January 2023
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Welcome to Brian Delevie!

We at the Center for Teaching are proud to welcome Brian Delevie as our newest Associate Director. Brian received his MFA from the University of Houston and his Doctorate in Education from the University of Colorado, Denver. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Brian worked at UC Denver as Associate Professor of Digital Design and Co-Founder/Co-Director of the Comcast Center for Media and Technology, which fosters culturally-focused, action-oriented education, research, commercial enterprises, and community services. Brian has extensive teaching and administrative experience, and is an innovator at heart, traits that are sure to be an asset for all of us as he supports instructional and professional development across the disciplines. Beyond his academic interests, Brian also enjoys hiking, cooking, and music, particularly jazz. Please join us in welcoming Brian to Vanderbilt!

JFTF Spotlight

Each year, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Stephanie Budwey from the Vanderbilt Divinity School talks about her journey so far as a Fellow:    

I am the Luce Dean’s Faculty Fellow Assistant Professor of the History and Practice of Christian Worship and the Arts and Director of the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture Program at Vanderbilt Divinity School. My teaching and research focus on the relationships between social justice issues, liturgy, and the arts. The classes I teach include Introduction to Christian Worship, Images of Mary in Christian Thought and Practice, Christian Congregational Song, Readings in Liturgical Theology, and Episcopal Liturgy: The Book of Common Prayer and its Resources.

This is my fifth year at Vanderbilt, and I applied to the Junior Faculty Teaching Fellowship to learn new insights and strategies on how to become a more effective teacher. Additionally, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with the Center for Teaching faculty as I design a new course that is based on my new book, Religion and Intersex: Perspectives from Science, Law, Culture, and Theology. It has felt like a challenge to design a course with a book as a starting point, rather than thinking of a course and then deciding which books to use. Our weekly discussions with Stacey Johnson and my cohort have given me great insights as I consider what the course goals, objectives, and assessments will be and how they should relate to each other. The one-on-one meetings I have had with Julaine Fowlin have given me further opportunity to fine tune these aspects of the course as well as how to lay out the topics of the course. One important suggestion from Julaine was not to simply lay out the course in the same order of the chapters of my book, but rather to structure the course around the goals and how they build off each other. It has been incredibly helpful to have all of this input as I prepare to teach this course for the first time in the spring of 2024.

As I work on preparing my tenure application materials, I have also appreciated the insights on how to document my teaching and prepare the teaching part of my application. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to grow as a teacher, build a new course, and learn from my colleagues across disciplines.

Come work with the CFT! 

Each year the Center for Teaching (CFT) hires a number of graduate students as part of its efforts to mentor and train graduate instructors across campus, including those serving as teaching assistants or instructors of record here at Vanderbilt as well as those interested in developing teaching skills for future faculty careers. The CFT has two types of positions available for graduate students for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Teaching Affiliate
The primary responsibility for Teaching Affiliates is to lead a cohort of incoming TAs through 3-day synchronous and asynchronous workshops during August’s TA Orientation. These workshops familiarize new TAs with the challenges and opportunities of working as TAs at Vanderbilt and help prepare them for their roles. Cohorts are divided by discipline, and so the CFT seeks Teaching Affiliates from a wide variety of disciplines on campus. The Teaching Affiliate position is a 70-hour position, with most of those hours occurring in August 2023, carrying a $1,000 stipend.

Certificate in College Teaching (CiCT) Facilitator
The CiCT Facilitator will lead a section of the CiCT program.  The facilitator will read and prepare lesson plans, lead class sessions, and attend weekly meetings with the Assistant Director of Graduate Programs. When the CiCT program is in session (8 weeks per semester), the approximate workload will be between 5-10 hours/week. The CiCT Program Facilitator position carries a $3,000 total stipend, and we expect to hire three next year. See below for more information.

These positions are great opportunities for graduate students to refine their teaching and presentation skills and network with graduate students outside of their department or program. 

Applications for both types of positions are due Friday, February 10, 2023. Learn more about each of these positions and apply online by visiting the CFT's employment opportunities page.
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Events on Inclusive Excellence in Science Education

As you may have heard when it was initially reported here, Vanderbilt University was selected to receive an Inclusive Excellence-3 grant, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Program, to support inclusive learning and exploration. Funded by this grant and co-sponsoring departments, there are several upcoming events on inclusive learning that program co-directors Cynthia Brame and Kathy Friedman invite you to attend. Please make note of them in your calendars!
• “Using LAs in a STEM course: Principles and practices, benefits and costs” (Thursday, January 26, 4:00-5:00 p.m. in MRBIII 1220) with faculty panel, Elizabeth Catania, Thomas Clements, Alice Mark, and Tara Todd (co-sponsored by the Department of Chemistry)

• “Decentering grades in a large introductory STEM course: An experiment with ungrading” (Thursday, February 16, 4:00-5:00 p.m. in MRBIII 1220) with Lily Claiborne (co-sponsored by the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences)

• “The role of faculty mindsets in STEM students’ motivation and achievement” (Tuesday, February 28, 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Zoom, register here) with Katherine Muenks, Asst Prof in Educational Psychology, University of Texas, Austin (co-sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences) 

• “What do we know about the impact of LAs? Lessons from the literature and local experiments”(Tuesday, April 4, 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Stevenson 5326) with Katie Clements, Kathy Friedman, Adriane Seiffert, and Savanna Starko (co-sponsored by the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Department of Chemistry)

• “Policies and practices to foster student motivation and success: Lessons from a faculty learning community” (Thursday, April 20, 4:00-5:00 in MRBIII 1220) (co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics)

Teaching Writing in the Age of AI

Across higher education, there is increasing concern about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) for teaching and learning, particularly the disruptive role AI bots may play in the teaching of writing. What dilemmas does AI pose for writing’s place in our courses and assignments? How might it change how students learn to write and learn through writing? How might we respond with new and effective educational strategies? The Center for Teaching and The Writing Studio will be co-hosting a workshop to answer these questions and begin a dialogue about the future of teaching writing in the age of AI. We hope you can join us. The workshop will be held February 3rd in Alumni Hall, room 201, from noon to 1:00pm. If you are interested in attending, please register here.


Are you interested in podcasting as a creative assignment for your students? Are you wondering how the medium can be used to enhance teaching and learning? Then you might be interested in the podcast series, VandyVox. For those of you who are not aware of VandyVox, last semester it wrapped up its fifth season with eight stellar student-produced episodes about topics ranging from the limitations of digital transcripts to misinformation on WhatsApp and human bio-enhancement. The show deconstructs some of the best audio narratives at Vanderbilt to help students and faculty learn how to be better podcasters and use audio as a medium for learning assessment. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a place to start or a veteran looking for new inspiration, VandyVox is the place for you! The full archive of episodes and show notes can be found at vandyvox.com. VandyVox is produced in association with the Center for Teaching and Vanderbilt Student Communications.

Faculty Information Session on Forage

Forage is an online platform that provides free, bite-sized experiential learning programs created by Fortune 500 companies that can be built into any existing class, providing students with opportunities to gain skills and experiences that support their career development. Forage’s free platform has been used by tens of thousands of students from over 800 Universities throughout the United States. If you are interested in learning more about how Forage may support student success in your courses, please join Forage’s faculty information session on January 19th, at 1:00pm via this Zoom link. If you have any questions prior to the event, please contact Cazembe Kennedy (cazembe.kennedy@vanderbilt.edu) or Harrison Bass, Head of Educational Partnerships for Forage (harrison@theforage.com). 
Vanderbilt University is committed to providing universal access to all of our events.
Please contact Juliet Traub at
cft@vanderbilt.edu or 615-322-7290 to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

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