September - Week 2

Hello Everyone-
Check out the information below about activities at the Faculty Center and beyond. I want to draw your attention to a program offered by the Faculty Center that may be of interest to you. Student Consultants on Teaching are UCF undergraduate or graduate students who, when requested, can provide faculty with feedback about their classes in a variety of ways. Consultants are carefully selected and trained to provide descriptive observation and work as a resource to faculty. Student consultants learn from Faculty Center staff members about how to provide objective information on classroom activities through the use of classroom observations and other services. The consultants all have an interest in supporting excellence in teaching and learning, and they receive training in pedagogy, observational techniques, and classroom data. Visit the SCOT webpage to learn more about the program, to invite a student to observe your class, or to request more information:
Have a great week,

The activities below will take place in the Faculty Center (Classroom Building One, Room 207) unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, September 13th
“New” Faculty Reading Group: How Learning Works by Ambrose, et al. 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Classroom Conversations about Academic Integrity 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Faculty Multimedia Center (CB1-202). See details below.

Wednesday, September 14th
QPR-A-THON: Suicide Prevention Training 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Student Union 316AB
Brown Bag Lunch and Book Club: The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal by Parker J. Palmer and Arthur Zajonc 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 15th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Friday, September 16th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Brown Bag Lunch and Book Club: Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College by Mark C. Carnes 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Classroom Conversations about Academic Integrity, presented by Jennifer Wright
It takes more than a statement on a syllabus for students to comprehend the concept of academic integrity. Timely conversations are necessary for students to understand what demonstrating academic integrity means to their learning and how it can impact their educational process. Conversation prompts will be provided for use during key times throughout the semester. Learn how we can keep alive the conversation about academic integrity in each and every class setting.


  • The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal by Parker J. Palmer and Arthur Zajonc. This book proposes an approach to teaching and learning that integrates mind, heart, and spirit in order to awaken the deepest potential in students, faculty, and staff. It responds to critics of holistic education and explores connections between the sciences, humanities, and contemplative traditions.  Our meetings will be held in the Faculty Center (CB1-207) from 12:00-1:00 on the following Wednesdays: 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, and 11/2. If you are interested in participating, email The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book.
  • 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 ( Several faculty members at UCF are already implementing these ideas in their courses and are reporting very high levels of student engagement. Our meetings will be held in the Faculty Center (CB1-207) from 12:00-1:00 on the following Fridays: 9/16, 9/30, 10/14, 10/28, and 11/4. If you are interested in participating, email The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book.
  • How Learning Works, by Ambrose, et al. “New” Faculty Reading Group: Faculty members who have been at UCF for four years or fewer are especially invited to join this monthly discussion group that will address multiple aspects of teaching and faculty life. Fall meetings will be held on September 13th, October 11th, and November 15th at noon in the Faculty Center. If you are interested in participating, email The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book.

We recommend two online, free courses (MOOCs) offered by edX that begin on September 15th:

  • “An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching”: an open, online course designed to provide STEM faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows with an introduction to effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them. The goal of the eight-week course is to equip the next generation of STEM faculty to be effective teachers, thus improving the learning experience for the thousands of students they will teach.
  • “Advancing Learning Through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching”: Learn effective teaching strategies and research that supports them, and how to collect, analyze, and act upon evidence of student learning.

To register, go to

Reach For The Stars – Online Fitness Challenge
As a faculty group, we will challenge everyone to be a bit more active.  Our goal here will be to “Reach the Stars” by walking the distance (in light years) to the Pegasus constellation and back. Registration is now available and the program will commence on September 11 for fall semester. There will be weekly drawings for baskets of UCF community garden produce for those who meet their weekly goals and final prizes at end for those who meet their semester goals. Our challenge is open to all faculty, not just women faculty. Please email Fran Ragsdale to receive the registration link. For more information please visit our website

Full-time faculty members are invited to serve on a new Faculty Excellence Advisory Council that will offer input to faculty initiatives and assist the Office of Faculty Excellence in fulfilling its quest. Council members will serve a one-year term and include representation spanning all ranks and disciplines. More information is available here:  To express interest, please email the Office of Faculty Excellence ( no later than September 15, 2016 with a brief (50-word maximum) paragraph indicating your interest and a current curriculum vita.

Dr. Jon Landis, US Development Executive with Apple Inc.
Monday, October 17, 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in CB1-205
Mobile pedagogy represents a fundamental shift in content access and in the role of the traditional classroom. This presentation isn't about trendy technology fads or the latest gadgets... this is about facing the challenges and maximizing the possibilities of a connected world. In addition to exploring the dynamics of this new educational paradigm, we will examine the practical implementation strategies, hardware, and support necessary to improve learning opportunity. This session has three parts:

The Why - Do mobile devices have a place in the learning experience?
The How - How does a mobility-rich environment work?
The What - What are current colleges and universities doing as a part of the mobility revolution?

Call for Student Manuscripts: UCF Undergraduate Research Journal (UCF URJ)
The UCF URJ is a multi-disciplinary, faculty-reviewed journal open to undergraduates at the University of Central Florida. The priority deadline for Fall is September 16th. Manuscripts received by this deadline will have a publication decisions before the end of the semester, other manuscripts are accepted on a rolling basis. ( or

Florida Statewide Symposium: Engagement in Undergraduate Research  (October 21-22)
UCF hosts this annual professional development opportunity for faculty and staff engaged in the undergraduate research. The conference features workshops, poster sessions, and a keynote address from Trisha Thorme, of Princeton University, on Transformative Learning Through Community-Based Research. (

Undergraduate Research: Resources Available and Effective Mentoring Practices
Interested in mentoring undergraduates through research and academic scholarship? Or are you currently working with undergraduates and want to know about the UCF resources? Please join us for this workshop to discuss the programs available for undergraduate researchers and best practices for mentoring them through the experience. This workshop will be hosted in the Faculty Multimedia Center (Classroom Building 1, room 202) on Tuesday, September 13th, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Monday, September 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

AAP provides undergraduate students interested in pursuing graduate education with the opportunity to participate in faculty guided research.  Applications for the McNair Scholars Program, the Research and Mentoring Program (RAMP), and the Research and Mentoring Program for Transfer Students (RAMP-T) are available at Completed applications are due on September 16th for RAMP and RAMP-T and on September 23rd for the McNair Scholars Program.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) has announced the Fall semester trainings with the Unity Star news found at These sessions tend to fill quickly. The ODI training staff is also available for workshops and classroom presentations tailored to your needs. Please contact Barbara Thompson or Rachel Luce-Hitt by calling (407) 823-6479 or by emailing

UCF “Be You” Storytelling Project – Dr. MC Santana – Plan B in Life:  Change is Inevitable and to Embrace It is to Live Fully. Wednesday, September 21 – Noon to 1 p.m. – Barbara Ying Center, Building 81. Cookies and drinks provided. Professor Santana will engage the audience with her journey through a life of commitment to others in service while adapting to changes in her life plan.  Santana, a recognized speaker on leadership and women, hopes to create a safe space for sharing and understanding. Hosted by Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

“Move Beyond Civility: How to Facilitate Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom” – Tuesday, September 271:45 to 3:30 p.m. – Teaching Academy, Room 117. Facilitator – Dr. Yovanna Pineda. “This has been a particularly difficult year as students continue to challenge faculty and administrators to hear their concerns, engage in difficult conversation and make meaningful change on campus. In this webinar, participants will learn how to help faculty members better navigate difficult dialogues and conflict in the classroom. Many faculty members are experiencing a significant increase in both frequency and intensity of difficult dialogues in the classroom. The ability to engage students and facilitate meaningful dialogue in these moments not only further learning, but also impact student success. Mismanaged conversations often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding and simmering conflict that undermine learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.” Hosted by Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

Dr. Ilenia Colon Mendoza, Associate Professor of Art History, School of Visual Arts and Design, is conducting a pilot program for faculty of color as part of her Leadership Empowerment Program. The objectives of project M.O.S.A.I.C. are to provide as the acronym states: Mentorship. Opportunity. Support. Achievement. Initiatives. Community for minority faculty. If you would like to participate in this mentoring program please contact her at The initial phase of the project includes health and wellness workshops, as well as an online mentoring community available on Facebook under UCF Minority Mentorship Community.

The Presidents of the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LaFaSA), and Pride Faculty & Staff Association (PFSA) welcome all faculty and staff to join our organizations to work together to celebrate the diversity within the UCF community. For more information, visit:,,

A complete calendar of Hispanic Heritage Month events is now available at .

Hispanic Heritage Month Opening Celebration: Speaker: María S. García, Vice President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. Topic: Latinos Presente in the 2016 Election. Time/Place: Thursday, September 15, 2016, 12:00-1:30pm, in SU Cape Florida Ballroom, 316.

Hispanic Heritage Month Closing Celebration: Speaker: Jorge Estévez, WFTV/Eyewitness News. Topic: Latinos Presente in the Media. Time/Place: Thursday, October 13, 2016, 12:00-1:30pm, in SU Key West Ballroom, 218.

LaFaSA respectfully requests that all faculty encourage their students to attend these Hispanic Heritage Month events and consider granting credit in their courses for attendance. LaFaSA greatly appreciates your support of Hispanic Heritage Month! Any questions about Hispanic Heritage Month may be directed to Dr. Cyndia Muñiz, LaFaSA President,

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program invites applications for the WAC Starter Grant Program. The program is intended as a “gateway into WAC,” so new faculty and faculty who have not yet worked with our program are particularly encouraged to apply. The purpose of the program is to foster improvement of student learning through writing in the disciplines. This goal will be accomplished through the design of innovative instructional approaches, assignments, and classroom activities. Grants will be awarded to assist faculty in designing activities, assignments, outcomes, and even courses that will improve the teaching and learning of writing in their departments and programs. The application deadline is September 15th. Full details and application instructions can be found on the WAC Program’s website.

Richard Kadison and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo state in their book, College of the Overwhelmed, that colleges and universities are seeing an increase in the number of enrolled students struggling with serious mental health issues. When it comes to recognizing a student in some form of distress, it is no surprise that university faculty and staff are often on the front line as first observers of a student’s unusual or concerning behavior in the classroom. When this occurs, there is no doubt about the need to get involved, but more often the doubt is about HOW to get involved. The answer: QPR gatekeeper training.

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a program designed for everyone to learn what can be done to prevent suicide. The training session is a one-hour presentation where you will learn the signs of suicide and three basic principles of how to help save a life. QPR is designed for students, faculty, staff, and anyone at UCF. 

On Wednesday, September 14th the QPR trainers will be offering suicide prevention training during our bi-annual QPR a Thon – Suicide Prevention Training!

**The trainings begin at 9:00am with a new training beginning on the top of each hour. The last training offered will at 2:00 pm.

The event will be held in the Student Union, 316AB. Please contact Teresa Michaelson-Chmelir at CAPS if you have any questions: or 407-823-2811.

Volunteer UCF is looking for engaged faculty or staff members to serve as advisors for the Alternative Break Program. The Alternative Break Faculty Advisor plays a crucial role in helping students increase their awareness of social and intellectual issues throughout the trip in a safe and effective manner. We are looking for faculty members and A&P staff to participate. If are interested in learning more and/or applying to become an advisor for a future Alternative Break Program trip, please fill out our online interest form at Once you log in, you will find the application under forms. Trip dates are December 13-19, 2016, January 12-15 and March 13-18, 2017For more information, visit or contact Miguel Ortiz, Graduate Assistant for the Alternative Break Program (

CDL has developed a Webcourses@UCF integration called Quiz Extensions. This integration provides one place to give students extra time to all existing quizzes/exams. Quiz Extensions is available in all Webcourses@UCF courses; however, it has to be added to the course menu. For directions on how to enable and use Quiz Extensions, please visit

Join a faculty writing club to start your fall 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!

The Faculty Center is happy to share information about events or activities that are relevant to faculty in the listserv each week. If you would like to request that we include an announcement, please email me  a paragraph (three to four sentences) including a link to additional information if appropriate, by close of business on Wednesday for inclusion on the following Sunday. Due to technological constraints we cannot include attachments or HTML formatted text. Remember to include critical details like the place and time for the event and feel free to suggest a headline. Just send your announcements to me at and we will help to spread the word.


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