Pictured L-R: Theresa McDevitt, John Lipinski, Christina Huhn, Sudipta Majumdar, Jonathan Warnock, and Jaeyong Choi
Criminology and Criminal Justice, College of Health and Human Services
Award Category: Teaching Associate
When I began teaching terrorism, there were three challenges presented: (1) potential language barrier, (2) emotive nature of course topic, and (3) the complexity of terrorism phenomena. To address thesechallenges, I set the three broad course objectives and designed teaching strategies in line with my course objectives: (1) furthering students’ learning through technology, (2) development of critical thinking skills, and (3) tolerance to diversity. I found that combining technology (e.g., Google Chrome extensions) into storytelling can enhance the level of student engagement by stimulating different modes of learning.Additionally, the use of short video clips and contrasting them with the facts regarding terrorism issues ledmany students to be able to be more cautious about how they interpret the information provided frompopular mass media. Similarly, the writing assignment designed to apply criminological theories andfindings to an actual terrorist case contributed to developing students’ critical thinking by showing the close link between theory and practice. Finally, I tried to promote students’ tolerance toward differences and diversity in various ways.
By providing students with a chance to set specifics of grading rubric for major assignments, students could have their voice heard. Through this process, students could see that different opinions can be moderated and that a consensus can be made. As a foreign teacher, I also continued to make sure that there is no misunderstanding in our communication. I wanted to demonstrate them that if they do not stop trying to communicate, they still have chance to understand each other. Students were given chances to evaluate contribution of each group member according to a rubric. This was expected to heighten not only students’ responsibilities but also to recognize others’ view matters in a democratic society. My student evaluations support my effectiveness of three points that I intended to achieve.
Foreign Languages, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Award Category: Teaching of Writing
Composition and grammar
courses within the discipline of World Language Education share a strong
connection to the field of composition studies as a whole; current world
language writing pedagogy is drawn from the work done in composition studies,
including writing portfolios and process writing approaches.
The course content in
SPAN230 is driven by our common course goals based on the development of
language proficiency and by a process writing approach. This curriculum
naturally lends itself to both writing to learn and writing to
communicate activities and assignments, with the ultimate goal of improved
written communication skills in Spanish.
In the context of the World
Language classroom, writing activities and assignments facilitate a discourse
community in Spanish through the use of that language as a common medium of
communication. In other words, the act of writing operates as a tool for
learning, aiding students in both acquiring knowledge and in negotiating
meaning in order to communicate with their classmates and professor.
To facilitate that communication, I incorporate multiple writing
to learn activities associated with process writing, including
brainstorming activities, multiple drafts of each essay, and post-writing
reflections. Similarly, I also incorporate writing to communicate activities
throughout the course which are designed to engage students in natural
discussions with their classmates in Spanish, such as might occur in a social
media or blog setting, or as part of student’s future professional
interactions. Both writing to learn and writing to communicate activities
serve to assist learners in moving towards increased levels of language
Management, Eberly College of Business and Information Technology
Award Category: Innovation
Virtual Study Abroad enables students to journey around the world with their class without physically leaving Indiana, PA. Using teleconference technology, students share their classroom experience with students at the University of Pecs in Hungary, and we host guest speakers from around the world. With time and financial limitations, very few university students get the opportunity to study abroad. This model allows students to experience key aspects of the study abroad experience including the classroom experience, global speakers, and group projects with international peers.
Chemistry, Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Award Category: Content Pedagogy
biochemistry laboratory courses, Biochemistry Lab I (BIOC 311) and Biochemistry
Lab II (BIOC
312), were restructured to introduce students to fundamental biochemical
techniques and then
enable them to perform original research projects once they mastered those
techniques. These innovative changes were possible by the incorporation of an
ideal model protein, small laccase(SLAC) from Streptomyces bacteria,
into the curriculum that integrated two courses under one coordinated umbrella.
This achievement has also resulted in a recent publication, co-authored by
students, “Small laccase from Streptomyces
coelicolor – an ideal model protein/enzyme for
undergraduate laboratory experience”, in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Award Category: Living-Learning
IUP's Office of Housing, Residential Living and Dining's (OHRLD) Living-Learning programs support students' academic success and retention by creating educationally rich environments where students have the best opportunity to prosper. Studies show that students who spend time in the library and make use of library resources tend to do well academically.
First-year students, who most often live in the residence halls, are adjusting to college life and can benefit from increased knowledge of library support services. Studies suggest that students learn better from informed peers and that peer educators may achieve additional learning outcomes by developing and delivering training for peers. Efforts to increase awareness of library support services that involve the use of peer educators have the potential to positively influence the learning outcomes of peer educators, as well as the success and retention of first-year and other students living in residential communities.
Through offering resources and assistance in developing passive or active library-related information sessions in the hall, McDevitt developed a library award for excellence in residence halls which has been offered for three years.
Geoscience/Sustainability Studies, Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Taphonomy is the study of fossil preservation, considering physical and chemical processes from death of organisms, through fossilization to discovery. Taphonomic analysis provides context of the sedimentary deposit and aids significantly in reconstruction of paleoecology and behavior. As such, it is a complex multifaceted discipline within paleontology.
In order to give students an understanding of taphonomic processes, a two-week active learning activity was designed for GEOS 353- Paleontology. Students were presented with an artificial fossil bone deposit, utilizing white-tailed deer bones in Weyandt Hall. Students organized into groups, and were given two weeks to provide interpretations of four deposition environments, as well as various ecological factors regarding the bone bed.
The students were also expected to determine the minimum number of individuals represented in the bone bed, assess whether or not the individuals lived in that environment or were transported, and assess the length of time bones were exposed before fossilization and burial. The activity involved data collection and analysis as well as written communication skills. It was a critical thinking exercise, as students had to decide what data to collect, how to work together as a team, and what additional data, 'purchased' with 'grant money,' would support their conclusions.