Since the semester ended and day students left campus, it’s faculty and staff who have been sitting at the desks. The month of May has evolved into a time when professors and administrators can take advantage of learning opportunities that are difficult during the school year because of class and work schedules.
Most of these workshops are planned by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), whose mission is to “engage and sustain faculty and staff…and encourage professional, scholarly, and teaching development at every stage of an Augsburg career.”
Some workshops focus on specific areas of the Core Curriculum and target faculty and staff who are involved in them. Kristen Chamberlain, finishing her first year as assistant professor in Communication Studies, spent a day exploring experiential education and the Engaging Minneapolis requirement of the Augsburg Seminar.
“The workshop on Engaging Minneapolis was enormously helpful,” Chamberlain said. “I had never ventured very far into the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, and it was really eye-opening to hear about the history of the area as well as what the neighborhood currently offers. It was an excellent opportunity to start thinking about how we can get our students involved in the diverse life that surrounds our campus.”
Other workshops are presented by various departments and programs, some in partnership with CTL. For two days, 20 faculty and staff members participated in “Leading Lives That Matter: Thinking about the ‘Big Picture’ in Your Life, Work, and Teaching,” a seminar funded through Augsburg’s Lilly Grant. Participants reflected on vocation — how faculty can infuse discernment of vocation in their teaching, and how staff can talk about and model vocation with students.
“The seminar was a wonderful opportunity to step out of normal routines and reflect on deeper issues that affect our work at the College,” commented Kathy Fagen, MBA coordinator. “Through readings and discussions…we considered how our values and beliefs are shaped and how they, in turn, shape us and the work we do.”
Also on the May calendar was a series of “Hot Topics,” sponsored by Faculty Senate, that focused conversation and questions around areas of interest to faculty and staff — enrollment and retention, Augsburg for Adults, healthcare benefits, etc.
For a comprehensive calendar of professional development events, go to the Center for Teaching and Learning at http://inside.augsburg.edu/ctl/