Faculty Development Newsletter

2015-2016: issue #10 - April 29, 2016

Fac Dev Website


Dooley, Codes, Ciphers and Spies

By John Dooley, Computer Science

Who knew? An English professor saves the day: "When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, it was woefully unprepared to wage a modern war. Whereas their European counterparts already had three years of experience in using code and cipher systems in the war, American cryptologists had to help in the building of a military intelligence unit from scratch. This book relates the personal experiences of one such character, providing a uniquely American perspective on the Great War. It is a story of spies, coded letters, plots to blow up ships and munitions plants, secret inks, arms smuggling, treason, and desperate battlefield messages. Yet it all begins with a college English professor and Chaucer scholar named John Mathews Manly."

Read a free preview and purchase the book here.



ACM Notes
Click on image for ACM Notes.

Highlights in the spring 2016 issue:

Mary Armon and Andrew Leahy teach a SPOC (small participatory online course): ACM will offer an online course in applied calculus this summer designed for students in economics, environmental science, and other disciplines.

Weihong Du will teach Chinese Popular Culture as director of the ACM Shanghai Program.

Greg Gilbert and other ACM faculty travel to Italy on a site visit to see the Florence program in action.

Call for pre-proposals: Design a study away experience for faculty! Propose a topic and location for the SAIL seminar in summer 2017. Deadline: May 13.

Visiting faculty positions are available on ACM study away programs in Jordan, Tanzania, and India.


Final Fridays @ 4 for the Academic Year: Sara O'Brien - May 6 - Francois Classroom (E117), SMC

"Fridays @ 4," the faculty colloquium series, will feature Sara O'Brien, Assistant Professor of Psychology, speaking on the topic "Yuck! The Role of Disgust in OCD and Related Disorders" on Friday, May 6 in the Francois Classroom (E117), SMC. Refreshments at 4 PM and talk at 4:15 PM.

A full announcement of the presentation is here. Please join us to experience and celebrate the work of our colleagues.


Report on "Pedagogy & Practice" Conversation on Virtual Speakers

A "virtual speaker" is a person who joins your physical classroom from a remote location. A virtual speaker is an enhancement to your face-to-face class environment. Although we may have all stumbled through distracting and unsatisfying webinars and video conference calls, we probably have also recognized the potential power and benefits of bringing remote voices into our classroom discussions. At a recent "Pedagogy & Practice" conversation, we explored some of the issues that surround using video conferencing in the classroom.

Based on our "Pedagogy & Practice" conversation, we offer these basic guidelines for those considering the addition of a virtual visitor to your class:

1. Start with a narrow and targeted use. Bring in a virtual speaker for a short 10 minute segment, not the entire class period.

2. Know the technology. Our campus platform is WebEx, a platform with many virtues: easy to use on almost any sort of device. Still, you must learn the technology and practice with it a few times.

3. Know your goal. As with any instructional technology, need must dictate application, not the other way around. The availability of a technology is not sufficient reason to adopt it. Use virtual speakers to address a gap or limitation in your course.

4. Impact is a function of preparation. Make sure students are prepared. In other words, do not expect the magic to just happen because there is new technology.

Check out the "Virtual Speakers" Teaching Resources page for more about videoconferencing and information on how to get started with our campus platform WebEx.

Conference Travel Allocations for 2016-2017 Fiscal Year - Online Form Now Active

The Committee on Faculty Resources announces that it is now accepting requests for Conference Travel Allocations for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017).

The Conference Travel Allocations policies for 2016-2017 are here. Funding levels will remain the same for the coming fiscal year, as CoFR's current assessment is that faculty conference travel under the new CTA system will exhaust (and even surpass) the available budget again this year. CoFR will continue to evaluate faculty conference travel and funding levels and present recommendations to the faculty and the Dean.

Direct link to the Online Form for Conference Travel Allocation Requests for 2016-2017

Last Chance for Summer Funding:
Research / Creative Work Funding Requests for 2016-2017 - Apply by May 15 for Summer

The Committee on Faculty Resources continues to entertain requests for funding of Faculty Research and Creative Work for 2015-2016 fiscal year (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016).

A full description of the application process is here.

Requests submitted by May 15, 2015 are guaranteed to receive a response before the end of the academic year. Therefore, all requests involving summer activities must be submitted by May 15. 

Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Grants for 2016-2017 - Apply Now

The Committee on Faculty Resources is accepting applications for funding of faculty pedagogy, course, and program development projects, for activities between now and June 30, 2017.

A full description of the grant categories and the application process is here.

Requests submitted by May 15, 2016 are guaranteed to receive a response before the end of the academic year. Therefore, all requests involving summer activities should be submitted by May 15. 


Want to Present at Fridays @ 4 in 2016-2017?

Please apply to present by contacting facultydevelopment@knox.edu.

All faculty are encouraged to consider presenting as part of "Fridays @ 4," the faculty's lecture series for itself. The aim of "Fridays @ 4" is to provide an opportunity for faculty to present "work in progress" in front of a supportive, interdisciplinary, non-specialist audience. Work at any stage in any field is welcome. "Fridays @ 4" is especially useful for new, experimental projects, projects that need a kick-start, or a presentation that would benefit from a dress rehearsal. "Fridays @ 4" has two presentations each term. Refreshments and camaraderie are served at each. Please contact facultydevelopment@knox.edu if you have questions or would like to present.