January - Week 4

Hello Everyone-
Check out the information below about activities at the Faculty Center and beyond. See the update below about financial aid verification if you're still receiving questions from students. Also, applications for the Writing a Journal Article in Twelve Weeks faculty development cohort are due tomorrow. Accept the challenge!
Have a great week!

The activities below will take place in the Faculty Center (Classroom Building One, Room 207) unless otherwise noted. If you would like to participate virtually, please email us at fctl@ucf.edu and we will try to accommodate your request. 

Wednesday, January 27th
Book Club: Whistling Vivaldi 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (see details below—We have a few spots left!)

Thursday, January 28th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Friday, January 29th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

This week, students will have access to a page within the Student Center in the myUCF portal that will allow them to view their academic activity in courses for federal financial aid. The page will list all of the UCF courses in which the student is enrolled and will display whether or not the academic activity has been recorded for federal financial aid purposes.

If a student asks you about the status of their financial aid in your course, you can refer them to the portal to verify their courses individually. If an academic activity has not been recorded and you have an activity in the course, there are several possibilities:

  1. The student hasn’t submitted the activity correctly. If you have set up the activity as an assignment, discussion, or quiz, you can check the gradebook in Webcourses to verify that the student has submitted it.
  2. The student submitted the activity, but the verification page has not been updated. The verification page is updated every Monday. You can check the date and time of the student’s submission in SpeedGrader. In order for the activity to be verified on Monday, the student must complete the activity by the previous Friday.
  3. The data cannot be collected due to the current activity settings. If the student has submitted an activity in time to be verified and it has not been verified, there may be something wrong with the way the activity was originally set up. To verify the assignment settings, consult the FAQs or contact the Faculty Center or Online@UCF Support for assistance.

The 2016 Summer Faculty Development Conference will be held May 9-12. The theme will be aligned with our new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is “What's Next: Integrative Learning for Professional and Civic Preparation”. The keynote speaker will be Saundra McGuire from Louisiana State University. The RFP will be released soon. For more information on the event and all tracks, go to: http://sites01.lsu.edu/faculty/smcgui1/ . Apply here http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_25GfkaeqIv8Eyz3.

Do you have trouble finding the time to work on your writing? Do you have the beginnings of an article that you would like to develop for publication? If so, you are invited to apply for the spring 2016 FCTL Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to enable faculty to produce an article manuscript for submission to an academic journal. It is designed to help participants to make time for research and writing in the midst of their other various professional and personal obligations. It is also designed to help participants make and meet weekly goals. Faculty writers will work over twelve weeks during the spring term to revise an existing piece of writing (conference paper, chapter, unpublished draft, etc.), to identify publishing venues, and to submit the finished product for publication. The workshops will be held on January 29, February 19 and 26, March 18 and 25, and April 8. Participants should be prepared to attend all six face-to-face meetings, to have regular online “check ins” with the workshop group, and, most importantly, to talk about their work with colleagues. Each participant will receive a copy of the Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks book prior to the beginning of the workshop. To apply, please fill out the Qualtrics survey at this URL http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_06DI229Ef7lHup7 by January 25th.

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 
1:00 – 2:30pm, Student Union Garden Key Room 221.  First Generation Faculty Listening Session. During the course of our Center for Success of Women Faculty (CSWF) book club discussions on faculty white privilege and related issues, we realized that UCF has never asked first generation faculty (who were previously first generation in college undergraduates) if UCF could be doing anything more or differently to help when adapting to a career “in the academy”.  To rectify this issue, we invite you to join us at a listening session where we can hear your thoughts on this topic.  Although organized by CSWF, it is open to all faculty.  RSVP appreciated, but not required.

Friday, Jan 29, 2016 
Noon – 12:30pm, Visual Arts Building, Art Gallery Room 140A. Private Tour - “The Encounter: Baalu Girma and Zora Neale Hurston”.  A 30-minute guided tour of the “The Encounter: Baalu Girma and Zora Neale Hurston”.  Spotlight Hurston’s role as a public intellectual, folklorist and culturologist, and importance of her legacy in today’s racially charged context. This exhibition will also introduce another celebrated novelist and journalist, Ethiopian writer Baalu Girma and will fictionalize the context and conversations, which might have taken place between Hurston and Girma. Tour Guide:  Yulia Tikhonova, UCF Art Gallery Director. No RSVP needed.

Social Justice and Advocacy invites all students, faculty, and staff to participate in the Tunnel of Oppression on January 29th, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., in the Pegasus Ballroom. This interactive event provides participants the opportunity to understand various types of oppression that occur daily. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and run every 30 minutes until 4:30 p.m. Tours can be schedule for a group by completing the form found at http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_9M2vvURYEzdZYsB, individual and small group (3-5 people) walk-ins will also be accommodated. For more information or questions, please contact Mecia Lockwood at Mecia.Lockwood@ucf.edu or (407) 823-0401.

The Faculty Center will host workshops to help faculty members learn about and develop their applications for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. The next session will be held on Tuesday, February 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in CB1 205.

•   Application Open- Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE). SURE will take place on April 7, 2016, and applications are due on February 12that 1:00pm. This poster showcase is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their work with the UCF community and practice communicating their research. www.showcase.ucf.edu.  Interested in judging this event on April 7? Please contact us!
•   Spring Decision Deadline- UCF Undergraduate Research Journal (UCF URJ). The UCF URJ is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal open to undergraduates . The priority deadline for the Spring 2016 is February 5th; students who submit by this deadline will have a manuscript decision by the end of the semester. Applications are rolling, though, so the URJ is happy to accept submissions at any point during the year. Students can submit up to six months after graduation. www.urj.ucf.edu
•   Rolling Applications- Undergraduate Conference Travel Awards. Students accepted to conferences as primary presenters are eligible for OUR Student Travel Grants. These grants provide up to $500 in travel support. www.our.ucf.edu/opportunities/travel.php
Additionally, the Office of Undergraduate Research is available for class and club presentations (https://our.ucf.edu/opportunities/reservations/) . We offer drop-in hours and appointments with peer mentors to help students who are new to research, or those who are currently engaged in research but want to make the most of their experience. The schedule can be found at www.our.ucf.edu. As always, if you or your students have questions, please contact our office at our@ucf.edu or 407-823-3125.

UCF’s College of Arts & Humanities has been awarded one of 75 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in “The Big Read,” a nationwide program created to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

Grant recipients around the country pick their own books to feature. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of author Zora Neale Hurston’s birth, beginning in January the college will partner with the Seminole County Public Library and the Public History Center to host six weeks of events focusing on her book Their Eyes Were Watching God. Events will include an art exhibit, lectures, film screenings, theatrical performances and other programs. For a full schedule of programs visit http://bigread.cah.ucf.edu/

Claude M. Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (2010) remains a seminal work in the area of stereotype threat. Join us for a discussion on how identity and stereotype threat affect students’ college experiences. The book club will run for six consecutive Wednesdays, beginning January 27 and ending March 2, the week before Spring Break. We will meet in the Faculty Center conference room (CB1-207) from 1:00 – 2:00. We’ll discuss the first two chapters at the initial meeting. The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book. To register, please email anna.turner@ucf.edu.

During the spring 2016 semester, the Burnett Honors College will collaborate with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to host a book club.  We will be reading Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College by Mark C. Carnes (2014).  This study is based on interviews with students and faculty who participated in the pedagogical innovation “Reacting to the Past,” which began at Barnard College (https://reacting.barnard.edu/).  Our meetings will be held in the Faculty Center (CB1-207) from 12:00-1:00 every other Thursday beginning January 21 and ending April 28.  The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book. To register, please email eric.main@ucf.edu.

On Tuesday, February 9, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., there will be a webinar for faculty related to Educational Advisory Board’s Student Success Collaborative, a predictive analytics system that will be launching at UCF in the coming months. The session will include information, discussion, and collaborative exploration. 

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning will be piloting a new program in Spring 2016. The Student Consultants on Teaching (SCoT) program will employ carefully selected undergraduate and graduate students who are trained to objectively observe class sessions and provide feedback from a student perspective. When the pilot is launched in March, instructors will have the opportunity to invite a student consultant into their class to observe activities and provide targeted feedback. More information about the program will be available in March.

In order to train the new student consultants, we’re asking for faculty volunteers to invite a consultant-in-training to observe your class and then provide feedback on the observation. Faculty volunteers will also receive objective feedback regarding their class. Our goal is to have at least one large class and several midsize or small classes for training purposes. The training observations will take place in February, after the student consultants have completed initial training sessions. All observations will be conducted at the convenience of the faculty member.

If you are interested in volunteering for a training observation or if you would like more information about the SCoT program, please email fctl@ucf.edu.

This semester, the Faculty Center will host a learning community for adjuncts on four Tuesday evenings (1/19, 2/16, 3/15, 4/12) from 6:00-7:30 in CB1-207 (Orlando campus).  There is a $100 grant for full attendance to help offset costs of attendance.  The meetings are informal discussions about teaching and learning issues, and you will have the chance to meet part-time faculty from other disciplines.  If you would like to attend, please email eric.main@ucf.edu. Please share this information with colleagues as appropriate.


Join a faculty writing club to start your spring semester off with a focus on productivity and camaraderie. Having trouble getting into a good writing rhythm? Need to get away from your office to get a change of perspective and a little privacy? Forget the coffee shop--join your colleagues on Thursday and Friday mornings from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in FCTL for a loosely structured writing session. We'll take five or six minutes each week to go around the room and state a goal for the time block and then spend the rest of the time working on our individual projects. Bring your own laptop or use an FCTL computer. And of course there will be coffee. Everyone is welcome!

Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Christopher Parkinson
College of Sciences Christopher   Parkinson As a hyperactive, quickly bored child, I presented a sizable challenge to my teachers. Conventional teaching methods did not work with me, but if given a problem to solve, I spent many hours and tried many strategies in my attempts to figure it out. My reluctance to use conventional learning styles then became an ...

Kristin G. Congdon
College of Arts and Humanities Kristin G. Congdon My approach to education is informed by my early and ongoing experiences teaching in a variety of settings. Besides working in public schools (elementary, middle, and high school), I have also taught art in correctional facilities, residential treatment centers, museums, Elderhostels and retirement homes. My stude...

Kimberly Renk
College of Sciences Kimberly Renk Teaching is a critically important part of my position at the University of Central Florida. Whether I am teaching undergraduate-level courses, working with students through independent study, or mentoring students in their Honors research, I feel strongly that students deserve to learn in a respectful and non-th...