2015-16 NEW FACULTY LUNCH SERIES (pdf) - schedule still be be determined

All new faculty are welcome to join these 12:00-1:00 p.m. programs in Memorial 331 (lunch is provided).  You will receive an invitation before each program from Susan Bennett in the Provost and Dean of Faculty Office (x5399).

Monday • September 14 • Student Issues in the Classroom    Registration for this event has CLOSED.

In this session we'll talk about some of the issues you might encounter this semester and how to handle them: keeping track of absences and knowing Whitman's excused absence policy, academic honesty, and classroom climate concerns. Facilitated by Chuck Cleveland,Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Juli Dunn, Associate Dean of Students, Rebecca Frost, Director of Student Success and Disability Support Services, and Donna Cummins, Assistant to the Dean of Students.

Monday  •  September 21 • Identity in the Classroom  Registration for this event has CLOSED.

The teaching and learning dynamic is intricately related to our personal identities, both for students and for faculty. We will consider research on how the classroom experience can vary according to factors such as gender, age, socioeconomic status, physical ability, ethnicity, and nationality. We will talk about some of the conversations around this topic that have taken place at Whitman recently and discuss some concrete principles for helping all students succeed, for attending to our own unique needs as faculty members, and for creating a campus culture that values the recognition of these differential experiences. Co-facilitated with Brooke Vick, Associate Professor of Psychology and Kazi Joshua, Chief Diversity Officer.

Thursday •  October 1 • Navigating the Tenure-Track Job Market   Registration for this event has CLOSED.
(for visiting faculty)                            4:00-5:00 in Baker Center

We are thankful to our visiting faculty for all the contributions you bring to us at Whitman, especially as we know most of you are also engaged in the time-consuming work of looking for long-term positions. At this informal wine and cheese gathering, faculty who have served on numerous search committees offer strategies for interpreting job ads, writing strong cover letters, and interviewing. Guests TBD.

Monday • October 5 • Mid-Term Evaluations and Other Ways to Find out What Students are Getting out of Class  Registration for this event has CLOSED.

By the end of the semester, it is too late to get meaningful feedback that would allow us to make changes in what we're doing. We'll discuss different kinds of evaluations we can give to students to get that feedback as well as what we should do with them. We'll also talk about other quick ways (e.g., minute papers, muddiest point) to find out what students are learning so that we can adapt our teaching.

Monday • November 2 • Becoming a Teacher-Scholar

The process of becoming a teacher-scholar requires reflection and planning. We'll talk about concrete things we can be doing throughout the year to chart our goals and progress as teachers and scholars, learn about writing groups that foster scholarly productivity, and introduce you to our staff who can support you in grant writing and other professional activity. Guests include Rachna Sinnott, Director of Grants and Foundation Relations.

Monday • December 7 • How to Interpret Your Course Evaluations

The evaluations students fill out are most useful to faculty members when they are informed by other kinds of evidence of what students are learning (e.g., papers, exams, classroom discussions) and when they are viewed over time (looking for consistent patterns, the effect of specific changes to a course, etc.). Senior faculty members will share samples of their own student evaluations, discuss strategies for interpreting them in order to identify their strengths and areas for improvements, and offer tips for approaching evaluations while keeping self-esteem intact. Facilitated by Helen Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology.

Monday • January 25 • Teaching Writing: Strategies and Support

Writing is a complex skill to teach, but also a fulfilling part of our roles as teachers. We'll discuss ways to help students broaden their understanding of writing as a process, and ways that the student tutors at the Writing Center or fellows from the WOCI (Written and Oral Communication Initiative) can support your efforts. Facilitated by Lydia McDermott, Director of the Writing Center, and Dana Burgess, Director of WOCI.

Monday • February 29 • Connecting to What Students are Learning Outside of the Classroom

One of the things that can lead to "significant learning" is showing students the connection between course concepts and experiences students have outside of the classroom. These connections motivate students to learn and help them see how course material applies to a range of contexts. In this session we'll talk about ways to help students integrate what they're learning with other parts of their college experience. We'll also suggest ways that faculty can help students prepare to apply their academic knowledge to internships and other professional opportunities. Guests include Noah Leavitt, Director of the Student Engagement Center, Abby Juhasz, Coordinator of Community Service, and Mary Raschko, Assistant Professor of English.

Monday • April 11 • The Juggling Act: Strategies for Balancing Teaching, Research, Service, and Life

Am I spending enough time on my research? Not enough on my teaching? Is serving on this committee going to spell disaster for my scholarly agenda? Most academics never quite feel that they can strike just the right "balance." Bu.t there are certainly things that we can do to feel more fulfilled and focused. We'll discuss some general findings about what makes for high job satisfaction among professors as well as share some tips on specific things we can do to get better at juggling. Guests include Doug Juers, Associate Professor of Physics.

*For tenure-track faculty: Monday, May 9, 12-1, Memorial305: Informational Meeting regarding the informal review that will take place Fall 2016.

 Other Events of Interest to Faculty

The following programs are on Mondays, 12-12:50 in Memorial #331 unless otherwise indicated. Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP. Invitations will go out along with more detailed descriptions throughout the semester.

Monday • September 28 • Working with Multilingual Student Writers Registration for this event has CLOSED.

Facilitated by Lydia McDermott, Director of the Center for Writing and Speaking and Assistant Professor of Composition and Devon Wootten, Language Learning Center Director and Adjunct Assistant Professor of General Studies.

Multilingual students bring great linguistic and cultural diversity to our classrooms and may have different expectations and needs in terms of developing their writing, particularly academic writing. In this session we discuss how faculty can consider the experiences of multilingual students as they design writing assignments and class activities, provide feedback, and evaluate student writing. Faculty will also learn about Whitman’s English Language Fellows program and how fellows can be used to assist faculty in meeting the needs of international and other multilingual students.

Monday • October 12 • Using Groups in Class to Promote Problem Solving  REGISTER HERE

Facilitated by Barry Balof (Mathematics) and Lisa Perfetti (French and English).

Whether a complex math problem, an analysis of a difficult historical or literary text, or a scientific experiment, having students work through a challenging question together can engage them more deeply in the material, give them practice trying out different ways to approach a problem, and enable them to become more independent thinkers.  Yet having students break into groups during class can also fall flat.  In this session, Barry and Lisa facilitate a discussion of group activities that help develop students’ problem solving skills and identify ways to avoid the pitfalls that come with this kind of work.