to contact the CTE to schedule a personal consultation.
May 2014: Congratulations to the 2013-14 winners for the President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching:
Liberty University Online Graduate
Liberty University Online Undergraduate
June 2014: The Center for Teaching Excellence, in partnership with IT, conducted a "Teaching with the iPad Boot Camp". The Boot Camp was led by official Apple trainers inside the CTE, DeMoss Hall 3032, from June 23-25. Participants learned various strategies to increase their productivity, create content, utilize apps, and present material. Participants will implement some of the new technology into their classes during the upcoming academic year, as well as continue to meet as a community of practice.
June 2014: The 2014 Teaching with Technology (TWT) Boot Camp was a huge success. Thirteen faculty members participated in a week-long immersion into teaching technologies. Faculty were exposed to various tools to help them assess learning, communicate, collaborate, support student research, present content, and utilize select features of university supported technology. The participants will now implement a technology into their course during the upcoming semester.
May 2014: Nearly 140 faculty dropped by the CTE's year-end celebration, "Take-A-Break" for fun, games, and snacks. Faculty enjoyed plenty of seasoned popcorn, soft pretzels (with dipping sauces), flavored lemonade and a coffee bar.
Mar. 2014: The “Call for Workshop Proposals” for both the Institute for Student Success (August Orientation) and the 2014-2015 CTE Professional Development academic calendar year is now closed. August workshops are scheduled for 75 minutes, while the academic calendar year workshops are limited to 60 minutes. Check the Orientation schedules and calendar of workshops for details. The CTE accepted proposals on High Impact Educational Practices http://leap.aacu.org/toolkit/wp-content/files_mf/hips_list.pdf and Effective Educational Practices http://nsse.iub.edu/pdf/nsse_benchmarks.pdf such as:
Feb. 2014: The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) welcomed nearly 200 faculty to Publishers’ Week, Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 19, 2014. Multiple publishers setup inside the CTE, DeMoss Hall 3032, each day. Faculty reserved some time on their busy calendars to come down and learn about new technologies, e-books, textbooks, course packs, publishing opportunities, and the like. Many vendors provided refreshments and giveaways.
Jan. 2014: The CTE teamed up with IT and the Jerry Falwell Library to present this January's Professional Development on Jan. 8. Faculty enjoyed a continental breakfast before hearing various updates from CTE, IT, and the Jerry Falwell Library. Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd presented: The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships and Three Conversations Everyone Must Have. IT also introduced the "New Electronic Portfolio Process for LUO/LUR/Full/Part-time Faculty: FacultyPortfolio."
Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd is a popular speaker, author, counselor and life coach and serves as a counselor at her church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has a Master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in leadership and is certified in Internet addiction. She is also the Director of Flourish in Life Coach Training and coaches and trains coaches from all around the world. She is also a Certified Recovery Coach and is a presenter at the American Association of Christian Counselors World and National Conferences and is featured on their Life Coach Training DVD’s.
Her newest book co-authored with her father Dr. Archibald Hart is The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships. Focus on the Family voted their Digital Invasion broadcast to be one of the Best of 2013. Sylvia is passionate about helping people redeem their real life and relationships. She has also published a workbook: Overcoming Digital Addictions: A Digital Wellness Plan.
Sylvia speaks at conferences and retreats worldwide. She is also an active member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. For more information, visit her web site.
Nov. 2013: Elyse Pinkie from the School of Education was the first graduate student assistant to receive the Certificate of University Teaching.
The Liberty University Certificate of University Teaching program is managed by the Center for Teaching Excellence in partnership with the School of Graduate Studies. This program is designed for GSAs who are interested in pursuing teaching at the college or university level. After meeting the initial requirements of two semesters of teaching and attendance at orientation workshops, GSAs progress through a program including multiple teaching observations, reflection on teaching practice, and consultations on particular teaching topics. They also develop a complete teaching portfolio including a CV, philosophy of teaching statement and documentation of classroom work that they have prepared. GSAs also get credit for working closely with a faculty member in a mentoring relationship, attending GSA roundtables, membership in professional organizations, publication, and conference presentation. The LU Certificate of University Teaching is not a primary or secondary teaching credential. GSAs interested in information on educational credentialing are referred to the Liberty University School of Education.
August 2013: Drop-in assistance will be available during the months of September, October, and November for faculty taking the “Technical Competency Assessment.” Help will be available on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (Sue Crabtree) and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (Brad Burgess) in the Center for Teaching Excellence, DeMoss Hall 3032.
Aug. 2013: CTE welcomed 59 new full time residential faculty to Liberty University. New Faculty Orientation was a two day event, offering professional development, a session with the Provost and Vice Provost, a campus tour, and a meet-and-greet with university administration. New faculty learned about the Koinonia Mentoring Program from teaching advisor Shawn Bielicki, integrating faith and learning from Drs. Ronald Hawkins, Kevin Corsini, and Ben Guteirrez, and athletic academic support from the atheltics department.
Aug. 2013: CTE was pleased to welcome Philip S. Tuttle from Walk Thru the Bible at All-Faculty Orientation in August. Tuttle presented, "Teaching with Style," a dynamic session on transforming students' attentiveness and teaching effectiveness. Faculty enjoyed his presentation, passion and heart for learning. Tuttle discussed part of the 7 Laws of Teaching in a practical and encouraging manner. Faculty commented that he was "a great combination of professional teaching and Christ focus."
According to www.WalkThru.org, “Tuttle is the President & CEO of Walk Thru the Bible. For more than two decades, Phil Tuttle has been a vital member of the Walk Thru the Bible family. As a pastor in central Illinois, he became an instructor in 1988 and then moved to Atlanta in 1992 to serve as Walk Thru the Bible’s Dean of Faculty. He later served as Senior Vice President for International Ministries and Global Teaching Pastor before becoming President and CEO in 2007.
A native of Normal, Illinois, Phil received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Education and Bible from Wheaton College in 1980 and his Master of Theology degree in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1984.
Phil has conducted Walk Thru the Bible seminars for churches, Christian school conventions, home education conferences, Sunday school conventions, and leadership conferences throughout the world. His unique blend of biblical instruction, real-life illustrations, and spontaneous humor make learning easy and enjoyable.”
Aug. 2013: As part of All-Faculty Orientation, the CTE was pleased to welcome alumnus and pastor, Chris Williamson, on Friday August 9. Willamson addressed the faculty with an encouraging message about unity through diveristy.
Williamson is the founder and Senior Pastor of Strong Tower Bible Church in Franklin, Tennessee. Since 1995, Strong Tower Bible Church has been a Bible-based, multi-ethnic church committed to Up-Reach, In-Reach, and Out-Reach. The vision of the church is to experience and reproduce God’s Diverse Kingdom in the city and throughout the world.
Williamson earned his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Liberty University and his Master of Religious Education from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1992 under Dr. Allen McFarland and Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia.
He has written, Making Disciples Who Make a Difference, The Beginning: A Guide for Married and Soon to Be Married Couples, and Can’t Wait! God’s Diverse Kingdom Come. For several years Williamson served as the chaplain for the Gospel Music Association, and he has worked on several boards committed to racial reconciliation and community development. Through a ministry called “Synago”, Williamson leads a group of pastors in his city committed to fellowshipping, worshipping, and working together across racial and denominational lines. Williamson has preached across the U.S. in churches, colleges, conferences, and outreach events. He has also ministered abroad in Sudan, Ghana, Benin, Jerusalem, Malawi, St. Martin, Nigeria, South Africa, and England. He is often called upon to preach in chapels for the NFL and several college teams.
Faculty members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these new resources.
Liberty University is committed to providing our online faculty with professional development that enhances skills acquisition in the online teaching and learning environment. In recognition of the importance of serving and maintaining an outstanding online faculty and documenting compliance with required accreditation standards, the Center for Teaching Excellence is offering a required series of 6 professional development sessions per year (3-fall semester and 3-spring semester). While recognizing the uniqueness of the online learning environment, these offerings provide a comparable component to the on-campus offerings for residential faculty which are scheduled during required Orientation and available throughout the year.
At the end of the academic year, online faculty who have completed all 6 sessions may apply to receive .6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) from the Liberty University Center for Professional and Continuing Education (under CASAS) for a fee of $25.00. Contact CPCE for more information.
The Center for Teaching Excellence introduced its new faculty Koinonia Mentoring program to twenty new full-time faculty hires. The term "koinonia" originates from Greek and is found in the New Testament to mean communion by intimate participation. The Koinonia Mentoring program is designed to help new faculty better assimilate into our unique Liberty University culture, provide effective training and guidance, and create an environment rich in constructive influence that results in collegial interest and peer investment. Teaching Advisor Shawn Bielicki designed the program to be semi-structured, but openly conversational and relational. Interested new faculty members opted-in to the mentoring program, requesting a confidential mentor outside of their department who is willing to take them under their wing for one year.
A critical part of the program involves matching mentors and mentees based on backgrounds, experience, and interests. The mentor and mentee relationship is a nurturing one. In essence, the mentor assumes the roles of a guide, role model, friend, advisor, and cheerleader; the mentee assumes the roles of a listener, learner, friend, advisee, and colleague. According to mentor Dr. John Vadnal, “The most positive experience [thus far] was how well we were matched and how well we connected due to our similar backgrounds. Being matched with someone at LU in Lynchburg who also happened to graduate from the University of Iowa and is a runner would be a rather unusual coincidence if it were left to chance, which certainly demonstrates that there are no coincidences in God’s plan.”
The inaugural class of Koinonia mentors includes Andrea Beam, Bruce Bell, Catherine Buck, Jeanne Brooks, Mary Deacon, Donna Donald, Sundi Donovan, David Duby, Melanie Hicks, Gary Isaacs, Bruce Kirk, Anita Knight, Chad Magnuson, Alison Pettit, Anita Satterlee, Barb Sherman, Carolyn Towles, Matthew Towles, John Vadnal, and George Young.
The CTE teamed with the Graduate School to create and present a training program for Liberty University GSAs entitled, “Future Teachers: GSA Training Program”. The program included three distinct workshops: Bb@Liberty University with Susan Crabtree, Transitioning from Student to Teacher with Shawn Bielicki, and Developing Presence in the Classroom with Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw and Sharon Wheeler. Each workshop was designed to better prepare our GSAs and meet the challenges they will face in the classroom. The workshops were well received by graduate students and participating teachers alike.
Dr. Russell Osguthorpe, Director of Brigham Young University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, visited the Center for Teaching Excellence to learn more about the university and how professional development is delivered, as well as to benchmark programs and procedures. During the visitation, Osguthorpe enjoyed an overview of CTE services with Sharon Wheeler, a panel comprised of current students, a session on online curriculum delivery and online professional development with CTE educational technologist Susan Crabtree, a meeting with the Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs Ronald Godwin, a campus tour with Terry Falwell and Coach Hout, and a faculty panel with Chris Nelson, Barbara Sherman, and CTE teaching advisor Shawn Bielicki. Osguthorpe commented that he was sincerely impressed with everything going on in the center and around campus.