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Trio of Social Work Faculty Recognized for Research on Teaching and Learning; Will Receive James H. Korn Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award

by Benjamen Loewnau

Dr. Michael Mancini, Dr. Brandy Maynard and Dr. Shannon Cooper-Sadlo have been named the recipients of the 2020 James H. Korn Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award for their contributions to research, teaching and learning.

Drs. Mancini, Maynard and Cooper-Sadlo, School of Social Work, were recognized for their unique strategies toward curricular change and innovative teaching.  

The James H. Korn Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award was established in 2006 to recognize Dr. Jim Korn's significant contributions to the research on teaching and learning. Professor emeritus in Psychology, Dr. Korn was deeply committed to scholarly teaching at SLU and was a member of the faculty committee that first established the Reinert Center in 1997.

One award of $500 is given to the home department of the awardee(s) each year for use as professional development funds for those receiving the award.

“During this time in our country, it is even more important that we are supporting innovative approaches to teaching and preparing the next generation of social workers,” Cooper-Sadlo said. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this.” 

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) involves asking questions about student learning and teaching activities; answering those questions by assessing student learning and effectiveness of teaching strategies; and publicly sharing results of this inquiry in a setting that invites peer review.

“This project led to the development of 30 new social work professionals who are now out in the community using the integrated behavioral health practices they learned in this collaborative project to serve youth in the St. Louis Region,” Mancini said. “We're very proud of this project and we are thrilled that it was recognized through this award.” 

Some examples of SoTL research include “Implementation of a new teaching strategy and documenting its effectiveness; Documentation of development and implementation of an interdisciplinary teaching approach; Research on teacher performance, e.g. research on the effect of videotaping on teacher performance; Evaluation of the effectiveness of a new teaching approach in a course or curriculum, e.g. evaluation of the use of collaborative writing in a composition course; Research on effectiveness of integrating service learning or technology into a course.

“As faculty, it’s important to not only advance research and scholarship in one’s area of expertise, but we must continue to work to advance what we know about teaching and learning,” Maynard said. “This seems more important now than ever as education, at the K-12 level and higher education, has been upended in various ways as a result of the pandemic.”

An award ceremony is typically held on campus to commemorate the winners. However, this year, each recipient will present examples of their research via Zoom later this Winter.

About the College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.