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Mike Welch speaking at Excellence in Teaching Day

2017 Excellence in Teaching Day

Find breakout and poster session content below


We were pleased to have Professor Shaun Harper, founder and Executive Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, serve as the keynote speaker for our May 8, 2017 Excellence in Teaching Day. You can view the slides from Dr. Harper's keynote address. Dr. Harper’s research examines race and gender in education and social contexts, equity trends and racial climates on college campuses, Black and Latino male student success in high school and higher education, and college student engagement. Professor Harper launched a day of discussions around the theme of “Difference, Justice, and the Common Good.”

Find the full schedule and detailed program descriptions below.

Excellence in Teaching Day Schedule Overview

8:30 - 9:00

Light Breakfast

Fulton 220

9:00 - 10:15

Breakout Sessions I

Fulton Hall

10:30 - 12:00

Keynote Speaker: Shaun Harper

Devlin 008

12:00 - 1:00


Lyons Dining Hall, Lower Level

1:15 - 2:30

Breakout Sessions II

Fulton Hall

2:45 - 4:00

Teaching Innovation Poster Session


Gasson 100

Breakout Sessions I (9:00 - 10:15)

Classroom Climate: What Does the Research Tell Us?

Fulton 115

Ana Martínez Alemán (LSOE)

What does the research on college classroom climate tell us? In this presentation, Professor Ana Martínez Alemán explores what we know about classroom climate and its relationship to college student learning, development and engagement. We will discuss new research on the uses of technology to engage minoritized students in our classrooms.

Ana Martínez Alemán handout

Engaging Students in the Large Lecture Course

Fulton 145

Paul Cichello (Economics), Clare O’Connor (Biology), and Sarah Ross (History)

Large classes can pose unique challenges for instructors. Faculty can find that their tried-and-true strategies for motivating student participation, checking student understanding, and even managing grading may not translate to the larger class context. However, there are creative ways faculty have found to meet these challenges. For this session, an interdisciplinary panel of BC faculty will share their strategies for teaching and engaging students in larger classes.

Paul Cichello handout

Clare O'Connor slides

Marginalized Identities and Psychological Well-Being: University Counseling Center Perspectives

Fulton 117

University Counseling Services: Julie AhnAllen, Yvonne Jenkins, Patrick Latham, Johanna Malaga, and Sarah Piontkowski 

Members of the University Counseling Services Diversity Committee have a unique window into the lives of Boston College students and, in particular, the complexities faculty encounter in their efforts to support students with multiple marginalized identities. In this session, UCS staff will lead faculty in a discussion of vignettes of student experiences that represent various issues including vulnerable identities, power, bias, and stigma. Faculty will have the opportunity to reflect upon issues of appropriate roles and boundaries, intention versus impact, and empowerment versus enabling. Our goal is for participants to learn from each other and share their experiences so they can best navigate tension points and gain strategies to engage in difficult conversations both in and outside the classroom.

Real News, Real Sources: A Civic Responsibility

Fulton 453

Marcus Breen (Communication), Margaret Cohen (BC Libraries), Leslie Homzie (BC Libraries), Julia Hughes (BC Libraries), Steve Runge (BC Libraries), and Mike Serazio (Communication)

The ease at which information is created and the speed at which information is disseminated poses new challenges for educators grappling with the implications that “fake news” and “post-truths” have for our classrooms. Organized by the BC Libraries, this interactive roundtable discussion seeks to shed new light on the role of news, media and information literacy, and to explore ways faculty can help prepare their students to be more thoughtful digital citizens. BC Communication faculty members will present their insights, and BC research librarians will share concrete suggestions for developing students’ critical digital literacy skills.

Real News, Real Sources: Slides

Real News, Real Sources: Handout

Supporting Students with Effective Writing Assignments Across Academic Disciplines

Fulton 235

Marla De Rosa (English, Writing Fellows Program), Sean Clarke (CSON), Lisa Goodman (LSOE), Gustavo Morello (Sociology), and Rita Owens (CSOM)

Writing is a core component of a liberal arts education and faculty members in different academic disciplines use a range of writing assignments to help students more fully develop their capabilities as writers. The Writing Fellows program has the opportunity to work with faculty in these different disciplines and learn how they support student writing in their courses. In this session faculty members and members of the Writing Fellows program will share their experiences regarding successful writing assignments in different courses. The session will also focus on the challenges students face in understanding the various expectations for writing across disciplines.

Supporting Students with Effective Writing Assignments: Slides

Supporting Students with Effective Writing Assignments: Handout

Teaching Remotely

Fulton 423

Kara Godwin (Center for International Higher Education) and Aleksander (Sasha) Tomic (WCAS)

As technologies for online collaboration improve, faculty are finding new and creative ways to engage their students at a distance. Whether through a synchronous conversation held online during a snowstorm or a pre-recorded video students respond to on their own time, faculty appreciate the flexibility such approaches allow. For this session, CTE staff will provide an overview of the tools available for remote instruction, and two BC faculty will share their own experiences with teaching remotely.

Teaching Remotely: Handout

Breakout Sessions II (1:15 - 2:30)

Bridging Classroom and Community

Fulton 425

Meghan Sweeney (PULSE), Donna Cullinan (CSON), Marilynn Johnson (History), Micah Lott (Philosophy), and Prasannan Parthasarathi (History)

Community-based learning (whether service or research-based) can lead not only to greater student engagement and understanding of why our disciplines “matter” in the world, but also to deeper student learning. This roundtable conversation featuring BC faculty who have experimented with a range of community-based pedagogies will discuss approaches for designing academically rigorous community-based assignments that are also mutually beneficial to our community partners.

Centering LGBTQ Experiences in the Classroom

Fulton 423

Mark D'Angelo (LSOE), Franco Mormando (Romance Languages and Literatures), Theresa O’Keefe (STM), and Laura Tanner (English)

As scholars increasingly turn their attention to the LGBTQ community in their research -- and as LGBTQ students become more visible in our classrooms -- faculty across disciplines are seeking new ways to make space for LGBTQ perspectives and LGBTQ students in their classroom communities. In this roundtable discussion, Boston College faculty will share their experiences and ideas about how we might center LGBTQ experiences both in our curricula and also in our pedagogical approaches.

Helping International Students Succeed

Fulton 117

Adrienne Nussbaum (International Students and Scholars)

Did you know that BC's international student population has doubled in the past ten years? Along with opportunities, having more international students in the classroom may also create challenges. How do we make sure these students feel included? What cultural factors may impact academic performance? This workshop will present statistics and trends in the international community at BC, cross-cultural issues with specific advice and suggestions, as well as a panel of current international students sharing their experiences.

Adrienne Nussbaum slides

Ignatian Pedagogies in the 21st Century

Fulton 235

Susan Gennaro (Dean, CSON), Gregory Kalscheur, S.J. (Dean, MCAS), and Stanton Wortham (Inaugural Charles F. Donovan, S.J. Dean, LSOE)

Join three Boston College deans in a conversation about how the Jesuit tradition might inform teaching practices here at BC in a way that respects both the richness of the tradition and the fact that we are an increasingly diverse community. Possible topics include: the challenges and opportunities of the growing diversity in the academy and in the larger community; how our teaching and learning play out in our increasingly digital world; how faculty and students are to reflect deeply in the face of the growing number of distractions that make it harder to find time and space for reflection; and the role of the liberal arts in shaping citizens in the current climate.

Reflecting with the “Creating Inclusive Classrooms” Faculty Cohort

Fulton 453

Yonder Gillihan (Theology), Anne Homza (Teacher Education, Special Education, and Curriculum & Instruction), David Scanlon (Teacher Education, Special Education, and Curriculum & Instruction), Susan Tohn (SSW), and Celeste Wells (Communication)

The CTE’s “Creating Inclusive Classrooms” Faculty Cohort has been meeting monthly during the 2016-17 academic year to discuss strategies for creating classroom spaces that support all students in meeting their learning goals. In this session, we will invite participants in small groups to examine real-life cases regarding issues of exclusion, intentional or not, that serve to oppress, disregard or otherwise marginalize the voices and experiences of particular groups based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, gender-conformity, etc. We will reflect on problems and solutions that these cases bring up, and to discuss how as individuals and as a faculty committed to social justice we can more deeply interrogate how our own life experiences and histories shape our ability to be inclusive. The goal will be to provide participants with ideas and strategies to use in their own classrooms.

Teaching from the Margins: Underrepresented Faculty Perspectives on the Classroom

Fulton 145

Kelli Armstrong (Vice President for Planning and Assessment), Rocío Calvo (SSW), Joe Liu (BCLS), Margaret Lombe (SSW), and Danielle Taghian (Biology)

Data from recent surveys and focus groups show that female faculty and faculty of color at Boston College report lower levels of satisfaction in their classroom experiences and in their interactions with students. This panel discussion brings together an interdisciplinary group of female faculty and faculty of color to discuss their own experiences in BC classrooms and the strategies they’ve found effective. Kelli Armstrong, Vice President for Planning and Assessment, will kick off the panel with a brief presentation about these recent findings on faculty satisfaction.

Teaching from the Margins: Mentoring

Teaching from the Margins: Strategies

At selected times throughout the day, representatives from several BC offices and programs were on hand to offer information meant to support faculty in supporting their students. Participants included:

  • Boston College Libraries, 12:00-1:00 (Lunch, Lyons Dining Hall)
  • Church in the 21st Century Center (Lunch, Lyons Dining Hall) 
  • Disability Services Office, 12:00-1:00 (Lunch, Lyons Dining Hall)
  • Office of International Students and Scholars, 12:00-1:00 (Lunch, Lyons Dining Hall)
  • Office of the Dean of Students, 2:45-4:00 (Reception, Gasson Rotunda)
  • Boston College Internal Grants, 2:45-4:00 (Reception, Gasson Rotunda)
  • Office of International Programs, 2:45-4:00 (Reception, Gasson Rotunda)

In addition, resources from a number of other BC offices were available for faculty to peruse throughout the day:

  • Connors Family Learning Center
  • Learning Resources for Student-Athletes
  • Office of Graduate Student Life
  • Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center
  • University Counseling Services
  • University Mission and Ministry
  • Women's Center

For Excellence in Teaching Day participants visiting Boston College on May 8th: