March - Week 2

Hello Everyone-
Check out the information below about activities at the Faculty Center and beyond. Our office is open this week, so call or stop by if you need our assistance. Faculty Writing Club will meet on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, as usual.
Have a great spring break!

The upcoming Summer Faculty Development Conference will include a poster session featuring the work of successful UCF SoTL researchers on Tuesday, May 9th, from 1:15 until 2:15 in (and around) the Faculty Center. If you have conducted SoTL research and are willing to share it with the university community, please contact

Student consultants 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 for faculty. The consultants all have an interest in supporting excellence in teaching and learning, and they receive training in pedagogy, observational techniques, and classroom data. Our consultants have recently undergone training to observe online courses, and we’re asking for faculty volunteers to invite a consultant-in-training to observe your online class. Faculty volunteers will receive objective feedback regarding their course. The training observations will be assigned on March 28, after the student consultants have completed the online training sessions. All observations will be conducted at the convenience of the faculty member. If you are interested in volunteering for an online training observation or if you would like more information about the SCoT program, please fill out our Qualtrics form at

Dr. Saundra McGuire (the 2016 Faculty Summer Development Conference keynote speaker) will be returning to UCF on March 21st to give a presentation for faculty in TA 130 from 10:30 to 12:00: Get Students to Focus on Learning Instead of Grades: Metacognition is the Key!
Twenty-first century students come to college with widely varying academic skills, approaches to learning, and motivation levels.  Faculty often lament that students are focused on achieving high grades, but are not willing to invest much time or effort in learning.  This session will focus on the importance of helping students acquire simple, but effective learning strategies based on cognitive science principles.  We will engage in interactive reflection activities that will allow attendees to experience strategies that significantly improve learning while transforming student attitudes about the meaning of learning.

Extending the Efficacy of the Learning Management System: Integrating Tools to Enhance Learning Online
The functionality of Webcourses@UCF has expanded to offer more flexibility, primarily by allowing external tools to be integrated. Please join the Center for Distributed Learning on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at 1 p.m. in Library-161b to learn about how these tools can support students to succeed in online courses. Specifically, an instructor shares experiences of utilizing several integration tools within online courses.
Register now to attend face-to-face OR online at
For any questions, please contact Aimee deNoyelles at

Workshop: “What’s Next?” Student Professionalism
April 3, 2017 12:00-1:30 pm
Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, CB1 Room 205
Presenters: Vicki Lavendol (Rosen College of Hospitality Management), Kathleen Hohenleitner (Department of English), and Daniel Murphree (Department of History)
Helping students connect what they are learning in the classroom to their professional goals increases student engagement and prepares them for what’s next. Learn how to incorporate
professionalization assignments into any class. By the end of the session every
faculty member will leave with an action plan for a professionalization assignment. Please RSVP to QEP@ucf.eduno later than March 20, 2017. Let us know if you would like to join us via Skype.

Workshop: Building Research-Intensive Courses
April 12, 2017 12:15-1:45 pm
Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (CB1 Room 205)
Presenters: Kelly Allred (College of Nursing), Kevin Jardaneh (Undergraduate Research), Adam Pritchard (Department of Sociology), Mary Tripp (Department of Writing & Rhetoric), and Anna Turner (Nicholson School of Communication)
Undergraduate research is a meaningful, high-impact experience that builds problem solving skills, improves time management, and increases critical thinking. Join in an interactive session exploring research-intensive courses. Learn from and work with experienced faculty from a variety of disciplines. Strategize how to incorporate research-intensive assignments into existing courses or develop new courses. Please RSVP to QEP@ucf.eduno later than April 3, 2017.

For more information on the QEP Faculty Development Workshops click here (

Apply Now to be Considered for a QEP Faculty Fellow
The Quality Enhancement Plan is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for faculty fellows for the 2017-18 academic year. Fellows will work with the QEP to promote integrative learning through faculty outreach, student mentoring, and program development. Each fellow receives a stipend of $3000 for this year-long commitment. For more information, please visit the QEP website (, or contact Director, Dr. Anna Maria Jones (
Interested applicants should apply no later than Friday, April 7th 2017 for consideration.

Faculty COACHE Innovation Awards.  These awards support innovation exploration and development by providing faculty with one course release to allow focused time to work on the project. This innovative project is intentionally broad and may be related to research, curricular, engagement, partnerships, or other areas. The awards, however, are not research seed grant funds. Rather, they are specifically designed to be awards of time, providing faculty specifically with time away from teaching to have dedicated time to work on their innovative idea. Applications are due by April 6 at

Applications are now being accepted for Provost Fellows and Office of Faculty Excellence Faculty Fellows.  The Provost Faculty Fellow Program is designed to develop leadership skills at the university level for UCF’s most accomplished faculty. It is anticipated that two Provost Faculty Fellows will be selected for 2017-2018.  Information can be found here:  The Office of Faculty Excellence Faculty Fellow Program is a new faculty Fellow program designed to provide faculty leadership opportunities within the Office of Faculty Excellence.  These fellows will work on specific and ongoing initiatives and launch new initiatives through the Office of Faculty Excellence. It is anticipated that up to two Office of Faculty Excellence Faculty Fellows will be selected for 2017-2018.  Information can be found here:   Applications for either fellows program must be submitted by faculty to their college deans/unit heads no later than April 8 with complete applications due to the Office of Faculty Excellence no later than April 12.  Note that no more than two applications for each fellows program can be forwarded from each college/unit.

Monday, Mar 6, 2017, Noon – 1:00pm, FCTL Classroom Building 1, Room 205.  Publish or Parent? Managing Research Productivity for Early Career Faculty with Young Children.  This workshop will describe what we know works and doesn’t work regarding time management, networking, research and writing skills, and productivity, all while balancing the demands of parenting. The current literature around the specific issue of female faculty and their career trajectories will be addressed, although this workshop would be appropriate for either sex. Participants will not only leave with strategies that can help them boost their research productivity, but will have the opportunity to network with colleagues from around campus that are experiencing the same challenges.  CSWF 2017 Faculty Fellow:  Yara Asi, Lecturer, Health Management and Informatics, College of Health and Public Affairs.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as part of the UCF Women’s History Month celebrations,  invites you to a UCF “Be You” Storytelling event with guest speaker Titi Aynaw: March 20th – 2:30 p.m. in Hitt Library Room 223
Ethiopian-born, orphaned at 12, former Miss Israel and life-long community advocate, Titi Aynaw has inspired girls and women around the world. She’s a successful model, former Lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces, student of international relations and founder of the Titi Project, helping disadvantaged children. Come hear Titi’s inspiring story of persistence, leadership, and advocacy.

Come and enjoy Russian food and the friendly atmosphere of the Faculty Center. Russian Culture Night is presented by Dr. Alla Kourova, Thursday, March 30th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in CB1-205. Please RSVP to by March 24th.

Library closures over Spring Break 
If you have planned to catch up on work in the John C. Hitt Library during Spring Break, please be aware of these closures:

  • The back half of the second (main) floor of the John C. Hitt Library will be closed, starting Friday evening, March 10, and reopening on Monday, March 20.  Turner construction will be installing fire sprinklers in the area.  You can request that items from the Reference collection, located in the work area, be retrieved for you.  There will be an online form linked to the News item about the closure at Over the next months the entire building will be fitted with fire sprinklers as part of the ongoing work on the 21st Century Library project.
  • Restrooms on the 3rd floor  in the “back half” of the building will remain closed for renovation.  The 4th floor restrooms in the “back” of the building have re-opened.

 More information about the 21st Century Library project is at:  You can check there for any work alerts.  Earplugs remain available at the Circulation Desk.

Write an article for Illuminations
Illuminations is a newsletter about UCF faculty, published by the UCF Libraries. We feature faculty and their research/scholarship, but in an informal way. Our faculty do great work, and we want it to be shared. You can check out old editions here: We welcome short articles on your research, examples of your work, and personal essays. Submissions are due March 31st, and can be emailed to

Are you interested in helping educate other students on their rights and responsibilities as University community members, facilitating an understanding of the balance between individual and community rights, and promoting a safe and inclusive atmosphere conducive to student success? Are you excited about encouraging students to embody the tenets of the UCF Creed: Integrity, Scholarship, Community, Creativity and Excellence? The Office of Student Conduct is looking for UCF faculty/staff and student community members who are dedicated to upholding the above-mentioned principles to volunteer to serve on the 2017 - 2018 Student Conduct Review Board. The application will be available on our website until April 1, 2017. For additional information regarding the qualifications and training of Conduct Board Members, as well as a link to the application, please visit If you need additional information, please feel free to contact Rosemarie Timothy (

In celebration of the 115th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s birth, the University of Central Florida and Seminole County Public Library will host a series of events around his classic novel The Grapes of Wrath. Winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, John Steinbeck (1902-1968) wrote twenty-seven books that explore themes such as fate, poverty, and injustice. Activities, including book clubs, art exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, food drives, theatrical performances, and game jams, will take place February 27-April 14, 2017. Please visit or for more information. For questions or a complimentary copy of the book, email

The ORC Research Mentoring  is intended to increase the probability of success for research funding for junior researchers by pairing UCF senior researchers and junior researchers in a mentoring relationship. A total of $3,000 will be awarded to the senior researcher. Proposals are due April 15, 2017.  For more information, go to

Undergraduate Research Grant (OUR Grant proposal deadline is 5pm, Friday, March 31st for summer and Friday, July 28th for fall)
Students can apply for grants of up to $500 to support research projects in collaboration with UCF faculty. Group projects may be eligible for up to $1000. A letter of recommendation from the student applicant's faculty mentor is due one week later (mentors are electronically sent this information at the time of submission). Please click the hyperlink above for more information.

Do you teach a graduate course or upper-level undergraduate course on strategic planning? If so, Dr. Lisa Jones, Professor of Education and Associate Provost for Strategy and Special Assistant to the President, is available to serve as guest lecturer.  During the session, she will provide students with information on the multi-level, multi-faceted strategic planning process that UCF employed to develop its new Collective Impact Strategic Plan. More specifically, she discusses topics like planning committee structure, mixed method environmental scanning, stakeholder engagement, prioritizing key issues, strategic goals and accountability metrics, as well as other aspects of strategic planning. She further shares how UCF is institutionalizing and implementing the plan. Half of the class time is dedicated to engaging in dialogue with students and answering their questions.  She recently served as guest lecturer for Dr. Greg Buckingham’s PAD 6335- Strategic Planning and Management class. Dr. Buckingham said, "Dr. Jones provided an authentic example to students on strategic planning by discussing the UCF strategic plan. All the key concepts in class were discussed in an applied fashion and students appreciated the tangible example!"  If you would like Dr. Jones to serve as guest lecturer for your strategic planning course, then please contact Ms. Ashley Connors at to schedule at least three weeks in advance of the class.

Join a faculty writing club to start your spring 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. Announcements will run for two weeks, with exceptions in special circumstances. Just send your announcements to me at and we will help to spread the word.

Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Sasan Fathpour
College of Optics and Photonics Sasan       Fathpour I can profess my teaching philosophy in four core tenets:1) All students can succeed, and a failed student implies a failed instructor2) One cannot claim to know a subject, unless s/he can successfully teach it3) Teachers are ironically students themselves too, as implied in the above quote4) The best combinat...

Otto Phanstiel
College of Sciences Otto Phanstiel I image myself as a co-journeyer, who walks with students through the key concepts of the course and challenges them to solve new problems using these ideas. Revising and creating new curriculum is necessary to prepare our students for their careers. Over the past three years I have worked with other faculty...

Alizera Rahrooh
College of Engineering and Computer Science Alizera   Rahrooh A "teaching philosophy" is a set of general principles used to guide practice. Mine is mostly second hand; some of it is gained by the many good teachers that I encountered in my education and some of it shaped by the insistent and critical students I have taught since first entering a college classroom as an ...