A Year of Innovative Teaching: The CTTL’s Fellowship Program Continues to Thrive

by Michaella Hammond, Assistant Director for Instructional Design, Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning

While this year marks the Center’s 15-year anniversary, the fall semester also marks our first full year of the Innovative Teaching Fellows program, which began with three pioneering full-time faculty members who taught in the Learning Studio during the Fall 2011 semester: Stephanie Mooshegian (School for Professional Studies), Tim Howell (Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy), and Rachel Schwartz (formerly of the School of Public Health).

In Spring 2012, the baton was passed to Flannery Burke (History), Elena Bray Speth (Biology), and Kathleen Llewellyn (Modern & Classical Languages).

A year later, I am happy to introduce the five Innovative Teaching Fellows for the Fall 2012 semester who will continue the tradition of crafting engaging, creative, and student-centered learning experiences in the Learning Studio and to welcome back one of the inaugural Fellows, Stephanie Mooshegian, who will return to teach organizational studies.

Jenny Agnew, Ph.D.

Jenny Agnew, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of English and assistant chair of the Core Curriculum and General Studies Program at Saint Louis University’s School for Professional Studies. Her areas of interest are American Literature, Gothic fiction, adult learners, and food studies.

She is excited to teach an English 150: The Process of Composition course based on food and culture in the Learning Studio, where the class will be able to take advantage of the unique space and technology to become better writers. Dr. Agnew’s students will also enact and practice the writing process through their course blog, Food 150.

Jamel Bell, Ph.D.

As an Innovative Teaching Fellow for the fall 2012 semester, Professor Jamel Santa Cruze Bell will be teaching Communication 512, Contemporary Issues in Media: Crossroads of Race, Class, and the Digital Divide on Tuesday nights, just in time for the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. Dr. Bell’s research and teaching interests revolve around the study of race, ethnicity, and gender, specifically questioning the extent to which dominant discourses like media influence and contribute to the social construction of race and gender as well as the reproduction of social inequality.

Through a critical/cultural lens, Dr. Bell interrogates these images focusing on the sociopolitical, power, and economic considerations that drive the depictions and the issues of identity that may result. Dr. Bell has presented her research at many scholarly conferences nationally and internationally as well as in local communities. She has written multiple book chapters and has articles published in journals such as the Howard Journal of Communications and Race, Gender, and Class. Dr. Bell is currently working on two book projects, including a co-edited volume that focuses on the work of media mogul, Tyler Perry, and a solo-authored book examining the role of race and new media in apologetic discourse.

In addition to her focus on research, Dr. Bell is also an award-winning teacher who views the classroom as a “safe haven” where multiple and diverse perspectives are encouraged, discussed, and critiqued.

Nathaniel A. Rivers, Ph.D.

Nathaniel A. Rivers is an assistant professor of English. His primary area of research and teaching is rhetorical theory and composition, with specializations in technical and professional communication, new media, and public rhetoric. As a teacher, Nathaniel works to foster student engagement-with themselves, each other, and the world at large. With respect to teaching with technology, he assumes that technology in the classroom is nothing new. Desks, textbooks, quizzes and tests, lecterns and lectures, and even classrooms themselves are all pedagogical technologies. He attempts, then, to productively pair course goals with a particular tool or suite of tools (some old, some new).

Additionally, he works to examine the ethical implications of his pedagogy, acknowledging that if education is more than knowledge-banking, then it is certainly more personal, more participatory, and thus much more ethically precarious. His research has appeared in College Composition and Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Kairos, Janus Head, and Ecology, Writing Theory, and New Media. Nathaniel’s course website also provides a comprehensive, creative framework to English 401: New Media Science Writing (also cross-listed as Film Studies 443).

Thomas L. Stewart, J.D.

Professor Tom Stewart is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Trial Advocacy program at Saint Louis University’s School of Law. This semester Professor Stewart is teaching Evidence in the Learning Studio. The Learning Studio’s flexible arrangement is especially conducive to the problem-based, collaborative teaching and learning Professor Stewart will use to introduce and guide students through the Federal Rules of Evidence (and the Missouri counterparts).

Students in the Evidence course will also act as lead and second chair trial groups throughout the semester. In May 2012, Professor Stewart presented on using technology to teach advocacy at “Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills 2012” at Stetson Law School. Professor Stewart is the first Law School professor to teach in the Learning Studio.

Emmanuel Uwalaka, Ph.D.

Associate professor of Political Science, Dr. Emmanual Uwalaka teaches courses on African Politics, International Relations of Africa, Methods in Political Science, Political Systems of Sub-Sahara, and the Politics of Health.  He has conducted research and published on the intersections of the Church and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, and is currently working on “The Implementation of the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) in a Failed State: The Case of Somalia.”

In the Learning Studio this fall, Dr. Uwalaka will teach International Relations of Africa, which will include students at SLU and at Ithaca College in New York.  This collaborative course will simulate a regional conflict – “Globalization and Nigerian Oil.”  Teaching in the Learning Studio will enable him to create a highly- collaborative learning experience for students.

Returning Fellow: Stephanie Mooshegian, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephanie Mooshegian is an Assistant Professor and Chair, Organizational Studies in the School for Professional Studies. Her primary research interests include employee and student retention and work-life balance with a secondary research focus on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Mooshegian teaches courses in Organizational Studies Program, including OSTD 300, Organizational Foundations, which she instructed in the learning studio as one of its first Innovative Teaching Fellows.

She has instructed in multiple modalities (video-conference, online, and traditional classrooms) and enjoys bringing new and innovative teaching practices into the classroom. This semester Professor Mooshegian returns to the Learning Studio to teach Organizational Foundations. 

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