We are pleased to announce the Teaching Academy Fellows for Fall semester 2019: Kathy Castle, David Harwood, and Yvonne Lai.
The initiative engages our faculty in local, national, and international conversations about essential issues in higher education, develops teaching expertise across the disciplines and at all levels of learning, and recognizes and rewards exceptional teachers.
Meet our new fellows.
Kathy Castle, Communication Studies
Castle is an assistant professor of practice, assistant department chair, and director of undergraduate education who specializes in interpersonal and family communication as it relates to chronic illness.
As a fellow, she wants to study leveraging technology and instruction to improve student engagement and learning, mentorship of faculty and students, and helping faculty and graduate students think about their classes as part of a larger experience.
"[I am excited to] work with and learn from others who are just as passionate about teaching and learning as I am."
David Harwood, Geology (Earth and atmospheric sciences)
Harwood is a professor and Stout Chair in stratigraphy whose research involves studies of Cenozoic and Cretaceous paleoenvironments and paleoclimates of the southern high latitudes and Antarctic continent.
As a fellow, he wants to share effective teaching strategies developed in Geology 125 - Frontiers of Antarctic Geosciences, continue to explore ways to effectively apply evidence-based learning strategies in this course, and develop a new 100-level geoscience course for a larger enrollment audience.
"Curiosity-driven learning is impactful and lasting; it builds life-long skills...I would like to improve UNL student awareness and global perspectives, and instill a sense of wonder about our natural world."
Yvonne Lai, Mathematics
Lai is an assistant professor who specializes in improving instruction of mathematical reasoning at all levels by identifying and preparing teachers in the mathematical knowledge for teaching.
As a fellow, she wants to explore the topic of disciplinary knowledge for teaching and how it is congruous and incongruous with disciplinary knowledge as needed to conduct research.
"I would be excited to engage other fellows with the idea that teaching well is not just about knowing the basics...or deploying specific pedagogical tricks, but that skillful teaching requires specialized professional knowledge."