Teaching Fellows honored

Over the past year, discussions between the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) along with the Dean’s Council have led to the development of the Teaching Fellows Program at Mercyhurst.

The program aims to both recognize excellence within the faculty and create a talented pool of tenured faculty who could act as a resource for other faculty, especially new members.

Teaching Fellows were chosen from each of the schools at Mercyhurst and were chosen by the Deans and Chairs with input from the faculty at large.

“Primarily, this was done in recognition of the critical and integral role excellent teaching and learning has in the mission of the college,” Director of the CTE and English Department faculty member Dr. Brian Reed said.

These Teaching Fellows include: Dr. Leanne Robert (education); Dr. Scott Meier and Dr. Heidi Hosey (arts and humanities); Suzanne Gushie, MA, ATC (sciences); Dr. Chris Magoc (social sciences); and Dr. Juan Argaez (business). Dr. Philip Belfiore, vice president for academic affairs, said that as Teaching Fellows, these six faculty members are asked to:

a. Allow faculty within, and outside, the college to observe your classroom teaching

b. Participate in a roundtable discussion sponsored by the CTE and the Faculty Development Committee

c. Write a brief summary of “What is teaching excellence within the classroom?”

Teaching Fellows will act as both examples and mentors to the larger Mercyhurst community. Prior to the existence of the Teaching Fellows Program, the CTE had created a group of Peer Consultants, which provided experienced faculty to act as advisers for new faculty.

A nice collaboration between faculty and the administration has made the development of a more comprehensive program possible. Reed said he believes that in regard to the relationship between administration, faculty, and students, “We have something unique and wonderful here and it is essential that we learn from each other.”

The roundtable discussion, which will probably take place in the 2010 fall term, provides the opportunity for exchange between faculty and the further development of excellence within the classroom.

During the 2009 fall term, the CTE and OAA hosted a casual reception inaugurating this first year of Teaching Fellows. It was a great opportunity to celebrate what Mercyhurst does well and also recognize and congratulate those who were chosen to fulfill a new important role at the college.

“Personally, I’m grateful for this group of faculty for their willingness to once again show their commitment to the students at the college, to quality teaching and to the institution at large,” Reed said.

Look for further teacher features in the upcoming weeks as we recognize and applaud these faculty members for their contributions and commitment to the Mercyhurst community.