UMSL honors faculty completing ACUE’s Effective Online Teaching Practices program

ACUE Pinning Ceremony

Andy Goodman, the former director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and a faculty member in the Department of Music, addresses attendees of Friday’s Association of College and University Educators Pinning Ceremony in the Millennium Student Center Century Rooms. Goodman is the principal investigator on a National Association of System Heads grant that supported 42 UMSL faculty members completing a 25-module program in Effective Online Teaching Practices. (Photos by Steve Walentik)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis closed the first week of the Fall 2021 semester with a celebration of 42 faculty members who had demonstrated their commitment to teaching excellence by completing a year-long program in Effective Online Teaching Practices organized by the Association of College and University Educators.

Each was recognized during a pinning ceremony Friday afternoon in the Century Rooms of the Millennium Student Center.

“The work of you 42 faculty members touched the lives of over 1,200 UMSL students enrolled in your courses last year,” said Keeta Holmes, UMSL’s assistant vice provost for academic innovation and the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. “The care and attention you paid to structure your courses, motivate your students, reinforce learning with evidence-based teaching strategies, will positive impact not just those 1,200 students in last year’s classes but also the students who have the privilege to learn from you this year and in the future.

“The connections the faculty built in their cohorts will continue to flourish to promote even more sharing of ideas.”

ACUE Pinning Ceremony

Jamillah Boyd, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Information Systems and Technology, accepts a pin from ACUE Academic Director Cindy Blackwell for completing the Effective Online Teaching Practices program.

Effective Online Teaching Practices is a rigorous, 25-module program that teaches proven online teaching approaches and supports all design and delivery models, including synchronous, asynchronous and hybrid formats. The faculty learned strategies to help students learn and stay engaged, and they implemented them immediately into their classes during the past academic year.

Andy Goodman, the former director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and now a faculty member in the Department of Music, brought together teaching center directors from across the University of Missouri System to submit a grant proposal to the National Association of System Heads through a strategic in initiative called Scaling Instructional Excellence for Student Success. The grant supported UMSL faculty participation in the ACUE program.

“The early expectations of this project were to provide campuses the opportunity to create the types of learning experiences through the ACUE courses that would best meet their needs,” said Goodman, the grant’s principal investigator, who noted that the COVID-19 pandemic made a particular focus on online teaching more important. “The goals for this grant were to help close student achievement gaps – and that’s especially for underrepresented students – to improve learning experiences for all students, and to increase the use of best practices by all faculty.”

The UM System Office of Academic Affairs, the UMSL Office of Academic Affairs, UMSL’s Center for Teaching and Learning and the UM System Office of eLearning supported the faculty members as they went through the program with Jen McKanry and Erin Whitteck from the Center for Teaching and Learning and Alina Slapac from the College of Education leading faculty cohorts.

Cindy Blackwell, ACUE’s academic director, attended Friday’s pinning ceremony. Deans Andrew Kersten, Joan Phillips, Ann Taylor, Roxanne Vandermause and Sharon Johnson took turns recognizing faculty members from their respective colleges or schools.

Attendees also heard from faculty members Jill Alexander from the Department of Communication and Media and Andresa De Souza from the Department of Educator Preparation and Leadership about what they gained from the program and how they implemented some of the practices into their classes and courses materials.

“Standing here today, I’m so proud that I did it,” De Souza said. “I feel that the skills I learned and the knowledge I gained made me a better educator, which is actually what I want from my students at the College of Education. I’m sure my dean is very proud of me right now.

“Every module that we went through, I gained different insights into online teaching, and I learned very valuable tools. It was also great to interact with my fellow colleagues and learn from their experience, and it was a great opportunity to gain the perspective of student when participating in online learning.”

Here is a list of faculty members who completed the ACUE Effective Online Teaching Practices program:

College of Arts and Sciences

Shannon Ahrndt, Communication and Media
Jill Alexander, Communication and Media
Anne Austin, Anthropology
Stephen Bagwell, Political Science
Sanjiv Bhatia, Computer Science
Suahn Cho, Communication and Media
Deborah Cohen, History
Rachel Craft, Sociology
Kelsey Cundiff, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Aimee Dunlap, Biology
Valerian D’Souza, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Leighanne Heisel, Communication and Media
Meghann Humphries, Biology
Lynda McDowell, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Maureen Quigley, Art and Design
Jennifer Shrensker, Mathematics and Statistics
Marc Spingola, Biology
Doug Swanson, Labor Studies
Keiko Ueda, Japanese, Language and Cultural Studies
Rachel Wamser, Psychological Sciences
Erin Whitteck, CTL and Chemistry and Biochemistry 

College of Business Administration

Bindu Arya, Global Leadership and Management
Jill Bernard Bracy, Supply Chain and Analytics
Jamillah Boyd, Information Systems and Technology
Marcia Countryman, Accounting
Ho Kim, Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Michele Meckfessel, Accounting
Johnna Murray, Accounting
John Palmer, Global Leadership and Management
Seemantini Pathak, Global Leadership and Management
Jennifer Reynolds-Moehrle, Accounting
Jeri Schultz, Global Leadership and Management

College of Education

Andresa De Souza, Educator Preparation and Leadership
Alina Slapac, Educator Preparation and Leadership 

College of Nursing

Wilma Calvert
Amanda Finley
Alicia Hutchings
Paula Prouhet
Umit Tokac

School of Social Work

Michael Gearhart
Courtney McDermott
Diane Beckerle O’Brien

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