Message from Associate Dean Jeff Franklin
Improving and Demonstrating the Value of the Education We Offer
Curriculum, as well as pedagogy, is the provenance of faculty, as it should be. There are state legislators in Colorado and plenty of folks in Washington—perhaps including President Obama, with his recently announced college-rating system—who would like to dictate our Core curriculum and the types of learning we value for students. Stephen Hartnett forwarded me the article linked here, addressing this issue—thank you Stephen. The way for faculty to retain full control of curriculum is, first, to ensure that it is as intentionally designed and as effective in delivering learning as possible. The second way is to demonstrate that what we say we want our students to learn is in their best interest to learn and that they are in fact learning it.This is what the Learning Enhancement Taskforce (LET) has been working on and what all CLAS chairs are partnering with the LET in doing. Thank you to the CLAS chairs and all faculty who are participating.
The LET is asking chairs to provide short pieces for the Deans’ Notes over the next several months about their department’s experiences—pro and con—in responding to the recommendations from the LET. Those recommendations are aimed at making our curricula more intentional and more integrated, first as individual departments and then as a college, and making the entire undergraduate educational experience one in which we all share. The first of those pieces, below, is provided thanks to John Swallow, Chair of Integrative Biology, and Laurel Hartley, Assistant Professor in that department, who authored this entry:
How Biology has Responded to the Learning Enhancement Taskforce
The Department of Integrative Biology aims to deliver an integrated curriculum that uses research-based pedagogical practices and emphasizes deep conceptual understanding of biology and mastery of 21st-century skills. Our goals for teaching enhancement are to iteratively
- align program-level and course-level goals to the AAC&U Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) and to an important document put out by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, “Vision and Change for Undergraduate Biology”;
- scaffold the teaching of Biology core concepts and competencies across our major curriculum, and
- create an on-line interactive map for students, advisors, and faculty to better understand the learning outcomes of each course and how courses are aligned.
We first formed a Teaching Effectiveness Committee to spearhead our efforts. To accomplish Goal 1, we have held facilitated meetings for faculty who teach core courses to draft learning outcomes for each course and discuss articulation between the core courses. The Teaching Effectiveness Committee is also working with individual faculty to provide feedback about the writing of learning outcomes for their upper-division non-core courses. To accomplish Goal 2, we have held a series of workshops to discuss how to scaffold the learning of the 21st century skills (e.g., scientific inquiry) defined by the AAC&U ELOs and the AAAS Vision and Change documents. The product of the scaffolding workshops will ultimately be practical and varied suggestions of activities and assessments faculty can employ in our 2000, 3000, and 4000-level courses to help students develop the skills our program cares about. We have not yet undertaken Goal 3 of creating an on-line interactive map of our curriculum, but have taken the important step of organizing all course learning objectives using the headers of the AAAS Vision and Change framework. We feel this will help students see important conceptual and content threads among our courses and remind faculty to make explicit links for students. To support these efforts, the Teaching Effectiveness Committee has also organized “lunch and learn” workshops related to pedagogy (e.g., effective question facilitation techniques, helping your students use primary literature, etc.), most of which were presented by external experts in the field of biology pedagogy. Our lessons learned are: a) the Teaching Effectiveness Committee is critical because someone needs to spearhead the work; b) the process has to be iterative in nature; c) we have to view our curriculum as an integrated whole rather than a collection of courses.
I look forward to sharing your department’s feedback and to continuing this dialogue as we move forward.
With all best wishes,
National Search Launched for Dean
After carefully weighing all the feedback received, Provoist Narin has decided to immediately initiate a national search for the next Dean of CLAS. Nominations for individuals to serve on the search committee can be sent to Provost.Nairn@ucdenver.edu no later than 5PM on Friday, November 22, 2013. Provost Narin will be in touch at a later date to announce the committee chair, membership and the process for the search.
Political Science Proud to Announce the Launch of Praxis
Political Science is proud to announce the publication of the inaugural edition of Praxis—a department journal featuring student scholarship. The journal serves as a venue for student authors in the department, both graduate and undergraduate, to disseminate their research and creative work. The journal highlights the department’s commitment to an engaged political science, committed to advancing the public good through accessible scholarship, relevant to a broader civic dialogue. The first edition of Praxis will be focused on social movement scholarship, and the first copies of the journal will be available through the Auraria campus library, or through the department.
For more information contact Elly Steinmetz at (303) 556-5859 or Eleanore.firstname.lastname@example.org
Campus Event Remembers Russell Means
On November 8th, over seventy social activists, academics, students, and members of Native American tribes throughout the United States gathered at the Tivoli to remember and honor the legendary Native Rights activist, Russell Means. The event hosted three panels: The Life and Times – The Good, The Bad, and the Real; Gender Issues, Matrilinearity, and Indigenous Liberation; and The Legacy of the Vision & Work of Russell Means. The panelists included George (Tink) Tinker – Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions at Iliff School of Theology and member of the Osage Nation, Ward Churchill former ethnic studies professor at CU Boulder, Glenn Morris – Professor of Political Science at CU Denver, and John Thomas – member of the American Indian Movement. Other event speakers included Russell Means’ wife, Pearl Daniel-Means, Dr. Richard Zephier, and Tessa McLean. The event was sponsored by the CU Denver Political Science department and the Fourth World Center of Indigenous Study.
For more information, please see http://russellmeanshonoring-denver.com/
CU Denver Sustainability Summit a Success
Faculty, staff and students came together on Friday, November 15, at St. Cajetan’s Church, to learn more about the University’s sustainability efforts. CU Denver is conducting operations to improve energy efficiency, implement processes that support the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and Governor Bill Ritter’s Greening of State Government executive order and actively pursue academic, research and facilities goals in support of a sustainable campus. The Sustainability Summit was convened by the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sustainability to review CU Denver sustainability activities of the last five years and gather support for new goals for sustainability for the next five years.
Alternative Spring Break - New York, NY
Application opens Friday, November 22 and closes Friday, November 29
In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused major flooding to the islands of New York City and surrounding coastal areas. Hurricane Sandy became the second costliest recorded storm to hit the United States. This coming spring, CU Denver students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to coordinate relief efforts in the New York area. For application and additional information click here.
Anthropology MA Program receives national ranking
Congratulations to Anthropology’s MA program, which has been ranked # 21 in the country by GraduatePrograms.com; which posts rankings of discipline specific graduate programs across the country, as rated by graduate students.
Chin and Parker present at GSA Annual Meeting
Last month, geography professor Anne Chin and graduate student Anna Parker presented their research on the impacts of the Waldo Canyon Fire on mountain river channels at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. The meeting took place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, October 27-30. In conjunction with their collaborators, Chin and Parker presented data and analysis showing dramatic geomorphological and ecological changes within river channels in the burn area following a series of recent summer storms. The project is sponsored by a RAPID grant from the National Science Foundation and augmented by a CLAS CRISP award and faculty development grant from CU Denver’s Center for Faculty Development. Graduate students Jonathan Key and Kim Conway and undergraduate students Thomas Horner, Megan Krysiak, and Corine Roberts-Niemann contributed field and laboratory assistance.
Cooney publishing a chapter
Teresa Cooney, professor and chair of sociology, is co-authoring a chapter “Caregiving for an ex-husband: Exploring precipitating factors and relational outcomes” (Proulx, C. M., Cooney, T. M., Benson, J. J., & Snyder-Rivas, L. A. (2013). It will appear in, P. Neff Claster and S. Blair’s (Eds.) Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research (pp. 369-397). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.
Garbo successfully defends thesis
Last week, sociology student Heather Garbo successfully defended her master's thesis, "Understanding Sense of Community as an Essential Component of Community Development: An Evaluation of Colorado Communities." This thesis was directed by Associate Professor Candan Duran-Aydintug, and committee members were Dr. Lucy Dwight and Dr. Omar Swartz.
Horton presents research
Sarah Horton, assistant professor in anthropology, presented research at the October 4th University of North Carolina Chapel Hill conference "Comparing Approaches to Health Inequalities and Justice: A Dialogue on Theory, Method, and (Inter)-Disciplinarity." Horton’s presentation focused on what ethnography can contribute to the study of Latino migrant children's oral health.
Laird speaks at National Women's History Museum
On November 12th, Pamela Laird, professor and chair of history, gave a talk at the National Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC. The series was called, “Making a Business of Change: American Women in Business.”
Otanez work appears in new book
Associate professor in anthropology Marty Otañez’s digital storytelling work was highlighted in the recent book Participatory Visual and Digital Methods on Qualitative Analysis.
Shelby presents paper
Candice Shelby, associate professor of philosophy, presented the paper, "A Different Way to Think About Addiction" at the 67th Annual Meetings of the Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference, held October 6-8 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Simon awarded Center for Faculty Development grant
A wildfire in 1991 devastated a large residential area in Oakland, Calif. burning 3,500 homes, killing 25 people and injuring 150 others. With a long history of earlier wildfires in the area, what has this community done to reduce social vulnerability in the future? Can these lessons be transferred to locations in Colorado and throughout the U.S. West? With grant support from the Center of Faculty Development and resources from Stanford’s Spatial History Lab, this is what Gregory Simon, assistant professor in geography and environmental sciences, and his team of research assistants hope to learn. Read more here.
Monday, November 25 – Friday, December 13 – Tivoli Lobby
Nineteen years ago, the Auraria Campus started a holiday tradition by launching the Share Tree Project. We hope that we are able to reach our goal of 200 gifts for children in Denver this holiday season. Here is how the share tree works:
- Take an ornament off one the trees. On it you will find the gender and age of a child.
- Bring an unwrapped gift, with the original tag attached to it, to the CU Denver Office of Student Life (Tivoli 303) by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13. The Office of Student Life staff will then donate the toys to various local charities to bring holiday cheer to children.
Graduate School Distinguished Seminar
Spring Hill Suites Marriott Ballroom
The Bonobo and the Atheist: Morality, Religion, and Prosocial Primates
Frans B. M. de Waal; PhD, C. H. Candler Professor of Psychology, Emory University, Director, Living Links Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Dr. de Waal is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as 47 [all time] Great Minds of Science.
Computational Mathematics Colloquium
11:00am - 12:00pm
InfoSymbiotics – The power of Dynamic Data Driven Applications Systems (DDDAS)
Frederica Darema, Program Director with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Abstract: InfoSymbiotics/DDDAS embodies the power of Dynamic Data Driven Applications Systems (DDDAS), a concept whereby an executing application model is dynamically integrated, in a feed-back loop, with the real-time data-acquisition and control components, as well as other data sources of the application system.
11:00 am - 12:00pm
MOOCS, DOCCS, and other possibilities: Opportunities and challenges in converting a science methods course online
Geeta Verma, Associate Professor of Science Education, School of Education and Human Development
Online learning has become a disruptive force in higher education. Various institutions of higher education are beginning to create Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) as well as beginning to make more of the course offerings online. We will discuss the following ideas in this presentation:
1) MOOCS vs. DOCCS (pronounced as DOCK): While MOOCs have been perceived to be a game-changer, there are various challenges associated with this model of teaching. It is worth looking into another model of online learning called Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC).
2) Challenges and opportunities in converting a science methods course (lab based) fully online; and
3) Exploring modalities (MOOCS, DOCCS, and other options) in transitioning courses to online spaces
Auraria Housekeepers Ceremony Of Graduation
3:10pm - 4:10pm
Department of Modern Languages (Plaza 118P)
Project Coordinator Olga Gavara and Professor Andrés Lema-Hincapié cordially invite you to celebrate the graduation of twenty Auraria Housekeepers. They successfully participated in a pilot project designed to improve their literacy in Computer Basics, Written English, and Written Spanish. This project was made possible thanks to a Diversity & Excellence Grant from the University of Colorado President’s Office. Please join us to celebrate the great effort and commitment our Housekeepers put into this project of diversity and inclusion.
For more information contact Professor Andrés Lema-Hincapié at email@example.com
Fall Commencement: Please note new location within the Convention Center for CLAS Reception!!!
Colorado Convention Center
Graduating students should be at the Convention Center by 7:45a to start lining up. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 8:30 am to get seats. More information can be found here.
The CLAS Commencement Reception will be held immediately following the Commencement ceremony, downstairs in the Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom, Sections 2 & 3.