2023 Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network Winter Meeting

Inspiring Joy for Teaching and Learning in a World of Disruption

Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network

January 11, 2023

Virtual Conference

Event Schedule for January 11th Meeting

8:45AM – 9:00AM Opening and Welcome

Thomas Kling, Professor of Physics, Bridgewater State University on behalf of the MA PKAL Regional Network

Paula Rees & Kirsten Helmer

Kelly Mack, Vice President of AAC&U Office of Undergraduate STEM Education
Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM Plenary Workshops

Workshop 1: Intentional, Joyful, and Affirming Course Beginnings and Endings [Strand A: Course Design]

Caralyn Zehnder & colleagues, UMass Amherst, Georgia College, Evergreen State College

Workshop 2: JEDI and the Joy of STEM Storytelling [Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

Jill Halpern, Jennifer Rodriguez, University of Michigan

Workshop 3: Teaching for Social Justice: Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth in the STEM Classroom [Strand C: Advancing Equity]

Erica Light, UMass Amherst

10:15AM – 10:30AM Break

10:30AM – 11:30AM Concurrent Sessions #1

Workshop 4: Keeping It Real in College: Building Case Studies for STEM Courses Based on Real-World Problems [Strand A: Course Design]

Scott Auerbach, UMass Amherst

Workshop 5:Engineering New Worlds Through Afro-Futurism [Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

Erika Dawson-Head and Steve Fernandez, UMass Amherst

Workshop 6: Teaching Science Communication Through Student-Created Podcasts [Strand C: Advancing Equity]

Ellen Wisner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Lightning Talk Session 1: Reflection as a Critical Part of Learning

[Strand A: Course Design]

  • Engaging Students with Short In-Class Writing, Maureen A Morrow, SUNY New Paltz

  • Supporting Students with Empathy and Connection: Using Weekly Interactive Overviews to Support Compassionate Self-Regulation Between Faculty and Students, Jacquelyn Kelly, Tomáš Oberding, Dianna Gielstra, University of Phoenix

  • If you don’t use it, you lose it! A Way to Encourage Students to Review Course Material over Academic Breaks, Carla van de Sande, Arizona State University

Lightning Talk Sessions 2:Revisioning the Classroom for Joyful Learning I

[Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

  • Thinking Out Loud: Catalyzing a Mathematist's Revolution Using the Commognitive Framework, Madeleine Chowdhury, Mesa Community College

  • Growing Together as Mathematicians in Discrete Math, Debra K Borkovitz, Boston University

  • Ungrading Analysis, Christophe Gole, Jennifer Beichman, Smith College

Lightning Talk Session 3: Fostering Equality and Social Justice Empowering Curricula

[Strand C: Advancing Equity]

  • Centering Racial Equity in Honors, Jenny Shanahan, Jibril Solomon, Bridgewater State University

  • Curriculum Development with a Multicultural Perspective, Emrah Pektas, University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Critical Media Literacy as a Strategy to Demystify Systemic Inequities and Empower Students, Ali Söken, University of Massachusetts Amherst

11:30AM – 12:30PM Lunch Break

Listening Session for Non-Tenure Faculty by invitation

12:30PM – 1:30PM Concurrent Sessions #2

Workshop 7: Engaging Neurodiverse Students in Online Learning [Strand A: Course Design]

Sheryl Burgstahler, University of Washington

Workshop 8: Beyond Scrolling: Students Creating Social Media and Podcast Content as Learning Tools [Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

Lisa Raymond-Tolan, Alison Rebels, Pace University

Workshop 9: Interactive and Agile Pedagogy with the Discovery Teaching Platform [Strand C: Advancing Equity]

William Tarimo, Alexia Balentine, Connecticut College

Lightning Talk Session 4: The Importance of Cultural Awareness in Early College STEM Programs

[Strand A: Course Design]

  • A Sample of Joyful and Engaging Teaching Practices shared by Faculty Taking Part in a Culturally Inclusive Teaching Project, Bernadette Sibuma, Massachusetts Bay Community College

  • Making the Jump: Early College Student to STEM Major, Russ Olwell , Merrimack College

Lightning Talk Session 5: Inspiring Joy with Engaging Teaching Practices

[Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

  • Inspiring Joy with Toilet Paper, Rollerblades, Chickens, and the Unexpected, Allison Daubert, Bridgewater State University

  • Building Infrastructure to Support Joyful Mathematical Experiences, Jordan Kostiuk, Brown University

  • Before Joy Comes Acceptance: A Personal Journey through Burnout, Amy Flanagan Johnson, Eastern Michigan University

Lightning Talk Session 6: Students and Faculty Collaborating to Advance Inclusion

[Strand C: Advancing Equity]

  • Laying the Groundwork for Inclusion: Development of a Biology Department DEI Committee, Kimberly Berman, Robin White, Jessica Stephens, Kathryn Weglarz, Mao-Lun Weng, Westfield State University

  • Building Inclusive Academically-Engaged Communities, Kathi Crow, Salem State University

  • Addressing student needs proactive and personal interventions to promote student success in the setting of absenteeism, Lita Yu, Ursuline College

1:30PM – 1:45PM Break

1:45PM – 2:45PM Concurrent Sessions #3

Workshop 10: Designing Engaging Online Courses: From Interactive to Reflective, Collaborative Learning Experience [Strand A: Course Design]

Sam Yousefifard, McMaster University

Workshop 11: Transforming Non-Traditional Teaching Pedagogy Utilizing Social Emotional Learning Techniques [Strand C: Advancing Equity]

Lynn Miles, Quienton Nichols, Fayetteville State University

Lightning Talk Sessions 7: Improving Learning by Expanding Access to Research Experiences

[Strand A: Course Design]

  • “We need to do this:" Early College Student Summer Research Experiences as a Way to Encourage STEM Majors and Careers, Russ Olwell, Cindy Santana, Ambar Tavares, Merrimack College, Lawrence High School

  • BCEENET: Sharing a Passion for Natural History Collections Through CUREs Using Digitized Collections Data, Kathryn Weglarz , Carly Jordan, Janice Krumm, Westfield State University, The George Washington University, Widener University

  • How to make an upper division lab course as fun as experimental research is, Sara Mueller, Brown University

Lightning Talk Session 8: Using Technology for Joyful Learning

[Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

  • Standing TALL: Using Technological Advances to Drive the Passion for Lifelong Learning during Challenging Times, Sundaram Ramakrishnan, Gannon University

  • Video games for STEM education, Neelam Soundarajan, The Ohio State University

  • Impacts of Instructional Methods on Approaches and Perceptions of College Students towards Mathematical Creativity, Bartu Bingol (Math, FYS, creativity, attitudes)

Lightning Talk Session 9: Centering Student Success with Career Awareness

[Strand C: Advancing Equity]

  • Road Map for Student Success Planning, McSween, Cummings, University of the Virgin Islands

  • Celebrate finding joy in teaching non-majors, Colby King, Justin Travis, University of South Carolina Upstate

2:45 PM – 3:00PM Break

3:00PM – 4:00PM Concurrent Sessions #4

Workshop 12: Motivation for Learning: Boosting Academic Performance Through a Post-Exam Intervention [Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

Anne Spain, Bridgewater State University

Workshop 13: Rethinking Engineering Education

[Strand C: Advancing Equity]

Stephen Fernandez, Sarah Brownell, UMass Amherst

Lightning Talk Session 10: Empowering Faculty and Student Voices in Course Design

[Strand A: Course Design]

  • Combating faculty burnout through engagement: Using formative feedback loops between faculty and administration to guide program evolution, Jacqueliyn Kelly, Tomas Oberding, Dianna Gielstra, University of Phoenix

  • HyFlex Teaching in an Evolving World, Raffi Manjikian, Hudson County Community College

Lightning Talk Session 11: Revisioning the Classroom for Joyful Learning II

[Strand B: Teaching with Joy]

  • Can we make grace the norm in our classrooms? Miloš Savić, University of Oklahoma, Candice Price, Smith College

  • Engaging math-anxious first-years, Calvin Cochran, Wellesley College

  • Integrating Student Experiences into the Classroom: A Meta-Reflective Opportunity, Fatih Cetin, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Meeting Registration Info

  • Registration cost for the meeting- $35
  • Meeting is free to graduate students and community college faculty/administration (limited slots available, first come first serve)
  • Meeting is free for Non-Tenure Track Faculty that attend the focus listening session

Host Institution

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is proud to be partnering with PKAL MA to facilitate this conference. The UMass organizing team includes Paula Rees, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the College of Engineering and Kirsten Helmer, Director of Programming for DEI with the Center for Teaching and Learning. UMass is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Conference Organizers

This event is being co-sponsored by the UMass College of Engineering and the UMass Center for Teaching & Learning.

Paula Sturdevant Rees is the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Engineering and Kristen Helmer is the Director of Programming for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with the Center for Teaching & Learning, both at UMass.

The PKAL MA team supporting UMass includes Catherine Dignam, Framingham State University, Thomas Kling, Bridgewater University, and Ashley Smith, PKAL National.

Event Overview

How do we bring joy back into our teaching as a way to support faculty and student learning in a world that is increasingly marked by disruption and uncertainties in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, economic upheavals, the future of U.S. politics, and more? How can we engage the difficult issues of our times and turn them into opportunities for innovative transformation? The purpose of this meeting is to share and celebrate how higher education professionals are creatively addressing challenges posed by the student mental health crisis, shifting expectations about higher education, continued racial and gender disparities across fields of study, and faculty burnout. How are you incorporating new techniques and ideas to inspire and activate the next generation of STEM professionals, particularly diverse students, and maintain your joy of teaching?

Conference Themes

Practices and reform efforts that:

  • Acknowledge and integrate a mix of learning modalities.

  • Celebrate the richness different perspectives and approaches can bring to the classroom.

  • Explore the complexities and challenges of real-world issues in a format that inspires and activates the next generation

  • Appreciate students as individuals, promoting equitable outcomes for differing social identities (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, language, or other).

  • Recognize the student mental health crisis and support student well-being.

  • Bring personal satisfaction and sense of achievement, combating factors that contribute to faculty burnout and loss of well-being.