UNIVERSITY CONTRIBUTIONS: NARRATIVE & SUPPORTING MATERIALS (20%)
While I understand that I will be formally appointed to a university committee next Fall, I have taken seriously the opportunities already made available to contribute. Specifically, I have participated in redesigning a new program (the SYE for teacher candidates), have played an active role in a TED candidate search and screen, and serve on the EPP and TEAC committees (which also necessitate my role as a liaison between TED and the Social Inquiry department). Each of these is explained in detail below.
Senior Year Experience (SYE) Redesign
As a part of a 2016 summer work session, the Senior Year Experience (SYE) for teacher candidates was reviewed. Discussion centered on the quality and content of student work. Faculty and staff expressed concern that some students put significant time and energy into the reflection necessary for an excellent presentation while others showed a lack of preparation and respect for the process. It was thus suggested that a revisiting of goals for the SYE and a potential redesign could result in a more predictable outcome. Previous experience with designing and executing a capstone with similar objectives led me to volunteer to lead the redesign, which I authored and subsequently proposed in the Fall of 2016 (click on proposal document at right). The new model was approved by the SYE Coordinator, the Dean of Faculties and the UAAC. It was subsequently shared with other departments by Eleni Pinnow (UW Superior Senior Year Experience Coordinator) as a model example for future consideration. Authoring and organizing the SYE redesign made quite a bit of sense considering, first, my dissertation research on the topic of college readiness and, second, my work at the university preparing teachers-in-waiting. The SYE is meant not only as a means of demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of elementary and/or secondary education, but also to situate that knowledge within a personal context. Parker Palmer (1998) argues that it is at this intersection of personal and vocational life that powerful pedagogy is found. This sort of “undivided self” (Palmer, 1998, p.15) - wherein a teacher’s life is both affected by, and reflective of, what happens in their classroom - makes for a highly coherent educational philosophy. To this end, the SYE is focused on offering a generative reflective experience that connects a student’s UWS coursework to the whole of their educational journey while also launching each candidate into their chosen vocation equipped with a stronger sense of their educator-selves. And for someone who, from both a research and teacher perspective, is interested in the experiences of college students, facilitating a reflective event at the end of the post-secondary journey was a no-brainer.
Search and Screen Committee
I am presently serving on a search and screen committee that is seeking a new tenure track faculty member in Teacher Education to begin Fall of 2017. I also act as the liaison between Educational Leadership and the Social Inquiry department, which furthers my ability to work with those teacher candidates who are majoring or minoring in the social sciences.
Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Committee and Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC)
As an Assistant Professor in Teacher Education, I have the privilege of serving on two very active committees that meet every other week (respectively) - the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Committee and Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC). The EPP Committee serves to ensure that Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction mandates are met within and across all departments that are involved with educator preparation. TEAC serves the Education Preparation Program in an advisory and consultative role to strengthen content areas and other programming and evaluation activities in response to DPI expectations (click on graphic at right for more explanation). For these reasons, I also serve as the liaison between TED and the Social Inquiry department and attend their monthly department meetings.