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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 9, 2016
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L-r: Gavin Brockett, Deena Mandell and Eileen Wood
L-r: Gavin Brockett, Deena Mandell and Eileen Wood

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Laurier announces three new Teaching Fellows

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jul 7/14

The Office of the Associate Vice-President: Teaching and Learning has announced Laurier's new Teaching Fellows. This year’s recipients include: Gavin Brockett, associate professor of Middle East and Islamic History and co-ordinator of the Muslim Studies Option; Deena Mandell, associate professor, Faculty of Social Work and Eileen Wood, professor of Psychology.

The Laurier Teaching Fellowship program honours faculty who have demonstrated exceptional contributions to teaching and learning and have established an exemplary record of achievement in educational leadership.

“These fellowships enable the fellows to pursue an individual program of activities designed to enhance teaching quality,” said Pat Rogers, associate vice-president: teaching and learning. “The program also establishes a network of excellent teachers who will collaborate to promote teaching excellence and student success across the university community.”

During the fellowship, Brockett will explore various challenges produced by current pressures facing higher education: to make learning more meaningful and effective, to use ever-changing technologies, to engage the international at home, and to address multi-cultural issues in globalization. His project will study the degree to which these opportunities can be brought together in a global, engaged classroom: specifically through an active-learning course that includes students in two countries, linked by video-conferencing.

Throughout her fellowship year, Mandell will focus on developing a training video for students, full- and part-time faculty, and teaching assistants to address issues that can arise between domestic and non-domestic students in the context of university group work. The video is intended as a discipline-specific project within the Faculty of Social Work, which will be transferrable to other schools of social work and related social-service and social-care programs. The model would also be adaptable to any discipline that makes use of group work for educational purposes.

Wood will pursue five directions of inquiry that together will allow her to engage in new and innovative teaching activities as well as consolidate ongoing issues that impact instruction - especially in early undergraduate years. These will include the introduction of labs as a writing/experiential learning opportunity in introductory psychology courses; participation in the development of a new online community service learning course; assessment of perceived and actual learning gains following peer instruction in academic integrity; evaluation of learning gains for chemistry students when provided with instructional supports; and examination of technology policies, including faculty and student responses to the presence and uses of technology in the classroom.

The new fellows join Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts and Steve MacNeil, who were appointed in January, 2014.

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