Opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to interact and collaborate in the classroom is a common thread among the winners of this year's Glennan Fellows program, as is the use of modern technology such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. The five winners from Case Western Reserve University represent different approaches to education that the Glennan Fellows program encourages.
Administered by the university's University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE), the fellowship program is designed to reward excellence in faculty and to nurture their growth as teachers and scholars. Nominees are regular faculty who are in the tenure track but are not yet tenured. They must demonstrate a balance of teaching and scholarship, evidenced by research publications, books, grants, artistic achievements or other accomplishments. Contributions to teaching can range from curricular and academic program development to participation in education-related activities.
Five Glennan Fellows are named each year. This year's winners are Kimberly Emmons, assistant professor of English, Mark Griswold, associate professor of radiology, Heidi Martin, assistant professor of chemical engineering, T.J. McCallum, assistant professor of psychology and Marty Pagel, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.
A committee formed by the director of UCITE reviewed each nominee's credentials, application, recommendations and program proposals and selected the finalists in 2006. They will be honored Wednesday, May 2, during a reception from noon to 1 p.m. in the Herrick Room of the Allen Memorial Medical Library on Adelbert Road at Euclid Avenue. The fellows will describe their work, which they plan to put into practice during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Here is a look at their projects:
This Glennan-inspired course brought undergraduate and graduate students together to explore the research question: How does language affect health and illness? Viewing health care encounters through the lenses of linguistic and rhetorical analysis, Emmons' course served as an introduction to important research methods and practices. Students examined health and illness through the medium of language, such as whether the use of "illness narratives" versus "health narratives" influenced outcomes, and the experience demonstrated the interconnections between medical science and humanities research.
This project caused for the creation of an undergraduate/new graduate student laboratory class in which students construct and test a simple, low-cost magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device. During this process, they replicate the work that resulted in two Nobel prizes. The lab is especially designed to allow learning through making and correcting mistakes, without simply providing the students an easy path to an answer. The class has the potential to become a true interdisciplinary resource, drawing students from different departments from engineering, physics and medicine.
This project involved the development of a research-oriented undergraduate course that provides graduate students with professional development through a mentored teaching experience. Martin also saw this as an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn how to conduct research; that is, how to approach a research problem, design experiments and analyze data. This is accomplished through discussion of specific interdisciplinary research being pursued at the university, hands-on laboratory experiences and assignment of open-ended projects on research topics.
For this project, McCallum developed and implemented an experiential learning course for undergraduates, in which students in the class met with four local groups of elders and assisted them in learning how to use a computer-based brain enhancement program designed for older adults. Students also administered simple neuropsychological tests to the elders before and after program completion to determine the overall effectiveness of the computer program.
A new series of active, hands-on laboratory experiences for junior and senior biomedical engineering undergraduate students has been developed and implemented using the Glennan Fellowship awarded to Pagel that use the high field MRI scanners within the Case Center for Imaging Research. The laboratory sessions link morphology/function to molecular composition to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the two. A unique feature of these laboratory experiences is the requirement that each student must develop his or her own questions (goal, aim, and hypothesis) in addition to developing the answers to the questions. This provides a complete experience of observation, reflection, conception, and testing that are critical for the learning cycle.
The Glennan Fellows program is named in honor of T. Keith Glennan, president of Case Institute of Technology from 1947-1966, who became a dedicated and energetic supporter of the university. From his experiences as a leader in education, Glennan came to appreciate the challenges faced by faculty early in their academic careers, especially with regard to development of teaching skills. That concern led him to establish the endowment, along with his wife, Ruth, which now supports this program for new faculty. Glennan died in 1995.
The fellowship program is administered through the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education or UCITE. Each winner receives a stipend not to exceed $6,500 to implement his or her program proposal, usually in the year after the fellowship is granted.
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