• Faculty Fellows Program

    Collaborate - Innovate - Share

    The Faculty Fellows Program allows faculty to explore and share innovative teaching practices that contribute to the development of learning across Park University. Five Faculty Fellows will be selected in spring 2020 to serve during the 2020-2021 academic year. All interested faculty (full-time, adjunct, distance, etc.) are invited to apply and one co-fellowship is available per year.

  • Awarded Faculty Fellows (2020-2021)

    Congratulations to the new class of FCI Faculty Fellows selected for the 2020-2021 Academic Year!

    Ann Culton,


    Engaging Students across Modalities

    Lacey Finley,


    Interpersonal Communication

    Samantha Quinn,


    Human Communications

    Leslie Umstattd,

    Liberal Education

    Co-Fellowship: Authentic Teaching in a Digital World

    Amy Wolf,


    Co-Fellowship: Authentic Teaching in a Digital World

  • Fellows Application Information

    Why Apply?

    Become a thought leader in innovative teaching at Park!

    • $2,000 Fellows Stipend Award
    • Collaborative knowledge sharing sessions with faculty fellows team and external guests
    • Leadership of a SIG (special interest group) of your choosing
    • Personalized support & resources, with access to colleagues exploring similar innovation projects
    • Award and recognition letter of distinction for personnel file and portfolio

    Program Overview

    As a fellow, you will get to:

    • Participate in a 2-day Faculty Fellows Retreat (Summer 2020).
    • Meet regularly with Faculty Fellows to collaborate, provide feedback on teaching projects, and brainstorm together.
    • Host a SIG (special interest group*) on the topic of your choosing – minimum of 4 meetings during academic year.
    • Conduct one 15-minute “Innovation Exchange” presentation and create a “2-minute mentor” module.

    *A special interest group is a group of people who have similar interests/goals/topics related to teaching or the scholarship of teaching.
    Topics might include: problem-based learning, teaching with technology, writing across the curriculum, case study method, etc.

    Scoring Process

    Learn how your application will be reviewed.

    • All applications will be blinded
    • Reviewers have two weeks to provide feedback to FCI
    • Applications are rated based on six criteria
      1. Dedication to Park
      2. Demonstrates Collaborative or Innovative Teaching
      3. Innovative Proposal (with adequate material for 1 year's programming)
      4. Topic is Applicable and Generalizable to Park Instructors
      5. Provides Evidence of Leading Other Faculty
      6. Skills and capabilities demonstrate collaboration, innovation, and engagement.
    • The Faculty Fellows Application Blind-Review Scoring Guide is available for viewing HERE
  • Faculty Fellows Q&A

    Want to know more about becoming an FCI Faculty Fellow? Watch the AY20-21 Faculty Fellows Q&A recording.

  • Examples of Former Faculty Fellows'

    Application Responses

    Please view the following winning fellows' responses as guidelines.

    Trauma and Resilience, Brant Winn

    In courses you’ve taught, how have you engaged students in active, collaborative, or innovative learning approaches? Please provide at least one example. (1-2 paragraphs)

    The methods in which I have engaged my students in active, collaborative, or innovative learning approaches are as follows. When planning lessons for any particular course, I follow the Workshop Model. This primary objective of the Workshop Model is to focus on the concept that the student is the primary worker while the teacher serves as more of a facilitator. The most important aspect of the Workshop Model is that 1/3 of the class time the instructor is speaking while 2/3 of the class-time the students are working. By focusing on this premise, it lends itself to the students being active, collaborating, and engaged in the content.

    Within this framework, I primary use Engagement Triggers focused around the Daily Themes of Mindset Monday, Teamwork Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, and Thankful Thursday. Each of these themes drive my engagement trigger for that particular day and immediately draws the students into the lesson and helps build relationships with myself and their peers. Examples of the engagement triggers I use on a regular basis are: discussion questions, quotes from texts, journal entries, TED talks, and online resources such as Kahoot.

    Following these Engagement Triggers, I utilize a variety of different structures during my Mini-Lesson which introduce the content or objective for that particular lesson. Within this Mini-Lesson, I incorporate a variety of Cooperative Learning strategies such as Think-Pair-Share, Hat Full of Quotes, and Numbered Heads to name just a few to get the students engaged and active in the learning of the content. I also utilize the Scaffolding method because it better serves my culturally diverse students as well as taps into the various learning styles of so many of my students.

    After the Mini-Lesson, I structure the Work Time to have the students engage very specifically with the content. This can look different depending on the goal of the objective. During this time, I may have students complete a Jigsaw, Annotate Texts, complete a Fishbowl, or do a Critical Analysis of a lesson or video. Recently, in both my Educational Psychology and Building an Effective and Equitable Learning Environment courses, I had utilized the learning activity of Jigsaw. I had my Educational Psychology students draw names of the various theorists that we were studying while I had my Building an Effective and Equitable Learning Environment students draw the various Classroom Management Programs we were researching. The students were then broken into groups based on their theorists or classroom management plan and instructed to become experts on each of these areas. Besides providing an overview of each theorist or classroom management plan, they had to also specifically address the implications of each of these on their classrooms, schools, and the art of teaching. The remaining students were also asked to create questions and critique others while the different groups presented each theorists or classroom management plan. It ended up being a much more effective way of presenting and teaching the material.

    After the Work Time, I then have the students complete a Debrief that allows me to conduct a formative assessment on whether students comprehended the lesson or objective for the day. This is done either through a Discussion or Journal Entry in Canvas or an Exit Ticket email or note card. I am then able to use this Debrief to help me get started on the next class period’s lesson. Due to the fact that I am working with students who aspire to be teachers, I am consistently asking the students to take the information from each lesson and apply it to their future classroom and career in teaching.


    Please explain how you might approach leading a Special Interest Group on this topic and how it might innovate teaching and learning at Park.

    The teaching and learning topic that I feel most passionate about exploring and experimenting with during the AY 2018-2019 is Trauma and Resilience.

    I was first introduced to this topic in the Fall of 2017 during a MACTE conference. During that conference, a Dean of Education from a state university presented this topic and shared how their college was incorporating it into their Educator Preparation Program and the positive impact it was having on students, parents, and faculty members at their university. Immediately after hearing her presentation, I was immediately struck by the fact that the information she shared was something that could have a tremendously positive impact in the way in which we approached teaching our students in the School of Education. I was also taken back by the fact that the information shared was the kind of life changing strategy that I wish I would have been taught during my own Educator Preparation Program. I came back full of excitement and passion to share this information with a few colleagues and immediately began a quest to learn as much as I could about Trauma and Resilience and how I could share this with my student teachers and practicum students.

    In my research and from listening to different presentations on the topic of Trauma and Resilience, I have found that 1 in 2 students are impacted by childhood Trauma. These Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, addiction, and suicide to name a few, impact the students and their life as adults as they progress through their life, unless there is an intervention that takes place. The impact of ACES that I referenced above all found their origin from a CDC study done that looked at the effects of childhood Trauma and its adverse effect on their health as an adult. What the study showed is that there was a direct correlation between the number of ACES of a student and the health risks they experience as an adult. As additional research has become available since the original study, there is now an understanding that the higher your ACE score is, the brain development of students and their capacity to learn is negatively impacted.

    With this as background to the topic of Trauma and Resilience, the following is how I envision this topic taking shape for possible SIG meetings and workshops as I continue my research and share with the Park faculty.

    First, we would introduce the faculty to the original ACE study and help them gain an understanding of how to calculate their own ACE score. I would then provide an opportunity for the faculty to calculate their own ACE score and help them interpret their results as they relate to the original ACE study.

    Second, I would help the faculty see the impact of ACES on health risks, brain development, and learning of students. This information would be done through various methods such as videos, articles, and learning activities to illustrate the impact as well as other resources found to be effective.

    Third, we would focus on the concept of Empathy vs. Sympathy. The way in which teachers and adults approach students and their peers has a profound impact on whether they are building resilience in their students or adding to their problem. We would focus on the difference of these two questions as they relate to the approach of teachers towards students: “What is Wrong With You?” vs. “What Happened to You?” If a teacher can understand the difference of these two questions, it can make a profound impact on all of the relationships in their life, in particular how they view and respond to the behavior and actions of students.

    Fourth, I would incorporate the key concept of self-care, both for students and for teachers. This has a profound impact on building resilience in students as well as the health benefits attached to it. This would be done both in a modeling of examples of self-care as well as encouraging faculty to create their own self care plan. The positive impact of just doing this one task can make a world of difference for all parties involved.

    Last, we would speak about Resilience and how building up the Resilience in students can help them overcome their Adverse Childhood Experiences as well as lead them to a greater sense of who they are and how much value they have to the world. The research shows that the number one determining factor in the building of Resilience and overcoming childhood Trauma is having a positive relationship with a mentor or teacher who loves them and believes in them.

    In summary, this is a topic that has changed how I view working with students and in my relationships with others. It is the belief of those that have studied and conducted the research, that the topic of Trauma is one of the most important but overlooked health and learning concerns in the world today. It is my hope that I can be a part of bringing this to the attention of those in education and make a small difference in the lives of students.

    Active Learning with Pirate Patch, Erica Jansen

    In courses you’ve taught, how have you engaged students in active, collaborative, or innovative learning approaches? Please provide at least one example. (1-2 paragraphs)

    I teach from a remote Campus Center at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. Because my students are non-traditional in that they work full time, often in the military, my courses are blended. So, we meet one night a week for three hours and spend at least two hours each week interacting online through Canvas. I am quite conscious of the workload these students have outside of the classroom, and therefore consistently work to keep them engaged both in class and online throughout the week. Now more than ever, our class relies heavily on technology to stay connected through Pirate Patch. We only meet face-to-face as a class through a screen, and so a large focus of my teaching is to ensure the technology feels like an asset and not a divide.

    I often begin my class with a collaborative competition to help students feel engaged, connected, and ready to participate. Students might role play academic sources in a short debate, use course texts or computers to write correct MLA citations, or generate a list of verbs they might use for source integration, “scattergories” style. When a class is blended, team activities help students to build a community even when much of the class is conducted online.

    When a class is Pirate Patch, collaboration and community matters even more. It’s easy for students to sit back in a Pirate Patch class and not participate. Screens can make us feel less accountable. But, beginning each class with a collaborative exercise allows students not only to learn from each other, but also to depend on each other, and work together for a shared goal. I often have students work together with the other students from their respective sites, but I also pair up students from different sites and evaluate the total sum of their work. I find pedagogical team building exercises to be critical, especially in the face of changing technology. EN105 (and EN106), like so many other liberal arts classes, succeed most when the class feels like a “writing community.”

    To that end, I also end each class with in-class writing exercises that ask students to write together, as though they are participating in a writing workshop. Whether we are working on a laptop, with a pen and paper, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, or at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, students can access the creative energy that a shared writing space generates. During this time, neither students nor I speak; we only write. To stay accountable, at the end of the exercise, students submit their work for a participation grade. If they’re working from a laptop, they can upload a word document onto Canvas; if they’re working with pen and paper, they can upload a picture via the Canvas mobile app. My goal is that each student leaves with physical proof of the thinking they’ve done in class, as a class, to propel them into their upcoming online assignments.


    Please explain how you might approach leading a Special Interest Group on this topic and how it might innovate teaching and learning at Park.

    Because Pirate Patch continues to play such a central role in reaching our remote students, I want to explore facilitating community, collaboration and active learning through technology, rather than in spite of it.

    More specifically, I want to better understand the experiences of instructor and students working in Pirate Patch classrooms. I want to know: what are effective strategies to connect and engage students among multiple sites? How can we use Pirate Patch to create a participatory, social, and dynamic classroom environment? How can the online classroom strengthen our sense of academic community? And, perhaps most importantly, do our remote Pirate Patch instructors have access to the pedagogical resources they need to implement best practices in a virtual classroom?

    Right now, our Pirate Patch training teaches the technology itself, but focuses little on how our teaching strategies need to evolve with the modalities of our classrooms. What if we were to complement that technical training with access to research-based approaches to deliver course material creatively, encourage collaboration and participation, and evaluate student learning outcomes in the face of new technologies? I imagine constructing a pedagogical “toolbox” that can inform teaching practices in Pirate Patch courses, across disciplines and Campus Centers.

    To put together a Pirate Patch “toolbox,” we might first ask questions like: in a format that can literally “mute” students, how can we facilitate active, student-led debate and conversation, so critical to the academic classroom? When the technology lends itself to lecture, how can we prioritize active, collaborative learning? In addition to research, I’d like to survey current Pirate Patch instructors and students to understand common pedagogical challenges and creative solutions that maximize Pirate Patch technology.

    Universal Design of Instruction, Debra Olson-Morrison

    In courses you’ve taught, how have you engaged students in active, collaborative, or innovative learning approaches? Please provide at least one example. (1-2 paragraphs)

    There are several ways I have engaged students in interactive and collaborative learning approaches, and these approaches are based in creativity and real-world experience. I believe students learn through doing, and therefore in all my classes the students are asked to complete assignments and engage in activities that relate to graduate level social work activities and responsibilities they will encounter outside the classroom and upon graduation.

    For example, in "Program Evaluation and Grant Writing" this year the students performed an actual Program Evaluation to assess qualitative and quantitative data on the effectiveness of moving MSW classes from Tuesdays and Thursdays to all day Monday. The students created a report to submit to the program director. In the class " Leadership, Supervision, Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Social Work" the students engage in weekly Problem-Based Learning exercises, where they are are given a real-life scenarios, and working in groups, asked to process and come up with
    solutions. In this class we also engage in weekly creativity exploration exercises (including sculpting, drawing, making music, creative visualization, Lego Serious Play, etc.) because creativity is linked to leadership and thinking "outside the box." In "Policy Analysis and Policy Practice" we took a field trip to the State Capital and were able to speak to representatives in order to advocate for Medicaid Expansion. These are simply a few examples from this year.


    Please explain how you might approach leading a Special Interest Group on this topic and how it might innovate teaching and learning at Park.

    I am most interested in exploring integration of diversity in all my classes. In all honesty, I am applying for this grant because students who are differently-abled are attending classes at this time, and I have noticed students and faculty alike do not consider all factors involved in working with these students. One student, in particular, has helped me recognize some systemic barriers in the classroom for differently-abled students. In response to this recognition of needs, I would like to integrate Universal Design of Instruction (UDI)* into my classes. UDI is a model that provides instructors with guidelines on how to create an environment conducive to learning, and also investigate environmental issues in the classroom that are prohibitive to student learning and engagement (ie., classroom set-up, temperature, lighting, etc.). These strategies would be holistic to the learning process and help all students, regardless of ability or learning style.

    The UDI model conceptualizes the whole learning environment as an opportunity to create inclusivity. I would not be able to implement all of their guidelines due to physical environmental constraints at Park, but I would like to specifically focus on at least one aspect of the eight performance indicator strategies, which are (1) class climate; (2) interaction; (3) physical environments and products; (4) delivery methods; (5) information resources and technology; (6) feedback; (7) assessment; (8) accommodation.

    A specific example to implement under delivery methods would be to allow multiple options of learning based upon student feedback, and to be able to assess student performance for grades based upon these expanded options. A specific example to implement under physical environment would be to make sure all seats are accessible to all learners, and ensure learners can have space to adequately move around the classroom. Finally, an example of expanding accessibility through technology would be to make sure videos played in class are close-captioned. These are just a few specific examples.

    *Universal Design of Instruction is defined by Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST; cast.org) as "a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all." UDL calls for the integration of multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement into course curriculum. UDL provides guidelines for an inclusive environment and for inclusive delivery of instructional materials. (http://www.washington.edu/doit/universal-design-instruction-udi-definitionprinciples-guidelines-and-examples)