The Office of the Provost and Faculty Career Development created the Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Grant  to provide funds for adjunct faculty to be used toward their professional development such as attending conferences, workshops, meetings or delivering presentations as a means to further their expertise in teaching. Click on each academic year below to view grant recipients and their projects.  More information about this grant program may be found here.

2017-2018 Grant Recipients

Johannes Bockwoldt, College of Liberal Arts (CLA), Performing Arts and Visual Culture
The 26th VCU French Film Festival/Symposium gave me a comprehensive snapshot of current trends in French cinema in addition to giving me the opportunity to listen and talk to a variety of French filmmakers. It definitely was helpful to inform my teaching and to further my understanding of European filmmaking which is part of my curriculum. If I should get another opportunity to teach European cinema the trip would definitely directly influence the syllabus design. In a more general way my students will benefit from very current ideas and approaches to filmmaking. I am very grateful for the opportunity to travel to the festival and would hope there would be more opportunities offered to adjunct faculty.

Timothy Fossum, Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS), Computer Science                
I presented a three-hour workshop at the CCSNE 2018 Conference on the PLCC programming language development tool and related instructional materials that I have developed in part at RIT. This tool has been used in two upper-level required computer science courses at RIT. The workshop gave me the opportunity to introduce this tool to computer science faculty at other institutions and to get their feedback on the suitability of using this tool in their own programs. The feedback I received from workshop participants was extremely positive. I am working with another CS faculty colleague who will be teaching the Programming Language Concepts course (CSCI 344) at RIT in Fall 2018 to see how the PLCC material can be used in their course offering. This will give me the opportunity to have other RIT faculty test PLCC and to improve the instructional materials over time, ultimately improving the quality of student learning.

Guoming (Ming) Tian Funkenbusch, CLA, Modern Languages and Cultures               
I attended the 64th Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) whose theme was the Power of Proficiency. To improve students’ language proficiency it is essential for the instructor to use the target language about 90% of the time (in my case, the target language is Chinese). There were many expert educators at the conference who presented their strategies, practices, and use of technology, to drive students’ language proficiency up, including integrating ACTFL standards and proficiency guidelines. I will now work to provide my students more authentic materials with “i+1” comprehensible input in an engaging and meaningful way in the classes. Every student has his/her own learning style and learning zone of proximal development. As an educator, I need to constantly apply scaffolding methods in all modes of communication and check students’ understanding.  

Jessica Hooper, Jessica, SOIS
Attended Online Learning Consortium's Innovate Conference
 

Gary Jacobs, CAST, 3D Digital Design
Together with colleague and fellow adjunct, Dr. Suzanne Piotrowski, we described and demonstrated the Serious Play methodology and its role in engaged growth, learning and design thinking at the Experiential Learning Conference. The conference helped reinforce the necessity, specifically in teaching design methodologies, of focusing on the tangible experience of learning. As a result of attending this conference, I will be including much more inquiry-based learning in my approach to teaching, allowing students to have deeper and longer-lasting impacts of their newfound skills as designers.This experience was a great example of interdisciplinary collaboration at RIT. We were able to show the powerful connections between organization design and design thinking, while representing RIT in a very positive light.

Kant-Byers, Kristin, CLA, Sociology/Anthropology         
I  presented and attended the 116th Annual American Anthropological Association Meeting. A major outcome of this grant-funded project was to attend this conference and enable me the time and place to present my research findings, to facilitate discussion about my research, and to receive feedback on my research from the largest audience of my professional peers. As part of an invited session from The Anthropology Tourist Interest Group, I made connections to researchers with similar interests. My students were a part of the data collection process, data analysis, and report preparation. This conference presentation helped me model fieldwork and analysis for them but more importantly, colleagues at the conference were impressed with the kind of analysis my RIT students prepared. Incorporating student work was much appreciated by my colleagues as a technique in research conference presentations.  Simply put, my students and I would not have had this experience without the fund this grant provided. It helped us think more critically about tourism and prepare an organized and significant research product. Thank you!

Kemker, Christine, CLA, Sociology/Anthropology         
I attended the 19th Annual White Privilege Conference (WPC). Being able to attend the various workshops and keynotes has inspired me to delve further into exploring issues of race and the systemic social problems that our society faces. Understanding not just the current research, but my own personal impact (positive and negative) will make me a stronger and more influential teacher. I plan to include more in-depth subject matter on systemic racism and intersectionality, with new and better ways of explaining white privilege and implicit bias. In addition, I plan to make the plethora of resources I received (through networking, documentaries and toolkits) available to my students. This grant offered me an opportunity that I otherwise could not have afforded to attend. Adjuncts, as much as any other faculty deserve the chance to continue learning and researching in their fields, and this grant can help open that door.

Seann McArdle, College of Health Sciences & Technology (CHST), Exercise Science      
I attended the 2018 American College of Sports Medicine International Health and Fitness Summit. The theme this year was combating sedentary behavior, a topic that is addressed in many of the courses I instruct. There were many health and fitness companies present at the Expo that I was able to interact with regarding emerging technology in Exercise Science, health, and wellness. These companies provide equipment, software, or other products that could be incorporated into our course offerings and services available to students, faculty, and staff. The most significant impact was the prioritization of assessing physical activity and nutrition in an individual prior to assigning or assessing exercise physiology. The featured speaker made a compelling case that even those individuals meeting exercise guidelines still spend far too much time engaging in sedentary behavior. I believe this summit was a worthwhile experience for faculty, but also noted that it is better suited or targeted for undergraduate students.

Suzanne Piotrowski, CET
Presented and attended Experiential Learning Conference

Peter Spacher, SOIS/CLA                             
I traveled to Grenada, WI, to collaborate with a variety of researchers. This grant provided me the chance to expand my research in remote sensing capabilities, set up long term research collaborations, and bring back data to use in my Environmental Studies Class (STS Department). It also resulted in potentially collaborative publishable research material. It has also exposed me to the environmental, social, and political attributes of this Caribbean Island Nation, all of which will be useful information to share with students in class and contrast with their backgrounds.

I was able to gather site specific data on beach erosion and coral distribution, as well as learn lessons of infra-red imaging of large leatherback turtles. Pictures, data, and site specific information will be brought to class to stimulate student interest and to provide students the chance to help analyze scientific data. In discussion with Dean Olsen of the Veterinary School I have discovered new modalities of teaching which they are exploring and that I would like to explore. By being introduced to the environmental problems of the Island by fellow researchers, I have been able to conceptualize expanded research goals, and build bridges to collaborative projects.

ai-ze Wang, Modern Languages and Cultures
Attended Confucius Institute Hawaii, Center for Chinese Studies. During the training, we were not only learning and watching the lead teachers, we also had to teach the students for about 18 hours.  I can definitely implement the methods in my current teaching, which will help my students gain much stronger communication skills.

Ben Woelk, SOIS
I attended the Technical Communication Annual International Summit Conference. Attendance at the conference keeps me abreast of current trends in technical communication and helps ensure that my course curriculum is relevant to a rapidly-evolving profession with expanding career opportunities. I was able to discuss changing trends and the role of disruptive technology and what it means for technical communication.I was able to attend presentations related to cognition and learning and its impact on technical communication and discussion on future technology and what it means for today's students. Knowledge gained from the conference and networking contacts ensures that my course content will help my students have an advantage when they enter the workplace. Additionally, conversations with the Certification Authority for the Certified Professional Technical Communicator will help me integrate this opportunity for RIT students into both my coursework and as a standalone offering. I believe the grant demonstrates RIT's commitment to invest in all faculty and their classroom success, whether full-time or adjunct.

2016-2017 Grant Recipients

Kristin Kant-Byers, PhD, CLA, Sociology and Anthropology
The grant was used to cover the cost of registration for the Appalachian Studies Association Conference and related activities. I was able to share and build my research ideas regarding tourism within and surrounding Appalachia, including Rochester. The most wonderful and significant outcome of this conference was the opportunity I had to present students’ ideas from the classroom. Many of them were amazed that their reflections and comments were valued and significant to real research and were well received by an audience of scholars.  This grant enabled me to learn more about regional culture of which RIT is a part and motivated me to try a new teaching technique which is to work with students to develop presentations of original research.  

Laura Lentz, Adjunct Professor, Applied Flute and Director of RIT Flute Ensemble
The grant covered the registration fees for the Baltimore Flute Spa, which was a two-day participatory flute masterclass designed for performers and teachers to explore the fundamentals of flute playing and musicianship through masterclasses and flute choir reading sessions. The class especially was useful in providing specific strategies when using The Flute Scale Book with students, which is now one of the most widely used pedagogical technique books for flute.  I am looking forward to sharing all that I learned with students at RIT!  I am appreciative of this opportunity extended to adjunct faculty and hope funding like this continues to be offered in the future.

Peter J. Spacher, SOIS
This grant partially funded my attendance at the 2017 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) meeting in Atlanta, GA, and allowed me to present a talk, “STEM Incorporated into a NASA Payload”, co-authored by a colleague at Hobart and William Smith College, Ileana Dumitriu.  Attendance at the conference provided me with an opportunity to gain new insight into current trends in physics education, as well as an opportunity to network with other professionals from across the country and the world. These grants are important to advance the professional development of adjunct faculty and keep them abreast of new ideas and concepts.  

Ruon Priscilla Yuen, Applied Piano
This grant partially funded my travels to the International Trombone Festival at the University of Redlands in Southern California.  As a pianist, I collaborated with Eastman School of Music trombone professor Mark Kellogg in a recital/presentation about how to interpret/transfer vocal music on the trombone.  The musical collaboration between the trombone and piano/harpsichord helped to expand the repertoire for trombonists and other brass performers. I will be able to use the information and music used at the International Trombone Festival through my teaching and coaching of music students at RIT.  As a musician working in different institutions, it's hard to be in a position to qualify for awards such as this one because of our status.  I am very thankful for this grant!

2015-2016 Grant Recipients

Amber M. Anderson, Ph.D., CLA, Sociology and Anthropology
This grant helped cover costs associated with the Annual Society of American Archaeology conference. I presented my ongoing research in Ecuador and also met with publishers, landing a book contract in the process. This conference provides an incredible opportunity to network with professionals in my field, and establish future projects, grants, publishing options and more. Several students used information I gave them from the conference for their final papers. Staying active in professional organizations like this are an incredible boost to my career as an archaeologist and as an instructor.

Michelle Friedman, COS, Chemistry and Materials Science
I participated in an American Chemical Society Division for Professional Education online course entitled “Specialized Topics in Chemistry for Non-Chemists.” Currently expanding areas of applied chemistry allows me to offer students more advanced insights, sparking paths they may not have considered or strengthening an existing interest. As an adjunct, I appreciate the ability to expand beyond what I have been teaching so far at RIT.  In particular, the introduction of programs with ethics offers the chance to merge my personal interests and new academic topics, to generate excitement in my students.

Guoming Tian Funkenbusch, CLA, Chinese
I attended the 2016 Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Conference in NYC. The theme was "Developing Intercultural Competence through World Languages." Sessions attended included using technology in world language classes, engaging students with fun games, and applying project-based learning. I will implement some activities and strategies from the conference in my Chinese language class to help students practice listening, speaking, and learning in an interactive and fun way.

Jessica Hooper, Adjunct Professor, SOIS
This grant was used to fund my attendance at the 2016 New Media Consortium summer conference hosted by RIT. Attendance at the conference provided me with an opportunity to gain new insight into current trends in multimedia use in higher education, as well as an opportunity to network with other professionals from across the globe. I have several new ideas for incorporating multimedia into my online courses. The grant program is a valuable opportunity for adjunct faculty at RIT.

Nolan Little, Adjunct Professor, CLA, Philosophy
I attended the American Philosophical Association's Annual Eastern Division meeting in Washington, DC.  The panel discussions focused around recognizing and addressing the problematic relationship between historical advantaged and disadvantaged groups within the philosophy community, and on curricular development of "critical thinking" courses as they relate to disciplines outside of philosophy.  It’s important that the material that I teach be accessible and relevant to experiences that students have outside the classroom.