Season’s Greetings and an Invitation from The Teaching Center

As one semester wraps up and you begin to prepare for the next one, we hope you find time over the next few weeks for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Along those lines, we invite Belmont faculty to attend a half-day Circle of Trust© retreat facilitated by Judy Skeen (Professor of Religion). The retreat will take place on Belmont’s campus Thursday, January 4 from 10am to 2pm (lunch included). The deadline to register for the retreat is this Friday, December 14, so please email to reserve your spot. Please email any dietary requests with your reservation.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Teaching Center!

– Mike, Nanci, and Nathan

Resource of the Month

December’s resource, Making Meaning from Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs): Seeing Beyond Our Own Horizons, is found in Teaching and Learning Inquiry (TLI). The article, written by Carina Jia Yan Zhu, Diana White, Janet Rankin, and Christina Jean Davison, examines how faculty members make sense of student evaluations.  According to its website, TLI “publishes insightful research, theory, commentary, and other scholarly works that document or facilitate investigations of teaching and learning in higher education.” TLI is the flagship journal of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), whose annual conference will meet in Atlanta, GA October 9-12, 2019.

The purpose of the Resource of the Month is twofold:
1) To encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by providing examples of high-quality research.
2) To provide faculty with innovative ideas that promote effective pedagogy.

Q & A With Campus Partners

The Q & A With Campus Partners series is designed to connect faculty with personnel and offices on campus in order to better serve Belmont’s students. This installment features Pat Cunningham from the Office of Campus Security.

What is your title and how long have you been at Belmont?
I came on board as Chief of Campus Security at Belmont on March 17th, St Patrick’s Day, 2014, so I’m going on 5 years at Belmont; however, I’m also a Belmont graduate and worked at the Vanderbilt University Police Department for a number of years, so I have worked with Belmont Security on a variety of cases and projects for over 30 years.

What brought you to Belmont?
A sense that I could help a good department become an exceptional department. Belmont Security has always had great staff who love Belmont, love working with students, and are committed to keeping our campus safe. Where we had opportunities to be stronger, though, was to be more effective and efficient as an organization – to direct our policies, our training, our patrol philosophy in a deliberate and intentional fashion toward operationalizing those concepts by embracing a Community Policing philosophy that drove our Vision 2020 plans.

What do you do in your role as Chief of Campus Security?
My official job description includes creating and implementing the vision and strategic plan for the Office of Campus Security to ensure a collaborative, student-centered approach that aligns with the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the institution. What that translates into on a daily basis is ensuring each and every officer, each and every shift, each and every function is focused first and foremost on the best interest and welfare of our students, on providing exceptional service to the campus community, and on continuous improvement. We oversee parking enforcement and access control. We make sure that buildings that are supposed to be locked are locked, doors that are supposed to be open are open – that lights, locks, emergency phones, cameras, and anything else related to security has been checked and is functioning properly. We monitor traffic flow and pedestrian safety, and conduct parking enforcement. And we seek to engage students and build relationships so trust is established before an incident occurs. In the past few weeks we’ve had officers participate in a dunk tank to support a sorority’s charity efforts, partnered with SGA to hand out candy (and security tips) on Halloween, and provided hot chocolate (and safety tips) at crosswalks at dusk. Most of what I do involves making sure we keep a balance so all of our responsibilities are fully and continuously met and that we have mechanisms in place to quickly identify and address any concerns that arise.

How does your office serve Belmont’s students?
Two of the most important things we do are:

  • have officers focus on engaging students both so we can hear first-hand what concerns they have and so they are comfortable calling when they have issues or concerns.
  • providing security education and awareness programming, whether that’s a 1 minute 1:on:1 conversation with an officer where we discuss bystander intervention, the escort system, and pedestrian safety, or a convocation on self-defense with an officer presenting to a group of 35 on personal safety.

We have 30 total staff including officers, dispatchers, and command staff which breaks down to a dispatcher, a supervisor, and 2-3 officers on patrol at any given time. While we do provide the first response to police, fire, and medical emergencies on campus, the key to keeping our campus safe is enlisting the community to develop good security habits, look out for one another, and be involved in keeping our campus safe.

In what ways do (or can) faculty partner with your office?
Communicate with Security (and our campus partners such as Res Life and FMS) on issues of concern. Whether it’s working as part of the team to follow up on a student of concern report, providing security information on Clery responsibilities or active shooter response, or following up on issues related to access control or parking, the better we do at sharing information, the better we’re able to serve our campus community

What would you like faculty to know about Campus Security?
Campus Security is here and available as a resource 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are going to be working late and would like an officer to stop by to check, call Security at x6617. If you lock your keys in your car or need a jump start, call Security at x6617.

If you see something suspicious, or have a police, fire, or medical emergency call Security at x6617 or x6911. If you’ve got an issue and are just unsure who else to call, call Security at x6617 and we’ll be glad to assist.

You can find more information on the Office of Campus Security here.

Lilly Conferences as a Venue to Present SoTL Research

There are a number of good conferences faculty can attend to learn about and present on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Lilly Conferences on College Teaching and Learning is a series of conferences that many Belmont faculty are particularly fond of. As you can see below,  Belmont faculty have given 10 academic presentations at three different Lilly Conferences during the fall 2018 semester alone. Feel free to contact us in the Teaching Center if you have any questions about teaching and learning conferences and/or if you are interested in applying for a Teaching Center travel grant to attend a teaching conference. You can learn about one faculty member’s experience of attending Lilly Conferences here.

Belmont University Faculty Presentations
Lilly Conferences – Fall 2018

August 2018 at Lilly-Asheville (Asheville, NC)

“Learning by Playing II: Continuous Improvement Through Feedback” – Dennis Chen (Business)

“Uncertainty: A Vehicle for Student and Faculty Development” – Mike Pinter (Mathematics)

“Students’ Perception of TBL in a Biomedical Literature Evaluation Course”  – Jenny Garland (Pharmacy)

“Educational Gaming:  The Design of a Pharmacy ESCAPE Game” – Angela Clauson (Pharmacy) and Angie Hagan (Pharmacy)

October 2018 at Lilly-Traverse City (Traverse City, MI)

“An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Social Justice Abroad” – Brad Schleben (Mathematics) and Nathan Webb (Communication Studies)

“Reacting to the Past: Playing for Deep Learning” – Jim Al-Shamma (Theatre), Mitch McCoy (Spanish), and Andy Miller (Mathematics)

November 2018 at Lilly-Original (Oxford, OH)

“Slow It Down: Strategies for Engaged Learning (including “winging it” once in a while)” – Mike Pinter (Mathematics) and Pete Giordano (Psychological Science)

“Avoiding Genre Trouble: Best Practices to Promote Civility in College Classrooms” – Jason Lovvorn (English) and Sue Trout (English)

“Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Higher Education: Latest Developments in AI-Based Education and Their Implications for Teaching and Learning” – Hyangsook Lee (Media Studies)

“The Elephant in the Classroom: Addressing Sensitive Topics With Skill and Courage” – Julie Hunt (Social Work) and Marnie Vanden Noven (Sport Science)

Resource of the Month

Instead of focusing on a particular journal article this month, November’s Resource of the Month is another online teaching and learning resource. The Scholarly Teacher Blog, which is associated with the International Teaching Learning Cooperate (ITLC), invites readers to “purposefully pause, think critically, reflect on your teaching and your students’ learning.” Recent posts have focused on topics like mid-semester formative reviews, connecting assessment to learning, and increasing classroom participation. ITLC is also affiliated with the Lilly Conferences on College Teaching and Learning. Check back next week to learn more about Belmont’s recent involvement with Lilly Conferences.

The purpose of the Resource of the Month is twofold:
1) To encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by providing examples of high-quality research.
2) To provide faculty with innovative ideas that promote effective pedagogy.

Get to Know First-Year Faculty

Alexis Lee
Faculty Fellow, School of Music

The Juilliard School, Bachelor of Music
Manhattan School of Music, Master of Music
Boston University, Doctorate of Musical Arts

What is your educational/professional background?
I started playing the piano at age five, and cello at age eleven. Since then I have dedicated 20 years of my life practicing and practicing.  Before moving to Nashville, I was an active chamber and orchestral performer around Boston area and had a studio of private students.

What brought you to Belmont?
I was attracted to the fellow position and the environment of the Belmont community. When I visited the campus for an interview in March, Boston was going through multiple nor’easter and I was screaming in excitement to see tulips on campus in MARCH. We don’t see tulips in Boston until first week of May. So…. yes warm weather was another factor =)

What is your favorite part about working with college students?
Although I enjoy teaching young students, with college students it is much easier to guide them into more advanced musical conversations and technical approach.

When you’re not busy grading, prepping classes, researching, etc., how do you enjoy spending your time?
My all time favorite hobby is figure skating. Although I have not been able to find time since I moved to Nashville, I hope to find a good private coach over the summer. I like to take my dog Cuddles to parks and trails. Cleaning my home is a stress relieving activity for me and I also enjoy working out at the gym.

Is there anything else you would like the Belmont community to know about you and/or your role at Belmont?
There are many wonderful concerts and recitals given by our students and faculty every week and we would love to see you!

Q & A With Campus Partners

The Q & A With Campus Partners series is designed to connect faculty with personnel and offices on campus in order to better serve Belmont’s students. This installment features John Delony from the Office of Student Affairs.

What is your title and how long have you been at Belmont?
Associate Provost & Dean of Students.  I have been at Belmont since May/June of 2018.

What brought you to Belmont?
Belmont is a unique, welcoming and hospitable Christian community. During the interview process I was struck by the many ways Belmont is confident in who it is and how it is continuing to buck many of the trends across the higher education landscape.  And wow -the students, staff, and faculty! Behind the beautiful grounds, the new buildings, and the fancy showcases are talented, communal, and lovely people.  They have been worth the move.

What do you do in your role as Associate Provost and Dean of Students?
My job is fourfold: To make sure each and every Belmont student feels a deep sense of belonging, to make sure students have the spaces and services for their success, to create a safe and welcoming campus community, and to make sure the faculty and staff who serve our students them have the support and resources they need to best carry out the mission of Belmont U.

How does your office serve Belmont’s students?
The Division of Student Affairs welcomes students, houses students, teaches students, supports student mental and physical health, and offers multiple engagement, fitness, and recreation opportunities. Additionally, we offer academic accommodations, respond to crisis, offer co-curricular education, and leadership development. And other stuff too…

What would you like faculty to know about the Office of Student Affairs?
Student Affairs professionals are teachers and mentors, too. We teach students how to follow processes, how to disagree and live in community, how to develop resiliency, how to laugh and support one another, how to weep and ask courageous questions, and how to live in community with others who look, smell, act, and dream differently than each other.

You can find more information on the Office of Student Affairs here.

Get to Know First-Year Faculty

Kendall C. Shultes, Pharm.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice

BA, Communication, SUNY at Geneseo
PharmD, Belmont University

What is your educational/professional background?
I graduated with my BA in Communication and a minor in Business Studies from SUNY Geneseo. Prior to graduation, I had decided I wanted to attend pharmacy school and immediately began fulfilling my pharmacy pre-requisites after graduation. Upon completion, I moved to Nashville, TN to attend Belmont University College of Pharmacy (BUCOP). I knew very quickly that this was the right career for me and the place to be. I graduated with my doctorate of pharmacy in BUCOP’s third graduating class. After graduation, I moved to St. Louis, MO where I completed pharmacy residency training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. My first year of residency exposed me to all different kinds of clinical pharmacy, while in my second year of training I focused in oncology. After residency, I worked as a clinical pharmacy specialist in hematological malignancies and stem cell transplantation at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

What brought you to Belmont?
I had decided to change up my career a bit and was looking for a new position when I found out about an open faculty position at BUCOP that was specifically looking for an oncology trained pharmacist. Being that Belmont was always my “home away from home” while in school, I was excited to apply and thrilled to accept the position and move back to Nashville.

What is your favorite part about working with pharmacy students?
I think that my favorite part about working at BUCOP stems from my enjoyment in working in the world of oncology. In oncology, there is always something new to learn and problems to work through. In my faculty position, I get to help students grow their knowledge and work through problems. I’ve enjoyed getting to share my excitement for my clinical practice with students and teach them about a different area of pharmacy.

When you’re not busy grading, prepping classes, researching, etc., how do you enjoy spending your time?
After spending a couple years outside of Nashville, I have loved getting to explore the area again and see how much the city has grown! I’m always trying new restaurants and coffee shops. I’m often out running, enjoying the outdoors, or listening to music throughout the city.

Is there anything else you would like the Belmont community to know about you and/or your role at Belmont?
Belmont is such a special community and provides a true family feel. I’m so glad to be a part of it!

Faculty Reflections

Using Images to Mediate Critical Thinking and Dialogue
Jeremy Fyke, Assistant Professor
Department of Communication Studies

“What do you see?” “What comes to mind here?” As instructors, these are two simple, yet powerful, prompts we can use to generate discussion. Yet, as we all know, what we think are sure-fire good prompts don’t always work as well as we’d like. If you’re like me, and you lean on discussions for much of your courses, then you’re always looking for fresh ideas to promote critical thinking and dialogue. I’ve found in recent years that nothing does this quite like images.

Along those lines, I’d like to introduce you to Visual Explorer, created by The Center for Creative Leadership. Having used this approach several times in various settings—including classrooms and corporate trainings—I know of its effectiveness in generating discussion. Photographs are universal in their ability to spark innovative problem solving and stimulate creative thinking. Furthermore, they simulate what good discussion ought to do—draw out different angles (literally) of issues and connect those perspectives to real life.

The activity works in just about any setting and topic, but for brevity I will focus on one particular application I use often—the first day of class. There is minimal advanced preparation needed on the part of the instructor, other than to craft 1-2 framing questions/prompts for the students to use to unpack the images (see below).

This activity may completed in a 50 or 75 minute class period. The activity requires a PowerPoint slide show or white/blackboard. Second, you need space to lay out 1-2 pictures per person, at a minimum, either on the floor or on tables/desks. The number of pictures you need depends upon how many students you have in the class and how many framing prompts you have (see below).

The framing questions are one of the most critical parts of the process, and can be included on a PowerPoint slide. For instance, your framing questions/prompts for the first day of an organizational communication class could be:

  1. Select one image that represents your worst organizational experience (e.g., internship, job, volunteer work).
  2. Select one image that presents your best organizational experience (e.g., internship, job, volunteer work).

I recommend laying out the images at the very start but not telling the students what they are for. It oftentimes generates a little “buzz” in the room as they come in. Then, allow the students to browse the images for as long as possible. It is important to allow plenty of time so the students can select the images that jumps out to them the most. Students will typically have their images within 5 minutes. Instruct them to study the images quietly when they return to their seats. Once they return, then you show them the following instructions. I recommend showing the framing prompts until the students return from selecting their images. Once the students have a few minutes to study their images, place them in groups of 3-4. Instruct them to follow these directions step-by-step in their groups.

  1. Describe the image. Do not connect to the question yet. Look carefully and deeply into the image to make sure you fully understand it. What do you notice, what’s interesting, surprising, odd, etc?
  2. How does it connect to the question?
  3. Each person in their group then responds, noting what they see in the images. What do you notice that is similar/different? How does it represent/not represent your experiences?

After each person has had the chance to share their images, I call at least one person from each group up to the front to share their images. I have them follow the three-step process, and the whole class weighs in via open discussion on what they see and how it connects to the questions.

The debrief generally follows along with the three-step process because of the dialogue that creates by itself. In other words, as students see how differently each other sees images, they begin to make connections to real life and how we see things differently. Specific questions and points to help them transfer and connect further include:

  1. What insights about perspective-taking does this activity demonstrate?
  2. How could we use this to understand how organizational members (employees, volunteers) view their workspaces and activities?
  3. If you were a member in an organization, how could you use images to foster dialogue?

Editorial Note: If you’re interested in using a Visual Explorer kit in a class, you can borrow one from the Teaching Center by contacting Nanci Alsup or you can check one out from the Bunch Library.

Resource of the Month

October’s resource, Participatory Pedagogy: Oral History in the Service-Learning Classroom, is found in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. The article, written by Elena Foulis , describes how using oral history as a pedagogical tool in service-learning courses can provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and community stakeholders to engage in participatory pedagogy. According to its website, the journal’s mission is “to serve as the premier peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal to advance theory and practice related to all forms of outreach and engagement between higher education institutions and communities.”

The purpose of the Resource of the Month is twofold:
1) To encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by providing examples of high-quality research.
2) To provide faculty with innovative ideas that promote effective pedagogy.