GTC+ Plus logo

CRLT is very pleased to congratulate the first recipients of the GTC+ certificate. Launched last year as a collaboration with the Institute for the Humanities and Rackham, the GTC+ provides opportunities for additional professional development around teaching with digital media for students already pursuing the Rackham-CRLT Graduate Teacher Certificate. In this guest blog, GTC+ participant Antje Gamble profiles the three graduate students who completed the new certificate this year. Antje received her Ph.D. in the History of Art this summer; she has run the GTC+ Twitter feed (@GTCPlus) throughout 2015.

Dr. Kaplan

We are very pleased to share the news that Matthew Kaplan has been appointed Executive Director of CRLT.

Matt's appointment culminates a long evaluation and planning process for CRLT, which included internal and external reviews as well as a national search for a director with an inspiring vision for the Center's future. Candidates were invited to speak on "The Future of a Teaching Center in a Research University," and Matt's talk highlighted the importance of CRLT's interconnectedness. Defining the center's role as "cooperative leadership," he foregrounded our crucial collaborative relationships with partners on campus as well as our connections with the work of other university teaching centers both nationally and internationally. 

Matt brings to the Executive Director position over twenty years of experience in educational development, during which he has published widely on topics related to teaching and learning, faculty development, and teaching center administration. He has also held leadership roles in POD Network, the national professional organization for educational developers in higher ed, and is recognized as a key expert by teaching center colleagues nationally. He also knows our center and university very well, having worked at CRLT since 1994 and served as CRLT's interim director since January of 2014.

3 people discussing a posterAt the kickoff event of this year's Enriching Scholarship conference, Vice Provost James Hilton awarded the 2015 Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize (TIP) to five outstanding teaching projects here at the University of Michigan. As Hilton explained, TIP "recognizes the creation of engaging and authentic experiences that fully tap the rich resources of U-M’s residential setting."

This year's projects all emphasized that "learning is often about doing." Hilton remarked, "From community and campus engagement to the application of new technology tools, these winning projects challenge students to actively apply what they’re learning to real situations that can be much messier than those described in textbooks. In the process, students learn to collaborate and think critically, often across disciplinary boundaries."

This year's winning projects include:

Sexual Assault Awareness Month logoApril is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and it has come this year at a time when many U-M instructors are wondering how, in their role as teachers, they can make a difference with this issue on campus. For some, relevant course content provides a perfect occasion for engaging students in discussion about sexual violence and identifying relevant campus resources, initiatives, and policies. But what if you teach in an area where such issues are not relevant to your course topics? How, if you want, can you help promote a safer campus? And how can you be prepared to respond supportively in the event that a student’s learning in your class is negatively affected by an experience of sexual violence? Students often trust teachers as a primary contact when dealing with distress, so no matter your field, it’s useful to be prepared for such encounters.

Recently, student governments in both LSA and the College of Engineering have endorsed language that all faculty can include on their syllabus to provide information about campus policies as well as resources regarding sexual assault and harassment. The students leading these efforts propose that, as easily-accessible documents, syllabi are perfect places to share information such as contact numbers for crisis support services--resources that, by definition, students don't plan to need. They also emphasize the important role faculty can play in drawing attention to safety from sexual assault as a Title IX concern, in minimizing stigma against sexual assault survivors, and in demonstrating an institutional commitment to a campus where students can learn free from the threat of sexual violence. Such syllabus statements were advocated for similar reasons in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education blog.

As alternatives to such a policy-focused statement, some U-M teachers choose to include syllabus statements that focus more directly on the potential impacts on student learning of sexual violence. These might emphasize the boundaries of confidentiality, or point students to resources about supporting their friends and classmates who are survivors of sexual violence. Holly Rider-Milkovich, Director of U-M's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), recommends instructors include language such as the following on their syllabus or in speaking with students: