Faculty Development Newsletter

2014-2015: Issue #12 - May 30, 2015

Fac Dev Website



Development Funds in Religious Studies - Apply by June 15

Generous financial support is available for faculty projects in Religious Studies through a gift from Knox Trustee Mary Kent Knight. Examples of fundable activities include designing or re-designing a course with a substantial religion component, research into topics related to Religious Studies, or other professional development to support religious studies education on campus.

The next deadline for proposals is Friday, June 15.

Details on supported activities and the application process are here.


External Grants: New Announcements

The latest sampling of external grants opportunities is here.

Interested in finding others? Anne-Marie Berk put together this excellent presentation on grant-seeking for the New Faculty Seminar Series, but the information is pertinent for all faculty. The SPINPlus Quick Start Guide is especially useful. Search the powerful SPINPlus Database for any and all grants.


Advance Notice: Next Faculty Funding Request Deadline - Sept. 1

The next formal deadline for Faculty Research / Creative Work Funding and Mellon FaCE Grant requests will be September 1, 2015 for Fall and Winter activities.

The Committee on Faculty Resources does not meet during the summer. If you have questions about grants over the summer, please contact Mike Schneider at facultydevelopment@knox.edu


Summer Workshop Calendar

Faculty Diversity Workshop - August 11-12, 2015

The first of the faculty-mandated workshops on diversity will be held Tuesday-Wednesday, August 11-12. This two-day workshop will be lead by Charles Behling and Roger Fisher of the University of Michigan's Program on Intergroup Relations. The workshop will explore intergroup dialogue techniques and strategies to assist faculty in cultivating inclusive classroom and interpersonal relationships. A subsequent workshop is planned for December, with other options later in the year.

Space for each workshop will be limited. The nature of Intergroup Dialogue Workshops requires that participants commit to the entire two-day program. Additional details will follow later in June, but the Faculty Diversity Workshop Sign-up Form is now open if you would like to request to participate in this initial workshop.

Mellon Pedagogy Workshop: "The 100 Level Course" - August 17-19, 2015

This summer's Mellon FaCE Grant funded workshop on "The 21st Century Student" will focus on pedagogy in our introductory, so-called "100-level" courses. Our 100-level courses serve many purposes, from addressing students' initial curiosity about our specializations and potentially attracting them as majors to meeting Foundations and other general graduation requirements and broadly inculcating the values of liberal, lifelong learning. These noble goals encompass many ambitions for courses that are often the largest courses we teach, may receive the fewest resources, and are not always the main focus of our disciplinary experimentation and aspirations. Each of these goals is complicated further by the evolving new student cohort, who may not reflect the student cohort we imagined when these courses where first conceived. Drawing on the recent literature of the science of learning, this workshop will explore, question, and potentially re-imagine these courses.

The format for this workshop will be slightly different from last summer's workshops. We are encouraging faculty to participate as two- (or possibly three-) person teams from single departments or interdisciplinary programs. Each team's focus could be a single 100-level course or multiple 100-level courses in the program.

All participants in this two-and-half day workshop will receive a $500 stipend. Additional details and a sign-up form will be circulated in late June.

Advising Workshop - Friday, August 21, 2015

Our annual Advising Workshop for all academic advisors will be held a week earlier in the summer. This move has been made, in part, to accommodate the new SPARK (summer bridge) program. In addition, this workshop will be different in content. Drawing on the two workshops just cited, but also the activities of the Teagle Working Group on Advising, this workshop will address the new student cohort and new strategies advisors could consider in working with 21st century students.

An invitation will be circulated later in summer.

Advance Notice: Fall Faculty Conversation - Wed., Sept. 2, 2015

Mark your calendars. The new SPARK (summer bridge) program will also necessitate a slight shift in the start-of-the-year faculty meeting and conversation. Rather than meeting on the usual Friday the day before students arrive, the meeting will be on Wednesday of that week (students arrive Saturday, Sept 5). The Fall Faculty Conversation will center on the summer activities of the Curriculum Task Force. Details will be forthcoming from Dean Behling.


Still Time to Join a Summer Writing / Research Group

Sustaining research and creative activities throughout the academic terms is a significant challenge. Making progress during the summer is imperative. To assist faculty in keeping the momentum for research and creative activities alive in the weeks and months ahead, we would like to organize Writing / Research Groups. These groups will be small and loosely organized around shared (or at least mutually intelligible) research and creative endeavors. The aim of each group is to provide structured work agendas, feedback, and encouragement so that group members can push projects to completion. Regardless of what stage your research / creative project is in, you can benefit from a Writing / Research Group. 

Writing / Research Groups come in many forms:

  • The true writing group: Group members set a goal (e.g. a completed article or essay, a completed conference paper, etc.) for the summer. The small group meets every week to share written work and keep all members on task.
  • The writing discussion group: The group meets regularly to discuss the issues and concerns members face in their writing or other productive activities.
  • The research group: This group is for those not yet at the writing/production stage, but rather at the research stage. Group members set research agendas and meet weekly to discuss the previous week's work.
  • The reading group: Group members select a work or set of works that support different research / creative agendas. Often the works fit the broad category of "theoretical" works that inform many disciplines.

If you are interested in joining a writing / research group this summer, please submit some basic information about your research agenda here. We will share suggestions and attempt to arrange groups based on your responses. Or send questions to Mike Schneider at facultydevelopment@knox.edu

Fridays @ 4 in 2015-2016: Presenters Wanted

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.